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Monday, June 2, 2008

Apologetics and Evangelism: JW's side note

I just wanted to make sure that everyone who reads this is clear on the fact that my goal in studying and practicing apologetics is evangelism. I think that I've been pretty clear on it, but I have received a comment on another post that indicates that others think that I shouldn't believe in evangelizing others based on my theology (the theology that I believe is consistently Biblical).

With that being said, I wanted to ask for some input from some more well rounded readers. While witnessing to the JW's at the Kingdom Hall last week, my focus was to understand what they believed and to approach them in the wisest possible way with the Gospel. I found that they would answer correctly when I asked what it takes to become a part of Jehovah's family and to take part in the life to come (more or less). I decided to approach them by pointing out that they can have a real, solid faith in this one whom they call Jesus Christ, but that if their faith was in the wrong Jesus Christ (they believe that Jesus is the alter-ego of Michael the archangel) they were lost in their sins. I attempted to inform them that for them to say that they believed in a Jesus Christ who is actually Michael the archangel then they are about as well off as I would be if I said my faith was in a Jesus who, in my mind, was actually John Fieck (my friend who just happened to be standing there at the moment).

I know that it's pretty evident by my previous posts that I'm not the most tactful fellow, so I wonder if anyone can contribute a suggestion as to how I can most tactfully inform them of this massive detail. I would like to be able to approach them with these facts without being offensive because the Gospel is offensive enough without my foot-in-mouth syndrome getting in the way of the perfectly pure, Spirit-designed offense. So, would anyone like to inform me of my flawed ways and how you would correct them?

4 comments:

SBC said...

Here's a suggestion from someone who doesn't understand JW's as well as you do...

Point to places where Jesus is worshiped (Rev. 5, etc.).
Then ask them if it is ever appropriate to worship an angel (point to places where angels do not accept worship).
Conclusion: Jesus is distinct from, and more worthy than, angels.

Also point to Heb. 1, where Christ is compared (or rather, shown to be incomparable) to angels.

Dominicanis said...

Hi, Michael,

I am a Catholic who debated JWs for a year and a half almost every Friday night. Our local parish had a booklet (unfortunately now out of print) that listed all the places in the Bible that they had "missed" when twisting the Holy Writ of God to suit their manmade religion. One place that really was effective was the book of Revelation. Near the start, one who is identified as He Who had died but now lives was called Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last. Later in Revelation, the One seated on the throne (who JWs assert is Jehovah God) uses the same identification for Himself. This will probably not be compelling enough to shake them loose from their neo-Arian heresy but at least it may make them think.

Yours in Our Lord Jesus Christ,

Michael.Gabriel said...

Dominicanis,

Although I'm surprised that you didn't comment on the post about Roman Catholicism, I appreciate your contribution to his topic. I'm aware of that passage that you mentioned, but I'm not sure if it's actually come up in conversation. It's a valid observation, but it's just difficult to think of or cover everything every time.

By the way, what DO you think of the post on Roman Catholicism?

rethinking 1776 said...

dear mike , bless you for going out to the j.w.'s .
I recently came up with some cool reasoning on Jesus as God. It was a surprise to me. I was pondering when Jesus said, "unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no part of me." Are you familiar with that? It's in John , I believe. Well, in general that is hard to take literally, as the Catholics have. But, in addition to the canibal aspect, there was the additional prohibition against drinking blood that was long-standing in Jesus' day. Jesus would not ask people to do something that was against that blood commandment. That led me to a tentative solution that Jesus was telling His believers to take into themselves his sacrifice as the physical lamb of God, and His divinity as the spiritual (as it could not be physical, since it was forbidden) and divine aspect of Himself, symbolized by the blood.
Just an idea.
By the way, it was by means of an old book published by the J>W>'s that the Holy Spirit convicted me of my sins and I finally understood my need for a Savior, and Jesus' sacrifice for my sins. So, I love those folks. Also, I turn often to that old testament verse Micah 6:8 in thinking about unbelievers. Are they willing to walk humbly with their and our God? That is the crux.

Dramatized Exegesis