Tuesday, May 17, 2011

EVANGELISTIC ESCAPADES: Another J-Dub Encounter

A few days ago there was a malfunction in Blogger, and unfortunately this post got deleted as a result. Here it is again. Enjoy.
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I was able to use my new Jehovah's Witnesses tract against some JWs on Easter Sunday, when a brother and I ran into a pack of them while preaching the Gospel. It was an interesting encounter, to say the least. I'll recount a little bit of what happened that day in order to demonstrate that the questions in the last Cult Chronicles post really do work.

It was Easter, and brother Giancarlo and I did our best not to squander the excellent opportunity to share the Good News with the masses of people who were going to crowd the squares in Downtown Guadalajara. We headed for Plaza Tapatía and started to open air preach. As I was standing on my stool and had just about finished preaching, I saw a group of well-dressed folk walk by me, and then approach Giancarlo, who was sitting on a bench just a couple yards in front of me, witnessing to a young man. As soon as I saw this group of people, I smelled trouble...so I got off the stool and walked up to all of them. A heavyset middle-aged man, who was the "spokesman" for the group, had interrupted Giancarlo as he was witnessing to this young Catholic man. When I found out that they were JWs I really did not desire to debate them--but for the sake of the young unbeliever who they were trying to confuse (it's just like Satan to interrupt the preaching of the Gospel), I jumped in on the fight. The old man was trying to convince us that Jesus did not die on a cross, but on a "torture stake". We didn't take the bait, however, trying to stick mainly to the topic of salvation by grace through faith. But as is standard procedure for JWs, he repeatedly kept trying to change the subject, jumping from topic to topic, so it was hard to corner him. He had a supremely arrogant air about him, and even disdainfully referred to Giancarlo and I as "little boy". The JWs surprisingly had no Bibles with them, and I had made the dumb mistake of forgetting mine, so we had to all pass around Giancarlo's Bible from person to person the whole time we were there. The old man even went as far as to angrily snatch the Bible from our hands and would refuse to give it back (!!!). Apalled at his shocking and immature behavior, we demanded Giancarlo's Bible from him and eventually gave it back. This occurred repeatedly. On one ocassion he even asked us for the Bible to allow his little son to read a verse...so we gave it to him--but he kept it and read out of it himself! The man was a malicious, conniving liar. And not only that, but he would frequently taunt us, and even call Giancarlo "stupid"! (And mind you, as far as JW doctrine goes, he was the most knowledgeable of the whole bunch, their leader). I've come across many mean-spirited Jehovah's Witnesses throughout my life...but none who even comes close to this guy.

But anyway, I pulled out my new little JW tract and started to read aloud some quotes from Watchtower literature; namely the ones about utilizing "Theocratic War Strategy" on your opponents, about avoiding independent thinking, and about not studying the Bible for yourself. I told the young Catholic that Satan is the father of lies; only children of the devil will try to justify lying. He seemed a bit shocked to hear that the Watchtower actually taught that. I didn't look at the old man's face, but Giancarlo later told me that as I read from my tract his eyes just about bulged out in anger. He of course denied those quotes and accused me of lying, so I immediately cited my sources and told him that he himself could look them up and verify that what I was saying was true. Having been discovered, he then accused me of taking those quotes out of context and not understanding what they really mean...though he didn't even attempt to explain what they "really" meant. I said that they were in their proper context, and asked him to show me from the Bible where it condones lying and hiding the truth from someone. He couldn't, of course, and as I pressed him hard for an answer, he even admitted so, but immediately tried to change the subject.

A young JW lady then started talking to me, so now the group split into two. Giancarlo kept debating with the man and trying to help the young Catholic, while I took on this girl and some of her pals. She was also beaming with arrogance, and had a prideful, demonic smile on her face that made me uneasy. We debated different subjects. She claimed to have read the Bible 12 times, but when asked to explain to me what the book of Romans was about she angrily and dismissingly told me that she knew very well what it was about and changed the subject. Like the older man she was a liar, "bending" the truth several times during our conversation. But one of the old man's sons was quietly listening in on our discussion, as was a newly indoctrinated Jehovah's Witness, so it was worth it to keep debating. Near the end of our conversation I told her that I am righteous because Christ had justified me. Upon hearing this she went into a fit and accused me of being prideful for daring to claim that I was righteous (they have a works-righteousness mentality so they don't understand grace). I tried to explain the doctrine of justification to her to no avail, she would even dismiss the Bible verses from the book of Romans that I read to her. She told me that not even Jesus claimed this about Himself when He was here--when the rich young ruler ran up to Him and asked Him, "Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus told him that none is good but God. Of course, she was completely twisting Scripture, and besides, Christ claimed to be the "good Shepherd", and even said worse things like, "I and the Father are One"...but instead of pointing this out I cornered her with the question:

