Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they
produce quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to
everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in
the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.
Mid afternoon a knock came on the door. John knew of no
one who was coming by, so he half way prepared himself for another salesman. He opened the
door to find two nicely dressed ladies standing before him. He noticed their smiles, and
then noticed their Bibles. "Hello," John said inquisitively. One of the ladies
proceeded to tell him that they were the members of a local group of Jehovah's Witnesses.
She barely got the next sentence out of her mouth before John slammed the door and went on
about his business. John felt like he was doing a righteous duty--"slamming the
door" on false doctrines. So much so that he proudly shared the story with several
Christian brothers at church the next Sunday.
Perhaps you have heard similar stories before, or perhaps you have heard other Christians
proclaiming that such actions are the only ones we should take, saying, "When one of
those folks comes to your door just slam the door in their face. Have nothing to do with
them. Nothing you say is going to change their minds."
It may be true that nothing we say will change their minds, but what about what we do?
What does the slamming of a door communicate to them? Can you imagine John smiling kindly
at the two ladies and saying "Jesus loves you, and I love you too," right before
slamming the door in their faces?
I once sat down with two Mormon elders who had come to pay a similar visit. We must have
talked for at least an hour. I must say it was a pleasant meeting. They asked me a couple
of questions, one of which opened the door for me to testify, not of doctrine, but of
love. We could have easily sat and debated scripture and become frustrated with each other
as no one would budge from their stance. Instead we were able to communicate. Why? Because
we did not discuss issues which we were sure to disagree, instead we discussed God's love
Some people might adamantly disagree with this approach. They might argue that correct
doctrine must be proclaimed. While that is true it is also true that truth must be spoken
in love. Therefore it is love that precedes doctrine and it is love that empowers it.
As the elders and I talked, I was able to share with them my testimony without scripture.
That is to say, I told them about the love of God I had experienced and I shared who He is
to me. I asked them about their relationship with God, and I was listened to as I shared
about my relationship with God as well. It was a time of sharing, a time of nurturing and
a time that was conducive to a good sewing of the gospel seeds. For though the two elders
held vast knowledge of scripture and Mormon doctrine, they still seemed hungry for the
love relationship that I described to them.
I never saw the two elders again. I cannot say they were converted at our meeting, and I
do not know what became of them. But I do know that the Love of God which Christ
manifested in me gave them a lot to think about.