Visitors with a Bible

I was just wondering if some of you could offer some information on an experience I had today.

Please bear with me because I have to set the scene upon which I based my decision as to how best to react.

This morning I was bitten by the “cleaning bug” which has been pestering me all week…I have 2 dogs now (1 recently adopted) and live in a small 2 story townhome. Anyway, after I took the dogs for a quick walk to relieve themselves I set to work…basically in my pajamas…you know…lounge pants and a T-shirt. My hair was pulled up in a doubled- up pony tail and I felt really gross. In other words…I was NOT dressed or prepared for company.

All the same, I feel I may have missed an opportunity.

As I vacuumed and watched the Olympics, I heard the door bell ring. I turned off the vacuum as my German Shepherd barked and realized that the doorbell was not on TV. Now, my front door is right next to a large window which was open to let in the breeze. Because I live alone (as a single woman) I tend to sometimes go beyond social norms in the interest of self-defense.

Even though it’s broad daylight and I have 2 dogs, I am well aware that although most people who come to the door have honorable intentions…it’s the others that concern me.

Instead of opening my inside door (I also have a concern that one or both of my dogs will dart outside, especially if the visitors are holding the screen door open) I went to the open window and greeted the visitors. I saw a middle aged man in a suit and a woman, I learned was his wife.

He said they were there to share some thoughts about the Bible with me.

Now, obviously, since I am here, I have a desire to learn more, although I don’t feel ready for apologetics.

I told them that I really didn’t have the time (OO! I could have phrased that better…such as “It’s not a good time…”) and that I’m Catholic and attend Epiphany a few blocks away.

They didn’t pressure me and instead just wished me a good day…and I wished them the same. It was really weird talking through a window…I’ve never done that before and would tell most people that it’s very rude. I didn’t mean to be rude at all.

I’m wondering if anyone has any thoughts, first of all, who these people may be? I’m sure they aren’t JW’s, since it was a married man and woman. Anyone have any idea what denomination they could be from? I’m not sure that I’ve ever had Morman couples evangelizing before.

I’m a new homeowner so this has been my first visit from any evangelists.

Also, as my background is what it is, I am very cautious about opening doors to people I dont’ know…even if they hold a Bible. Anyone can hold a Bible and say they are there to discuss it…but their story can quickly change once they’re in the door.

Those of you who have entertained such visitors, how have you been so sure they were there to only discuss the Bible? What signs have you looked for in their body language, etc.

I would at some point welcome a good discussion even to help bridge the gap between religious understanding, but today, there was NO WAY I was going to let someone come in (dirty house, dressed in PJ’s).

Any thoughts?

I really do feel that I missed an opportunity to represent Catholicism, and therefore Jesus in a very real way.

Guess we *don’t * know the day and the hour!

If it happens again, can you maybe step outside, away from your front door, and have the conversation where neighbors and passerbys can see you. If you think about it, lock the door first before stepping outside.


You did the right thing… the smart thing.

You did NOT lose an opportunity to have the discussion that these strangers claimed that they wanted to have with you.

It’s not like Christians are card-carrying types to prove that we’re Christian.

Mormons and JW’s come in pairs like that. And remember, neither Mormons nor JW’s are Christians as we define Christians. Their Jesus is NOT our Jesus.

It doesn’t matter.

First, your safety is the main thing. I’ve been a single woman in a house by myself and I just plain DO NOT EVER open the door to anyone who knocks. That’s why I have the eyepiece in the door that I can see through. If I have the window drapes open, I shut them when I don’t recognize the person through the window.

I play possom… leaving whatever TV or radio show that’s on, well, on.

It’s NONE of their business why I don’t answer the door.

They are being rude at best… and dangerous at worst.

I’m not being overly protective of myself, but I think that I’m hearing you being on the side of being overly concerned that you did not act in the “socially acceptable” or “apologetically acceptable” way for this.

