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when receiving door to door evangelizing...how to keep a level head?

 
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That's admirable, Travis. :  )

Because each of us lives a different life with different experiences we each make up a uniquely different part of the "body". My part is to be with the dying and it has to be one of the most enlightening things I've ever experienced in my life. For it has totally shattered the collective cultural paradigm held by secular society which is so "scared to death" of death it is not even permitted to be discussed.
 
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Trace Oswald wrote:
The problem with that line of thinking is that you're assuming that the God you believe in is the right one.  So the actual wager you are making is, If I am right, and the God I believe in is the correct one, then I will have eternal life. If I am wrong, there may be nothing after death, so I have lost nothing, except all the money I contributed to keep my church running and all the time I sat in church listening to something that wasn't true.  That is time that could have been spent helping your family or others that needed it.  On the other hand, if I am wrong and one of the other Gods that I don't believe in is the correct one, I'm going to hell for eternity.  

Suppose a person truly believes in Odin as the one true God.  He could say the exact same thing you said, but he would go to hell for believing in God.  He just chose the wrong one.



Right. This is the problem. Arabic-speaking Christians refer to God as Allah, because that is the Arabic word for God. Applying Pascal's wager to the question of being Cristian vs. Muslim, we find that neither option offers the "nothing after death" outcome. Either of these faith systems has a God who will burn you eternally for believing the other one.
 
pollinator
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I'm really going to have to start studying many of these responses! I think I somehow got on the "there's a chance with this one" list, and haven't been able to shake them since. Originally I started by telling them that my beliefs were personal, and I mostly fell in line with Buddhism, that didn't sway their intent to convert me an inch. My current method is complete and utter avoidance. Number 1, if I see them walking down the street before they get here, it's in the house we go, and the door gets locked. 2, if we've been spotted, and there is no chance of full retreat, I leave hubby to deal with them (I know, that is just horrible of me). I need to learn from some of these tactics presented here so that I'm not hanging hubby out in the wind all by himself!
 
pioneer
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When Evangelicals came to our door, Papa made a point of showing them, from the Bible, exactly where they were wrong. This showed them they believed in something not-well-thought-out, and they couldn’t handle it.
 
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Other ideas besides not answering the door?

Paint a nice sign to hang on the door that politely says that nobody is allowed to religiously solicit at your house. Make it so it can't be overlooked. It worked for us.

We lived in a "hotspot" for a certain religion, so everybody in town was constantly bombarded. I'd be outside working in the yard and here some more of them would come walking toward the house. I'd set stuff aside and go inside, not answering the door and feeling resentment that I had to hide out on my own property. Then I painted the sign and it did the trick.

If you do get solicited anyway and decide to answer the door, be polite. Point to the sign. If they are polite people they'll respect your wishes and go away. If they're pushy anyway, just ask them to leave and shut the door.
 
pollinator
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You know those trap-door welcome mats from the cartoons, the ones that drop away to a crocodile pit in the sub-sub-sub-basement, activated by the door buzzer?

Well, I always thought that the buzzer needed a safety, like facial recognition, to keep family members from accidentally feeding the crocs.

Or, on another note, you know Sweeny Todd?

Or maybe those are too out-of-the-box for most.

I like the bit mentioned just recently, and in various earlier posts, that suggest that all you need is a thorough knowledge of your own shared source material. Conversion works both ways. Show them where their bible says they're wrong.



I also like the well-placed sign option. Of course, I would have to feed the crocs something else...

-CK
 
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When those folks come to the door I simply tell them I'm a pagan and not interested in what they're peddling. I'm nice, at first. If they say thanks and leave, we're all good. If not, well, they find I can go to a not so nice place quick, fast and in a hurry. At that point they become trespassers and are treated accordingly.
I don't like pushy people. They're like baby shit. They get on you, it stinks and you're all the time looking for a place to scrape it off.
 
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I am so curious: does this still happen? Where I live the LDS people stopped canvassing, they were the only people I got, and it was rare (rarer still after my junkyard dog realized they were scared of him, he takes full advantage of that to be extra scary). Are people still banging on your door?
 
Michael Dotson
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Tereza, when I lived in OKC several years ago I had a few groups come by to convert me. I don't listen to any of them. It's a waste of their time to go through their routine when they ain't accomplishing anything.
I've since moved to a more rural area of Arkansas and I guess it ain't worth their time coming out here to convert us heathens🤣
 
Chris Kott
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Or, to keep a level head, I like to practice by balancing books. Also, a level might work.

-CK
 
pollinator
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I always liked George Carlin's solution, it went something like this: "come on in, let's take a bath together and talk about it!"

I have always engaged with door-knockers, mostly because I feel sympathy for them, having been raised in conservative evangelicalism. I remember the years of guilt and fear that made me feel obligated to "witness" my faith to unsuspecting strangers. I remember how horribly uncomfortable it made people, folks who I'm sure were just going along trying to make it through life and do their best. I know now that they didn't need a concerned lecture from me about how wretched of sinners they were and how death could strike at any minute and send them straight to eternal damnation if they didn't switch to my faith immediately without delay. It makes me sad to think back on it, and the saddest thing is how miserable I was myself. I guess that's what gives me sympathy for the people who are still in that mindset. Also, I read the bible from cover to cover 7 times back in the day, so I can discuss anything that's brought up and usually lots more that they've never heard or thought about.

