Jun 24, 2006

hero - part 2

As a bit of follow up, my boys and I had an amazing morning together. You never know what a bit of investment can do in someone else... and you in the process.

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.

In fact...

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)

6 comments:

Danny Haszard said...

I applaud your blog!
Dissident JW member speaks out.

The core dogma of the Watchtower organization is that Jesus had his second coming 'invisibly' in the year 1914.Their entire doctrinal superstructure is built on this falsehood.

Jehovah's Witnesses door to door recruitment is by their own admission an ineffective tactic. They have lost membership in all countries with major Internet access because their false doctrines and harmful practices are exposed on the modern information superhighway.

There is good and valid reasons why there is such an outrage against the Watchtower for misleading millions of followers.Many have invested everything in the 'imminent' apocalyptic promises of the Jehovah's Witnesses and have died broken and beaten.

Now if you wanted to know about the quality of a product,would you listen to the seller or a longtime customer?
---
Respectfully,Danny Haszard http://www.dannyhaszard.com

Melanie Morales said...

Tony,

We allowed the Mormon boys to help us move a couple of months ago; when mom told me they were required to do things like that for community service - and we needed help desperately - we took them up on it. I've also read that they aren't cared for well and will often go days without food because they have to bring prospects with them to the meal in order to get fed. So, we set up times for their visits around meal times and offered them the opportunity to sit down and eat with us.

I just shared with them these things. One, the Bible / God is enough. Two, I can't follow a man who had no witnesses to his apparent visions. Three, The God I know would never give up hope on mankind (and not destroy the world as a result) and instruct a prophet to bury tablets. Four, the man Joseph Smith died not as a martyr, but as a fugitive for numerous crimes sexual in nature; not because of his faith.

They had no comeback. Missionaries in the Mormon faith don't even have the full concept of their own faith. Interesting, they return from time to time to hear more. So, where are they now that we're moving again? hehe

Brian said...

Tony,

Welcome back btw...good to see you blogging again.

"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?"

In my humble opinion this is not much of a dilemma and you chose correctly.

I had some JW's come by once...their favorite verse, as far as I could tell was Col. 1:15, as they liked to point out the Jesus was the "firstborn" over creation and thus not God,or so was their contention. Not sure they read verses 16 and following, but oh well.

My exchange with them was interesting, there were two ladies and the younger did the presentation, but when I started asking questions, the older began answering. You'll probably get a "higher up" coming by...if they follow up at all.

Katie said...

tony - so I obviously don't know the whole story on "I was a pastor looking to start a church in the area. Because at that time, well... I was (more on that later)" but from where I'm sitting you're doing a pretty bang up job of being a voice for Christ in your area. Hmmmmm, sounds like God may have changed the parameters but not the mission. And that is both scary and exciting.

Milton Stanley said...

When you meet the JW's, don't forget John 1:1; 8:58 and 18:5 (especially 8:58). Peace.

chris e. said...

I was raised Mormon. My grandma was a missionary, even. She caused many family fights telling us we were goiong to hell if we did not go to church, mormon church that is. I left that religion when I was 17. I consider Mormons to be nearly brainwashed. Lots of Guilt. Live by Works. Follow Laws of the extra books or you won't get to the top heaven. Have one sip of coffee, one sip of coke, one sip of beer, one sip of wine and you would not make it to the top heaven. Bitch and complain about other Mormons who had missed church for a while.
Creepy Male bishop asking 11 year old girl if she was sexually active-- I'm talking back in 1968. In 1978 Blacks were not equals. When I was a kid I remember a Mormon lady wearing her 4 feet high "temple garments" underneath her 2 piece swimsuit. Some believe the temple garments have satanic symbols embroidered on them. I wish I had looked at my grandma's more closely. She told me secret rituals took place in the temple. I believe body anointings, sexual.
Only mormons with a current temple recommend card could attend mormon weddings in the temple. A former patient of mine told me that satanist hide in the mormon churches. Why a steeple and not a cross? Why all that money spent on the angel Moroni statues? Very sad. In the early 80's when I became a baptized Presbyterian I wrote the Mormons a letter to take me off of their "rolls." I'm sure they just changed my status to inactive or going to hell or whatever.