Jehovah’s Witnesses Knock on the Wrong Door

So there I am, working from home, doing my software development (aka code monkeying), and I get a knock on the door.

Two ladies, dressed modestly (if a bit staidly), one with a book in her hands.

And they want to talk. Now, I can’t read minds but I was guessing Jehovah’s Witnesses, which was correct it turns out.

Interestingly, I feel for them, because we live in a rich country neighborhood where every house except ours has an electronic gate, impenetrable fence, and guard dogs. Our house has a wide open gate, broken down fence, and two dwarf goats that don’t even scare my children. So, we were pretty much the only people they were going to be talking with today.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Oh man those ladies don’t know what they were in for, what with Devin being a Catholic Answers-to-be-published Apologist©.” But it ain’t like that. I’m straight up with people and told them immediately “Look, I’m a former atheist who became a Baptist turned Catholic apologist.” Full disclosure.

They replied, “What’s an apologist?”

Doh! So I told them. And they started their spiel, proffering their JW interpretation of the (badly translated) Protestant Bible.

Sweep the Leg Johnny

Daniel-san cannot use his legs to kick if his legs are broken. Sensei Kreese knew that in Karate Kid, and I know it applies to apologetics as well. So I took the Bible away from her. Not literally, but by bringing up the canon.

“How do you know what books belong in your Bible?”

*Crickets*

She eventually said, “Well, God inspired the Bible and so He preserved His truth in it for everyone.”

“When did Jehovah’s Witnesses start?”
“The late 19th century,” she said.
“And when do you think the Church got corrupted and went belly-up?”
“At the end of the first century when the last Apostle died, just as Jesus prophesied it would,” she said.

I had my opening: “Okay, so God preserved His Word because He wanted all people to know it, but from 100 AD to roughly 1900 AD, all people had either the wrong Bible (Catholics and Orthodox) or had heretical beliefs (Protestants). So how does that make sense? And also, please tell me the verse where Jesus says the Church will go belly-up after the last Apostle’s death.”

This induced consternation. Her partner, who stood behind her the whole time and never said anything (I think she must have been the “prayer coverage”), started flipping through her Bible in a vain attempt to locate that (non-existent) verse. What’s that? Catholics now know the Bible, too? What’s the world coming to!

I followed up with a one-two punch: “The Church discerned the books of your Bible in the first four hundred years. What do you think of the Church at that time?”

“Oh I know all about it–paganized corruption and Greek influences that led the Council of Nicaea to teach heresies about the Trinity!”

Chew on that, she must have thought. Well, my work was mainly done and I didn’t want to spend more time. So I went over and grabbed a proof copy of my book off the shelf and offered it to her. She shrank back ever so slightly and made no move to take it. I told her I wrote this book, and it was all about why the Catholic Church was true. And that she should think about what I told her.

She and her friend beat a hasty retreat, got in the car, and drove off. My prayers went with them.

Conclusion

No one can change their beliefs on a dime. It takes time. I have found it’s best to present arguments and key contradictions in someone’s beliefs without pressing them to admit defeat, which only causes them to go into turtle-shell defensive mode. It’s enough to present the truth and then let them see it as God helps them to understand.

Note also that the JW’s belief in apostasy is substantially similar to that of the Mormon’s. And it is also similar to Protestants in general, except with an earlier date. So learning the principles is far better than knowing tons of details. I recall very little about JW’s in particular, but I don’t need to, because they fall to the same arguments that can be more generally applied to others.

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80 Responses to Jehovah’s Witnesses Knock on the Wrong Door

  1. Sylvia says:

    Ha ha, I have to do that. Last week, I was standing on the corner waiting for the school bus to drop off my kindergartner with some other moms and those ladies came dressed in the manner you mentioned came up to us and handed us the Awake magazine. There was no opening for a discussion though. My grandmother who was an Italian immigrant had converted to JW and managed to get everyone else converted. My mom left it once she was in college. So when they come to my door I usually tell them that so I already know what they believe. But obviously it’s only effective at getting rid of them.
    Michael Barber uses the canon of the Bible tactic like you did in “The Bible is a Catholic Book” and I think it’s an effective one because you don’t have to be a Bible scholar with dueling Bible verses back and forth.

    • Devin Rose says:

      Sylvia, so you have familial history with them. Yeah exactly about the canon–she was not prepared for that at all.

      • Sylvia says:

        Yep, my grandma tried to work on me and sent me their version of a children’s Bible which at least introduced to me the concept of God. My parents were not religious but for some odd reason, (or miracle,) they did have us baptized in the Catholic Church.
        Overall, I did not have a good impression of my JW family members. I thought of them as mooches because they were always asking for money so they could go “pioneering,” (which is the knocking on doors bit,) and they didn’t celebrate birthdays but they would show up the next day so they could have cake.

