Is stepping down from being an elder a big deal?

by Clam 28 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Clam

    Recently I’ve discovered that my brother in law has stood down from his position as an elder™. I’ve of course been intrigued but there’s little chance of him discussing it with me.

    However the other day my non JW mother (his mother-in-law) asked him why he’s resigned from eldership. Knowing that JWs have little hesitation in lying to cover up I was automatically suspicious when my mother told me what he’d said. However I am so far inclined to believe it. His reason was that his wife (my sister) did not allow him conduct his life in accordance with scripture, that is to say, after years of trying he’s given up on trying to make my sister a servile sidekick.

    My sister by the way is a Watchtower fearin’, dead eyed, all apostates should be hanged, paradise is round the corner, kick ass Witness. She is however a very strong intelligent character, and her husband is quite laid back and quiet. No way has she ever been “the little lady”.

    Two questions :

    i) Is it a big deal to step down from being an elder? I’ve been out so long that I don’t remember any similar case.

    ii) Is his reason good enough and wouldn’t this admittance bring some kind of admonishment for the two of them?

    He is in good standing and his son is an elder at a neighbouring Congo™, but what do you think?

    Is it a big deal to step down from being an elder? I’ve been out so long that I don’t remember any similar case.

    Is his reason good enough and wouldn’t this admittance bring some kind of admonishment for the two of them?

    1) It is a big deal if the elder doing it seems to do it for no apparent reason. He will be regarded suspiciously and the other elders will try to encourage him to stay on at least until the CO visit so they can all discuss it (browbeat him into submission) with him. This is of course if the elder didnt do anything judicially wrong which in that case he will promptly be deleted.

    2) Generally speaking, his reason will suffice especially if your sister is known to be an "elderette" in the congregatgion. No offense of course but just telling how it is sometimes. In all likelyhood they will wait until the next CO visit anyway to discuss it with him more fully.

  • luna2

    Actually, if the reason he gave your mom for stepping down is true and your sis is kind of an elderette, what better way to get back at her if they had a disagreement or something? A lot of the elder's wives that I knew really enjoyed their status in the congregation....especially if they liked being able to exercise a bit of authority over other sisters...and now he's taken that away from her. Another nice side benefit is that he doesn't have to do all that elder stuff any more, he might be enjoying some free time now. LOL

    To answer your question...I guess it sort of is a big deal. I remember a couple of elders who stepped down and it was the topic of conversation for some time...although always in hushed murmers, like somebody had died.

  • Frog

    Yeah, I'd say it's usually a very big deal. The most common reason I experienced when in the org was either that they were on their way to falling away, or that their children were straying and as such were forced to look after their own "household" first. I'd say it must be pretty tough on him, feeling like a bit of a failure, and with others in the cong not quite now knowing how to treat him.

  • anewme

    I think it is a very good idea to step down from time to time.

    What is the big deal??

    It is a voluntary assignment and should be held only if the mans family or health isnt suffering.

    More often than not the brother remains an elder LONG AFTER HIS FAMILY HAS BEEN RUINED BY IT.

    You may not have the whole story on your brother in law's reasons. But that is nobodys business anyway.

    I wish my husband would have stepped down. It might have saved our marriage honestly. I never wanted to divorce him. I just hated our lifestyle in the org. Our marriage was totally sacrificed to the org by his elder involvement.
    When I married him he was not an elder and that is the way I liked it. I had no idea how his being an elder would suck the life out of our marriage. I got no attention. We got calls morning, noon and night. We rushed to the houses of the suicidal, held the hands of those at hospitals, performed the marriages and funerals of bros and sis. who did not consider us their personal friends. I waited hours and hours for my husband while he counseled the worried and the doubters and the sinners.

    We were the poorest in the cong. and so every summer when the other elders and their wives planned their summer vacations they knew old "so and so and his wife" would be around and take all the weekend field service meetings and double up at their home for book study night. We are talking 20 years of this!!!!!
    Why did I get married I asked myself? I would have had more love and affection as a single person! At least I could have spent some time with my friends and gone on some outtings in 20 years.

    Oh I am not bitter------I am FURIOUS!!!

    One poster here chided me in a private pm about my feelings and how my life in the org was all MY CHOICE and my grumblings were the poor me cry of all sinful apostates!

    Well babe, all I gotta say is Good! YOU go join the org and waste 35 years of YOUR life, maybe even marry some nice guy who gets suckered into being an elder and then one day wonder what happened to your family life and happiness?


  • tijkmo

    if your sis was outspoken it may well have been brought up at elders meetings...the other elders would have spoken about it to your b-i-l either at the meetings or some of them would have got together behind his back and then told him privately..(no-one would have taken responsibility for this...whoever was assigned to speak would have began by saying that it wasnt their personal view)...and it is unlikely that anyone actually spoke to the wife.

    if he has come off for the reason he gave then he either jumped before he was pushed...or he got so fed up of the constant innuendo and threats that he just decided enough is enough


    Anewme your thoughts are very insightful and I believe so true in many cases. So many elders wives suffer in silence I am sure. I agree with you, eldership should be a choice and one should be able to leave whenever he wants to but unfortunately this cult makes that difficult via peer pressure and social pressures. Let me tell you, once you know the truth about the "lie" being an elder is no picnic either.

  • leftbelow

    The !st time I tried to step down my PO was very suspect. He ask all kinds of qusetions and then desided I should take more time to think it over

  • hallelujah

    Is stepping down from anointed a big deal? I think it's absolutely essential.

  • gumby

    Your brother in law is a layed back, doesn't like to fight, mello kinda guy and knows it. He doesn't have the personality to fight your sister to show HE'S the head of the family and live the life HE feels he should lead as an elder so it's easier for him to step down and spare him the agony of standing his ground.

    One of the qualification for an elder is to have his wife in submission along with respecting her husband so that his is above reproach and is an example as a family head in the eyes of the congregation. Many elders are in his shoes.

    The hard part for your brother in law is to confess the reason as to WHY he is stepping down. He can't say..." it's because I don't feel like I'm the head of my wife is and I just can't fix it".

    Many elders today step down simply because of the strain on their lives and the effect on the family. At one time when an elder was all the sudden no longer an elder, others in the congregation expected foul play somewhere. Today, it's veiwed a bit different.

    In times past, they used to let an elder remain an elder but let him be removed from his duties until he decided to resume his duties as a means to keep them an elder. It's hard to get appointed, and hard to be removed when gross sin isn't involved.

    Gumby....who thinks Luna is pretty sharp with her "getbacks"....

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