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!!