    • sister says:

      The sister was not there to argue with you ,she was there doing what the scriptures told her to do Matthews 24:14 28: 19,20 admonishing Acts20:20 lookin at 1Peter 2:21 trying to explain 2Tim.4: 2-4 to which only make since that would happen once the apostles died off which correspond to Jesus highlighting what will happen at Acts 20:29,30 so she trying to explain that those faithful disciples going door to door city to city making disciples telling the truth,that truth still exists today by the same methods of the apostles. Now if you are one of those who feel that they are saved than her message wasn’t for you but those who want to have the Almighty Lord Jehovah and the Mighty Lord Jesus in their life and feel that the scripture at Matthews 10: 22 when they learn the truth about the bible they hold fast to that scripture knowing that we are human fall short of the glory of god not sure that when that day come but hoping they are in an approve state. That sister probably work every day have a family but yet when she can relax on her day off she looking for people who want to listen this job is not easy so don’t mock it just decline and feel that you did what is right because she did. And guest what else that sister did she admonished the scripture at Matthew 10:14 . The sister know that everybody is not going to listen because than it will void out the scripture at Matthew 7:13,14 . Sister keep doing what you doing and always remember the scripture in Isaiah” How comely upon the mountain are the feet bringing good news . May you and all those who redicule those who are going forth in twos( Luke 10:1) examine the sriptures daily knowing that you have the truth 1Tim. 2:4.

      • sister says:

        So sad : Luke21:12 is there any where in the bible where Jesus had holy water? and do it exist after Jesus shed blood? I really think half of you are clueless of Jehovah witnesses only going by what your preachers are telling you and the rest of you are preachers. Look up this 2Thess 1: 8

      • Devin Rose says:

        Jehovah’s Witnesses are in grave error in their theology on many points. So the claims she was sharing with us were some truth mixed with lots of error. I grant you that she thinks she was sharing the full truth without error.

        In fact I shared with her truth, including the truth that her Bible, in addition to being a bad translation, was missing seven entire books! And I presented questions to her and challenges that could help us get to the root of the differences between us. She must think about these things, as should you, so that you can discover the fullness of the truth in the Catholic Church. Come home to full communion, sister.

  2. Um, what stuck in my mind were your “two dwarf goats”.

    I didn’t know they could be used for pets, because where I come from (Arizona for a time), they normally are eaten as “Goat Tacos” (mmmmmmmm). Which are actually called tacos de cabra! (mmmmmmmmmmmmm).

    I’m getting hungry, gotta go get me some!

  3. “Oh I know all about it–paganized corruption and Greek influences that led the Council of Nicaea to teach heresies about the Trinity!”

    …and yet this is the Church that God chose to preserve His Word? Interesting…

  4. My mom used to pull the “We are Catholic – no thank you” routine, until I challenged her to talk to the JW’s in her neighborhood. A few years ago she called me and said that she invited them in and had a Bible-study with them on John 6. They left and never came back. Seed-sowing, it is what we are called to do.

    My mom is 70. If she can do it, anyone can.

    • Devin Rose says:

      Good for your mom, Marcel! Now we know where you get your spunk. :)

    • Sylvia says:

      My husband used John 6 on the Mormons that knocked on our door last month. It totally stumped them. Hopefully, some seeds were planted with them.

    • Sr. Dorothy says:

      One day as I was praying Liturgy of the Hours, I too had a knock at the door from these poor souls. With book in hand I opened the door; as the man looked at my hand he commented, “Oh, we have come to talk with you about the bible, but I see you already read it.” On that note he and his companion turned and walked away. Guess they feared someone who could provide responses against their tracks.
      He had to know I was Catholic since there is a good sized statue of our Blessed Mother by the door and because of how I was dressed. Oh well, maybe another time we can discuss. Peace!

  5. Yeah they’re here in Florida going door to door, too – more on the East Coast than here in the Tampa Area. Right approach, right attitude they have, but the completely wrong message. They are like so many Protestant inventions; borne out of the same misguided fantasies and bitterness that were called Antichrists in Acts and in the Epistles. But it’s not like they don’t have a point when speaking of the extra luggage of invention Catholicism has carried along over the years. When did we start to craft statues? Probably before St. Francis of Assisi carved the first Manger scene. When did Catholics start praying the Rosary? Probably long after the new Vatican was erected in times closer to ours, not those of the Apostles. When did Catholics start praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet? Probably during the lives of some still alive. How sure are we that Jesus or Mary looked like they do in the statues and paintings? We’re not. While we are correct in stating that others have made it up on the fly along the way, such creativity does not escape Catholicism.

