Addressing door-to-door evangelism

May 29, 2013

Discussion by: Jason Stripling

Does anyone know if there is a resource that could help me when challenging the door-to-door missionaries? It would be extremely helpful to be able to go and pull a folder with a print out of the issues, based on the different faiths. I just received my first visit from two very nice young men of LDS. Had a pleasant 30 minute conversation where I tried my best to encourage them to question it all and to do further research on evolution. Wish I had a pamphlet that I could give them that they could go and find easily accessible information that refutes their doctrine and the doctrine of other faiths. So, anyone know where I might find such a thing? I know this is lazy since the internet is full of information but I am looking for something specific that dissects each major claim of every religions doctrine. All in one place preferred. Thanks in advance for any help that anyone might provide.

64 comments on “Addressing door-to-door evangelism

  • 1
    Stevehill says:

    Firstly, ask yourself if this is really a good use of your time, because the chances of you seriously getting any of them to change their views one iota are vanishingly small. My time management is focused primarily on how few syllables I need to use to get them off the premises. (“I’m bankrupt” is quite effective).

    I don’t think you can get “how to refute Mormonism” onto say 2 sides of A4 without the objections being so superficial that they have heard it all before. They have probably been trained (indoctrinated) how to deal with such objections long before they were allowed out on their own to sully your doorstep.

    Take Epicurus’ famous quote on God, now some 2,300 years old: “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

    There is no answer to that. But that has not stopped billions of people ever since believing otherwise. You’re pushing water uphill with these people.

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  • 2
    skeptikal says:

    It’s commendable that you take time to help these young men. But I think half an hour conversation with a sceptic will do a lot more for them than any amount of written material. Written material is easy to ignore. I agree with Daniel Dennet that the way to go is to plant the seeds of critical thinking. They may take years or special circumstances to sprout and there is no guarantee, but I think the chance if good if they respect you. The few times I have been in this situation I just ask questions that come to mind as they talk.

    For example, wont life in eternal bliss get boring, what do people do all day. Isn’t it a terrible life to have no challenge. Won’t it get tiresome to praise the lord all day every day? Death doesn’t happen in Paradise, but what about ordinary growth – Do babies that get resurrected grow up, will they have puberty, do people have sex, do they have children. Are there animals and plant in Paradise. if so, are they also resurrected? I mean, did they once live on earth. Do the animals have offspring. Do they also experience “the bliss”. Is there evolution going on there? Why should anyone take other people’s revelations seriously? If you think you have had a revelation, then how do you know the difference between revelation and a delusion? And so on.

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  • I just ask them to explain one or more of the “four broken links” that make up the xtian faith:

    1) That Adam and Eve existed (they didn’t)

    2) That wanting to learn something – eating an apple from the tree of knowledge – is a sin (Why is learning bad?)

    3) That guilt of that sin can be passed on to your children (an abhorrent and illogical thought)

    4) And that this guilt (or any guilt) can be cleared by punishing someone else (the crucifixion) (also immoral)

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  • 5
    Stephen of Wimbledon says:

    Hi Jason,

    I loaned a room, a few years ago, to a South African Christian fundamentalist of the Dutch School and his wife (no-one can accuse me of not exploring all religious angles).

    The Sunday morning the Church of Latter Day Saints decided to ring the front door bell was one of the most memorable of my life.

    My friend (let’s call him Dave) answered before I could get out of bed (he was getting ready for church, I was enjoying the ‘Sunday atheist experience’ with my Wife and was, thus, a tad tardy).

    The theatre that followed was pure gold!

    I stood at the top of the stairs while Dave questioned the LDS members on their faith and systematically, and very thoroughly, tore it to shreds. He even preached back at them like a fully-fledged dyed-in-the-wool fundamentalist Preacher, quoting chapter and verse.

    So, based on that experience, I suggest three possible remedies to the LDS in your area:

    • Become intimately familiar with the Bible, read a short history of Joseph Smith, and practice preaching in front of your bathroom mirror in your underwear.

    • Hide under the duvet.

      … or, my personal favourite:

    • Answer the door clad scantily and unshaven (women: find an excuse to stretch your arms) and say rude things until they go away.

