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True Purpose of Missionaries?

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posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 03:02 PM
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Can anyone explain to me just what the door-to-door missionaries are really for?

I try to always speak to them, whenever they come. usually it's the Mormons, but Protestants are not uncommon. Originally I always assumed that they went door to door in order to try and "speread the word of God" so to speak. But after as many as I've spoken to over the years, I'm really starting to doubt that's why they come. I get the imepssion that few people actually speak to missionaries, so they migth not realize this...but the overwhelming majority of them really don't have much to say, and loathe every second that they spend at your door.

Let me give you an especially memorable example: the very first time I was ever approached by the Mormons.

It was a number of years ago, and I was thrilled to have them come, because I had heard about the Mormons, didn't really know much about them, but it had never been important enough to me to go asking about them. So...having a pair show up at my door offering to tell me about themselves seemed great. So I invited them in.

They were shocked.

In fact...not more than five or ten minutes into the conversation, and long before I had even the vaguest general outline of their belief system, they "suddenly had to leave." But, before they left, one of the pair asked me a question. I kid you not...this is about what he said:

"Why did you invite us in? I've been doing this for two years and you're the second person ever to speak us."

Umm...excuse me? I assumed the whole purpose of their going door to door was to spread the word about their religion. But after two years they had only ever spoken to two people, and were shocked that I invited them inside to talk? And had to cut the conevrsation short when I actually expressed interest in what they had to say?

What's going on here?

In fact...it's even worse than that. I invited them to come back another time, and got their phone number. They never came on the apopinted day, and when i called to reschedule, they NEVER EVEN RETURNED MY PHONE CALLS!

What is going on?

And it's not like it's just the Mormons. A pair of protestants came to my door just this morning, and as usual, I tried to converse with them. Listen some. Speak some. Think some. Converse

They couldn't do it.

They started by saying nice things about me. Complimenting me repeatdly about this and that. (In retrospect...buttering me up in an attempt to make me more receptive to manipulation.) Then they asked a few questions...and listened to my responses. (In retrospect...tried to make me feel like they cared about what I thought in order to make me more receptive to manipulation.)

Then they started dissertating.

I tried listening, but things they said didn't make sense. They couldn't clarify. I tried asking questions. They just kept right on talking. They pulled out their Bible and started fingering through passages, trying to get me to look into the book whlie they read. (This has always annoyed me, and today I figured out why. They're very deliberately attempting to bypass the thinking part of the brain. Something doesn't have to be in the Bible to make sense, or be worth listening to. On the other hand, just because something is in the Bible, doesn't mean I'm going to simply take it at face value, out of context. Or, as my Christian friends have been known to say "Even the Devil may quote the Bible to his own ends." But, by pointing out that something is in the Bible, apparantly they're hope to generate belief. Even though sometimes the passage they're showing doesn't even relate to what they're talking about!!!!)

So how did this particular encounter end? Well, one of them started yet another tangent of her dissertation, and after a few moments, she stated a very obvious logical fallacy, and I made motion t o interupt. She kept talking. And talking...and talking. I listened, and waited for a good two minutes until finally interupting with "May I make a suggestion?" She totally ignored me and went right on talking at me. So I said "Oh. I guess I can't. Ok. Thank you for your time." Then I went back inside and closed the door. But not before I noticed something.

They were relieved to be done.

They were happy to be done! Not "they were dissappointed to lose a listener" not even "they were sad that they couldn't prosyletize at me anymore." No...they were grateful that I had given them a socially acceptable opportunity to not have to talk to me anymore.

Excuse me?

What exactly is going on here? I've seen this time and time again. Door to door missionaries do NOT want to talk to people. They don't want to talk, they don't want to listen, they don't want to discuss...I'm starting to wonder if maybe what they really want is for people to slam the door in their face so they can feel good about being somehow holier than the person at the door. In fact, that might really be what they're looking for, but I've never done it, so I can't say.

What are these people trying to do?

Spread the word of God? No, obviously not. Even if you simply listen it tends to make them uncomfortable.