    • Statues: Well, St. Luke painted the first icon and tradition holds that he did it on a plank from the table used at the Last Supper.

      Rosary: Developed out of the ancient tradition of the first monks to pray the 150 Psalms.

    • Sr. Dorothy says:

      “When did we start to craft statues?” Ian is correct about the first icon, but I wonder, do you have pictures of your loved ones on the walls or in your wallet? Well, photos were not available at the time, but we still want to have imagines of the ones we love. Hence, St. Luke desiring to keep Mary’s imagine as he carved it.
      “When did Catholics start praying the Rosary?” In the current form, St Dominic used Scripture with ancient prayer beads to form the Rosary as we know it.
      “When did Catholics start praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet?” Private Revelation can be accepted or rejected. Since the Church has declaired Sr. Faustina a saint, I accept the Chaplet of Divine Mercy as something the Lord taught her to pray.
      “How sure are we that Jesus or Mary looked like they do in the statues and paintings?” Again, private revelation shows that Our Lord and His Mother seem to appear just like the persons they appear to (ie. Our Lady of Guadeloupe).
      Hope this helps.
      Peace!

  6. Jaime says:

    My sister is Jehovah’s Witness and my family is Catholic.
    After having a huge blowout with her… bible vs. bible I have yet
    to really try to talk to her again about it. It’s such a heartbreaking situation for me
    because it seems like everyday they bring her deeper and deeper.

    I wish I knew the right words to say to her , I pray for her but I wish
    there was a “magic argument” that could open her eyes to how deluded
    and deceitful the JW religion is…

    • Devin Rose says:

      Jaime,

      That is a difficult situation. Usually going head-to-head trading verse interpretations doesn’t work, though as others pointed out, sometimes asking what verses in John 6 or elsewhere mean can stump them and give them something to ponder.

      But I think it’s better to hit the meta-issues: the canon, the apostasy they say happened when the last Apostle died, etc. Ultimately only God can show them the errors they have accepted, so keep praying and trust He will do so.

    • Nick says:

      Jamie,

      I know what it’s like when a relative goes JW and basically is brainwashed.

      As Devin rightly said, there is no silver bullet argument, but certainly some arguments that leave a very uncomfortable feeling on the JW’s heart. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of pointing out that not only does the Bible not say there would be a massive or total apostasy, especially that early on, but that such a view makes Jesus and the Apostles failures. It means The Apotles couldn’t keep the Church together for one generation, yet the Watchtower was able to do it for a whopping 75 years now.

      Also, as Devin says: the Canon of Scripture. Astonishingly, the JWs talk a bit about this in their Insight reference guide, and it basically admits the ECFs were important for having good witness.

      Lastly, if you can, ask your sister for the newest AWAKE! DECEMBER 2011 article here. It’s also online for free here: http://www.jw.org/
      It speaks on the King James Version of the Bible, and how important it was for getting the Bible in the hands of the common person. THIS RAISES THE QUESTION: WHY did such an important translation come about without the aid of true believers, aka, the JWs? The JWs didn’t come around until 1914.

      BUT IT GETS WORSE, look what this AWAKE page 24 says:
      “In 1907 a Bible Students Edition of
      the King James Version was published
      in the United States of America for the
      Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.
      It included an extensive appendix called
      the “Berean Bible Teachers’ Manual.”
      Later, Jehovah’s Witnesses printed the
      King James Version on their own
      presses. By 1992 the Witnesses had
      produced 1,858,368 copies.”

      To the Right of this quote, it says the JW’s New World Translation came out in 1961, being the best translation available. BUT why was God’s Organization STUCK using the KJV from at least 1914-1961, a translation which translates doctrines contrary to the JWs?

      And one of my favorites, the Cornerstone of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, is to talk to her about the blatant error in the ultra-ultra critical 1914 Doctrine – see this article which teaches information every Catholic should know<a?.

  7. Yup–I just had 2 JWs at my door last week. I told them I was solidly Catholic but they insisted that they needed to share the Bible with me. I told them that unless it was written in the original Greek or Latin or Hebrew or Aramaic (that Jesus spoke)–and spoke it fluently–they really had nothing new to offer me. I told them what my college professor told me (Father Galus): the Bible is the Word of God in the language and in the context in which it was written; all else is constant translation, and retranslation, fighting to get to core meaning. I told them: Jesus didn’t speak English. Our Bishops are forever retranslating to get back to the meaning.

    They didn’t have much of an answer to all of my diatribe.

