My oldest son Jeff was in a 7th grade History class at the same school where I was teaching physical education. They were studying World History and had reached the chapter on Christianity. I had previously read some of the handouts on various religions such as Buddhism and I had read his history book’s chapter on Christianity. Based on what I found, I asked his teacher if I could be a guest lecturer on the topic of Christianity. With the permission of the teacher and the principal I taught the class about the Bible and the deity of Christ. I also gave a clear message of what Jesus did on the cross. All this was done in a public school. At the end of the class I asked for questions. Some of the questions helped me clarify exactly what Jesus accomplished on the cross. However, one question gave me trouble. It was delivered by a Jehovah’s Witness student in the class. He asked, “If Jesus is God, then when he prayed to God in heaven, was he praying to himself?” I still remember the sweat drops forming on my forehead as I stumbled for an answer. What I told the class was weak and I knew it. The next day this student, who was in my PE class, handed me a booklet titled, “Should you believe in the Trinity.” It was written by the Watchtower Organization and alleged that the doctrine of the Trinity is false and was developed from pagan sources. I was so embarrassed I knew I had to do something; so I flunked the student (just kidding). I decided at that moment this would never happen again.
What was going to be my plan of attack? First I needed to understand some basic theology; specifically the doctrine of the Trinity. Please don’t let the word “theology” scare you. It simply means the study of God. We as followers of Christ need to know what believe and why we believe it. Second I needed to learn tactics for how to properly conduct myself in a spiritual conversation. The Bible says we are ambassadors for Christ and we need to learn how to share our faith in a winsome and attractive manner. This too was going to take time, study, and practice.
The Apostle Paul in Titus chapter 1 gave us a standard for an elder. Most of what he said about an elder I believe is true for what a mature Christian should be like. In Titus 1:9 Paul writes, “He [an elder] must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”
Paul emphasized in verse 9 the importance of knowing sound or healthy doctrine. When he says, “The trustworthy message as it has been taught,” he was challenging the elders to learn theology, the message that had been taught. The words, “Encouraging others by sound doctrine” refers to presenting doctrinal truth in wise or tactical manner. We cannot correct others and thus be an encouragement if we beat them over the head. Tactics are important in confronting error inside or outside the church. Finally, “refute those who oppose it” is what we can do when we tell others about the true Jesus. Just like in Paul’s time, we need to know sound doctrine so we can confront error and how to present the truth in love.
The doctrine of the Trinity is one of the most important doctrines in all of Christianity. Jehovah’s Witnesses reject the Trinity. What this means is they worship a false God. Without Jesus Christ they will spend eternity separated from God. This is why we must reach them for Christ.
By grasping the doctrine of the Trinity you will be better equipped to share. My suggestion is the read my series called “Loving the Trinity.” This is a great place to increase your foundational knowledge for sharing with those who reject this vital doctrine. In addition I suggest you read the series that followed, “Believing in Jesus as God and Man.” It will give you the basics for understanding how Jesus lived on earth with two natures; fully God and fully man.
The embarrassment I felt in the history class served as motivation to study and share. I have spent hundreds of hours gently refuting Jehovah’s Witnesses and have equipped hundreds of Christians on the doctrine of the Trinity. Over the next few weeks I would like to share what I’ve learned by practical experience. I want to equip you to learn sound doctrine and share with the Witness at your door.