How should a Christ follower respond when a member of a false religion knocks on the door? Should you accept the literature that is offered? Should you let them in the door? Should you dialogue with them about their beliefs? Does your approach change if they knock on the door of your business? What if they knock on the door of the church?
This past week, two Jehovah’s Witnesses came into the office of our church, United Evangelical Free Church of Seattle. They spoke with Anita, our Administrative Assistant, and explained that they were in the neighborhood distributing literature on how to understand the Bible. Would we like a copy of it? (I’m not sure if I was more amazed at their boldness or more curious if they really understood what the term “evangelical” meant.) Anita politely told them, “No, thanks,” and they went on their way.
She asked me later if I had wanted to talk with them. I responded, “I don’t give them the time of day.” In doing so, I’m not trying to be rude. I try to be cordial, but firm. A few weeks ago, two Mormons called at my home and asked if they could tell me about Jesus. I responded, “I believe in Jesus, but he is not the same Jesus you believe in. I am saved by grace through faith.”
Rather than rude behavior, my unwillingness to dialogue with them is based on the instructions in 2 John 7-11. In that passage, John writes,
For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.
If someone is seeking the truth, a Christ follower should give them as much time as needed. But if they are teaching false doctrine, we should limit our contact and interaction. Not a popular opinion in a PC world, but it is one which Scripture teaches.