Jehovah`s Witness/NWT on John 1:1 what the scholars say
I have known many JWs and am friends with them. How did you come to know Christ? I am a born again Christian and I would like to know how to effectively reach them when they come round and how to reach my friends too. I get to argumentative since they push their adjenda so forcefully. Being a born again Christain however leads me to believe that 'arguing' with them or anyone is not going to do anything. I know that Paul spoke of not deciving with 'wise and persuasive' words but a demonstration of the spirits power (NIV). What do you think.
ANSWER: Hello, Shane. Thanks for writing.
I came to know Christ, simply by being exposed to the true Gospel as a teen-ager. Although I was never baptized as a JW, it was the religion of my upbringing. Now, depending on which JW you ask on here, the answers will vary. Rando claims that I WAS a baptized JW, and the rest say I wasn't...lol. Since NONE of them know me, it is a mystery why ANY of them would be speculating on something like that, especially to the point of putting it on the public forum.
The truth is, I was NOT at any point in time, a baptized JW. My mother became a follower of this religion when I was 2 years old, and I was raised going to the Kingdom Hall. My father was never a member of the religion, but did attend meetings with my mother some, up until the time that she left him for a JW man in the congregation who was also separated from his wife. My father never opposed my mother being a JW, but simply never made the decision to join it himself, because he had a few minor disagreements with them on very small points. He actually AGREES with their non-Trinitarian viewpoint, but didn't accept everything they taught.
Anyway, after their divorce, my dad starting attending an Advent Christian Church, which holds some doctrinal similarities with the JWs, especially in the area of soul-sleep. So from the time I was 9, up until the time I was 15, I spent my time going back and forth between my dad's church, and the Kingdom Hall...depending on which parent I spent the week-end with.
By the time I was in my early teens, I had no spiritual interest whatsoever. I still retained JW doctrine in my head, except that I had Revelation and saw that it clearly taught conscious torment. I didn't believe in the Trinity, etc...and didn't really care. I believed there was a God, because that is what I had always been taught. I have never really doubted God's existence...just His interest in me, or my time for Him.
When I was 15, I was invited by some friends at school to a church event on a Saturday evening. I went, cause there was nothing else to do. When I got there, I heard the Gospel for the first time, that Jesus' death was for ME personally. Yes, the WT teaches that Jesus died for us, but this is not what is emphasized. It was said that night, that "If you had been the ONLY sinner in the world, Jesus would have still come and died for you."
That made it personal to me, and I realized that Jesus cared for ME as an individual, and that I needed to come to Him instead of a religion. I didn't make a move that night, but I knew that something was happening. That next week, I thought more about God, and read the Bible some. I went back the following Saturday evening, and asked God to forgive me of my sins, and for Jesus to be my personal Savior. I put my trust in Him that evening, and I knew that He had heard me.
At that time, I knew nothing of doctrine. I only knew that I was changed, and that I loved my Creator more than I ever had. I also knew that I needed to LEARN the Word of God, and grow in my faith. Needless to say, my JW family members were none too pleased. My mother went to pieces, and decided to "study" with me, in order to correct my false ideas that I was learning. My aunt told me I "know the truth", and was committing blasphemy. My stepfather decided I was doing it, because I wanted the freedome to celebrate Christmas, not realizing that I didn't need to attend ANY church or have ANY religion, to do that.
Shortly after being saved, I began carrying my Bible to school, and reading it in my spare time. This prompted my uncle (not a JW, but not Christian either), to warn that I was probably getting ready to commit suicide...lol. If they only knew...I was happier than I had EVER been.
Anyway, that is my story. Since getting saved, I have diligently studied JW doctrine, and compared it with the Scriptures. I have found the JW religion to be pretty much accurate on most MORAL issues (abortion, homosexuality, fornication, lying, stealing), but in error on almost EVERY major doctrine (Person of Christ, Personality of the Holy Spirit, how to be saved, the destiny of the Christian, etc).
Now, you wrote..."I am a born again Christian and I would like to know how to effectively reach them when they come round and how to reach my friends too. I get to argumentative since they push their adjenda so forcefully."
Yes, that is easy to do, and I wouldn't be honest if I told you I haven't done it myself. I can remember getting my aunt so angry, that she was literally shouting. I can remember travelling with my wife and my mom on Saturday, and my mom brought up the subject of Jesus rising in a physical body. I unloaded a number of Scriptures, and the end result was not beign spoken to for the next 200 miles. If she needed to ask me something, she would have my wife ask me...Oh well.
