|If nothing else, have to respect the effort.
A knock at the door, and I wish I would have been there! One day while I was at work, two older ladies came to the house and brought us a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses' publications. Darling Bride tells me this was about 20 minutes before a doctor's appointment, 15 minutes away, for Youngest Son. So she politely accepted the literature and afterward, she saved the paperwork for me.
It is tempting to think otherwise, but I'm really sorry I missed the opportunity to have some questions and answers with some who really need to know the one true God. I would have asked things like:
- Wow, this must be really important to you if you're willing to invest time and energy to go door to door. What motivates you to do so?
- How do you deal with people who don't react favorably to you and what you are offering?
- How have you come to consider this particular tradition as the truth among other competing truths?
- How will you benefit from this effort?
Hopefully that conversation would have gone better than what might have happened when I was younger and knew everything. I have this Bible Answer Book by Hank Hanegraaff, that lists some information about Jehovah's Witnesses and The Watchtower Society. It would be tempting to try questions like,
- Why did Charles Taze Russel, who founded the Watchtower Society in the 1870s, consider the cross a pagan symbol adopted by an apostate church?
- Why is salvation impossible apart from the Watchtower Society?
- Do you deny the physical resurrection of Jesus as Russel and his successors have taught?
- According to Russel, who called the cross a "torture stake," the body that hung on the cross either "dissolved into gasses" or is "preserved somewhere as the grand memorial of God's love." Which of those do you believe, and why?
- Watchtower predictions of end time cataclysms were to occur in 1914, then 1918, then 1925, then 1975. What happened?
- Dr. Bruce Metzger, professor of New Testament at Princeton, calls the Jehovah's Witnesses version of the Bible, the New World Translation, a "frightful mistranslation," "erroneous," and "reprehensible." Is that a fair evaluation?
None of this is meant to be mean spirited. While I cannot confirm this, I've heard that those who go door to door, like our visitors, are well trained in asking questions to stump people like me and tempt me to doubt my understanding who Jesus is and what He has done.
Fortunately, as a tax accountant, I get stumped quite a bit, so I am used to it. When that happens, I just say something like, "that's something I would have to research, I'd like to get back to you on that."
We would do well to engage our culture in the exchange of ideas, and communicate hope and good news to those who need it the most, especially when they show up at our door!