Under the category, “Reasoning with Jehovah’s Witnesses”, we are slowly trying to build up a knowledge base that Christians can utilize to—one hopes—reach the heart of our JW friends and family. Sadly, in my own experience, I’ve found a stone-wall resistance to any tactic used. One would think the egregious hypocrisy of a ten-year membership in the UN would be enough, but time and again I find otherwise reasonable people making the most outrageous excuses for this folly; or simply refusing to believe it, claiming it to be a conspiracy launched by apostates. (One ex-CO even claimed that it was likely the work of Raymond Franz.)
I use only one example, but I know that many of you have tried other methods, such as reasoning with your friends or relatives using the Bible to show that so many of our key teachings are unscriptural. Nevertheless, we get continual reports that show the common response to be stubborn resistance. Often, when someone who is cemented to his or her belief realizes there is no Scriptural answer to the truths you are revealing, they turn to shunning as a way to avoid thinking about things they are simply not willing to accept.
It is so very disheartening, is it not? One has such high hopes—often borne from the very indoctrination that now works against us—that our brothers and sisters will see reason. We’ve always been taught that Jehovah’s Witnesses are the most enlightened of all religions, and that we alone base our doctrines, not on the teachings of men, but on God’s Word. The evidence shows this not to be the case. Indeed, there seems to be no difference between us and all other Christian denominations in this regard.
All this came to mind as I was reading today from Matthew:
“. . .So the disciples came and said to him: “Why do you speak to them by the use of illustrations?” 11 In reply he said: “To you it is granted to understand the sacred secrets of the Kingdom of the heavens, but to them it is not granted. 12 For whoever has, more will be given him, and he will be made to abound; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13 That is why I speak to them by the use of illustrations; for looking, they look in vain, and hearing, they hear in vain, nor do they get the sense of it. 14 And the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled in their case. It says: ‘You will indeed hear but by no means get the sense of it, and you will indeed look but by no means see. 15 For the heart of this people has grown unreceptive, and with their ears they have heard without response, and they have shut their eyes, so that they might never see with their eyes and hear with their ears and get the sense of it with their hearts and turn back and I heal them.’” (Mt 13:10-15)
The idea that something is granted means that there is someone in authority doing the granting. This is a humbling thought. We cannot understand truth by sheer force of will, nor by the application of study and intelligence. Understanding has to be granted to us. It is granted on the basis of our faith and humility—two qualities that walk hand-in-hand.
From this passage we can see that nothing has changed from Jesus’ day. The sacred secrets of the kingdom continue to be kept secret from the majority. They have God’s Word as we do, but it is as if it were written in a foreign language or in code. They can read it, but not decipher its meaning. I think that many started out the right way, but instead of giving themselves over to the Christ, they have, over time, been seduced by men. So what verse 12 says continues to apply today: “…even what he has will be taken from him.”
This is not to say that our friends and family are lost. We cannot know if things will develop that will have an awakening effect upon them. There is also the hope of Acts 24:15 that there is going to be a resurrection of the unrighteous. Certainly, many JWs will be very disappointed upon their resurrection that they are not counted as better than the rest coming to life around them. But with humility they can still take hold of the opportunity afforded them under the Messianic Kingdom.
In the meantime, we must learn to season our words with salt. It’s not easy to do, let me tell you.