Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Am I Not Convert-able Enough?

I like the Jehovah's Witnesses. I do! They come often to my door --in fact, in the last 5 years, I think I've seen the same man at least 6 or 7 times. Which doesn't seem like much, but when you only see the JW's 6 or 7 times in 5 years and it's always the same man, well, then, you know. It's a lot.

I don't get the proselyting mission of the JW's. Each time this man comes, usually with a different "companion" --from his friend to his wife to his son to his cousin's brother's babysitter's friend --he engages me in a doctrinal discussion that usually borders on boring. He's a very kind man, for sure, and it seems like he has something else up his sleeve, but for the life of me, I don't know what! Because he won't engage me. We talk about the creation, the God of the Old Testament, why Jesus is the First Born, etc. but it doesn't get very deep. Or hostile. Which is good --I mean, don't get me wrong! I'm glad that I'm not bible-bashing with the local JW's. But it leaves me with these questions:

1. They never ask to come in. Never. We stay outside.
2. They never call me or follow up. They usually show up every 4-6 weeks. Like my online shopping packages.
3. They are very vague about their beliefs, given to me in the pamphlets every 4-6 weeks.
4. Are they really trying to convert me?
5. If they are, why don't they try harder?

I guess you could say I'm slightly offended that I'm not pursued more. I mean, do I not look like a witness of Christ? Hello, people! I'm TOTALLY a witness of Christ! I am an awesome example of Christianity! What's wrong with me that they won't try harder to convert me? I'm thinking it's because of this:

1. They can tell I'm super-educated in the ways of doctrine. Most Mormons are, fortunately. We love us some scriptures! So, they can't really "trap" me.
2. Maybe they're missionary program is on a "one day, may years from now, they will convert, but for now we'll keep the mystery alive!" basis.
3. Isn't there something about only 144,000 people being saved after we all die? (Please correct me if I'm wrong. I don't want to insult the JW's!) Then recruiting more people lessens their own chance of getting into heaven, right? Right?

Anyway, it's interesting. I'm always polite to them. I'm always kind. Because --as I told my JW friend the last time we spoke (around 4-6 weeks ago, not this afternoon, even though we did speak this afternoon) --I have a soft place in my heart for those who preach about Jesus.

But isn't it weird they don't try harder? Maybe it's just my Mormon missionary zeal projecting outward onto them. Ooh! Ooh! Maybe I'll try to convert THEM next time. Ha! That would throw them for a loop, eh?


Alison Wonderland said...

I'm right there with you, for some reason the JWs always come around at the worst time for me, except for one time when I was nice, they left information, we chatted and I was sure they were going to come back. But they didn't.

On the other hand I was in a ward once where the RS thought I was inactive (they didn't pay a lot of attention to people who didn't attend RS because they had other callings) and all they did was come over once (during which visit I did not make it clear that I was active) I've never really decided if I was more offended that they thought I was inactive or that that was all they did about it.

matt said...

Hey, I am a JW and can help you out but we prefer face to face. the guy visiting you is probably waiting to be invited in by you, we have learned not to be 'pushy'. People used to be more hospitable to visitors but nowadays people are generally afraid of others or misinformed about JW's. Our beliefs are pretty clear in our literature, I am not sure what you mean by vague. IF you ask him questions about what was in the 'pamphlet' he gave you last time you will probably get more out of the discussion!

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather have a brief discussion and be given information to look over in my spare time than being another statistic to be converted by the pushy Mormon missionaries. My personal experience with them is not an informative or kind one, rather an I-don't-want-to-answer-any-of-your-(perhaps controversial) questions-but-please-say-you-have-found-the-"truth"-and-won't-be-a-heathen-anymore attitude that doesn't make me want to get anywhere near your church. There's something to be said for gentle subtleness, ya know?!

Cheryl said...

That's weird. I'm not sure which would have offended me more, either.

Thank you for your information!

Alrighty, then!

Anonymous said...

There's something to be said for gentle subtleness, ya know?!

Couldn't help but notice the irony as your comment was anything but gently subtle. ;)

If we are a bit overzealous at times, usually just because our message means so much to us. Our missionaries are young and doing their best and learning as they do that. Please try to be patient with our weaknesses. It's not our intent to be pushy or inconsiderate.

As for "controversial" questions, our job is less to answer them but to share how you can sort through questions and seek your own answers from the Source, from God.

That said, have you checked out the new mormon.org to see that some questions are being addressed, with answers from Church members. Might be worth a look if you haven't looked already.