An Uneventful, Yet interesting Meeting With A Jehovah’s Witness Elder

Manu hits the game winner.

Today’s meeting with my Jehovah’s Witnesses elder buddy was different than anything we have had thus far. It began in the parking lot of the restaurant. I drove in a little ahead of time and noticed that he was already parked. He was sitting in his vehicle, checking email on his phone. He got out once he noticed me, pointed to my shirt and exclaimed, “We were there Monday night!”

I am a San Antonio Spurs fan and was wearing a black, gray and white tie-dyed, Manu Ginobili t-shirt. If you don’t keep up with NBA basketball, the Spurs made what is now being called the greatest playoff comeback in history. They were down by 16 points with roughly four minutes to play and came back and won the game in double overtime. Manu hit the game winning three-pointer with 1.2 seconds left.

The most surprising part about this is that my Witness buddy was at the game. The Watchtower does not encourage sports in any way so for a Witness elder to be interested in basketball enough to go to a playoff game is unexpected. This set the tone for the rest of our two hours together. We talked for nearly an hour about everything except the Bible. I sensed that he was not looking forward to getting into the “Teach” book with me because of how our conversations have been when we were talking about the Trinity. I took that as an opportunity to connect with him on an individual level. He volunteered a great deal about his personal life, and even showed me pictures on his phone, so I felt comfortable asking all kinds of questions. I am getting to know him fairly well.

When we finally started our religious discussion, I wanted to make sure that he was still comfortable. If you remember our discussion from last week, he tried to discontinue our conversations. I didn’t want to challenge him on anything of substance today, but I did want him to know that I had already read the first chapter of the book we are studying through and that I have put some thought into my preparation.

If you have ever studied through a book with a Jehovah’s Witness, you know how remedial it can be. Each paragraph is numbered and there are corresponding questions at the bottom of the page. The questions are designed to get the reader to answer from information found in the paragraph. If you know anything about me personally, you know that I love to ask questions so I find it a bit humorous that the Watchtower has volunteered to provide questions for me. I am not exactly a conformist so the way I answer questions is not how most people answer them.

For example, a portion of paragraph three of the book states, “…many people have given up trying to find the answers. Why? Does the Bible have the answers? Some feel that its answers are too hard to understand. Others worry that asking questions could lead to shame or embarrassment. And some decide that such questions are best left to religious leaders and teachers. What about you?” The question for paragraph three at the bottom of the page asks, “Why do many stop trying to find answers to the questions that matter most?”

When JW asked me that question, I didn’t answer it. I answered the question from the paragraph itself, “What about you?”  In other words, why do I think it is important to continue asking questions and not leave the answers to religious leaders and teachers?

I answered. “I’m not a sheeple.”

JW: A what?

KW: A sheeple.

JW: What’s a sheeple?

KW: Part sheep, part people.

(My JW buddy laughed at that and gave me a big smile.)

KW: Have you ever seen Men in Black?

(He had a sheepish grin as he admitted that he had seen the movie.)

KW: There is this one scene where Tommy Lee Jones’ character is talking to Will Smith’s character and he is explaining what it is like to be a MiB and have to keep secrets. Smith’s character asks why they don’t just tell the public about the presence of aliens on Earth because people are smart. Jones says, “A person is smart, but people are dumb.”

(I went on to explain how most people are followers and blindly accept what is given to them, especially if they are in a group. I questions things, even if no one else does.)

Obviously the irony here is that all of the study publications of the Watchtower are designed to get a person to rely on the information provided by them instead of teaching people how to think for themselves. They don’t even want you to ask your own questions! We talked a great deal about why it is important that we make up our own minds and not follow the crowd simply because someone says they are an authority on something. I kept answering questions in this manner and we had some good discussion because of it. Even though we only covered five paragraphs, I think that we laid some important groundwork. There is enough information in these paragraphs to establish the need to ask questions and keep on asking questions.

A lot of what I do when meeting with a Witness or Mormon is prepare for future meetings. Paragraph four on page nine states, “It is good to ask such questions, and it is important that you do not give up until you find satisfying, reliable answers. The famous teacher Jesus Christ said: ‘Keep on asking, and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you.’—Matthew 7:7.” The fact that my JW buddy and I agree on the importance of asking questions is only going to frustrate him down the road. Only time will tell how much he actually agrees with that last quote.

Our meeting ended on a good note and he even said, ‘I really enjoyed our discussion today.” He had a big smile on his face too.

