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Responses to Jehovah’s Witnesses:

“Hey, great! Something to read. I was just about to go to the bathroom…” (snatch the pamphlets from their hands and close the door)

“I’ve heard it said that the meek shall inherit the earth. Do the meek go knocking door to door, passing out literature? Just curious.”

“You know, I’m glad you came because I have a question. God said to beware of false prophets, right? And that some of them might use the actual word of God against you, right? And he said that some of them might not even be aware of the falseness of their own prophecy right? Well, then, how do you know for sure you’re not it?

“No, I don’t want to go to heaven, because YOU’RE going to be there.”

“Do I go to church? Do I go to church? Do I…” (start laughing hysterically, as if this were the most absurd thing you’ve ever heard of, and close the door in their face)

“I’m sorry, Deuteronomy 23:1 specifically excludes from the congregation of the Lord those who have had their ‘privy member’ cut off. Thanks anyway.”

Jehovah's Witnesses always have an angle. The last time I had the privilege of dealing with them was a Saturday morning. I'd just enjoyed a yummy breakfast of homemade waffles and was in no mood to explain to these enthusiastic proselytizers why I thought Christian and Buddhist doctrines weren't mutually exclusive, or why I thought there were whole swaths of the bible that were clearly wrong, or why I thought knocking door-to-door for the purpose of anything besides selling candy bars for one's Little League Baseball team was both immoral and unethical.

So these kind fellows come to my door using the Teen Suicide angle.

"You know, there are a lot of problems facing today's youth. Did you realize that the second highest killer of teens today is suicide? These kids need guidance blah blah blah. . ."

Crap, I'm thinking. I don't want to be rude to these guys, but I don't have time to argue with them and I don't want their magazines. Wait! I know!

"Well, coming from a traditional Japanese upbringing as I do (A lie), I feel that suicide is a perfectly legitimate option in many cases. Honestly, I fail to see why a high suicide rate is an issue." Oh, this is too easy.

". . ." the Jehovah's Witness says. "Well, have a good day, sir," he manages.

"You too," I say cheerily.

And I wasn't even rude.

I uncovered a bundle of these documents, fastened with strawish yarn, in my loony grandmother’s drawer, amongst other ancient treasures and trinkets, for instance, dainty brooches with tacky jewels, and an odd money box contraption in the shape of a coffin: I recall gingerly slapping a two cent piece (oh, those were the days) into a plastic skeleton’s hand and then having the coin disappear to a very creaky and rusty sound. At the end of it, this greenish skeleton showed his alienish, tacky head (I think he was meant to glow in the dark). The thing was so old it never worked properly so you’d have to jostle him back in his coffin manually. Sigh.
But, I’ve deviated, the papers were all yellowing and feathery and burnt at the edges. It was exactly how you would simulate a pirate’s treasure map for a project back in grade school, with daddy’s zippo lighter and coffee smudges. It was clumsily typewritten, which made it evermore romantic. It’s the type of document that lends itself to being crinkled into a scroll, were it not so delicate and brittle with age, and then prodded inside a grubby glass bottle for a few hundred years of floating at sea before some landlubber eventually read your mysteries..


WHAT TO SAY TO JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES AT YOUR DOOR.

by. Canon R. F. Palmer. S.S.J.E, D.D.

“I admire your zeal in trying to forward your beliefs. I am sure you are a sincere person. But I cannot accept your literature. You preach a cruel and unreasonable God Who is going to sweep most of his Children away in a horrible battle of Armageddon, while you Witnesses stand aside and look on.

I don’t believe that you will really like to look at such a wicked thing. You are too kind for that. Yet you make out that God is not good and kind. He destroys His Own children, not because they are morally bad, but rather because they do not join the Jehovah’s Witnesses. You would not treat your children like that; so you are better than the God you preach. For ages He has known, according to you, that He was going to have this horrible battle of Armageddon, yet He has gone on making more children to be destroyed. I want nothing to do with such a God. If you go on preaching Him, you will get to be like Him, cruel and unreasonable. You Witnesses consider this world hopeless, and so you leave it to perish. You make little effort to help the suffering by supporting hospitals, orphanages or other works of mercy. You take no part in seeing that we have good honest government.

I believe in the True God, the God of Love; not in your old God of hate. I believe in the Gospel, that means the Good News that God loves us and cares for us. I do not believe your message of bad news. I know what the true God is like. Jesus is the true picture of what God is like. Your unreasonable God is not one bit like Jesus, Who went about doing good, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and Himself died for us on the Cross instead of destroying us. You are too good a person to be a Jehovah’s Witness. Be a Witness for Jesus and for the God of Love. Spread His Good News of the gift of eternal life here and hereafter.

Thank you for calling and for listening to me. I shall be pleased if you will read this. Good day, and God bless and convert you…..”

The father of one of my friends knows how to deal with Jehovah’s Witnesses.

One day in late fall, a large, old tree had fallen over on their property, and my friend's father had spent most of the day cleaning up the brush and cutting the tree up into firewood. This was a very old tree, and the center had completely rotted out, leaving a cylinder of wood filled with mostly decomposed wood, mixed with various insects and the like, making for an extremely big mess.

My friend's father was in the house taking a break and getting read to load the wood into his big pickup truck so he could taking it to a friend's house when a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses showed up at the door. They were very well dressed, wearing long-sleeved white shirts and black dress pants. My friend's father, wanting to get rid of them quickly, but politely, tossed them both a pair of gloves told them to give him a hand.

Much to everyone's surprise, however, the two Jehovah’s Witnesses, perhaps wanting to show that they were willing to work hard in the Lord's Service, put on the gloves and began to help. After about a half hour, all of the wood was loaded. The two Witnesses were absolutely filthy with the decayed wood, their white shirts stained and dirty beyond the power of bleach to clean. My friend's father went inside, brought them both glasses on iced tea, thanked them for their help, then hopped into his truck and drove off.

A quick word of warning: not only will this not work, but in fact it will do nothing but earn you a polite lecture on how their beliefs are almost exactly the opposite of what you have just said.

They will be particularly quick to point out to you that their vision of Armageddon is not in fact the end of the world, as this is a common misconception about Witnesses. People will die, but even this will not be permanent (at this point they will also probably bring up the fact that they don't believe in Hell). Then they might point out to you the humanitarian efforts in which they assist; they don't get much attention for this because they don't spend incredible amounts of money loudly advertising it.

The wrap-up will probably consist of the assertion that their vision of the Good News is exactly as you pointed out: that God loves us and cares about us. Then, most likely, they'll politely leave, satisfied that they did exactly what they came to your door to do: to teach you something about their religion, not necessarily to convert you (that being your decision to make, not theirs).

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