A Response to John Piper’s “When Jehovah’s Witnesses Knock at Your Door.”

On April 26th, John Piper posted a short, five minute podcast on his web site about how to respond to Jehovah’s Witnesses when they come knocking on your door. It has been brought to my attention three times now by three different people. You can listen to it here.

Before I begin, I want people to understand that this is not a criticism of John Piper. He is a very respected Christian preacher, author, former Bible College professor and pastor. I have benefitted from his ministry. This is a criticism of the method of witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses he advocates in his podcast. Nothing more. Remember, method, not the man. I will be explaining our points of agreement, disagreement and suggestions for alternate ideas by quoting Piper and then responding with my thoughts. I encourage you to take the few short minutes that it takes to listen to the podcast before you read any further.

The podcast begins with Piper stating, “Well, I’ve developed an approach that might not be for everybody and it depends on whether you have time to talk deeply and extensively. If you feel like this is not the time to get into an argument here’s what I’ve done…”

I agree with Piper that we should have different techniques for different scenarios and even different kinds of people. I use different approaches dependent upon whether I believe I have a one-time opportunity with a Jehovah’s Witness, if they are at my door, or if I believe I can have an extended discussion at another time, which is what I prefer.

When Jehovah’s Witnesses have come by our home, I politely listen to their brief opening statements and ask a question or two about what they have said. I tell them that I am interested in hearing more and then offer to exchange phone numbers. If they come by at an inopportune time, skip the questions, explain your situation and then exchange phone numbers. This way, you know you can get them to come back at a time convenient for both of you.

What I would caution against is the attitude of “getting into an argument.” I realize that the word “argument” can be used in the sense of “logical progression of thought,” but the context of the rest of this podcast suggests something a little more adversarial. If you view your opportunity as an “argument” in the negative sense of the word, then you have already lost.

Nearly 20 years ago, I had a Christian lady explain to me that every time she had a Jehovah’s Witness come to her door, she viewed it as God telling her that He counted her worthy to reach out to this particular person. She believed that God would not allow the opportunity unless He was already involved. She took comfort in that thought.

Piper’s next statement is an interesting admission. “…we used to get a lot more at our front door here in this neighborhood then we have recently, maybe they put me on a blacklist or something…”

If you have been put on a black list, and Jehovah’s Witnesses do mark homes that are not to be visited, then perhaps you need to use a different approach. If you know anything about Jehovah’s Witnesses and have listened to the whole podcast, then you have a good idea as to why Piper has been put on the black list.

Piper continues.

“I would say as gently and graciously as I could, ‘you know, I know Jehovah’s Witness theology enough to know that we have deep differences. I know that you believe Jesus is the highest created being, a created angel, Michael, and you do not believe that He is God that He is of one essence with Jehovah.

You think He’s an angel. I believe He is co-eternal, with Jehovah God and therefore I think your religion is a serious dishonoring of the Lord Jesus  and leads people astray from a true relationship with God and so what I’d like to do with you right now,’ (I’m saying this right here on the porch), ‘is pray and I’m willing  to let you pray and I’ll pray and we’ll both ask  that God would show us what’s true in His word, the true way to understand the Bible, the true way to honor Jesus. Would you want to pray with me?’

They have never agreed to pray with me. They have just left at that point so I’m not sure what’s behind that, but that’s my approach is to set up the disagreement, explain it clearly, offer to pray and they’ve never accepted. I’d say one other thing. That doesn’t enter you into a dialog very well…”

There is a lot to discuss here. I appreciate that Piper is gentle and gracious when he says these things, but there is a reason why Jehovah’s Witnesses have never agreed to pray with him, immediately leave after hearing this and never come back. The first reason is that Jehovah’s Witnesses are instructed to never pray with someone who is not a Jehovah’s Witness. They may bow their head out of respect, but if you insist on praying with them and that they pray with you, this will make them uncomfortable and they will leave. Since they recognize that we believe in different Gods, this just isn’t an option for them.

Another reason is because Witnesses are taught that they alone have the truth. Since this is true in their minds, they are taught not to listen to anyone who attempts to teach them doctrine which is contrary to what the Watchtower teaches. Since Christians are believed to be ignorant of what the Bible really teaches and possibly even demon possessed, some Jehovah’s Witnesses will take this as an insult. They may reason, “Who in the world do you think you are that you can tell me what the Bible teaches?” If the Christian attempts to take the role of the teacher, the Witnesses will excuse themselves from the conversation. They are to be the teachers and you are supposed to be the student.

This mentality can be used to your advantage. Instead of trying to teach them directly, remain in the student role and ask questions. We wrote an article which is on our web site that explains this method which we call, “Student-Role teaching.” The basic gist of it is that whoever is asking the questions is controlling the conversation. If you remain in the role of the student and ask questions in such a way as to get them to think, you will make much more headway with them than if you just attempted to teach them directly. You can read the article here.

Another problem with this advice is that you should never tell people what they believe. You can tell them what the Watchtower teaches, what Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught, or even what you think they should believe, but to tell a person what they believe is rude. In the scenario Piper describes, he suggests that we tell the Witness that we know they believe that Jesus is Michael the archangel. This is not a good assumption to make for two reasons. 1) The Witness may not know the doctrine or 2) they may not believe it. I have talked with many new Witnesses who were unfamiliar with this particular Watchtower teaching. I have also talked with an elder who did not believe that Jesus was Michael the archangel. He wasn’t opposed to the doctrine, but did not completely buy it either. While it is rare that a Witness may not know the actual Watchtower teaching, and even rarer that they don’t believe, it still happens. It is best not to appear presumptuous in the eyes of the Jehovah’s Witness and just have them tell you what they believe instead. Doing otherwise could be setting yourself up for embarrassment and the need to make an apology.

It is also best that we don’t unnecessarily offend the person at our door. While telling them that their, “religion is a serious dishonoring of the Lord Jesus” is true, it is not the best way to engage someone in a dialogue at your doorstep, especially if you have never met this person before. Imagine if the Jehovah’s Witness came to our door and stated that our religion is a serious dishonoring of the one True God, Jehovah and that they are not so stupid as to believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. I actually had something similar to this happen less than two weeks ago in a conversation with a Jehovah’s Witness. The discussion did not go well after that. (You can read more about that conversation here.)

This type of dialogue is completely inappropriate for this type of setting. While I have said some things to Witnesses which was hard for them to hear, I do not say those types of things until I have met with them a number of times and they know where I am coming from. It is important that they understand my heart and my concern for them. The best way I know of to do that is to meet with them on a consistent basis and attempt to begin a genuine friendship during our religious discussions. Starting off the discussion by, as Piper puts it, “setting up a disagreement,” isn’t going to go very far for very long.