Bring in more people to their church, to generate more tithes? No...fully half of the time they don't even tell you what church they're from, and the little pamphlets and materials often don't have addresses,

Learn to be better debaters by discussing religion with a wide variety of people? Not a chance! Not if they can help it, anyway.

Outright delude, lie, manipulate and brainwash people into joining their faith? Well...ok...but if that's really what they're trying to do, why do so many of them lose interest when you're actually interested in what they have to say?

Seriously...why are these people going door to door? I'm starting to wonder if they're not from churches at all, if instead their government agents checking to see who needs to be eliminated first, because these people don'twant to talk about religion if they can do anything to avoid it.

Are there are ministers reading this? Do you send people out like this? What exactly are they supposed to be doing? Are they just trying to earn brownie points for God by taking verbal abuse from heathens? That's the only answer I've thought up that I can't dismiss. What's the deal?

I invite anyone to try this. Talk to the next missionary who comes to your door. Watch them. Observe them. Ask them questions. See if actually talking to you about religion isn't the last thing they seem to want to do.





[edit on 23-9-2005 by LordBucket]




posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 03:06 PM
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Well, they are suppose to exhist to share the word of God with those who want to hear it.

Now in past centuries "Missionaries" exhisted to teach the "savage natives" the correct way of having sex, as well as to beat and whip the Bible into them ...A lot of "Godly Work" has been donne by Missionairies, they are of course not all bad, but even nowadays, specially in Africa there are "whitsih" children beeing born in remote villages where the only white people are ...hhmmm..."missionairies".



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 03:11 PM
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But that's exactly a big part of my point! if you actually listen to them, a lot of the time they don't know what to do, get uncomfortable, have to "leave suddenly" etc.

Again...I made a followup appointment from one pair, they never came back...I called and left multiple message for them, and neither they, nor anyone else at their church even returned my phone calls.

And you're saying their trying to spread the word to those who want to hear?

EDIT:
This is a large board. I'd say the odds are good taht somebody reading this will be approached by missionaries in the next few days. When you are...let me suggest that you actually talk to them. Listen to what they have to say. Pretend if you have to. But watch them. Report back here with your impressions. Do they seem like they're really trying to communicate anything to you, or do they seem more like automata acting out a script, and getting confused when you don't slam the door in their face like you're supposed to?

[edit on 23-9-2005 by LordBucket]



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 03:19 PM
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Originally posted by LordBucket
But that's exactly a big part of my point! if you actually listen to them, a lot of the time they don't know what to do, get uncomfortable, have to "leave suddenly" etc.

Again...I made a followup appointment from one pair, they never came back...I called and left multiple message for them, and neither they, nor anyone else at their church even returned my phone calls.

And you're saying their trying to spread the word to those who want to hear?


Nothing in your reaction would indicate otherwise. Most normal people avoid god-bothering atheists.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 04:57 PM
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after what you have said, I would hesitate to call them missionaies. But people trying to make a show of being missionaries.

From what I have gathered Mormons are all but forced to do jobs for thier temple. Even if they are unprepared. It used to be they have a script taht talks about Jeosph smith and his visions and how the church was founded with a script taht would impress most telemarketers. But know they dont even btoher trying to convince people, but create more members by having more children instead.



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 11:11 PM
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yeah the true reason for being a missionary is to spread the word but it seems that these ppl are doing it out of cumpulsion. im a christian and im sorry that you have had a bad experience with these people. they are most likely doing it to be accepted by their parents/or church or maybe to try earn their way into heaven. im not going to try to "preach" to anyone but these motives are pointless and futile. why do all that work for acceptance? why try to do the impossible and try to earn your salvation?

again im not trying to force my beliefs on anyone but this is my viewpoint.
later



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 11:30 PM
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I suppose that does make a lot more sense than that there was any genuine conspiracy involved. They really don't want to, but think they're supposed to...so they do it poorly and grudgingly.



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 12:05 AM
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Here's my point.
There are different domains, this one is for conspiracies. This thread belongs in Theology, which is in the BTS domain. Let's ask the right question in the right forum, and you may get the right answer.



