12 thoughts on “An Interesting Visit to the Kingdom Hall

  1. Vini Joshua Febus says:

    I just visiting a Kingdom Hall yesterday. I’m a Christian and meet with witnesses at my house and would like to know if you have any advice on how to witness at a Kingdom Hall without stirring up any trouble to have people “taken away” like how it happened to you?

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      Funny you ask because I thought I knew how to do that until this happened!

      Perhaps my JW apologist friend Rotherham can chime in here with some advice 🙂 But in all seriousness, I think i’ll have to re-evaluate my approach so as to not have this happen again. One thing I do know is that you’d have less to worry about if your study conductor is there at the meeting with you. But if that’s the case, most JW’s you ask questions to will refer you to your study conductor to answer them. That was my experience as I did that for several years.

      1. Vini Joshua Febus says:

        I’ve been witnessing to a JW at my house. He just left moments ago and I actually had, what I believe to be, some progress. I ask many questions with gentleness yet, we have not had a discussion quite like the one I just had. I actually got him to read fourteen verses within context! He still did not agree with scripture but it gave me the opportunity to ask him, “What do you think these scriptures are saying?” It also gave me the opportunity to drill in what the text actually refers to. I find it easier to make sure a JW doesn’t get away with isolating scriptures and asking what is happening within the text.

    2. Eastwardtohelel says:

      Dear Febus, first I want to applaud you in sharing your faith. When it comes to dealing with JW’s most Christians nowadays seem to take the approach of just simply avoiding them like the plague. I do want to caution you on your approach though. I have a long standing dialogue with many JWs in and around my community and place of work. I am always willing and eager to talk with them any chance I can.That being said, I would never ever go into a Kingdom Hall with the intention of witnessing, and by that I mean going into a Kingdom Hall with the intention of debating. This advice I give you is not just for JWs, but for any religion. When you go into someone’s place of worship, you are entering their domain or stronghold. They are going to be bolder. They are going to out number you, and just all around you are going to be put at a disadvantage.Unless you are very well educated on their religious beliefs as well as your own(and I mean very knowledgeable) then you really are setting yourself up for failure. Now I am not saying that if the Spirit directs you to go for you to ignore that, just make sure that is what God is directing you to do. Typically I find this is not the case when people attempt this. Second, and this is probably the most important point, when you enter into their place of worship you are entering their household, so to speak, and you should have some respect for them. I’m not saying have a spirit of fear or validate their beliefs or God(s), but simply have the same respect you would have for them in their own house. Just imagine if someone came into your church and started debating you beliefs, it probably wouldn’t go over well. When people are on familiar territory it is very hard to be the one on the assault, however well behaved and well intentioned you are about it, and it be productive. I believe when you are in a situation like that the best way to be a witness is by you actions and love you show to them, not by debating. And by the way I do not use debating here in a bad way, just describing what is taking place.

      I still go to Kingdom Halls when time permits, but it is always with the purpose to study with them and learn straight from them about their beliefs. Never do I go to witness(debate). I will always tell them what I believe if they ask and why I believe it, but that is where I stop. I always wait for them to ask me, not the other way around.

      The best way to witness Febus is to show them love and pray. If you want to share your belief with them the best place to do that is in a neutral setting(not in your home lest someone in your household hears and is not as prepared as you are and a dangerous seed is planted) or when you see them on the streets.

      Febus, I wish you nothing but love and success in sharing your belief and have nothing but admiration for you. But I leave you with a warning, because I do not know where you are in your faith or how well studied you are. Pioneers(the JWs you see on the street and who you are ultimately going to talk to in a Kingdom Hall) spend their time all throughout the week, and week to week, month to month, year to year practicing on combating your doctrine. They have play books to prepare them for your beliefs. They do mock skits or rehearsals on what to say when you say this or say that. Plus they are out on the streets always talking to people and doing the ‘ol song and tap dance’ day in and day out. There is little you are going to say that they have not heard before. They are very prepared for what you are going to say, so just be studied up, prayed up, and just have a sense of humility when you talk to them.
      good luck and God bless.

      1. Vini Joshua Febus says:

        thank you for you’re extended response. I agree will you as well and I would say the same thing to someone who I had no clue where he was in his walk with God. However, since I frequently visit with JWs, it helps me understand what they’re studying currently. I have had many instances where the JW I meet with weekly has had no clue how to answer my questions pertaining to Scripture. I pray one day that he will see the WT for how deceptive it really is and will come to know Christ for who He really is.

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      Rotherham,

      Actually, I could use some advice on this one. What can a Christian do to respectfully ask questions to JW’s at the kingdom hall about topics related to the month’s study articles without experiencing what I experienced? That is, each and every JW I spoke to getting pulled away.

  2. Juan Rivera (@_JuanJRivera) says:

    Mike, I hear you.

    I can understand why you and your friend may question the ultimate value or wisdom of this prudential judgment or action made by the elders. The elders or brothers doing this in the meeting was, in my opinion, a mistake, as was the brother you had a conversation in the parking lot…
    But so was Peter’s denying Jesus three times. Elders having authority does not entail that everything they do or say is prudent or correct.