In the past, my wife and I have met the same set of Mormon missionaries for nine months straight using the student role approach. My wife and a friend of ours are currently meeting with the same two Jehovah’s Witness ladies for two years now. In both scenarios, the goal is to remain in the student role and control the conversation by asking questions that our cultist friends are not prepared to answer. I keep reminding the Witness elder with whom I am currently meeting that we cannot agree or even disagree with each other unless we first understand each other. By following this strategy, we have moved our conversation from trying to prove each other wrong, to understanding what the other person is saying. That is where real communication takes place. I am confident that God can illuminate His Word in the minds of the unbelieving. Once a Jehovah’s Witness understands what the Bible really says, it is God’s responsibility to convict that person of their sin. My job is to communicate as effectively as I can and I can’t do that if I set up unnecessary barriers. There is one more thing I want to address about this section, but I will save it for last.

Piper then moves to another scenario. He suggests for a longer, more in-depth discussion with Jehovah’s Witnesses that Christians talk about the deity of Christ and the Trinity. He suggests John 1:1-3, 20:28 and Colossians 1:19, 2:9. While this may appear to be sound advice, it can actually be the worst thing an average Christian can do. There are two reasons for this.  First, most Christians do not have a good enough grasp of the doctrine of the Trinity to be able explain it, let alone defend it. They don’t even have a firm grasp on the deity of Christ. While some Christians may be able to quote John 1:1, they would have no idea how to handle any objection that a Jehovah’s Witness will bring up. The reason I say that a Jehovah’s Witness will bring up objections is because they are taught to. This gets into our second reason why following Piper’s advice may not be beneficial.

Jehovah’s Witnesses have a weekly meeting called the “Theocratic Ministry School.” This is a class which is designed to teach Witnesses how to share their faith. Participants are given mock scenarios and will role play with each other on different topics on stage in front of the congregation. Their role play is then immediately graded by an elder who verbally gives them pointers on how to improve their presentation. Every Jehovah’s Witness is encouraged to attend this school at some point. The two topics which the Watchtower loves to attack more than any other doctrines are, you guessed it, the Trinity and the deity of Christ. For the average Jehovah’s Witness, they are more capable of discussing these doctrines more than any other doctrine.

This leads to a seriously flawed strategy. Why should we encourage Christians to use the doctrine they understand the least to witness to a group of people who know how to defend themselves against that very doctrine more-so than any other doctrine? Obviously, I believe that the answers which Jehovah’s Witnesses give in favor of their position are flawed, but the average Christians simply does not have the experience to deal with someone who has been trained to counter the verses Christians will bring up. Unless a Christian knows what they are doing, I advise that they address these doctrines later. If, however a Christian decides to talk with Jehovah’s Witnesses about the deity of Christ and the Trinity, then the verses Piper suggests are good verses, particularly John 1:3 and John 20:28.

Lastly, the one thing that concerns me the most about the advice Piper gives is that he seems confused about why a Jehovah’s Witness has never taken him up on his invitation to pray and yet encourages his audience to follow an example that has never worked for him. If a Witness always leaves after the prayer invitation, why continue to use this “method?” He plainly stated, “That doesn’t enter you into a dialog very well.” If that is the case, and I believe him, then again, why would he teach Christians to follow his example and end up chasing off a potential opportunity with a Jehovah’s Witness? While he does admit that his approach is not for everybody, unfortunately I would include most Jehovah’s Witnesses in that category.

Again, I respect John Piper as a Bible teacher and appreciate his ministry, but when it comes to witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses, I believe the method he spelled out in his recent podcast is fundamentally flawed.

A note to the reader: This blog post was submitted to a number of respected apologetics ministries for review of tone and content before it was published. I was advised to contact John Piper’s ministry as a courtesy to inform them that I would be critiquing Piper’s method of Witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses. I did so and talked to someone in the office who promised to forward this critique to the appropriate person. In this day and age, it isn’t wise to address old news, but I did give John Piper’s ministry one week to review my post and respond if they chose to do so. They have declined. We respect their ministry and pray that God continues to use John Piper and his staff for the glory of God.

A note to commenters: I need some help from former and current Jehovah’s Witnesses. I’d like to ask you to imagine yourself going door to door when you come across someone who uses the method proposed by John Piper. I would like for you to tell me what you would think, say and do if you found yourself in the scenario he describes. I am not interested if you think Piper’s doctrinal points are correct or not. I am only interested in what you think of his method. If you do so, please identify yourself as a former or current Witness and if you are now a Christian, atheist or some other form of spirituality. Just please keep your comments clean. Thank you.


63 thoughts on “A Response to John Piper’s “When Jehovah’s Witnesses Knock at Your Door.””

  1. I definitely agree with this statement made by Brother Piper, and it is a common one that EV’s make, “…but to tell a person what they believe is rude.” Ev’s tell members of the Church (an others) that they believe in “a false Jesus, false Prophets”, that our religion is a “fairy tale” and that the “Book of Mormon” is fiction”. ♥

  2. Wow, Keith, I am impressed. Very well thought out and very nice of you to give the Pipe a heads up. I will be looking into that “Student-role Teaching” post very soon. I like that. Again, very well put together. God bless, brother. See you in June.

    1. Thank you, Sarah. I wanted to make sure that I was not overly critical. I respect John Piper. I just disagree with him on his method.

  3. I really like Piper, but it’s not clear that he’s taken the time to talk to apologists who work extensively with JWs. I think an important point to emphasize was that Piper’s approach was not wrong or sinful, but that it was probably not appropriately contextual. For instance, no one would fault a missionary for telling a villager ‘Christ came to save you from death and give you eternal life.’ But if the worldview of that community dictated that life was evil and death was the final escape from the bondage of life, we’d recognize that the missionary’s approach was woefully inadequate. It would be wiser to take an approach which addressed the underlying misconceptions and assumptions of the worldview before an attempt was made to communicate the gospel.

    In the same way, beginning with a defense of the Trinity when the average JW thinks that the Watchtower is God’s organization on earth, believes that all translations but the NWT are corrupt, and has never learned how to do anything but proof-text, is not a wise approach. I’ve found that JWs will gladly meet for several weeks if they see that you are willing to listen to them and are asking questions. This gives you the opportunity to not only introduce the gospel and explain it thoroughly, but gives you credibility as someone who genuinely loves them and loves God. In a five-minute encounter, which is all that you will have if they sense you are an ‘enemy’, it is unlikely that you will have that opportunity.

  4. Wow! Claims to know Jehovah’s Witness ideology but he’s so far off base! Let me give you the JW spin on this, I am an ex-JW, btw. ” Jesus is the highest created being, a created angel, Michael, and you do not believe that He is God that He is of one essence with Jehovah.” Jesus IS the first creation that Jehovah made. “Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” ” (Mark 1:10 & 11 NIV). Jehovah’s Witnesses view Jesus as the Son of God. His argument about not being able to pray with the Witnesses, if he KNEW the ideology of the JW organization, he would KNOW that they FORBID praying with a non-believer. His statement of dishonoring Jesus? WOW! Has he never heard of the JW’s Memorial Service held every year at the time of Christendom’s Easter? Or the Jewish Passover? “Do this in remembrance of me.” They don’t dishonor Jesus, they don’t WORSHIP Jesus as Christendom does, but they definitely obey Jesus’ commands, I think sometimes a little better than most Christians out there (no offense). This guy is a joke. He needs to sit down and really talk to the JWs and see where they really stand and not some assumed propaganda. I might not be a JW anymore and I might disagree with their teachings, but I’ll be d***ed if I’m gonna let someone talk non-truths about the faith my family is in.

