Not by the hairs on my chinny chin chin…

The knock on the door awoke me from the half-slumberous state that Anna had left me in. This was the second day in a row that the door had been knocked at what I don’t think is unreasonable to call the ‘ungodly’ time of 8:30am. The day before it was the man who reads the electricity meter whose loud rap had commanded me from my bed. So why did I get up for the second morning in a row? Well, there are two reasons really, neither of which as I write them now make any sense… at all.

The first is that part of me, even when I have no logical reason to, expects that the postman might just have a big and exciting parcel, that is all for me, and obviously too big to fit through the letter box! Another part of me fears my father-in-law will be popping round for some reason and will be shocked beyond belief to find me not yet out of bed.   However, what greeted me on this particular morning was not as exciting as a parcel and possibly scarier than the disapproving stares of the father-in-law.

Upon hearing the knock I groaned as I tried to shake the sleep from my head. I got out of the bed and reached for my dressing gown in the vain hope that it would at last be the postman, unlikely as it is these days that the post comes before I wake up. (Now I am not a particularly late sleeper, and do not really struggle to get out of bed; however, on that morning I felt awful. My stomach was rapidly convincing my mouth that it was about to send all manner of foulness flooding upwards and outwards.) Bravely I still battled down the stairs and opened the door.

At first the sight baffled me — there before me was a young somewhat smartly dressed lad of about 16 thrusting some sort of leaflet towards me; he was silhouetted by the somewhat-dazzling brightness of the sunshine, creating an almost angelic vision. So much was my surprise at seeing him that I failed to notice the small woman standing next to him for a good half a minute. This lad may have been saying something — I honestly don’t remember.  I do remember looking down at what he was trying to force into my hand and recoiling in horror as I realised it was a Jehovah Witness Watchtower magazine.

I had had some contact with the JW’s before after writing a particularly bad essay on them for my degree. I interviewed one and even attended the Kingdom Hall one Sunday morning to further my understanding of the differences in our faiths. After this experience I’d love to be able to say that on this glorious morning I boldly presented a theological argument that showed them the error of their doctrines, that I quoted an abundance of Scriptures that I had lovingly memorised in case such a situation should arise. I’d love to say that within ten minutes of being on my doorstep I had these poor, misguided souls on their knees crying out in repentance to Jesus. I believe what I actually managed to blurt out in my lofty wisdom was something like this: Er me Christian, youth worker at church. Believe Jesus Son of God, died for sins… so there!” — although there is a strong possibility that it was in no way as eloquent as that.

During the course of our subsequent conversation I did manage to achieve a number of things that I look back on with a certain amount of pride:

  1. I looked totally suspicious of every Bible reference the lady made.
  2. I strongly refused to receive any of their literature.
  3. I managed to not let my stomach win the battle it was still raging with my mouth.

After they left I sat on my stairs, offered a brief prayer for their souls, repented of my utter ineptitude to say anything about my faith, and then went back to bed. The next morning when there was a knock at the door I turned over and went back to sleep, much to the disgust of my father-in-law waiting on the doorstep.

Every encounter I have with JW’s reminds me of how rubbish, in general, we have become at sharing our faith. How does Jesus feel about all this, as He looks down on the bunch of misfits and clowns that He very forgivingly calls ‘an army’…?  The people He saved for a purpose are becoming spiritual couch potatoes, and the worse thing is they bear witness to that better than they do to the One who lives within them!

If I were Jesus I’d be pretty fed up. But as you may have guessed already from my judgemental ramblings I’m not Jesus. I’m a soldier in His army and I have to defer all my decisions to Him. It’s time for me to stop looking at everyone else’s miserable efforts, to stop judging other Christians, and to get on with running my own race! Christians are my family and I’m stuck with them, so for once why don’t I follow my Saviours’ example and love them. Encourage them. Witness to them. Bear with them. Because Jesus does and because I need them to do the same with me.

Perhaps I just need to concentrate on following Jesus best I can. When I run my race without casting a judgemental eye on the runners around me, then perhaps I will become bold enough to share my Jesus to anyone who will listen. After all if I don’t share my God, then there are plenty of others who will share theirs.

~                    ~                    ~                    ~

Nick is the author of Ebs and Flows… – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it is one of my favorite blogs of all. He doesn’t hold anything back when he writes – he’s painfully honest about himself and the situations he finds himself in, and he keeps it real and relevant. This isn’t Nick’s first time writing here at Grow Up! – if you haven’t read his post about A logical romance, I encourage you to do so! Don’t forget to check out his blog and let him know you stopped by!

