Today while doing some cleaning, I came across some literature I received from a Jehovah’s Witness who appeared on our doorstep this winter. I kept it as a reminder that we must always be willing to defend the essentials of the historic Christian faith.
I remember the snowy day vividly – a young woman knocked on our door. Naturally, my wife and I invited her in and out of the cold. It was, after all, in the middle of January and was well-below freezing. She told us she wanted to talk about the Bible. Being the curious person that I am – and one who’s always willing to talk about God’s Word – I agreed. She then showed us a video on her iPad about the sin that had corrupted the world and its coming restoration.
It wasn’t until she handed us a few pamphlets that my suspicions were confirmed: she was a Jehovah’s Witness. We kindly thanked her for her time and the conversation ended. But before she left, she asked if she could come back to discuss the Bible further with us. I hesitated, but agreed and arranged a time. I immediately began studying.
After examining the literature she gave us, I found numerous extra-biblical claims and distortions. I decided to underline the passages with which I disagreed and write countering verses next to them. The most serious problem with what I read concerned the very nature of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As you can see in this photo, The Watch Tower Society, founded in 1881 by Charles Taze Russell, teaches that Jesus Christ was and is NOT God incarnate, but instead merely God’s “first creation.” This is a heretical teaching that undermines the very essence of the gospel.
Eventually, the young woman did come back to my house and we discussed our areas of disagreement. We came to the conclusion that neither of us were willing to waiver in our beliefs and politely agreed to disagree. But that’s not the point. The point is that the gospel was defended that day. And I’ll never know, on this side of heaven, what effect that conversation may have had with the woman.
By the way, a great counter to aberrant, non-trinitarian theology is John 1:1-2, which states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” The truth is that Jesus Christ was a perfect sacrifice because He was and is God. That is the essence of the gospel.
We must always be on our guard against false teachings and, more importantly, must be properly equipped to give an answer for the hope that we have with gentleness and with respect (1 Peter 3:14-15). In reality, we all are “witnesses” and guarding that ability to witness is nearly as important as what we say when sharing the gospel. Evangelism is not possible without first being in step with the Lord, daily, and proclaiming His Word in a way that is respectful, yet unapologetically truthful.
Today I pray that those who have rejected Scripture or hold to false teachings would be shown the love and truth of Christ through faithful followers in their lives.
May the gospel advance.