Discussion with a Jehovah's Witness about a relationship with Jesus

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 that 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!

 
 
About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.