    Then I went into that 144000 saved bit that they spout. Where’d that come from? What numeric system operated back 2000 years ago? Was it base 10 or another grouping system?

    After confusing them gently of course, I said, bye. gh

  8. I am an artist and I work from my studio/garage. The big door sits a car and half length from the road. In the summer I get a lot of gawkers. I restore life size statues of Jesus and Mary and all the other saints, angels and crucifixes etc. I also do large murals.

    I’m a slow thinker, and can’t get things to pop in my mind to answer. I still have to have a guide to say my rosary, which I have said most of my 57 years.

    And one summer I had the JW’s knocking every other week. First it was a man with another younger man, obviously his son. I asked them if they believed Jesus Is God. And they began a spiel about him being God’s SON, which I cut off with an “I’m sorry I can’t listen to anything that blasphemes my God. Is this your son? “. Yes “Do you mean to tell me that the God creator of all things cannot go to His Own creature and beget a Son and that Son NOT be God, because God doesn’t portion Himself out in pieces like humans do when they beget sons, you know.” They tried to hand me their papers, and I said no thank you, and he kept trying. I told him that I rip them up and put it in the trash while I pray that the giver hear God’s Truth. They left.

    The next to come were two young men who looked so much like the first men I knew who they were through the window before opening the door. “I’m asking you most kindly, to leave and to not come back.” “But if you’d only take….” , “Please tell your dad that I don’t want you all coming back. Yes is recognize your van too.”

    Two weeks later I didn’t hear anybody pull in and opened the door to a woman and a little girl dressed in nice old fashioned shirtwaist dresses. The little girl sweetly tried to give me a booklet. I kept my hands back. And I saw the van in my next door neighbor’s driveway. The woman started to talk and I said “You have a very handsome family. Three boys and a girl?” She smiled and nodded and tried to talk again. ‘Have I met you entire family now? Good then maybe you’ll be able to convince your husband NOT to send any more people here. You blaspheme by God.” The little girl stepped forward! “But I believe Jesus is God’s son!”

    “So do I, little one, but Jesus is God who has revealed Himself in three ways. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It’s like sometimes when you don’t understand something you so listen to your dad, or sometimes to your brother, and sometimes to your mom. Authority has three voices in One God and those voices are so strong we know them as persons. ” I saw a light go on in her eyes, and her mother pulled her back. But she asked “How can I know…”

    I answered “Right now you only know what your parents allow you to know, but if you really seek God, then you are seeking truth. God will never hide from you, so keep looking for truth and you will find God.”

    The mother dragged her away by the arm, and nobody has come back since.

  9. AnneG says:

    Devin, I am going to memorize your points. Works for so many, JW, Mormon and even some protestants. I tend to go into deep weeds. Simple is better. Thank you.
    @John Catholic “extra luggage” comes from our wide, deep, broad Church. I have copies of mosaics from the first century in Jerusalem, copies of icons written before the 6th century. Tradition says the oldest icon is Our Lady of Czestochowa, written by St Luke from life.
    None of our devotions or sacramentals are required for use by faithful Catholics. They do enhance our faith in each of the cultures where we live. So, what’s your point since they are not doctrinal nor dogma?

  10. AnneG says:

    And, you could ask God to bring her a friend to lead her back. Somebody suggested that to me. Sounds like a great idea.

  11. Patrick says:

    Good read!

    My last interlocution with a Witness was at a local gas station. I was filling up on a Saturday morning when a man in a very nicely pressed short sleeve shirt and tie approached. I, having had many occasions to meet them, discerned a Witness and wondered what I would hear, and how he would take my response.. He was very surprised when I engaged him in conversation and thanked him for sharing his thoughts on what church I should attend and the benefits of the JW way. Then I kicked in with the questions about the Bible, discussion regarding Saint Jerome, and finally the recent start date for the JW. As his eyes grew larger and rounder I invited him to Holy Mass of a Sunday, assuring him that there is Scripture aplenty in the Catholic Church. He went to his car very fast.

  12. Gary Devine says:

    We gotta learn the Word saints, souls are depending on us to get our act together. The JWs get a lot of their disciples from the ignorant Catholics, help us Lord. You can take them to John 6 and share the eucharist which is good. Try asking them “who raised Jesus from the dead” Acts 3:26, John 2:19-21, Rom 8:11, the Father (God), Jesus, and the Spirit raised him. We have either a conflict in the scriptures or all three are the same and that’s why we call it the Trinity. I guess they will have to change the New World Translation again to make it harmonize with Charles Taze Russell’s ever changing scripture interpretation. Lord Jesus save our lost families and help our ignorance

  13. Damaris says:

    I was raised a JW and lost that faith when I went to college. I became a Catholic in my mid-30’s. I wish someone had hit ME with the meta-issue of the canon when I was a teenager, especially someone who loved God. Then I wouldn’t have wasted 14 years trying to be an atheist.