"So then, was Jesus good?"

No answer, she just kept telling me how disgusted she was at my lack of humilty for claiming to be righteous.

"Answer the question. Was Jesus good?"

She continued to ignore my question and kept on rambling.

"Was Jesus good?" I asked this question many times, and she refused to give me a straight answer.

I turned to the rookie JW next to her and asked him the same question, but he had a confused look on his face and did not want to answer, either.

I said, "If Jesus wasn't good, then we're all lost, because He wasn't the perfect sacrifice for our sins. But if He IS good, then He's GOD--because only God is good."

I didn't really receive a reply...she didn't know how to respond, other than continue to accuse me of being prideful.

Suddenly, a professing Christian who I had met earlier called me over to where he was to introduce me to a friend of his. So I parted from the group and the debate ended there. The JW wolves promptly left and the young Catholic man told Giancarlo that he would read the Bible for himself, and the tracts we gave him, and contact us. It was a great spiritual battle—in the beggining of the ordeal my mouth became so dry that I could not even talk; I had to be sipping my water bottle the whole time of the debate, something that has never happened to me before. Satan must have really wanted the soul of that young man.

Well, not everything turned out the best, but at the very least we were able to scare off the Watchtowerites and prevent the young man from being deceived. Hopefully the questions in the last Cult Chronicles will prove to be useful tools for engaging Jehovah's Witnesses in meaningful debate, and getting them to actually consider the error of their false doctrine...and the claims of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.



5 comments:

Anita's Ramblings said...

Whoa. That must have been intense!! I praise God that you guys were there - even for that one soul alone! I pray that the Catholic young man comes to a saving knowledge of the truth.

I'm currently reading some more info on JWs off of carm's site and one thing that struck me was, I need to pray for compassion towards the JWs (the lost as a whole), because one thing that I noted about my last encounter with one, was the fact I sensed the temptation to become very angry with them. :( I was bothered by the man's pride; bothered by his twisting of Scripture and unwillingness to really reason with me.

I must pray more!!!

These posts are great examples to me (and those who I've been sharing them with). I pray the Lord continue to bless your endeavors as you seek to make Him known!

Aaron the Levite said...

It was indeed an intense experience! I haven't seen that young man since, but I still do remember and pray for him.

I completely sympathize with you--sometimes the temptaion is STRONG to get angry in the flesh when talking to JWs and the like; we must be really CAREFUL not to let the devil win with respect to this. We can crush JWs and other cult members in an argument, but if we come across with a sinful attitude we will have gained nothing, and in fact we will bring reproach to the name of Christ. When debating or witnessing to anybody, I'd rather be weak in Bible knowledge and be full of love and joy in the Spirit, than to know all the mysteries of the Scriptures and be angry and loveless. May the Lord help us be filled with the Spirit when we witness to people. If we have to be angry and rebuke someone, may it be led of God and not from our flesh.

Shayne said...

praise God, Aaron! praise God!
I was just reading in Jude -- "…contend for the faith" and last night at our Romans Bible study, we ended being pointed to 1 John 4:17 "…in this world we are like Him" Jesus brought the truth, the message of salvation, and fought for our souls and redemption, and we are to be like Him in all we do. That includes most especially preaching HIS message of hope to a lost and dying world, to which He had come for to save. He is our only mediator to God, we may be able to come to Him in peace.

Aaron the Levite said...

Amen Shayne! This lost and dying world desperately needs the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank God for saving wretched sinners like us and allowing us the privilege of proclaiming His Gospel to the whole world.

Anita's Ramblings said...

Amen!!