    Recently, I have (knowing a little about the Bible, and having learned a while lot more about J. Smith) felt much more comfortable about engaging the LDS on my doorstep – but they never ring, they never call … what’s Sceptic to do?


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  • 6
    Michael Fisher says:

    As per Stephen of Wimbledon above…

    Take ALL your clothes off

    Fling open the door with a big smile

    Say “Hi guys, this is a naturist household. Take your clothes off & come in for a chat. OJ or water?”

    Problem solved

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  • Well, they knocked on your door, so you can keep them there as long as you like. Pull up a chair, leave them standing at the door, then start. Don’t let them leave and don’t offer them water. I’m sure after a good few hours you’ll be on a blacklist of some sort.

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  • The problem with trying to educate (and that is the correct word) god-botherers is that they think they already have the answer to every question, and that answer is whichever god they happen to follow.

    My favourite idea (which I will probably never put into action) to see how strongly they really believe in their own dogma is this:

    When they come to the door, I tell them that if they are still on my property when I have filled this bucket with water, I will throw it over them because I believe it is god’s will.

    I’m certain that not one of them will stand and wait. However, if they really believed everything that happens is god’s will that’s just what they should do. They basically have the choice to prove they either don’t have faith or don’t accept everything is god’s will.

    They also seem to choose to visit on Sunday, I think I’ll just ask them whether they will be stoned to death by the rest of their church at the end of the day

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  • 10
    Alan4discussion says:

    They come to build up their “faith” by contradicting counter arguments and asserting their dogmas. They are a waste of your time, as there is very little chance that they even understand or value objective evidence or reasoning. “Reasoning” for them, is a semantic process leading to their dogmas.

    Door to door missionaries have as many different viewpoints as there are cults. – Multiple versions of confused thinking. “Faith-thinkers” can accumulate hundreds of differing items of fanciful and irrational garbage in their brains. – It is in the nature of uncritical “faith-thinking”! There is no “standard version of nonsense”, to refute.

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  • 11
    Lonevoice says:

    I agree with the other comments that suggest you don’t waste your time. You are unlikely to persuade them that their beliefs are wrong. For people who are not interested in a discussion with door-to-door evangelists, a polite refusal is perfectly adequate. As in sales, they don’t necessarily have a legal obligation to accept your first ‘no’, so they might seek to engage a longer conversation. If you’re okay with that, then there’s no problem. If you’re not interested, they are unlikely to pursue this to the point of being a nuisance, and you are at liberty to ask them to terminate the conversation. They should pick up on your lack of interest without things becoming unpleasant.

    If they’re Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnsesses, feel free to politely turn them away, because they don’t even promote the Gospel as it’s presented in the Bible. If they’re Christians from a local Church, however, they’re probably very nice and only have your eternal welfare at the heart of their concerns. You may not agree with their view of your eternal status, but you need to know that that will be their motivation. They’re not out for your money or to gain power over you, so there’s no need to be ready for an argument.

    If you come across as wanting to put them down or defame the God they admire or trash the Bible they treasure, the whole conversation will be fruitless. They won’t think you’re right, you’ll offend them unnecessarily and your sense of pride in brow-beating a perceived enemy will gnaw at your soul and give you an ulcer in later life.

    My honest suggestion would be – rather than looking for someone else’s material to regurgitate to them, raise your own genuine thoughts, questions and challenges. Then you can have a genuine discussion. Also, try to see them as people and not just representatives of a religious mindset that you oppose. You will get nowhere if you just try to win an argument, but a genuine discussion can make your day – and theirs – even if you part company without seeing eye-to-eye.

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  • Easy really. Tell them you are glad they stopped by, and give them a sheet you have on the truths of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Invite them to a pirate group and tell them to come complete with eyepatches. Or tell them that, as a follower of Zeus, you are deeply offended you have decided to ignore the king of Olympus.

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  • 14
    Lonevoice says:

    In reply to #3 by Dave H:

    I just ask them to explain one or more of the “four broken links” that make up the xtian faith:

    1) That Adam and Eve existed (they didn’t)

    2) That wanting to learn something – eating an apple from the tree of knowledge – is a sin (Why is learning bad?)

