How do you get family members to listen to you? - Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, John Ankerberg Show

How do you get family members to listen to you?

A John Ankerberg Show viewer asks: “How on earth do you get one of them to sit down and listen. They are so afraid to hear another side — because the are the on “TRUTH”. My father is deep into their false doctrine and has completely pulled from our family because we are Christians. He’s so afraid of what we say to cause doubt and just walks away…how do you get around that?”

Addressing this within the family is always difficult. As with other questions we have answered, prayer and patience are key. The old cliché, “More is caught than taught” come to mind. Faith is an act of the will not a function of information. We cannot argue someone in to faith. That doesn’t mean information is not important, it is, but giving accurate information by itself may not bring someone to a knowledge of the truth. Too often we try to make assertions and argue someone into the faith without even knowing why they believe what they believe. Perhaps, they had no or few friends before joining. We are asking them to leave their friends to go to a new life of what? No friends perhaps? They may be anti-war and the Jehovah’s Witnesses are the only group they know of that holds that view. Perhaps they were something else and were convinced their previous religious affiliation had lied to them. Now they are so invested they cannot bear the thought that they have been deceived again. Pride is a powerful task master.

The place to start is to learn as much about what the Watchtower teaches as compared with sound biblical teaching. Then you can simply ask questions as the opportunity arises. Let it float in the air and don’t expect a response. Let the Holy Spirit do the work. Something like, “I was reading John 2 and Jesus said that after He was crucified He would raise Himself. How do you suppose He did that? By the way, would you like a cup of coffee?” Then go do something else. Take the pressure off and let them wrestle with the question.

L.L. (Don) Veinot Jr. , President
Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc.