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Top Ten Topics to Discuss With Jehovah’s Witnesses #5: Adoption

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From Pixabay

Here’s another of my favorite topics to discuss with Jehovah’s Witnesses: Adoption.

Specifically, I like to bring up the subject of adoption as sons (and daughters) of Jehovah, as the Bible teaches in Romans 8:14-16 and Galatians 4:1-6. Here’s how the conversation typically goes:

Me: I’m excited about what I’ve been learning from the Bible.

JW: That’s good!

Me: Yes, lately I’ve been learning about being adopted as sons and daughters of Jehovah. Do you know about that from Romans 8?

JW: [Thinking] Um, yes, I think so.

Me: Oh, it’s really great. Paul says that “you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” Isn’t that great? It says that we can be adopted as Jehovah’s sons, and we can call him “Dad!” I have been adopted as Jehovah’s son! Have you?

JW: Yes, I think so.

Me: Well, here’s something that I find disturbing. My JW friend told me that this passage applies only to the anointed 144,000, and not to the rest of the believers. Is that true?

JW: Oh, actually, yes, that passage is about the anointed class of believers, but we can benefit indirectly from it.

Me: What do you mean, “benefit indirectly?” Do you mean you’re like a foster child, or a stepchild? Where does the Bible teach that?

JW: No, that’s not right.

Me: So are you adopted by Jehovah as his son? Because I believe I am, and it’s fantastic! It’s the best thing that has ever happened to me! And I can pray to him, and call him “Dad!” Have you been adopted by Jehovah?

JW: Well, all believers will eventually be adopted as sons, after the final testing.

Me: That can’t be right, can it? I mean, this passage talks about it like it has already happened, doesn’t it? You see, this is what I find to be very disturbing to me. I’m really concerned about my JW friends, that they’re being denied so many of the blessings that scripture says that all believers have. I really have a hard time with this two-class system, don’t you?

JW: I don’t have a problem with it.

Me: Well, I do. I have a big problem with it, because I think that system has been imposed on the Bible, and that the Bible doesn’t teach that. It’s very disturbing to me.

JW: I have to go now. I’m meeting someone.

Me: Okay, but it’s worth thinking about, and researching, right?

JW: Yeah, I’ll research it some more.

Me: I hope you’re not just saying that, and that you will look into it. Romans 8 is a great place to start. Just read it by itself, without any publications telling you what to think about it.

JW: Yeah, okay.

Me: Thanks for talking with me. Have a good week!

JW: You too.

That’s the end of our conversation, but it’s really just the beginning. I pray that they would not be able to forget the scripture that I shared, and that it would continue to bother them. It works! I have had JW friends tell me later that they could not get a verse that I shared out of their mind, weeks later! God says that his word does not return to him empty, but accomplishes what He sends it to do (Isaiah 55:11). I also pray that you, my reader, will come to realize the depth of God’s love for you, as you discover His adoption of YOU. Have you been adopted by Jehovah?

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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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