Say You're a Bethelite & Monitoring JWD - How Would You Feel About THESE??

by Seeker4 356 Replies latest jw friends

  • AlanF

    dozy replied to AuldSoul with the following:

    :: If a large, successful, and intensive preaching campaign is what proves God's spirit is with a religion, the Evangelicals have it nailed down tightly. They are everywhere JWs are, and well beyond.

    : Are they? Other than their bizarre TV evangelising efforts filled with demands for money and wild emotional sing-songs and appeals which immediately put off any right minded person ,

    You don't seem to realize it, but you're doing exactly the same thing that the Governing Body does, and influences the JW community to do, when they lump all non-JWs into the "Christendom" category, and then judge the entire body of Christians by the behavior of a few. All this means is that you, like most JWs, are judging without knowing what you're talking about. Evangelicals are a diverse group and use all manner of preaching methods. Some are certainly the wild-eyed, drooling-at-the-mouth types you describe. Others are far more low key, and are actually quite pleasant to deal with.

    What? Pleasant Evangelicals you say? How can that be? I wondered this, given my background of having been raised a JW and imbued with all the prejudices and false views that implies, until I actually spent some time with some of them. These low key Evangelicals might not go door to door as JWs and Mormons and a few other groups do, but they're fully committed to their own methods of preaching, and their large increase in many countries proves that these methods work. The door to door work (the Bible does not actually command this style of preaching; cf. Ray Franz's books, which show that the NWT rendering "door to door" is almost certainly a mistranslation, and certainly nothing to pin a major policy on) is actually quite ineffective, while the more personal, one-on-one methods that low key Evangelicals use are very effective.

    When Russia opened up in the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union, a great many Christian groups went in and did their versions of missionary work. Most experienced increases at least as great as the JWs did, which proves that their preaching methods work quite well. The Pentecostal movement was founded a bit before 1900, and since then they've increased worldwide to between 250 and 300 million. Whatever they do, and despite the extreme goofiness of some of their teachings, they're obviously a lot more effective than JWs are.

    : I've never , ever , ever had any contact whatsoever by them (other than when I call on them in the ministry). And I live in an area popular with evangelicals who regularly establish new churches when they fall out with each other. There is a man who shouts at hapless passerbys in the street occasionally , before the police move him on. Does that count as "an intensive preaching campaign?"

    Whatever. The obvious increase in membership that Evangelicals and other Christian groups generate speaks for itself.

    :: Even the Mormons outdo JWs. By a lot. "But," JWs respond, "they teach things that aren't true, though!"

    : In fairness , the Mormons have some fairly bizarre beliefs and would admit that they have relegated the bible to second place behind the book of Mormon (which is demonstrably false) - it contains large swathes of the book of Isaiah from the KJV including translation errors despite supposedly being written hundreds of years previously.

    True, but you've merely illustrated AuldSoul's comments.

    : The preaching is limited to young evangelists on a 2 year tour of duty - the average r & f Mormon doesn't preach or even have much knowledge of their beliefs.

    The average JW preaches because and only because it's demanded at an organizational level, just as is the case with Mormons. And the average JW demonstrably doesn't have much knowledge of his beliefs. This is easy to prove: just ask an average JW to explain the claimed historical and biblical basis for a fundamental doctrine like the 607 chronology.

    :: If a successful worldwide preaching work IS THE MARK, then JWs are beat out by several other religions.

    : Such as?


    :: If accurately teaching the Bible is the mark, then JWs are no better than any other and worse than some.

    : I'll agree that they are no better than some other chuches. Accuracy is difficult to establish.

    But inaccuracy is not. The 607 chronology is a good example. So is grossly violating the spirit of passages like Luke 21:8 ("Don't predict when the end is coming"). People give good examples all the time on this board of things the JWs teach that are demonstrably false.

    :: If "love among yourselves" is the mark, JWs finish poorly among the religions I have seen.

    : What other religious order refuses to go to war and kill fellow members in other countries?