    3) That guilt of that sin can be passed on t…

    You really haven’t got a clue, have you?

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  • I really don’t think that you can do better than the simple Socratic method of playing dumb and forcing them to explain. My favorite is to get them to admit that they believe that the Bible is 100% error free and then ask them about the order of Creation because the first two chapters of the Genesis don’t agree. I then use that to question them about the entire story of Adam and Eve, which, if not true, where does original sin come from? No original sin? Then why was Jesus necessary? You can go on and on feigning curiosity. It can be quite entertaining. Nothing will teach them more than forcing them to tie themselves in knots to explain the inexplicable. Eventually, they’ll say they need to get back to you and excuse themselves. I’ve been telling the Jehovah’s Witnesses that regularly try to convert me that I think Jesus sounds like a good guy, but that I hate Paul for corrupting Jesus’ message. That one always confuses and flusters them. I also told them that I needed several life-saving transfusions as a child (completely true), and gave them the dilemma of disagreeing with their church or saying I should have been left to die. Mormons are easy – just tell them that you can’t forgive them for supporting Proposition 8 in California a couple years ago, rant about gay rights for a minute and they’ll excuse themselves.

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  • 18
    steve_hopker says:

    In reply to #16 by earldy:

    These posts recall to me the only time I did talk with mormons was when accosted out shopping. I wonder if they gave up when they realised the only reason I was doing it was that the two young men were really and I mean really cute 😉

    So, apart from enjoying the view, so to speak, I’d suggest you’d need a good reason to keep them there. If you want to at least set some doubts in motion I agree with others that you are probably your best own resource. Failing that, the bible, though if you’ve not read it be prepared for the skillful combination of gory violence and tediousness. The bible is, however, the best resource against itself, it is either self contradictory nonsense, or evil, eg all the massacres etc,or nonsense and evil.

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  • 20
    steve_hopker says:

    In reply to #18 by steve_hopker:

    Ok the bible has some better passages, above post a bit ott, it’s years since I tried to read it through but I have to say the old testament became unbearable. I think I skipped to the psalms somewhere in Judges, just so much killing, it was horrible. Ps in those days I was a lay preacher, it was kind of homework I suppose. Have moved on since…

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  • What are you looking for.. a “silver bullet” that will convert the door knocker into an Atheist?? You have absolutely no chance at telling these people anything…. they are so fanatical about spreading gods word that they go from door to door knocking, what makes you think you have something to tell them, that they would be interested in??? Here is what you do: Open the door, apologise to the young man but you’re not interested. Close the door.

    Takes about 1 min max and will give to 29 minutes of your life back to live just the way you want to! Why waste the time???

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  • The answer is very simple use their own facts:
    the main one is that the book of Mormon was written by Joseph Smith, who receive some golden tablets from an angel (wow!) they were written in “reformed Egyptian”. since Joseph could not read that language, he used 2 rocks that he put in his eyes to be able to translate these tablets. (fact: when young, Joseph Smith used to look for hidden treasures. and to visualize the location of the treasure he used a rock under his hat.) Based on their own teachings, Joseph dictate the contents of the tablets to a person who wrote every single word. this became the book of Mormon. But how did Joseph knew if the translation was accurate?. Well since they were magic tablets, the phrases disappeared after he got the correct translation, otherwise the words stayed until he got them right. Based in this logic. the book of Mormon is 100% accurate. the book of Mormon talks about life in America after Jesus died. some tribes came from the “old world” to America and talks about elephants, steel, horses cities and many other hard to believe things. Approximately in 1960 the Brigham Young University created a department called the “Archaeology of the book of Mormon”, with the purpose of find the remains of the civilizations mentioned in the Book. 50 years later they haven’t found anything. why? because it did not happen. Horses were brought by Europeans during the colonization of america. The same applies to steel and other things.

    Besides, I tell them every time, So, “Are you sure that is what happened back then?” or this is what you and your people BELIEVE what happened?. if you are assuring me that you have the facts right, why nobody has found proof?

