Debate With Jehovah Witnesses

Question

I am a Muslim convert and I am rather unusual in my conversion. One would never look at me and realize or even think that I was a Muslim. More than likely they would figure me as a WASP or Catholic, if you were to just look at the person and form an idea of them. I have been invited by the Jehovah Witnesses to come and learn about Jesus (pbuh) on what they believe to be the anniversary of his death, March 26, after sunset. I do not believe they know I am Muslim. They wish to explain: "Who is the man?" (well at least they got that right and did not call him God) "How does his death help us?" (they do not know Jesus did not die and it was His likeness that perished instead). "Why is it important that we remember Him?" They also allude to what the apostle Paul wrote concerning His death: "One man died for all." Now..... I would like to bring up to them Matthew 5: 17-20 and then ask them why they believe what Paul tells them. The Law is no longer needed and belief in Jesus' death is all that is needed for salvation. I want to ask them," Who are you going to listen to, Jesus, who told you to uphold the Law and not relax one of them, or Paul (who actually never even met Jesus but had a brief vision of him on the road to Damascus). They need to hear this and understand that upon the Day of Judgment, they will be asked by Allah, were they not told the truth by one who knew the truth? What else do you think I should address? I do believe that Allah is presenting me this unique opportunity and I do wish to make the most of it but in humble fashion of course. Your input is urgently needed for since day one of my conversion to Islam, I have viewed you as my teachers and have greatly benefited from your teachings of the Quran and the Hadith.


Answer

Please first bear in mind that according to our understanding, the verse of the Qur'an 3:55 is very clear that (while Jesus - pbuh - of course was not captured and put on the cross) God causes him death and then took his body. You may think about this as an alternative explanation to what the majority of Muslims believe in (which in our understanding is heavily influenced by the Christianity doctrine).

I would also recommend that you start with agreements (ponder over the verse 3:64) and then use the points of agreement to show that where they disagree with us is where the conflict with the agreement points starts. This means, if you believe in One God, then that God should be perfect in every sense, including being fair. The basis of salvation as put by Christianity is not fair. Compare this with the basis of success in the hereafter as put by the Qur'an: 2:62. Also look at verse 119 where it says that Honesty (act upon honest conviction) will benefit people in the hereafter.

I presume you know how Jehovah Witnesses are different with other Christians, if you are not exactly sure I suggest you do your homework on this before the event.

A year ago I was leading a panel discussion with representatives of a Church (they were not Jehovah Witnesses though). As a conclusion from my observations I wrote the following points:

1.Christianity is based on a very complicated and vague theology that appears to be not very much inline with the idea of God's fairness.

2.The basis of this theology cannot be found in the old testament and it is strange that for the good part of the history of prophethood such theory seems to be missing. In fact a tough question for a typical Christian would be: What happens to those who lived and died before Jesus and why God decided to change His criteria for salvation.

3. The basis of this theology cannot be found in the first three gospels

4. Part of the theology that brings Jesus (pbuh) above the level of human being can be found in the gospel of John but it is strange that this gospel was written after the other three and no sign of these ideas can be found in the earlier ones.

5. Part of the rest of this theology can be found in the other books of the Bible. Most of these books are written by Paul.

6. Paul has not been educated by any of the apostles and his teachings are based on a supposed vision that he had.

7. There are many significant controversies about the person of Paul. He seems to be originally Jewish but a citizen of Rome as well. He was opposed the followers of Jesus and contributed in persecuting them before his 'sighting and conversion'. He himself narrated his enlightenment and conversion! He was known to have disagreements and even arguments with some of the apostles Thomas Jefferson calls him the first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus. He appears to be very much under the influence of Greek myths where similar ideas like father, sacrificed son and spirit can be found.

8. Overall the authorship of many of the books of Bible (including the gospels) is under question mark by Christian scholars themselves (including the book of Hebrews that appears to have the only explicit verse in the Bible about the role of Jesus as the Word of God)

9. Even in the books of Paul while there are extra ordinary statements about Jesus (as) there is rarely any explicit references to him as 'god'.

10. The whole doctrine of trinity seems to be appearing only in the third century. There are other non-trinitarian groups of 'Christians' some of which do not consider Jesus to be divine.

11. Origins of the idea of trinity and son being sacrificed for the sake of people can be traced back to Paganism mythology.

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