On Missionaries, Religion, and the Police

This Saturday, two white men in white shirts with holy books in their hands rang my doorbell. I didn’t answer.

I assumed, for lack of a better explanation, that they were missionaries. I wasn’t expecting anyone to ring, and these certainly weren’t men I knew.

At first I thought nothing of not answering. Then I felt bad for having done this. And then, I thought about it some more and decided I had no reason to feel bad for my actions.

My rationalization was this: these men probably had one goal in mind: to share God’s love with me. Maybe they’d just want to tell me who they were, why they were at my door, and how to get to the nearest place of worship if I ever felt the need. That’s the best I can think that it would have gone.

Possibly they’d offer me a book. One that said The Holy Bible on the front. Maybe it would be a Book of Mormon. I can’t tell what their denomination was, having not spoken with them.

Maybe they’d want me to tell them about my relationship with God. Talk about prying!?

But it also made me curious about what they wouldn’t say. They probably wouldn’t have said, “Hello, I’d like to have an earnest discussion with you about God and spirituality.”

Even less likely, they could have asked what I thought of their religion. Why I though that. And then corrected any misconceptions I had and gone on their way.

I find it interesting that never having willingly undertaken this interaction I already think I know how it would go. I also can’t shake the feeling of disappointment that I may well be right.

Wouldn’t it be a trip to have a man knock on your door and, when you open it, say, “Hello, I was wondering what you could teach me. I think you can teach me something, what’ll it be?”

But even as I say that, I recognize another fact. That after that man rang the doorbell, I’d probably call the police.

2 responses to “On Missionaries, Religion, and the Police”

  1. As a Christian, it always saddens me to realize how many Christians think they can share anything worth sharing by pushing themselves in someone’s front door.

  2. I was once a missionary who knocked on people’s doors. It was my perception that almost everybody who invited us into their home enjoyed the conversation regardless of the eventual outcome. I’ve even had the conversation you’ve mentioned about just correcting misconceptions, though that is not the most common one.