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evangelism - Karen's Musings
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estherchaya
estherchaya
evangelism
So the other day I was talking to a co-worker about her past life as a devout evangelical, prosyletetic Baptist. She belonged to the "Independent Baptist Church" which is different than the Southern Baptist contingent and some other kind of baptist. The church she belonged to was far weirder. (note, I'm really not trying to offend any baptists or christians out there... I'm just curious about our conversation).

They tithed (10%), and gave hundreds of dollars a month to their minister. Like 300-400. 15 years ago...so that was a LOT of money (it still would be now to me). The minister drove around in brand new mercedes in $1000 suits, but she clothed her children from the thrift store because they couldn't afford clothes for them. Women didn't wear pants, only long skirts. This, of course, I have no issue with, since, you know, I don't wear pants. Women were forbidden to preach. As such, since she was a sign language interpreter at the time, she was allowed to interpret the entire worship service, but NOT the sermon. I think that's sort of funny.

And here's the part that confuses me. (note, I am not saying there's anything wrong with this. And I'm not criticizing it. I simply can't wrap my brain around it). Every Wednesday (or maybe it was Tuesdays), they would do "visitation." This meant knocking on people's doors and inviting them to church and leaving them with the gospel or some other piece of scripture or whatever. I simply cannot imagine doing this. More importantly, I can't imagine what I would do if someone I didn't know knocked on my door and invited me to church (other than decline). Sure, yeah, we get the occasional Jehova's Witness at our house (if you can call 1-2 times a month occasional), but they're dumb enough to always come on Saturdays, so I don't deal with them, I simply explain to them that it's my Sabbath and that their continued disrespect for my Sabbath are only convincing me that I'll never be a rude Christian like them. Okay, that's not really true...mostly I just don't answer the door if the doorbell rings on a Saturday. Unless they're like the rude boy scouts one week who LEANED on the bell, thereby waking up my child from a nap and destroying any chance of ME napping that day. (our doorbell rings for as long as you push it).

Anyway, back to what I was saying. This is simply something I absolutely cannot imagine doing. Nor can I imagine responding favorably to someone knocking on my door and saying, "hey, come to church with me, and take this piece of scripture while you're at it." And so I asked a few people in the office what they'd do if someone randomly knocked on their door and invited them to church. Most people said they wouldn't mind and a few said they'd go if they had the time or ability to go. And I realized that my aversion to people inviting me to church randomly really is because I'm Jewish. But then I thought maybe it's not that. After all, I grew up in a decidedly non-religious household. My father, who never had a religious bone in his body until he re-married (and now he's still got no religious bones, but maybe a few "spiritual" tendons and ligaments), would have been ridiculously offended if someone randomly knocked on the door and said, "Hi I'm Kathy Milton, I'm from the Independent Baptist Church of Silver Spring. I'm here today to invite you to worship with us on Sunday. Here's our card." My father, no doubt, wouldn't have let my theoretical Ms. Milton get past the word "Baptist" before closing the door.

So maybe it's not a Jewish thing. Maybe it's just the way I grew up.

I appreciate the dedication of jehova's witnesses, and mormons, and other evangelical christians. Which is to say, I respect that they have found their own way and are devoted so deeply to their faith. BUT THEY SHOULD LEAVE MINE ALONE!!

Current Mood: amused amused

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Comments
From: gittygiggles Date: December 3rd, 2004 08:32 am (UTC) (Link)
I simply explain to them that it's my Sabbath and that their continued disrespect for my Sabbath are only convincing me that I'll never be a rude Christian like them.

AWESOME! i've always wanted somone to come on shabbos so i can do that. rude jerks. and it is rude of people to come and knock on your door and be religion pushers. go away. if people are interested in religion...they'll buy a book or something.

and it's not ajewish thing. i was raised like you and i hated it then too. ESPECIALLY in frederick where they were like "shit you mean you're not even xtian!?!? QUICK! ACCEPT THE LORD OR YOU'LL GO TO HELL RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
leahmiriam From: leahmiriam Date: December 3rd, 2004 08:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Flashback 20 years ago...we are driving into our garage after grocery shopping, we see the "Witnesses" around the corner but ignore them as usual. They knock on our door (gasp) My mother informs them that we are Jews. They say, "Well that is ok Miss..." She replies while slamming the door in their face,"You're damn right it is!"

