The Watchtower teaches a two-class salvation system. It says there’s a “little flock” (Luke 12:32) of 144,000 anointed Christians who will be resurrected in spirit form and rule with Jesus from heaven. These are the ones who are “born again.” Then there’s the great crowd of “other sheep.” They don’t need to be born again. They will never go to heaven but instead will live forever in paradise on earth.
One way to challenge this dogma is to ask the Witnesses about Scripture passages which show that Jesus’ invitation and promises are for everyone who will receive him, not just a select group of 144,000. Tell them you would like to look at them together so they can give their response to them. Continue reading
In Act V, Scene V of Macbeth, the title character laments: “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
Human beings can’t last long believing that. Each one of us wants a sense of meaning and purpose in our life.
We don’t want to be just one drop of water in a vast ocean.
We want to be significant.
We want to be special.
What if you could join a religious organization consisting of millions of people who have a knowledge of God and his purposes that no one else has? That group would be large enough to have significance but small enough in comparison to the world’s population to be special.
Suppose further that when you share this knowledge with others that most of them scoff and reject it. Perhaps they even persecute you because of your beliefs. Although hard to endure, that opposition would make you even more special in God’s eyes, wouldn’t it?
This is what the Watchtower purports to offer Jehovah’s Witnesses. Consider what it tells them: Continue reading
Why shouldn’t we?
Some ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses give a couple of reasons. Continue reading
In last week’s post, I discussed how to respond to six words from Ecclesiastes 9:5, the Watchtower’s primary proof text for its teaching that the dead have no conscious existence until the resurrection: “… the dead know nothing at all…” (all quotes will be from the Watchtower’s own 2013 New World Translation)
My recommendation was to have them read the rest of verse 5 and all of verse 6 to see if the passage expresses God’s viewpoint or merely the perspective of a man who is looking on this life as all there is: “… the dead know nothing at all, nor do they have any more reward, because all memory of them is forgotten. Also, their love and their hate and their jealousy have already perished, and they no longer have any share in what is done under the sun.”
I also suggested that you look at Ecclesiastes 1:2 and ask the same question with regard to the book of Ecclesiastes as a whole: “‘The greatest futility!’ says the congregator, ‘The greatest futility! Everything is futile!’”
Sometimes Witnesses will persist in ignoring the context and insist that “the dead know nothing at all” is truth revealed by God. If that happens, I recommend that you have them look at other passages in Ecclesiastes to see if they express Jehovah’s viewpoint. Here are several passages you can use for this purpose. Beware of overkill, though. Only use as many of them as necessary to make the point. Continue reading
When discussing what happens to a person after death, Jehovah’s Witnesses will refer you to Ecclesiastes 9:5: “the dead know nothing at all…” (Watchtower’s 2013 New World Translation). Some Witnesses have memorized an earlier version: “the dead… are conscious of nothing at all…” (NWT).
If you try to get them to focus on the context, they usually say, “But the Bible says right here…” and then repeat those words like a mantra. They consider that partial sentence to be the definitive declaration of the state of the dead—all other Bible passages are required to be interpreted to conform to it.
How can we get them to look at that verse in context? Continue reading