What to Do When the Denominationalist Calls at Your Door
by Alex D. Ogden

At one time or another each of us has encountered denominational people coming to our door. They are looking for people with which they may study and teach their doctrines. How you and I respond when such people come knocking at our doors may determine whether we can teach them the truth. That's right. If we respond properly we may make for ourselves an opportunity to sit down and teach them the truth. But if we do not respond properly we lose an opportunity to teach the gospel and we may even cause the Lord's church to be reproached. It behooves each of us to consider what is proper and improper in response to such visitors.

When you hear the doorbell ring or hear that knock at the door and it turns out to be one of these callers, the last thing you should do is slam the door in their face. It is often tempting when they have interrupted something we were doing but we must resist all such temptations. It clearly cuts off any further discussions with them later and with some it "makes their day." The Jehovah's Witnesses especially find joy in such because they have been taught to expect it. They regard it as persecution for the cause of Jehovah and will rejoice for weeks that they were able to suffer for Him. This is certainly not the type of response to be expected from a child of God.

Being rude and inconsiderate will also do much more harm than good. I know of no one who becomes more receptive to the truth when we are rude to them. Be kind and considerate. Many don't expect that type of treatment. They are trained to expect rude and inconsiderate people at the doors. Nothing stands to be gained by being rude and inconsiderate.

It would also be a mistake to just say right off the bat that you aren't interested in what they have to say. In many cases what they have to say may be useful in teaching them. But put yourself in their shoes for a minute. They firmly believe that what they teach is truth. We want to be careful not to leave the impression we are not interested in truth. But if we say we are not interested in what they have to say they may conclude just that. Let them know how much you appreciate their concern for your soul and make arrangements for a Bible study with them. They will enter the study believing they can teach you their doctrine but you can use the opportunity to defend the truth and teach them the gospel.

You should never tell such callers that you already have a church or that you are "Church of Christ." To respond that you "already have a church" is to make the Lord's church just one of the many denominations, but the one that you have chosen. The Lord's church is NOT comparable to the denominations and we should be careful not to align Her with them. To say you are "Church of Christ" is to do much the same. When we say that, we proclaim we are Church of Christ type of Christians as opposed to Baptists Christians or Methodist Christians. This is the denominational concept of the church. The Lord's church of the N.T. is not made up of different types of Christians. The gospel makes Christians only and the only Christians. In my own experience I have found it best not to even mention that I am a member of the church of Christ. Why? Because when we do they immediately begin to think of those things they have heard about us. What they have heard is not true in most cases and only works to close their minds to the truth. Once two Jehovah's Witnesses came to the door asking to study with me. They never asked what I did or where I worshiped or anything like that so I didn't tell them. As a result I was able to do more with them since they expected to be talking with someone who was ignorant of the real truth. Our response should not make the Lord's church just another denomination or cause them to close their mind because of preconceived ideas they have of the church.

When the denominational caller knocks at your door be kind and considerate to them. Let them know you appreciate their concern for you and your soul and express an interest in them and their soul as well. If you have the time to sit down and talk with them, invite them in for study. If time does not permit, then invite them to come back at another time which is convenient for both of you. If you feel you are not capable to carry on the study with them, then call myself or someone else who is able to sit in with you. If in the course of the discussion a question is raised which you do not know the answer, don't try to "fake it," but rather be willing to admit you need to do some more studying on that topic before giving an answer.

When the denominational caller knocks at the door we should see it as opportunity knocking, an opportunity to patiently teach the gospel.

Is opportunity knocking at your door?

This page is Copyright 1998 by Alex Ogden, All Rights Reserved.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, November 04, 1998.

Unable to open file