To give you an idea of the diversity of religion around here, I thought I'd tell you about some of the people whose doors we knocked on today.
I took one of our ladies with me, and we knocked at houses on one block and another short block. We met a delightful elderly Presbyterian lady, a lady who was saved years ago in a Baptist church who now goes to a non-denominational church, and a young woman walking down the street that I stopped and handed a tract to. She immediately said, "I am not Christian." Notice she didn't say "a Christian" - she said "Christian." Here, Christianity is just another of the world's religions! Someone might be Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Pagan, or Atheist, depending on who or what they claim as their god, and any religion claiming Jesus Christ as its God is Christian. This is what we find every day! Anyway, this young lady happens to work teaching pottery classes in our rec centre! What a nice "coincidence!" ;) She works on the weekend, but seemed a bit interested in coming to our Thursday night Bible study. I'm praying that a seed will be sown in her heart, and she will just have to come and see what our Bible study is about! Her name is Vis, pronounced Veez.
Near the end of our block, we knocked on the door of a couple of Jehovah's Witness. I do not dislike people who are JW's; however, I do dislike their beliefs and their practices. As soon as I identified myself as a Baptist, the lady who answered the door let me know she was JW. That was fine with me - we were going to excuse ourselves and move on. Neither of us would change the other's mind by standing at the door arguing about anything, but this lady would not let me leave. One thing was interesting: they don't agree on which Bible to use. One of them said I needed to quit reading the KJV; the other said she uses the KJV. They were fine with my using the KJV, though, until they quoted John 1:1 as proof that Jesus was with God from the beginning, but He wasn't God. I guess they forgot the rest of that verse, because I said, "Exactly. The Word was with God and the Word was God." That's when they had to back up and tell me to use another version of the Bible to learn that Jesus is not God. This is one reason it is so important to know which Bible is the Word of God! You have to have an absolute Standard on which to base your beliefs! When all was said and done, they left me no choice than to walk away as they yelled at me from their front door. If you knew me personally, you would know that it is very much out of character for me to walk away from someone who is talking to me. But honestly, I was forced to just walk away.
While Hayley and I were having this adventure, Wes and Andrew were speaking with a Jewish man. He was a very gracious man, and as Wes was turning to leave, he asked the man if he had family in Israel. His wife does, and he said it was a very scary time for his wife's family. We need to pray for the Israeli people!
Samuel and Beth went together, and they talked to an elderly Muslim lady. She very quietly but staunchly said to them that Allah and Jesus are the same. Then they talked to a man who was very friendly, but when they invited him to church, he said, "I am Muslim." Samuel assured him that he would be welcome to come anyway. They also talked to a person who was so relieved that they weren't Mormon or JW, that he was willing to listen to them! So you can see that we have a wide variety of people and beliefs here. And we found a litle of all of them today! At least we found people at home!