Editorial note: Since I anticipate that our meetings will continue for quite some time, I will create a new tag titled, “A Conversation With A Jehovah’s Witness Elder.” This way it will be easier for those who come upon these posts later on to follow the chronology of our conversations. Tags are found at the bottom of the posts.




43 thoughts on “An Uneventful, Yet interesting Meeting With A Jehovah’s Witness Elder”

  1. Keith, it’s always better if we can become friends with a Jw (or Mormon ) , they need
    to know we truly care about them as people . God will use what you share with this
    man to minister to him . Keep up the great job !

  2. God bless your efforts, Keith. I’m quite sure this JW elder has never been challenged as you are challenging him, and I don’t believe he’ll ever forget many of the things that you are sharing with him. You are doing well. Others (such as JP) would have had the “door” to further discussion closed long ago. I hope many others will learn from your patient, personal, yet confident approach.

    1. Thanks Kevin. I appreciate your compliments. The cool thing about all of this is that out of the three adjectives you use to describe my approach, the only one that comes naturally to me is confidence. Those who know me well know that if I am displaying patience and personal interest in someone, it has to be of God! 😉

  3. You know you said we don’t encourage sports in any way. That’s pretty far afield as your encounter proved.

  4. Thanks, but the Jehovah’s Witnesses are not a “cult-like” group. It IS a cult. Full-blown cult. I’ve been in this type of ministry for more than 20 years so I am very aware of the control the Watchtower has over its members.

  5. I love my Elder! ^-^ I’m afraid you are wasting your time trying to compromise his faith or change him. He’s Brainwashed beyond comprehension!!. So am I. XD
    The way i look at it is, who are you brainwashed by? God or Satan? I call this Bifurcation of the situation. either it’s this way or that way. Can you call yourself a true Christian? i answer this with a solid “Yes”. Do i “believe” that i have the Truth?,notice i said believe which means to think your own thoughts about what is true and what is not. I said the Truth because,what is truth the opposite of a lie. what covers up the true,a lie, of course. By facts, i know my religion is the only true religion that tells the truth,hence it’s called the Truth. or else I’d go else where. Funny i compared The JWs Elders or JWs in general to be likened to the movie Men in Black. Do you know why? Because You know how J (will Smith said to K(Tommy lee jones) : “I’ll see you,but you won’t see me”. Well Jesus was the son of God. And he had 11 followers? right. Small amount,yes? 1.2 billion Catholics? Ha!.
    When he showed the Truth to people, Gave a crystal clear indications that he was infact able to rule over man kind with his peace, what he was,even HIS OWN FOLLOWERS QUESTIONED HIM!!. Even people that can accept the truth,can’t accept the truth! HAHA! Likewise Jesus’ True followers today are not seen, you do not see what I see,as Jesus was ignored we are ignored. Only those with honest hearts to know God, The “Deserving Ones”.He gives his insight and accurate knowledge. The Truth does not win a popularity contest. That’s for sure. 7Million followers of Jehovah God versus 1.2 Billion of false religion. Again can you call yourself a True Christian? I’m making an assumption that you believe in the Trinity. Did you know it has pre Christian existence? Be careful that you are not touching the unclean thing.

  6. We Deserve Nothing from God. The very fact that he let’s us live is loving.
    What i mean by “Deserving Ones”,Those are the ones that are susceptible to hearing the Truth. It says it in the Bible.
    The ones that are pure and humble themselves before God. Realize they are wrong at some point so they adjust their attitudes and views accordingly. That ties in with my point. Of course you will not ask why the Trinity would be Satans Propaganda because you are afraid of the Truth. You are afraid to be wrong. And your house of cards belief system would come crashing. That is going to make it very difficult to have a heart to know God and rip the lie off of the truth. That’s why Satan and his subtle propaganda is so powerful. You are constantly being taught by him,everyone! being trained. But you must resist him and only see and learn from Gods propaganda. you know the Devils tricks,so avoid. And install Gods word,ingrain it in to your hearts and deep on your mind,therefore this is a good brainwashing,a mind cleanse of you will.

  7. Those That have the right heart to know God and WANT to KNOW The Truth deserve to be taught the Truth,yes deserve.

    1. Then how do you explain Romans 3:10-18?

      NONE righteous.
      NONE who seek God.
      NONE do good.
      Not even ONE.

