Missionaries: What do you think of them?

@zhuuraan (967)
United States
September 20, 2008 12:40pm CST
This morning I was woken up by a couple of Jehova's Witnesses pounding on our door relentlessly. My fiance answered and told them we were not interested and that was that. But ordinarily, that is not the case. They will not take no for an answer and continue to push. At my apartments, knocking door to door like that is considered soliciting and is prohibited and I informed the office who asked them to leave. But, I have had both mormon and Jehova's Witnesses come pounding on my door on multiple occasions. They are worse than telemarketers! Now, I realize that the bible says to spread the word of god, but it never says anything about pestering your neighbors and shoving it in their faces. I also noticed that these two denominations seem to be the worst about it. For me, if people try to push me to do something, it pushes me away, and so I have never and probably will never be open to religion of any kind. Instead, I have my own set of beliefs that I live by that you might call something like a religion, except that it differs from every known religion in the world. It kind of combines aspects of science and religion, and includes parts of all, as well as some things I personally believe, and is ever changing as my life experience expands. If I were to accept religion of any kind, it would have to be on my own terms. Now, here is my interpretation of spreading the word of god. If I were a Christian, or any other religion for that matter, my view of spreading gods word would be to talk to people who show interest in learning, either by asking directly or hinting about it in conversation, or those who attend church and other religious social gatherings to learn about god. I would not trespass on other people's property, pounding on their doors and demanding that they hear me. I would not stand on the street corners with a bull horn shouting out everything I believe. I don't know about the rest of this world, but in this country we have freedom of religion, which should include freedom to ignore any religion we are not interested in, but when people go out of their way to make sure everyone hears them, this is uncalled for. The bible also says love thy neighbor, yet many times with all denominations of christianity, I hear an awful lot of hate speech toward non-believers and such. Now that's a little off the topic of missionaries but it is part of the same problem. Far too often people in general think they are high and mighty and should be able to dictate what other people should be doing. I know for a fact that there are tons of people like me who are pushed away when faced with such things. What's worse about the missionaries though is that half of them don't know anything about the very holy books they supposedly follow. My ex fiance was Pennecostal and we had two mormon missionaries come to talk to us and we were actually nice and let them in, mostly because he wanted to quiz them and see how much they really knew. Now we all know Mormons use both the book of Mormon and the Bible, yet these missionaries knew next to nothing about the bible, the very book that all christian denominations are centered upon. So, anyway the point of this discussion is to ask all of you what you think of missionaries in general, and what you think of the ones wo don't know what they are talking about. I know personally even if I was interested in religion, talking to people who can't answer my most simple questions would not be encouraging. Also, whether you are Christian or not, what is your interpretation of spreading the word of god? Would you go door to door, stand on the streets and shout out, talk to people at churches and religios social gatherings and people who show interest, or how would you handle it. As for the hate speech stuff, I have seen that even among some myLotters. Well, I doubt a non-Christian quoting from their own holy book would change anything, but maybe they will think twice before speaking so ill of others who don't see eye to eye with them and repent for that sin. lol anyway, I am curious to see answers to this one so I better hit the post link or I'll be sitting here typing forever.
2 people like this
15 responses
@kerriannc (4280)
• Jamaica
21 Sep 08
You know it is only a backslider talks such as you. The word of God says Go out in the world and preach the gospel is it that you go to a community and no one hearken shake off the dust off your shoes before leaving. If these missionaries were doing what the bible says alot of us would be doom today. No matter how busy you are my friend take time to listen. Yes the Mormons and Jehovah Witness are different but you will never know where your blessings lies. Don't proscrastinate and it was wrong to report those persons who was doing the work of God. It is things like these God frown on and when things started to go wrong you wonder what you done but it is the things that you do wrong that God finds displeasure in. Remember blessings comes from God and the good you do today is the blessing tomorrow.
@zhuuraan (967)
• United States
21 Sep 08
You don't know your own holy book then "Thou shalt not judge" So many misguided Christians today. I mean the Bible was written by man anyway, not god, and they still can't follow its most basic teachings. Well it may say to spread the word of god, but it doesn't say to invade people's privacy and trespass on their property spouting their gospel until their ears ring. You say I was wrong to report them. Well I don't care and I say bite me. For one I was NOT wrong. My apartments have a strict NO SOLICITING rule, and those missionaries are doing just that. I have been told by the office to inform them of such things and I wholeheartedly believe in doing so. Let them preach their bologna where it is welcome, but it's not welcome here, in my own apartment or the community in general.
@kerriannc (4280)
• Jamaica
21 Sep 08
I am not juding you. I never judge because I don't want someone to judge me. As to the bite you part you are disgusting. Shame on you.
