I was talking on the phone with my JW friend Mark recently, and he brought up the subject of the Trinity. (I never bring it up, because it usually proves to be too much of a back-and-forth argument to do any good.) He did not remember that we had discussed the subject several times, so I reminded him that I prefer the term “Tri-Unity” rather than “Trinity.” I explained that “Trinity” sounds too much like a belief in 3 gods, which I assured him that I don’t believe. (I could tell he was puzzled by my response, assuming that trinitarians actually believe in 3 gods.) I explained to him that I believe that God is three persons existing in one being, in a similar way that Watchtower teaches that Jesus and Michael are two persons existing in one being. That statement gets JW’s to think outside of the categories they’re used to, and I could tell that Mark was experiencing just that. (In other words, his mind was blown.) At this point it took all of my willpower to resist gloating, and instead I proceeded with the important task of helping Mark to make sense of what I had just said. We went on to discuss and clarify the Watchtower’s teaching about Michael’s “life force” being transferred to Jesus, and how unintelligible that is in light of the teaching that the life force is impersonal like electricity.
So rather than attempting to win an argument with Mark, I sought to help him clarify what the Watchtower is teaching, showing him that Watchtower arguments, while on the surface appearing to be logical and coherent, when more closely examined are shown to be inconsistent and/or illogical. Rather than attempting to prove my doctrine, I find it much more effective to show him the failure of the Watchtower doctrine.
With Mark I can be more direct in pointing out Watchtower doctrinal flaws. With other JW’s I’m more subtle, taking on the role of a student with questions. “Can you explain this to me? Please help me understand this Jesus and Michael thing. When the Watchtower says that the life force of Michael was transferred to Jesus, what does that mean? I thought the life force was impersonal power like electricity, so what part of Michael did Jesus get?”
And then I listen to their attempt at answering, continuing to prompt them for further clarification, allowing them to dig their own pit of irrationality, until they change the subject in frustration. Then I pray that the subject continues to bother them in the coming weeks. It’s the judo technique of debating, and I find it far more effective than the direct argument, and far safer when attempting to remain undercover.