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
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
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!