If you live in a house, it is quite likely that you have had visitors rap at your door who are selling something, be it energy, vacuums, or avon. As we know, sales people make their livelihood from what they sell, so as unnerving as it can be sometimes, it's understandable why they often talk to you as if they hear nothing you say, especially after you have told them, "no, not interested." In fact these days, be it by phone call or a home visit, I am not very polite because, even while they are speaking, I will firmly declare, "I am not interested, have a good day, BYE!" Hanging up the phone without their acknowledgement, in fact as they are speaking - it is a sure way to avoid being lured into whatever product/service it is they are offering.
Door To Door
But when you are face to face with a stranger, standing in your open doorway, (opened often, without being invited in, with one foot on your threshold) and they insist on continuing their spiel, cutting them off is much more challenging. After all, a well trained sales pro knows to not take "no" for an answer. So again, if a sale means bread on the table or this months rent money, it's understandable why they are so insistent and even annoying at times. We can't hang up on these folks as easily as we can with the phone. It is why, when we see someone walking up our driveway with clip board or booklet in tow, we muster up our courage, head to the door, cracking it just enough to boldly declare - "NOT interested, thank you!" And usually, as you may have experienced as well, they are off to the next home.
And yes, on occasion, there are those who refuse to listen, even trying to open the door! They cross the line into the "pushy" category. Not that I don't understand their position, my heart goes out to them, but when you are positive you really aren't interested, then abrupt good byes feel justified. And therefore, I don't have any conflicting feelings or conscience checks. In fact, I must admit, over the years, my conscience has become somewhat hardened when it comes to how I handle sales persons or should I say the "role" of a sales person.
Been There, Sort Of...
There actually was a time when I was on the receiving end of those who are rude, those who want nothing to do with what you are selling and out of about fifty phone calls in total, a few kind "no thank you's." Way back in the '80s, on two separate occasions, I initially, enthusiastically, entered the telemarketing world and was fired after three days, because I stunk at selling CKP gift cheque books! Then the second time round, assuming that all such jobs ended after three days with no sales - I quit! So kudos to those of you who can press on with a tough sell like me.
Not Selling Anything Or Are They?
Now today we had another kind of "sales person" come to our door and I must say every time these kind appear, my conscience reacts quite differently... pricked with conflicted feelings and questions, wondering if I handled things the way God wanted me to or not.
Incase you were wondering, these two groups are "selling" false beliefs. They are deceived and even though they will say they are "Christians" if you say, "I am a Christian," they are not following The Way, The Truth and the Life. (For an overview of each watch the videos above by Matt Slick from Christian Apologetics Research Ministries.)
When it comes to false doctrines and anything contrary to the Word of God, it behooves us to always follow God's Word closely...consider these passages.
Rom 16:17-18 NKJV - Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.
Eph 5:6-11 NKJV - Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now [you are] light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose [them].
Well, about an hour ago from when I started this article, an older man appeared at our door grasping this booklet (image to the right) in his hand. Knowing that he could not have been a mormon because they are always clean cut young fellows in suits that travel in pairs or he couldn't have been a jehovah's witness because again, the travelling in pairs thing...unclear of what he was here for, my husband and I tested the waters by refusing his offer of the booklet he believed we needed to read, by telling him that we are Christians and that the Bible is God's Word. Assuming he if he was a fellow believer, he would have concurred. Sadly, he did not because his immediate reaction was a statement about how that was how Jesus responded to the pharisees. (assuming he was saying we were behaving like pharisees?) My husband said to him that the pharisees were being religious, were arrogant and believed they were above others. This fellow then said that Christianity is religion and again really wanted my husband to take this booklet. Craig made it clear to him again, that the Bible is the only Source of Truth and no other books as well as, emphasizing that Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship with
After he left, we looked up the booklet and it turned out he is a Seventh Day Adventist. For years I have wondered are they or aren't the Christians? After hearing this person's emphasis today, taking away from the importance of God's Word and wanting us to read this booklet. We must affirm that we would not recommend following their teachings. To show why, here are some informative articles.
This website explains the dilemma well...
"The Seventh-Day Adventists are an anomaly. Evangelical Christians have never been comfortable with them, but they have been unable to decide whether the SDA is a legitimate expression of Christianity or whether it is a cult, like the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses..."
...After I concluded this essay, I decided to contact Dr. Ron Carlson, the man who is considered to be Christendom's foremost expert on the cults today. I asked him for a statement about the SDA, and this is what he wrote in response:
"As you may know, Walter Martin was my mentor and dear friend for 20 years and spoke at my ordination. I was to have lunch with him the day he died in 1989. Walter had a real influence on many of the SDA leaders in the 70's and early 80's seeking to move them to a Biblical position. Many were, and there was hope for the SDA Church. What has happened in the last 20 years is that nearly 50% of the SDA pastors and leaders who were seeking to move it to an evangelical position have all been 'kicked' out or left the SDA. The people who are now in control have moved the organization back to following the teachings of Ellen G. White and denying some basic doctrines of Biblical Christianity. In fact, their official position is that if you do not worship on Saturday you are not a Christian and will not go to Heaven. Sunday worship is the mark of the beast. They are clearly today a false Cult."48And here ere are a few links to learning more about what Seventh Day Adventism is.
(just click on each title)
The Seventh Day Adventists Christian or Cultic in Nature?
Hidden Heresies of the Seventh Day Adventists
The false teaching booklet that the "salesman" wanted us to read is here:
The PDF book of the "The Great Hope" by Ellen G White