Out of the question: Proselytisers on the doorstep

by
29 January 2008

Write, if you have any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or would like to add to the answers below.

Your answers

What is an appropriate response to make when encountering Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons on the doorstep?

They are individuals: there is no standard response appropriate to all. They come to us with a rehearsed presentation, but it is important for us to get past this to reach the heart. Make time to get to know them as people. Ask about their spiritual journey. Genuinely listen to them, and then be ready to share your own journey and your faith in Jesus.

Invite them in, especially when it is cold. Standing in the comfort of a warm hall while they stand out in the cold is not an appropriate way to share the gospel. As someone who spent many years standing on the other side of the door, I can say that the debates over doctrine had no effect on me. What did make a lasting and favourable impression were the times when Christians shared their faith by their actions and attitude as well as their words. Sadly, these occasions were few.

So, be prepared to share your faith in the way most appropriate to that person. But remember: actions do speak louder than words.

It is easy to be overwhelmed by the smooth presentation of the Witnesses or Mormons; so, if you are a new Christian or feel unsure about facing them alone, be friendly, but suggest they call back at a more convenient time. Then ask a more experienced Christian to be there to support you.
Helen Descombes
Dagenham

 

When the Jehovah’s Witnesses call, I ask: “Are you the Jehovah’s Witnesses?” They say, “Yes,” and I say: “Thank you very much for calling, but I am a fairly active parishioner at St Saviour’s, Wendell Park.” There are smiles all round, and they go on their way.

Advertisement

 

When the Jehovah’s Witnesses call, I ask: “Are you the Jehovah’s Witnesses?” They say, “Yes,” and I say: “Thank you very much for calling, but I am a fairly active parishioner at St Saviour’s, Wendell Park.” There are smiles all round, and they go on their way.

Once, a cheerful young lady announced, “Oh, I used to go to St Saviour’s,” but she meant no harm.

During the Second World War, 5000 Jehovah’s Witneses were sent to concentration camps. They were told that, if they signed a piece of paper, renouncing their religion, they could walk straight out of the gates. Only a tiny number agreed. The rest died. Such persons are worthy of being treated with respect.
Shamus O. D. Wade
London W3

 

I always make a point of listening to Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I make sure they listen to me. Always have your Bible to hand. It will soon become clear that your version does not agree with their New World Translation (not available in the shops). When they tell you, e.g., that the Church is guilty of apostasy, and proclaim “how wicked it was of the Church to invent the Trinity,” you have to be ready with the appropriate response. Keep your cool.
Chris Nottage
London NW5

 

I always make a point of listening to Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I make sure they listen to me. Always have your Bible to hand. It will soon become clear that your version does not agree with their New World Translation (not available in the shops). When they tell you, e.g., that the Church is guilty of apostasy, and proclaim “how wicked it was of the Church to invent the Trinity,” you have to be ready with the appropriate response. Keep your cool.
Chris Nottage
London NW5

 

I invite them to come in and spend some time with me in discussion, also very clearly explaining that I am occupying their time in order to protect my neighbours from their advances.
(The Revd) Murray Thomsett
Hampton, Middlesex

 

I invite them to come in and spend some time with me in discussion, also very clearly explaining that I am occupying their time in order to protect my neighbours from their advances.
(The Revd) Murray Thomsett
Hampton, Middlesex

 

Your questions
We often hear that no English monarch (or his or her spouse) can be a Roman Catholic, as he or she has to be Supreme Governor of the Church of England. What would be the situation if he or she (or his or her spouse) was a Baptist, Methodist, Mormon, Muslim, or atheist? G. S.

 

Your questions
We often hear that no English monarch (or his or her spouse) can be a Roman Catholic, as he or she has to be Supreme Governor of the Church of England. What would be the situation if he or she (or his or her spouse) was a Baptist, Methodist, Mormon, Muslim, or atheist? G. S.

Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question, Church Times, 13-17 Long Lane, London EC1A 9PN.

questions@churchtimes.co.uk

Website Survey

Tell us what you think of the new Church Times website.

Take our (very quick) survey: complete survey

Latest Cartoon

The Church Times Podcast

The Church Times Podcast, hosted by Tim Wyatt and Ed Thornton, features a mixture of interviews and news analysis. Listen online

Subscribe now to get full access

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read seven articles each month for free.