Problem with an elder

by Zico 42 Replies latest jw friends

  • Zico

    I have a friend in my Congregation. He's completely indoctrinated, and genuinely believes everything the Organisation teaches, but he's still a good person, and he stands up for things when he knows somethings wrong. As you can imagine, this often causes problems, and there is an arrogant elder who he has had many run ins with in the past.

    My friend also has a lot of bible studies, and has helped many people become baptised, and he has a very good knowledge of the Society's teachings. The elder is his uncle, and he seems jealous because his children are not doing as much. Because of his jealousy and arrogance he's stopped him from progressing too far in the Organisation, forcing him to be removed as a pioneer because he didn't make his hours ONE month, and stopping him from becoming an MS. Some here might argue that this is a good thing, and I suppose it is, but this is what my friend really wants, and I don't think it's very fair considering everything he's done for the Organisation he serves.

    The latest thing is that my friend is organising a party, for about 20 other Witnesses, some of whom are MS's. The elder found out about this, and asked around to find out if my friend was planning on serving alcohol. This was confirmed, and the Elder phoned him up and threatened to hold a judicial committee if he went ahead and served alcohol. This is completely out of line with the bible where Jesus turned water into wine, and even the Society who say it's ok to have alcohol at gatherings as long as you can control it and have some responsible people there.

    Anyway, my friend used this argument, and also mentioned many other things, such as the fact that many young ones have organised gatherings where alcohol has been served, and he has never complained. Each time the elder responded by saying things like 'Don't answer back to me' or 'Don't argue with me.' He also said that because he was an elder he could not complain with what he was saying. Never ONCE did he use a scripture or even a Society quote to back up his stand, even though my friend asked for them, he just said his usual 'Don't argue with me!'

    I'm sure this sounds quite unbelievable, but really, it is true! Basically, what I wanted to ask, is what my options are.

    My friend plans on going ahead and serving alcohol to prove a point, and I've told him that he can call me up as a Witness to his committee. Is there anything we can do about the elder? We don't want him involved in the meeting, we don't think he's got a balanced opinion. My friend has been involved with meetings before with this elder, where he has not been able to express an opinion without the elder telling him not to argue with him.

    Also, do you think this would be considered a genuine complaint? Can we take this man to the body of elders, saying that we have a problem with the way he is going about things? Do you think this would get anywhere? What would happen if we wrote a letter to the Society complaining about the elder?


  • agapa37

    Zico, first off I would like to say that you are a good friend. Your concern for him is commendable! However I am a bit confused as to why you use the term "WE" when talking about what can be done about the situation, seeing that you are not a Witness. Unfortunately this is your friends battle. My suggestion would be to teel your friend to do things Jesus way. When handling problems or disputes Jesus gives great counsel and I am sure your friend knows what it is. Here it is........

    Matthew 5:23

    "If, then, you are bringing your gift to the altar and you there remember that your brother has something against you, 24

    leave your gift there in front of the altar, and go away; first make your peace with your brother, and then, when you have come back, offer up your gift.

    Mathew 18:15-17


    "Moreover, if your brother commits a sin, go lay bare his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two more, in order that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every matter may be established. 17 If he does not listen to them, speak to the congregation. If he does not listen even to the congregation, let him be to you just as a man of the nations and as a tax collector.
  • Zico

    Thanks for your answer agapa! The reason I say 'We' is because I am still, technically, a Jehovah's Witness! I don't really believe it anymore, but I am still considered to be in 'Good standing' as I go to all the meetings, and on the service, I have not shared my doubts with anyone outside of this board, including this friend.

    My friend has already spoken to the elder about his issues many times, with no success, so you think the next step would be too go to him with another person, and then to the elders if necessary? Do you think this will be successful though?

  • fullofdoubtnow

    The elder is obviously abusing his authority here, and I feel your friend has grounds to complain. However, I would advise caution. Have there been any witnesses to this elders conduct, or have all these conversations taken place with just the two of them there? If I were your friend, I'd try to get the elder to say these things in front of witnesses before he goes ahead with any further action.

  • agapa37

    Zico i dont know if it will be successful. Judging on how you discribe the Elder, not likely. BUT your friend will be successful! If He will do things Jesus way, know matter the outcome, He did what what right in Jehovahs eyes and thats all that counts.

  • Zico

    Thanks fullofdoubtnow,

    Unfortunately there has been no other Witnesses to these Conversations, but I trust my friend and know that he is telling the Truth. It was other elders who have told him that he is not an MS because the elder in question has argued when he has been suggested as an appointment. I agree that I will need another Witness though.

    At the very least, does anyone know if are we able to have the elder removed from the committee? I am sure that if he is not involved, the elders at the meeting will just laugh about it once they know the real story.

  • freetosee

    As I was reading your post my first thought was send a letter to the society. The wts will not answer his letter, but will reply to the BOE. His uncle is not the PO is he? Your friend believes to be serving Jehovah through his earthly organisation and not the elders. So writing the society is the best he can do. What is wrong in writing the society? Well, the elders are not going to like it. Depending on the contents the DO and CO receive a copy. Who knows the society might ask what good reasons the elders have for not appointing him. Did they tell him what he should be working on or where he has failed? In this letter he should quote scriptures and wt articles about "reaching out". And let him not forget his removal from the pioneer ranks.

    A letter will get the ball rolling, either he’ll get hammered by the elders or they appoint him as MS.

    I got appointed only after I complained to the CO about many things and said I was going to write the society. Elders get nervous when you tell them that, so my experience.


  • agapa37

    Zico yes you can request an elder to be removed from a committee

  • fullofdoubtnow


    Not neing a jw now, I'm not sure how they work things jc - wise, but there would be three on the committee, and if this elder was one, the others would hear his complaints, which he has no grounds to make anyway. I have a feeling they would not support him if he was truthful, but as I know from experience, elders have been known to lie.

  • uwishufish

    Keep us informed.

    May Baccus bless your gathering with much wine.

    Or it could BYOB then there would be more than one responsible party.



Share this