You may already know from my earlier posts that I am going to begin meeting again with a Jehovah Witness acquaintance I have known for several years. I really believe that Jehovah’s Witnesses have been deluded by the Watchtower organization. I believe that this group is a mind-controlling cult. I believe talking with Abbie about what I know is worthwhile. I believe taking the time to research Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Bible is a good discipline for me. I think that exposing my kids to learning how to find Truth, and not being afraid to research, are splendid ideas.
But here I am sweatin’ tomorrow!
I just keep hearing a voice telling me how jacked up I am! How ill-fitted I am for sharing my faith.
I have felt pretty far away from God this past year. I have not been “good” at reading my Bible. I struggled with being impatient with my kids. I haven’t gained control over eating what I should/shouldn’t and I haven’t exercised as much as I know I should. These are just a few of the ways I have not lived up to standards I feel I should be living up to. Who am I to radiate Jesus Christ to these gals who are not only Lost, but also captives to a mind-numbing, life-controlling religion? Who am I, when I am so screwed up myself?
Then I remember the Gospel!
It’s not about me, is it? It’s about HIM! It’s not whether I’ve had a consistent quiet time, or even whether my theology is spot on. What matters is that Jehovah had the Mercy and Grace to reach down into this little sinner’s life and take her for His very own — not because I’m such a sweet gal but rather in spite of who I am! Yes, I wish that I had been a better Christian lately. But God’s power, God’s Love, God’s Grace are not dependent upon my performance.
It reminded me of the conversation that got me into this “mess” (grinning). A few months back, Abbie had come to my door for one of our little chats and to hand off a few magazines. We had been avoiding spiritual conversations for the most part (remember, we had met for about a year for serious discussion and then met casually for “catching up” over the next 5ish years) but this week Abbie said something in passing about the “good news” of getting to live in Paradise here on earth. Our family had just met that week with Mormon missionaries, and had an a-ha moment when we shared with each other what we each thought was the heart of the gospel. I suddenly realized what the “heart of the gospel” was to Abbie — living in Paradise Earth.
It was one of those beautiful, innocent moments, where the light bulb went off in my mind and the Holy Spirit filled my heart. I said to Abbie, “So that is the gospel for you! Can I tell you what the gospel is to me?” She said sure, and somehow the words flowed with the testimony so real in my life: that Jesus Christ was sent to earth to pay for my sins, so that I — me, even! — could become friends with God on NO merit of my own! That because I could do NOTHING to earn His love, He did EVERYTHING.
Abbie simply stared at me for a minute. (After she left, my 9-year old son said, “Mom, did you see her jaw hit the floor when you said you didn’t have to ‘do anything’?”) After the speechlessness wore off, Abbie asked if perhaps she could meet with me again so that she could show me from scripture all the things I do need to do to earn God’s love (I suppose I need to be ready to show from scripture God’s Grace tomorrow — pray for me for this!). I said, “Uh, maybe, well…we already met for so long before…and nothing came of it…but, yeah, I mean, we could meet, I guess…” A few weeks later, Abbie asked again if we could begin to meet, and I conceded.
So here we are, facing tomorrow!
I’ve spent my “spare” time this week preparing to meet with Abbie on Friday. I wanted to list some of the resources I’ve come across.
What a blessing to find at the bottom of my “cult” box, lodged in the back of my closet, several pages of notes from the last time Abbie and I met together — that made it easier to have some idea of how I’d like to try to direct the conversation. I found a page of notes on the Name of Jesus, and a stack of photocopies of old Watchtower magazines with false prophecies highlighted. I found many more “hard copy” helps in my JW stash that I’ll find links for soon and post as well.
My children and I are watching a movie tomorrow, before Abbie arrives, borrowed from my grandparents, called Witnesses of Jehovah (the style of clothing on the cover of the film certainly is dated, but I’m guessing the information is not!). I’ve been sharing bits of what I’m learning with the kids this week, and would like them to get a “bigger picture” from the video.
The web has been a wonderful place for research. The most helpful to me, as a busy stay-home mama, has been to listen to the audios on the Tower to Truth website. I’ve had my laptop revved up with audio of ex-Jehovah Witnesses sharing their experiences while making dinner, while bathing, while mopping the floor. Research-a-go-go! (Did I mention that I LOVE my new laptop? Thanks, honey!)
Although not very helpful in understanding how to share Christ with JW’s, this video by Brenda Lee is extremely interesting because Brenda shares a bit of her own experience (while using quirky creative humor to get her point across).
Here are some websites I hope to read more of in the future:
Ex – JW Videos (previews are free and seem interesting — videos are cheap to download if you are very interested)
I hope these links and information help you in preparing to answer the cultist who is soon to knock at your door!