Since June 2016 I have kept a journal of my encounters with Jehovah's witnesses at my door or in my Street.
I'm a a nosey bastard and a bit of a home body when I'm not at work so I don't miss much of who comes past my home or knocks at the door.
Will and Dill.
They came to my door on a Wednesday morning around 10:30am Mid June 2016, I was on afternoon shift and had been reading Bart Ehrman "Misquoting Jesus".
What follows is the conversation as best I could recount after they left;
Of the two young gentlemen, Dillon, the younger in appearance introduced Will and himself, he then proceeded to present me with a brochure about world conditions supposedly getting worse.
Me: I could stand at the door nodding in agreement if you like? But I don't agree...
Will and Dillon: No, No, we don't want you to do that!
Me: okay then, let's be clear, I do not believe that brochure to be correct, in fact it couldn't be more wrong.....what century would you like to show me that was better?
Will: Well, its a lot harder now to know who the enemy is and the wars are so complex!
Me: I agree that the complexities of modern warfare makes it difficult to know who and where the enemy is and how to protect ourselves, but rhat in and of itself does not provide evidence of worsening wars; either in their frequency or severity.
Also advances in medicine and its practice, humanitarian endeavors, global awareness and an overall majority wanting fair and peaceful outcomes makes for a much better and improving world conditions, not worsening.
Will and Dillon: ( silence).....
Me: Look guys, I want the truth, and that brochures statement is simply not truth; its content is typical of an organization that insists on giving a negative and deceptive portrayal of world conditions to support its own faulty worldview and teachings. If you value truth and want the facts, do your own research on the subject.
Will: Everything I read in Watchtower I compare with the bible and so far it all matches up.
Me: Well, the bible itself has its own dubious history, I suggest you have a read of " Misquoting Jesus " by Bart Ehrman.
Not only does watchtower project a negative worldview it indoctrinates its members to have a negative view of the non-believers who are to be destroyed at Armageddon if they don't respond to the message at the door. Da'd and Df'd ex jws are to be shunned and treated as if dead.
Will: No, we're not taught to view and treat people that way.
Me: Have you been to the latest convention?
Will and Dillon: Yes.
Me: Then you would have seen the video depicting a daughter that gets disfellowshiped and consequently shunned by her parents who are following the directive given by watchtowers interpretation of scripture.
Will: I don't recall that?
Jehovah's witnesses have made adjustments in the past such as we used to celebrate Christmas etc but changed as new thinking was revealed.
Me: Have either of you heard of Ray Franz?
Will and Dillon: Nope, who is he?
Me: The nephew of Fredrick Franz.
Will and Dillon: eh,... who is Fredrick Franz?
Me: He was a member of the governing body and the president of the Watchtower society; he died in 1992. His nephew, Ray Franz, was a member of the governing body too. After Ray was disfellowshiped he wrote a book called " Crisis of Conscience ", I encourage both of you to read it.
Will: Oh....No.... we don't read literature from people who used to be Jehovah's witnesses.
Me: Well, how can you find out the other side to the story if you refuse to examine it? How will you find the truth? You know what? - The greatest obstical to finding truth is believing you already have it.
Will: why was he disfellowshiped?
Me: He was disfellowshiped for going against a new directive by watchtower to shun a disassociated person; he had a meal with a Da'd friend who also happened to be his landlord and employer.
-- Our conversation took several turns after that and I suggested that looking at jwfacts.com online would be a good place for them to do some research.
They expressed the need to move on, so we shook hands and thanked each other for the conversation....then they were gone...
I felt they were either not being honest or they were very oblivious to the facts.
My next encounter with the witnesses was just over a year later, in July 2017, with a brief invite to the 2017 " don't give up " convention.
So much for the urgent work!
October 2017 was the next encounter, and I will share that with you all soon....sooner than Armageddon.