Be assured, you were and are perfectly within your rights to decline to have a conversation with ANYBODY who just shows up at your door. You don’t have to give ANY reason, whatsoever… so the fact that you attempted to give a reason is more than I would have done.

Second, if you want to have an apologetics type conversation… I suggest that you don’t try it until you are somewhat experienced or trained in it… otherwise, your point will never get across to the other people.

Third, if you want to be REALLY ADVENTUROUS and NICE about it, tell them to phone you or leave a note with their phone number so that you can phone them AT YOUR CONVENIENCE to set up a time and date that is CONVENIENT TO YOU to MEET IN PUBLIC, LIKE A MC-DONALD’S OR PUBLIC PLACE LIKE THAT to meet with them.

Fourth, in no way should ANYbody insist that they come inside! If they do, slam the door in their face and phone 911!!!

It’s a dangerous world out there. And if those folks are sincerely asking to discuss the Bible with you, they will NOT be put off by your protecting yourself in this way or any other way.

You’re a smart person. But you’re not foolish! :cool:


Sadly a Bible in hand is not a guarantee of a safe caller to the door. Caution is always good.

Brings to mind something my Dad did. He was coordinator for the Catholic information service his 4th degree K of C Assembly ran, and had boxes of their material in the house. One day, the JW’s came to the door. He asked them to excuse him for just one second, and came back, materials in hand, and gave them to them, explaining what each item would tell them. His callers walked off , somewhat bewildered.



I think you did the right thing too.
JW’s have a habit of showing up early on a Sat mornin and catching you when you haven’t showered or dressed…gosh I hate that :mad: , but unlike you I usually have my kids here and in the past my kids have had a shot at them in defending the Catholic faith, ooooooh it does make a mother proud :wink: .
But after numerous visits from these ppl, experience has taught me that I really don’t want to converse with them anymore bc like I said they always show up when its not convient and after about an hour at my kitchen table its plain to see that they really need alot of de-brain washing…its really more or less exhausting.
Anywho I think you did right, I wouldn’t think for one sec that you were rude and you can bet they’ll be back :rolleyes:

Anybody who doesn’t feel comfortable or safe answering their door to strangers shouldn’t feel guilty about it.
It is your home and they are the ones who show up uninvited.

I had the JWs show up one day on CHRISTMAS DAY!!!
How rude is that!

They don’t celebrate it - so they thought they’d try to convince others not to celebrate it too!!

Thanks everyone for your replies.

Of course I considered stepping out the door myself…but of course, I was in no condition to do so!

I remember as a child, one day I was sick and home alone while Mom was working…I must have been in Jr. High. I was sleeping on the couch, watching TV in a fevered nap when someone knocked at the door. It was a woman who tried to hand me a tract which I refused. Of course, being a good Catholic home, we had a big crucifix displayed…and when I told the woman I couldnt’ discuss her adjenda with me she looked really disappointed. I remember she was alone, which was odd…even then I wondered about HER safety…not so much my own.

Anyway, this couple may be back. Do you think they’re Mormon? Are there other Protestant evangelicals who go door to door other than JW? I did like the fact that they were respectful…and maybe the presence of my German Shepherd, popping up in the window next to me as I greeted them was a deterrent. :smiley:

Goodness knows, a single Catholic woman with a German Shepherd and another big dog (Greyhound) is nothing to be messed with! They probably left heaving great sighs of relief that they wouldn’t have to deal with the dogs! :smiley: :wink:

I think I get some disapproval from some people (parish priests) for having 2 dogs, but so far they’ve both contributed to my spritual well being in one way or another.

You’re right that I really should not get into a real apologetical discussion at this point. I keep thinking that I need to pray for additional education/degree in Theology…it almost seems we all need that level of education just to defend our faith!

First off, don’t ever feel badly for having 2 dogs coming to the door when someone comes. Good for you!

Second, your surprise “guests” may have been JW’s (Jehovah Witnesses), or Pentecostal, or Baptist.

