As I wrap up this series about the Jehovah’s Witness faith, I would like to take the opportunity to address one of the most important points that I can about interacting with people in this faith-system. Much has been said about their bible (the New World Translation), their publications (The Watchtower), and many of their beliefs and religious practices. And often when people share their views on the Jehovah’s Witnesses, they often share ways to rebut their views, and try to convince “them” that “our” Christian views are right and theirs are wrong. Is that the Biblical way to handle it?
Because the beliefs and practices of the Jehovah’s Witnesses are so different from mainstream Christianity, we (the Christian community) often separate them from ourselves and tend to treat them like lepers. In some cases we even look at “them” as being worse than much of the “world”. This type of pushing away only results in a wedge or separation that causes us to close our eyes to the human-ness that is behind the delivery of this false doctrine. And arguing the points of doctrine and telling “them” that “they” are wrong only widens the gap, and diminishes the opportunity to show “them” who Jesus really is.
I believe that Jesus called us to a higher standard. We are called to love, not to separate, hate, or prove someone wrong. It is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict the hearts of people. So what is our role in this? To be Jesus with skin on to ALL people… including the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
I was convicted quite strongly of this perspective recently when my Jehovah’s Witness friends stopped by my house again. I guess as a Bible College Instructor, I have been tagged as a person of interest by them, so now I get regular visits. While talking to them, I had a very strong urge in my flesh rise up to start arguing various points of doctrine that I have studied in order to prove them wrong. But then I felt the Holy Spirit impress something on me…
What purpose would it serve if I were to prove them wrong? I started seeing my visitors as people, and wondered what would happen if I were to make my point and let them walk away knowing that “I” was superior to their entire belief system. Was it about furthering the Kingdom of God, or just about being right? I think that if I am honest with myself (and most of if most of us are) it would be more about proving “my side” right, and that approach is wrong.
I regret that I didn’t think of this part until after my visitors left, but what would it have been like for them if I just invited them in, and without a word of doctrine whatsoever I just washed their feet (as Jesus did for His disciples)? What if I just humbly served them as Jesus would have me do for others that I would be trying to evangelize? I thought of all of the great and kind things that I would do for anyone else that is a target of an outreach event. If I were working with a Nursing Home Ministry, would I go there intent on debating points of doctrine? Or would I go to serve them, and be friends with them, and minister to whatever needs that they have? I can tell you that I wouldn’t beat them over the head with my doctrine. Therefore, I should not treat my Jehovah’s Witness visitors that way either.
What about prayer? The Bible also tells us that we do not battle against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities and the forces of darkness. We need to love the people, but we should also be interceding for the lost. We should be praying that God lifts the veil that is over their eyes, and helps them to see the true light. Are we spending enough time on our knees for our Jehovah’s Witness visitors? Not only should we be praying for them, but we should also be praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to show us what to do (and say) in order to minister to “them”. And… you better listen to Him if He tells you to invite them over for dinner and try to become friends with them.
I think that you are probably getting my point by now, and I hope that you are realizing that the most important point of doctrine that we can hold onto as followers of Christ is the command to love other people. I share the other points in this series with you so that you know what some of the main issues and problems are, but I share this point with you so that you know what to do with that information. Just remember that you (and I) are not here to tear down and destroy. That is the job of the enemy. But just as Jesus said, “I have come to give life, and give life to the fullest.” How can you represent Jesus in this way the next time that you have an encounter with one of God’s children who is currently practicing in the Johovah’s Witness faith?
Other posts in this series:
- Part 1 :: The Translation Problem (New World Translation)
- Part 2 :: Interpretation Flaws, Core Beliefs
- Part 3 :: Interpretation Flaws, Religious Practices
- Part 4 :: Interpretation Flaws, Diety of Jesus
- Part 5 :: Role of Christians with “Them”