A while back I asked for help in this forum because some Mormon missionaries had arranged to stop by, and the rest of you gave some great tips and insight (I posted follow-up a few days later). Well, today, as we’re eating lunch, there is a knock at the door. I invited the two gentlemen in, and they introduced themselves as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Rather than be caught off-guard, I informed them that it was a bad time and asked them to come back later in the week. We actually set a date and time of Wednesday evening.
Now, I’ve familiarized myself with the Catholic answers tracts on Jehovah’s Witnesses, but am again appealing to my friends in here to give me any coaching on how to handle the conversation, plant seeds. I don’t want to assault them with apologetics and end the conversation abruptly, but I do want to know what to anticipate when we have our dialogue so I can control the conversation. Some of the best insight you gave with the Mormon’s was in pointing out how much they rely on that “burning within the bossom” as a source of authority. That’s the type of thing I’m looking for here with the JW - something that allows me to chip right at the foundation of the faith as opposed to getting into circular arguments over doctrine. What’s my best approach?
Here is a website with a lot of info on evangelizing JWs albeit from a heavily Protestant perspective
You reminded me of the hunt that I have been doing on the subject of the JWs. I am not familiar with actually witnessing to them because I tend to shun them when they come to the door, but that is another story.
If you want material from the Internet there is plenty of material to choose. I was looking under a search Jehovah’s Witness abuse, and I can assure you that some of the material is heart wrenching. I wonder how many families who come to the door attempting to give out a tract have their own story to tell and they have been sidelined by the hierarchy. There is one very good site that covers this topic.
At the same time I found another site that might have some good clues on how to witness to JWs from people who are now former JWs:
There is plenty of material on this site that will keep you occupied.
My own brush with a JW in the workplace was unpleasant. Not only was I disturbed to hear him dictating where people could go to visit a doctor, but the way in which he spoke to his wife was extremely abusive. Perhaps my own encounter of this kind of thing sets me off on this particular search.
You can also try my new website:
Also, I will be on the February 7th edition of The Journey Home on the Eternal Word Television Network. It is a live show that will air at 7 pm Central time. You can call-in or email questions too.
God’s blessings to you,
I have had many opportunities to study with JW’s at my door…well, until I got black-listed hehe. Here is the trick. Meet with them and set ground rules. The rules are this, you will use their materials, which is comforting to them but you will have questions and expect answers as best as they are able. If they cannot answer a question ask that they seek it for you from their elders. (btw…there will be a lot of those)
Biggest rule: Pick one topic each week and stick to it no matter what. They must agree to this rule or the meetings stop. They have been taught to attack your faith like birds, swooping in and taking a bite on one side then flying out and coming in from another angle. Remember they know their scriptures and doctrines far better than anyone you have ever met. It is a requirement.
If a topic becomes contentious you are allowed to agree to disagree. End of topic.
Using their own materials you will show them by gentle questions how to think for themselves. Ask your friend to look at the concordance of their bible. Turn to all references beginning “Truly, truly I say to you,” Ask why the only one that does not have a comma after the word ‘you’ is the verse where Christ addresses the thief on the cross? In their translation it reads “Truly truly I say to you today, you shall be with me in Paradise” See how it is changed by the moving of the comma? Now the accepted translation says “Truly truly I say to you, today you shall be with me in Paradise” Again only ask why this is the only verse parsed that way. No accusations. You want them to ask the questions of their elders.
Next…read the book “Reasoning with Jehovah’s Witnesses” I will get the full reference for you. Read it and know it. Again, ask only gentle questions. Your friends are not allowed to think for themselves, so this is a very new experience for them. Be kind.
Good luck and pm me if you want any other information.
Thanks to all who helped me out with this. Greg and Cindy from the local Kingdom hall stopped by last night. A very spirited discussion. I started out asking some non-threatening questions, explaining I wasn’t ready to study doctrine until I understood the foundation for their interpretation and Bible translation (which I already knew). I let them explain to me how the Trinity doesn’t exist and how Christ is not God. Then I started asking some more challenging questions, pointing out my own verses (using the handy Catholic Answers Bible Tabs!) and then moved the discussion to a subtle attack on the foundation of their beliefs. They stayed for nearly an hour-and-a-half, and I did almost all of the talking the last twenty minutes. As my wife, who overheard us from upstairs said, she heard me - Cindy - me - Cindy - me and then me and then me. Greg was too busy trying to find a stumper in his Bible.
Some of the points I brought up -
I informed them of the credentials of the five men responsible for their New World Translation (based on the CA tract) and asked how they could have confidence in it.
I pulled my series of Faith of the Early Fathers off the shelf to point out how first, second, and third century Christians held Catholic beliefs, contradicting the apostasy of Constantine notion. Asked them for a similar book by a Jehovah’s Witness author - they were stumped (ten seconds of silence).
They pointed out that “you will know them by their love”, explaining that they had met many Catholics who don’t practice what they preach. I asked, since Prince recently converted to Jehovah’s Witness, if they would like me to go find one of his CD’s so we could look at his wholesome lyrics.
It went very well - the Holy Spirit worked through me. Finally, Cindy decided another Bible Study wouldn’t go well. She then offered me a hug.
Hopefully a seed has been planted, but who knows.
Sounds like it went well.
Pray for their conversion on a regular basis now.
God’s blessings to you,
As an ex-Jehovah’s Witness myself, I can tell you that you have to pray very hard that God will cause them to see that this Organizations leaders, the “Faithful and Discreet Slave”, are NOT who they claim to be. Pointing out their numerous prophetic failures helps, as does showing them the writings of the PRE-Nicene Church fathers, but what they really need is to have that mental hold which the governing body has over them, broken. There is a great new website called www.catholicxjw.com and I recommend you all check it out. Love, Jaypeeto