Let’s face it. Many Christians go out of their way to avoid talking with Jehovah’s Witnesses.
When we see them coming, we pull the curtains and pretend we’re not home.
If that doesn’t work, we say, “No thank you. I have my own religion,” and send them on their way.
Why do we do this? Why do we call ourselves evangelical Christians and then refuse to talk about Jesus when we are presented with a golden opportunity? Jehovah’s Witnesses sometimes virtually beg us to discuss God and salvation with them, and still we won’t do it.
Why? I think there are several reasons.
1. “They’re just another Christian denomination, aren’t they?”
Some Christians believe Jehovah’s Witnesses are just another Christian denomination—a rather pushy one to be sure, one with some strange teachings (such as their refusal to take blood transfusions and celebrate holidays), but Christians nonetheless.
If that’s your reason for not sharing the gospel with Jehovah’s Witnesses, you should know that they don’t share your view. They believe they are Christians, but they are convinced that you are not. They think you are part of a false religious system called Christendom that is doomed for destruction.
That alone should inspire you to talk with them.
2. “They’re heretics, so we should have nothing to do with them.”
This is the opposite reason from the first. It is true that many of the teachings of the Watchtower are not compatible with biblical Christianity and are therefore heretical. But that’s all the more reason to talk with Jehovah’s Witnesses rather than to avoid them. They don’t know that those teaching are heretical. They believe they have the genuine Christian faith and they have come to your door to bring what they believe is the truth to you.
Some Christians cite 2 John 10-11: “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.”
In the first century, churches met in Christian’s homes, not in separate church buildings. John was warning them not to allow teachers of falsehoods to serve as instructors within their church fellowship. He wasn’t commanding Christians to have no contact with people who believe and promote religious error. If we did that, no unbeliever would ever hear the gospel and the Christian faith would die out!
What would Jesus do? What would Paul do?
Can you imagine them hiding behind curtains or telling people, “No thanks, I have my own religion,” and sending them away without a gospel witness?
3. “Evangelism is the pastor’s job, not mine.”
Some Christians refuse to discuss religion with Jehovah’s Witnesses because they consider evangelism to be the pastor’s job, not theirs.
If that has been your reason for not sharing the gospel with Jehovah’s Witnesses, I am not going to expend a lot of energy trying to convince you that you are wrong, because deep down you already know it. You have read the Great Commission. You know that evangelism is for all of us, not just pastors. Pastors are commanded to equip us for the work of Christian ministry (Ephesians 4:12), not to do all the work themselves while the rest of us sit in pews and watch.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses who come to your door aren’t clergymen. They are ordinary people who are donating their time to talk with you. You can do the same for them.
4. “It’s a waste of time.”
A fourth reason many Christians turn away Jehovah’s Witnesses at the door is that they believe it’s a waste of time. They would like to share the gospel with the Witnesses, but they think that even if they were as well prepared and articulate as Billy Graham it wouldn’t do any good, that Jehovah’s Witnesses are so indoctrinated that they can’t be saved.
If you believe that, then let me tell you bluntly that you have bought into a lie. True, doorstep conversions are rare, but they do occur. Even if that doesn’t happen, you can plant some seeds that other Christians can water. You won’t get through to every Jehovah’s Witness. You may not get through to most of them. But you can get through to some of them. The Lord has been gracious enough to let me lead several Jehovah’s Witnesses out of the Watchtower to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and there’s no reason he can’t do that with you as well.
5. “I’m afraid of rejection.”
Many Christians won’t share the gospel with Jehovah’s Witnesses because they don’t like conflict and are afraid of rejection. I’ll be completely honest with you. If you share the gospel with Jehovah’s Witnesses, no matter how diplomatic you are, it is likely that at some point some of them may speak condescendingly to you, question your motives, argue with you, or even try to provoke you to anger.
Remember that the Lord himself left the comforts and praises of heaven and encountered opposition and rejection in order to save you and me. Was it worth it? He thought so. Why? Because he loves us.
Will you love Jehovah’s Witnesses enough to take risks and endure opposition in order to win some to Christ? If you aren’t at that point yet, be honest about it and make it a matter of prayer. Ask the Lord to see you through and enable you to get past whatever criticism Witnesses may present.
6. “I’m not prepared.”
I believe this is the most common reason why evangelical Christians don’t try to share the gospel with Jehovah’s Witnesses. They know they aren’t prepared.
Maybe you’re tried to talk with Witnesses in the past and ended up twisted into doctrinal knots. Maybe you feel humiliated by that experience.
Maybe you even fear that if you’re not careful you might end up getting sucked into the Watchtower organization and become a Jehovah’s Witness yourself!
Those are legitimate concerns, especially if you don’t know your Bible well.
If this is your primary reason for not talking with Jehovah’s Witnesses, I commend you for your honesty.
But the solution isn’t to remain unprepared and hide behind curtains. The solution is to educate yourself as to what we believe as Christians, why we believe it, and how to explain it effectively to the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
That’s what this blog is all about.
(Adapted from my upcoming book, Getting Through to Jehovah’s Witnesses)
If you have never tried to share the gospel with Jehovah’s Witnesses who came to your door, why not? Has anything in this post changed your mind?
Share your thoughts in the comments.