    I feel bad for missionaries, they are so brain washed that honestly they believe they are going to save you.

    oh well…..
    “I do not deny nor accept the existence of good, I am still waiting for scientific proof of his existence”

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  • 23
    QuestioningKat says:

    I know this isn’t a very good “new atheist” of me, but I’m inclined to agree with those who commented that it isn’t worth your time. Life is short and there is too much I want to do along with stuff I don’t want to do like – dishes, cleaning, driving to work, etc. There are only so many hours in a day. If you want to make an impact, I’d suggest making a powerful statement – just one sentence that might get them thinking and then politely say goodbye. To Mormons I might say “By joining your church, I, as a woman, would enjoy less freedom and less equality than I am guaranteed under the Constitution.”

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  • Hi I had them come to my door recently & said “not interested- I’m an atheist” they started to ask me the question “why”, “were you a Christian?” and I said “look, I am not meaning to be rude, but I really don’t have to tell you anything. Please just go away” they try to keep you talking (simular to Jehovah witnesses, who I used to be ) -they just want the chance to talk and will even use disbelief to pursue a conversation. It’s part of their ministery & they are trained to discuss practically anything. It often serves to strengthen their beliefs rather than make them reason rationally. I just don’t want them at my door all day. I could give them all sorts of bible discussion, rational argument etc, but they want the discussion and the chance to expound their views. I frankly have better things to do

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  • 25
    Alistair Blackhill says:

    For Jehova’s witnesses, go to the Kingdom hall when they’re open and ask politely for the director of missionaries. Ask him to put your address on the ‘no visits’ map. They all know some people are not receptive, and they are polite, courteous people in general terms, be on your best behaviour- it works!

    For Mormons, keep a copy of the laws relating to tresspass handy. They’ve come to your door, you’re not interested in dealing with them, if they don’t leave when requested you have the right to press charges, so show them the legislation. be applogetic, you know they have a mission, you know you can press charges, let’s stop now. You can also hunt down the LDS equivalent of a director of missionaries, but they are not easy to find. Sometimes their literature will have contact details you can follow up.

    They have no right to demand to know your beliefs (invasion of privacy) so they don’t need to know what you believe or don’t believe, just that you’re not interested. A Catholic isn’t interested in LDS any more than an Atheist, so you don’t even have to let on that you’re an Atheist.

    It takes several hours to wear down the bright ones and they always come four at a time, so they can restore each other’s faith. We have provided one couple with enough to think about that the wife (they must photocopy petite blonds in my area) was next seen, newly divorced, doing a biology degree at the local University.

    My grandmother’s tactic went like this.

    Missionary “Hello, we’d like to talk to you about God and his son Jesus Christ.”
    Gran “What day is it?”
    Missionary “Um, Tuesday…”
    Gran “Oh, I’m Bhuddist on Tuesdays.”

    On the other side of the family my grandfather (an Atheist back when it was tough and chronically ill) used to invite them all in for a cup of tea. He had the Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists and Presperterians all praying for him because the JWs etc weren’t active back then. He also used to subscribe to the Catholic weekly to keep an eye on what the enemy thought they were up to. They say one thing, he’d pull out a back issue and say, I’m worried about this…

    Remember, these people are our fellow humans, and we need to share the planet with them. Courtesy costs nothing, even if they’re not worthy of respect. We can’t change their views (well, it is possible, but they have to want to change) they can’t change ours (because they can’t go back in time and get us before the age of seven).

    The one-on-one battles are what they’re used to and trained for, so I don’t waste my time on that. The long term means of dealing with them is to produce convincing evidence which removes the right to segregated schooling and closed communities.

    Perhaps start a ‘non-religious’ door knock campaign “Hi we’ve come to talk about the ills of the world, which we’ll dump on the local member of parliament???

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  • 26
    Sue Blue says:

    You can do what I did when I was in my car waiting for a ferry one day. There were three evangelists going car-to-car passing out tracts and trying to engage people in conversation. As they approached, I rolled down the window, leaned out, and shouted at the top of my lungs, “Begone, in the name of Beelzebub!”
    I don’t know what the evangelists thought because they went the other direction as fast as they could, but some folks in nearby cars and a ferry worker laughed their asses off. Not very mature, I know, but it was so much fun!

