Hi everyone, I want to share an experience I had, giving context for a question for discussion.
So I was at a thing yesterday and ran across some Muslims who were at a booth and offering to talk to people, and they were next to JWs doing the same. I stopped and had a very productive, good, Spirit-lead conversation with the Muslims, but then when speaking with the JWs, it kinda got weird. First of all, I had the wrong attitude going into it, I don’t think the Spirit lead me to speak with them, and I approached them. That was my mistake in arrogance. But the conversation itself was frustrating. David, the JW, just kept saying that we agree about everything anytime I asked him a question, answered one of his, or challenged something he said with scripture. He just kept saying that we agree, and when I identified why we didn’t actually agree, he just said that we do but I’m hung up on a particular scripture. It was confusing. It wasn’t like what I’ve experienced in the past when JWs will just say that I’m wrong and then try to have a conversation about why. He was just saying that we agree, regardless of what was said.
But to make things worse, the Muslims with whom I had just had a very good conversation wanted to listen to this new conversation. That might have been fine, but I think it was incredibly confusing for them. And then, when the conversation shifted to me just being “hung up on something,” the Muslims joined in asking about why I drew a line on the JWs misinterpretation saying that they essentially differ from my beliefs. It became almost accusatory from the Muslims wanting me to accept the JWs. I was confused. I shifted my attention to the Muslims, affirming that I am not alone, speaking about how they actually DO have a changed bible (a criticism unfairly leveled against Christianity as a whole), and that their doctrines are not in agreement with the Bible at anything deeper than a surface-level. I wanted them to at least understand that we are actually different.
My question is two-fold: How can we better have a conversation identifying and clarifying essential differences between Christian doctrine and that of the JWs, both to them and to onlookers? Then, how do I respond when confronted with two opposing and contradictory beliefs sort of “ganging up?”
Is there any common ground they actually share other than being against traditional, core Christian values? What do you think?