  14. Amy says:

    I read your post, and yet, when coming to the end the only thing I am thinking is “you have goats!?” I do love goats, and have always wanted a pygmy goat!!! Silly me. In response to the actually topic, I do remember once being accosted by two Mormons while trying to pack up the van and leave the park after a picnic with a four year old, 18 month old, while in the throws of a nausea-filled first trimester and no husband around to help (not exactly filled with peace and happiness!). The poor boys tried their best, but were no match for a Catholic mother in the throws of reality. I simply turned to them and said “I’m sorry, but I am currently pregnant, and could never be part of a church that would not defend the life of my child regardless of the circumstances.” (The Mormon church is not 100% pro-life.) This left them dumbfounded, as abortion was obviously not a topic they had covered in salesman school. The more “experienced” young man could not believe what I said was true, so I encouraged him to discover the truth about his own church’s teachings and headed home. Sometimes a great deal of knowledge is not necessary; only some courage and a willingness to allow the Spirit to do His work.

    (And obviously, I am still home. I do hope to have a new baby to share with you when you come down!)

  15. Here are three talks given at the Institute of Catholic Culture. They’re brilliant – I’ve been listening to them on repeat in the car for the last few weeks:

    http://instituteofcatholicculture.org/media.htm#cults

    • gmart says:

      I have seen these and thought about them when the latest dustup regarding Robert Jeffress and his calling Mormonism a cult came up.

  16. Love this story!! I once engaged some sweet old lady JW’s at the door. Same type of “big picture” questions. They had no idea. They said they would be back later with someone else, but never did return!

    I did the same with some nice young Mormons. Encouraged them to really read the early Church Fathers, because they did not know much about Church history and continuity.

    I would love to one day read a conversion story in which the turning point away from JW or Mormonism was an encounter with a well-catechized Catholic whose door they knocked upon!

  17. Brian Crane says:

    One time 4 JW’s came to our house, and I was in the mood, I guess, so I let them in. Just like you Devin, at some point in the conversation I brought up the canon, and I asked him who wrote the epistle to the Hebrews. He said Paul, of course. So I asked him to show me where it says that, and he was flipping through the pages frantically. Having no luck, he finally went to the back of his bible and his eyes lit up as he excitedly pointed to the JW commentary on each book in the appendix and said “see, it says right here that Paul wrote it.” :) I haven’t seen them since. :(

  18. Francine says:

    My sister joined the JWs about 35 years ago. I “got into it” with her via e-mail just recently, which I’m sure she didn’t bother reading.

    First of all, she kept trying to tell me that Constantine, bearing the title Pontifex Maximus, was the first pope! I told her that that title was given to each and every caesar, and had nothing to do with the Roman Catholic Church!

    Then she got into accusing the Church of not helping the Jews during WWII, and that “Your own pope said he didn’t do enough to help the Rwandans” several years ago.

    I responded that Pius XII saved over 800,000 Jews from extermination, hiding them in the basements of the Vatican Churches and Universities. He not only hid them, he also gave them a place to sleep and fed them three square meals per day. In fact, he helped them so much that the head Rabbi of Italy joined the Catholic Church in 1953, even changing his name to Eugenio, the birth name of Pius XII!

    “By the way, what did the Jehovah’s Witnesses do to help the Jews? And what did the JWs do to help the Rwandans? Absolutely nothing! You only want to stand back and point fingers! Well, when you point a finger at someone, you have three fingers pointing back at you!”

    She told me that they aren’t supposed to get involved.

    That ain’t what Jesus said! He said, “I was hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and imprisoned, and a stranger and you fed me, gave me to drink, clothed me, visited me and welcomed me! And on that rests your salvation! Because those who didn’t feed, clothe, etc. the least of these will go into hell!”

  19. Lagniappe says:

    Overall, Devin, your handling of the “visitors” was quite good. Also, I am saving my pennies to buy your book (for real). I believe it is an important work of which all should read, study, and inquire (especially us ex-Catholics) as you are an excellent protagonist. However, allow me some wiggle room to comment upon this:

    QUOTE: So I told them. And they started their spiel, proffering their JW interpretation of the (badly translated) Protestant Bible.