I have found that the best way, is to ask questions, which make the JW THINK (not an easy task) for themselves. By asking a JW questions that allow them to form the answer in their own mind, seems more effective than trying to beat them over the head with the answer you want them to accept. I think many Christians fail to understand the extent of JW mind control, in that, JWs are taught that ONLY the Watchtower is given the authority to understand the Bible and interpret it. Therefore, anything that comes from OUTSIDE the WT, is immediately rejected as false, no matter how logical, true, or Scriptural, it may actually be.
Case in point...Did you see the ridiculous, and almost laughable, answer given by another "expert" just in the last few days? It illustrates this point perfectly.
He wrote...."The simple answer is because Christendom have no scriptural understanding, whatsoever!!! Whereas we are God's true people and have his holy spirit to understand the scriptures."
Now, this is a pathetic way of saying that....No matter WHAT you may read in the Bible, even if you are believing it exactly as it is written, and even if the WT is twisting the passage beyond recognition, you should STILL believe them because ONLY THEY can properly understand it anyway.
Now, when a JW accepts this ridiculous way of thinking, then they are an easy target for deception. It becomes no longer about what the Bible SAYS, but what the Watchtower claims it really MEANS.
This is dangerous, and make no mistake, this is how most JWs DO think.
And that is the reason that arguing seldom produces any good results. They are programmed going into the discussion, that you have nothing to teach them, and have nothing to offer them, by way of truth. They do not need you...you need them.
It is best to remove the foundation, by showing them the irrefutable evidence that the Watchtower Society is NOT led by Jehovah God, nor do they speak for Jehovah God.
And you are correct...Despite all your best efforts, it is still the Spirit of God that has to do the work. We are merely His instruments. One mistake Christians often make, is trying to BE the Holy Spirit. We can't. We simply are to be obedient, study the Word, show them the error, and then let Him work.
I hope this has helped. If I can be of further help, please let me know.
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I appreciate you sharing your testamony with me. I always find it amazing how God works in people lives. I think all the vast sects and religions that currently exist prove beyond all doubt that man does have a need to know and be accepted by God.
What I find very awesome about your experience is that you needed it to mean something to you personally beyond just a head knowledge. You needed God to speak to your heart and manifest himself to you in a very real way. I can identify with you when you said that you asked him to forgive your sins and be your person saviour. I did the very same thing when I was five. The assurance of my salvation has always pointed me to that day. Brother I think the one thing the cults will never have it that assurance. They cannot understand it since it is not earned it is simply given. Praise God.
I had a good laugh concerning your family's reaction. Not at your expense however but just how lost they were in trying to understand what was happening with you (suicide). They don't understand that a born again Christian has 'everything' to live for (abundantly). Connecting with brothers and sisters who know Christ is pleasantly different then dealing with those who know their religion.
I have to admit that I do find it tough dealing with JWs. They are as you said so indoctrinated that it is almost impossible to reach them. I generally tend to get quite excited when they show up to my house. The last time we got into over the trinity, and some of the JW false predictions. I got wrapped up in it all evening afterwards getting all my passages concerning the nature of Christ etc.
Although I was trying to argue for God I could not help but feel that such an arguement would be pointless as I could never get them to change no matter what I said, how truthful, nor expose the WT as a fraud. So I began to pray (about 11:00). I prayed to God in earnest about the situation and my frustration. Then the passage came to mind that Paul the Apostle spoke (corinth I think) 'I didn't come to you with wise and persuasive words but with a demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit' (KJV) loosely. I felt inspired and asked God to do the work. To move in the mans life and speak to him in his heart. I knew that this would be the only place that God could reach him since his mind was occupied. I asked God to bring him to his knees in repentance through the power of the Holy Spirit if he should ever come to my door again so that he would Know the Power of the Living God and abandon his false religion.
I figured he would have returned by now. To date he has not shown up it has been almost 3 weeks now. You must understand something, this man 'challenged' me to prove the existance of the trinity. He told me he would be back and I should get all my passages etc ready and he would defeat me using scripture. I figured for sure he would be back in one week as JWs seem to have a schedualed day they keep each week.
I am not saying he will not return, that would be presumptious. If he does however I hope he get saved.