    That's only one aspect of "love among yourselves", and is arguable in any case. But AuldSoul's point was that in their own congregations, JWs often demonstrate that they really don't have this love. Again, literally thousands of posts on this board prove it.

    :: If reliance on the teachings of men who proclaimed themselves to be chosen by God is the mark, JWs have no peers and must be the true religion.

    : The above is why some (including my friend previously mentioned) feel that despite all their faults , there is some merit in JWism ,

    Yes, just as there is some merit to all religions. If there were no merit, no one would join.

    : and why they point to the preaching work as some support for their religion.

    Right, and this pointing demonstrably has serious problems.

    : I make no claim to be an apologist - I have tremendous doubts myself.

    Which is why I term you a semi-apologist. Your post here illustrates this again.

    : However , I do not share Auldsoul's view that Jehovah's witnesses (or more specifically their leadership) are corrupt or evil - I take the view that they are simply sincere , honest men who try hard to discern principles and prophecies from scripture but who are misguided when they claim that they inhabit the sole channel of direction and holy spiri and who have "gone beyond what is written" in imposing further laws on their flock.

    AuldSoul has clearly demontrated why your view is wrong. Watchtower leaders are modern-day Pharisees, and despite the fact that some are sincere, others are not because they, like the Pharisees, are demonstrably more interested in maintaining 'their place and their nation' than in doing the will of God or obeying real Christian principles. They, like the Pharisees, are gross hypocrites. This is demonstrated, for example, by their ordering three bodies of elders, one week before the NBC Dateline show on JWs and child molestation aired back in 2002, to disfellowship the main ex-JW critics who they knew were to appear on the show. For more examples, just keep reading this board.


  • zarco

    All of the posts have provided much to think about. Thanks for the welcome and kind words. I also appreciate the disagreement with my position to stay within the organization. It has many flaws, but it also has some of the finest people I have ever met. In our congregation of about 100 people, I have some leverage to affect people for good. Two other elders in our congregation are very liberal in their thinking, together we provide real help rather than a critical spirit. When we shepherd we make sure that we pair up together to assure that we provide refreshment and help (many times tangible help). In my years as an elder I am proud to say that I have never disfellowshipped anyone nor will I ever do so. In reality ? at least my reality - it seems that the percentage of elders who truly believe everything from the organization is very small. So in essence I am saying that the congregation / organization provides a forum for doing good that is difficult to find elsewhere ? for me anyway. My wife and I are involved with several charities like Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity and local charities, but the opportunity to help individuals within the congregation exceeds the help we have been able to provide through other avenues. If this isn?t God?s organization I know he deeply cares for many individuals within it. If it is his organization then he will correct matters in his time. Either way I am sticking with it as long as I personally can use it as leverage to help others. I realize the time may come when I will have to take a stand against the organization, but until that time I will wait sometime not so patiently. Zarco

  • opr83

    I too am forced to comment on this thread. Thanks S4 for starting this discussion. I wish I had the time to expound on the many, many fine points made here by all. I'm an ex-elder, stepping away some years ago. Still "active" in the congregation. I do have the mindset that has been described here by many - that Jehovah will correct matters in time, that it will be a "massive" correction, and that the scriptural applications of how corruption infiltrated the Israelites for years is appropriate in this time that we are living.

    We do long for it to be corrected. Some long for it to be exposed as false. And, in fact, when the correction comes, it will be a tremendous blow to those that have been loyal for so long. I agree with you, S4, on the primary reasons why ones finally step away from the Org. Personal atrocities committed on them, or some overwhelming issue that they cannot abide by any longer.

    I often wonder if I harmed anyone because of what I said, did, or did not do as an elder, or even as a fellow member in the congregation. It wears upon the consciense, and is not easily dismissed or written off as if "I was just following orders". Those that are still elders that read this post, how is it that you handle ones seeking guidence? There is much that we would like to tell them, to give them comfort and scriptural advice that is ---- different ------ than what may be offered by elders that do not think for themselves.

