A few days ago, someone knocked on our door. This activated the dogs' Stupid Barking. Benny handled the dogs, and asked me to get the door. I readily agreed because I thought it was the mailman, come to deliver my Powerpuff Girls 10th Anniversary Collection. Nope. It was missionaries, come to deliver the word of Jesus. Baptist
missionaries. I've met Jehovah's Witness missionaries and Mormon missionaries, but never Baptist ones. I thought Baptists were popular enough to not need missionaries, particularly here in the South. But whatever, I chatted with them. Even though missionaries are notorious for spreading diseases and stifling native cultures, the ones I've met have always just been people who found something cool and wanted to share it. Everyone does it, so I see that as no reason to be rude to missionaries (although there is a considerable difference between "Dudes, check out Francis and the Lights
" and "Woo, Jesus!"). However, I already have
a religion—one that can be found in no book nor the mouth of another—and unwavering conviction to go along with it. I still like learning about other religions, but other religions don't really like learning about mine, so I also play a side-game of "What Will You Do When You Find Out I'm Not Buying What You're Selling" when I talk with missionaries.* The ones that visited me weren't particularly good either. I'd give the a C-. The main problem arises from them being Passionate missionaries. I've only encountered missionaries as pairs, but never the optimal paring of Passionate-Intellectual, usually just Intellectual-Intellectual or Passionate-Passionate. Intellectual-style missionaries may have difficulty connecting with prospective followers, while Passionate-style missionaries may miss key words in your statements or give misleading information. For example, when one of the missionaries pursued my "meh, Jesus" tangent, I mentioned that there were so many branches of the Arbrahamic faith that they are probably either all right or all wrong. He responded by talking about how Baptists are the best, and continued by stating that those who didn't accept Jesus into their life ended up in hell. Muhammad: in hell. Buddha: in hell. Confucius: in hell. Astute readers will notice that one of these men does not fit this context. While we're at, Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates are all in hell too. I wonder how effective these guys have been with their fear-mongering tactics. It's also important to note that Buddha and Confucius predate Christianity, but I guess that's no reason to receive a Get Out of Hell Free card. After a few minutes, my brother came outside. At this point, the missionaries focused their attention on him, since he is a non-denominational Christian and uses phrases such as "I don't pray as much as I should" instead of "I don't pray." All-in-all, I wasted their time, while they didn't waste mine: I now have a slightly expanded understanding of Baptists.
*So far, my results have been:
Mormons: forge ahead (in a friendly, understanding manner)
Jehovah's Witnesses: "Okay, we'll leave you alone now"
Baptists: | ignoreignore |
Results are not necessarily typical, and can be influenced by external events.