Answer the knock at the door by opening minds

I had another recent visit from the local Jehovah’s Witnesses.

This time it was two teenage-aged boys inviting people to the special Passover observance and lesson broadcast being held at the local Kingdom Hall.

The young men were, as usual, well-dressed, kind, eager to share their material, and ready to discuss some biblical topics. They got more from our conversation than they were expecting!

After listening to their introduction and invitation, I began a conversation with a tie-in to what their broadcast lesson was going to talk about: “Who is Jesus?”

I asked them why their New World Translation called Jesus “a god” in John 1, but in John 20 it called him “God.” Jesus wasn’t afraid to rebuke his disciples after his resurrection (Mark 16:14). If Thomas was wrong for referring to Jesus as “God” such a mistake would have been corrected.

That point led to the next – Jesus never refused worship. He didn’t come to be the “center of attention” (Philippians 2:5-8; John 5:23, 8:28), but he did not reject or correct anyone who offered it to him (Matthew 28:9, Mark 5:6, Luke 24:52, John 9:38).

My final point (after several minutes of exchanging supplemental thoughts too in-depth for a short post) combined my first two points to prove that the NWT is wrong when it comes to John 1:1 and right when it comes to John 20:28.

As usual, they agreed that what I was saying was something new to them, and that they would like to get back to me with an answer … they haven’t been back with one, yet.

Many people have a bad attitude toward answering the door when Jehovah’s Witnesses knock. I say answer the door by opening minds. Introduce thoughts about Jesus that they will not hear at the Kingdom Hall! And be kind – do not bash someone for doing something with what they believe to be true if you’re not willing to do the same.

My hope and prayer is, for those two young men, from now on, every time they hear John 1:1 being read, their mind will go to John 20:28. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. But it would have had no chance (at least for now) of entering their mind without the conversation we had because of the knock at my door.

#doorknocking, #jehovahs-witnesses, #jesus

Russia is cracking down on religious freedom

The Russian court has banned the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” and ordered the organization to handover its property to the government. Not good!

I don’t have sympathy with the “Kingdom Hall’s” doctrine, but I do worry about this move by the Russian government because this move is being made under the guise of the Jehovah’s Witnesses being an “extremist” organization. According to the linked-story:

“Russian authorities have put several of the group’s publications on a list of banned extremist literature and prosecutors have long cast it as an organization that destroys families, fosters hatred and threatens lives.”

I can honestly say several things about the way I feel when it comes to the people who do a lot of door-knocking, but one thing I can’t say when it comes to Jehovah Witnesses’ (unless Russian Jehovah Witnesses’ are extremely different from their American counter-parts) is that they make me think of “extremism” in relation to national security. I believe their position on certain things such as blood-fusions are unwise, but to describe them as a group who threatens lives because of such a position is as unwise as the original point-of-view. And those pamphlets don’t self-destruct when you remove them from your door!

If the Jehovah’s Witnesses can be “outlawed” in any sense of the word then I am afraid such a mentality could easily be targeted at anyone who teaches differently from the Eastern Orthodox Church or the current nationalistic mindset … including individuals who seek to be viewed only as a Christian and member of the church which predates the Eastern Orthodoxy.

#jehovahs-witnesses, #religion-and-politics, #religious-persecution

Hey NWT translators, you missed a verse

If you’re familiar with the New World Translation (the translation used by the Kingdom Hall of “Jehovah’s Witnesses”) at all, you’re probably most familiar with their translation of John 1:1 which reads, “In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” (NWT)

In case you’ve never noticed that particular rendition, it’s a big difference from any other commonly referred to translation which gives a capital “G” to the final Greek word “theos” in the sentence.

It is a most pitiful translation because it changes one’s theology dramatically in a detrimental way. And the theological position that it happens to change is a key doctrine to the Kingdom Hall creed.

But did you know that the NWT translators missed a verse in John’s gospel that stands firm as a witness to the true identity of Jesus’ deity? It’s found in Continue reading

#deity-of-christ, #gospel-according-to-john, #jehovahs-witnesses, #mistranslations

If the Holy Spirit isn’t a person then how…

If the Holy Spirit isn’t a person (as some in the religious world contend) then how can you blaspheme him? Sure, the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit can bring up several questions, but one question that it sure seems to put to bed is whether the Spirit is a person or a “force” that accomplishes the will of God.

Keep that in mind the next time someone knocks on the door to talk to you about the Bible and God’s kingdom…I mean the New World Translation and the kingdom hall.

Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” (Matthew 12:31-32)

#blasphemy, #doctrine, #holy-spirit, #jehovahs-witnesses

Impromptu Bible Study

I had the opportunity to do a great impromptu Bible study yesterday in the waiting room of a car dealership with a nice young married couple.

After playing a couple of games on my phone I decided to work on my sermon, from John 7, for this coming up Sunday so I got out my Bible and went to making notes when the man noticed what I was doing and decided to come sit next to me to start a conversation.

To make a long story short, the man and his wife ended up being members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (which explained their very friendly yet bold approach of a stranger) and we had a really good conversation for about 45 minutes or so. Studying from John’s gospel ended up being a blessing in disguise because much of the conversation, along with the duration of hell and what exactly it was that died in the garden when Adam and Eve sinned, revolved around the deity of Jesus and that’s something to which John’s gospel is adamant about.