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  • 27
    TexasRanger says:

    Met a few of these folks before. Conversation ended when I told them I am an atheist, and their expression turned from sincere to complete shock.

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  • 28
    Stevehill says:

    For Mormons it could be fun to say you’ll talk to them on condition they can first give you a rational explanation for why they baptised Adolf Hitler into the Mormon Church on 10 December 1993.

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  • 29
    AtheistButt says:

    Be civil and polite (provided they leave when told to) but don’t engage them in any way. If they can report back that they engaged x number of households in 30 minutes of discussion, they will have satisfied some sort of kpi (key performance indicator) and they will keep on coming. If, years from now, the Mormons, JWs and others can only report that absolutely no one engages with them and everyone turns them away, they’re much more likely to stop the activity. Optimistic of me I know, but better than wasting time in discussion.

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  • 32
    Street Logician says:

    I wish the Richard Dawkins Foundation would produce small inexpensive pamphlets akin to the kind creationists handout at street corners. Then we could fight fire with fire. I especially would be interested in one called “Why God almost certainly does not exist” based on the “Ultimate 747” argument from the “God Delusion”.

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  • 33
    mmurray says:

    There was someone on these boards years back whose approach was simple.

    1. Turn music up very loud.
    2. Grab beer from fridge and open.
    3. Take of top so bare-chested.
    4. Open door and yell over shoulder back into house “hey guys the hookers are here”!


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  • 34
    Reckless Monkey says:

    The Mormons will tell you Joseph Smith was illiterate and translated the cold tablets with the help of a sear stone wrapped in a scarf against his forehead and a large hat pushed over his head. God would not show the next word until the word he was translating was correctly copied down.

    They will use this to claim that the book of Mormon unlike the bible has been correctly translated and how could an illiterate like Joseph Smith write such a marvelous book. Now, go to a second hand book shop, e-bay or amazon and look for old editions of the book of Mormon then highlight any number of changes plenty on the web about this eg. link.

    Ask them to explain why God has changed his mind, or is the Mormon church just like any other tampering with the divine word. Provide them with a list and ask them to ask their Stake President to explain, he will not (effectively) and then two things will happen you will contribute the largest amount of Mormons leaving the fold (returned missionaries for the first time exposed to alternative points of view) and the Stake president will black list your address and you will never be woken up in the early morning again.

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  • 35
    Reckless Monkey says:

    In reply to #1 by Stevehill:

    Firstly, ask yourself if this is really a good use of your time, because the chances of you seriously getting any of them to change their views one iota are vanishingly small. My time management is focused primarily on how few syllables I need to use to get them off the premises. (“I’m bankrupt” i…

    I for one was converted to atheism in short order a little over a couple minutes it took to gather a couple of editions of the book of Mormon around the house. Many returning missionaries have their faith shattered because for the first time they are exposed to how silly their doctrine is. I might still be stuck in the mire that is Mormonism if it hadn’t been for a challenge.

    However you are right their are trained to some extent, but the doctrine they are brought up with is so full of lies that it is difficult to hold them all together without extreme hypocrisy and or stupidity. Most Mormons in my family and some friends still in the church are there not because they have good answers but because they refuse to look into it at all, they avoid the conflict.

    On a mission you are 18 to 20 usually, and you are confronting people without your beliefs, often extremely hostile, it isn’t easy for them. You’ve lead a sheltered life and more so on you mission itself, you are sexually repressed, full of guilt (because you are sexually repressed), as they have a doctrine of thinking of a sin is as bad as doing it -you can imagine “boobs!”, “damn” “damn I just said damn” “Damn, f*&k!, boobs” and so on. No these guys are as primed as they’ll ever get to De-conversion.

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  • Time is money. Become familiar with Form 1099-MISC and charge them a listening fee! I’ve found that QualiaSoup videos provide many succinct (and fun) aids to help engage with supers. Critical thinking is the universal solvent. I don’t think there is much of a need to learn the particulars of every faith claim to be an interesting educator. Be interesting.


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  • Hi

    What if I told you there is a better way to communicate with door-to-door missionaries

    What is there is a method to communicate with door-to-door missionaries that would break the language barriers between you and them.

    What if I could show you a proven method used in thousands of interactions by a University professor that has had a positive impact on the people infected by the faith virus.