I have had beautiful interactions, mostly with younger softer evangelists, who I showed sympathy for outright and who had a hard time continuing with their message as I described to them what a prison religion had been for me. One girl in particular kept putting her sunglasses back on (it was cloudy out) as I described the misery I lived during my religious days--her older companion quickly ushered her away.

Once there was a pair of nuns going around the town plaza asking for donations to the catholic hospital. I smiled and told them that I don't believe in god or hospitals. They gave me the most quizzical look and then backed away. Then my husband came back from walking around with the kids and told me he had given them a donation. LOL! We've got to get our stories straight!

The only time I've truly been angry with an evangelist was when one woke me up while I was asleep in my bed in the maternity ward, having given birth to my son just 4 or 5 hours before. She actually shook me awake!! I engaged with her and gave her some of my worst thoughts about Christianity, to which she replied that god had given her daughter a nice trip to London so she was sure he was real and benevolent. I just about exploded on that one. I eventually told her that I needed to take care of my baby and we need to rest *hint hint* but she still wouldn't leave. Finally her cohorts began heading off to their next victims, and she left reluctantly, but only after insisting that I take all the literature she handed me, which I tried to refuse simply because where do you put that crap in a hospital bed. Between her and the endless fights with doctors, I ended up checking out of there less than 12 hours after the birth of my baby. Argh.

In the end, I (usually) don't get angry with people who feel like they are doing the very important job of saving other humans from hell. I have found the best results with lots of warmth and sympathy. Many religious groups are taught (overtly or covertly) that pleasant qualities like peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, etc don't exist outside the confines of their perfect ideology, so seeing an outsider in full posession of those characteristics is a bit of a show-stopper just by itself. Usually if they find that you have questions they can't answer, and see that you remain calmer and sweeter than they are during the interaction, they don't come back for seconds.
 
Marie Abell
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Travis Johnson wrote:Honestly Acts 2: 44-47 tells Christians how to evangelize, and the results that it brought in.

As many of you know, I am trying to build a homeless shelter in our community because it dovetails with two problems that concern me: drug addiction and the seriously mentally ill. But without a home, many of the people have nothing else to do but go back to jail...

So this Sunday we brought in a man who was a preacher for 30 years before he understood this point, You have to meet peoples needs...food, shelter, etc before they really understand the bible.

This man has started (2) homeless shelters in Maine, and (3) in Florida called "Sheltered by Jesus" since 2008. They have (3) books out, and are now doing a movie about the mans desire to build Homeless Shelters (Chuck Norris Productions too mind you). They also have food pantries and now travel to rural Maine delivering food to the poor.

They have 350-400 salvations per year.

Why? because they do not go OUT, they ACCEPT THE UNLOVED IN...and meet their needs. That is why I do Rock the Flock for the opiote epidemic, and why every Friday we meet to discuss the mentally ill, drug addiction problem, and homeless. None of that is a waste of time, no matter what they think of the bible or church people.

Acts 2: 44-47
All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to ANYONE who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.



Travis, this is beautiful. I've said for years that I probably would never have left religion if it was more like this. Congratulations on the lovely work you're doing.
 
pollinator
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We got Mormons a couple of times. Kind of got rid of them by accident twice.

First time, they ran away because my mom lit up a cigarette in front of them.

Second time, they came back because my schizophrenic mother invited them over because they "just wanted to talk about Jesus." I didn't even have to tell them that my mother believed that her adoptive father, who she thought was secretly her real father the whole time, came up with a plan with her on his deathbed for him to assassinate the Christian God & take his place so he could bestow blessings upon her specifically & help her find the penis that was stolen from her at birth so she could regain the power to undo all the things whoever was ruining her life had callously taken away from her, only to he thwarted after her mother died, because Jesus only wanted to go out drinking & partying with her 24/7 instead of helping.

No, just politely explaining that she was Schizophrenic & didn't really know who they were or what they were asking got them away. Haven't seen them around since. They were teenaged girls, so, if I understand how the Church of Latter Day Saints works, they are probably in Africa, right now.
 
pollinator
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This thread was a neat read. I might feel differently if this happened more than once every couple years to me, but I've always been charmed by how these people are earnestly trying to live their faith. I'm a third-generation (that I know of) atheist, so they don't get any purchase if I weigh the merit of their arguments, but I don't usually mind taking a few minutes to give them a glass of water on a hot day before they head on down the street.
 
I guess I've been abducted by space aliens. So unprofessional. They tried to probe me with this tiny ad:
Profitable Permaculture in the Far North with Richard Perkins - Gracie's backyard
https://permies.com/wiki/133872/videos/Profitable-Permaculture-North-Richard-Perkins
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