One of the symposia at the recent district convention dealt with the topic of apostates, with two sub-headings: Satan, and human apostates. In identifying human apostates, the representative gave three characteristics. (1) They reject “the Christian ministry,” that is, door-to-door witnessing; (2) They “seek to draw away disciples,” that is, they cause believers to have doubts about the Watchtower organization; and (3) They reject the “true representatives of Jehovah’s organization,” that is, the governing body and/or its local representatives.
My thought was, how does one tell the difference between an honest question by an interested Bible student, verses an attack from an apostate? Apparently, you can safely ask questions about anything BUT door-to-door witnessing, the authority of the Watchtower organization, or the governing body. Challenge any of those three areas, and you have crossed over from being a potential believer with honest questions, to an apostate “seed of Satan” (actual language used by the speaker) with an evil agenda.
From this convention I learned that I have to be extremely careful how I word my questions, or I risk being cut off from contact with my JW friends. Never has the “wise as serpents, gentle as doves” principle been so relevant to me.