Preparing Jehovah’s Witnesses to Listen, a New Strategy, Tested in Real Life

Anyone attempting to reach Jehovah’s Witnesses lately have likely noticed their recent attitude change, where they have moved away from a willingness to talk, discuss, and debate, to where they quickly employ discussion-enders, either referring you to their website, or saying something like, “I’m not going to argue with you.” As I have discussed in two previous posts, their new practice is due to (1) their recent training, where they are strictly warned to not to engage in any form of dialogue with apostates or opposers, and (2) the convenience of the jw.org website, where JW’s glibly refer people they would rather not interact with. Their thoughts (I imagine) as they talk with you are as follows:

Oh-oh, He asked me about something I can’t explain. This must be one of those evil, deceptive, satanic opposers we have been warned about. I must not talk with them. Good thing we have the website to refer them to, so I can save face and dismiss him in a polite fashion.

One of the challenges I have faced is that they are partly right that I have been a bit deceptive. Not in an evil, satanic way; just in clever ways. (I fancy myself to be like Nathan the prophet, telling King David a story, then lowering the boom with “You are the man.”) But in their mind, their thinking is “Why should I trust anything this guys says to me, if he’s using trickery to get me to think about something?” Hmm. Good point. Of course we could turn that argument around, talking about the multiple instances of deception on the part of the Watchtower and its governing bully. But that would hardly be productive, would it?

Instead, I have sought new, more up-front and honest ways to discuss things with my JW friends and acquaintances. Take a look at my descriptions of my new strategy in my two previous posts here and here.

So this past Saturday I got an opportunity to go live with my new strategy. Two JW’s came to my door, and we introduced ourselves to each other. I’ll call them Ken and Allen. I asked, “Are you the Jehovah’s Witnesses?” Of course they answered that yes, they were. “Oh good, I love you guys,” I replied. As they awkwardly acknowledged my gushing about them, I added, “Yes I love you guys, and I’m so deeply concerned about you. I’ve been in some deep prayer for my JW friends and acquaintances. I’m just so heavily burdened for you, because I love you so much.”

They politely skirted around that issue by showing me the brochure “Good News From God.” I discussed it a little with them for a few minutes, but then I went back to my agenda. “My big concern for you and my other JW friends is that you’re being denied a number of kingdom privileges, including being adopted as Jehovah’s sons, and having Jesus as your mediator, and being in the new covenant, and quite a few others also.”

Allen responded that I may have misunderstood about the mediator, which allowed me to explain that my JW friends and I had looked up the topic of “mediator” in the Insight book, where it states clearly the Watchtower teaching that Jesus is the mediator for only the anointed 144,000 believers. From there we talked about several topics, including adoption as sons, the JW gospel versus Paul’s gospel, and others. At no time did either Ken or Allen “shut down” or accuse me of being argumentative. We remained friendly and interactive throughout. I described my experiences with other JWs’ reactions to learning that Jesus was not their mediator, and returned again to sharing my burden and concern for them, expressing my desire that my JW friends would be able to experience these privileges as I have. We ended on their offering to return and discuss things more with me, which I encouraged.

My hope and prayer is that God, by his Holy Spirit, will protect us; that Ken and Allen won’t be stopped by others who know about me, and that they will return next week or sometime soon. Ken and Allen are from a different congregation than the one I occasionally attend, but it’s here in the same town. Hopefully one congregation won’t rat me out to the other. If you’re reading this soon after it was written, I desire your prayer. Thank you!

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7 responses to “Preparing Jehovah’s Witnesses to Listen, a New Strategy, Tested in Real Life

  1. Update: My new JW friends did not return on Saturday. If I hear from them, I’ll let you know.

  2. Thank you for this article. I need a new approach when discussing this with JWS and you provided a nice one.

  3. I spoke to two women about the whole mediator thing yesterday. I started off with a fairly lengthy discussion concerning whom our mediator is and asked if anyone else could be. I showed them the articles on jw.org and we took turns reading it. At the end, one woman said, “That makes perfect sense to me.” (That must also be “theocratic language,” because I have heard it more than once when something assinine is presented fron their literature.) It was somehow saying that mediator was a legal term (literature vomit spewed back) so they just kept telling me that, then kept saying “Jesus has to be our mediator!,” then told me that the word shouldn’t be “mediator,” but something else that means that Jesus is our way to reach the Father. They said they would research it (as well as why Psalm 110 is inconsistant in translation of “Jehovah”). One lady gave me her phone number. She had been looking into the information I was giving a lot of the time I was talking to the other lady, and came back a couple of times with, “I don’t know why it would say that” or other similar comments. She appeared to tear up and nearly cry a few times.

    • If the one was tearing up, I believe that you and the Holy Spirit were having an effect on them, which is great! You may have planted seeds about things they have never considered before. Keep it up! I always pray that God would bring things back to their mind later, that they wouldn’t be able to get away from it, that the truth would bother them, that it would keep them up at night, etc. I have had JW’s come back to me and say that they couldn’t get out of their mind something that I had shared. Especially true of scripture.

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