Say You're a Bethelite & Monitoring JWD - How Would You Feel About THESE??
TD, you're right about having to constantly bite your tongue. There are times I just want to scream. It is difficult to avoid some of the things you've mentioned. I tend to couch my words so they can be interpreted in a way thats sounds JWish if that is your mindset. And yes, I know its not honest and I'm playing the same game that sickens me about the WT. Believe me, I'm disappointed in myself. I consider it a price I have to pay for the moment.
Auld Soul, Great points. I haven't really thought about it that way but you're dead right.
Zarco, I know VERY few men like yourself. I'm really surpised that your body allows you guys to get away with that. But, most elder bodies are more than happy to let others do shepherding calls and most folks I know don't want the hassle of sitting on JCs. I guess if you're doing more than your share of the work, no one is going to rock the boat. I admire your effort.
AlanF, for me, cognitive dissonance is the only answer that I can come up with. I'm so disappointed in myself that I fell so hard for "the truth" and I'm even more disappointed that I've been avoiding having to face it. Although, somewhat in my defense, I was raised in so we're talking about a lifetime of exposure. Still, I go and tell others to take an honest look at their religion, yet have refused to do so myself. I just hope I haven't hurt anyone along the way in my capacity as an elder by either what I said or what I should have said but didn't.
AuldSoul, one could argue that the entire system of cleanliness, sacrifice, and festivals was something that was managed and administered in an organized way, regardless of who God was actually directly communicating with. The priests were required for this--the system wouldn't have worked on a "peer to peer" basis.
Priests inspected animals intended for, and then performed, the sacrifice. They maintained the temple and its grounds. They were consulted on legal issues and interpretation of Law. They even had a tax of sorts, in that they were allowed (and apparently even required) to skim off the top of the animal sacrifices coming in. They organized and officiated at the festivals and they did inspections of houses and people for leprosy. Their order was started, with Aaron, by God himself.
I'd love to find Biblical proof that if all of the Levites (except the High Priest) just hung it up one night and cut their hair and stopped serving, the whole system would have still worked and the other tribes could have remained in compliance with the Law, but it doesn't seem that way to me.
If you have a way of explaining this I'd love to hear it--I've been caught up on this very issue when trying to tell Witnesses that Jehovah never dealt with an organization.
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?
You are doing a great job on this thread.
I would like to inject though that I disagree with the statement that you commented on above, (but not your comment). That statement conveys the idea that the elders are "victims" rather than willing (and PAID) participants. This is the statement that I am referring to:
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.
The Watchtower religion is a "WORKS/ REWARD" system. You do the prescribed work and you get the recognition and the personal aggrandizement that goes along with it.
In my opinion, that is one of the primary reasons why elders, both who come to this DB as well as elders who hear or know about the WT-UN deal as well as other corrupt activities of the organization find it so difficult to leave.
I respect the elders that post here, especially they are trying to figure out how to leave the organization, but I was an elder for over 30 years and I know the feeling of euphoria that accompanies recognition by the Society, fellow elders, publishers, etc. when you give a good talk, or have an assembly part or provide counsel that seems to be effective. It is like a drug and a lot of our brothers are staying in their positions because of the REWARD system in place.
It took me 2 and 1/2 years to leave the organization after I found out about the WT-NGO.
But...........I had a sickening feeling from the decade of the 80's and a worse sickening feeling in the 90"s that the WT was totally out of it, and yet, I didn't leave till June of last year.
All I can say to you elders and others out there, YOU WILL KICK YOURSELVES FOR EVERY DAY YOU STAY AFTER YOU REALIZE IT IS THE WRONG PLACE TO BE.
I am so happy to be rid of that place. 45 years a witness and only two or three friends now to show for it, but I am so glad to be gone!!!! Every day it just gets better and better.
Welcome to Becca ---doubting Bro---OPR83-- and great post TD (#1183)--it was a touchdown.
What I can Scripturally show is that the organization kept right on functioning even when the Ark was gone, along with God's spirit.
But what really addresses the point under consideration is WHY Levites were the officiating tribe.
Exodus 19:5, 6 shows the agreement between God and Israel was pivoted on strict keeping of his terms of the contract, but the blessnig would be that they themselves would become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. In the covenant we read that the people were ordered to offer this sacrifice and that sacrifice for this and that. Only the High Priest was set apart for special duties. The Levites were NOT set apart at that time.
Exodus 20:4-6 relates that the people knew the law on not making a graven image or a likeness of an earthly creature to worship.
Exodus 32 shows the Israelites promptly breaking that law.
In Exodus 32:25, 26 we find Moses stand against these in the gate of the camp and declaring, "Who is on the side of the LORD? To me!" ONLY the Levites responded. Therefore, instead of all the people becoming a kingdom of priests, only the tribe of Levi could do so. The LORD wasn't "working through an organization," in the sense that the WTS and other religious groups apply it. Had the whole nation been faithful and not raised the ire of YHWH against them by their swift betrayal of loyalty, the entire nation would have been priests, not just the Levites, each of whom could have had a personal relationship with YHWH without any intermediary other than Moses (through the covenant).