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 12:57 AM
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They sure don't come to my house anymore--I've probably got an 'x' on my curb or some such. heh heh

'Oh, you came to talk about God? Well, come on in...'
You'd think I was the witch opening the door to Hansel and Gretel! I say 'I hope you left a trail of communion wafers, deary--it might be dark by the time I let you go home.' hee hee hee

JK

I think perhaps their mission is not toward others (as it seems) but rather toward themselves--not in order to earn their salvation, but more along the lines of self-persuasion. Obviously they don't really understand the bible--otherwise they wouldn't use it in such a manner, in the process befuddling all within earshot. Maybe they don't realize this, maybe they subconsciously do....


I think, though, that in the end, it always boils down to one thing--fear. Fear of dying, fear of going to the hell they believe in, fear of having a free moment in which their mind would be allowed to wander upon all things that awe and mystify.

I think it's far better to be sought out for 'God-talk' rather than to seek out victims to infringe upon--after all, if someone's curious about something, they will seek it out. Otherwise they're better left alone until that time. No one can force feed religion with success. In fact, that's the inherent flawed origin of religion--and the truth's worst enemy.

Once in a while, someone comes to my house to talk about God--people I know already, of course. I don't make it a known fact that such things are always in my thoughts, because I never want to push something on someone else--knowing how much I dislike that myself. It's kind of like that Field of Dreams catchphrase: 'Build it and they will come.'



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 10:59 AM
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>You'd think I was the witch opening the door to Hansel and Gretel!

There may be some justice to that. I've generally been told it's impolite to engage strangers in conversations about religion, so I'm sure they annoy a lot of people, even if you and I happen not to be amongst them.

>not in order to earn their salvation, but more along the
>lines of self-persuasion

I don't follow. If they're not trying to buy their way into heaven...how exactly is it in their interest to go door to door? Especially as much as so many of them obviously loathe doing so?



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 09:27 PM
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I think the best way for us to understand it is that they get "points" for talking to people about religion, and more points if your invited in. Those points can be used to raise them in the church hirearchy, or make them more pure.

That is how the Jehovah witnesses are with thier door to do work and they follow similar ideas that LDS to.

Now for me, I actaully attend a mission church. I like to think of our church like a help desk, or information booth. We really only talk to people who ask about us. Our biggest challange right now is letting people know we exist since not many people can think of a Church without a Church building. One of the things i do since I am on the outreach commitee is that I will visit new residence in our town, welcome them and ask them if they are churched, or have a church, and if they are looking for one give them one of our informational brochues and encourge them to call the pastor if they have any questions.

In that.. I am a missionary. But I do it because I enjoy sharing what I have gained. Not because I get rewards, or more points for doing it so that I can sit closer to God in heaven

I actaulyl feel sorry now for the LDS and Jehovah witnesses that show up at my door. They practically run away from me in a whirlwind of watchtower copies when I point out the flaws in thier bible and thier teachings using the NIV copy of the bible and out bible thumping them

[edit on 9/24/2005 by Jehosephat]



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 11:14 PM
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Originally posted by LordBucket
I don't follow. If they're not trying to buy their way into heaven...how exactly is it in their interest to go door to door? Especially as much as so many of them obviously loathe doing so?

Well, it's a psychologically universal human trait--we have an endless need to self-validate, for whatever reason. It's like 'who are you trying to convince, me or you?!?'


I don't think they realize that they loathe it, though--I think it gets all tied up in the 'duty' and 'responsibility to delusion maintenance' and so it's not as evident to them as it is to the candid observer (and isn't that always the case?)

Also, it could be that tying one's self up with an 'easier truth'--albeit one that can't be traced to it's root, somehow--is often more comfortable of a reality than actually tracing the hard truth to the core. It's often quicker, and by taking up the slot of 'truth' it effectively sweeps the more difficult issues, that must be worked out individually, under the rug. There seems to be perceived 'safety in numbers', even concerning spiritual things.



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