I had mixed emotions about them coming to my house. Part of me just didn't want to have to deal with it. However, I also figured that since God is sovereign, He has a purpose in sending them to my door. Additionally, this may be one of the few times that they get to hear that Jesus actually is fully God. Jude 1:3 comes to mind, "Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints."
Of course, there was always the possibility that they wouldn't come. Then the doorbell rang.
As we began talking, they started in by wanting to discuss something that we would agree on: there is a lot of suffering in the world. As they continued, I wanted to be up front, so I told them that I'm a Southern Baptist pastor. Keep in mind that what REALLY matters is that I'm a follower of Jesus Christ, but I did want to be completely clear with them.
Whenever dealing with cults, we should be both loving and gracious. It is only loving to tell the truth, so I decided to "cut to the chase." I went straight to John 1:1 (which God in His providence had me read this morning). This verse says, in any decent English translation, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
That verse is a cornerstone verse for what we believe about Jesus Christ. In particular, it tells us that Jesus Christ is fully God. Jehovah's Witnesses deny this, so their false translation of the bible (The New World Translation) says, "...and the word was a god." The little word "a" makes a huge difference. They use this translation to say that Jesus is not fully God.
(To read a good explanation for the correct translation of John 1:1, click here.)
While these two ladies kept going to different verses that supposedly show that Jesus is not fully God, I kept returning to John 1:1. My purpose was not to win an argument, but rather to speak the truth in love and also to cause some doubt in their minds about what they believe.
In the end, we simply disagreed. However, these ladies acted like they had heard no good explanation before of why Jesus is fully God. My hope is that this conversation will at least cause them to think.
This episode reminds me once again that our entire Christian belief system really comes down to what we believe about Jesus Christ. When I say "believe," I mean whether or not we have fully surrendered our lives to the Christ of the bible as Lord and Savior.
All other world religions have other false gods. Atheists deny the existence of God. Cults all try to deny either the full humanity or full deity of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the reason for all we believe. In the blog world, we spend a lot of time talking about church, culture, parenting, education, evangelism, etc. These are all important things. However, let us always remember that it is Christ who is at the very center of our worldview. He is the key.
What we say about Jesus really does matter.