Knocking on a door, your senses try to pick up any vibration that someone is coming. Especially elderly; might take their time. Not just indicating to wait long enough, but to tailor your message. That article on crime in the magazine – yes that might start a conversation.
Ministry work – going door to door – is part of being a Jehovah’s Witness. Spreading the good news that virtually everyone is going to die in an apocalypse, you too unless heed the message. Though the end of the world was meant to happen in the lifetime of those that saw 1914. Those people I spoke to who had witnessed the Great War have departed before that promise of interpretation by the Watch Tower and Bible Tract Society was shown to be a lie. One I shared with others.
Just as teachings change to circumstances that catch you out – or God revealing what we need to know at that moment if you prefer – so do methods. Door knocking and hoping someone is in has given way to trying to be where people are.
Volunteers are targeting train stations, as well as shopping centres and other busy places, in 14 cities across Britain and Ireland – Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield.
In London alone, the movement says it has 1,000 people giving away literature – and they get through about 6,000 brochures, 20,000 books, and 100,000 magazines every month. [BBC News]
Rather like a spider on a web, they stand there with a collection of books and magazines. Waiting for the fly to come to them. At least you can be sure they do not want your blood. Refusing blood transfusions is one thing most people are aware they do even for kids in critical condition. Just your complete obedience to what the Watchtower believes. They will do their best to assimilate you on that journey, gradually, starting with the offer of a bible study.
Sincerity is not something they lack. They really do believe God would be angry if you had a slice of birthday cake (it’s moon worship). That a child should not be playing with a transformer doll as it suggests life exists independent of the only creator, Jehovah (and magic powers a big no). Books to read on theology are by the Society; the devil’s work is false religion so beware of them. Those ancient philosophers will lead you to paganism, even to doubt. Probably best to leave well alone.
The relationship with Jehovah is that of a loving father who does not think twice at killing people that displease him. When the Israelites demand some variety to their diet in the wilderness, fish meat rain from the sky. It’s a test. Those that ate them die (Numbers chapter 11).
You do get to read the bible at least with them. I still remember the audio tape dramatisation and the noise of those choking on the fish meat, dying in agony. And those stories – which are real to you as a kid – rather put you off birthday cake if Jehovah is like that. He is a jealous God – even his chosen people did not escape his wrath. And judgment day was waiting like a thief in the night.
At least at a train station you can escape them much easier than a knock at your door. Or a child finally reasoning this cannot be true.