This week I visited the Kingdom Hall for their regular weeknight meeting of Jehovah’s Witnesses, something I try to do about once a month. If you’ve been following my posts, you will know that my cover has been blown; that is, they realize that I have an agenda, which is to share my “strong opinions” with their members. Actually, what I share are not my opinions, but rather what the Bible actually teaches, in contrast with what the Watchtower teaches.
Anyway, at one point they gave me an ultimatum, which resulted in a commitment from me to not share “my opinions” with members of the congregation. I agreed to do so. Since then, I have been visiting and engaging in only smalltalk with my JW friends.
That’s frustrating, as you can imagine. I have to bite my lip a lot. It’s a struggle to keep the Truth inside. And talking with my JW friends has become like the proverbial “walking on eggshells.” One false step, and they might “revoke their invitation,” forbidding me from entering the kingdom hall.
So what do I do?
This week’s visit provides a good example of exactly what I do.
First, I pray. Throughout the meeting, I talk with Jehovah and Jesus, mentioning the members that I see up front and in the seats, and for those with whom I talk before and after the talks.
Secondly, nothing has stopped my body language. I’m sure they see when I roll my eyes, cringe, bristle, or express exasperation or disbelief in what is being taught. Sometimes I even scoff audibly. I can’t help myself. So far no one has commented or asked me about it, but they must notice. The elders must see when I’m making a disgusted or incredulous face about what they’re saying from the lectern.
Thirdly, there are opportunities even within smalltalk to plant seeds. Our everyday conversation can reveal what we believe about God, Jesus, the Bible, the church, and other topics. This week I was commending “Verne,” one of the young men, a high-school student, for his astute comment during the meeting. He pointed out that when Jesus was killed, the spear the Romans used on him caused “blood and water” to flow out of him, conclusive evidence of certain death. After the meeting, I expressed my agreement with him about how important that was, that Jesus’ death and resurrection was a real, historical event that took place in space and time; that it was not fake news; that the “swoon theory” and other spurious explanations are bunk.
Do you see what I did there? It’s subtle, but I did at least two things. First, I included Jesus’ resurrection, something that JW’s believe in, but not in the same way that we do. They believe his resurrection was spiritual, not physical, and by lumping them together in history, space, and time, I planted a seed of truth about Jesus’ resurrection. Secondly, I as a member of “Christiandom,” what they call all other Christian organizations, expressed understanding and enthusiasm, even excitement, about biblical truth. JW’s are trained to believe that members of Christiandom have no understanding or enthusiasm for biblical truths. That might have been the biggest, most gnarly seed of all, something that could keep a JW from sleeping at night.
After talking with Verne, I talked with others, and shared with several members what I had shared with Verne. I multiplied the conversation, and hence the seed-planting! “Didn’t you love what Verne shared? I sure did! It places Jesus’ death and resurrection as a real event in history!” I must have had the same conversation four more times that evening.
So while my seed planting has to be stealthy, it can still be fun, and far from frustrating.