Why Don't They LISTEN?

Copyright 2000 by Natalie Pappas

Many times over the past several years I've encountered the question, "Why don't they listen?". To be honest, I've asked it several times myself. I have discovered over time that no matter HOW prepared we are, we are never prepared enough for the cultist at our door. It is always good to prepare to give an answer when asked, but it just as important to remember that the human heart is decietful and the mind even more so!

When we are confronting a person about their salvation, especially when they are involved in a religious organization which is bent on discrediting God's Word, we should expect the encounter to raise our eyebrows to levels on our foreheads we never thought they could reach!

Once upon a time a Jehovah's Witness lady in my living room took out a King James Version Bible to counter an argument I had been in the process of making. She opened up this Bible, pointed to a verse on a page, and began speaking gibberish. I know that the Organization teaches sign gifts are not for today, so when I asked what she was doing, I was quite astounded at her answer.

She proudly told me she was speaking the original Greek that the KJV had been translated from.

"How do you know you are really speaking the original Greek?" I asked.

"I just know," she answered.

Then she slowly repeated her babble, pointing to a different old English word at the same time. Next, further astounding me, she translated the babbled "Koine Greek" into the New World Translation's version of the Bible (which she had obviously memorized). It was something to watch! It was a wierd afternoon to say the least.

Did the woman listen to what I had to say? No. Did she care that at the time she was talking to me that I had taken two years of Koine Greek at a seminary? No. Did she accept anything I had to say as credible? No. BUT (and this is the strange part) she believed SHE spoke the truth when she made up her own version of the Koine Greek language!

When confronted with truth, people will do one of two things. They will humbly accept it and reject the false or they will make themselves look even more foolish to prove 'their interpretation of the truth'.

This is what happened in my living room. Rather than accept what I had to say as truth, or at least researching what I said to see if what I said was true, this woman just began babbling nonsense, literally. It was a version of Spanish and Chinese sounds mixed together. What she did was jump ship and change her tactic -- and in the process made herself look extremly foolish.

She, in my opinion, didn't want the truth because she either wanted her 'sin' or her 'good works' more. For anyone to confess that they really are sinners means they have to change, and people are creatures of habit. They do not want to change. To humble ourselves in front of of a Holy God and confess that we cannot ever work hard enough to please this same God, is a harder thing to do, especially if we have spent years trying!

Imagine that you have been a loyal JW since childhood. Time and time again, you have endured abuse from 'Christians' who slammed doors in your face. You have spent time fellowshipping and swapping door stories with other JWs who have endured the same things. You have been cursed and laughed at your entire life. You turn on the TV and there's Jay Leno or David Letterman making yet ANOTHER lame-o OH NO! They're at your door! JW joke.

Take this a bit further: you put over 30 + hours a week going door to door ... you attend every meeting ... You honestly TRY to live a moral life (and since you're doing it in your own strength instead of God's, it's VERY hard and VERY frustrating and when you fail you feel even GUILTIER so you go out by yourself and knock on a few more doors!).

Imagine it is YOU sitting in someone's house and someone is telling you what you would tell them. How would you react? It would be very hard to accept the truth that everything the Organization has taught you is a lie. What about all the promotions at work you passed up so that you would have more time going door to door and attending meetings? What about all the vacations you've not taken in order to serve the Organization better? And how about all the relatives you've offended over the years? How do you backpedal about all the times you wouldn't spend time with extended family members because of important religious convictions? The weddings you've missed ... the funerals you absented yourself from ... the bridges you've burned....

What about all those times that you bit your tongue when treated badly by others in the Kingdom Hall because they didn't know HOW to be gracious about your mistakes and hounded you about them instead! Or perhaps it was you who hounded people, giving out absolutely no mercy time and time again!

Here's something to seriously consider: Maybe you've even allowed a child or spouse to die rather than go against the Organization's teachings on blood transfusions ... take some time before you witness to a JW and think about these things, how hard it would be to give up yourself and give up your life to the real living God when you FEEL you've worked HARD to earn the right to stand in His presense ... when you've given up SO much of yourself for the Organization?

I think most Christians look at such things and think: "How easy, what a blessing!"

But for the JW, all he (or she) can think about is all the work and effort, about all the hours trying to prove themselves worthy of Jehovah's good graces ... and to think of that time and effort as a complete waste is too much for their heart or mind to handle. They don't know HOW to humble themselves because all the Organization has done all those years is build up their pride and their stubborness.

The only way around this is found in 2nd Corinthians chapter 10 -- pray about this stronghold that has dominated their lives for so long. Pray that God helps them to humble themselves and acknowledge the truth about who God is. You've given them the truth and they've outright rejected it. BUT you do your job as a Christian when you tell somebody the truth. What you must do now is pray that the Holy Spirit apply this truth to their hearts. Your job is finished. It is now up to the Holy Spirit.

When foolish claims are thrown at you, you must remember that the burden to prove such things IS on that person throwing it in the first place. Ask for proof. Ask them for their source material and promise them that you will consider each claim on the basis that they can provide source material. Most likely what will happen is that they will throw a WTB&TS publication at you. You stand your ground. Ask them to show you where THIS particular claim is made. Tell THEM to bring YOU that original source material. If they CARE so much about YOUR salvation, they WILL bring you that source material which is found through any library via the research department. If they want to appear like they have all the answers, make them have those answers!

And above all, never forget to pray!

Copyright 1994-2001 Natalie Pappas.
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