J.'s Own Experience with Jehovah's Witnesses
Wed., Feb. 5. 2014 12:41pm EST
J. Jackson here again. Here's a testimony of my own, which will help explain why Rita's testimony meant so much to me:
I used to do a lot of witnessing to Jehovah's Witnesses. I have a very special place in my heart for them, because when I was in college, I was dating a girl named Kelly who was studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses. I wasn't a born-again Christian at the time, but some of their things in their books didn't sit right with me.
At one point in our relationship, my girlfriend said, "Prove to me they're wrong, J. I don't want them to be right, but they're the only people that have ever been able to give me answers to my questions about God." At the time, I thought, "Man, I know they're wrong about some of this stuff, but I'd have to read the whole Bible to prove them wrong, and I'll never be able to do that!" Little did I know what God would have in store for me.
Kelly and I eventually broke up. A lot happened after that, but that's what started me wanting to witness to the Jehovah's Witnesses. Once I got saved and realize there were books exposing the false doctrines of the Jehovah's Witnesses, I couldn't read enough of them. God just placed them on my heart.
To make it more interesting, I ended up working on Pittsburgh's North Side (formerly Allegheny, Pa.), which is where the Jehovah's Witnesses got started in the late 1800's, before they moved to Brooklyn, NY. In fact, I live fairly close to the grave of Charles Taze Russell, who founded their parent organization, the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society.
Anyway, I was witnessing to a lot Witnesses, sometimes on street corners, sometimes in one-on-one or two-on-two sessions at the kitchen table ... and it was a very frustrating experience. They weren't convincing me of any truth to their doctrines (Once you see how faulty their logic and research is and how their organization has twisted the truth over the years, it's pretty hard to fall for their lies -- but Satan has really blinded their eyes.)
One night, I was feeling very frustrated, and I did the old "Bible roulette" thing where you open up the Bible and read wherever your finger lands. Yeah, I know that's not a good thing to do, but sometimes God honors even things like that. Anyway it opened to Psalm 126:5-6:
"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him."
Well, you know what sowing seed is about in the New Testament sense. It's sharing the word of God. And I was sowing my seed with tears, because it looked like there would never be a crop. But this verse said there would be, and it's probably where the old hymn "Bringing in the Sheaves" comes from.
Anyway, the cool part is next. I decided that I'd read a book to get my mind off things. I'd only been a born-again Christian for about two years, and I had a whole bookshelf full of Christian books I'd accumulated but had never had time to read. On a whim (or so I thought), I decided I'd start reading one, "The Cross and the Switchblade" by David Wilkerson. I'd never read it before, although I'd heard of it as a kid, but knew nothing about it.
Well, in the very first chapter of this autobiography, David Wilkerson explains how he felt led as a young preacher to go to another state and witness to a young criminal who was being tried for attempted murder.
David made the long journey with a friend, and the trip turned out to be a seeming waste of time -- and David wondered how he could have been so wrong about doing what he felt God had called him to do. This is just the first chapter of the book. On the drive home, he told his friend "I want you to try something. Get out your Bible and open it just at random and read me the first passage you put your finger on."
Well, his friend's finger landed on that exact same verse in Psalm 126! This is all in the first chapter of that book -- and I'd only started reading it about an hour or less after I'd had the SAME experience with my finger landing on that same verse in Psalm 126! Now, what are the odds of me picking out a book out of all the books on my shelf that I still hadn't read -- and almost surely the only book in the world that tells of an experience identical to the one I'd just had an hour or less before!
And that's the end of chapter one of his book. Now, what are the odds that right after I do "Bible roulette," I'm going to pick up the only book on my overloaded bookshelf that has a passage about "Bible roulette"? And then what are the odds that the verses he came across are going to be the exact same ones I came across? It was a God-ordained circumstance, for sure.
Follow up: I eventually had the honor of helping to lead Kelly to the Lord and helping her to see that the Watchtower and the Jehovah's Witnesses were wrong about Jesus. I wound up writing the ApologetiX song "Wherever You Will Sow" about 13 years later based on that verse. And Rita's testimony about God using one of our parodies (one written specifically with Jehovah's Witnesses in mind) to reach her husband is another beautiful chapter in that ongoing story. Praise the Lord!