I know that I said in my previous post that it would be the last in the series, but I thought of another, and felt compelled to share it.
What triggered my thought was a surprise visit from my Jehovah’s Witness friend, Mark. He showed up unannounced at our door, saying he was in our town for a smog check on his car and some other errands, and thought he’d come by to see how we were doing lately. My mind skittered over the possible real reasons for his visit like a rock being skipped on a glassy lake. Was he there to try to persuade me about one of the JW doctrines? Was he there to challenge one of my pet doctrines? Wanting a debate? Needing more ministry hours for his report card? Or was he lonely and needing a friend? I still don’t know which of these was his motivation. And it doesn’t matter. God brought him to our home. We invited him in at once, explaining that we had just eaten dinner, but he was welcome to some of the food that was left, which he accepted.
The conversation I had with him reminded me that logic is very important to JW’s. Yes, I know that their doctrines are wacky, and many things they say make no logical sense. But that’s the point. Their leaders constantly appeal to logic, presenting their illogical ideas as if they are logical. JW’s love logic. Their whole diatribe against the churches of Christiandom hinges on their argument that our doctrines, such as the Trinity and eternal punishment, are illogical. And some of their doctrines are logically consistent, within their illogical system. Even though they’re so logically illogical, we can leverage their valuing of logic and appeal to their sense of logic. Sharing scripture with them should be our first priority, because it will be more effective than our logic. (It’s God’s Word, duh!) But appealing to their logic can help us gain a lot of traction too.
Here are some examples:
“I’ve read that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jehovah didn’t foresee man’s fall. The explanation given by the Watchtower is that Jehovah chooses what not to know. Can you explain that to me, because to me it’s a logical absurdity. I mean, in order for Jehovah to choose what not to know, he would first have to know everything, to then choose what to un-know. But maybe I’m missing something. Can you explain it to me?”
“The Watchtower has made a lot of doctrinal changes over the years, correcting wrongs and fixing errors. They call it “new light.” So, my question is, do you expect that there will be more “new light” coming in the months and years to come? If that’s the case, then some things they’re teaching right now are wrong and are errors, am I right? What do you do when you find an error in the teachings? To whom do you report it?”
“How is it that Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that they have no leaders, but they also teach that you should respect “those who are taking the lead”? Can you explain to me the difference between “leaders” and “those who are taking the lead?”
“Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that the churches of Christiandom are divided, having no unity, but only confusion. But I got to thinking, what are the doctrines of the churches that JW’s disagree with? Can we list some of them? I think of the Trinity, the deity of Christ, salvation by grace apart from works, all believers going to heaven, eternal soul of man, and eternal punishment (aka hell). These are the teachings that Watchtower says all the churches of Christiandom are teaching. So, aren’t these the things that unite the Christian churches? Aren’t these the things that unify us?”
That last one is the one I sprung on my friend Mark during his visit. He was noticeably affected by it. He had both the lightbulb-coming-on, and the mind-gears-turning looks at the same time. I can tell when something makes him uncomfortable; he laughs it off without actually responding to it. I gave him an “out” too, changing the subject. It doesn’t matter how your JW friend responds to your logical point–they have been presented with it, and will have to wrestle with it internally. Our job is to plant the seeds; the results are up to Jehovah.
How have you appealed to your JW friend/family/acquaintance logically?