Saturday Morning with a Jehovah's Witness

Saturday morning. Almost lunch time. Doing some vacuum cleaning. Two people knocked on the door -- a Caucasian guy and an Asian lady. They had Watch Tower on their hands. Oh my.

As I was busy changing Elsie's nappy, Vivian went and opened the door, told them that we are Protestant Christians, we are sure of eternal salvation, Bible is the only authority, Jesus Christ is LORD, yada yada. However, obviously those two JW won't let go this chance of "evangelising" a disciple of Christendom, and the guy started to try to persuade us about JW's view of end-time. A few minutes later I have done what I was doing, so I took over from Vivian, and continued to converse with that JW guy.

He is surely prepared, unlike those who merely hand out Watch Tower to those who walk pass. He is well-versed in the New World Translation, and certainly had experience talking to protestant Christians. The usual tactics -- "hey we are both Christians, we both believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus, and we both believe that God will fix up all these mess at the end" (trying to trick me into thinking that we are in fact believing the same thing), "but then blah blah blah" (babbling JW's theology to try to confuse me). So I pretty much made the statement up-front -- "mate, I think you have got it wrong".

Anyway. He was quoting the Bible all over the place to say (1) devil is still around not fully defeated (2) God promised a paradise on this planet earth (3) Jesus is not YHWH God. I too was quoting the Bible all over the place, rebuking him saying that he had drawn the passages out of context, and trying to show what Christians believe -- which he already knew. We didn't go anywhere after 15 minutes, so we pretty much concluded with, "hey I respect your enthusiasm but I don't believe what you are believing". They went their way (knocking on our neighbour's door maybe?) and I went back home getting ready for lunch.

On reflection of what I have said yesterday,

  1. There is no point evangelise an evangelist. At least not with the apologetic arguments. These JW came with one single purpose -- to convince you with their own theology. They are not trying to ask for opinions nor truth, nor being agnostic. The door knockers are not even trying to defend -- they just want you to believe what they believe. In this case I find it's very difficult to convince them.

  2. I could have been more gracious and hospitable. I have not been a good model I am afraid. Too defensive, too argumentative, too much "in your face", and not even letting them stepping in the door. I certainly wasn't as gracious to them as I should have been, to show that I am indeed a follower of Christ.

  3. It is important to know your Bible. When they grill you with Bible passages, it is important to know what these Bible passages are talking about, and what they actually meant! Otherwise you can be very easily confused when they play the "yes we are the same, hey why don't you agree with this one as well" game.

  4. It is also important to know what others believe. The best defence is always knowing what they are on about. There are gazallion apologetic websites detailing what the JW believes, how is it different from the Bible, why they are wrong, and how you can defend against them. Now you know a few JWs are roaming around the Kingsford area -- make sure you go to read some articles about them before they knock on your door!

Ian once told me that after arguing with a pair JWs at door, they just sent down a "heavy weight" two weeks later and bombard him with a few hours of more arguments. At the end no one wants to back down -- neither the Christian nor the JW. So I guess it would actually be more productive by keeping the door shut, and "thank you but no thanks".