    1. Amanda,
      Thanks for your comment. A few points of clarification. The Watchtower does teach that Jesus is Michael the archangel. They also claim to teach that Jesus is the Son of God, but in a completely different way than Christians view Him so technically, John Piper is correct in describing Jesus as “the highest created being.” Perhaps he wasn’t as thorough as you would have preferred, but he is correct.

      I agree with you about attempting to pray with a Jehovah’s Witness. This is part of my reason for writing this critique. I don’t understand why Piper continues to try something that has never worked for him and why he doesn’t try to find out why it doesn’t work. That just doesn’t make sense to me.

      As for dishonoring Jesus, I know it is hard to hear, but from the Christian perspective, thinking of Jesus as a created being is dishonoring Him. Think of it this way. If someone told you that Jehovah was a created being, would not that be a dishonor to Him? This is how Christians view it.

      I agree that Piper needs to find out more about how to witness to Witnesses, but that doesn’t mean he is a joke. He is a very respected Bible teacher, he just doesn’t have experience to understand the problems in what he is suggesting.

      Thanks again for your comment.

      1. I am a current member of Jehovah’s Witnesses and have been so since leaving the Catholic Church 40 years ago. My brother is a Baptist and highly regards John Piper’s theology. He asks those questions that puts him in the student’s seat. I have confidence enough to be able to scripturely answer those questions having a worldwide unified organization behind me when it comes to accomplishing the preaching and teaching work prophesied for the time of the end. I take delight in obedience to that which was commanded by my lord and savior, Jesus Christ. (Matt. 24:14;Matt 28:19, 20) Over the years I have had 1 Baptist Pastor stop at my door to invite me to attend a newly organized church in my neighbohood. I declined since I have my own religion and a very busy ministry but this did not end there, we had a very respectful conversation regarding the ‘neither adding nor taking away’ from God’s Word. I’ve had a handful of Mormons over the years, who have a ‘required’ public ministry of 2 years, so I guess I was just ‘lucky’ to be home at the time. Catholics have come to the door during ‘holy week’ and we found common ground on the topic of birth and resurrection of Jesus without which there would be no salvation..’amen come Lord Jesus Christ’. But where are all the other hundred and thousands of sects and divisions of Christendom’s adherents who claim to be followers of Christ? Granted the majority are rather ignorant of scripture making it hard to have Christian courage displayed by the apostles and others in the 1st Century. Being raised to be pew sitters’ as I once was could leave one inactive or frustrated depending on your level of appreciation for God giving us ‘His only-begotten Son’. However, I can’t fault these people, the fault lies with Christendom’s religions who are divided over every doctrine of faith. Their priests, preachers and pastors are too busy fighting with each other. Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t have a ‘corner on the market of truth’ we like to share all of God’s Words after all isn’t that one of the meanings of ‘prophesying’, to tell out God’s thoughts. Rather than dispensing false teachings of an apostate church, we make secure our teachings and when and if sciptures indicate we must change something, then we do so gratefully knowing God is working with us. Could the false teaching of ‘once saved always saved’ render them impotent when facing our inherent sinful nature thereby negating true repentence? Do pot lucks and church socials constitute ‘good works’ rendering them satisfied enough to ignore the greatest preaching campaign this side of Armageddon? Is it out of jealousy and envy the ‘bad news of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ rather than the ‘good news of God’s Kingdom’ is preached from the pulpits? Since it is God’s Kingdom by His Son, Christ Jesus that is the only solution to the things affecting ALL of us wouldn’t you think it time to ‘preach the word in favorable seasons’. When was God’s Kingdom government the subject preached in the pulpits or is it rather a favored political party that gets their votes? You would think that a ‘faith based belief such as ”all good people go to heaven’, as the scriptures say, any potential ‘priest and co-rulers in that heavenly Kingdom would want to know what Jehovah God and His Christ expects of you now? And why if you are to ‘judge the whole earth’ do you not care to spend an iota of time on a door step ‘explaining and proving by reference’ the scriptures supporting your beliefs? Or can it be, when we call by on a Saturday, that the majority of you prefer a garage sale rather than sharing the way to salvation?

        Respectfully submitted

        1. Angie,
          Thanks for your comment. You mentioned that Jesus is your Lord and Savior. Can you please explain to me what it is that Jesus has saved you from?

          1. Gladly!
            Jesus, carried my sin, tasting death for me. “When [Jesus] found himself in fashion as a man,” wrote Paul, “he humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on a torture stake.” (Phil. 2:8)
            He taught me obedience (Hebrews 5:8) “Although he was a Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.” Since disobedience is ‘sin’ it would follow obedience is salvation. Jesus left me a perfect model of what it takes to please his God and Father. You would declare the ‘bad news of Jehovah’s people while Jehovah’s Witnesses are busy declaring ‘the good news of God’s Kingdom by Christ Jesus Which message do you suppose will Jehovah and His Son’s approve of? The truth is JW’s are a ‘spirit directed organization guided by God’s active force, His holy spirit a congregation of brothers lead by His Son. Truly a worldwide faith based organization showing ‘love of our neighbors’ since it is a warning work “as in the days of Noah so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man”. 29 Jesus answered: “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah, 30 and you must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and with your whole strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”1John 4:10
            Would you answer me this? Are you a disfellowshipped person. If you know the scriptures then you know why I ask.

            1. Angie,
              I’ll get this out of the way first. I have never been a Jehovah’s Witness.

              Thanks for your comment, but I don’t see that you answered my question. You have told me that Jesus is your example, but that is different than a Savior. How is Jesus your Savior and from what did He save you?

  5. Neil,
    Agreed. I don’t think Piper is sinning with his method. It just doesn’t fit with what he is trying to accomplish at the door.

