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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Those Pesky Door Knockers

I am sure you have experienced being in the middle of something really important only to be interrupted by one of those pesky door knockers. You know who I am talking about; it's either the two neatly dressed young men on bicycles with ties and name badges wanting to share a book with you, or the young family wanting to share one of their two magazines with you. Better known as your local Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses.

I have had only one experience with the Mormon variety. Considering I live very near one of their temples/churches I am surprised I haven't had more. It was actually very pleasant. Two young men came to my door offering me their Book of Mormon. I explained I already had a faith of my own and wasn't interested, and that I was quite busy at the time as I was trying to find transportation to the Doctor for my sons pre-surgery appointment.

These two young men who had never even seen me before offered that transportation! I didn't accept as it felt kind of funny, but it touched me. I agreed to take their book and read the beginning and agreed to let them come back and discuss it.

When they came back I very nicely explained that I just couldn't buy it, that I found it interesting, but no thank you. They were very kind and asked if I needed any help with my son and our situation, I told them no, but thanks for asking, and that was the end of that. They weren't pushy, they weren't rude, they were very nice young men, period.

I have much more experience with the Jehovah Witnesses. For one, I have family that belong to that church. Also, for some reason, no matter where I move they manage to find me and visit often. I have dealt with them in several different counties, at several different addresses. I have even done their "study" with three of them, in three different cities.

I should state here, that I can say with certainty I will never become a Jehovah's Witnesses, but while that may be the case I have a deep respect for them. They really live what they preach. They are out doing what I believe all Christians are called to do, which is share the Good News with all. Most Christians are uncomfortable even sharing their faith with a co-worker or friend, but alone a stranger. What they are preaching may not be what lines up with main stream Christianity, but at least they bravely do what they believe they are called to do.

They train their congregations very well. They have many Bible classes a week and even classes in how to counter the most common objections. What if all Christianity did the like? Most main stream Christians can't even explain what they believe and why but alone give an argument to those who try and counter us.

Several years ago when I broke my ankle the church I was involved with(not my current church!) knew about it and that I had four young children at home, yet no one called, offered any help or anything. You know who did? The JW's I was talking to at that time.

My first experience outside my JW family with a witness was nearly 20 years ago. This poor woman came to my house shaking, in tears, as she had just been literally chased off of someones lawn being cussed and sworn at. I offered to let her come in for some water and calm down.

I get so upset when I hear people brag how they chased a JW or Mormon away, or brag about how rude they were. What gets me even more upset is when it is Christians who take such pleasure in being rude and belligerent. Is that really how we show Christ's love? If you really believe these people are lost and need to be saved from the deception, do you think this sort of treatment is going to make them come running to your denomination?

Then you have the Christians that want to prove just how wrong the Mormon or JW is and invites them in only to get into a debate and show them just how wrong their religion is, and how perfect your own is. First, other than a theology major you will be hard pressed to win a debate with a JW, they are that well trained in what they do. Secondly, if you do win, all you're going to do is show that you may be right, but without the love and sincere desire to help this person, they most likely will never come back again, so what did you accomplish other than proving you're right?

My point in all of this is that there is no need to be rude to these people. They are just doing what they believe they are mandated by scripture to do. In 20 years of dealing with JW's in particular, and my one experience with a Mormon, I have never, and I do mean never come across a rude or pushy one. If I am really busy, I tell them. Sometimes I will accept their literature, sometimes I wont. Often I invite them in for a chat. I don't try to prove that my religion is right and theirs is wrong. I just ask questions that perhaps might make them ask their own.

These people have feelings. They are somebodies son and daughters. How would you feel if someone treated your son or daughter the way many treat the Mormons or JW's(slamming doors, being rude, etc..)?

What about offering them a drink(water in the summer, something warm in the winter) you don't even have to let them in.

That would be the nice thing to do, but at the very least, just tell them nicely, no thank you, I'm not interested and please don't come again? That doesn't take much longer than slamming the door now does it?

I find it very sad, that any human would take pleasure or bragging rights in being cold or rude to another. Christians in particular should feel especially ashamed for such behaviour.

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