How many JWs really believe the end will come "soon"?
I think most of them realize that the GB has no idea what will happen when but they still have the fear that if they slack off too much, Armageddon will come then and they'll be destroyed.
Even the governing body dont believe their own "last day" bullshit....
Or else they wouldnt be planning a large scale Warwick and Walkhill build, and 500 new commercial style building project.
Not if the end were near.....cmon.....
Based on my own experience and on what I've read here, it seems to me that there are two groups of JWs: those that genuinely believe the end is near and swallow everything the GB spews forth; and those that largely believe they've got 'the truth' (or the closest thing to it) but don't really know when 'the end' will come.
I also think that group 1 are a minority but are 'zealous' so fill many positions of oversight.
The blind leading the blind.
I would ask my Pops, "How is a mostly bankrupt and ultimately powerless organization dedicated to tolerance and peace going to wage an all out war on religion?"
I'm sure that his response would be something like "Jehovah will put it in their mind to do so."
Then ask him "then isn't it Jehovah who's attacking religion?"
Sit back and watch the cognitive dissonance wash over his blank stare.
There is a couple in our cong. He is a hardline elder, opposed to even using tablets at meetings, despite the GB doing exactly that at the last major assembly. She is pioneer and claims to be of the anointed. Up until 2 years or so ago, she would prepend the following disclaimer to every comment she made, wether at meeting, book study comments or personal conversation. Specially if the subject was related to future plans or events in her or someone else's life...
"...if this system of things lasts until next year, which I seriously doubt, we are planning to go/do/buy, this or that..."
It has since stop, or at least I have not heard her made the comment
My observation is that most JWs "talk the talk" but clearly do NOT "walk the walk".
That is, they SAY "the World is terrible", "surely The End(TM) is near", "this System cannot go on much longer", etc etc
BUT, they are getting married (many a 2nd time after losing a spouse or divorcing), having children (more kids in our former Cong than ever before), they are buy/building new homes (those who can afford it), they are contributing to their 401(K) plans and IRAs or plotting how much their pension will be in 20 YEARS. And, very few are pioneering except for the 30 hour Aux Pio when that is an option. ONLY TOKEN FIELD SERVICE spent 50% at Starbucks or McDonalds (where the kids can play).
IF THEY REALLY BELIEVED IT, wouldn't they be downsizing, waiting to have kids, cutting back on work to preach the warning message etc
IF THE GB REALLY BELIEVED IT, wouldn't they be downsizing instead of building a new World HQ that will not be completed until 2017 and just now introducing a 5 YEAR Master Plan for building new Kingdom Halls?
My last congregation was an anti-social club!
@DOC......im with you........preparing for a future, that they preach will be destroyed.
When you dont believe the end is near, you wont follow the rules as closely. For instance, my wife just bought 2 new pairs of "spanx" and her only concern is not what her "spiritual leader" said but whaat other self righteous JWs who see her wearing them and get jealous will say or think.
For the first time ever my wife said we should put our affairs in order as we are getting older...she now realizes we may die in this old system, something she never contemplated before.