The only cool thing my mother ever did!

bluejeanjexy From: bluejeanjexy Date: December 3rd, 2004 09:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I kinda felt bad for the Mormon girls who came knocking while I was staying at my Rabbi's taking care of the kiddles.
They started their shpiel and I was like, "Do you know where you are?"
yermie From: yermie Date: December 3rd, 2004 09:21 am (UTC) (Link)

How to respond to evangelicals...

I've always wanted to try...

mamadeb From: mamadeb Date: December 3rd, 2004 10:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: How to respond to evangelicals...

Eliza Dushku is Mormon? Wow. That's so...Anti-Faith.
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yermie From: yermie Date: December 3rd, 2004 10:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: How to respond to evangelicals...

Well, considering that my house is now about 1200 miles away from you... I don't think that'll be much of a problem...

But just in case, don't show up at my house unannounced... There's no telling what'll happen.

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mamadeb From: mamadeb Date: December 3rd, 2004 10:13 am (UTC) (Link)
It's a Jewish thing, I think. Not a religious one, but a cultural one. And I've had fun with JWs. One rang my bell on a lovely Sunday in springtime.

"Do you know what today is?" I asked

"Yes, its..." I think she was going to say Easter Sunday, which I think it was.

"That's right. The second day of Passover. Good-bye."

I used like doing things like that. Until - well.

I lived in a third floor walk up at the time, and there was no intercom, so if someone rang my bell, I had to go all the way downstairs to answer the door. And I was in the most sensitive part of an IVF cycle, when I was forbidden to anything more stenuous than walk around my apartment. To walk (slowly) downstairs to find an evangelist...I was *not* happy. I don't believe that was why none of the embryos implanted, but it was still just bad.
yermie From: yermie Date: December 3rd, 2004 10:35 am (UTC) (Link)
I believe it was Robin Williams who promoted this method, but if not, it was someone else...

Open the door naked. If they ask if you've found Jesus yet, reply, "I didn't know he was lost... Let's go find him together!

Typically, that'll run most people off... at least, if you look like me...

(Deleted comment)
yermie From: yermie Date: December 3rd, 2004 11:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Why, want to see her naked?

go to www.hotmoms.com...

actually, don't... It's probably best...

yermie From: yermie Date: December 3rd, 2004 11:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Besides, my fixation isn't on answering the door...

it's much more on being naked...

naked is good.

at least, for me... :)

eyelid From: eyelid Date: December 3rd, 2004 10:28 am (UTC) (Link)
The minister drove around in brand new mercedes in $1000 suits, but she clothed her children from the thrift store because they couldn't afford clothes for them.

that didn't piss her off?
(Deleted comment)
lindeseig From: lindeseig Date: December 3rd, 2004 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was walking around campus one day and got sideswiped by a woman who might have been Jehovah's Witness or some other generic form of evangelical Christian. She begged me to stop and hear a "story about a dog" and finally backed off when i said i wasn't interested (and was halfway down the block.)

My point is that I don't understand evangelizing at all. I understand that it is a part of so many traditions, yet religion is a pretty damn personal subject. It isn't quite my business how anyone else chooses to relate to G-d, Jesus, Allah, or whom/whatever. Maybe some of it is the Jewish view on conversion--there is no "outreach"--if someone wants to convert the onus is on them to seek out a rabbi and a community. To be honest, even the Lubavichers make me a little squeamish because of their aggressive stance toward other Jews.

Sigh. Rant over. Tis a shame that your's and Julian's peace was disturbed.
malkin From: malkin Date: December 4th, 2004 11:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
When I was in college, various Christians used to come up to me on campus all the time, and ask:

"Have you bin sayuved?"

And I'd say:

"Babe, I'm Catholic. There's no saving me."
From: cecerose Date: December 5th, 2004 10:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Don't try this at home...

Art discovered a very effective way to deal with those pesky evangelical wake up calls:

He showed up at the door in the nude. Needless to say, it was many months before the Mormons darkened his doorstep again...

I know modesty forbids us both to take such an action, but heck, he's an agnostic and I'm glad they're there, doing their part for the rest of us.
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