Oh, and I almost forgot to blog about the two Jehovah’s Witnesses I had at the door last Sunday.
Well, I say two – one did all the talking and the other hovered slightly and suspiciously out of view. Perhaps she was in training. Or just shy.
Anyway. Here’s how it went:
JW – would you be interested in a couple of our magazines?
Me – who are you from?
JW – we’re Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Me – no thanks, I’m a proper Christian.
JW – and how would you describe a “proper Christian”?
Me – as someone who follows the word of God and not some alternative version of it.
JW – do you not believe, as the Bible says, that we should go out and tell people about the word of God?
Me – yes, I do. And I admire your faith’s enthusiasm for getting out there and spreading the word. But I don’t agree with your doctrine.
JW – so if you follow the word of God does that mean that you abstain from blood, as it instructs us in Acts?
Me – well, I tend not to drink much of it.
JW (with no seeming acknowledgement of the joke) – right. But would you accept a blood transfusion?
Me – of course.
JW – how can you if it goes against what it says in Acts? Do you not believe that the Bible is the word of God?
Me – I don’t believe it’s the abstractly literal word of God.
JW – oh. Right. (pause) So you don’t want our magazines then?
Me – no thanks.
Obviously I could have handled that better. For instance, by not sounding arrogant in calling myself a “proper Christian”, or by giving more clarification of my view that the Bible is not the abstractly literal word of God. And I am not even sure that “abstractly” is a real word. But I was thinking on my feet, I was interrupted from some very nice cheese on toast (with smoked sausage, mustard and Worcester sauce if you must know) and had a busy afternoon ahead.
And plus, my basic knowledge of JWism is minimal, other than the fact that they believe that some bloke got given a magic pair of glasses through which he was able to read a new version of the Bible that nobody else had read. Or something. And that they don’t take blood transfusions, and spend a lot of time knocking on doors handing out magazines.
Maybe I should have asked them for some prior warning so I could have prepared myself. Mind you, that didn’t help much last time I had the lunatic fringe of Christianity knocking on the door.
A couple of years back, shortly before Christmas, I had a couple of Mormons at the door. Inverness is full of them for some reason. Mormons, I mean, not doors. Not that Inverness isn’t full of doors too, there’s plenty of them as you’d expect. My flat has one. Three if you count internal doors, and five if you count wardrobe doors too.
I couldn’t talk long as I was about to go out, and would soon be going away for Christmas and New Year. They volunteered to come back in January. As I am always up for a good barney about religion, I took them up on their offer, agreed a date for them to return, and began my “homework”. I looked up lots of information about Mormonism on the internet, read a bit of their copy of The Book of Mormon (imagine Tolkien without the elves), I spoke to various ministers, found material that helped Christians respond to the arguments of Mormons, and as a result I felt knowledgeable, prepared, and poised.
And then… they didn’t turn up. Which was most un-Mormon-like. You just can’t win, it seems.
So – how do you treat religious door-knockers?