A 14-year-old boy, Dennis Lindberg, in Seattle, Washington recently petitioned a judge to allow him to die rather than accept a blood transfusion. The judge found that the boy was not coerced and was "mature and understood the consequences of his decision." The judge also said, "This isn`t something Dennis just came upon, and he believes, with the transfusion, he would be unclean and unworthy.``
Dennis died of leukemia a few hours after the judge refused to order the transfusion against his will. His aunt, a Jehovah`s Witness and his legal guardian, could not be reached by reporters for comment.
This incident illustrates just one of the Jehovah`s Witnesses` distortions of biblical truth. There are other legalisms that prevent them from observing birthdays and holidays, saluting the American flag or standing during the national anthem.
All of these restrictions are taught by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. One of Satan`s primary strategies is to add something to the Bible. Catholics have the Magisterium. Mormons have the Book of Mormon. Jehovah`s Witnesses have the publications of the Watchtower Society. All of these are "traditions" that end up "making the word of God of none effect." (See Matt. 7:1-16.)
Author Daniel Rodriguez has been an evangelist to Jehovah`s Witnesses for over 22 years. In his new book Winning the Witnesses, he describes a witnessing strategy designed to cut away the JW`s "tradition" by casting doubt on the authority of the Watchtower Society.
He recognizes that most confrontations with JWs end in a "scripture shouting match" if the soul winner tries to convince the JW he is wrong by quoting the Bible. Instead of using the Bible, Rodriguez uses quotes from the Watchtower and Awake magazines to prove, by their own admission, that the teachings of the Watchtower Society are not divinely inspired.
Rodriguez notes that soul winners "hit an unseen barrier" when they do not "recognize that the Witness understands and interprets the Bible only through the authority of the Watchtower Society... He is not free to have a personal or private interpretation."
Part one of Winning the Witnesses describes the basics of Watchtower theology so the reader can see the problem of communication between the soul winner and the JW. Part two teaches effective witnessing strategies that will raise doubt in the mind of the JW about the authority of the Watchtower Society. Once this doubt is raised, the soul winner can effectively challenge the JW to consider whether he should rely on uninspired Watchtower teaching, which is often unreasonable or contradictory to the Bible, or the admittedly inspired Bible. Only then will he be open to any kind of effective witnessing.
A few years ago, Rodriguez learned these strategies from a team of soul winners in Portland Oregon. A new Kingdom Hall was under construction for the growing number of converts being won in that community. Using these strategies, this team won many to Christ who were considering or had already converted to JWs.
In addition, enough of the community was inoculated against JW teaching that their conversions dried up and work on the Hall was aborted. The team distributed a brochure detailing how they would have to give up birthday and holiday celebrations, saluting the flag, serving in the military, or associating with non-JW friends, etc., if they became a JW. They also supplied a sticker for the homeowners to affix to their front door that read: "NO VISITS BY JEHOVAH`S WITNESSES, PLEASE. Rodriguez has since used this strategy in other communities with the same results.
Witnessing to JWs has always been frustrating and unfruitful because of their refusal to discuss the Bible outside of the Watchtower interpretation. By undercutting their confidence in the authority of the Watchtower Society, they have nowhere to turn except to the authority of the Bible. Winning the Witnesses promises to be the tool that will equip the soul winner to reach these sincere, dedicated, deceived souls.