  6. Hi Mr walker. First and for most I want to say that I admire the love and concern you have for those lost in cultish false religions. As an ex-Jehovah’s and current Christian ( born again follower of Christ), I have had my share of experiences with door to door encounters from both sides of the equation. I don’t find a right and wrong way to witness the gospel as long as the truth is being preached, however attacking someone’s believes is going to raise a wall because they are being attacked personally. No trust is built. The soil has to e prepared a hole has to be dug in order to plant a seed. Throwing a seed o hard soil won’t help the seed grow. In my experience in talking to JWs preaching the gospel I open my door to them. Treat them like I would want to be treated. I let them talk then I ask questions. I ask a lot of “why” and I challenge them in a loving manner. I would allow them to pray if the let me pray. I don’t get offended if they don’t pray with me. But I know God listens to prayers and He will work in them. I remember being told in many occasions by my elders and JW friends and family that wanting to search outside the Jehovah’s witness organization, were thoughts as temptations from the devil. I wasn’t suppose to seek answers from non-JWs. What I believed was right and teachings from outside we’re erroneous and manipulated by men. I left JWs because the hypocrisy and superficiality of this ever changing organization. I was always approached by Christians and they never told me what I believed was wrong, they told me that the source of my teaching wad incorrect. When I looked at the JW organization from inside having being raised to be a devoted JW brother and having being told that higher education, stardom, service to my country, and success among many other things were all wrong it doesn’t take a genius to notice the fallacies of the “church” a word that is prohibited fro use by the organization. It takes a chance to look outside the walls and to encounter someone that is going to talk to you and challenge you to see the Bible for what it is and that Christianity is not a relationship between you and a board of elders who give you permission to have a relationship with God. It’s the opposite, the word of God allows one to have a personal intimate relationship with Jesus. So if you see a JW invite them in, love I them build trust be honest and get into discussions where the truth is preached clearly with out attacking them because they are just like us sinners who need to be fed the truth not to be told that they are wrong. They will realize that their believes are wrong and they will come to the truth as I did. I gave Christian friends a chance they didn’t belittle my believes, instead they opened my eyes to knowledge of the truth I never had and the truth speaks for itself it needs no convincing or attacking one’s character. I thank God for allowing me to be a JW because now I know what it means to be lost and even though now I realize I’m a imperfect sinner (something most JWs pridefully denied) I know that I can count on the redeeming blood of Christ and I know it’s not just about works and deeds and image of perfection. I have so much more I want to share but time won’t allow. I admire Piper’s tenacity and he means well but like we used to say in the Marines “good initiative bad judgment.” John Piper I know you are eager to preach the truth but that takes time and love and tenderness and remember that is not their believes that make them unworthy of the gospel. It’s the source of their teaching that is incorrect and incomplete. (If that makes any sense) Keith I hope this helps and if I went of topic, let me know and I’ll try to answer the question correctly. God bless.

    1. Thanks Christian,
      I added this next part to my blog after you have commented. Here is what I am looking for.

      “I’d like to ask you to imagine yourself going door to door when you come across someone who uses the method proposed by John Piper. I would like for you to tell me what you would think, say and do if you found yourself in the scenario he describes. I am not interested if you think Piper’s doctrinal points are correct or not. I am only interested in what you think of his method.”

      Thanks again!

  7. Keith;

    All I can say is that, had I been confronted with John Piper’s method when I was a JW, I would very likely have reacted as all the other JWs who have visited him have. If a person at the door asked me to pray with them, I would have declined, and I might even have been bold enough to tell them that we cannot pray together, since we believe in different gods (assuming they were Trinitarian). I also probably would not have stayed long to discuss the topics that Piper raises if he presented them in as confrontational way as he describes. If I did stay, the best that would have happened would have been an hour or two of biblical “ping pong” with both of us tossing our proof texts back and forth at each other.

    I know that some apologists have had success with presenting the deity of Christ to JWs. Personally, I don’t feel that is the best approach to start with, since the JW and the Christian have different sources of authority. How can we agree on any particular doctrine if we Christians accept the Bible itself as final authority, while the JW accepts the Watchtower’s interpretation of the Bible as final authority? JWs are taught that they cannot understand the Bible without the explanations that are offered by the Governing Body through the publications. Therefore, you can toss Scriptures at them all day, and they will simply refer back to the publications of the Watchtower to find out what those texts “really” mean.

    So the first issue that needs to be resolved is that of authority. Somehow, we need to get them to question the authority of the organization. As long as they believe that the organization speaks for God, we will make no progress, because they will simply accept the Watchtower’s explanations of every text and every topic.

    Now, that’s not an easy thing to do. Witnesses are taught to regard the organization as their “mother,” and we all know how sensitive people are to their mother being attacked or insulted. So the confrontational approach is not likely to work. As you have suggested, I think the best method is to play the student and ask leading questions that will cause them to raise doubts in their own mind. Of course, that requires that the apologist have his ducks in a row – you won’t get anywhere asking questions unless you know the answers before you ask. One who wants to evangelize JWs will need to be well versed in their history and doctrine, and I realize that not every Christian is in a position to do that.

    But there is one thing I recommend with JWs that every Christian can and should do – tell them what Jesus has done in your life. That may be the most important thing you can say to them. They want what you have – but they can never be sure that they have “done enough” to merit God’s favor. They need to know about God’s grace, about forgiveness of sins. They need to know that they can have eternal life as a present possession – free, not later, if they “do enough”. They need to know about the unconditional love of God – to know that God doesn’t care how many magazines they place, how many books they offer, how many meetings they attend, how many studies they conduct, how many hours they spend knocking on doors. They need to know that what God cares about is what Jesus has done, on the Cross and in your life – and that you have accepted his free gift of salvation. They want what you have. — And they’ll never admit it. They’ll walk away, and you’ll think, “Boy, I didn’t get anywhere with that one!” But I promise you that they will lay awake at night, and the Holy Spirit will do His work. Someone else may water that seed – possibly someone you will never meet. But if the heart is right, God will make it grow.

  8. Keith, you’re right about there being several methods of witnessing to Jw’s ( and LDS) .
    I also see a difference between a dialogue on the doorstep with these people compared
    to a sit down conversation in your home etc . When I have only a brief encounter with a
    Jw , I ask them about Jesus , I never talk about the Trinity or anything else . I ask them
    about what Jesus means to them right now i.e. today . I ask them if they love Him, know
    Him . I then ask if He is their personal Mediator . 9 out of 10 say “yes” . I then ask them if they are of the annointed class ( the 144,000) , they say “no” , then I share a quote
    from the 4-1-1979 W.T. p. 31 where it declares that Jesus is only the Mediator for the
    annoited class . I ask them what that means to them to have no personal Mediator ?
    That’s about all I do . I tell them I will be praying that they take time to read the Bible
    for themselves and ponder what I have said about Jesus . Then I quietly shut the door .
    These are sincere decent people , they are no different than us. Jw’s are people who
    were looking for God and spiritual truth , but they were detoured by men who
    mimicked the true prophets of the Bible and thus embraced an imitation gospel with
    it’s false doctrine about Jesus/God etc. Our hearts have to go out to them .
    May we always open the door and share with them a nugget of truth that the Holy Spirit
    will use to woo them to a right relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ .
    It can only take a minute on the doorstep .

