Tuesday, August 2, 2011

When a Jehovah's Witness Visits You

You're feeding the baby on a sunny afternoon, and your two-year-old is helping with the sippy cup. Or maybe you're fixing the car in the garage, or working in the garden. Whatever. But here comes a nice-looking trio of people in a station wagon! Perhaps its some friends of yours, or some acquaintances come for a visit. So, you go out to the car to meet them, and there are two ladies in the front seat. They greet you with warm smiles. These look like good people. Ah ha. Here we are. There's a fine, young man in casual, business attire, wearing a short-sleeve dress shirt with a tie. He's got black slacks, black shoes, two black books, a black day-timer, and some pamphlets. Hmmm...

"Hello sir, I'd like to talk with you about..."
Oh boy. Ok, stay cool. Now, you're tempted to thrust up the hand and say, "Uh, I'm a Christian. I believe Jesus is God, so get outta here. By they way: John 1:1!" Hold on, soldier. I've done that., and the chef does not recommend. After all--you ARE a Christian, and you know this man is a JW. So, you know he's deceived by the devil and his own sin and by others who have told him lies. Since you are a Christian, you should treat him with respect and love. Try this: listen to him. Let him do his spiel. What have you got to lose, anyway?

"Hey dude, is it ok if we stand in the shade?" He seems impervious to the fact that it's hotter than the Jehovah's Witness third level of hell (ok, maybe they don't believe in that but whatever), while shifting his feet and readying himself with the pitch. And that's what it is--a sales pitch. I mean, as he's walking up to me, he's pontificating about the most dire situation we must all face as humans. Death.

"It's something that affects just about everyone, and..."
"Yeah, it's a pretty common phenomenon," I say with a wry smile. Hey, I'm tryin' to be funny here.
"How do you handle death? Cuz, everyone has to deal with a death in the family, and it really affects them, and um, maybe um, I--I was wondering if--er, how you handled the mourning of it?"
"I haven't really had to handle death," I say.
It's true. My grandpa died in 1994, and that's almost 20 years ago.
"Where do you go for hope? I mean, can I talk with you about something good about what the Bible says?" He's flipping open his Bible. If only he knew what I was thinking inside. Would he still be here? Dude, I know who you are!

One thing I don't understand, is why the guy doesn't just spit it out that he's a JW and he wants to talk with me about his religion? It also seems like an odd sales pitch to start off with me about the most serious malady to affect mankind: death. That's quite an icebreaker, bro.

"Hey man (unnamed), uh...I'm going to have to put you on hold for a bit, cuz I got a baby inside."
He was very kind. He said that was totally understandable. This is a really nice place you have here. Where are you from?

That's more like it. How 'bout some small talk?

"It's a nice place alright, but we just rent the basement. It's not ours."
"Oh, ok. Well, it sure is nice out here. Nice and quiet, yet it's still close to everything."

Man, this guy is human. I knew it!

Can he give me this pamphlet and come back some other time?
Sure man. Come back some other time. For real.

Ok, Christian. Jehovah's Witnesses have had enough rude Christians telling them to get lost. Why not hear them out for once? Why not show them some love and humility? Why not show some candor and humor? After all--they are deceived into thinking that Jesus was the archangel Michael, and that we are saved by our works and these works are best manifest in door-to-door evangelism. They are instructed to say goodbye to family and friends. They have to obey a TON of ridiculous rules, when their leaders don't obey them. They are subjected to fear and shunning if they don't comply with the regulations of the community. There is constant scrutiny. These people are under the thumb at all times from their superiors. And worst of all...

They aren't allowed to ask questions. Obey the Watchtower!

So, dear Christian, the next time a "JW" comes to your door. Show them some love. You may be the only person ever to do so. Hear them out. What have you to lose? You know the Scriptures. (At least, you ought to, unless you were born again yesterday). You know the Church hasn't been deceived for 1850 years and then has received "new" revelation about who Jesus really is. So, don't be threatened. Read their literature and compare it with Scripture. Sit down and have a rational, kind conversation from the Scriptures. If you don't know how to answer them, then say so. Study what they believe, and do some homework. Be bold in argumentation, but don't be argumentative. Be an ambassador for Christ by showing love and respect. Maybe that means meeting with the guy week after week for a whole year. Who knows?

But, as a Christian, you do believe he's lost, right? So isn't it worth it? You might be challenged by a new friend he brings along. He might run you through the ringer with his strange ideas, so maybe you'll have to do some studying. This may mean getting together with them with a friend or pastor. Go for it, and bring the heat, and God be with you.

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