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About Nick

Nick lives in Scarborough with his wife, Anna, and Little Welford, their adopted son. Nick is currently a Baptist Minister in Training with an Anglican placement!

Posted on March 3, 2011, in "Guest Post" March, Guest Post and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. This reminded me of something I heard recently:

    Perhaps we should stop being so upset with people who use Jesus’ Name, or God in general, as a curse word. Do we really think this is all God meant when He said “Do not use my Name in vain”? Instead, perhaps those who follow God are those who use His Name in vain. Every believer who does not share his faith, who hates her neighbor, who puts too many restriction and rules on others so that they focus more on the laws than on serving God and others is more guilty of using “the Lord’s Name in vain” than anyone else.

    That kind of hit me across the face.

    Excellent word.

  2. OK, this amused me a bit because I recently was in the grocery store parking lot–sitting in my car balancing my checkbook with the window down. I had the tiniest, sweetest little old African woman suddenly appear at my door and asking if I had kids. Mildly frightened I said no and she handed me a colorful booklet and disappeared as fast as she showed up. I’m still curious why she wanted to know about the children I don’t have, but still…I began flipping through a very nice book on Faith and God. I suspiciously began to glance all around and found no church affiliate. Hmm. Then I saw a brief reference to God as Jehovah. But for the life of me I could not find ANY JW references. And then, out of the corner of my eye I saw the tiniest, most minuscule writing in the bottom corner on the back that said WatchTower.org…….I proclaimed out loud, “Oh! You sneaky B**tards!” Yes, I know, not very Christian…but I was SO irritated. It just felt like the enemy had just thrown a dart at my butt.

    I’ve been told before that they are Christians too…meh…I will argue that some other day. But I get frustrated with how a “religion” attempts to hide who they represent. Cowards hide. The devil hides. That’s my honest, judgmental opinion. I love the fact that I don’t have to trick anyone when I talk about Jesus. I tell them I’m in love with Him and why.

    • That made me laugh out loud! I think you hit the nail on the head a lot of Christians hide their light – Jesus even spoke of this!

  3. Our family’s champion at dealing with both JW’s and LDS missionaries is simple: she stands at the door with them, and just tells them about the remarkable things that have happened to her as a Christian. No arguing. Everything polite. But not much chance for them to talk, either. And they usually leave looking sort of dazed, shaking their heads.

    The first pastor I had in Idaho was extremely good at it, too. He didn’t argue. When pairs of LDS missionaries tried to convert him, he simply asked them questions. Always just questions about their own faith. But he was very knowledgeable about that, and would quickly have them tied in complete knots. Their answer to his second question would contradict their answer to his first one. And, for them, it got worse from there; yet he was unfailingly kind and polilte. I only got to watch from a little distance – too far to hear much – but I loved to watch him.

    My own biggest single memory of cults was visiting my father’s family in Idaho. All LDS. They’d sit me down in my grandmother’s living room, and the whole family (about 2 dozen of them) would sit around the room in a circle, trying to convert me. I won’t pretend they didn’t have an effect. I survived – but only because I’d already become a Christian, and knew it. They tried to convince me I couldn’t know. It was only later I saw the numerous contradictions they didn’t mention. I love them all, and do agree that at least some of them do love God and will make heaven. But their doctrine? Jesus and Lucifer were brothers? All of us will become Gods with our own planet to rule? I don’t think so! (I could go on.)

    Pertinent topic, Nick.

  4. Nick – you’re still keeping up the good work.

    i think I’ve been black listed by JWs. I know they have to knock on so many doors a day, so I deliberately debate with them from scripture – always on the doorstep & frustrate their efforts to leave.
    My reasoning is that I’d rather they didn’t mislead somebody somewhere else in our town.
    The real big thing for me about JWs?
    They always look miserable!
    Now that’s not going to make me climb into any watchtower.

    Well done, hope the youth work is going well.

    Stephen

    • I had some round not so long ago and when I explained I was a Christian and worked for a church they left really quickly! And now they never knock at all! Next time I am going to get them inside on lock down!

      The youth work is going really well thanks!

  1. Pingback: Not by the hairs on my chinny chin chin… | Ebs and Flows…

  2. Pingback: Lamenting the OT way. « Grow Up!

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