Responding to the Jehovah’s Witness Theology of the Trinity

  • The theology of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is essentially a theology of denial. Jehovah’s Witnesses deny or redefine all of the fundamental doctrines of biblical Christianity, including the doctrine of the Trinity.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to believe in the Trinity, but they have redefined the term “Trinity” to fit their own man-made doctrines. The Watchtower’s doctrine of the Trinity teaches that—Jehovah alone is God almighty, Jesus is only a god, and the Holy Spirit is simply an active force.
  • The doctrine of the Trinity according to biblical Christianity though, is that within the nature of the One God there are three eternal Persons- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • To demonstrate the biblical doctrine of the Trinity, we must help the Jehovah’s Witness to see that the Bible clearly identifies three distinct Persons as God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – while at the same time revealing the truth that there is only One God. The following passages are great starting points.
  • The Bible reveals that the Father is God (2 Pt. 1:17; 1 Cor. 15:24; Jude 1).
  • The Bible reveals that the Son (Jesus) is God (Rev. 1:8; 21:5-7; 22:13-16).
  • The Bible reveals that the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 6:16 & 1 Cor. 6:19; 2 Tim. 3:16 & 2 Pt. 1:20-21).
  • Lastly, the Bible reveals that there is only One God (1 Tim. 2:5; Gal. 3:20; Deut. 6:4; Is. 44:6).
  • The logical conclusion from the testimony of Scripture is the biblical doctrine of the Trinity. This is not a man-made doctrine, but a doctrine based on God’s self-revelation to humanity.

For more information on witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses, please check out Dr. Carlson’s book, Fast Facts On False Teachings, available in our online store.

Questioning the Authority of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses are conditioned to accept without questioning the authority of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. When witnessing to a Jehovah’s Witness here are a few helpful questions you can ask them…
  • The Watchtower organization claims there have always been faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses. If this claim is true, who were the faithful witnesses immediately preceding your founder, Charles Russell? In fact, can you give me the names of any faithful witnesses between the first century Church and Russell?
  • The Watchtower organization today claims they were chosen by Jesus in 1919 to be Jehovah’s representatives on earth because they were the only organization teaching the world the truth. Are you aware that the Watchtower organization in 1919 taught that Armageddon had occurred in 1914; that the end would come in 1925; that Jesus should be worshipped, as well as Jehovah; that the Great Crowd was a Heavenly class; that birthdays and Christmas were acceptable celebrations; and that the faithful and discreet slave was Charles Russell?
  • Were the Watchtower Society teachings of 1919 the truth? If not, did thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses die in error? If the Watchtower’s teachings have changed in the past, how can you be sure that what you’re being taught today is the truth? Are you afraid that you too might die in error?
  • Would you be disfellowshipped today for holding to the Watchtower Society’s teachings of 1919? Would a Jehovah’s Witness from 1919 have been disfellowshipped for holding to the Watchtower’s teachings of today?
  • Are you aware that the Watchtower organization declared for many years that Armageddon would occur in 1975? How can you trust an organization that has so often been wrong in their teachings?
  • According to Deuteronomy 18:21-22, how can a person recognize a false prophet?

For more helpful guidance on witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses, please check out Dr. Carlson’s lecture, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Trinity, available in CD or MP3 in our online store.

Jehovah’s Witnesses and their commitment to the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society

Jehovah’s Witnesses are notoriously difficult to reach with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Much of this difficulty stems from how JWs are conditioned to accept the absolute authority of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of Brooklyn, NY.

When the Jehovah’s Witnesses come to your front door, remember…

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Watchtower organization is the modern day prophet of God.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses have accepted the Watchtower organization as the voice of God on earth.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that to reject the Watchtower organization is to reject God.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that only the Watchtower organization can interpret the Bible accurately.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the Watchtower organization’s publications (The Watchtower, Awake, etc.) contain God’s truth revealed through the organization.

Because of the beliefs mentioned above, when witnessing to a Jehovah’s Witness one of the helpful goals is to get the JW to begin to question the authority of the Watchtower organization. In next week’s Fast Facts we will begin highlighting some of the ways in which we can do this.

For more information on witnessing to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, please check out the documentary DVD, Jehovah’s Witnesses: A Non-Profit Organization, available in our online store.

When the Cults Come Calling

  • Many of today’s most prominent Non-Christian Cults will go door to door throughout neighborhoods attempting to win converts. The two most widely seen are Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormon missionaries.
  • When the cultists come knocking on your front door, instead of seeing this as an inconvenience, recognize this as a readymade opportunity to share the gospel. The mission field is literally coming to you!
  • Before answering your door, say a simple prayer, such as, “Lord, give me love, wisdom, and confidence as I share the hope of the Gospel with these lost souls.” The Holy Spirit will help you as you seek to lift up the name of the real Jesus and his free gift of salvation.
  • The cultist is coming to your door because they believe they must earn their salvation or prove their faith to God. For many of them this is a tremendous burden. Therefore, one of the most helpful truths to focus on with the cultist is the grace of God. Verses like Ephesians 2:8-9 and Titus 3:4-7 are great passages to share with them.
  • Don’t feel undue pressure to convert the cultist at your door. Remember, as Christians we are not responsible for how a person responds to our proclamation of the Gospel. We’re simply responsible for being faithful with the opportunities we have to proclaim it.

