Must We Call God “Jehovah” in Order to Have Intimacy with Him?

TetragrammatonThe Watchtower insists that we must use the name “Jehovah” in order to have an intimate relationship with God.

It states: “In replacing God’s name with titles, Bible translators make a serious mistake. They make God seem remote and impersonal, whereas the Bible urges humans to cultivate ‘intimacy with Jehovah.’ (Psalms 25:14) Think of an intimate friend of yours. How close would you really be if you never learned your friend’s name? Similarly, when people are kept in ignorance about God’s name, Jehovah, how can they become truly close to God?”[i]

Here’s how to answer them. Continue reading

Did Jesus Call God “Jehovah” in Public?

Jesus Confronting PhariseesThe Watchtower argues as follows:

Jesus declared in prayer to his Father: “I have made your name known… and will make it known.” (John 17:26) Jesus would undoubtedly have pronounced God’s name on numerous occasions when he read, quoted, or explained portions of the Hebrew Scriptures containing that important name. Jesus would thus have used God’s name just as freely as all the prophets did before him. If any Jews were already avoiding the use of God’s name during the time of Jesus’ ministry, Jesus would certainly not have followed their tradition. He strongly criticized the religious leaders when he said to them: “You have made the word of God invalid because of your tradition.—Matthew 15:6.”[1]

Let’s come up with some soundbite responses. Continue reading

Must We Pray to Jehovah by Name?

Praying HandsJehovah’s Witnesses stress the importance of knowing and using the divine name, “Jehovah.”

They will tell you that Jesus believed the name “Jehovah” was of critical importance, and therefore we should also. The Watchtower asks, “How important is God’s name? Consider the model prayer that Jesus Christ gave. It begins this way: ‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.’ (Matthew 6:9) Later, Jesus prayed to God: ‘Father, glorify your name.’ In response, God spoke from heaven, saying: ‘I both glorified it and will glorify it again.’ (John 12:28) Clearly, God’s name is of the utmost importance.”[1] 

Witnesses may also claim that God’s name “was clearly of crucial importance to him [Jesus] since he mentioned it repeatedly in his own prayers.”[2] 

Here is a good soundbite response: “Could you please show me one passage where Jesus begins one of his prayers by saying by addressing God as ‘Jehovah.’” Continue reading

Getting Fellow Christians Involved

Kindle book coverThis post is primarily addressed to bishops, pastors, elders, and other church leaders. I know you want as many people as possible in your sphere of influence to come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Isn’t that why you got involved in ministry?

In an earlier post, I shared my sadness whenever I hear the testimony of an ex-Jehovah’s Witness who says, “I went door-to-door for more than 20 years and in all that time, no one even attempted to share the gospel with me. Why didn’t you?”

Very few members of your church will ever go on the mission field, but nearly all of them will have a mission field of Jehovah’s Witnesses come to their door sometime within the next year, asking to talk with them about God and salvation.

Please equip them!

Imagine how different the lives of these Witnesses would be if every Christian from your church invited them in and gave them an effective presentation of the gospel. Continue reading

Section 5: Now Take Action!

Kindle book coverLast time, I gave you brief descriptions of what’s in each of the six chapters of Section 4 of my book, Getting Through to Jehovah’s Witnesses: Approaching Bible Discussions in Unexpected Ways.

Now I’d like to give you a short summary of Section 5.

From my own experience, I know how easy it is to read a book like mine, get some great ideas, put the book on the shelf, and then do nothing.

I am deeply saddened when I hear testimonies from ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses who say something like this: “I went door-to-door as a Jehovah’s Witness for more than 20 years and in all that time no one shared the real gospel with me. Why didn’t you?”

That’s why Section 5 of my book consists of one chapter which is a call and encouragement to action. Continue reading

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