1/8/12 Tito, about 45
I started a gospel conversation on the sidewalk with a man who turned out to be a Jehovah's Witness (JW). I have never encountered a JW yet who wasn't willing to talk theology with me and I didn't feel I needed to spend much time "earning the right to be heard" by listening (and I feel I have heard it all from them before) so I cut right to the chase: "From what I understand, you believe Jesus is not God, but rather just a created being, is that right?" Tito was well aware of these basic differences from orthodox Christianity and had ready answers to my questions. It occurs to me that their teaching about Jesus' nature is not just some subtle difference between Christians and JW's but rather a basic teaching that the JW's drill on over and over again, teaching how to counteract arguments against their belief that Jesus is only an angelic being created by God rather than being God Himself. It may seem trivial to many unversed Christians and even more so to unbelievers, but it has huge theological implications. I went over some of these with Tito, knowing I'm not going to change his mind but hoping to plant a seed that may cause him to question his JW indoctination and to look at the Bible for himself. I pointed out that the JW version of the Bible (The New World Translation) has been altered according to their teachings, and also explained how the sacrifice of a finite created being in our behalf would be an insufficient substitute for our sins against an infinite God. "If God created Jesus, then you realize there was a time when Jesus didn't exist, right?" It was questions like this that I hoped would begin to help Tito see the errors of his beliefs.