Christians who want to hand their own religious literature to Jehovah’s Witnesses often encounter the frustrating difficulty of not being able to get very far in their efforts, mainly due to the Witness being unwilling to receive what is offered. This is because Witnesses are instructed to keep away from the literature of other religions and especially any religious literature critical of their organization and many times will refuse, point blank, to even consider it. What can be done to make a way for them to consider a differing point of view? Below are some quotes that can be used from the Bible and Watchtower sources that can be quoted to help the Witness be more open minded to examine the literature offered to them.
The Bible itself exhorts us to test all things (1 Thess. 5:21) and the Bereans, whom Paul preached to, were called “noble minded” due to their willingness to examine the scriptures daily (Acts 17:10-11).
The Watchtower Society itself claims to welcome an examination of itself as this quotation from a popular publication of theirs demonstrates:
Since God assures us that practicing true religion brings great contentment now and opens up the way for eternal life in his new system of things, it surely will be worth your while to make such an investigation (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20) You have our warm invitation to do so. Why not investigate now? (The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life, 1968, p. 130).The Jehovah's Witness magazine, Awake, rightly points out that because an organization like the Catholic Church claims to be the source of salvation for hundreds of millions of people then it should be open to scrutiny (Awake, August 22nd, 1984, p. 28). With this in mind, would it be fair to apply this scrutiny to all other religions claiming to be the truth as well, including the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Jehovah's Witnesses? I am sure anyone would agree that would be fair and reasonable.
The same Awake magazine wisely asks:
Do you Have an Open Mind? (Awake, November 22nd, 1984, front cover).The article states, under the heading: An Open or Closed Mind – Which do you have? (Ibid. p. 3) the following important insights:
A necessary part of life is that we make decisions and reach judgments. But decisions made “without due examination” or judgments reached “on other grounds than reason or justice” are evidences of a closed mind. Having an open mind, on the other hand, means to be receptive to new information and ideas. It means being willing to examine and to evaluate information without a biased attitude…On page 8 the article continues under the heading: An Open Mind Wins God’s Approval and says:
A closed mind may betray a lack of interest in the subject or a reluctance to look into the matter. In fact, it could even be a sign of uncertainty or doubt…
Are you open-minded enough to consider the possibility that you may not be? It will pay to find out. Whereas an open mind can serve to your advantage, a closed one will almost certainly serve to your detriment. (Awake, November 22nd, 1984, pp. 3-4).
Even some religious people have closed minds. They are interested only in “their” religion, showing no willingness to as much as listen to the views of others. (Ibid. p. 8)And:
Do you reject a message because of preconceived ideas? Or do you investigate? (Ibid. p. 9)With all of the above in mind it needs to be asked of Jehovah's Witnesses if they will take the advice that they want others to take and apply it to themselves:
Related articles on this site:
The Thought Police.
The Watchtower's View of Active Jehovah's Witnesses in Dialogue with Former Jehovah's Witnesses on the Internet. An official response from the WBTS in Britian.
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