Yesterday, when my wife and I returned home we found a Watchtower publication at our door and knew that the Jehovah’s Witnesses had been there.
Many would laughingly say we were lucky, but I enjoy talking with them. I am inspired by anyone who would take the abuse of going door-to-door just to help those who do not want help.
I do feel, however, that their uncompromising certitude can be counter-productive for conversions. Surely, they must hear over and over something like, “I know all of those Bible stories, and they sound like childish fairy tales. I don’t believe in Santa Clause, I don’t believe in the Tooth Fairy, and I don’t believe in God, so I guess that makes me an atheist. Goodbye.”
Just once, I would like to hear from any proselytizing fundamentalist Christian a reply something like:
Don’t be too quick to call yourself an atheist. Christianity is a broad umbrella covering a variety of beliefs, and my fundamentalist perspective is only one of many. Some people read the Bible as poetry rather than as a newspaper archive. They get from the stories a profound understanding of what cannot be expressed in words. Their approach is difficult and you will not find them going door-to-door or holding potluck suppers, but they are there.
Their beliefs are not mine, so I cannot comment on them. You will have to discover them for yourself. I suggest you begin with the thoughts of the medieval mystic theologians Meister Eckhart, St. John of the Cross, and St. Teresa of Avila. Or, for someone modern, try the Lutheran theologian Paul Tillich, who avoids the word “God” as too anthropomorphic and instead uses “ground of being” for the ultimate deity. Does that sound more like something you could agree with?
That is too abstract and impersonal for me, but they may resonate with you. We can arrive at the same place by different paths. Those I mentioned are all recognized Christians—and exceptional ones at that—so you can be assured their beliefs are Christian, even if others disagree.
Good luck on your journey. You may discover you are a fellow Christian after all.