For more helpful tips on witnessing to the cults, please check out Dr. Carlson’s book, Fast Facts On False Teachings, available in our online store.

Responding to Popular Criticisms of Christianity – Part IV

  • “Christians are so intolerant.” This is another popular criticism that many believers have heard. It is most often raised against us when we dare to stand for the biblical worldview in our culture today.
  • When someone brings this charge against you, it is important to understand what genuine tolerance and intolerance is, while also recognizing how today’s culture has redefined these words.
  • Historically, tolerance has always implied the presence of disagreement, but being tolerant meant that the disagreement wouldn’t lead to insults, violence, or other forms of hostility. Those actions would have been deemed intolerant.
  • In today’s culture, however, tolerance has been redefined. Today, to be considered a tolerant person, disagreement is not an option, especially in regards to another person’s spiritual beliefs, lifestyle, or sexuality. These areas must be accepted unconditionally and uncritically. Otherwise, you will be given the label of “intolerant”.
  • Notice, today labels like “tolerant” and “intolerant” are no longer simply about one’s actions, but now they’re used in reference to personal beliefs and convictions.
  • As Christians we must help our culture understand and recover the traditional understanding of tolerance and intolerance. We must contend for the truth that it is wholly consistent to speak out against spiritual error and moral violations of God’s will, while at the same time caring for and living respectfully amongst the people with whom we disagree. This is genuine tolerance, not intolerance.
  • When someone uses the label of “intolerant” against you, remember, all they are doing is calling you names. They are not making an actual argument against your position. Simply respond, “I’m sorry you don’t respect my viewpoint on this issue, but could you please explain to me why you think I’m wrong rather than calling me names.”
  • Furthermore, when someone calls you “intolerant” for doing nothing more than professing your Christian convictions, they are guilty of violating their own false notion of tolerance. Ask them, “Do you consider yourself to be an open-minded and tolerant person?” When they say, “Yes”, simply point out the inconsistency of their critique against you, “As an open-minded and tolerant person, I’m surprised that you would verbally attack me for simply holding to my personal beliefs. Isn’t that somewhat intolerant of you?”

For more helpful responses to today’s popular criticisms of Christianity, please see the book, Answers For A Confused Church, available in our online store.

Responding to Popular Criticisms of Christianity – Part III

  • Another popular criticism that many believers have heard is, “You Christians are so hypocritical.”
  • In responding to this charge, it’s important to acknowledge that unfortunately many Christians are hypocritical, professing their commitment to the Lord and his will, yet living and acting inconsistently with that profession.
  • Acknowledging and apologizing for the inconsistency that many have experienced from Christians can be a powerful and disarming influence with those who raise this criticism.
  • Beyond the above, when responding to the charge of hypocrisy, it is important to explain that even when Christians do act inconsistently with the faith they profess, this doesn’t make the faith they profess any less true.
  • For example, a police office might enforce the speed limit while on duty, but then ignore it on his drive home. While the officer’s actions are inconsistent with the law he’s sworn to enforce, the officer’s inconsistency doesn’t make the speed limit itself any less valid.
  • Christianity, like any belief system, must ultimately be judged based on the merits of its claims. Do we have reasons to believe that God exists? Does the Bible bear the marks of Divine inspiration? Is Jesus Christ really the risen Messiah and Savior of the world? These are the questions with which all people must ultimately contend.
  • Christians do a disservice to our public testimony when our actions don’t match the faith we profess. Thus, it’s important that we honor the Lord and make His name renown by living lives of consistency and integrity. However, even when we are guilty of hypocrisy, this doesn’t make the Christian worldview any less true.

For more helpful responses to some of the popular criticisms of Christianity found in our world today, please check out the Apologetics Study Bible For Students, available in our online store.