    Now, I grasp your particular defense of Scripture and the canon, etc. But why are JW’s, Mormons, and such like lumped into the same camp as Protestants. The word “Protestant” is so broadly applied that its meaning conveys that these sects and cults are actually no different than those of us who hold to the orthodox truths of the Trinity, Incarnation, Only Begotten Son, Mary’s miraculous conception, the Son’s impeccable life and eternal sacrifice, and so on. These 2 aforementioned groups plus 7th Day Adventists and many more, openly reject the work and person of Jesus Christ.
    Moreover, and this is my sticking point, I find the usage of association via their poorly translated Protestant Bible to be acrimonious and extremely sardonic.
    John 1:1f sinks the JW ship; all sects add to the Bible as being equal [and that is why they are segregated as non-mainstream or anything approaching a true Protestant position]. At least separate the big goats from the pygmy goats! LOL

    Okay, beam me up Scotty!!!

    • Devin Rose says:

      Lagniappe,

      Thanks for your irenic comment. I should have been clearer: I see JW’s as a heretical “schism” from Protestantism. I don’t think that you are the same, by any stretch, only that, on the one theory that the Church’s teachings became corrupted at X point in history, Protestants and JW’s agree. Though they disagree about when X was (JW’s say early early on, maybe 100 AD), while most Protestants would say 400s-ish). And also JW’s say the Church went apostate and most Protestants would not go that far.

      So Protestant theology is much much closer to Catholicism than is JW’s. Sorry for implying otherwise. God bless!

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  21. christine says:

    well done!

  22. Deborah Pate says:

    Lagniappe, Why would you include the 7th Day Adventist in with JW and Mormans.

  23. April says:

    I had a similar experience to Marcel’s mom. A young one came to my door and I invited her back. She came with her older aunt. I think auntie was back up – not necessarily prayer back up, but “time to leave now, we’re in too deep” back up. All the while I was challenging her bible passages with mine, her aunt kept making comments about love and goodness. Finally, as the young one struggled through and flipped nervously after one of my questions, it occured to her, that I was trying to evangelize her. Her aunt raised an all-knowing eyebrow. She asked why I invited her in? To which I replied that I was helping her to explore the truth. Like Marcel’s mom experienced, they never came back. I believe some seeds were planted, as the young one seemed so surprised that someone else could be so on fire for the Truth – not just her!

  24. Anil Wang says:

    With a response like, “the Church went apostate in the first century”, there is an extremely simple answer you can give.

    “So, Jesus couldn’t hold a Church together for 100 years but the founders of the Jehovah’s Witness have? It seems that they were far greater than Jesus….You might want to check the history of the Jehovah’s Witness and see how much of their beliefs have changed and continue to change since Charles Taze Russell.”

    Of course, such a response will make them angry, but the question will burn in their mind with two possible outcomes, they either go looking for answers or give up on Christianity entirely.

  25. Sandmama says:

    I find a simple “So, what do you guys do with the apocrypha?” gets them thinking.
    Most JW’s have little conception of the origins of the Bible they carry. I’m surprised the ones you encountered even knew their church was founded in the 19th C.
    Poor people seem so easily manipulated by this weird notion of exclusivity that their leaders give them.

  26. Nicholas says:

    Fantastic work. Another thing to have lying around for the JW’s is a copy of “The Epistle of Mathletes to Diognetus”.

    • Devin Rose says:

      I need to read that one.

      • It’s more usually known as “The Epistle to Diognetus”. It’s got a couple of great lines:

        “…what the soul is in a body, this the
        Christians are in the world.”

        And, as the Restless Pilgrim, I particularly love this section:

        “Christians are not distinguished from the rest of mankind by either country, speech, or customs; the fact is, they nowhere settle in cities of their own… They reside in their respective countries, but only as aliens. They take part in everything as citizens and put put with everything as foreigners. Every foreign land is their home, and every home a foreign land… They spend their days on earth, but hold citizenship in heaven.”

  27. joseph says:

    Oh this reminds me of the one about he old man, who being alone, let a JW into his house. After giving him something to drink, asked him what he wanted to say. The JW said he forgot, as he had never got this far before.

  28. pepin the short says:

    My mom has developed a really good strategy for when JH come calling. She smiles and nods enthusiastically while they deliver their speech. Then she happily opens her hands to receive the proffered pamphlets. She always asks for some more. This is what she does next: with one deft movement she rips the little pile of pamphlets in two (my mom is very strong…) and hands them right back to the gobsmacked ‘pioneers’. Then she bids them ‘good day’ and gently closes the door in their stunned faces. Months and sometimes years pass before they call again…

  29. elleblue says:

    My brother after living with his then girlfriend (for 10yrs) had to join the JW when she returned after being disfellowshiped for, wait for it, SMOKING! Not for abandoning her husband and 3 children or for drinking?????? I knew the minute they married he would have to join or she would leave him.I’m not objective about any of this, I’ve seen my brother emotionally blackmailed and separated from almost everyone who loves him. I won’t give up on him nor will I challenge him because it’s not about the beliefs, it’s about his loving her and what she wants.

