A Call from Jehovah’s Witnesses

This afternoon there was a knock on the door.  Rarely does anyone call on me without letting me know, so I didn’t know who to expect.  I opened the door and I saw two elderly women standing there.  I then noticed the book they carried.  Knowing that Methodists, Anglicans, and Congregationalists rarely make this kind of house call, I knew it was Jehovah’s Witnesses.

They said there they were just going around spreading messages from the Bible.  I don’t know what look I had, but the lady who was speaking suddenly stopped and said, ‘Is the Bible the sort of thing you’re interested in?’  I told them I was a Methodist minister, and asked what church they were from (knowing the answer).  They told me, and the lady who first spoke said that she used to be Methodist.  I said I was sorry we lost her.

Then, she said that she is very interested in people’s beliefs and opinions and wanted to know what I thought happened after death.  I said my beliefs are a little strange in that I don’t believe people ‘go to heaven’ when they die, but wait for the resurrection as Jesus was resurrected.

The seemed a little caught off gaurd and said, ‘That’s what we believe.’  And what about the earth?  Well, I said that I believed it would be re-created into a new creation.  They nodded, and one lady handed me the little pamplet ‘Life in a Peaceful New World’.  I did admit that I was committed trinitarian, and they would not likely change my mind about that.

I don’t know if this surprised me or not.  I think a friend from Divinity School once encountered them and found out they believe in the resurrection quite strongly.  I think growing up, most people I knew got hung up on people saying that they didn’t believe one when to heaven when they died.  If that’s so, I know from experience people don’t tend to listen to the full story from me, either, when I say that (i.e., I believe we will be resurrected like Jesus to eternal life – just in a new creation than in ‘heaven’).

She said that she was surprised that so many ministers didn’t know their bibles.  Some had even been quite mean to them.  They spoke for a few minutes more about a number of issues, including women in the ministry being wrong (which I thought ironic, given that they were two women intent on teaching anyone).  In the end, I decided not to engage.  Having been what may appear to them receptive, that might give me a repeat visit.

Still, it was nice to talk theology again (outside of Disciple and the blog, I don’t get to often), and I believe them that they were interested (if only for evangelism purposes).


5 thoughts on “A Call from Jehovah’s Witnesses

  1. I had a similar experience in Norwich–I actually engaged them (mostly on issues in Revelation)–and did get several repeat visits. I even got invited to a Bible study. I didn’t mind the visits, they just seemed to call at inconvenient times–and fairly often. All in all, an interesting encounter, to be sure.

  2. Since I live right next to the church, my interaction with the JW’s goes something like this:

    ‘Hello, we know that you are Methodists, but we’d like to leave you this booklet’

    ‘Thank you very much’

    Smiles all around. End of conversation.

  3. Food for thought is best chewed slowly. It sounds like you gave them plenty to digest. Kudos for expanding their horizons – and mine. I enjoyed reading your blog. My husband is also a Duke Div. grad. Go Blue Devils!

  4. Sarah: They do tend to call at inconvenient times! But, it was a good talk.

    Pam: That’s been my experience up until now. I even had them call on my first day in the country. The super asked them to leave.

    Sally: I hope I did!

    Gayle: Thanks for stopping by! Glad it glad you thinking. And Go Devils indeed!

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