This article is a brief overview of what the Jehovah's Witnesses believe and how to talk to them

Source: Clarion, 2013. 2 pages.

Who Is That Knocking at the Door?

Have you ever wondered what to do and what to say when a Jehovah’s Witness (JW) team comes to your door? Some of us might think that they are a nuisance and simply say “I’m not interested” and close the door, while afterwards thinking that we perhaps should have said something to them. Others of us might be nervous, feeling a responsibility to witness to them, but at a complete loss as to how to do that! What do JWs believe anyway? How are they really different from us and how can we respond to them?

There are many JWs in the world today. In the United States, there are over a million of them! The average JW spends ten hours a month going from door to door. 100,000 of these will devote up to 100 hours per month to their witnessing work! No wonder that the JW organization is growing at a rate of approximately 4,000 converts per week and is building five Kingdom Halls (or church buildings) every week worldwide! For all of these JWs, door-to-door knocking is one of the most important requirements for their salvation. It is the only record that is kept of their Kingdom Hall membership.

The JW religion is actually like slavery. A JW must attend five hours of meetings per week (including Sunday meetings) and at these meetings people don’t ask questions, because that would arouse suspicion! They are told to avoid “independent thinking” and to accept Watchtower Society teachings without question. JWs must also devote a lot of time to communal religious training. Only fifteen percent of their study time is devoted to their version of the Bible, the New World Translation, while a whopping eighty-five percent of their study time is devoted to Watchtower publications. And despite all their study, JWs have no personal relation to Christ and no assurance of salvation.

What follows is a very brief overview of what JWs believe:

  1. Jehovah is the only proper name for God.
  2. Jesus is not true God who assumed our human nature to become our Saviour. Rather Jesus is the created Son of God, Michael the archangel, and a god. Jesus paid only for Adam’s sin, and thereby only cleaned the slate, so that we could have a chance to do good works to earn our own salvation today.
  3. JWs can’t pray to Jesus. If they are found guilty of worshipping Him, they are “dis-fellowshipped” and ostracized by JW family and friends.
  4. The Holy Spirit is a force, but He is impersonal.
  5. Only 144,000 people will go to heaven and 9,000 of these are living on the earth today. JWs who do not belong to the 144,000 will live in a restored paradise on earth.
  6. The “Good News” is that in 1914, Jesus became the invisible ruler of God’s Kingdom in Heaven, with the Watchtower Society headquartered in Brooklyn, NY as his visible agency on earth.
  7. We who do not believe in the special revelation of the JW religion belong to the devil’s organization and will be annihilated at Armageddon.
  8. There is no salvation outside the Watchtower Society.

I think that all those of us who go to catechism lessons and Bible studies can already see that the above points are wrong and unscriptural and we can see what is wrong with them. (At least I hope that you can see what is wrong with these points! If not, maybe you can talk about it at Bible study...)

Then we can also see what comfort we have as Reformed Christians! We know that we are so sinful and totally unable to do anything at all for our salvation. No amount of door knocking that we do and no amount of meetings we attend will ever be enough for our salvation! But we do know that Jesus, who is true God, has come to this earth and delivered us from sin and has taken away all our burdens for us. We are again free to worship Him and to live thankful lives before Him. And we have the help of the Holy Spirit, who truly is personal – He dwells in our hearts – to make us holy again and to encourage us in thankful obedience.

So what do we do when a Jehovah’s Witness knocks on our door? First pray to God for help and then witness of the greatness of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Here are a few pointers for conversations with JWs:

  1. Say that you trust in Jesus and not in an organization (John 3:16).
  2. Emphasize that you know for sure that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13) and that you will be with Christ Jesus forever (John 14:1-6).
  3. Point out that you are not saved by the things that you do and do good works only out of love for God (Ephesians 2:8-10).
  4. Say that you’ll pray that they know the peace and joy you experience (Romans 5:1 and CD V). Prayer has greater impact than you think.
  5. Encourage JWs to read the Bible and go without Watchtower magazines for a time.
  6. Plant seeds of doubt in their mind about their religion.
  7. JWs are trained to talk about doctrine, so don’t get into detailed discussions about doctrines if you don’t know the answers.
  8. Discuss Bible verses thoroughly within their contexts.
  9. Try not to accept Watchtower magazines or literature. This communicates that you don’t want anything to do with the Watchtower Society and reiterates your point about the Bible being the only source of knowledge for salvation.

Let us, who have the truths and comforts of God’s Word, be truly informed about the JW religion so that we can confront this unchristian cult. We are called to be lights in the world around us, so when we hear that knocking on the door, let us communicate those wonderful riches that we have been given.

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