Thursday, April 3, 2008

Witnessing to the Witnesses without knowing Greek or Hebrew

I've been reminded lately of the kind of sticky situations one can get into when talking Christology with Jehovah Witnesses. I vividly remember visiting a JW couple in their living room and have a long—but good—discussion with them. The conversation was not without its' frustrations, however! It's amazing how these kinds of discussions can so quickly show one how little he knows his Bible!

Never mind his Greek or his Hebrew. In this vein, I encourage readers to see James White's article, Getting Over the Hurdles of the New World Translation. I might have a few quibbles with his comments on Titus 2.13 (I find Fee's suggestion persuasive that Paul is saying that Jesus Christ is the glory of the great God and Saviour), but, having just read it tonight, I still found the article very helpful.

And finally, I thought Dave Black's little story teaches us the attitude we should have to these people. You can find the whole thing at his blog under March 24, 2008. Here's an excerpt:

"Aren't you glad we both believe in Jesus?" the eldest asked, speaking for the group. "Yes, indeed," I replied, adding, "But who exactly is Jesus -- that is the question." "But we are all children of God," she insisted," because we have all descended from Adam and Eve." "It is true that we are all God's creation," was my reply. "But only those for whom the Christ of the Bible is Savior and Lord is God truly Father." I had to excuse myself as I was in the middle of mixing mortar, but I said that if they should ever come back again, they would have to agree in all subsequent conversations to use only the Bible, "in the original languages," I quipped, at which they broke out in laughter.

How can we stand by without compassion and love for such people? I cannot comprehend the fundamentalists who revile them, tear them down. Surely one can have compassion without being rude. It is supreme uncharity to treat them as witches, yet that is in fact what we do. It shows our fear of them. I am a fundamentalist when it comes to the fundamentals of the faith. Yet how odd that both sides, clashing with different theologies, so often conspire to destroy the true nature of God while attempting to substitute for it the madness of a particular brand of fervor.

As those dear ladies drove down our long gravel driveway, I prayed for them, that the One who has the power to open blind eyes to false teaching would do so -- and in the same breath I asked myself, Where were the men?

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