The dreaded question!

There you are, trying to show a pair of elders the scriptural basis for your belief (pick any topic) which is at odds with what the publications teach, and instead of reasoning with you from the Bible, they let fly the dreaded question: Do you think you know more than the Governing Body?

They know they can’t defeat your argument scripturally, so they use this tactic to have their way.  They view this as a fool-proof question.  No matter how you answer, they’ve got you.

If you answer, ‘Yes’, you will seem proud and willful.  They’ll view you as an apostate.

If you say, ‘No’, they’ll see that as undermining your own argument.  They’ll reason that you obviously don’t know all there is to know so better to wait on Jehovah, do more research in the publications, and be humble.

The scribes and Pharisees often tried to trap Jesus with what they viewed as fool-proof questions, but he always sent them packing, tail between their legs.

A Scriptrual Answer

Here is one way to answer the question: Do you think you are smarter or know more than the Governing Body?

Instead of answering directly, you ask for a Bible and open it to 1 Corinthians 1:26 and then you read your answer from Scripture.

“For you see his calling of you, brothers, that there are not many wise in a fleshly way, not many powerful, not many of noble birth, 27 but God chose the foolish things of the world to put the wise men to shame; and God chose the weak things of the world to put the strong things to shame; 28 and God chose the insignificant things of the world and the things looked down on, the things that are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 so that no one might boast in the sight of God.” (1Co 1:26-29)

Close the Bible and ask them, “Who are the insignificant things and the things looked down on?”  Do not answer any more questions, but demand from them an answer.  Remember, you are not under any obligation before God to answer any of their questions if you choose not to.

If they start to proclaim their loyalty to the Governing Body, implying, or even overtly saying, that you are a rebel, you can open the Bible again to the same passage, but this time read verse 31.  (Best from the NWT as it will have the most impact of JWs.)

“so that it may be just as it is written: “The one who boasts, let him boast in Jehovah.”” (1Co 1:31)

Then say, “I respect your views, my brothers, but as for me, I will boast in Jehovah.”

An Alternate Answer

Often, in discussions with elders, you will find yourself assaulted by a barrage of accusatory questions intended to confuse your mind.  When you try to reason scripturally, they will refuse to follow along and will use additional questions or just change the subject to keep you off balance.  In such circumstances, it is best to have a short, pointed answer.  For instance, Paul found himself before the Sanhedrin court with Sadducees on one side and Pharisees on the other.  He tried to reason with them, but got unlawfully struck in the mouth for his efforts.  (Acts 23:1-10) At that he changed tactics and found a way to divide his enemies by saying, “Men, brothers, I am a Pharisee, and a son of Pharisees.  Over the hope of the resurrection of the dead I am being judged.”  Brilliant!

So if asked if you think you know more than the Governing Body, you could respond, “I know enough not to become a member of the United Nations, the image of the wild beast that Babylon the Great rides.  Apparently, the Governing Body didn’t know this and joined for 10-years, only breaking off their relationship with the UN when a worldly newspaper exposed them to the world.  So brothers, what would you say?”

Often, the elders will be unaware of this sin of the Governing Body.  Your answer puts them on the defensive and will likely cause them to change the direction of the conversation. If they come back to this issue, you can simply raise this issue again. There really is no defense for it, though they will likely attempt one.  I had one elder try to reason his way out of this by saying that, “They are imperfect men and make mistakes.  For instance, we used to believe in Christmas, but no longer do.”  I countered by telling him that when we celebrated Christmas, we believed it was okay to do so.  When we found out it was wrong, we stopped. However, when we joined the United Nations, we already knew it was wrong, and what is more, we publicly condemned the Catholic Church for doing the very thing we were doing, and in the very year we were doing it. (w91 6/1 “Their Refuge—A Lie!” p. 17 par. 11)   This isn’t a mistake due to imperfection.  This is willful hypocrisy.  His answer was, “Well, I don’t want to debate with you.”

This is another tactic often used to avoid facing the facts: “I don’t want to argue with you.”  You might simply respond, “Why not? If you have the truth, you have nothing to fear, and if you do not have the truth, you have much to gain.”

It is very likely that at this point, they will simply refuse to engage with you further.

Meleti Vivlon

Articles by Meleti Vivlon.
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