Responding to Popular Criticisms of Christianity – Part II

  • A common criticism that many believers have heard is, “You Christians are so judgmental.”
  • When faced with this charge, our first response should be to check our own heart and attitude. Have we failed to proclaim the truth with grace and love? Is our critique of error moving into the realm of personal attack? If so, we must remember the admonition given to us in 1 Peter 3:15 and balance our witness with gentleness and respect.
  • If our heart and attitude is in the right place, our next response should be to point out that the one calling Christians “judgmental” is doing the very thing they’re accusing us of. They’re judging Christians!
  • We must then explain that being judgmental is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, we all make judgments all the time. Anytime we show a preference we’re making a judgment. What’s really at issue here is whether or not the judgment being made is accurate or well founded.
  • At this point it’s important to explain that when we as Christians speak out against various beliefs, practices, or lifestyles, we do so based on our beliefs and convictions that are rooted in God’s revelation to humanity, found in Scripture.
  • A person may not like the judgments we are making as believers, but what really matters is what is true; and if the Bible really is God’s revelation to humanity, there is no more important truth for us to know and follow.
  • If we’re prepared to explain the above to those who label us “judgmental”, this can then be a great bridge to an ongoing conversation about the merits of our faith or an encouragement to examine the claims of Christianity further.

For more helpful responses to today’s popular criticisms of Christianity, please see the book, Answers For A Confused Church, available in our online store.

Responding to Popular Criticisms of Christianity – Part I

  • One popular criticism raised against Christianity is the charge that, “Christians just have faith”.
  • The fact of the matter, however, is that faith is not unique to Christians. Everyone has faith. For example, even the most hardcore Atheist has faith. The Atheist has faith that there is no God.
  • The question is not whether a person has faith or not. The real question is what are you putting your faith in and do you have a valid and reasonable basis for your faith?
  • As Christians we are not making a blind leap of faith. Christianity is not just wishful thinking. Rather, the Christian’s faith is one that is rooted in history and founded on a whole host of valid reasons to believe.

For more positive responses to some of the popular criticisms of Christianity, please check out the book, Apologetics For A New Generation, available in our online store.

The Origins of the Koran of Islam

  • The Koran is the religious text of Islam and is revered by all Muslims around the world. It is the supposed literal, word for word, perfect revelation of Allah given to Mohammed, the founder and prophet of Islam.
  • Around 610 A.D. Mohammed claimed to have received his first of many revelations from Allah, supposedly delivered to him by the angel Gabriel while Mohammed was praying in a cave near Mecca. He would receive these revelations over a period of 22 years.
  • Mohammed reported that when he received these revelations he would go into seizures. He even feared initially that he might be demon possessed.
  • Mohammed’s revelations were originally delivered orally to his followers. They were only compiled and arranged in the Koran after his death. This is why the Koran is in no chronological order. Mohammed’s followers simply compiled his revelations, the 114 Suras of the Koran, in order from the longest to the shortest.
  • Muslims claim that the Koran is a miraculous work of Allah since Mohammed could not read or write. They claim that Allah gave these revelations to an illiterate Mohammed so that all would know they were of divine origin and not from man.
  • The Muslims’ claims for the Koran, however, are seriously flawed. Not only does the Koran contain numerous internal inconsistencies, contradictions, historical and scientific errors, but modern day archaeology and textual criticism has demonstrated conclusively that Mohammed borrowed much of the Koran from pre-existing written texts and oral traditions found in Arabian and Judeo-Christian culture.

For more information on the Koran and the religion of Islam, please check out the documentary DVD, Islam Rising, available in our online store.

The Origins of the Book of Mormon

  • In 1820 Joseph Smith Jr., the founder of Mormonism, claimed to receive a revelation from God the Father and Jesus Christ saying that all of the Christian churches were wrong and their creeds were an abomination to the Lord.
  • A few years later Joseph Smith claimed that an angel named “Moroni” had revealed to him the location of hidden “golden plates” on the hill Cumorah in upstate New York. These golden plates were supposedly inscribed with hieroglyphics of a language Smith called “reformed Egyptian”.
  • Using miraculous spectacles called the “Urim and Thummin”, supposedly provided by the angel Moroni, Smith translated the golden plates between 1827 and 1830. In 1830 he published his translation of the golden plates, calling it the Book of Mormon.
  • The Book of Mormon details the supposed history of ancient Hebrews who came across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas. The Book of Mormon calls these people the “Nephites” and the “Lamanites” and the Mormon Church has claimed that they are the principle ancestors of today’s Native American tribes.
  • Joseph Smith claimed that the Book of Mormon was “the most correct of any book on earth”. This is still the claim of the Mormon Church today.
  • The reality for the Book of Mormon, however, is far different than what Mormon’s claim for it. Since 1830 it has undergone over 3900 textual changes. Additionally, there is no historical or archaeological evidence whatsoever for any of the people, places, or stories described in the Book of Mormon. For example, modern day genetics has yet to find any evidence of Hebrew ancestry in the Native American populations; the Mormon Church refuses to produce an official map of any of the locations mentioned in the Book of Mormon; and there is no evidence at all for the language Smith called “reformed Egyptian”.
  • For these reasons, and many more, the Book of Mormon must be rejected as a true revelation from God and Joseph Smith must be rejected as a legitimate prophet.

For more information on the Book of Mormon and the religion of Mormonism, please check out Dr. Carlson’s lecture, Mormonism: Christian or Cult? available in CD or MP3 in our online store.