>I used to be really put off by the church people who would show up on my door. I would get that twinge of guilt, a surge of indignation at being disturbed, because I knew before I opened the door that I was going to send them on their way.
But since we have moved up here I have pretty much got dealing with church people down to a science. Well at least the ones that come knocking on my door.
When we first moved in it was like a weekly thing. A couple of ladies would come by, welcoming us to town and inviting us to church. How very nice. I did appreciate the effort really.I did. It gave me an opportunity to study them 🙂
Now before I go any further with this, let me state for the record, that I do believe that faith is a very important, and deeply personal thing. Enough said.
After about four different church ladies had stopped by to invite us to church, and had been politely refused one day a group of three ladies appeared at my door.
Now on this day, Bill was gone and I was feeling a bit, ah let’s just call it playful.
After letting them ramble on for a few minutes about why their church is the best, most loving and just an all around favorite of god here in town, I decided to have some fun. I was bored and sometimes I can’t control my little urges.
I invited them on in. Told them I was very interested but wanted to learn more. Now that was the truth. I always want to learn more. So I sat them down, got them some tea and proceeded to set myself up.
I got out a notepad and a couple of pens, sticky notes and my handy dandy highlighter made especially for use on bible pages, the ink doesn’t bleed through those incredibly thin pages so its just perfect .Then I went to the bookshelves and selected not one, not two, but four different versions of the King James bible. Let the fun begin.
Now to say the looks on their faces were priceless would be quite the understatement. You would have thought I had stripped naked and asked them to smoke some crack.
I sat down. Took a nice long drink of tea and just looked at them, waiting.
Finally, the apparent leader of the group broke the ice with this little statement. “Ah, how wonderful, you read the bible.” I replied yes, a bit. She stammered a bit and I guess decided that a few quotes that she knew by heart would be an appropriate course of action.
She started off with “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”. Frickin’ outstanding, this may turn out to be alot of fun, I thought! I then replied, with “Leviticus 19:18, but depending on the version the quote can very alot, I like the new topical bible version myself, its all flowery and happy, but if you like the old standard Doom & gloom stuff you can’t beat a King James Bible, I would have to go with the 1611 version, printed by the American Bible Society in 1816, by far my favorite version, of all She replied with “well ah, we use the New International version.” To which I replied, ” I see, so that verse should be, I believe,”Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.’. She did not have a response so I went on. ” in my favorite version it is ” Thou Shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord’, so I guess you can do whatever you want to the adults but the kids are safe?” Its a pretty popular quote and one usually learned in bible school. And it being a source of much debate in a few classes I part of. That is probably why I remember the conversation so well. Its just one of ‘those kind of verses, that get peoples panties in a wad.
She was there to get us to go to church and I wanted to discuss why every church uses a different bible. I was having fun. Being a smart ass is almost always amusing to me.
They just sort of sat there and looked at me like I was some sort of crazy person, they weren’t far off. You see, I have a little quirk, I collect bibles, I have alot of them, all different, I have read them all, cover to cover, some several times. I also have copies of the Qurah, Torah, Talmud, Dead sea scrolls, and various copies of books from just about every major religion that ever was. It’s my little thing.
I find it very very irritating for people to claim to be this religion or that, and they actually know little to nothing about their chosen faith, its worse if I am not of their persuasion and I know more about it. You have a bible, you go to church, pay attention, ask questions, do some flipping research.
Anyway, we traded quotes back and forth for a while until she finally gave up. Totally convincing me that She had probably only actually read the passages suggested to her by her little bible study group. I don’t think much studying was actually going on, but probably alot of gossiping. She was genuinely surprised that there were other bibles. There are no two versions that are exactly alike.. It puzzles me that one of the now “big three” can be so inconsistent. That Christianity actually is considered one of the big three also astounds me, but that’s a topic for another time.
So, I had a bit of an advantage over the nice little church ladies. The rest of our visit was interesting. Eventually they left, a bit confused and I hope with an irresistible urge to run straight home and actually sit down and read their bible.
I believe that regardless of what religion you follow, you should be well versed in its doctrines.
I, who do not profess to be a Christian, should not be able to quote your bible, better than you.
So I would like to try to be helpful just this once and give you a few tips that I have found to be extremely helpful when dealing with unwanted church solicitations.
They are pretty consistent in their questions, so I’ll try to help you out with some good answers. If they work for you feel free to tape them on the inside of your door for handy reference.
For this lesson we will skip the niceties and get straight to the main points.
Question # 1- Do you believe in God?
Answer: Which one? or if you are feeling frisky, ask if they do and when they answer, ask them ‘Why’. You could go on have a little more fun by starting to rattle of what you like or don’t like about various gods. Try and stick to the well known ones, like Zeus, almost everyone has heard of him. You could say you like how he handled the day to day stuff but, you really didn’t like that he was such a player. If you go with one of the lesser known ones though like Pacha (Etruscan version of Dionysus) it could get sticky.You would then have to waster time explaining who he was. It will ruin the flow.
Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your lord and savior?
oh now this can be a tricky one. I have found that a simple yes or no answer is not going to work or make them go away. But you can salvage the situation and still get some fun out of it.
I have found that by not answering at all you get the most bang for you buck here. I like to answer that little statement like, “Jesus of Nazareth? Oh him! I am a bit familiar with him. He was such a wonderful example of the beauty that is the Jewish faith”. You could probably just keep rattling on for a bit, it normally takes them a few minutes to regain their train of though. Mentioning that Jesus was a Jew always throws them, so use that. Go ahead with a list of all the different religions that acknowledged Jesus as a prophet. (in case you don’t know that one off the top of your head, its pretty much all of the big ones). Do Not Loose control of the conversation! Keep mentioning that he was a Jew. Only once have I had an immediate response that was “no he wasn’t”. I told that guy he might want to look it up, the library is directly east, can’t miss it. Then I shut the door.
I can’t argue with that, I’ll get all pissy if I do.
Question # 3
We would love to have you visit our church.
Yeah, I am sure you would. They say that and I hear, we would love for you to come and put some money in the collection plate. I feel that if any god has anything to say, I believe that an omnipotent being should have the capability to address me directly. I feel the same about offerings. I can understand giving a bit of money to help support your local church, keep the pastor fed, keep the roof from failing in. I can’t understand paying for a new Lexus, hookers, drugs, Olympic size pools or 15 foot TVs or mega churches. If above mentioned omnipotent being wants my money, he/she can suck it out of my pockets or well he/she should be able to create whatever he/she wants.
I wouldn’t actually recommend you say that, it could lead to some nasty words directed right at you. You could ask if they have ‘fellowship’ after the services and if will there be food. Church food is normally pretty good. Coffee is usually only passable but they usually have cookies. Cookies and coffee while watching all the backstabbing and listening to the gossiping and snippy comments are usually, pretty entertaining. You can always interject with little comments of your own, while you enjoy your luke warm coffee and cookies of unknown origin, like’ Golly, I did not know that you could could call someone a stupid fat ass and still be doing that “love your neighbor” bit, this is fun!” Act dumb, its fun too.
Now if you choose to forgo the festive fun available at your local church, you can always just tell them you are a satanist. If, when all else fails and you just want a giggle, when you hear that know, take off all your clothes quickly, don’t be shy, open the door and tell them they are early, the satanic rites don’t start for an hour and you don’t even have the altar set up yet. But make sure you aren’t rude and do invite them in.. I doubt you’ll be troubled again.
So next time your door bell rings, don’t look at it as a bother. Look at it as an opportunity for fun not just for you. Make sure that you are the highlight of their day!