On Tuesday April 11, 2017, Jehovah’s Witnesses will memorialize the anniversary of Jesus’ death in a public meeting, as they do annually every spring. I attend every year, enjoying the opportunities it provides to talk with JW’s after the meeting. This year I’m trying to decide what approach I will use as my “talking point” with them. In the past, the invitation they hand out during their campaign leading up to the date, lent itself conveniently to very specific talking points. This year’s invite (available at jw.org) seems rather generic, offering little from which to launch a conversation. The theme is the promise of a coming time of “peace, health, and prosperity” during the millennial kingdom, somewhat “off topic” from the death of Christ. Last year (or the year before, I can’t remember) the invitation talked about the thief who was crucified next to Jesus, which provided a natural talking point. (Specifically, how do they explain Jesus’ promise that the thief would be “with me.”) So this year, I’m not sure what my approach will be.
One possibility, a tried and true one, would be to ask “If the anointed 144,000 believers are the only ones who are in the new covenant, then what covenant are the great crowd believers in?”
Another approach would be to say, “I noticed the speaker ended his prayer ‘in the name of Jesus.’ If Jesus is the mediator for only the anointed 144,000, then what business do we great crowd believers have praying in Jesus’ name?”
A third possibility, and the one I’m leaning toward, is to simply ask “If we’re here to ‘do this in remembrance of me’ as Jesus said, then why did nobody here ‘do this,’ that is, why did nobody (or very few) eat the bread and drink the wine?”
Although I do like to have a plan ahead of time, my actual practice will be (as it always is) to base my talking points on two things: something that is mentioned in the public talk, and/or something that the Holy Spirit leads me to bring up in the moment. It’s much more important that I follow God’s leading than my own pre-planned agenda. But, there are times when I sense no specific leading, so having a planned fallback topic is always a good thing.
Please pray for me and others who will be attending the upcoming memorial, and using it as an opportunity to influence JW’s toward saving faith (trust) in Jesus, rather than trusting in the WT Org and their own works.