As I arrived home yesterday, I was approached by two middle-aged women walking down our street, asking if I had time to talk. As I went down the checklist, I recognized them as either Jehovah’s Witnesses or Baptists:
Mormons– No bicycles. Church of Christ– Not Filipino. Girl Scouts– No wagonload of cookies. FBI– No black suits.
- Jehovah’s Witnesses
Normally, when I see people walking down the street toward our house, I’ll tear into our driveway, get into the house as quickly as possible and ignore the knocking on the door as if we had gone down into our bomb shelter and were waiting them out. Though a bit callous in nature, I have successfully avoided conversations with JWs, vaccuum cleaner salesmen, and the occasional Baptist in that manner. [Note: Just to be clear, I don’t avoid Baptists on purpose. They are just a casualty of hiding out from the other religious groups that go house to house in our neighborhood!]
Yesterday, however, was apparently a divine appointment God had arranged between them and I because the timing of my arrival did not allow me any chance of escaping them. So I took a deep breath, smiled and waved them over as they approached.
Up until yesterday, I knew just enough about JWs to know that their theology was a bit, well, lacking. For example, I knew that they did not believe in the Holy Trinity and they did not believe Jesus was God. Through my brief discourse with them, however, I came to learn much more about their beliefs in detail. In fact, the elder of the two left me a book which is apparently the handbook JWs use to engage in debate with people who would not normally want to talk with them. Though it was a very kind gesture, I thought it akin to the coach of a football team walking over to the opposite sideline and handing the opposing coach his playbook.
Over the next couple of hours, I read through the “playbook” so I could better understand JW theology and how they engage in debate with real Christians over the differences in our theology. Needless to say, we have nothing to worry about. JWs are very selective about the scriptural references they use to support their theology and many references are taken out of context.
But it was enlightening to me to study the Word in such a way that forced me to find the evidence of my faith. I realized that some of the most basic tenants of true Christianity that we take for granted need to be proven through Scripture. Until yesterday, I lacked some of the references I needed to do that. My encounter with the JWs helped me to fill some of the gaps in my own knowledge of theology.
If that was the best thing that happened to me as a result of my interaction, I would call it a good day. But God revealed something even more wonderful to me. My 11-year-old son, who stood on the driveway with his Kindle Fire as I debated the JWs, excitedly approached me after they had left. Handing me his Kindle, he showed me references he had found proving the Trinity and the deity of the Holy Spirit. And he announced he was ready to debate them next time they came to visit. I was so encouraged by his enthusiasm and readiness to defend his faith. I realized what wonderful training he was receiving from the teachers and mentors of our church. Praise the Lord for bringing such wonderful people into our lives to help us raise our children in the fear of the Lord!