Which kind of brings me to today - I had a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses stop by my door just as I'd turned on the TV (which happened to be on Playhouse Disney, which happened to cause my boys to run in the room).
I have to give you a bit of a side story, for when we first moved in a couple months ago (yikes - has it been that long?) we had some Mormon boys stop over to see if we needed a hand. Of course, we did... but because I had a few of my homies hanging out who are in a place where they could be easily influenced spiritually I felt responsible to take a pass. That day they asked what I did and I mentioned that I was a pastor looking to start a church in the area. Because at that time, well... I was (more on that later). I invited them to stop over again when they had a chance.
Since then, though, I can't get the Mormons to come by. They visit people on my street 2-3 times a week, but they always walk around my house. The other day they even visited a neighbor so I went over and started talking with him and them. Right away I noted that one of the Mormon boys (because they are quite young) was rather sweaty. So I offered him a drink of water - and he took it.
As another side note - which is more ethical? To give a human whom God loves a drink of water even though he is proclaiming things that are false to people I live next to? Or to let his throat get dry so that he's not at his best? Interesting dilemma, eh?So I can't get the Mormon boys to come over. I'm not looking for a debate, by the way. All I want to do is get to know them as people, hear their story, and see if the Holy Spirit has something for me to share with them. If not, I'm totally cool just loving on these guys in the name of Jesus.
Which brings me to the Jehovah's Witnesses. An older guy and a younger guy knocked on the door today and wanted to pass out some literature to me on terrorism. They said it was from the Bible, and I asked what denomination they were from. Of course, I knew, but the conversation went something like this:
Young guy: We're Christians... Jehovah's Witnesses.
Me: Oh, Jehovah's Witnesses. Then you aren't Christians. (To self: "HUH? DID I ACTUALLY JUST SAY THAT OUT LOUD?")
Young guy: No, we are. Why would you think we aren't?
Me: I don't mean to sound blunt, but I am a Christian and I believe part of the deal is we need to trust in Jesus as God and equal with Him. What are your thoughts on the Trinity? (To self: GOOD GRIEF, MAN - YOU'RE STILL IN YOUR PAJAMAS AND YOU'RE ASKING THEM ABOUT THE TRINITY?)
Young guy: Well... it's not in the Bible. I don't see any evidence of Jesus claiming to be equal with God or the Holy Spirit being around in the process.
Old guy: (putting handouts away, getting out two or three books) Well, it says in our guidebook here that the Trinity isn't biblical and the word is never used in the Bible.
Me: Then again... there is that whole event at Jesus' baptism, eh? (To self: NICE JOB - NOW YOU HAVE TO EXPLAIN THAT WHILE YOUR BOYS WATCH PLAYHOUSE DISNEY... AGAIN)
And on it went.
the Jehovah's Witnesses are my heroes today.
Um... let me qualify that.
About five years ago I went through a crisis of faith... and it was right at the beginning of the summer. In June, some Mormon boys knocked on my door and we started to dialogue about matters of faith. Ironically, by having to articulate what I believed and why I believed it in the first place I began to find my way back into a groove with God. Those boys came back three more times and every time my faith got stronger.
The same thing happened today. The Jehovah's Witnesses asked if they could come back next week to talk some more because at one point in the conversation they were stumped by my questions. Perhaps more specifically, they didn't know what to do with some of the Bible verses I was quoting them. (Which, by the way, when the HECK did I memorize those to be able to spout them off like that? Holy Spirit? Hmm...)
So today the Jehovah's Witnesses are my heroes because they forced me to grow stronger in my faith. In fact, I got to know two new people, too... and I get to see them again next Saturday. Maybe we'll even become friends.
That will be fun.
And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say." (Luke 12:10-12)