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My Meetings with A Jehovah’s Witness Couple – Part 1

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What does the Bible really teach?As some of you may know, I met a Jehovah’s Wit­ness couple a few weeks ago at the local Memorial meet­ing in Carl­isle.

They are a hus­band and wife which is good as I hope that they might dis­cuss together any­thing we speak about that makes them ques­tion the WT org.

I met with them last week and we just had a short chat about how they became JWs and why. I told them a little about myself and I agreed that they could come back to go through the Watchtower book “What Does the Bible Really Teach”

If you find any­thing I men­tion use­ful, or if you think I should have handled the situ­ation any dif­fer­ently, then please do add your com­ments. It may sur­prise some people here, but I haven’t really had many con­ver­sa­tions with JWs lately and so it is a bit strange to have a couple eager to speak to me.

I haven’t said a lot about my back­ground. I have told them that my uncle is a JW (which is true) and has told me a bit about the JW beliefs. I told them I have been to church in the past and that I have read the Bible through a couple of times over the last year.

They arrived at 7.30pm on Tues­day and after a short chat we star­ted on their book “What Does the Bible Really Teach?”

I let JW1 (the hus­band) pray. I wasn’t sure if I should let him pray really but I wanted to see what he said and if he addressed God as Jehovah (He did).

My reas­on­ing for this will be for later on in our dis­cus­sions when we get to dis­cuss God’s name and the fact that Jesus told his dis­ciples to pray “Our Father”.

Why Do we Pray?

Just before the first chapter starts, the book gives a few examples of the thing JWs are look­ing for­ward to and of course I can look for­ward to if I chose to join them.
The major­ity of these were to do with health, lame people being healed, the eyes of the Blind opened and no more sickness.

I put it to them both that I believed, espe­cially with the blind being able to see, that this could be spir­itual as well as phys­ical blindness.
They nod­ded in agree­ment, but I then went on to say that I believed people could be healed in this life and that I knew a woman at my last church who had been healed of a brain tumour.

This made them look a bit uncomfortable and so I asked them if they believe God can heal people now? JW 1 said that he didn’t think God was work­ing that way at the moment.

I asked him then, Why do you bother pray­ing? He looked at me with a blank expres­sion for a few seconds before JW 2 scrambled for her bible and poin­ted me to 1 Cor. 13:8.

I said that I believe that the con­text of this chapter and this verse is talk­ing about things done without love and also mir­acles being per­formed through people, rather than the fact that God has stopped working.

JW 1 sug­ges­ted that “we bank” that dis­cus­sion for later (he said that a few times dur­ing our con­ver­sa­tion). I said ok, but said that Jesus said that we can ask him for things in this life and surely a lov­ing God would want to help his chil­dren if we ask him, just like an earthly father would.

I think they were happy to get off of that subject.

There are more questions than answers

The first chapter of this book starts off by asking why children/people ask ques­tions. I explained to them both that I like to ask lots of ques­tions before I get involved in things and to expect lots of them.

One of the ques­tions on page 8 of the book asks “Why do so many stop try­ing to find answers to the ques­tions that mat­ter most?” Rather than just answer from the book as they expect me to I answered that some people may not want to find out the answers or they may be seen as a trouble maker if they ask too many questions.

Para­graph 5 on page 9 says that the answers to my ques­tions are found in the Bible and “are not to hard to under­stand”.

I asked them both how if the answers are not hard to under­stand, why do most people in the world come up with a dif­fer­ent under­stand­ing than the Jehovah’s Witnesses?

They explained that people with a sin­cere heart will come to the cor­rect under­stand­ing. JW 2 also added that “If Jehovah sees some­thing good deep down in a per­sons heart he will lead them into the truth.”

I answered that sin­cer­ity is no guar­an­tee that people are cor­rect and that if God looked in to my heart he prob­ably wouldn’t like what he saw. I will have the verse in Jeremiah ready for them next time.

Misrepresentation

We moved on to page 10 of the book and got to para­graph 7. The para­graph is talk­ing about how certain “reli­gious teach­ers some­times lead people to think that God is hard­hearted.” The book con­tin­ues “…How so? When tragedy strikes, they say that it is God’s will. In effect, such teach­ers blame God for the bad things that hap­pen. Is that the truth about God?”

The book then goes on to quote James 1:13.

To be hon­est I found this para­graph abso­lutely ter­rible. And I told them why.
I told them that I thought this para­graph mis­rep­res­ents “reli­gious teach­ers”.  I said that it is God’s will when tragedy strikes. It may not always be caused by him, but he does allow bad things to happen.

JW 2 asked, “Do you think God is in con­trol of this world?”

I answered yes I do believe ultimately that God is in control.

I expected the next question; “Isn’t the Devil called the God of this world?”

I explained that the Devil does have some sway over what goes on in the world, but that it would be wrong to say the Devil has total control.

I took them to the book of Job and asked why the Devil had to go to God first before he could test Job. And I also pointed out that God put limits on what the Devil could do.

“That hardly sounds as if the Devil is fully in control does it?”

At this point I asked them both if they believed God knew that Adam and Eve were going to sin before he created them. JW2 answered that she did not believe God did know and that “God can choose not to know something

Well I couldn’t believe my ears at this point and I made a note of what she had said in my notebook.

This was going to be very useful when it comes to dealing with the subject of Jesus being God.

As you might know, JWs always point to Jesus saying that only the Father knows the day or the hour as proof that he can’t be God.

However, now I have JW2’s admission that “God can choose not to know something” and so that argument will not hold any water now. Maybe Jesus chose not to know the day or the hour.

The other main point I wanted to make to the JWs was that I felt the use of James 1:13 with regards to God’s will was completely out of context and did not bear any relevance to the subject.

I said to them, “This verse deals with when someone comes under trial or temptation and does not really relate to God’s will. I totally agree with James 1:13 in the sense that God does not tempt us, but this verse does not mean that things aren’t in God’s will.”

The two of them looked a bit stunned at that. And surprisingly seemed to agree with me.

We continued until the end of paragraph 14 and finished our study for the night.

They have agreed to meet me same time next week. So please keep praying folks.

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