The JWs

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.

But anyway.

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?

12 thoughts on “The JWs

  1. OK dude…why am I always rolling out of my chair from laughter as I read your blog…this is a good one…and I can relate. You never really can win…I don’t really try anymore.

  2. Direct questions at the one who is obviously in training or shy. Ask their names. Focus on Jesus and His ministry.

    Or you could just slam the door in their face, of course.

    On another note, being so bold when you get cold-called by salespeople on the telephone. Ask the caller if they know Jesus. They’ll end the call very quickly.

  3. Have you seen the South Park episode about the history of Mormonism? It’s a classic, and the story of the religion is so “out there” that they just tell it straight-up with little embellishment.

    I had a fun encounter with JWs in my student flat. I too engaged them in conversation (I like an argument as much as you), and as I am a geologist the argument inevitably wound its way toward evolution and life outside Earth. They seemed dumb-struck when, after asking if i really believed the outrageous myth of water having flowed on Mars, I detailed the evidence and agreed that it was eminently reasonable and likely that there had been water on Mars in the recent past. There was some other fun stuff like that, and when I closed the door I saw that Niall and Martin had been hiding behind me, doubled up with laughter.

    So, based on both our experiences, some advice to JWs: learn counter-arguments. It’s all very well knowing the “pillars” and main beliefs of your religion, but when someone argues against them you can’t just look blank and weakly say “but … ermm … Bible”.

  4. Simon, I’ll think you find that it’s clear from the context of Acts 15 that we should all abstain from having a blood transfusion. Apparently some of the new gentile Christians were tranfusing each other like it was no big deal.

  5. Joseph Smith (founder of Mormonism) was the one with the glasses.

    And the South Park Guide to Mormonism is here:

    Dum, dum, dum, dum, dum.

  6. Simon, I’ve found that that the most effective way of dealing with any MPR (mobile purveyor of religion…..all acronym rights to this author) is to remove said doors from your house altogether, thus alleviating three problems:

    1. MPRs having nothing to knock on – confuses the heck out of them;
    2. There is the inherent reduction in RFSI (repetitive foot slam injuries); and
    3. It creates greater interest about your windows, which a clearly far more asthetically pleasing component of your house, unit, or other preferred place of abode.

    Of course, the downside is that, whilst the risk of door knockers to the structural integrity of your house is small, window knockers either cannot be heard (when used by Avon ladies, children informing you they lost their ball over your fence, small muppets, etc) or alternatively result in an attention-getting crash of broken glass (when used by FedEx delivery persons, angry parents demanding return of said balls, and some larger muppets).

    Just something to think about….


  7. Gingerprince – indeed, I am quite shocked that God never went as far as mentioning it in the Ten Commandments.
    m0ok – thanks for the clarification. My apologies for confusing the JWs and the Mormons! Great video, very funny.
    Craig – a good technique. And welcome to the blog! Which reminds me of a great joke: my door is great because it’s made of foam… you can’t knock it!

  8. It’s always easy to think of what one should have said after the moment has passed. I think you did quite well. The whole point of knocking on doors is to catch you off guard, because most people haven’t really thought through what they believe and can be easily confused in such situations. While your response was not flawless, you stood your ground. Good work.

  9. Very funny blog entry! And comments equally as laughable.

    Interesting that you refer to the “lunatic fringe of Christianity” – as if “your” (or any other) Christianity is not loony.

    I find it odd that you might consider that it weird 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” and yet you would believe that God – a super-being who created the universe and everything in it – actually exists.

    It’s rather like someone in a lunatic asylum calling another inmate mad!

  10. I have always read that you should focus on Christ because all so called cults deny Jesus’ Deity. These encounters seem to never go the way you really want them to go. I suggest that you do talk to them and let the Holy Spirit lead you.

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