      How can you say people have a right heart if they have turned aside and are USELESS? In light of this passage, how does anyone “deserve” to know the truth? I also find it a bit ironic that you are proudly declaring your humility.

  8. Britt, you’re not on here by accident . The Lord Jesus has something for you to know
    while you’re here . I pray that you’ll take what Keith will share with you and ponder it .
    Thanks for stopping by .

    1. You want me leave? Well, I hope you can wake up from spiritual sleep. I will pray for
      you as well. He hasn’t shared anything with me but one sentence answers. I on the other hand, I confirmed what i shared with scriptures.

      1. No one said anything about you leaving. He is just thanking you for commenting. My “one sentence answers” are for clarification. I want to make sure I am understanding you correctly before I respond to what you are saying.

  9. Im Sorry if i offended you in anyway. i come on very strong and tend to be very tactless.
    Im very passionate, and if you call somebodies religion a cult expect a reaction. Im Not being disrespectful or arrogant. Just very truthful and to strong.
    Here are the scriptures that confirm my sayings of Deserving Ones…
    Everyone I’m sure knows this is Matthew 10:11-13.
    This is Where Jesus sent out the twelve disciples to go preach the
    the kingdom message. Jesus is saying if there is someone deserving of
    hearing the Truth. If they will listen, in other words susceptible to hearing the truth.
    Then Go in and preach,but if they are not deserving leave them.

    New World Translation
    11 Into whatever city or village YOU enter, search out who in it is deserving, and stay there until YOU leave.+ 12 When YOU are entering into the house, greet the household; 13 and if the house is deserving, let the peace YOU wish it come upon it;+ but if it is not deserving, let the peace from YOU return upon YOU. 

    New International Version
    11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave
    12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.

    King James Version
    “Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is “WORTHY”” (which means deserving).and stay there till you go out. 12 And when you go into a household, greet it. 13 If the household is WORTHY, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not WORTHY, let your peace return to you.

    1. Britt,
      You have misunderstood what it means to be “worthy.” If you look at the context, the disciples were not to take very many provisions for themselves (verses 9-10). To enter a village and inquire about a worthy person meant to find someone who is hospitable. If the hospitable person would support the disciples, then they were considered “worthy.”

      Think about it, if they go to a village which had never heard the gospel, who would the disciples ask about worthy people? On what basis would the person, who is unfamiliar with the message, be able to declare who is worthy? It doesn’t make sense.

      The Watchtower has taken this passage to mean that you go door to door and preach to “worthy people.” If we are all unworthy, as Romans three makes clear, then it would be impossible to be deserving of undeserved kindness.

  10. Or i should say Answering a question with a question. That’s in avoidance to what i’m
    saying in my opinion.

  11. Ok Good now you understand why i say deserving ones. Well if we were totally useless and our heart is turn aside. Then why is it that God makes it possible for us to attain repentance? Jesus died for that very purpose. Because we Do Sin and we are unrighteous,never can we earn or live up to Gods righteous stantards, But we are given the chance by means of the ransom. and we might very well acquire Everlasting life.It’s a race you must endure to the end then you might cross that finish line and God might give you that everlasting reward.

  12. Britt, like Keith mentioned , I was’nt asking you to leave . I don’t really want to disrupt
    your dialogue with Keith so I’ll just share with you my what’s on my heart . You said :
    ” By facts I know my religion is the only true religion that tells the truth….” Now I
    realize that your leadership claims to be the ruling Body of your religion which functions
    as God’s prophet, His sole mouthpiece/channel that He uses to reveal His spiritual
    truths to mankind . But given Jesus’ warning about false prophets , I simply can’t just
    take your word for it that your prophet is the sole trustworthy channel God uses to reveal
    a correct understanding of the scriptures . Nothing personal . I’m sure you’re a great guy.
    Again thanks for listening .

  13. Oh well, i’ll just repost it:
    Ok Good now you understand why i say deserving ones. Well if we were totally useless and our heart is turn aside. Then why is it that God makes it possible for us to attain repentance? Jesus died for that very purpose. Because we Do Sin and we are unrighteous,never can we earn or live up to Gods righteous stantards, But we are given the chance and we might very well acquire Everlasting life.

  14. It seemed like an implication.You sound like and Ex JW,I’d rather not Talk to you. Obviously i am not a guy. I know the A Name calling tactics. I’m very sure you know im a girl. I will not waste my time with rudeness and personal attacks.