    At the core of my beliefs is the that …..there is an urgency.
    These people who come to your door “don’t form their believes based upon reason and evidence” are actually hurting themselves, they are hurting their families and society in general. The urgency is so great that… I believe that there are real lives at stake…
    Much psychological and emotional damage is being done by people who are “pretending to know things they don’t know”

    So how do we step it up? How do we increase your 1 hour of writing, one hour of speaking, one hour of engaging
    with someone in a one-to-one so we increase the value of what you say or do, how do we make multiply 1 hour x 10,000

    The solution I humbly claim is by having a different conversation,…
    From a presenting evidence to a person whose very definition of evidence is the scriptures..
    to not talking about religion or facts and taking it back a few steps and mainly talking about definitions until we come to a common definition i.e. the definition of the big F ( Faith ) Reality, proof, truth, mind, god, etc

    Once you and the person or people you are having an interaction with have a common language established, then and only then we can start asking questions, and its only a very few questions that we need to ask…

    One of these questions is “How do you know what you know?”

    You wait for answer and humbly use the easy-version of the Socratic to not only understand what the other person is telling you but to also let them know that you understand, this I want-to-make-sure-you-get -this method of interacting form part of the core of fully understanding you both…

    There is a book, you can pre-order it here

    If you need more info on specifics contact me, I can easyly teach you what I know in hour for free, I am working on a video series to teach people how to go about interacting with people of faith.


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  • 40
    JHJEFFERY says:

    All good comments above. And Stevehill obviously doesn’t have the time on his hands that I do.

    Had two very nice JWs come just this week. One middle aged woman and a young girl. I happen to know a lot more about their religion than they do. When I went into my lecture, the older woman became visisbly distressed and even moved farther away on the couch. But you should have seen the eyes on the younger girl–they got bigger and bigger by the minute. Most fun I’ve had in weeks.

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  • 41
    Relayer says:

    I like Stewart Lee’s (stand up comedian) take on this. When assailed on the doorstep by whatever faith-head is trying to change your mind be as rude as possible. Excuse it by saying “You initiated this combat, so that gives me choice of weapons.”

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  • 42
    crookedshoes says:

    I always tell them that I’d be glad to quietly listen to their spiel; as long as they will indulge me for as long as I indulged them. “Go ahead, make my day.” I have got plenty to say and do not need a pamphlet to reinforce my ideas.

    RUN AWAY!!! RUN AWAY!!!!

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  • I have created a PDF file of choice passages from the Bible that have been selected from when I read it through recently from cover to cover. Choice passages are highlighted in yellow and indexed for rapid access. I have printed out and bound this document which I keep near the front door.

    Door to door evangelists are most welcome (I have even thought of putting a sign to that effect on the front door but on second thoughts I realised that it might unnerve and discourage them from even knocking).

    When they arrive I am enthusiastic and welcoming and immediately bring out my standard black King James Version as well as my own “Selected Passages from the Holy Bible”.

    I enjoy discussing aspects of their faith with them and in particular seek their assistance in understanding some of the more “difficult” passages that I have encountered. Their embarrassment while trying to justify and rationalise these passages can be amusing. This “resource” document is also very useful as they realise that you might actually know something about what they are pushing (and possibly even more than them).

    For me this constitutes a form of sport that soon has them retreating down the driveway with me in hot pursuit holding my opened book.

    Anyone is welcome to this PDF file if they care to provide me with a contact email address.

    Alternatively the sign on the sign door might be the way to go.

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  • 46
    zennonanon says:

    I haven’t found any satisfaction over the years of debating at the front door with them. Of course these are the most zealous of all believers and have meetings and strategies about how to seduce you into talking with them. Do some of the women use their sexuality? Yes they do!
    They are willing to tell little lies about the material they want you to take from them. for example: this is a community awareness campaign, we are contacting everyone in the neighborhood etc. Would you like a flyer?
    They’re also blind to the sign next to my front door “No sales people” ” No religion” ….they still ring the bell **###???
    Your time would be better spent with someone who is already doubting their faith.

