Yesterday the PO (15 years my junior) pulls up in his truck, finished with service and interested in saying hello. He shoots the breeze for a few minutes and I show him the apt. we're remodeling. Then he asks, "Do you think you'll ever come back?" He knows I've consciously decided not to return, that's obvious. I tell him that I'm not encouraged when I attend the meetings because of the petty backbiting and lack of love.
PO: "That's just people, you can't let them get between you and Jehovah."
ME: "It's their love that is supposed to be the identifying mark of True Christianity. If I go there and don't find love, what does that indicate to me? I think I'm smart enough to not go and sit amongst people who are false to their belief. It doesn't mean that Jehovah's not God. It doesn't mean I don't beleive in the creator. It just means I'm smart enough to recognize where the abuse is and avoid it."
PO: "But like a child Jehovah expects us to do things that are out of obedience, things we don't want to do."
ME: "True, there is benefit in obeying wise counsel even if its distasteful. I feel confident that in this I am better off. Jehovah knows where I stand. Its between me and him. I know you have the litany of meetings, service, study, prayer, etc.. I can pray anytime, which many JW's dont do at all. I can read the Bible anytime and talk about the creator if I wish. I don't have to attend the kingdom hall to do that. It's not where your ass is, its where your heart is that matters. Many JW's including elders and Pioneers are going through the motions. If I don't want to be there, that's what I am avoiding. THe Faithful slave says to cut short a family Bible study when the family is enjoying it most so that you don't kill thier joy. If you force it you run the risk of running them off. For me, I stopped when I found I wasn't enjoying it any more and it had become a drag. In fact, it was to preseve my spirituality. It may not be a popular choice, but I'm not encouraging others to do it and I'm not trying to convice anyone else to think the way I do. This is my personal choice."
PO: "But the Faithful Slave says that meetings are a commandment".
ME: "But the BIble doesn't. Unless there's been new light on that since I haven't attended. (He shakes his head no.) Therefore it is a suggestion that we attend, not a commandment. I'm still free to decide if I want to honor that suggestion, right?"
ME: "OK, you know where I stand right now. If I feel compelled in the future, I will attend."
Poor slob just couldn't contend with it. Then he brings up: " Some say you are angry . You wont attend because of people and how they've acted. Myself included. They say you don't like me."
ME: "Well, I've been angry in the past but I've let that go. It's counter productive. Those same individuals say they don't like you either."
PO: "Publishers don't like elders. How long will you hold things against others?" He then began to discuss an elder that we know and how his wife has to work two jobs to support him because he's ill. (MD of some sort) He checks her WT to make sure its highlighted and is on her about service etc. The PO says, "he treats her like a publisher." Boy was that telling. Why? Because this shows the dumbass PO sees that as the way you treat a publisher, not your family whom you love. Talk about making my point for me. He can't even see it.
ME: "I'm not holding the past against others, I'm just not giving them the opportunity to treat me falsely in the future. That's a basic part of self worth, protecting yourself from abuse. I don't need it, especially from God's true congregation. There's a mindset of doing things according to requirements that keep people from feeling they have to be friends and or compassionate towards others so long as they are towing the party line. I have no use for that kind of thinking, you know I never have. I disagree, publishers don't like insensitive elders who treat them like a statistic and not a friend. I know, I've been there and seen how it goes."
PO: "So many would be encouraged if you came back".
ME: "Well, I'm never going there to encourage others who care so little about me that they wont call or visit or even show concern when I'm sick. I have no need of friends of that ilk. You're here after a year or more. I expected the pep talk, but would rather have you come to see me and invite me to have coffee or see a movie or play chess or whatever. I know that encouraging me is "True" friendship, but its hollow without any real contact besides this sort of quasi-official visit".
PO: "I'm not here on any judicial call."
ME: "I know, you would have had another elder with you, i'm not stupid. Its just that there is no action behind your words or the words of the others who haven't spoken with me for two years. No service or meeting attendance and a person is out. Out of the hall, out of mind and out of heart no matter how much they have shown love to others. I'm sure its because they assume that the love they were shown was under compulsion just as their own has been. There was lots more but its too much to talk about. I'm not into championing any doctrinal BS. I'm not gonna change them and I want family able to have contact without repercussions. I just left it to his judgement that I'm spiritually weak and down for the count right now.
This fellow was raised a witnoid and is rock solid hooked into it. I felt as sorry for him as he was for me I'm sure. All in all I think I bamboozled him to stay off may ass. I've always been able to use the witnoid speach against these morons. Hook in the nose and around the ring they go.
Here's hoping you have as nice a visit with your ex-PO as I did. (not)