Making sure Israel kept the law was not a function of the Levites. That was a function of Moses which, per the unauthorized suggestions of the foreigner, Jethro, was delegated organizationally to chieftans (or princes) over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. This "organizational arrangement" was never endorsed by the LORD. He worked through Moses, peer to peer.
1 Peter 2:9 says that Christians are "a royal priesthood." All of them. The NT is filled with instances of persons offering sacrifices to God. The "gatherings" of First Century Christians were not for education, nor were they prescribed sessions of fellowship in any way.
am so happy to be rid of that place. 45 years a witness and only two or three friends now to show for it, but I am so glad to be gone!!!! Every day it just gets better and better.
How happy I was to read THAT uninformed......This is SO enouraging for me... I try to help those who leave in the support group. Comments like yours makes me WANT to live till the WT goes under. though I really want to GO HOME!!!! to see MY loved ones.
Hey Mouthy..You came back..Your addicted to JWD..We`re going to have to put you on a 12step program..Hi,I`m mouthy and I`m addicted to JWD..LOL!!..I knew you could`nt leave..We`re just too dam sweet!..LOL!!...OUTLAW
Doubting Bro said:
: AlanF, for me, cognitive dissonance is the only answer that I can come up with. I'm so disappointed in myself that I fell so hard for "the truth" and I'm even more disappointed that I've been avoiding having to face it. Although, somewhat in my defense, I was raised in so we're talking about a lifetime of exposure. Still, I go and tell others to take an honest look at their religion, yet have refused to do so myself. I just hope I haven't hurt anyone along the way in my capacity as an elder by either what I said or what I should have said but didn't.
I'm totally with you, Bro! Although I left the JWs in spirit nearly 40 years ago, shortly after getting baptized, I went back and forth for all the wrong reasons. I nearly left at about age 20, but family pressure (being threatened with being put out on the street with no job skills) brought me back in again for awhile. When I went to college at age 27, for all practical purposes I quit again, but after college went back again for a year and a half due to family pressure (this time from a braindead JW wife). After that, I drifted in a sort of limbo for another seven years, until I finally bit the bullet and told myself that I was finally going to put this baby to rest. I was completely unprepared for what I found. I found that the Society had told lies about almost everything it has ever taught. In some cases these were inadvertant lies, in the same sense that the Society calls a number of religious beliefs on the part of "Christendom" "lies" even though a lot of Christians sincerely hold these beliefs. This proved that JWs were no better than anyone else. But in other cases these were deliberate lies, in the sense that a WTS writer would have had to work hard to formulate his language in such a way as to mislead his readers while telling himself that, even though his readers were being misled, what he wrote wasn't quite a lie in the sense that, if a reader had full knowledge of the writer's motivations he would see what the writer really had in mind. This is kind of like answering the phone and saying, "My wife isn't in", knowing full well that your wife is standing just outside the front door. And in a few cases, the Society told flat-out, deliberate lies. This can be proved by showing that the writer had full knowledge that what he wrote was false. This latter thing -- demonstrably deliberate lying -- proved to me that the Society's leaders and writers really do know that a good deal of what they set forth as "food from Jehovah's table" is completely rotten. But like the Pharisees, they won't budge, because if they do, they'll lose a great deal of personal comfort and investment. So better to keep the status quo until they die. Of course, a few people in charge, like the completely insane Ted Jaracz, are completely sincere in their belief that they're doing God's will, yet do all manner of criminal things. So really, with Jaracz as the most powerful GB member, the Society is not all that different from the Branch Davidians, except in size.
it has been my experience that most people who take the step to finally leave are either wronged personally by higher ups or the watchtower itself, by policy, by flip flops or by some new law becomes so wrong to us that we can't stand to put on that happy face and continue to go even though we know its all baloney.
the timing of leaving is very personal to each individual, and i think its great that you elders that are posting are able to help people in the capacity that you serve right now. i know the time will come when you can't stomach it anymore.
Just want to add my welcome to the newbies who jumped in on this thread and tell you how much your heartfelt comments are appreciated.
becca: forget the apology, your post wasn't silly at all, it was one of the most poignant pieces of writing I've read, here or anywhere. It's just that you dropped it in the middle of a whole other conversation and it got lost in the shuffle. Don't be discouraged by that.
It's great to see more elders drop in to express their long-standing doubts and, in the case of zarco, to confide in us that he's hoping for reform and meanwhile doing his best to rage against the machine with personal acts of humanity and love. That was me a couple of years ago, before my zeal for reform petered out and I realized the problems are not unique to one congregation, or a specific body of elders, or even just a handful of misguided dubs. No, the problems are systemic and are eating away at the roots.
I think I did a lot more good for a lot more people by helping my family break free from the suffocation of dubdom and start living real lives. We're all incredibly happy now and satisfied with life, despite the fact that there are no longer any easy answers to fall back on. Our faith is strong, our hope is bright, and we are learning to be non-judgmental and accepting of all of God'a children (except the really crazy ones). It is so refreshing not to be weighed down with the burdens imposed by the modern-day Pharisees who run the JW organization. It's even more liberating not to be an officer of the court and have a hand in imposing/enforcing those wearisome rules.
God bless all of you on your respective journeys. It's a trip worth taking.