In my book, Getting Through to Jehovah’s Witnesses: Approaching Bible Discussions in Unexpected Ways, I identify a number of “Watchtower Signature Issues.”
These are issues Jehovah’s Witnesses often bring up in order to try to convince us that the Watchtower religion is the only genuine Christian faith, plus a couple of topics that they will never bring up but that might be a fruitful area for you to discuss at an appropriate time.
It is especially important with these types of topics to pay attention to what is NOT YOUR OBJECTIVE in the discussion.
The Watchtower signature issues are:
- The name “Jehovah”
- Neutrality (war/military service)
- Birthdays and holidays
- Paid clergy
- The cross
- Blood transfusions
- 1914 and end times prophecies
My book contains 5 approach chapters dealing with these matters. I have listed the objective for each chapter, along with what is NOT YOUR OBJECTIVE for each chapter.
- The objective of The Divine Name Approach (Chapter 16) is to show Jehovah’s Witnesses that, while it is fine to refer to God as Jehovah, it is not necessary. In fact, in the New Testament the name that is above every other name is Jesus.
- It is NOT YOUR OBJECTIVE to convince them not to use the name Jehovah, but rather to exalt the name of Jesus.
- The Christian Freedom Approach (Chapter 17) deals with the topics of the divine name, war, birthdays/holidays, paid clergy, and collections.
- The objective of this approach is to get Jehovah’s Witnesses to think for themselves instead of simply accepting whatever the Watchtower says.
- It is NOT YOUR OBJECTIVE to persuade them to accept your convictions on these topics as correct and their convictions as wrong, but to give biblical support for freedom on these issues.
- The objective of The Justice for the Wicked Approach (Chapter 18) is to show Jehovah’s Witnesses that the Watchtower’s annihilation-of-the-wicked doctrine is neither just nor biblical.
- It is NOT YOUR OBJECTIVE to present arguments in support of a traditional Christian view of hell, but to try to get them to see the problems with the Watchtower teaching.
- The objective of The Life and Death Issues Approach (Chapter 19) is to show Jehovah’s Witnesses that the Watchtower is not Jehovah’s channel of communication (as it claims to be) as shown by the fact that it has made radical changes in its teachings regarding life and death health care issues.
- It is NOT YOUR OBJECTIVE to persuade them that they should take a blood transfusion if needed, but to ask them about the significant doctrinal changes the Watchtower has made over time.
- The objective of The False Prophecies Approach (Chapter 20) is to show Jehovah’s Witnesses that the Watchtower organization is not the reliable guide it claims to be in that it has made numerous false prophecies.
- It is NOT YOUR OBJECTIVE to call the Watchtower a cult or a false prophet, but to show their unreliability by their own publications.
With any of the approaches in my book, but especially the ones in this section, it is very important to keep the overall goal of talking to Witnesses in mind. It is NOT YOUR OBJECTIVE to simply discredit the Watchtower. You want to show Witnesses Christ’s love and make it possible for them to come to him for forgiveness and everlasting life.