Job 22-24: No Wonder People Say the God of the Old Testament is Mean
Job 25-26: Bildad’s Last Stand and the Fringes of God’s Ways

One Fine December Day in the Ministry

The man answered the door and wasn’t thrilled to see us. I understand the feeling. I take cover myself when I spot unknown persons heading up the driveway. But often you can defuse any anxiety if you are not too weird.

My companion said something about the Bible and the man replied that he was not much of a Bible reader. ‘Have you always felt that way?’ the companion said. It is sort of the latest pick-up line, uttered in the belief that it may spur on conversation which, depending upon the person, it often does. No dice with this fellow, though. He told us a big problem in his eyes was Christians who carried a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other. A jab directed at us, I thought, as I played with his two large poodles which had bounded from the house to jump all over me. “Did I ever tell you how much I like dogs?’ I said to one of them.

“Here’s something you may not know about Jehovah’s Witnesses—which we are,” I interjected. “They are absolutely apolitical and none of them carry guns. Their weapons are words only. Tell them no and they go away. And they don’t afterward go to some congressperson to urge passage of a law to make others do what they say. “At first glance, they are the most intrusive people on earth. At second glance, they are the least. They say what they have to say, but otherwise they are completely live and let live.”

When you interrupt your companion, you don’t do it permanently. You inject a thought and then hand it right back to her. You usually don’t do it at all, so as not to derail her train of thought. But I have thirty years on my companion, so I can do it a little. Not much, usually not all, but a little if the situation calls for it.

She went back to reading and commenting on a certain verse. It engaged her, and the man, if not warming up to the message, was warming up to us. The call concluded as most of them do—he had had no use for religion and still didn’t—but just as we were leaving, I thought to extend to this fellow a contact card featuring the Bible study program. “Most church teachings are not found in the Bible,” I told him. “It is the attempt to read them in that makes people pull out their hair and say, ‘Nobody can make sense of this book!’”

Look at it if you like, I told him. I’ll never know if you do or not. You may still not agree with it; most likely you won’t, but there is a big difference between a book that makes sense and one that doesn’t.

I always write a number to text on these cards and even observe how it has “one of these computer things that you can scan”—overplaying the tech-inept hand, but I still didn’t want to do with them as I had done with ‘crosstags.’ “They’re hashtags, Dad, not crosstags,” my daughter had told me about this other digital innovation, which had occurred recently by human standards but ice-ages ago by digital standards.

The home was on top of a hill. Descending the long winding driveway opened up a magnificent vista. We had already commented on how smart someone must have been to build up there. “Don’t worry about the dogs!” the man said, now quite friendly, as we were taking our leave. “They’ll chase you down the drive and bark like mad but once they reach the invisible fence they’ll stop.” And that is exactly what happened.


******  The bookstore

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'


Charles Opuoro

Thanks my brother for this very interesting and instructive read.

Jan Pierre Pangyarihan

I second that. Thank you, Tom.

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