As we saw in the previous blog article, using soundbites in witnessing has a downside.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use them.
However, it does mean that it’s important to establish some safeguards.
1. Watch your motives.
Ask God to show you the state of your heart. When you develop or use soundbites, are you trying to help Jehovah’s Witnesses come to saving faith in Jesus or are you actually trying to silence and humiliate them?
2. Watch your attitudes.
When you develop and use soundbites, do you find yourself being impressed with your own cleverness?
If so, repent and get back on track.
3. Use scriptures and quotation in context.
It’s very tempting sometimes to create soundbites that take scriptures or other quotations out of context.
Maybe we wish the Bible were more clear on some point. Perhaps we’d like to quote some other source that didn’t quite say what we wish they had said.
When that happens, it’s easy to fall into the trap of leaving out some qualifying language or to insert a few words into the text.
Sometimes we find ourselves stringing together verses that have nothing to do with each other in order to make a point. I find that I am most susceptible to this when I’m trying to counter a Watchtower argument that makes that very error.
4. Don’t become dependent on soundbites.
Don’t use them too much or the technique will lose its effectiveness.
And remember that some Bible concepts are too complex to lend themselves to soundbite treatment.
Don’t try to force soundbites into discussions where they aren’t appropriate or don’t work.
5. Challenge Watchtower misuse of soundbites.
When you sense that Witnesses are taking quotations out of context or drawing conclusions that simply aren’t warranted by the text, point out the problem.
Perhaps that’s best done by using a counter-soundbite of your own.
At other times, longer explanations may be necessary. Sometimes it helps to name the error you believe the Watchtower is making: “The problem I see with using Ecclesiastes 9:5 as an unchallengeable explanation for what happens after death is that you are forced to ignore other Bible passages that ought to be considered…”
6. Don’t use soundbites to beat a dead horse.
If what you are trying isn’t working and you have reached an impasse, agree to disagree on that issue and move on to something else.
Do you think these safeguards would help you in your efforts to get through to Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Share your thoughts in the comments.