@zhuuraan (967)
• United States
21 Sep 08
It's a figure of speech, geez! And you are judging. You are namecalling which is uncalled for and judgemental and as for my being wrong, that is purely your opinion. I do not believe in god so I don't want people preaching his word to me and if it is a rule in my apartment to report it then I will do so. I will not tolerate people trying to invade my home and others in my community to spout their unwanted gospel. If I am wrong, then I call upon god himself to strike me down before I press the post link. If he does not then I will assume that my perspective is not misguided and that is that. If god exists he has his chance to eliminate this unbeliever right here and now. As for you, I will not be nasty and call names, but I will say that your namecalling is indeed hypocritical and I would advise you to reread your own holy book, and reinterpret the line "Thou shalt not judge" because that is precisely what you are doing. I am not even judging and that's not a rule for me, but I am simply saying that they have no business invading my privacy. I feel the same about any kind of soliciter, as well as telemarketers that call and try to sell me things over the phone. So, I am not the one who judges.
• United States
22 Sep 08
If you have a Bible read Ezekiel 33:1-11. I think these verses explain, to some extent, why missionaries are so persistent. Their methods might not be very appealing, but they do what they do because they don't want anyone to perish. However, they need to back up their claims with evidence and if they can't answer your questions they're not very effective witnesses. I've had encounters with Mormons and Jehovah's Witness and they can be very annoying. I'm sorry you hear hate speech from anyone claiming to be a Christian. I assure you that is not how Jesus taught His followers to be and besides, it doesn't win anyone to Jesus. I believe a more effective way to show others the benefit of Christianity is through the way one lives and treats others. When others see that Christians are different in a good way, they'll want to know why and that gives the Christian an opportunity to tell them about Jesus, His love for mankind, and the sacrifice He made on our behalf.
@zhuuraan (967)
• United States
22 Sep 08
Well, to be honest I know for a fact I will never believe, especially not through the word of any human because far to many human beings are arrogant and think they know everything. If I am ever converted, it'll have to be by god himself showing me some sort of proof of his existence, but no man can do it. I do agree that the way people act is really more important though, but that doesn't just apply to religion. I may not be religious of any kind. I consider myself to be agnostic. But, I also consider myself to be an overall good person with a reasonable moral code. I know I am not perfect and I don't always abide by my own code to the letter, but I don't go out of my way to hurt anyone. I don't think you need to practice any religion to be a good person. You just need to have good values and morals.
• United States
22 Sep 08
Some people, myself included, would say God has revealed Himself through creation. However, if that's not enough for you I hope He'll make His presence known to you in another way. If you ever have a desire to find out for sure if God really exist, Jesus said, "Seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you." I believe if a person has a sincere desire to know the truth they'll make the effort to find it. Whatever you decide, I hope your life will be filled with peace and joy.
@KrauseHome (35526)
• United States
21 Sep 08
Personally, you made some wonderful points here. Personally, I do agree that the Mormons and Jehovahs Witnesses can be quite annoying when it comes to knocking on doors trying to push their religion on someone as well. My husband has even told many Mormon missionaries we have another Church we attend, so leave us alone, and they still continue to come back. I used to be a Mormon when I was growing up and left them like over 22 yrs. ago, but ever since I went to a Family reunion and they found out I lived right next to their church almost, every once in a while they come by to bug us. Why do they not take a hint? The Church I attend, we do go out in groups from time to time and hand out flyers and such inviting people to church, but we do not go out and knock on doors getting people upset, and getting told to leave. We wait for someone to come to us asking more and then go from there. When you are too pushy you often end up scaring everyone away, and making a Bad name for yourself anyways. Personally, I think you made the best choice, and hopefully someday the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses can learn from the others around them.
@zhuuraan (967)
• United States
21 Sep 08
Thank you very much. I don't mind if you wanna hang out somewhere and hang out a flyer to someone who is interested, but the whole purpose that some people in this discussion so far don't seem to get is that knocking on my door and pestering me, especially while I am sleeping, is unwanted and invasion of privacy, not to mention that it will be more likely to scare people away. I don't care what anyone's religion is as long as they don't try and choke it down my throat. Just leave well enough alone and if someone is interested in learning about a specific religion, they can go out and seek the information, which exists in abundance, and even ask people for clarification.
@katprice (807)
• United States
30 Oct 08
I once held a yard sale and some pushy JW's came by. They practically invited themselves into my home to use the bathroom. I had to intercept them and keep them from entering my house because I have dogs, and plus I was trying to run a yard sale in the front yard. Then they wanted to leave me some pamphlets and brochures. So annoying.
