How To Witness To A Jehovah's Witness - Part 1
Allow me to start off by saying that I'm not claiming that my approach to reaching Jehovah's Witnesses is "the best", but I have been able to rescue some from their organization. I just thought I'd share some of the various experiences I've had with them. This discourse in actuality is written with the real time face to face encounter in mind, but it can also be used for internet witnessing. However, due to certain dynamics via the internet, there are other methods that I employ just a little differently, and from another approach.
When one is contemplating witnessing to a Witness, they must keep their patience level high, to a maximum. I see reoccurring mistakes that Christians make when conversing with JW's. Let me clarify by what I mean by mistakes. In the truest sense when evangelizing, it's my position that God uses all things we say for a purpose, despite ourselves and "shortcomings". So in that, nothing is truly vain or a mistake. However, with wisdom, experience, and training we can learn how to be more proficient in our evangelizing that will help us get to the point in love, and away from the rabbit trails, weeds, and circular arguments that may arise.
It does one well when they put in the effort to learn the various doctrines of the JW's and cite their publications, to see where they're coming from. I know many Christians that go into a debate thinking that since they have studied the Bible inside and out, they have the upper hand and they'll win the argument. A Bible "proof texting" debate is often engaged which leads to the typical Bible "ping pong". We must realize a key point here. JW's are trained to teach whereas listening or considering what their opponent is saying is not a priority. If you were ever to attend their Theocratic Ministry School, you'll see that they are taught to appear to listen but wait for an opening to respond. I'll expound on this school in a further post.
Approach is key here. As Christians, it's not all about trying to win an argument, it's about sharing. If you have a "theological chip on your shoulder", this will stifle your efforts, lesson your effect, and make you appear as disingenuous. Throw the axe away, there's nothing to grind. Rather than being the drill sergeant that demands a response, be the journalist that is taking in mere information. Instead of telling the answer, ask for it. For example, instead of saying something point blank like "Jesus is God, the Bible says so", try this instead. "I understand that you guys believe that Jesus is not God, but how do you get your exegesis on this"? Make them think on why they believe why they do, and along their way of explanation, ask them about certain scriptures that seem to affirm that Jesus is indeed God. Ask for the harmonization of the apparent contradictions. To stress it again we must keep this in mind at all times, simply put, they are there to teach you and not the other way around. Once they feel they are no longer teaching, they usually get uninterested and decline further dialogue. Take your time and be willing to listen yourself.
To be continued...