Wednesday, December 02, 2009


"Excuse me, but I see you’re reading a Bible.”

Huh? I looked up from my reading to see a pretty blonde, mid-thirties woman dressed for church standing next to my chair.

I take the single most out of the way spot in any Starbucks in the city, hidden from view unless you are on your way to the restroom, and still people find me. What now, Lord?

“My church has this wonderful little book that explains everything in the Bible…”

“Really? I’m doing pretty well with my reading, thanks; this is my third time through in the last three years…”

“…clearly and it tells you all you need to know to understand what is written…”

“What church are you with?”

I have to ask her to repeat her answer: Jehovah Witness.

Good grief. And I hadn’t even finished my coffee yet.

The conversation continued pleasantly for a while longer, her trying to coerce me into taking the book, me continuing to refuse, not wanting to be drawn into a discussion of the falsity of the theology she is pushing. Time was on my side; apparently and she was indeed on her way to meeting; after a fifth attempt to press the book on me, she took her leave.

For all that the JW’s are a cult, following and preaching false interpretations of Scripture, proclaiming the imminent end of the world three times in the last century and constantly altering their doctrinal beliefs to reflect “progressive revelation”, they do one thing very well: train and send out evangelists. In spite of being alone (they generally go door-to-door in pairs), in spite of the fact I was clearly involved in something and wanted peace and quiet, in spite of the limited time she had available, she did the brave thing and approached me, persisting even when it became apparent I wasn’t someone she could easily influence.

So-called “evangelicals” could learn a lot from her. Can you run through a basic plan of salvation? Can you back up what you say from Scripture – even if you don’t have a Bible immediately available? Can you explain clearly and concisely why you believe? We may not all have the specific spiritual gift of evangelism – but that doesn’t get us off the hook.

…but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
1 Peter 3:15-16 (ESV)

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