• Philippines
21 Sep 08
Maybe in your country missionaries are like that. I'm in the Philippines and I've met missionaries here. They're far from what you've shared here. I think missionaries here are more respectful. Of course there are some who are really persistent but most of the missionaries I've met are quite nice and respectful. They'll ask if they can come in and if we say no they'll offer leaflets. If they get another no, they'll leave politely. I think what you've experienced are those stereotypical missionaries. I have missionary friends I met in the university. They're just the average people we know. They were my seatmates and they started with just little talks. I think it took a few classes before they started asking about my faith and religion. They're not pushy. They're actually cool people. Maybe those missionaries you've encountered are: 1. plain pushy and think they're better than everyone else 2. persistent because they're really passionate about what they're doing and what they believe in.
@zhuuraan (967)
• United States
21 Sep 08
I will agree with what you have said, but around here it is not just a generalization or a stereotype. Around here it is the majority of missionaries, not the minority, that are pushy and invasive. I am glad they are not that way everywhere. I have noticed that people around my area seem to all be that way though, whether religious or not, it's just the missionaries that try to invite themselves to our place. When I was growing up, my parents even considered it rude when my best friend invited herself over, let alone a total stranger!
• Philippines
25 Sep 08
Thats a shame...They should meet the missionaries here. Maybe if they're like those missionaries here, people would appreciate them more and they might actually listen to what they have to say...
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
21 Sep 08
I have absolutely NO patience for people who knock on my door to try and "sell" me their religious views. Once when living in the country I was in the back yard on my riding mower and here came two men in suits around my house into my yard and right up to my mower. I had to stop and ask what they wanted. They wanted to preach! I just laughed, told them to get lost, and started my mower and kept going. Another time one actually put his foot in my door when I said I wasn't interested and wouldn't let me shut the door. That did it. I reached out, gave him a shove down the steps and slammed the door. I am not a Christian, and I don't need to be "saved" by these freaks who think their way is the only way.
@zhuuraan (967)
• United States
21 Sep 08
Thank you and my point exactly. I would've done teh same for the one sticking the foot in the door. That is pushing it even farther! The way I see it, nobody is 100% correct, nobody knows all of the past, present, or future, and anyone who claims to know any of that is a liar. I know I don't know everything and never will, but I won't claim to and I won't preach my beliefs to anyone. If people are interested, I'll tell them what I think and if they want to adopt some of my views then so be it. Well I hope that guy at least learned not to stick his foot in peoples doors.
@tessah (6621)
• United States
21 Sep 08
had a couple of them actually show up at my house yesterday morning. saw them heading up the driveway, watched as they rang the doorbell that doesnt work and ran the risk of being attacked by the hornets that have set up nest within the wires of it. the hornets didnt attack and we didnt answer the door.. i wasnt in the mood for debating theologies or having someone attempt to convert me. more than once, when i was in the mood however.. they left my home converted themselves. ive grown rather tired of the zealots and fantatics that feel it necessary to go door to door dragging their children along to use as pawns of sympathy to gain entrance, then sit lecturing me on my evils that shall most certainly send me to damnation and how much they love me and want to save me from eternal tortures.. all the while not having a clue whats in those books they thump and *I* wind up being the one finding passages they claim do not exist within its pages. logically youd think that the heathen needing conversions to salvation wouldnt be the one more knowledgeable of the scriptures they claim to live and breath by. and yes.. it is downright annoying to deal with it at 8am on a saturday morning. think im going to get a sign to nail by the door that reads "missionaries shall be shot on sight for tresspass"
@zhuuraan (967)
• United States
21 Sep 08
hehe well glad they didn't get mauled by the hornets. I wouldn't want that for anyone. But yeah I think it's a combination of not knowing what is there and also not being able tto answer questions about the passages that can be interpreted differently from how they see it or explaining the controversial or hypocritical parts. When my ex was quizzing the ones that came by our place, we let them come several times and he found all sorts of loopholes. They didn't change their thinking, but they spent an awful long time with us and never changed ours either.
@trixyteddy (1072)
• India
21 Sep 08
As a Christian, I believe in spreading the Word of God, but not by pushing it in people's faces. As someone has already answered you 'Action speaks louder than words', that is how it has to be done. I'm from India, and the situation of things are very bad over here. Just because one sect went around degrading a particular religion, they have started attacking Churches, etc. I'm sorry to see that this is a very sorry way for those people to behave. They just cannot take the law into their own hands. I would have expected them to behave in a civil manner and sort out the matter. It shows a very bad face for the group that started attacking the Churches. And believe me, He is watching and they will know it soon. But please don't mix up the missionaries who are really very nice, with the other groups JW and Mormons. They are completely different. Missionaries are ones who do a lot of social work without troubling anyone. The least is they would ask you to help them financially, but they never preach the Bible to you unless you ask for it.
