Before you embark on an important journey, you need to be clear on your destination.
Likewise, when you set out to try to get through to Jehovah’s Witnesses on various topics, it’s important to have clear goals in mind.
Let’s start with the big picture.
My book, Getting Through to Jehovah’s Witnesses: Approaching Bible Discussions in Unexpected Ways, contains 13 approach chapters with specific recommendations for discussing Bible topics with Witnesses. Each approach has a specific objective highlighted at the beginning of the chapter.
Regarding the issue of the requirements for Salvation, the book contains 5 approaches.
- The objective of The Righteousness Approach (Chapter 6) is to help Jehovah’s Witnesses see that striving to prove worthy of everlasting life is an impossible task.
- The objective of The Come to Jesus Approach (Chapter 7) is to help Jehovah’s Witnesses see their need to come to Jesus Christ personally in order to obtain salvation.
- The objective of The Faith and Works Approach (Chapter 8) is to correct Jehovah’s Witnesses’ false view that “justification by faith” is a license to sin and to show them the biblical relationship between faith and works in the Christian life.
- The objective of The Bodily Resurrection Approach (Chapter 9) is to refute the Watchtower’s two-class, two-paths-to-salvation system by showing that all Christians will be raised from the dead like Jesus was, in a glorified physical body of flesh and bones.
- The objective of The New Birth Approach (Chapter 10) is to show Jehovah’s Witnesses that the new birth involves an inner transformation of a person by the Holy Spirit and is the only way by which anyone can obtain eternal life.
Those are the “big picture” objectives.
You can also set smaller but related objectives.
I call these “seed planting” or “stone in the shoe” objectives. These are points you intend to make that you hope will stick with the Witnesses if nothing else does. Even if they don’t make an immediate impact, your hope is that they will bear fruit over time (“seed planting”) or keep bothering the Witnesses (“stone in the shoe”) long after they have stopped meeting with you.
For example, as part of The New Birth Approach, you might cite to the Witnesses Jesus’ statement in John 6:53-55 (NWT): “Most truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I will resurrect him on the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.”
Witnesses will tell you that this applies only to the “anointed” 144,000, not to the ordinary Jehovah’s Witness. You can then ask something like this: “You and I would probably agree that Jesus was speaking of an inward experience of which partaking of the bread and wine is only a symbol. But when you pass the bread and wine on by without partaking, aren’t you testifying that you’ve never had this inward experience which Jesus said was essential in order to have everlasting life and be resurrected on the last day?”
Your objective in doing this is to plant a seed (or stone) that will keep coming back to them every time they attend a Watchtower Memorial and pass the emblems by without partaking.