by the way: Bethel Elders have absolutely NO AUTHORITY in congregations besides the one they locally serve as an Elder, not as a Bethel Elder. Daniel P summed it up pretty nicely.
BETHEL NEWS: Bethel Elder Arrangement to be dissolved as of Aug. 31, 2006
Thanks for the heads up Elsewhere,
The best reason I can think of is that Methyl Elders are starting to ask awkward questions and are becoming a problem.
It sounds good to me.
Boy, that one is going to piss some folks off! After all the brown-nosing to get that little piece of power and then lose it. Ouch!!!
The WTBTS in the past took more caution in not upsetting publishers for fear of losing members and dollars. When the Generation change took place this was the first time I'd noticed they made a change that would upset the entire JW world....and they did it ANYWAY. They HAD to. They are likewise making this change because money will be made/saved in the long run compared to the apathy towards them that develops ....in this case by Bethel Elders and those closely involved with them. They are finally getting bit in the ass over and over and it's long overdue. Gumby
While Bethel elders officially have no more authority than the non-bethel elders, that is not the way they are treated in the congregation.
Imagine that one of the elders is an ex-CO, or an ex-Bethelite, or an ex-missionary, or an MTS graduate, are they treated differently, are their suggestions given more weight? You bet your sweet bippy, they are. I was in a congregation where 3/4 of the elders were also Bethel elders. All of the 5 main elder positions and their backups (Bethelites miss a lot of meetings) were Bethel elders. The local elders were viewed as not in the loop, not having as much access to the deeper things of God.
Dan may have said it, doesn't mean they did it.
The reason the Society got away with so many failures and changes in the past was because they used a series of eclipses. They would eclipse the last problem with something bigger and bolder. They were saved from doom from the failure of 1925 by the Prohibition campaign in the United States and then the Germany campaign in 1933 and the start of the war in Europe. The next big deal was always so big, the people forgot about the last failure.
If you think about it, Witnesses have always united, prospered, and grown out of adversity and opposition. Since the 50's the Witnesses have sought legitimacy. Their last fight in the United States was the discontinuation of the military service draft. With that measure of legitimacy has come a loss of enemies and prosperity for the Witnesses. With the prosperity has come a loss of purpose.
Jehovah's Witnesses is a group born and bred of controversy and strife. Real attacks from a visible enemy and living an unacceptable public life of controversy and strife united the Witness people and gave them a sense of comradery. Now the controversy has turned into indifference and the strife has turned into prosperity. Indifference and prosperity is too boring to fire up any enthusiasm or any real growth. Prosperity is turning into their biggest challenge ever.
The "generation of 1914" change was the first real change after the start of the Internet. It's easy to see what the future holds for the group.
Why are they announcing this so far in advance? Is this normal?
My paranoid conspiritorial mind wonders if maybe they "leaked" this info through limited channels trying to find the inside spy who is aiding and abetting the enemy.
Seems that maybe since Elders in a Congregation can potentially be sued individually, the Headquarters don't want Elders at Bethel, to avoid any litigation at the top...
great point bro, I'm with you and Metatron. This move smells of the legal dept.
unc, following the money trail.
Hey randy, thanks for posting!
I think they need to give the "given ones" a higher stature. One way to do this is to remove a competing title.
If a bethelite screws up it will be handled by his local congregation or if he's a heavy the given ones will mete out punishment. - imho.
On the whole bethel elders aren't bad guys. Most are just regular people struggling with life in the big house, hoping not to piss off anyone heavier than they are.
There are a few bad apples that thrive on the power and authority - real or perceived.
The local congregations know which bethelites assigned to them are plain elders and which are bethel elders.
They also make fun of the new boys.
About ten years back, shortly before a large Fortune 100 company was to be indicted on RICO charges, they let go of 2,200 middle managers in one week. Cut them with a severance package, a portion of which read like a gag order, which most signed to get the $$$ and severance.
Could it be a concern with too many ears and voices at Bethel leaking what is going on? That plus the savings in insurance costs and then being able to purge some real estate cause not as many people to board. Seems to be mainly financial, with a link to legal as well, but heck, I am far from a lawyer. I have not been on the board for long, but looks like there has been lots of action with wtbts since I have been here.