Compassionate Evangelism

It was JW week again this week, and I applied some things that I’ve learned from some recent reading and the online sites to my prepared paper – and to my attitude and commentary.

Although it’s not difficult to sense the hatred waft off of her in waves when certain groups are mentioned, I didn’t know that hatred of those groups was taught to Witnesses, as a positive thing.  It is.  (Clergy, Jews, Adam & Eve – to name a few).

Although I had heard her discuss the persecution of JW, I thought she was using it as a selling point.  Maybe she is – but it, again, is something they emphasize to themselves.  As is their “free gift” of study time.   I had no idea it was such a big deal…. after all, I study with women all the time who “freely give” each other their time.

Usually my prepared stuff isn’t bad, but then when I talk, I’m just me.  So I need a little help to get into people’s backgrounds, get into their heads, learn the rules of their culture, so that I can communicate to them more effectively.  With JW, in particular, there are several red-button topics to avoid like fire.  Our chat this week went much better (and I was able to present the gospel) because I avoided those topics completely.

Some folks, like my husband, are able to entirely rely on their gift of gab, and their communication with the Holy Spirit.  Well, the Lord gives where He will – I’ve had the gift of words on occasion – but day to day?  The good Lord gave me the gift of research – and He expects me to use it.

I got two books the other day, and I think they’re incredibly valuable for evangelizing.  The Kingdom of the Occult and The Kingdom of the Cults, by Walter Martin (and family).  Nice thick books – I devoured the one in a few days, the other I read the bits that I found needful for now, and will keep the rest for reference.  I’ve read other books about the JW – I found the proof texts had become quickly outdated (they’ve changed their theology since publishing).  You can also hit online and get some good data – is a good site for JW, if a bit on the bright side.  CARM has a good list of articles.  But one does want to access more than one set of information!

So, why go to all this trouble for the annoying people who knock on your door in their best clothing when you’re in your Saturday scrubbies, trying to enjoy a nice cup of coffee or get on with your day?

Because they’re people.  Souls.  They are *not* our enemies.  Humans aren’t our enemies.  They are potential brothers and sisters in Christ.  That was the best bit about the Kingdom of the Occult, it reminds the reader constantly that we have a duty to evangelize, even to evangelize the people who are trying so hard to be scary and icky.  (Second best bit was reminding yours truly that the best evangelism is done on the knees).

If we truly believe that we are held accountable for the opportunities we have been given, how can we NOT evangelize those who *knock on our doors wanting to talk about Jesus*.  That’s an opportunity!  We could choose to show the love of Christ, we could choose to give them the gospel.  They *expect* to be persecuted, to be turned away and offered rudeness.  If, instead, we offer kindness and agape love …. thereby obeying our Master… how are we messing with their heads, their programming?

John 13:34-35

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love oneanother; as I have loved you, that ye also love oneanother. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

I know they aren’t part of the “one another” – but it’s always Christian’s LOVE that has set us apart.  When did we stop?  Yes, they’re playing for the other team – but so are the agnostics, the atheists, the nominal Christians, the Buddhists… etc.  Are we going to be frightened (in the case of the Wiccans or the Satanists) or annoyed (in the case of the JW or Mormons) into failing to give them the gospel?

The time when we could assume that every human had that basic Bible teaching somewhere in their background is *over* – they don’t.  And if they haven’t heard the Word, how can they come to faith?

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

We have a duty… let us do it well, and with the Love that we have been given, by virtue of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  Let’s make our Abba proud of His kids!

(I’ll post the latest JW data in a couple of days, so it doesn’t bury this post).

11 thoughts on “Compassionate Evangelism

  1. Feminine But Not Feminist

    I’ve yet to have a JW come knocking on my door. But if it ever happens, I will be keeping what you said here in mind. This was a good post Hearthie. 🙂

    1. hearthie Post author

      Thank you 🙂 There are a few of these posts – when I do the write ups, I post them. Feel free to use the research… if I’m doing it, why not share?

  2. Nonya

    It is wonderful that you are going through all of this trouble for the JW’s. I am ashamed to admit that the last time some JW’s came to my door I had to resist the urge to turn the sprinklers on them. I will do better. Thank you for this.

    1. hearthie Post author

      Well, that’s the point of writing these things and passing along what I learn. Aren’t we supposed to build one another up in the faith? 🙂

  3. Maea

    This is somewhat humorous, because the past weekend my in-laws complained to my husband and I about avoiding JW’s. LOL. Apparently they don’t answer the door. They aren’t exactly the most talkative. Whenever I start talking about theology I can see their eyes glaze over and they slowly back away 😛

    My closest experience has been with Mormons. They were nice guys, and very respectful. In some ways, I kind of want to let them give their “sales pitch,” to get a pointer or two on evangelizing, but usually I never had the option because the other people in the house didn’t care, or it wasn’t my house. In high school a couple of my classmates were Mormon and tried to get me to join. They were siblings, and the sister said my ideas of modesty would have fit right in with them. They did a good job on their sales pitch, but then I did my research and flatly said no. I still thought they were nice people.

    1. hearthie Post author

      Well, mostly people avoid them. It’s not helpful in the end. The JW have a strong belief in their own persecution and how mean standard Christians are. I’ve seen the confusion in their eyes more than once, just by being courteous and offering a bit of hospitality and grace. Lies and darkness can be killed with light and love.

      But you can’t MAKE people do things.

      And I expect the Mormons were nice. All the Mormons I know are nice. They’re good at nice – better than we are, for the most part. But they have more at stake.

  4. Robyn

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading, The Kingdom of the Cults. Although for me it wasn’t about jw; my BIL is a Baha’i and I was doing some research on it.

    1. hearthie Post author

      Interesting. I don’t know any Baha’i in RL, but my street is largely JW and I get door-knockers regularly when I don’t have someone visiting.

  5. Elspeth

    What Robyn said. I try to be cordial and take the pamphlets while explaining that we are Christians, but I make it more than obvious that I am not interested in the sell job and that I have stuff to do. Which isn’t kind no matter what I tell myself.

    You have a gift for this but we can all be more aware of opportunities when they come our way.

    1. hearthie Post author

      From the research I’ve been doing, I would beseech every Christian to make an effort to show kindness and agape to those who come to their doors, as annoying as it is. We *can* subvert the brainwashing – but we have to work together.


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