Question: The doorbell rings… I glance out the window and see two nicely dressed strangers with smiles on their faces and a literature bag at their side. I know they came to recruit me to their cult. Do I answer the door? Do I enter into debate? Do I attempt to evangelize? What do I do?
These are questions that many residents of Reedsburg have because the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Latter Day Saints both have a very active “outreach ministry” in this area.
In order to answer your question fully, let me first address three common mistakes Christians make and then offer some scriptural advice.
First Mistake – Some will answer the door, visit with cult members, and try to explain why they believe in the sole authority of scripture or the eternal existence of Jesus Christ. They do this because they see it as an opportunity to “give a defense” of the faith (1 Peter 3:15).
If you have ever taken this approach in the past, then you know it is futile. The cultists have spent hours preparing for that visit. They know what you will say and they have a response prepared.
Second Mistake – Some know that they are not equipped to debate a cultist, so the simply do not answer the door. The problem with this approach is that they will come back. Besides that, Christians ought to take opportunity to function as “salt and light” in this world (Matthew 5:13).
Third Mistake – Some know that an impromptu front-porch-debate will not be effective, so they decide to take it more slowly. They will visit for a while, identify one or two specific differences in doctrine, and then invite the cultists back to discuss it further (presumably preparing their arguments in the meantime).
While this may seem to be in accordance with Jesus’ advice, “Be wise as serpents and gentle as doves” (Matthew 10:16), it is not. This approach will only get your name on the cultists “follow up” list and give them the wrong impression that they found an potentially interested prospect.
So what should we do? What advice does the Bible offer? It actually offers more than advice. It issues a very clear command:
“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” (2 John 1:10-11)
While this may initially seem rude, it is actually very loving in that it gives the cult member exactly what he or she needs most: A dose of biblical reality.
I would recommend either memorizing this verse or posting a script near the door so that you are never caught off-guard. Here is one suggestion:
“I believe that as Mormons [or Jehovah’s Witnesses], you are members of an anti-Christian cult. I would be violating the Apostle John’s command if I were to invite you in or even greet you as a brother [or sister]. I will pray for your eyes to be opened to the truth later today, but right now I need to ask you to leave. Thank you.”