Most Christians have had a hard time convincing the Jehovah’s Witnesses that come to their doors. They somersault the Bible verses you quote, interrupt your explanations and leave some “confusing” magazines with you. Have you ever wondered how these folks manage to arrive at their aberrant doctrines reading the same Bible we read? The answer is: through the Watchtower Society.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are usually more trained in how to win people over to their religion than most Christians are. This is done through the armoury supplied by their publishing arm called the Watchtower Tract and Bible Society. This organization, headed by a group of elders called the Governing Body, is the final authority for JWs. What Witnesses believe, say, think and read (even their Bible translation) come from the Watchtower. In fact, every JW must accept the Watchtower leadership as God’s mouthpiece.
“Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using [the Watchtower leadership] we will not progress along the road to life no matter how much Bible reading we do” (The Watchtower, Dec 1 1981, 27)
“…the Bible is an organizational Book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe they can interpret the Bible. For this reason the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah’s visible organization in mind” (The WT, Oct 1, 1961, 587).
But we know the Bible is not an organizational book. It was given by God to ALL mankind. The epistles of Peter and Paul were not addressed to an elite class of leaders, but to ALL Christians in Corinth, Ephesus etc. By claiming to be the sole interpreter of Scripture, Watchtower leaders control the minds of their JWs.
JWs do not listen to you when you quote the Bible to them because they came to your door to teach you their “truths”, not to listen to you. They reject your arguments because to them you are a “pagan” that is not in touch with “Jehovah’s visible organization,” so your beliefs and Bible interpretation are pagan. Until this fact is noted, you may attack the JW or his beliefs and shout Bible verses at each other all day long, but it wont change what they believe one lick!
Many Christians are frustrated when they try to witness to JWs because they don’t understand that JWs are only preaching what the Watchtower gave them. They are robots given a script and sent to the doorsteps to recite them. So when you attack the carriers instead of the source, nothing is achieved. Because until you make a JW lose his faith in the Watchtower – his source – he won’t be receptive to the Gospel you are preaching. So there is a better approach; asking them some questions:
1. If your beliefs are based on the Bible alone, why then do we need the Watchtower material which is someone else’s interpretation of the Bible? Is the Bible not sufficient to learn God’s truth?
2. Why should I use your fallible Watchtower materials which are not inspired to understand the infallible, inspired Scriptures? Is the Bible too complicated to understand? Note their work says: “The brothers preparing these publications are NOT INFALLIBLE. Their writings are NOT INSPIRED as those of Paul and other Bible writers” (Awake! March 22, 1993, 4).
3. Without the Watchtower Society, would you believe what you came here to share with me today? This is because all their beliefs come from an uninspired and fallible authority.
4. Which is more important to you, God-inspired Bible or the uninspired Watchtower? Because their source says: “However the Watchtower does not claim to be inspired in its utterances, nor is it dogmatic” (WT, Aug 15, 1950, 263).
5. What would your life be without the Watchtower? Where do you find hope and spiritual convictions, is it from Jesus Christ or the Watchtower Society? If he answers with the latter, ask why.
Please, don’t rush these questions with JWs. You need to give them time to think on each. Many JWs won’t have ready-made answers to these questions, so they will try to divert the topic so you can spout Bible verses, but dont allow that.
Emphasize that if what they believe really comes from the Bible, then they should read the Bible without Watchtower “study aids.” This would also imply that they knock on doors to give people the Bible and not Watchtower booklets. These questions are aimed to force them to think outside the box. They are already trained to argue their doctrines using Bible texts, so stay off that area because it will be ineffective and spoil your witness (they see you as a pagan remember?)
Until a Witness gets to the point of rejecting the Watchtower authority, don’t argue Bible verses with them. Rather, ask them direct questions with a friendly approach. Jesus drove religious people mad with questions, we offer no apology for doing the same.