  9. Brother Keith its Gus Astacio and as always your spot on. Piper may know their doctrine but he clearly doesn’t know how a JW is trained to think. Effective questioning leads them in a conversation without them thinking they are being taught. As always local pastors tend to be a bit aloof at evangelistic encounters with the cults. Seminaries only recently started in classes and actual degrees in apologetics. Piper should take advantage of one of these classes so he can learn to be more effective. SES where Larry Blythe teaches has a masters in apologetics now. You bro have done a great job of not only learning the differences as Piper mentioned but approaches to each groups unique thinking patterns! Bravo bro!

      1. Sure I am. Third generation ex-Jehovah’s Witness. My grandfather was converted on the streets of brooklyn right near their bethel headquarters. A bethel worker threw his watchtower on his dice (my grandpa) while he was gambling on the sidewalk and the rest is history!

  10. Right on, Keith. Many years ago, while I was in the process of becoming a JW (I’m now a Bible-believing Christian; that’s another story), a young JW and I were going door-to-door together, and an elderly woman invited us in. She ushered us into her kitchen and called her husband into the kitchen, too. “John,” she said to him, “we need to pray for these boys.” She and her husband bowed their heads and began praying. Our response? We literally ran out the front door! In our minds, these people were calling their three-headed Babylonian demon down on us, and we weren’t about to stick around to see what would happen. Hopefully, Mr. Piper will continue to pursue a good understanding of the JW mindset, and will adjust his ministerial approach to JWs accordingly.

  11. I agree, my friend. It reminds me very much of a sit-down I had with an Asst. Pastor at a very large church regarding a presentation. When he asked about the approach to evangelism I was going to teach, I discussed two different approaches (based on a home visit versus a random encounter). He snickered and said, “Well, when a Jehovah’s Witness comes to MY door I tell them, ‘Look, if you don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God, then we’ve got nothing to talk about.'” Ignoring the fact that JW’s DO profess that Jesus is the Son of God (with a different definition of what that means), I asked, “Has that ever WORKED?”

    I think he realized what Piper had missed – it’s not about winning the argument – it’s about leading them to Christ. If you are doing something that is driving them away, then you are FAILING.

    Piper’s leap into the doctrine of the Trinity illustrates that he thinks evangelizing people in cults is like evangelizing your garden-variety non-believer. Without destroying the chains of bondage (the authority of the organization) the ears of those bondaged in the cult are deaf. The issue to the Witness is not what the Bible says about the identity of God, but rather what the WATCHTOWER says about what the Bible says about the identity of God.

    Piper is a fine Christian leader, just off base on this one.

    1. Scott,
      I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people tell me that they use a line similar to this. “If you don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God, then we’ve got nothing to talk about.”

      Are you kidding me? If they don’t believe Jesus is the Son of God, then wouldn’t you have MORE to talk about? Some people just don’t get it.

  12. Thanks for this post Keith, as much as I am a fan of Piper I totally agree with what you have said here and appreciate you writing this. Its a great example of loving disagreement as well.

    1. Bobby,
      Thanks! That is why I had other people look it over before I posted it. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t come across like I was releasing the Kraken.

  13. I am glad you made the comment about why the JW would not pray with Piper. I was disturbed by that much more than his telling them what they believe (which yes, is a problem also). Insisting that a JW pray with you is like telling a Mormon missionary that he can come in and talk only if he joins you with a cup of coffee.

  14. Tim,
    The praying part with the Witness isn’t the part that gets me. I don’t understand why he encourages people to use a method which he admits has never worked for him.

  15. I love Jon Piper, but I am in agreement with you on this. Yes I think asking thoughtful questions is a much better approach. As a former raised a JW I can tell you people who wanted to pray with or who pulled “born again” only gave us the chills. We couldn’t get away fast enough.

  16. Gracious response Keith. While listening to John Pipers explain his method and recommendations,flags kept going off in my mind as both a former Witness and now as a follower of Christ who loves to engage JW’s in conversation. I believe that his method and approach is a perfect play by play on how NOT to witness to a Witness as their are certain topics that a witness is going to dig in on and never be willing to budge on until you have spent the time building rapport and trust. If you are not planning on having them ever come back but want to explain to them the differences in your faith and take a defensive stance, his method would accomplish this. As you know, Walter Martin once said ” the average Jehovah’s Witness can make a “doctrinal pretzel” out of the average Christian in about 30 seconds. Sadly – at the end of the day, Pipers method may actually be best for the average Christian as he or she is going to get into deep waters pretty quickly since in most cases they haven’t spent the time or energy diligently studying the scriptures to show themselves approved as an unashamed worker who can handle the Word of truth.

  17. Keith,
    I am 43 yrs old, raised a JW, left about 5 yrs ago after having a head on collision with Jesus. I listened to the podcast, and with all due respect, I disagree with his approach. I agree with what John Piper said doctrinally. However his method leaves much to be desired. I started speaking in the door-to-door work when I was 9, and stopped at 38, so I have had much experience in that area. I would have walked away from Mr. Piper’s door. Most definitely would not have let him pray for me, I would have been there for him, not the other way around.
    The dishonoring Jesus comment would have done it for me, although I do agree that JWs do dishonor our Lord Jesus, that is the primary reason I left, however, all that comment would do is cause conflict and put up an immediate wall. The purpose is to reach their heart, not to prove them wrong and win an argument. Proving them wrong is easy. Mr. Piper would be marked as an opposer, which is why no one has been back.
    When a Christian and a JW cross paths, the Christian has no idea where that JW is on their journey. Are they already questioning their beliefs? Are they new? On the other hand, have they been studying preparing night and day to refute so-called false doctrines? That is why I think your approach is best. Go through a feeling out process, build rapport with them, and ask questions.
    There are different levels of indoctrination within this religion as well. Myself, I was hardcore. I believed everything they said, no questions asked. My wife, not so much. But I was the one who did all the research and left first, all because a doctor asked me a question I could not answer. It caused so much conflict with in me that I ended up questioning everything I had ever believed.

    1. Jim,
      There is no way we can let you get away with this. Thanks for your comments and praise God for your testimony, but you have GOT to tell us the rest of the story. What was the question the doctor asked you?

      1. Keith,
        Sorry. That would be important. Our daughter was born premature and needed blood. One of the doctors asked for an explanation of JWs view on blood. When I finished he asked me, “You don’t believe in breastfeeding then do you?” When I said “of course we do, why wouldn’t we”? He proceeded to tell me that Breast milk was loaded with white blood cells. I thought to myself if it was against God’s laws to receive a white blood cell transfusion, which JWs say is the same as eating white blood cells, why oh why would He put white blood cells in breast milk?

        1. Logically Breast Milk is NATURAL. Why would he put it in breast milk?
          Because it’s natural and healthy for the Baby. Loading Yourself with somebodies Possibly infected Blood. HIV,HEP C,ETC. is not Natural. It’s Unclean and satistically you are at higher risk. That’s why God tells you to abstain from blood,also it is sacred to him.