    • Sylvia says:

      That was another disturbing thing I remember about my JW relatives is how they’d ignore their own family members who had been dis fellow-shipped. I remember how one of my cousins wasn’t even allowed to speak to her own daughter when she went astray. I think she eventually ignored that rule.

  30. kelso says:

    When Protestants tell me there are only 66 books in the Bible, I like to answer, “No, you mean 67.” “What?” they say. “What’s the 67th book.” “Your table of contents,” I answer. “You must hold it to be inspired, too, if you deny the authority of the living Church who determined the 66 books you have to be inspired and, of course, six more than those.” It helps get them thinking about authority.

    • Lagniappe says:

      Pardon the interruption, mi amigo, but the 67th book idea is childish and only makes a negative impression. Is the purpose to convert or offend, correct or insult, extend the proposition or remove any possibility of change? An historical and intellectual approach, mixed with a genial temperament, could work wonders. But your suggestion borders on the absurd. Compare the “67th” book to the absurd question: “Are you still beating your wife?”

      Stifle yourself, Edith (Archie Bunker)

      • Brent says:

        I get your complaint about being fair and all. When a Catholic runs into a Protestant who proudly declares that their 66 book Bible is right and we are a bunch of Bible adding heretics, what do you suggest we should do or say to the Protestant, who in the Catholic view, has made significant edits to the Bible?

        Since most Christians are not formally theologically trained, I think kelso’s reply gets to the heart of it. Protestants must believe that the fact that the canon has been closed is of divine origin. The “table of contents” is a short-cut to get to the phrase “on what ground do you believe the canon is closed”. So, in the Protestant and Catholic view, we believe in one additional act that is inerrant/infallible besides the writing of scripture; namely the closing of the canon. (unless one denies that was an act)

        If the “67th” book is to literally mean “67th book” and not some other act that is inspired/infallible, then your “absurd question” charge is on the mark; since admitting or denying a 67th book would put into question 66 books. However, this dilemma is at the heart of one of Devin’s points in his book:

        How do Protestants get to a canon outside of either (a) a one time, singular, ad hoc trust of the Church or (b) bosom burning?

        God bless,

        Brent

  31. Andre says:

    In a way, the J-Dubs are sola/solo scripturists, only arriving at radically different conclusions but employing the same process/methodology of biblical interpretation and revelation from the Holy Spirit. A classical Protestant, too, tends not to trust those who carried on the church since the last apostle died. They don’t see the fathers as authoritative but only go as far as they agree with each father. They don’t realize that to be a bishop was to receive the anointing that originated from Christ and passed down through the line of Peter. These are not arbitrary titles such as the one given to T.D. Jakes. Augustine is a genuine bishop. He was regarded as the greatest Protestant and the greatest Catholic. Protestants love quoting him because he appeared to teach a justification by faith alone doctrine. But he also favorably spoke of church authority and the Blessed Virgin.

    I don’t share this too often, but ten years ago, I was also in search of a church that was better grounded in church history. Anybody who could quote a church father was money to me. I just didn’t consider the Catholic church because of fundamental disagreements at that time. I never connected the dots from the church fathers to the Catholic Church. I even went to an Emergent type service that quoted Anselm! I settled on a Reformed Church, but thank our Lord that I am coming home!

  32. Eric says:

    Thank you for sharing this experience; I really enjoyed relating to the various comments too! Study – Study – Study!! My parish is paying for my wife to complete her master catechist certification so she will be better equipped to volunteer in the RCIA classes. Everyone that has the time should look to their parish for the tools and education opportunities that will allow you to serve your parish in more ways. Imagine a JW or any non-Catholic coming to your home when you have a strong knowledge of your faith.

  33. Verse Vursus Verse is A Verse Averse
    Pride cannot be fought with Pride
    The Preyer must be fought with Prayer

    Cannot see the forest for the trees
    Or the Spirit for the Script

    Sola Scriptura

    The Tower of Bible
    Would have you seek
    The Bull’s Eye
    Than the Cross Heir’s
    Man’s reach for the heavens
    “By the Book”
    Alone
    May the Stumbling Block
    Of your belief
    Become the stepping stone
    Of your faith
    The greatest narrows
    Must one strive through
    Is of the Mind
    Best be opened than opined
    Faith is Beyond Belief
    Not all wills have the grasp
    To let go and let grow
    The Mustered Cede

    Be Yond The Book
    For So Is God

    May the forest be with you

    • sister says:

