No visible progress?
"Why do Jehovah's
MISS THE POINT
-- even when it seems they
ought to get it?"
FRUSTRATED? Does it seem
you are getting nowhere in conversations with JWs? Why is
this so often the case?
Although good, your argument may
be lacking something.
The most common situation involves
the Christian who wants to teach true Christian doctrine
to the JW and who therefore starts out trying to do that,
using the Bible. Sooner or later he notices that he is
just spinning his wheels, getting nowhere.
he has left out some necessary steps.
His efforts are
comparable to trying to teach calculus without first
teaching algebra and arithmetic. You can't learn calculus
without knowing algebra, and you can't learn algebra
without knowing arithmetic. The JW can't learn Christian
doctrine until he first sees that Watchtower doctrine is
wrong. And he can't learn that Watchtower doctrine is
wrong until he first sees through the organization's
claim to divine authority as God's spokesman.
don't first prove the organization unreliable
(documenting its false prophecies and back-and-forth
changes) and then second reason verse-by-verse through
the arguments the JW previously learned to support
Watchtower doctrine, you can't expect much success with
the third step of teaching Christian doctrine from
Still, even when a Christian starts off
correctly, a JW may just shrug off the evidence.
Many people have trouble admitting they are wrong. JWs,
even more so -- because they have so much at stake.
so? Well, if you have introduced a few doubts into the
JWs mind, but he has not yet rejected the Watchtower
organization, he doesn't dare admit those doubts. He
still feels an obligation to bring you into "God's
organization" -- and does not want to undermine his
efforts by admitting uncertainty on his part.
Or, if what
you said has actually gotten him to question seriously
whether he is in the true church, he will still be afraid
to express those thoughts before he has completely
resolved the issue in his own mind.
He knows that, if he
confesses his doubts to you, there is a possibility that
this information about him may become public, and then he
could be put on the spot by congregation elders -- forced
to declare himself either for or against the
organization, before he has a chance to fully explore the
facts privately at his own speed.
So, don't give up. As
long as a JW is willing to listen, there is reason to
hope that what you are saying is having a good effect.
Moreover, even if you have completely convinced the JW
that the Watchtower Society is a false prophet, and he
now wants to stop following it and to become a follower
of Jesus, he may still be unwilling to admit this to you.
Why? Because he or she may be faced with the problem of
helping a marriage mate or close friends or relatives to
reach the same conclusions.
Any premature announcement
could result in disfellowshipping, cutting off
communication with these loved ones and blocking efforts
to help them.
In this situation a JW might be willing to
confide in you, but only if absolutely convinced of your
reliability in keeping the matter private -- i.e., that
you would cooperate with his or her becoming a secret
disciple like Nicodemus or Joseph of Arimathea,
maintaining this secrecy for months or even years.
problem is not always with the Christian's presentation
or with the JW's fear of admitting error. Sometimes the
JW simply does not want to hear the truth, or, hearing
it, does not want to receive it.
But isn't the Gospel
message, properly presented, powerful enough to overcome
any obstacle? Yes. Still, people can make choices. Of the
thousands in Galilee, Judea, and Samaria who heard Jesus
preach in person, how many became His disciples? How many
ignored the message, or even became angry and hated Him?
So, can we expect to have better results than Jesus did?
The fault may not lie with our message, but rather with
hearers who have closed their ears and their hearts.
you have been skipping essential steps in reasoning with
JWs, re-read this booklet to see how to undermine the
sect's authority (step #1), and our book Jehovah's
Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse which will help you
untangle twisted reasonings (step #2).
Then, when you are
sure you are using the best strategy and techniques, it
becomes a matter of patience and perseverance. Don't be
discouraged by apparent lack of progress.
through to a JW is like tunneling through a mountain.
There is no visible indication that the tunnel has almost
broken through -- just the same pitch black darkness
until suddenly you break through into the light of day.
The Lord knows who will eventually respond and who will
not. We continue His work of sowing seed on all sorts of
soil, cultivating it to the best of our ability. And,
especially as regards witnessing to Jehovah's Witnesses,
the words of Ecclesiastes 11:6 apply:
morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not
thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper,
either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike
The JW who begins questioning and thirsting
for truth may be forced to keep quiet about it for a
while, and may not be able to encourage you with signs of
progress. But when the time is ripe you will hear him
praise the Lord!