They gave me some things to consider and I likewise gave them a few; one of which was that Jesus is God and not god as the New World Translation presents him to be in John 1:1 by showing them that Jesus never refused worship given to him and he never corrected anyone for doing so which plainly shows, after comparing the situations to Peter in Acts 10 and the angel in Revelation 19 and 21, that Jesus was truly God in the flesh. We also talked about the I AM statements of John’s gospel and how they undeniably pointed back to God’s interactions with Israel thus equating Jesus with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, including all his children; but the big point revolved around the clear distinction between Jesus’ reaction when worshipped and the reaction of others who rejected the obeisance that was offered to them.

After the conversation was over they asked for a way to get back in contact with me after they had studied out the proposition that I gave them concerning Jesus and the worship that was offered to him. According to them it was a new proposition for them to consider, so hopefully they will study diligently and with an open heart; something to which the man and his wife both agreed are essential to understanding the word of God – now if they will only kept that principle in mind when it comes to studying the Word of God as well.

Be ready always (1 Peter 3:15), and while you’re at it please say a prayer for this young couple, because you never know what may permanently come out of an impromptu Bible study (think Acts 8:26-40).

#bible-study, #deity-of-christ, #jehovahs-witnesses, #jesus

Answering Jehovah’s False “Witnesses” on What Happens to Us When We Die?

I found a pamphlet in my door the other day left by a neighboring religious group in my county. I’ve had a few conversations with them in the past, and I suppose I will do so again in the future if the opportunity arises, but this time I wasn’t home so the “paper work” got left behind.

The pamphlet addresses several spiritually natured questions inside. The title is actually labeled “Would You Like to Know the Truth?” So that at least lets me know what they intend for me to learn from its pages, and on the front page they do reference the right source for finding the truth (the word of God, the Bible – John 17:17) so I’ll give them that much – but one thing that the pamphlet does not give is the truth concerning the answers to the questions that it addresses.

For example, one question that it asks and answers is “What Happens to Us When We Die?” Here’s the excerpt from the pamphlet that deals with that issue:

WHY THE QUESTION ARISES: Most of the world’s religions teach that something inside a person continues living after death. Some hold that the dead can harm the living or that God punishes the wicked by condemning them to eternal torment in a fiery hell.

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES: At death, humans cease to exist. “The dead . . . are conscious of nothing at all,” states Ecclesiastes 9:5. Since the dead cannot know, feel, or experience anything, they cannot harm-or help-the living. – Psalm 146:3,4.

see also Genesis 3:19 and Ecclesiastes 9:6,10

There is one statement/sentiment in this quote that I take no issue with. Although I strongly believe in life after death, I don’t believe in “ghosts” in the way most of the world believes in them so with I’ll agree with them on that topic for the most part. Although I do wonder how they deal with Acts 19:13-16. But anyways, that’s where the no issue and the big issues begin and end.

Here’s what I want you to get from the point that the pamphlet was trying to make. When a person has to lean heavily on the book of Ecclesiastes to support their doctrine concerning life after death and the condition of the soul that should be an indicator. I’m not putting down the inspiration of Ecclesiastes at all. I’m just saying that Christianity is a religion that is based upon a certain individual who died and then rose from the dead to die no more! You would think that this person’s point of view and teaching on the subject would carry a little more weight in this pamphlet. And I suppose it would if it weren’t for the fact that the words of Jesus would be too much weight for their answer to support.

Jesus himself drew a clear line in the sand when he boldly said, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28 – NKJV) Sounds like this one verse knocks out both claims: 1) something does in deed live on after death, and 2) there is a place of punishment for the wicked called hell.

But now you may be quick to point out that the pamphlet never denied that we will eventually live again after death, or that the pamphlet didn’t deny the existence of Hell, it only addressed the duration of it. Fair enough point, so let’s keep listening to what Jesus said concerning those two issues.

Continue reading

#bible-questions, #christianity, #death, #doctrine, #eternity, #false-doctine, #false-witness, #god, #hell, #jehovahs-witnesses, #life-after-death, #religion

Jehovah’s ‘False’ Witnesses

I found a little book placed in my front door the other day. It was the August 1, 2012 issue of the “Watchtower.”

Inside the booklet there are various topics ranging from miracles to new graduates of the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead. One topic in between those two addressed the question, “When did Jesus become King?” The given answer was:

God enthroned Jesus as King in heaven in 1914, exactly 2,520 years after Jerusalem’s destruction. Jesus’ first act as King was to expel Satan and his demons from heaven. (Revelation 12:7-10) That event was invisible to human eyes, but it resulted in a visible crisis for mankind. (Revelation 12:12) Events since 1914 confirm that Jesus became King in that year. Read Matthew 24:14; Luke 21:10, 11, 31. (Watchtower, August 1, 2012, p. 17)

These witnesses miss the mark in the first sentence. Perhaps I’ll do another post that’s a little more in-depth about this topic later but to reveal the falsehood of the statement I only have to use one single verse from the Bible – “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,” (Colossians 1:13).

The Christians at Colossi were members of Jesus’ kingdom before Paul ever wrote his letter to them, and I guarantee he wrote the letter before 1914! You can’t have a kingdom without a king and you can’t be a king without a kingdom! That “math” is too simple to deny.

Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:37 – NKJV)

#doctrine, #false-doctrine, #jehovahs-witnesses, #king-jesus, #kingdom-of-god