      So sad yet you leader is blessing soldiers to kill men,women and children and with the same breath stating those that kill will be in hell fire. Holy wars no longer exists ( Jesus)so any one who agree with war is wrongggg. If Jehovah witnesses are brainwash then the first time you started school you began your brainwashing is that correct? Every one are free will living souls if one choose to be Jehovah witnesses why ridicule you only fulfilling prophec 2Peter 2:2 Jehovah witnesses only looking for people who want to listen and follow bible principles hoping that,Liars,thieves,fornicators,adulterers,cheaters,abuser,murderers,men who lye down with men ,women also,bestiality etc, come to a true knowledge of god and stop mixing with those who have those quality and don’t want to change. All witness consist of human so they are not perfect and its childish to think that they believe that they are! The teachings of Jehovah witnesses organization is what should be appreciated, so to look at one individual and stereotyping that religion is just like making a racial slur. So if it’s not for you than thats it. Because you and no man is going to stop the preaching of the good news until Jehovah and Jesus say this good news of the kingdom have been preached in all the earth than the end wil come. Let thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. May peace abound in your heart for all men.

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  35. Vinny says:

    As a 15 year Zealous Person for Jehovah (and elder) here is my own story. You can share with your sisiter.

    http://exjehovahswitnessforum.yuku.com/topic/922

    • Jaime says:

      Vinny, I sent it to her via email… I do hope that she reads it.
      God can do anything. I know he can. Maybe your story will open up her eyes.
      Thank you for sharing that link with me… May God Bless your journey.

      Jaime

      *now what to do if she responds :/

  36. Ahmad Shb. says:

    I totaly agree that most people are not readily willing to change their bnelief.
    I had 2 JW ladies visit my ex couple of times until they did while I was at home.
    Since I am a Muslim I showed them where there was a mistranslation of the Hebrew name of Mohammad in the 5th psalm of the Songs of Solomon.
    I made them a print out of the details and never saw them ever again!

  37. Becky says:

    You mean you don’t have a “Beware of Apologist” sign on your gate? I can make one for you as act of charity for my JW brother who lives in your neck of the woods–just in case they give him your street.

  38. richT says:

    to john sullivan and all the likeminded who question the ‘bagage’ of catholicism…when i go to drive somwhere i actually count 1-2-3-4…keys-wallet-cellphone-coffeecup…lest i forget any of these essentials-no keys=no go, no wallet=no entry, no cellphone=no communication with whomever,no coffecup=self explanatory. You want to call these items my baggage? go ahead, i still need them, and no, they are not my goal. I do not drive so that I can get coffee, etc. they help me get to my destination and get there in better position to have a richer experience . So carrying a card of the shroud isn’t a luggage full of idol, it’s a timeout to leave the frustrating moments of this material world and remember my ultimate destination….communion with the lord of heaven and earth.

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  40. The following webpage is the internet’s BEST resource for information about Charles Taze Russell, the WatchTower Society, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. This webpage contains the internet’s BEST History Summary of the WatchTower Society and JWs, PLUS the internet’s FIRST and ONLY “FINANCIAL BIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL”. Both histories contain new info not found elsewhere on the internet:

    http://jwdivorces.bravehost.com/jwinfo.html

  41. I did everything short of dousing them with holy water and screaming “the power of Christ compels you!” … but what I did was still a little unhinged.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat/2011/11/i-had-company-this-morning.html

  42. Michael says:

    That was a big part of why I didn’t go Protestant when I concluded that Christianity was true. (I didn’t go Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness because I had concluded Nicene Christianity, and those two movements don’t teach it.) At least the Orthodox Churches only claim that the Papacy went heretical or whatever, not the entire Church (although I suppose, in a way, that’s just a different wording of the same reasoning–except that only Catholics would see it that way), and that’s why I felt that the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church were the best bet for the one true Church (I had had reasons to dismiss the other Apostolic Churches).

  43. Jess C says:

    A favorite rule of thumb I like suggest, which I read in an insiclical I believe it was from John Paul the VI. Paraphrasing, “if an interpretation from a verse in the bible contradicts any other verse anywhere else in the bible then that interpretation is false. Jehova witnesses and Mormons have so many contradictions, more than other protestants, it is very telling. The Catholic Church in it’s infinite wisdom can not, can not! be wrong in their doctrine “unchanged for over 2000 years. If anybody that has doubts and is willing to get at the truth , deepen into the subject do reasearch, take advantage of the vast source of information the Catholic Church provides, reed it with an open mind give the Catholic Church a chance to explain the reasons why we believe what we believe, then make your own decision. One good source to start is CATHOLIC.ORG under Catholic Apologetics (defense of the word).