    What you are describing, right now is a very serious problem. But the problem isn’t in the doctrine of the Congregation, it is in a misunderstanding of the Congregation’s doctrine.

    For example the counsel giving in Our Kingdom Ministry of January 1977 said this:

    “Newspaper articles, TV programs and radio programs sometimes have information that is critical of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Before deciding to answer in behalf of Jehovah’s Witnesses, it is wise to remember that usually the best policy is to ignore the critics, following the example of Jesus, who did not go searching out those critical of him and his message in order to debate or argue with them. Moreover, harm can be done if one is not thoroughly prepared to answer or is not experienced in handling controversial questions.

    If a situation is such that the elders believe that the position of Jehovah’s Witnesses should be defended in a community , they might first take it up with the Society, giving all the facts and showing why and how they feel the defense should be made. The Society will then offer some counsel as guidance. But experience has shown that it is usually best to do as Jesus counseled regarding the critical Pharisees: “Let them be” (Matt. 15:14) Like Jesus, let us keep busy preaching the good news of the Kingdom and gathering the sheeplike ones, not letting the carping of the critics disturb us.”

    Mike ,there’s many questions that need to be engaged and need an answer. Dialogue can be done in regards to these questions that require to go in depth, but not every witness is able, ready or equipped to do this. It requires the resources and guidance and equipping to be able rightly to evaluate these things . Many do not have that sort of equipping and guidance, and can easily be led into confusion and doubt by such discussions.

    A person who is weak in his faith should not read material that makes him doubt what in his heart he knows to be true . I agree that fideism/credulity is not the solution to weak faith. A Witness who is not well instructed, and doesn’t know whether the Jehovah’s Witnesses are the Congregation Christ founded, would be well-served, to read through this topic in all our literature and investigate the claims and arguments and evidence to be prepared to give an answer for what we believe, and why we believe it, not just for the sake of helping others come into the Congregation, but also for the sake of the strength of his own faith.

    I think you will agree, that engaging just about anyone (especially those who only know debate mode) without setting up some guidelines will descend into something ugly and spiritually harmful and give the impression that it’s a waste of time. For people who have no appreciation for spiritual things we should use discernment and seek out for more receptive ears…but I don’t think it applies to you. Now the reason I know this is because I’ve become familiar with your ministry and the content you post online, which is not the case of every witness.

    The Internet and Media are often not able or willing to express all the sensitivities, nuances or distinctions necessary when considering an issue. They express ideas in catch phrases and in a confrontational way rather than dialogue and I can see this being the reason why the Governing body does not endorse witnesses engaging in these activities. There’s a great potential for scandal when every JW with some zeal becomes an apologist and starts debating or defending Witnesses publicly; he can very well make poor arguments and lose the debate, potentially badly. For these and other reasons I can see why the brothers in the hall you visited might of acted this way.

    But, I’m concerned that if any witness begins with a stance of suspicion and distrust concerning the motives of the other person, it will prevent them from entering into genuine dialogue with them. I don’t think is charitable to think others are only out to convert us.

    We who call ourselves Jehovah’s witnesses must follow Christ actively and sincerely pursue true dialogue. I like to think that as Witness, we so to speak, play the role of John the Baptist in preparing the way for the Christian Congregation to be the ultimate guide to Jehovah and Jesus… But since in the Congregation at large there are both good and bad people, and good and bad ideas, the Governing body tells us that we are to obey only what they officially teach, not what some purport that they teach.

    When I first became a Witness, I told myself I did not become a Witness because of the state of the Congregation. I became a Witness because of the identity of the Congregation.

    Mike, I won’t be able to reply for a little, I will return when I can. Don’t give up, don’t stop pursuing the truth. If you were caused to stumble by persons who misrepresented the Congregation, don’t let them prevent you from discovering the pearl of great price, which Christ wants you to have. I refuse to let bad Witnesses keep me from the undeserved kindness Christ wants me and my family to have through being in the Congregation he founded. Pray for them, that they would come to a better knowledge of the truth

    Regards,

    Juan Rivera

  3. michaeljfelker says:

    Juan-

    Your comments and insights are profoundly helpful for me. I really needed a JW perspective on this and you provided one. Thank you. I have a lot that I’m trying to process and evaluate as I read through people’s comments on the YouTube page. Interestingly, it’s the non-JW’s who have been most critical here. I’ll be sharing a response soon.

  4. myreality2017 says:

    you are looked at as a threat, they are treating you as an apostate! you are evil and of satan! they know you are there to mock, make fun of and teach against their beliefs, those were elders who look out for the congregation that were pulling the members away from you…

  5. Adrian says:

    Interesting re 1919 – most JWs will know and acknowledge that the year is not mentioned anywhere in scripture , they will usually say that historical events within the organisation around that year point to it being significant and then they attempt to tie those events up with a number of prophecies in Revelation .

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      Adrian- it’s actually quite rare they’ll even go that far with it. In my experience, there were few who were even up to speed on what 1919 meant with regard to the Faithful Slave.

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