When I was a child, (Pentecostal “one-ness” a.k.a. Jesus only), the adults in our church which at that time included my parents would go door to door, and they would even have us children participating. They even send the kids on their own sometimes! (at least they do where I live now…still waiting for that moment now when I’m home now…) so as so many others have already said, you shouldn’t feel badly. Even those who came to your door that day know better than to expect you to just draw caution to the wind and probably didn’t think you were rude but were rather embarrassed themselves! You never know! - God bless you and may you enjoy your new home. Don’t forget to have your priest come bless it. I pray too that it will be nothing more than a haven and source of blessing to yourself and all those who enter it. - MFaustina1

They could have been JW’s. They don’t always work in husband-wife teams, but I’ve seen it, sometimes a whole family, kids included. Usually though it’s two men or two women.

Mormons, on the other hand, are almost always two young men fulfilling their missionary obligation. (recently, I’ve seen young women as well, but I suspect they primarily go on special details to Mormon widows or otherwise single women). I grew up in Southern California where the JW infestation is pretty high, and currently I live in the Mesa, AZ area which has been dubbed “Salt Lake City South” so I’ve seen a lot of both groups.

I had a similar situation to the ones described in this thread. A couple came to our door one day. I knew I had seen this gentlmen before so I didnt feel threatened. We live in a small town. Well, he said he was there to talk about Jesus. I am one of those who love to talk about Jesus and church. Well, he only asked for a “few” minutes of our time. Well, that few minutes turned into an hour of him going through the Bible trying to prove how us catholics have it wrong. Well I am a patient person, so I let him finish. Well, at this point I said , well this is what catholics believe about baptism and the process of salvation, and it is a process. He verbally attacked me in my own dining room. Well, my patience ran out and I told him that the conversation would be best ended and asked them to leave. The nerve of these people. They want you to listen to them but when its your turn to explain what we believe and why, they dont want to hear it? The best thing to do is not to invite them in. Be polite and tell them you are “saved” through the sacrament of baptism and Have a nice day and that you will be saying a Rosary on their behalf and salvation.

Well, you could always ask to see their bible. Examine it and determine that it is missing books, like most Protestant Bibles are, and say

It seems like someone sold you a defective Bible. You should take it back and get your money back.

If they ask how it is defective, explain that about 400 years ago, some people decided that they did not like certain books in the authentic bible and threw them away. Some publishers use these defective bibles as models for what they publish rather then a complete bible.

We Catholics and Orthodox should be doing this too.

Just a friendly stop at the homes in the neighborhood, inviting folks to come pray with us, offering to answer any questions they might have and see if anyone at home is in need.

A few handy brochures or simple pamphlets could be left with anyone interested, with Catholic Charities contact info, the local parish rectory number and St Vincent DePaul society contact info.

Pushiness is not the order of the day, but a smiling face and a prayer for everyone we meet this way is an absolute must!

Our society needs to be re-evangelized, by us, again! Those people out there really need us.

They could have been 7th Day Adventists. Lately they are coming to the door with a basket of fruit (you know that they are very healthy-living people). 7DA official doctrine is extremely anti-Catholic.

Or they could have been graduates of a “Purpose Driven Church” class trying to be more pro-active in “going into all the world and preaching the Gospel.” We did a lot of this door-to-door evangelism when we were part of a Christian church (supposedly a non-denom church, but in actuality, part of the Christian churches/Churches of Christ/Disciples of Christ, a very loose “denomination”.) “Purpose Driven” could be any denomination (including Catholic!), but most likely one of the evangelical denominations.

I don’t have an objection to this type of evangelism," but I agree that it’s not safe to let strangers into your home.

Although, I know what goes on in the “real” world, I live in a small Southern town where I can keep my front door open at night when I go to bed. That being said, there is a rather large Fund. Baptist church two blocks from me, alot of times, the youth minister and his wife will go door to door, sometimes they even come in groups of 3 or 4.

Around here, its quite commen for a husband and wife team to go door to door.

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