Kalispell is a pretty mellow town which lies in a valley in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. The only problem is that there is a Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall in the outskirts of town. Most people in the town refuse to listen or associate with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They shut their doors on them and sometimes yell and scream at them to get off their property. Even Christians, who are supposed to show Christ’s love, snap at them and shun them. However, no matter how much they are mistreated and abused, they persist in their door to door witnessing.
About two weeks ago I was sitting by a beautiful lake in Kalispell, Montana enjoying the fresh air while I was having my quiet time with God. I was so involved with reading a passage in 1 Corinthians that I didn’t notice the Jehovah’s Witness walking up to my bench. I think he stood over me for about three minutes before I realized that he was waiting to engage in a conversation with me. I remember not wanting to acknowledge him, hoping that he would just give up and leave so that I could finish my quiet time and go home. It didn’t work. I finally had to grant him what he wanted.
“Hi, can I help you with something,” I said in an agitated voice.
“Well, actually yes you can. I would like to talk to you if you wouldn’t mind. I’m Charles, a Jehovah’s Witness. I go to the Kingdom Hall on the outskirts of town. I was wondering if I could take a few minutes to tell you about my beliefs and how you can live for forever.”
“I guess I could listen for a few minutes, but don’t expect me to accept anything you say. I am a Southern Baptist and I go to Mountain Peak Church. So I heard that you “Witnesses” don’t agree with anything our country stands for, like war and saluting the flag. I also heard that you refuse to celebrate holidays and acknowledge the cross because they are pagan,” I said with a rude tone in my voice.
“True, we don’t believe in saluting the flag because we believe that it the same thing as worshiping idols. You are also right that we don’t serve in the armed forces. We serve Jehovah and are part of his army, not man’s. Holidays are pagan and give too much attention to a single person when they should be focusing on Jehovah. The only two men in the bible whose birthdays are actually mentioned in great detail are King Herod and Pharaoh. They were both pagan men. We refuse to celebrate such an evil occasion. As for the cross, it is also a pagan symbol. The church later adopted it for Christendom. The Romans tortured and killed many people on crosses. It is not something Jehovah….”
“Now wait a minute, “I said cutting him off. “ Jesus was crucified on a cross. What do you have to say about that I wonder?”
“That is where you are wrong. Jesus died on a torture stake. It was an upright pole. It had no crossbeam.”
“Where do you get all this from? I think you guys are just messed up. I don’t want to hear anymore. Goodbye”
“Wait, don’t you want to know how you too can live forever?”
“No, I don’t want to hear anymore. I just want you to leave me alone,” I said as I walked away.
That night I was reading my Bible again and one of the passages I read gave a lot of guilt. I realized that I had been wrong in the way I had treated Charles. Christians are supposed to love people and treat everyone as Christ would. I stopped and prayed that God would help me to change my attitude toward the Jehovah’s Witness. I asked that I would be able to witness to them in the right way and try to show them why Jesus is the only God.
The next few days I studied bible verses that would help me witness to Charles. About a week later I finally felt ready to talk with him again. I knew he would be at the lake again on Monday so I decided to go back and wait for him to approach me again. Sure enough he was there. I sat down and waited.
“Hello again,” said Charles.
“Hi Charles, it’s good to see you again. Do you mind if we talk again.”
“Sure I’d love too. Can I ask you a question to get us started?”
I nodded in response.
“What do you think about the crime, drug addiction, and many other problems we face in America alone today? Did you know the Bible tells us we are very near to the time when God will destroy this present world system? There will be survivors. The question is: What must you and I do to be among them?”
“I read the Bible every day. It works against all the evil going on in the world and gives me a hopeful outlook. The Bible teaches me that God loves me and through Jesus he accepts me. I know that by Christ’s sacrifice I have been given eternal life. Isn’t that amazing?”
“Do you think there will ever be a peaceful time on earth?” asked Charles.
“God has given me peace. He is my assurance.”
“HOW do you know?”
“I believe that Jesus Christ died for me- he died for me. That just amazes me. I know that I would go to be with him if I died right here and now. The best part is that I don’t have to DO anything, but accept Christ for who he is. God has given us all the gift of grace. I would love to talk to you more, but at the moment I have to get to work. I hope you will think about what I said and maybe look into it for yourself….without your Watchtower magazines. Just simply use your bible, especially look at John. I’ll be praying for you, Charles. God loves you and he cares about your deeply. I’ll see you soon.”
For the next few weeks Charles and I discussed our beliefs and the more and more we talked, the more I was able to prove Christ’s deity. Charles began to question the Watchtower and the Committee. I finally was able to convince him that he was following a dead end. Soon after that he left the society and began to attend services at my church. He is still searching for all the answers, but at least he’s looking. God is the only one who can transform his heart.