Sometimes other’s offer us the opportunity to study the Bible with them by comming to us. A current personal Bible study continues in Anaheim as a result of just this.
David Norris (above) of the Anaheim church of Christ shares the following:
“Early in 2014 I found a paper at my front door that said “Will suffering ever end?” It had been left there by someone associated with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. On the back it had a box that I could check that said “Please send someone to visit me” I thought that it would be pointless to check the box and place the paper outside my door, so I went online and requested a Bible study. I waited a week or two and sent a second request. One Saturday a bit later I had a visit from a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and set up a time to study.
In late February I started studying with Tim and Cameron. We discussed several different topics in which I felt I needed to understand their beliefs and show where my beliefs differed. A few weeks later, Cameron moved away on a mission and others filled his place (Dennis, Paul and Jim) at various times. Jim is now Tim’s regular partner.
When Dennis studied with us, he suggested that we go through the Jehovah’s Witness book “What Does the Bible Really Teach?” since he felt we would get nowhere by the current method of study. Tim, Jim and I went through their book. I was able to discuss where my beliefs differed, but in order to do this in depth I kept a list of questions and issues to be discussed later. We are now going through my list, using documents that I created based on my studies.
At this time I don’t see anything that would suggest that my thoughts are convincing either Tim or Jim that their understanding of the truth is errant in any way. The idea that I get is that the starting point and basis for judging truth is that the Jehovah’s Witness doctrine is the truth. When my beliefs differ with their truth, their hope is spoken to me as “you will understand this after more study”.
This doesn’t in any way tell me that there is no fruit in the studies that we continue to have. Some fruit that I see:
– I have learned what the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe, and can discuss what I believe to be their errors with those questioning their JW stand.
– I have learned what it is like to be discussing the Bible with someone who thinks that his group is the only one that is pleasing to God.
– I have better understanding of why I believe the way that I do.
– I have planted seeds of what I believe to be God’s truth in the minds of at least the two regular study partners.
– I have spent many hours with people who love and want to serve God. This is inspiring even though I think they are misled.”
The bold in the above quote is my addition. I added it because, counter to the negative assessments we may sometimes have, I believe no study of God’s word is fruitless. I also believe that no evengelistic effort is fruitless. Both, even if they seem to be fruitless by the quantitative measure we hope for (conversion), if done with the proper heart, produce qualitative fruit (i.e. exposure to the truth and spiritual growth).
At times there are those who come knocking on our doors. What will we do with the opportunity?
This brother accepted the invitation and is growing from the experience. How about you?