    1. Britt, I have caught my error in re-reading my comment to you I’m sorry for the
      typo .I am in no way attempting to call you names or resort to personal attacks .
      With that said , I don’t understand your refusal to talk to ex-members , if you have
      the truth there should be no such reluctance . I know of some ex-members who
      live no less a moral lifestyle and have a love and kindness towards all people . They
      simply put the Watchtower prophet to the test and discovered that it could’nt be
      relied on to provide consistently accurate guidance on what is spiritual truth , and
      what the scriptures taught . I myself simply followed that counsel —- 1 Jn. 4:1

  15. Oh you must be meeting all the nice Apostates. you know why the Apostates are nice you and are not hateful towards you? Because you agree with them. And that’s no good in my Book. Do you call this nice. Tell me if this is hateful or nice?:
    I can show you the original comment.An Ex JW Apostate said this to Me” I’m sure that every day of your life is pretty bad and depressing, little wonder you’re so angry. Now why don’t you do us all a favor and channel that anger by killing yourself. I’d like to ask that you do it slowly but that would be just plain mean. Take a gun. Put a bullet in the chamber. Press the slide against your temple. And pull the trigger.” Oh the Christianly Love Brother. Am I right. Never have I ever said this to an apostate or ever even felt this for one. THEY ARE HATEFUL AND SICK.

    1. Britt,
      I am sorry that someone wrote this comment to you. It was uncalled for. Also, I am going to ask you to refrain from labeling people as “apostates.” You may refer to them as former witnesses, but to call them apostates is a personal attack that is not allowed here. I know you feel they are apostates, but that kind of language is not helpful in civil discussion.

  16. It’s not a personal attack Keith,it’s true. Someone? An apostate no one else has talk to me like that.They all attack me when I start telling the truth. They hate me for it. It angers the demons. I know they are the One True Apostates. Keith is that really all you have to say to my comment? Is belittle my knowledge of these people,I simply Cannot be right!. I know because i’m a WT follower. I make absolutely no sense babbling about non sense?Right?.they are,what they are. I am by no means being ugly or rude,but truthful. But of course you have to get me on something or attack my character. Not really wanting to hear the truth.There is way more you do not see. Fine I’ll take my leave and start writing my own Blog when I have the chance.
    Bye Keith Tell the Elder buddy I said Hello and to keep up the good work. Those Elders truly are the hardest working men I have ever seen. I appreciate them very much.
    Soft spot for them if you will.

    1. Really? If I don’t let you attack people as “apostates,” then you are going to stop posting? You have a lot to learn about having civil dialogue.

      Let me try to get you to understand this from my perspective. Can I comment on your blog and call Jehovah’s Witnesses “brain-washed cultist?” How do you think other Jehovah’s Witnesses will respond to that?

  17. It’s not about that at All now you are putting words in my mouth,wow Keith wow. I’m taking my leave because you do not talk to me. So really what is the point in staying when there is no dialogue?
    Call us whatever you like. I’m not really worried about it. The other JWs im sure wouldn’t care either. I told you I am brainwashed by God to the point where I’m willing to die for him. I know where my allegiance lies . Shows how much you have listened or read my posts.

  18. Britt, you seem to castigate all ex-Jw;s as being terrible people . At least that is what I
    feel you saying . I merely was trying to point out that this is far from the truth . I have to
    remind you that I know some people who as faithful Jw’s took the time to follow the
    scriptural counsel found at 1 Jn 4;1 and tested the Watchtower . This is only reasonable
    to do given Jesus’ warning to beware prophets .What they discovered was eye opening .
    They also came to realize that to leave the Watchtower organization was not the same
    as leaving Jehovah . If you choose not to talk with ex members that is one thing , but
    please don’t refuse to test the Watchtower to see if it truly is a modern day Jeremiah
    as it claims to be . There’s to much at stake .
    Take care.

  19. Britt,
    No, I don’t think I am putting words in your mouth. You continue to call people names and once I asked you to stop, you decided to leave. I’d love to have a civil conversation with you, but I’m not convinced that you can do that. I told you that I was taking care of my wife all last week after her surgery. I mentioned that I didn’t have time to even moderate the comments much less hold a conversation with anyone. Your supposed reason for no longer commenting here is unreasonable, but since you continue to call people names, you are no longer welcome to post here anyway. I asked you numerous times to stop, but you continue your abuse.

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