- In view of the influence of the Watchtower organization, how can one expect to make a
convert of the J.W. who calls at the door? It would seem that a "psychological
battle" must first be won. The J.W. at the door, or in the home study, considers
himself to "have the truth" and, therefore, assumes the teacher role and the
householder - the student. At some point the J.W. must appreciate that with you the role
is not that of a teacher-pupil relationship. The J.W. must also become the listener - the
learner (which is not a relationship for which J.W.'s are particularly well-known).
- How is this to be done? Discussion of the Jew in the
divine purpose affords an advantageous position from which a Bible student can assume the
offensive. This topic has the following advantages:
- It affords a topic of mutual interest. J.W.'s have challenged Christadelphian teaching
on this subject in their Watchtower magazine, August, 1962,
"Christadelphianism - Of God or Men?" 1
In this article, the Christadelphian teaching concerning the Jew in the divine
purpose is misunderstood. Correction of the Watchtower mistakes is a useful way to chip
away at the scholarship image the J.W. has of Brooklyn publications.
- The J.W. approach to Biblical interpretation can also be challenged. J.W.'s
"spiritualize" passages in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel concerning the Jew to
make them refer to the Watchtower organization. It requires plain stating that a passage
should be read literally, unless convincing evidence to the contrary can be produced.
Otherwise, a passage can be read to suit nearly any presupposition. Little can be achieved
until this groundwork is established.
- Not being infallible, a Bible student may change his mind regarding an interpretation of
an obscure verse or a highly symbolic prophecy, but when change of mind involves hundreds
of passages, as it does with the Jew, (J.W.'s once taught the literal restoration of the
Jew to Palestine)2 how can one claim
to be Jehovah's witness? Can one witness contradict the statements of later witnesses on
such a basic biblical theme, and yet both be Jehovah's witnesses?
- A discussion of the Jew leads readily into a discussion of the return of Christ. The
Jewish return to Palestine, then becomes evidence for the future visible return of
Christ (implying, of course, that he did not return invisibly in 1914, as J.W.'s assert).
- The Bible student can set a worthy example by knowing his Bible. The ability to flip to
the desired passage on the spot (without taking recourse to other books) is cultivated by
frequent use of the Word. This has impressed many J.W.'s, some of whom have responded to
subsequent instruction. Nothing imparts confidence in discussion like knowing where one
intends to go, and knowing not only the strength of one's evidence, but that it can be
produced when needed.
- Once the initial "psychological battle" has been won, topics can be selected
for subsequent discussion. The fruitfulness of these discussions is often related to the
extent to which only one area at a time is discussed. Discipline is required not to
be led off the issue by subsidiary error drawn in by the J.W. in support of the
proposition under consideration. This appears to be especially true of the
"pre-existence" of Christ and the devil.
- Great Lakes A.S.K. (Advancement of Scriptural Knowledge), Box
221, Weston Ontario, Canada, published a 32 page reply to this article. Return
- See explanation of wrested scripture on Matt. 23:37,38. Return