My meeting with him is what brought me to this site. I was looking for info from JWs on the WT. I happened to come across Ben Grunbaums name and profile. Once I read his profile all my 'good' intensions were out the window and the war was on. It has been on for a couple of weeks now. It has been nasty on both sides as I came out swinging. It has also been kind of fun reviewing JW history, doctrine, etc all over again. However I know as a Christian it is in bad form to get into mud sling conversations with anyone especially the lost. My post with his is called Jehovahs Memory. You can look through them if you wish. They are hard hitting, but I try to be fair with him. We are now discussing the validity of the NWT and he is avoiding a direct responce to the Scholars quotes I have added.
Anyway, I must go for now. Thnks for the encouragement.
Good afternoon, Shane. So good to hear from you.
Thank you for your kind words regarding my testimony. You are correct....when it became personal to me and went beyond head knowledge, that is what brought me to Christ. That is why I have such a problem with this JW concept of "taking in knowledge" of God, based on their NWT's rendering of John 17:3. Notice the difference here...
John 17:3- "This means everlasting life, their TAKING IN KNOWLEDGE (emphasis mine) of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ."
John 17:3- "And this is life eternal, that they might KNOW THEE (emphasis mine) the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
See the difference? I am glad that we can do more than know ABOUT God...we can know Him personally. I think this is the difference between the average JW, and the average Christian. They don't seem to grasp that it is possible to "take in knowledge" of someone, and not really know them personally. But if you know them personally, the "taking in knowledge" about them, comes automatically.
I also agree with you, that the very existence of so many cults and religions, proves man's inner need for God. It also proves Satan's deception and willingness to provide so many different "ways" and attempts to find God, apart from the one way that God Himself gave us...a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Yeah, the family reactions were years ago, initially after I got saved. And they were quite interesting, to say the least. I want to correct a typo I made in my last answer. When I said my mom was travelling with my wife and me "on Saturday", it should have said "A Saturday". It wasn't this past week...it was several years back. My mom has pretty well accepted what I believe, and we try and find areas of common ground. We have a good relationship now, and I shudder to think what would have happened if I HAD been an actual baptized JW...She would likely not speak to me. As it is, we take trips to the beach every year, and are able to get together for meals. We normally do not get into religious discussions, but I will try and plant seed as the opportunity arises, with a comment here and there, maybe on something that has happened. I have also found that Facebook is a good way to post Scriptural truths, and know that people will see it...including JW family members...:)
I believe that my uncle is now convinced that I am not suicidal, as I am now 43, with a wife and 2 teen boys. So, I pulled through, I guess...:)
I did want to make a comment on the threads you mentioned, and your discussion with Grunbaum about the NWT. Just a couple of things....
As some JWs themselves have pointed out, this forum is a different set-up than speaking to someone face to face. Now, don't get me wrong....that is not an excuse to act unchristian or insult people, as they like to do when they are embarrassed. But I do believe a certain amount of hard-hitting debate is fine, because many people are reading. Some are undecided, and it is good for them to see both sides. Granted, it shouldn't be rude or hateful, but its perfectly fine to expose his error for what it is. I haven't seen you be rude or hateful, though some of his replies to you, have been.
Now, JWs use this excuse to be insulting, and they are wrong for doing so. But I haven't seen you be insulting in the least, and I think you have been doing a fine job. I notice that you got the typical Grunbaum malarkey of "you are dumb, and have no spiritual understanding, and you should not have challenged me". He always says that to just about anybody, no matter the subject, if they are a non-Witness who disagrees with him. Like a tape recorder....
Anyway, here is what I wanted to say about that...His "list" of so-called scholars who support the New World Translation, is bogus. Have you seen the beating he has taken for 2 posts now, from a questioner named "Scott"? It has been pointed out, and rightly so, that several of the men in the list he gave you of "scholars", are no such thing. At least 2 of them got their translation of Jn. 1:1 (that agrees with the NWT) from DEMONS. Others are not even scholars at all, and some are non-Bible-believers. You should read those posts. He gave you a bogus list, and only a handful of the men in that list are even qualified scholars who agree with the NWT. By FAR, most scholars are against the NWT. So don't let him tell you that there are just as many for it, as are against it. That is completely false.
Those 2 discussions have been interesting, so far.
Anyway, thanks for writing, and may God bless you.