We’ll, my Jehovah Witness “friend” Abbie finally came back a few weeks ago. I had no idea what to expect, or how to prepare. I really wanted to let her lead the discussion, with me raising questions that may cause her to doubt or investigate further. Trying to prepare without knowing which direction we would go in was daunting. It WAS nice to go through my dis-organized box of JW stuff and refresh my memory. These are the notes I found (I will update links as I input them into WordPress):
False Prophecies of the Watchtower
Abbie and another gal spent a few hours with us, discussing the Bible over yummy gluten-free chocolate cupcakes and steaming herbal tea. Abbie brought a book with her called What the Bible Really Teaches, and as much as my pride caused me to resist the student role, I kept reminding myself that lessons in humility are”just what the Doctor ordered” for me! I thought I would look for chances to share the Gospel and JESUS with them whenever the time arose.
My boys had watched me prepare. They had lots of questions to ask! One of the questions was, What if the Jehovah’s Witnesses are right? I loved that question, and told them we needed to investigate to find out! I let them know they should never be afraid to seek Truth. I also told them about many of the mind-control tactics and false prophecies and scriptural changes the Watchtower has accomplished over the years.
Normally in our house we have an hour or so of “quiet time” each day where each person goes in a room by himself and reads or plays with quiet toys. (I don’t think I could survive without this time of peace I have to myself each and every day.) I let the boys know that it was very important that they stay very quiet while the JW’s were over. If they wanted to hear or discuss anything with us, they were allowed. They could play with Legos or the like in the living room, as long as they were respectful.
My 2 littlest boys were quiet as a mouse, except for interrupting every once in awhile to show off an “amazing” creation or two. My eldest played with Legos part of the time, and then got right in the thick of discussion! The JW’s and myself got stuck disagreeing on a few random points that I probably should have left alone. During a few of those moments, when perhaps the emotion in the room was running a bit high as a few people tried to speak at once, my 10-year old began to interrupt. He was so cute, not really knowing what we were talking about, but obviously knowing better than I did what was important. More than once he would cry out, “B…B….But, that’s why JESUS is soooooooooo special! Because we don’t have to DO ANYTHING to get to be with God! He did it all for us!” One of those times, while chuckling at how off-the-subject he was, I felt a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat! I realized it didn’t matter so much how Abbie and her friend responded, the decision to get together the JW’s was causing MY SON to be introspective and think deeply on matters of Christ and Salvation! And THAT made the whole awkward meeting worth it!
To sum up, we discussed what we thought the whole point of the Bible was. The JW’s think the book, cover to cover, is pointing toward the grand Kingdom which will be set up on earth. I see all of scripture as pointing to Jesus. The Old Testament looked forward to Him (e.g. Passover!) and the New Testament looked at His life on earth and to His future reigning.
We talked a lot about heaven. I didn’t quite understand that JW’s think we simply stop existing, like a dog does, when we die. They used a verse in Ecclesiastes to “prove” their point. It was an odd discussion that helped me understand a bit more where they are coming from. They do think that they will be resurrected again, with the new Kingdom, if they were good enough. But, they won’t be in the presence of God. They said they will never be separated from God’s love, using the analogy of us being not separated from the President’s administrative power here in our state even though we are almost 2000 miles from Washington D.C. This shocked me. I declared, “But would you be satisfied to be that far from your LOVER? I want to be WITH HIM!” I realized they don’t know the Lord like I do. They don’t share in intimate love with Him. Again, the whole discussion just seemed to show how the focus with JW’s is on earthy satisfaction and that Jesus is truly not very important to them. The catch phrases with both us and them sound the same, but the focus is topsy-turvy.
I asked a bit about whether the ladies looked to Watchtower above the Bible. They said, no they don’t, that they think Watchtower can make mistakes. They also claimed that they do not have to go along with prophecies from Watchtower. I said, “Oh, good to hear! Because I have been concerned over false prophecies, and the rumor that you would be disfellowshipped if you didn’t tote the party line.” I happened to have a little packet of photocopies from old Watchtower publications that made different predictions (Jesus coming back in 1874, the end of the world coming various times, etc.) with no mincing of words (again, when I get the chance I’ll put up links here — the story on the street is that one can get into HUGE trouble by not believing whatever Watchtower teaches). I mentioned the packet, perhaps a bit hesitantly. Abbie responded so quickly that she was interested in the packet! She said she had heard this complaint before and was curious to know how to answer people. She took the papers, folded them hurriedly, and put them in her purse. We’ll have to see her response to the photocopied information this Friday.
I know that this coming Saturday is the JW’s big communion day. I can’t remember what it is called right now, but learning about it has broken my heart. Only those select few who are going to Heaven (there aren’t many left as Heaven was closed to new followers in 1935) get to take communion. All others have to pass the cup and the bread by. I’m hoping to share my personal experience with communion with my friends this Friday.
The kids and I are learning about Passover this week as well. The other day, I felt like God almost audibly suggested we have the boys share their crafts and lessons with the lovely ladies as a way to share the gospel with them! I told the boys our researching Passover is part of a covert operation this year!
But, my house is not too clean at this present moment. I’m not finished researching and reading for the Friday meeting. I’m feeling rather under-the-weather hormonally as well. And we have a writing class for 2 of boys across town tomorrow, homeschooling reading and crafting to accomplished, neighbor kids beating down the door (Spring Break for them), and errands to run. I’m starting to get that overwhelmed feeling again…
So, if you read this, say a prayer that we may be prepared, full of God’s love, gracious, kind, considerate, and wise as we welcome the JW ladies into our home once more. And if you say a prayer that these meetings won’t continue for too long…well I’d be happy with that as well! Or at least a boost of confidence that these meetings are part of God’s plan!