I don’t quite know what it is about the Jehovah’s witnesses but you can spot them a mile off. They look exactly the same the world over. They can often be seen out in force and they always seem to catch us off-guard.
Having woken up from the siesta, Joni wanted to watch some television so, we ended slobbing it a bit in the bedroom watching Doctor who, Driver Dan, 64 Zoo Lane etc., when the dogs suddenly started barking. Half asleep and shabbily clothed in my old shorts and slippers I went to see what all the comotion was all about. Two Witnesses were standing outside my front door.
As I opened the door to them Joni started demanding more 64 Zoo Lane with menaces. So, I asked them to come in while I tended to his needs. Normally, I would do a quick assesment of the situation, decide I was not in a position to present myself in the best light possible and make my apologies. Today I thought I ought to talk but I’m not sure why.
I’ve had a few run-ins with J.W.’s in England. Normally it is a bit like a tennis match (Hazel’s analogy). We just score points off each other. Someone wins, someone loses but it really does not matter. I’ve been thinking for some time now that these guys need to be credited with integrity and dedication albeit not from the best motives. I would hate to have to go around knocking on doors. You never know what’s on the other site. I guess these guys didn’t either.
So cordially, we sat down and I explained that I was a missionary here. I made a point of getting my English copy of the New World Translation to impress them and we started looking at John 1. I thought it good if I could grab the initiative from the beginning. I explained that I knew something of their teaching but would appreciate hearing it from them.
We spent about two hours comparing translations. We looked at their translation both in English and Spanish, together with the New International Version and the Nueva Version Internacional. We threw in a little ESV for good measure. It all got a bit complicated but was thoroughly enjoyable so I deepened my understanding of their position a little more.
The woman had to leave half-way through leaving me and Gustavo to continue alone. I asked him about why he became a Jehovah’s witness. He explained how, when he was a catholic, he could see the extra factors that had been mixed with the faith to make it acceptable to the people here by the Spanish Conquerers* so it was not really biblical. He wanted to understand his faith directly from the bible and the J.W.’s took a more serious approach to it. He certainly did not find the Trinity therein.
He was articulate and intelligent and I believe he really enjoyed chatting. I certainly did. He’s hoping to come around again Monday. I need to do some brushing up on some teaching in the meantime. Prayers therefore appreciated.
*The Conquerers basically put catholocism on top of the local religious beliefs they encountered. So, for example, the virgin Mary has been ‘merged’ with the Patcha Mama an earth godess.