          1. Britt,
            The question was not if breast milk is natural, that goes without saying. I was not talking about it being healthy for the baby. I was not talking about HIV or Hepatitis or any other disease. Those are red herrings. The WBTS teaches it is wrong to sustain a life with the blood of another person. This is precisely what is being done in breast feeding. The mothers white blood cells are entering her baby to sustain the baby’s life. So the question is, would God violate His own law?

          2. Britt,
            I have another question for you. In Matthew chapter 12, Jesus is having a discussion with the Pharisees about whether God’s laws are more important than life itself. In verse 7 Jesus tells them “I want mercy not sacrifice.” When my wife and daughter needed blood to live, and I said no, was I showing them mercy or making a sacrifice of them?

          3. Melissa, She’s committing a Red herring. Nobodies talking about receiving organ transplants.

            Jim S, Firstly my logic is not flawed. i’m not using logical fallacies.
            The WT Nothing!, You know very well who tells you to “Abstain from Blood!”. Jehovah,yes God himself!. It’s Not like the Baby is taking a full Blown Blood transfusion through the Breast milk. You are faulty.
            Your question is not fair, It doesn’t

          4. It is apparent that God Himself attached a highly important moral principle to blood. The soul is said to be in the blood because blood is so intimately involved in the life processes: “For the soul of the flesh is in the blood, and I myself have put it upon the altar for you to make atonement for your souls, because it is the blood that makes atonement by the soul in it.” (Lev. 17:11)God said: “The soul of every sort of flesh is its blood.” (Lev. 17:14)God said: “Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.” (Gen. 9:4) RSV; MoffattGod is our Creator and Life-giver. Since He obviously regards life and blood as sacred, He commanded that we view it that way too. By pouring out all the blood that reasonably could be drained out, Noah and his descendants would manifest their regard for the fact that life was from and depended upon the Creator.Throughout human history, God consistently made it clear for humans to abstain from blood. God began with commanding Noah and his family to abstain from blood. (Gen. 9:4) He repeated this through the Mosaic law (Lev. 7:26,27; 17:10, 11, 13, 14) and He continued to remind us through the pages of the New Testament. (Acts 15:28, 29; Acts 15:19, 20) The divine prohibition against blood applies to Christians today. Also, a closer examination of the wording used at Acts 15:28, 29 shows how important it is for Christians to “abstain from blood”:”For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these ESSENTIALS [‘these necessary things’ – RSV]: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.” – Acts 15:28, 29 (NASB)The wording of the scriptures here does not indicate that this is a relatively unimportant commandment. It says it is “essential”.For more, see:God’s View of Blood http://godsviewofblood.blogspot.com/2010/05/blood-faqs.htmlRead more: Why is the misuse of blood so sacred to Jehovah God? Not my own answer.

  18. This is ont of the most educational blogs I’ve read so far. Brilliant. I 100% agree that John Piper has got this wrong. Even as I was reading his article, I could feel my head getting sore from all the face palms.

  19. Also you are using Appeal To Emotion. I’m sorry about your situation. But
    irrational thinking clouds logical thinking. Your faith in God was compromised by your situation. That’s why your faith wavered. And is no longer in God.

  20. Britt, you accuse others of twisting Scripture, but you are isolating Acts 15: 28, 29 from its context and using it to prove something that is not indicated by the context. Acts 15 is not a chapter about blood transfusions, but about legalism. Some Judaizers in the congregation were teaching that works (i.e., circumcision) were required for salvation. A church council was convened (not a governing body meeting) and determined that circumcision was not necessary. The conclusion of the council was that such rituals characteristic of the Jewish religion did not need to be applied to Gentiles who became Christians. In that context, it seems fair to conclude that the prohibitions listed in Acts 15:28, 29 are specifically related to practices associated with pagan rituals, such as temple prostitution, idolatry, ritual strangling of animals and consumption of the blood of sacrifices. And the prohibitions here are not general laws for all mankind, but are intended to prevent Jewish and Gentile believers of that time from being offended by practices that they were free to engage in, but that might have had significance that would offend the consciences of their brothers and sisters.

    We can especially understand this to be so in light of the many Scriptures that demonstrate that Christians are not bound by religious dietary restrictions:
    Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.'” Matt 15:10, 11
    One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Rom 14:2, 3

    Your interpretation of these verses actually makes the Bible contradict itself. If we understand the prohibitions of Acts 15:28, 29 to be universal for all Christians at all times and not merely restrictions of conscience being observed to avoid offense, then we have a contradiction between Acts 15:28, 29 and 1 Corinthians 8 with regard to foods sacrificed to idols. Paul makes it clear that idols have no existence and that sacrificing foods to them does not “taint” the foods in any way. Therefore, there is no sin in eating them. However, he recommends abstaining from such foods IF A BROTHER WILL BE OFFENDED by your eating – the offense would be a sin, not the eating. However, “things sacrificed to idols” is one of the prohibitions you consider to be “essential” in Acts 15. Who is right, Paul or Luke? If we understand the prohibitions of Acts 15 to be aimed at avoiding offense of our brothers rather than absolute prohibitions, then there is no conflict between the two.

    We must also ask of Acts 15:28, 29 why other obviously “essential” sins are not mentioned, such as murder, theft, covetousness, blasphemy, etc. After all, the verse does say, “For the holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding NO FURTHER BURDEN to you, except these necessary things,” does it not? If these are universal laws being expressed, then, to be consistent with the context, we must understand that there are the ONLY laws that God requires of us.

    Even if we were to understand Scripture to prohibit the eating of animal blood, it does not necessarily follow that such a prohibition would extend to the transfusion of human blood. Physicians will testify that transfusion is not equivalent to eating or to intravenous feeding, but is more closely akin to an organ transplant. The WTS uses the example of alcohol: ‘if the doctor told you to abstain from alcohol, would you inject it into your veins?’ But that example works primarily because alcohol is a drug rather than a food, and injecting it has the same effect as consuming it. If a doctor told you to abstain from milk, say, or orange juice, would injecting it into your veins have the same effect as eating it? Of course not – and the reason it wouldn’t is that injecting a food into your veins is not the same thing as eating it.

    To make matters worse, JWs are not even consistent about the medical use of blood. When the doctrine against blood transfusions was first introduced in 1945, every possible use of blood was prohibited. JWs were almost fanatical about it – they would check food products and even plant fertilizers and pet foods to be sure that they did not contain any substance that might somehow have been derived from any type of blood.

    However, over the years, the WTS has modified its position significantly, so that now, most fractions of blood have been approved for medical use. Only whole blood and its four major components, red cells, white cells, plasma and platelets are forbidden. All other fractions extracted from blood for medical purposes are a “matter of conscience” or a “personal decision” for JWs, which is a roundabout way of saying that they are permitted.