    At times I've wanted to gather a group of elders together and debate many of the things that you find here at this board. But, sadly that would be a significant waste of time on the majority of those ones. Ps 115 talks about idols or false gods (lest I be accused of taking a scripture out of context) but it apply describes ones that refuse, beyond all logical reasoning, not to see where things have gone awry.

    It doesn't anger me, it saddens me. And, it frightens me as well.

  • jayhawk1

    Zarco, I totally understand your position. You seem to want to affect positive change within the JW religion. Good for you! I was never in a position of influence, so my only choice was to leave at least until things changed for the better. Locally, there was not an Elder who acts like you. An Elder that supports charities and never will disfellowship somebody is rare around here.

    Do you incourage young ones to get an education?

  • Genesis

    Welcome Becca1 and Doubting Bro ! Dont be afraid lurkers, lets make them see that more and more people are quitting the sinking boat !

  • AuldSoul


    I deeply appreciated all the posts here from those who remain JWs. I really am trying to get to the root of how you guys (and it typically is the guys who hold on indefinitely, it seems) can stand it. I think a big clue is in your post and, hoping not to risk destroying whatever it is that keeps your life in a normal-ish state, I would like to ask about it specifically.

    We do long for it to be corrected. Some long for it to be exposed as false.

    It occurs to me that I see this thinking by adherents to many religions. But it seems to me that this statement assumes the religion was at some point correct. If that is true, whether or not it ever was a true religion cannot change the fact of its current state. Currently, whether or not it is exposed as such, it is false religion.

    I guess the sense of urgency I was drilled with as a youngster regarding the necessity to flee from false religion compelled me to reject this organization on principle when I saw it was currently a false religion. Maybe what I have been trying to figure out how to ask is this: How do you who stay rationalize teaching others to flee from false religion while you cling to one in the hopes that it will someday become the true religion?

    I am trying to figure out just how to ask what has been puzzling me. It is so I can try and wrap my brain around the choice my mother and father made to carve me out of their life when I formally disassociated myself from their false religion. Dozy, just so you know, I am not trying to be combative. I am just trying to understand how it all can possibly be mentally reconciled. I appreciate you trying to help, too.


  • Dismembered

    Welcome Zarco, becca1, Doubting Bro.

    You're bound to learn alot here


  • fullofdoubtnow

    Hi becca, zarco and Doubting Bro, and welcome to the forum

  • AuldSoul

    Doubting Bro,


    I know many elders who are good men, who really do care. However, the burden placed on these men by the WTS is impossible to carry.

    You are right. So very right. There are many. But they are still in the minority. My father is such a man, which is why it kills me to see him waste himself away in a fruitless effort for an organization that never has been approved by God. The burden is impossible to carry. And the burden is from the very organization that claims to represent the one who offers a kindly and light load. The organization is plainly lying in that claim. Why would anyone carry a burden other than the one offered by Christ and still think they are pleasing Christ by carrying it?

    I just don't understand. My dad is in my front yard right now. My wife just got home. My dad is no doubt expressing to her, yet again, how much they miss me. I am not thirty feet away from him and he knows I would welcome his company, but the same organization places upon him the burden of cutting me out of his life and discarding me, like a malignant cancer. He served on his first Judicial Committee when he was 17 years old. Why does he carry this Pharisaical burden?


  • LongHairGal


    I love your posts - especially your last one. I agree that people do cling to the JWs because they feel it is or was correct in some way and will somehow straighten itself out.

    Some cling to it because they feel that because one or two scriptures seem "right on" to them, therefore the whole religion must be right. They totally ignore the wrongness of everything else. I don't believe any religion is right because one or two scriptures seem on target.

    I also feel they cling to the religion because it has the magic name of "Jehovah". The problem I have with this is that Jehovah didn't shout down from heaven to them. They took this name themselves. (Sorry, but I couldn't help but feel this was presumptuous on their part.) They must reason that because Jehovah hasn't reached down from heaven to destroy them for their errors that they must be right. All because of that name it seems.


Share this