When I was a kid I was afraid of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
We had a few that lived down the street from us and there were others that came through, knocking on doors from time to time. I was scared that if I ever talked to a Jehovah’s Witness they might ask me a question that I didn’t know the answer to and all of Christendom would collapse.
“Do you know where the Nephilim come from?”
And just like that, no more Christianity.
The Mormons weren’t quite as scary. They had silly commercials and Dale Murphy. What’s there to be afraid of?
As different as these two religions are, Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses do share a common belief. They both fail to recognize Jesus Christ as God. Despite their best efforts to appear so, these two belief systems are very different from Christianity and their understanding of the deity of Christ is one of the major reasons why. The failure to acknowledge Jesus Christ as God is a big deal. It’s not some secondary theological issue that Bible college students argue about but has nothing to do with real life. The refusal to accept Jesus as God is the rejection of the gospel itself.
This is why it’s important to answer the door on Saturday mornings when these guys come knocking. But please, put some clothes on for crying out loud.
Many Christians are afraid to engage Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses for some of the same reasons that I was afraid as a kid.
My debate skills probably aren’t up to par.
What if they ask a question I don’t know the answer to?
These are legitimate concerns but they shouldn’t keep us from seeking to speak the gospel to those who are blinded to the truth.
Our main instrument in this conversation should be our Bible, more specifically, Hebrews 1.
Listen to their presentation. Even when they say something crazy, just listen. You can address those things later. When it’s your turn to talk, all you really have to do is ask questions from Hebrews 1. You can even use their Bible. There’s no system or road or program to follow. Just you and Hebrews 1. But remember, your goal is not to win a debate. Heaven and hell are at stake. This isn’t Hannity and Colmes.
As you go through Hebrews 1, ask questions and wait for them to answer. Here’s your first one.
Who is this chapter talking about when it says things like “Son”, “heir of all things” and “radiance of the glory of God”? The answer is Jesus.
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
(Hebrews 1:1-3 ESV)
Who is being talked about in these verses as being “much superior to angels”? And again, the answer is Jesus.
having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”?
“I will be to him a father,
and he shall be to me a son”?
(Hebrews 1:4-5 ESV)
Who is speaking in this verse and who is he referring to? The answer is that God the Father is speaking of Jesus. This is very important. God the Father is commanding angels to worship God the Son. If Jesus isn’t God, the Father is commanding idolatry here. Perish the thought!
And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”
(Hebrews 1:6 ESV)
Finally, who is speaking in this passage and who is the speaker referring to? God the Father is speaking about Jesus. But there’s another, more important question that must be answered. If God the Father is referring to Jesus in this passage, what does he call Jesus? The answer is God. “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.” The Father just called Jesus God! If what Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses teach is true, God the Father has not only commanded idolatry but in this verse he has committed idolatry.
But of the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”
(Hebrews 1:8-9 ESV)
I haven’t spoken to thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons but I have spoken to several. When I walk them through Hebrews 1 I’ve never gotten a legitimate explanation for why the Father would call Jesus God and command that he be worshiped if Jesus is something less that God. In no way am I suggesting that this one conversation will make someone abandon their false religion, repent and believe in the gospel. But it might. And at the very least it will plant a seed. Remember, the results are up to God.
Our job is to answer the door.
James White’s work has proven very helpful for me in addressing the deity of Christ while speaking with Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. You can access his site by clicking here.