    Now, some fractions require large amounts of blood in order to extract a dosage. This means that JWs who accept these fractions are dipping deeply into the nation’s blood supply without giving anything back, since, of course, JWs do not donate blood.
    But the even bigger question in my mind, and in many people’s minds, is, where are the biblical texts that authorize making this distinction? All of the Bible texts that JWs use to support their position on blood refer simply to “blood.” There are no distinctions in the Bible, no discussion of fractions or of what happens if you break the blood down into smaller components. If “blood” is prohibited, where do the Watchtower leaders get the authority to say that certain parts of blood are OK? If they really believe their own teaching, then it seems to me that they are being highly presumptuous in overriding God’s Word to allow what he prohibits.

    There is a sense, however, in which blood is very important to JW’s – and, in fact to all of us. You see, every one of us is a sinner, and we all stand condemned before our holy God. The Bible says that “the wages of sin is death.” Our blood can be required of us by God because of our violation of His holy laws. That’s true of every JW out there, and it’s true of you and me. Because JW’s follow an organization, they do not have access to the blood that saves us, the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus came to earth and shed His holy blood so that we could be saved from the penalty for our sins. JW’s deny who Jesus is – they say He is a mere created being. By denying Him, they rely upon their own works to contribute to their salvation, and that is a hopeless cause. Nothing we do can get us “brownie points” with God – Jesus alone did everything we needed in order for us to be saved. Our part is simply faith and repentance, and even that is granted by God (Eph 2:8-10).

    On a different topic, with regard to your comment as to “what the apostates do,” I feel obligated to point out that your own organization was started by one who would be regarded, by today’s standards, as an apostate. Charles Taze Russell was a co-editor of an Adventist magazine who decided he was not in agreement with what was being published in the magazine. Rather than “wait on Jehovah” to correct matters, he broke away from the work he had been involved with and started his own competing magazine, “Zion’s Watch Tower,” and also organized his own group of Bible Students. Now, if a co-editor of the Watchtower magazine did something like that today, what would you call him?

  21. Yes Personal Choice, and my choice is to get the best care and refrain from blood as God has told me as he has showed me in the Bible how precious and sacred blood is to him.Because I have faith in God and the resurrection,which means I have actual faith and believe that Jehovah God will resurrect me,I am not afraid of Death. I know i’m such an fanatic aren’t I? Is that what you call a fanatic? When not alot of people actually believe in him,Much less do they believe he will resurrect them. They allow people to make decision because everybody has a personal choice to be made. Of course, I understand that. That’s understandable.But I’m saying you know/we know who Tells us these things,it comes from the Bible.
    I’m very surprised that there is still so much ignorance promoted by many regarding blood transfusions. And disturbed that there are those who would believe such twisted accounts of someone having died *because* of not receiving a blood transfusion!Such accusations as repeated in this question are spread by FANATICS who purposely disseminate false and prejudicial information designed to emotionally alienate people.I know who the fanatics are!. In this day and age it is extremely surprising when we find anyone in the medical field who adamantly defends blood transfusions. In fact, such a person would find themselves arguing against many *enlightened* medical experts who are up on the latest information regarding blood transfusions.You will always find some biased individuals who claim that people dying because they refused a blood transfusion, but the facts show that it cannot be proven that anyone ever died because of refusing a blood transfusion. Critics usually resort to citing these news stories which are just opinionated hearsay.These opinions are flawed because they ignore the fact that avoiding blood transfusions does not mean that someone is going to lose his life. In fact, when you look at the facts regarding the dangers involved in accepting blood, the hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of serious injuries which have been caused by blood transfusions, then you can only conclude that the protection Jehovah’s Witnesses have received because of their obedience far outweighs any risk. Notice the comments of three experts:Dr. Aryeh Shander: “To say that one has died because of refusal of blood, I think is a very general misleading statement.”Dr. Peter Carmel: “It’s rarely, if ever, the case that a patient refused a blood transfusion and therefore died.”One doctor by the name of Shadman said: “In performing upwards of 20,000 surgical operations, I never gave a blood transfusion and never had a patient die from lack of it…”Witnesses do accept non-blood transfusions and any other medical procedure that have proven benefits. We do not accept for ourselves or our children medical procedures that have been proven to be at the very least ineffective, and often dangerous.Though presented as lifesaving, blood transfusions are fraught with risks. They have caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of serious injuries! EDUCATED medical personnel know that there have been repeated studies that show the death rate and recurrence of cancers etc. is often three times worse when a patient receives a blood transfusion when compared with those who refused blood.”The Center for Disease Control estimates that as many as 35,000 deaths and 500,000 illnesses a year may be due to the presence of serum hepatitis in blood for transfusions.” This is the result of just one complication from blood transfusion. However, there are others which are mentioned in the book Complications in Surgery Management. This book then adds: “In terms of disability and loss of life . . . blood transfusions rival some of our major health problems.””The bloodletting of yore has been superseded by blood transfusion. Of all the ridiculous medical practices of the past and present times, this present blood craze is the worst.” – -Dr. G. Boni and Dr. P.Lafarge, “Let’s Live”, March 1970″If blood was a new drug it wouldn’t receive a product licence.”–Tom Lennard, Royal Victoria InfirmaryUsing faulty and misleading information, enemies of Witnesses often point to “thousands” who have supposedly died because of refusing blood, yet, even if it were true, how does this compare to the *millions* who have died from being given blood in the same period of time?!! The facts show that there is absolutely no proof that anyone has ever died because of refusing blood.God has said “I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit yourself” (Isa 48:17). His laws are always for our good. While the main reason Christians do not accept blood transfusions is because it is one of God’s moral laws, time has proven that true Christians have truly have been protected from death and injury caused by human ignorance.God’s Law for Christians is unequivocal: “Abstain from blood!” And “Keep from blood!” (Ac.15:20; 21:25). It required a complete unqualified “abstention from blood” since there was no stated verb specifying a particular way to “abstain” (an infinitive) such as “eat,” “drink” or “touch.” This Apostolic command placed avoiding blood as equal to avoiding fornication or idolatry! Just as a Christian would not commit fornication or idolatry to save his life, so too we should avoid blood (1Cor.6:9-11).

  22. Britt, so instead of responding to a series of good arguments that I presented, including a refutation of your interpretation of Acts 15:28, 29, you chose to ignore everything I said, hurl a lot of invective with no facts but bald assertions (for example, kindly document the” *millions* who have died from being given blood”) and a long rant that you plagiarized from http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120815163755AAkuWXT without attribution. Sounds like standard JW argumentation to me – why bother with the facts when you can just keep stating your claims over and over with your fingers in your ears shouting “la la la” to make sure no outside information gets in? You need to stop blindly following an organization and look to the One who gave His life for the forgiveness of sins. Only He can open your eyes to see how you have been deceived.