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  • 47
    Martin_C says:

    Last time I was fortunate enough to be entertained by some door knockers I listened for 10 seconds then politely interrupted “Can I show you something?”. I then took the bible from his hands and went to the start and began doing the bible bit from Ricky Gervais ‘Animals’ stand up – ” ‘In the beginning god created Heaven and Earth’, doesn’t go into much detail does it?…” and so on. I had a ball and this dude had obviously never seen it before, great fun!
    My dad has the out campaign ‘A’ tattooed on the palm of his hand (he doesnt recommend it, very painful) and is always sure to show the door-knockes after he has shaken their hand. Good times!

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  • 48
    degeus says:
    • Ask them if they mind if you record the conversation, get your smartphone and start recording.

    • Tell them that if you were interested you would have already looked it up on the Internet then send them on their ways.

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  • 49
    SilverWun says:

    The best tactic I know of is to know more about their professed ‘faith’ than they. This, of course, requires time and hard work. Fortunately, there are not that many theologies that send minions to accost people at the front door.

    For a garden variety subscriber to a set of theological doctrines to argue science with a moderately well educated person, let alone a scientist, is fool hardy. Their every effort discloses their ignorance because it is and can only be rooted in the ‘program’ to which they subscribe.

    If you can demonstrate in your initial conversation with them, a familiarity with their doctrines and what they consider to be scripture, without in any way challenging the veracity or factual basis of it, the curiosity will draw them in and cause them to feel safer to pry open locked minds.

    Even this tactic seldom warms a long inert cranium from within with the friction of cells rubbing together. It can, however, warm your heart and humor as they nervously back toward the door through which they entered with insipid grins; heaping invitations to visit or arrange Bible studies with dubious Davids from their congregations.

    Sometimes the positive gratification of knowing they are leaving laden with driving questions to present to their dispatchers makes the effort worth it. It is kind of like the feeling of sending grandchildren home with parcels of sweets and tales of their own parents’ follies!

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  • 50
    SilverWun says:

    Another thought to try keeping in mind is that evangelists are like captives suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. This is why their overseers are confident in sending them out into ‘the World’. They are under a spell, so to say, and one of the noblest things one can do is emancipate another person from captivity; freeing them to re-claim their critical faculties.
    Therefore, treating them in a rude, dismissive manner really has no greater humanitarian high ground than that which is occupied by their exploiters. Eye for an eye concept is theirs and they are superb practitioners in no special need of competition.

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  • 51
    Pontifix Minimus says:

    Here is what I would do; I would ask them the following questions;
    1. is the church a 501C3 corporation requesting Caesars permission to preach the word ofGod.
    2. kindly direct me to the passages referring to; monday, tewsday, etc. janus, feb, etc. as found in their
    Bible3. were the Israelites, at the time of Jericho, keeps of the Law
    4. how were the Israelites able to work for 7 days all the while keeping with the 4th command. Were they granted
    permissionto override the 4th, if so, where in Scripture
    5 when is mother
    s day (everyday from Scripture, pagan, sometime in may)
    6. ditto for pops day
    7. who is
    God... to the Jew it is Edom-Elohim, to the Israelite; Yahushua ... the Buddist has Buddah ... the Muslim; Allah ... thefree`masonry Lucifer for the light degrees (1-180) and Satan for the dark degrees (181-360) as is above is below 50-50 light and dark

    If you can get someone who looks like Jaques de Molay aka Je Zeus, get him into a white robe and stand there administrating the questions then demand they repent and atone or else … LOL … that ought to get the pagan out of them … sheesh !!!

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  • 52
    Disturbed says:

    I have a very simple methos for dealing with door-to-door evangelicals.

    I answer the door with a smile, let them introduce themselves and what they’re doing. Then, with a big smile I say, “no offence, but I am an ordained minister, I am completely fine whre I am at in my life.”

    This abruptly ends the evangelicals attempt and they simply move on.

    Of course, what I didn’t tell them is that I an atheists who is an ordained minister thru the Universal Life Church in Modesto, California, ha ha

    The wife also uses this line if I’m not home.

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  • 53
    Alistair Blackhill says:

    Primed to de-convert, yes. But it has to be their own choice to do so. That doesn’t mean they have to betreated badly.

