Had two visitors come “a knocking” going “door to door” a month ago. I knew right away what denomination they represented. I could have guessed what they were going to say even before they opened their mouths.
I knew they were Jehovah’s Witnesses, when I saw the groups of two, by their appearance, their demeanor, the ever present briefcase, and it was confirmed when the Watchtower came up out of the briefcase when I answered the door and said hello.
( I remember well the training, when the person answers the door, keep talking. )
Usually if JW’s come to the door, I don’t get in a discussion, I know from previous experience, they have an answer for everything….it may not be right…but they have an answer, and they are going to argue it.
That day I thought I’d try a different approach. I thought I’d talk to them a while and then tell them I was a disfellowshiped Jehovah’s Witness who was confident in my redeeming relationship with Jesus and see what they would do.
It went sort of like this.
Older Man: “We are stopping at people’s homes in your neighborhood talking about the state of the world (gets out the latest issue of the Watchtower, and points out the topic). Who do you think is in control of the world?”
Me: (who has been silently praying and at this moment is wondering should I freak him out and say Jehovah) “God”
Older Man: “Why yes, that is correct.”
Younger Man: (shaking his head and agreeing) “Correct”
(I was half-smiling to myself. I well remember the “we know more than you” attitude and posture from door-to-door days. Some are not even aware of it, others quite so, it is something that comes with the teaching engrained that ‘they are the only ones that are correct’)
Older Man: (Gets out his New World Translation) “I’d like to read a scripture.”
(Now here I was thinking I’d like to run and get my Bible, but here is where Cody decides to try to sneak out between my legs, so I grab him and push him back in the door.)
He quickly flipped from one scripture to another, and I was listening closely to see if he read one that was changed. He ended up with the scripture about going and making disciples. Matthew 28:19
I said “yes, the Great Commission.” I thought the younger man’s head would pop off, it jerked up so fast. The older man said, “why yes.”
Then I said, you’ll notice that scripture says “be my witness, not “to witness”. We are called to be a witness by how we live and how we talk and how we treat our neighbors, not just going door to door. The younger one kind of smiled and said your are right we are called to be a witness by how we live.
Then the older one started to talk about how a recent poll showed that theirs was the largest growing religion, not Baptist like most believe. I believe I said “you mean denomination, not religion” and I asked “where are you getting your facts from, as I doubt that”. He hesitated and then started to mention some southern source.
By then, I thought this really isn’t getting anywhere. I could tell the “spin was on” with the older gentlemen. So I figured now was the time to see what he would say if I said that I was a disfellowedship JW.
So I told them.
I told them I was raised as a JW, and that demoniation was not for me. I was a disfellowshiped JW.
I told them, “Look, I don’t have a problem talking with you, but I know you probably have a problem talking with me. I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover, and I know we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. I know that my sins once confessed have been forgiven and that Christ died for me and I have a personal relationship with Him. I know what the Bible says about judging.”
The younger guy said I appreciate you telling us. The older guy just wanted to know if my parents lived around here. I told him my mother wasn’t living, and my father did not live in the state.
(Who knows, maybe they have to keep track now if they run into one of “us”.)
Then he said, “well if you want to come back let me know”.
(It was later that I realized, he didn’t tell me who “he” was, guess he was thinking he wouldn’t be running into me again.)
I told them “That wouldn’t be happening. I have a personal relationship with Jesus, and I know Jehovah.” Then I added, “Because you know Jehovah, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one you know. (they are not taught that) It’s in the Bible, and the Bible tells you the truth if you read it from cover to cover not just your magazines and books.” (I looked right at the younger guy when I said that. For some reason I felt like he was the one that needed to hear that.)
I should add the older man packed up pretty quick after that.
Afterwards I thought of more that I could have said.
Isn’t that they way it always goes.
But then I figure I am only asked to plant a seed. So I planted a seed, what kind of soil it falls on and what happens next isn’t up to me.
One person plants a seed, another adds some water, another some more, and so on. If the soil is fertile God will make it grow.
When it comes to JW’s you need to plant a seed of questioning what they have been told. A seed to read the Bible to search for themselves. A seed to search for the truth.
I pray I plant seeds in fertile soil.