@zhuuraan (967)
• United States
21 Sep 08
I made this seperation in a previous response. I am not talking about the ones that go out and help rebuild people's homes or that stuff. I think those ones are really great. I am talking about the ones that go knocking door to door invading people's homes with their preaching. I agree that action speaks louder than words and I would say that applies to any religion, or non religion, any personality, anything pretty much. You can tell a lot about someone by their actions and if they do something that peaks your interest, you are more likely to be curious about it, as is the human nature.
@ronaldinu (12440)
• Malta
20 Sep 08
In my opinion I prefer spreading the word of God by my deeds rather than by mouth. It's useless to spread the word of God by your mouth if you are not setting a good example for others. Jesus told his disciples that when there are two of his disciples there he will be as well. I believe that I can spread the word without knocking on doors. If you act differently because of your religious beliefs people will start asking why you behave like that. Actions are louder than words.
@zhuuraan (967)
• United States
21 Sep 08
This is an excellent point. If more people thought like this, I think more people would have increased interest in religion. I definitely think this is a very well thought out response.
@Galena (9123)
20 Sep 08
I find the whole idea of missionaries quite sinister. having said that, I've had some wonderful discussions with Mormons, about the similarities and differences in our beleifs, and as soon as I said I was secure in what I believe, but interested in what they had to say, we had a very interesting, two way discussion, full of respect, in which we both learnt of each other, but held our own beleifs. Jehovahs Witnesses, although my fathers line is from them, are not so respectful to other beleifs, and often even just bog standard Christians seem more inclined to think you need to be converted to their ways.
@zhuuraan (967)
• United States
20 Sep 08
That is strange. My experience has been quite the opposite. For me the mormons have been more pushy and the Jehova's witnesses, well they haven't been all that friendly really, but they've been more likely to accept no for an answer and leave. The ones that came by our place were JWs and they left immediately.
@Fradon (5)
• United States
20 Sep 08
Speaking from first hand experience, I agree that Morman missionaries are a little more pushy. Generally when you tell them to leave they try to get you to change your mind, and that, of course, just makes you want them to leave more. I think there should be a law that prohibits missionaries from knocking on your door, unless you have a sign up inviting them to do so. That way it would still be freedom of religion, but would make it against the law for them to attempt to shove their beliefs down our throats. Anyway, that's about all I have to say on the topic. Anything else I might say would be reiterating what you said, so I'll stop here for now. I'm interested to know other people's takes on this as well, however, so I'll definately be monitoring this post.
@zhuuraan (967)
• United States
20 Sep 08
Yeah this is one I think will get some interesting replies once people actually start seeing it and responding. I tried to write it in such a way that I wouldn't offend anyone, but I want to hear the points of views of people from all perspectives.
@mcfuddy (382)
• United States
3 Dec 08
usually missionaries don't act like that, and they shouldn't. maybe you just live in a crappy place? i don't know. but i've never had missionaries come pounding at my door. i've had some ask if they could meet with me and were very friendly and flexible about it. i'm now a mormon, but i'm sure if they were poundin i'd buy more locks.
• India
21 Sep 08
i think 90% missionaries are genuine in their work.
• United States
20 Sep 08
I agree with you, they are way too pushy. That's what I love about being Jewish, generally we don't going around getting others to join that is a personal choice. My cousin became a missionary and let me tell you every family get together was her preaching zone I hated it and now practically none of my family goes to the get together. She even got kicked out of Israel, ya I know, that takes skill. I don't understand how they can call themselves Christians if they aren't understanding and kind to everyone.
20 Sep 08
On the whole I find them a little irritating. Although I find the Jehovah's Witnesses are usually so nice that I listen to them anyway. One time I made the mistake of telling them my name and a few weeks later they came knocking on my door (my housemate had to get me out of bed) to ask me what I thought of the reading material they had given me (which I hadn't read). Yet I couldn't be angry with them because they were so polite. I mostly don't like it when people get pushy and try to tell me I'll go to hell if I don't convert. On the other hand, if I truly believed that God created me and everyone around me, i'd probably spend most of my life trying to "spread the word" too. But because I don't have any strong religious convictions I tend to be a bit more critical of missionaries.
@emarie (5453)
• United States
20 Sep 08
i agree that things like that are going over the limit. 'spreading gods words' doesn't mean to force your own beliefs onto someone else. i never believed that point. i've been lucky enough to not run into those people. although we get a lot of door to door things (which is still not allowed in are apartments as well) we don't get much religious solicitation. maybe some from the church down the street just inviting people to come to their events. one was really nice. i told them i was religious but i didn't attend church, they said okay and asked to do a small prayer right there and i agreed. it was nice.