    “Hey guys, call for some hookers so these missionaries can get un-repressed” perhaps?

    In reply to #36 by Reckless Monkey:

    In reply to #1 by Stevehill:

    Firstly, ask yourself if this is really a good use of your time, because the chances of you seriously getting any of them to change their views one iota are vanishingly small. My time management is focused primarily on how few syllables I need to use to get them off th…

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  • 54
    OHooligan says:

    Try to get some useful work out of them. Shifting furniture, carrying the groceries, picking up trash, a bit of weeding, that sort of thing. They can talk while they work, if they’ve breath to spare. Either they’ll soon be gone, or you’ll get something out of it. Can’t lose, really.

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  • 55
    Dave H says:

    In reply to #14 by Lonevoice:

    In reply to #3 by Dave H:

    I just ask them to explain one or more of the “four broken links” that make up the xtian faith:

    1) That Adam and Eve existed (they didn’t)

    2) That wanting to learn something – eating an apple from the tree of knowledge – is a sin (Why is learning bad?)

    3) That guilt of…

    You really haven’t got a clue, have you?

    As you’ve only joined a few weeks ago, may I suggest that you address the points I made? As an ex-catholic, I think I do have a clue about how christianity operates. These were the core principles of christianity, as taught to me many years ago by nuns, although I rather generously omitted the extra broken links of transubstantiation followed by cannibalism that are unique to catholicism. Ad hominem attacks won’t get you very far on this site.

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  • 56
    buzzarmstrong says:

    Make your own. Nobody will let you get in more than a couple points anyway, but it’s fun trying. What more can you say other than there are no talking snakes, flying horses, gods with 4 arms, and cows are not sacred? What logic is there to explain to a Mormon that when they die, they won’t become a god on their own planet? A great resource would be “The Portable Atheist” and “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens. I have them on audio books and have been listening to them every night for the past two weeks.

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  • Door-to-door ‘evangelists’, of whichever denomination, are basically pests – forever present to an annoying degree, especially in London. My family’s solution has become to send my slightly ‘Goth’ looking sister to the door and tell them we are Vampires or Satanists. Never fails!.

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  • 58
    debaser71 says:

    I just talk to them as if we are all people talking to each other. I don’t try to convince them they are wrong. My main goal is to just show them that non-religious people are normal, moral people; perfectly content without religion.

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  • 59
    Red Dog says:

    In reply to #60 by debaser71:

    I just talk to them as if we are all people talking to each other. I don’t try to convince them they are wrong. My main goal is to just show them that non-religious people are normal, moral people; perfectly content without religion.

    Amen to that 🙂

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  • 60
    agnoszz1 says:

    Just tell them you are a practicing “fundamentalist Catholic” and you dont want to listen to “devil worshippers”. Sends them away in record time.You’ll never convert them, and anyway, why try?

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  • 61
    JohnnyRelentless says:

    Actually, horses were native to the Americas and their fossils have been found here. But they died out about 12,000 years ago and were later reintroduced by the Europeans.

    In reply to #23 by caar:

    The answer is very simple use their own facts:
    the main one is that the book of Mormon was written by Joseph Smith, who receive some golden tablets from an angel (wow!) they were written in “reformed Egyptian”. since Joseph could not read that language, he used 2 rocks that he put in his eyes to be…

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  • 62
    Daniel L. Scholten says:

    Try this: first figure out how much your time is worth. Suppose it is $50/hour. Then tell the evangelists you will be happy to listen to their sales pitch for $50/hour, paid in advance. If they object, sweeten the deal by telling them that if they successfully convert you, then you will refund all of their money. If they still object, point out that if they don’t think their message is worth the money it costs to advertise, then why should you think it’s worth your time to listen to it?

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  • 64
    jack ansec says:

    Tell them you can see that they are sincere believers in the Bible and that they believe it is the word of God. Then quote the Bible to them eg that it is better to give than to receive, that it is harder for a rich man to enter into heaven than for a camel to pass thru the eye of a needle, tell them Christ said that his followers should sell all their goods and possessions and give to the poor and follow him.
    Then tell them you are flat broke and ask them for their money.
    Keep asking til they leave.

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