Speaking with a Jehovah Witness
I stopped by to visit one my congregants this morning (actually, he's now homebound and no longer attends). He is a very lonely man; he lives with his son who cares for him and his wife (who has Alzheimer's), but is quite the talker and there aren't that many people who have that kind of time. Also, because he has a somewhat abrasiveness personality, he may have rubbed some people the wrong way in the past, which also contributes to the loneliness factor.
Well, while we were sitting on his front porch talking, I noticed there was a SUV full of Jehovah Witnesses driving through the neighborhood. They were only stopping at certain houses (the nearest I could tell), but when they came by the house where we were sitting, the driver rolled down his window and asked my congregant (by name) how he was doing. To my horror, the congregant yell back, "Stop by when you get the chance." The JW, of course, stopped the vehicle and began coming toward us. It turns out that the JW is also this man's mailman.
The congregant introduced me to the JW as his pastor. I held my tongue (they weren't talking religion) until the JW tried to give him literature. I politely (but directly) told the JW that I was the man's pastor and that I would appreciate it if he did not stop by his house anymore nor give him any literature. The JW asked, "Why not?" and this started a long conversation. My congregant grabbed my arm midway through and asked us not to argue. I basically spent most of my time bearing witness to the deity of Christ and the need to repent and trust in Him for forgiveness of his sins and not depend upon logging door-to-door hours and handing out literature for salvation.
As a side note, I mentioned to the JW that Charles Taze Russell and Arius were false teachers. He told me he had never heard of Arius. I told him that I had gone to a JW website years ago where Arius was listed as one of the "great teachers." He said that was a real JW website and said those were "apostates." I am wondering if anyone more familiar with JWs knows about this and can shed more light on it.
The JW eventually became frustrated and disappointed and left. I spent a long time talking to my congregant after that. He isn't the most discerning fellow, but he knew the JWs were wrong. He also took the literature after I asked him not to (he said he would put it in the trash later), and even praised the JW (while he was there) that it was so nice they went door to door and invited people to go to church with them (that's how lonely he is). I kept telling him again and again they were teaching false doctrine (which he did not dispute), but I could not get him to see the great danger they pose in leading others astray.
Have any of the rest of you had anything like this happen to you in your churches? How have you combated JW and similar teachings in your area? I am thinking of hosting a teaching series on JW with an eye to witnessing to them when they come door to door. Any thoughts?
Speaking of "their translation"..
Have the JW's changed John 5:23 yet?
That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.