  23. That’s right! Sometimes I can’t answer questions on my own so I have help.He is the best!. You should know better already! You completely ignore the fact of what God has said! That is the Bottom line. Satisticly you are at higher risk.You know it already. You have alienated yourself from God. I do not blindly follow anything. I have my own mind and my own thoughts. You completely disregard anything I have said and will not show facts of proving this man ( that I copy the answers from):) Wrong. Prove him wrong. I know it’s factual. Anybody can look up blood transfusions and see it’s dangerous. Just because a doctor says it’s life saving! Ha and the doctors used to say smoking was a pain reliever? Human ignorance at it’s best! Keep following your Apostate brethren. And I’ll keep following Jehovah and my Bros and Sis.

    1. Britt,
      I am sorry to see you continue to disregard my wishes. I have told you a number of times that calling people names is not conducive to civil conversation. You will no longer be able to post here until I hear from you privately. I hope to see you repent and play nice. I believe that an apology is in order.

      You can email me through our web site http://www.EvidenceMinistries.org

  24. I’d hardly call them good I know all that information. The fact that you missing the complete point. Seems to be flying right by your head IS THAT JEHOVAH GOD HAS TOLD US TO STAY AWAY FROM BLOOD,IT IS SACRED TO HIM. HOW MUCH CLEARER DOES IT HAVE TO BE?? I will go I can’t be around Apostates they frustrate me to the point of me possibly having a heart attack!! UUUP MUST MEAN I NEED A BLOOD TRANSFUSION!

    1. Britt, the whole point of my comments was that Jehovah God has NOT told us as Christians to stay away from blood. The Mosaic Law prohibited eating blood, but it also prohibited eating fat, and I haven’t seen too many JWs who are meticulous about removing all the fat from their steak before eating it. The requirement in Acts to “abstain from blood” was NOT a command to all Christians in all times, it was a cultural restriction enacted at that time to prevent friction between Jewish and Gentile Christians.

      If you “can’t be around apostates,” I’d suggest you stop reading all Watchtower publications immediately, since, as I pointed out in my earlier comment, Charles Taze Russell, who founded the WTS, clearly fit the category of an apostate according to the JW definition, one who rebelled against the arrangement that God was (supposedly) using at the time.

    2. Incidentally, Britt, if you can “hardly call [my arguments] good,” then reasonably, you need to show in what way they are wrong, not simply keep repeating “Jehovah says to keep away from blood,” when I have shown that He has said no such thing for Christians. Use the context of the Scriptures and the facts of the situation to prove me wrong, as I have done with your teachings.

      As far as your dismissal of doctors as being knowledgeable about the results of blood transfusions because “doctors used to say smoking was a pain reliever,” have you bothered to research the history of Jehovah’s Witnesses with regard to medical issues? Blood transfusions are not the only medical issue they have addressed in their history. Watchtower publications have taught that radium worn on the body is a healthful thing, that appendicitis can be cured by herbal remedies, that aluminum was “Satan’s metal” and caused many diseases, that the physical heart (not metaphorical or symbolic) was the seat of emotion and motivation, that smallpox vaccinations and organ transplants were violations of God’s law and more. All of these teachings have now been abandoned. How many more will have to die before they also abandon the unbiblical prohibition on blood transfusions? And why, in the light of their history, would you trust such an organization to dictate life-and-death medical decisions?

  25. Britt,
    Feel free to come back after repenting and apologizing for name-calling. I would think that as someone who claims to be the “real Christian” here, you would be able to control your emotions and not resort to calling people names. When I compare the fruit of your comments to those you continue to call “apostate,” your comments have been much less charitable. (John 13:35)

  26. In answer to your question as to how I would have responded to Piper’s method when I was a dedicated JW: I would have thought he was too self-assured for such a misguided victim of Christendom. Yep. I really thought I had the truth and I was one of those JWs who didn’t like to emphasis the Michael thing either–although when someone challenged me, I’d take them through my Reasoning book and it made sense to me. I just thought it was a silly thing to talk about. I can remember one knowledgeable Christian man who had challenged me when I was in my first year of door-to-door work and when I got back in the car excitedly explaining to the elder driving that I’d like to return to that house, he said, “sounds like he knows just enough to be dangerous.” That rang in my head. As a JW, I thought our best chance for converts were people who already read their Bibles and had some knowledge, but the elder knew what I now know– it’s the blank slates (as I was) who make the best converts. The rest know enough to be dangerous… but if they’re smart, they’ll play the student role as you’ve done Keith. Good job.

    As for your comment about Piper’s insistence to pray with the JW, spot on. I was calling on a nice, Christian woman for some time. We usually sat at her kitchen table and I led prayer like I was taught as a JW. But one day I showed up and she led me into her living room where she had a video running of her own church choir which was unsettling enough. She kept encouraging me to watch it and listen to saying “aren’t they good?” As a JW though, it was like being in church! Then she started praying to boot… “Oh Lord Jesus, save Julie from these falsehoods, come Lord Jesus… ” Oh my gosh, I freaked out and practically RAN out of that house! I didn’t return either. However, years later I did come out of the cult and yes, I wrote her a long letter telling her that although her method was not one I’d recommend to anyone seeking to reach out to JWs, I do believe Jesus heard that prayer. Pray to Jesus? YIKES!! Lol.

    However, I went against my own rule “don’t pray with JWs” this summer when I was engaged in a study with an active JW. We’d been meeting for several weeks and I was playing the student fairly well. She was super friendly and sweet and I liked her very much. I wanted to see how she’d react basically because she was trying to “blend” by complimenting me on my faith. So as we were about to study, instead of letting her say “well why don’t we pray?” I just said, “let’s pray” and before giving her a chance to refuse or explain, I addressed Jehovah God and asked His blessing on our time. She kept her head bowed and never interrupted or said a thing against it, but I did noticed she offered no “amen.”

  27. This was very well written, thoughtful and respectful. I’m a member at Bethlehem Baptist and totally agree that Dr. Pipers approach is quite flawed.

    I also took note as I’m currently in a new business with a couple who are Jehovah Witnesses. I find your approach to be the most loving one and I accidentally am using it! 🙂 We are becoming good friends, we discuss our love for Christ and the Bible. We are carefully listening and talking about what we believe. I’m praying for the opportunity to talk about Christ as God incarnate, but I need to understand more about their beliefs and frankly my own theology before going there. I appreciate God bringing them into my life for their friendship, but also to challenge my ability to articulate what scripture actually teaches on Christ’s deity ect. and for an opportunity to evangelize in time.

    1. Brian,
      Thanks for your kind words. I am blessed that this blog post has helped you.

      If you want to know more about my approach, click on the tag, “A Conversation With A Jehovah’s Witness Elder” on the right hand side of the blog. I’ve been meeting with him since March and post reports on our conversations. I will be posting another one tomorrow morning when we talked about birthday celebrations.

      We spoke on the deity of Christ early in our conversations and I almost lost him over it. Be careful not to get into that subject too soon. I prefer to take things slowly and build a friendship. Hopefully one that will withstand the pressures involved in disagreeing about the real identity of Jesus. It sounds like you are on the right track. God bless your efforts.

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