by Matt Slick
This brief dialogue with a Jehovah's Witness is representative of a problem they have with a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. Since they believe that Jesus is a created thing, they are not allowed to pray to Him. This means they cannot talk to Him. The question I kept asking was how do you have a relationship with someone you never talk to? This Jehovah's Witness tried to explain it, but couldn't adequately explain how anyone can have a relationship with someone they don't talk to.
Matt: I have a question. Do you have devotions, personal devotions?
Ted: You mean prayer?
Matt: Where you open the Bible, read just it, pray, read.... talk to God... pray... read...
Ted: Sure, all the time. That is prayer, read, meditate get holy spirit to understand. Sometimes I get an answer to my questions that way.
Matt: I feel for you
Ted: Likewise. And if the end comes soon I will think about you.
Matt: How so? if I am wrong, annihilation. So what? If you are wrong, eternal conscious torment.
Ted: Death is an enemy as Paul says.
Matt: Truth is the solution
Ted: I know and I am glad I have it.
Matt: Well, I have Jesus, a relationship with Him. I always have... from the first moment of my conversion when He came to me. I've always known Him... since then.
Ted: I have a relationship with both the Father and the Son and am on a first name basis with both of them.
Matt: And do you talk to Jesus?
Ted: No, I call on the name of Jesus by praying to the Father through him.
Matt: How do you have a relationship with someone you never talk to.
Ted: Because he uses me. The Father instructs him how to use me.
Matt: You didn't answer it. You and I have a relationship. We communicate with each other. I have a relationship with Jesus. I speak to him... I "hear" Him..... He speaks to me... relationship.... You don't have that with Jesus.
Ted: Well, actually neither do you.
Matt: I speak with him regularly. I am aware of his presence.... though I admit, I sometimes ignore it. I know the intimacy of communion with Him.... of speaking His name to Him, of praising the Lamb and saying Holy Holy Holy to him. You cannot do that. You cannot pray to Him and talk to Him. I can. You cannot come to Him and ask Him anything. I can...and I do. I have no one telling me to do it or not. I hear Him call me in my heart into His presence. Do you have that with Him?
Ted: The Father is the one who gives all gifts. He is the one we need to ask.
Matt: Jesus said "Come to me" (Matt. 11:27-28). Have you done that?
Ted: Yup, he lead me the the Father (John 14:6) .
Matt: Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18). He forgives sin. Have you gone to Him and asked him to forgive you. The Father will honor us if we serve Jesus - John 12:26. The Father tells us to listen to Jesus - Luke 9:35; Matt. 17:5. The Father tells us to come to Jesus - John 6:45. The Father draws us to Jesus - John 6:44. If you have the Father, then you will come to Jesus, listen to Jesus, be drawn to Jesus, serve Jesus, etc. Is that what you do?
Ted: Once one is drawn to the Father through Jesus then he prays to the Father in Jesus' name. That is what Jesus taught us to do. And that is what I do.
Matt: And how do you have a relationship with someone you never talk to?
Ted: Because he is used by the Father to guide me with the holy spirit. So when I pray to the Father for assistance and I feel the holy spirit it is Jesus who is operating the spirit.
Matt: But, how do you have a relationship with someone you never talk to?
Ted: I understand that you feel you talk to Jesus and he answers you. But most Trinitarians do not hear Jesus literally.
Matt: Please explain how you have a relationship with someone you never talk to....
Ted: Tell me how you have a relationship with someone who does not talk to you.
Matt: You can't.
Ted: Does the Father talk to you? Do you hear him audibly?
Matt: Now, please tell me how do you have a relationship with someone you never talk to... Can you please answer my question?
Ted: I asked you one.
Matt: I answered.
Ted: I want to know if the Father speaks audibly to you.
Matt: The Father calls me into intimacy with the Son (1 Cor. 1:9). So, in order to do that, I must speak to the Lord Jesus. The focus is on Jesus and I think you are simply trying to avoid the issue.
Ted: But you do not hear the voice of the Father. If you say you have a relationship with the Father (as I do) then how is that possible if he does not talk to you.
Matt: I have asked you how you can have a relationship with someone you never talk to. Can you please explain how that is possible?
Ted: The same way I have a relationship with the Father. I talk to him and he answers me with Jesus.
Matt: You have a relationship with the Father... He speaks to you through the word, right? You pray to Him, right? But, how do you have a relationship with Jesus since you never talk to Him?
Ted: I pray to the Father. He answers by having Jesus sent the holy spirit to me. I have a relationship with both of them in that way.
Matt: But, how do you have a relationship with Jesus if you never talk to Him?
Ted: One cannot have a relationship with the Father independent of the Son and vice versa.
Matt: Correct. Without either, you have neither.
Ted: Then one cannot pray to Jesus without the Father.
Matt: But how do you have a relationship with Jesus, since you never talk to Him? It isn't a relationship with Jesus at all. You don't have one.
Ted: I need to eat dinner. Talk to you later!