Why, you ask? Because if the elders are not in charge of gatherings of all kinds, they feel the loss of control. It's all about control.
My Cong- "Large Witness Gatherings are Banned!! And fancy dress? Why?
Our congregation frowned on it too. The rationale was that it was the same as halloween, just on a different day. It would be as bad as having Christmas in July. The only way we could get away with it was if the costumes were bible characters.
That fell through when a couple of friends and I announced we'd be going as Rahab, Jezebel and Babylon the Great.
Nobody went as Hot Stuff? (cartoon character)
Not new here in jw fundie land.
Right now on the wt web site. http://www.watchtower.org/e/20041015/article_01.htm:
“…my parents didn’t want me to hang around in large groups or go to large unsupervised parties. At the time, I couldn’t understand why other parents were more permissive than mine…”
I knew I had read this in the litter-ature. http://answers.net.nz/Other/JW.htm:
Large gatherings are frowned upon by the Watchtower Society unless organized by them for Bible studies (Usually the Bible is not used much, their other books are claimed to be "better" (WT1999 4/1 p31 + 9/1 p.9,15 WT1992 8/15 p.15-19 WT1994 1/15 p.17 WT1981 8/15 p.28-29 WT1981 12/1 p.27)
Years ago, some of the friends got together and planned a costume party.
Everyone had a great time. No one cross-dressed or wore revealing outfits.
One brother came as a biker...he used beer can pop tops (yea, that's how long ago this happened) to make the chains on his belt and jacket (he collected them one at a time, he said ). Another brother came as a Western gunslinger and had an old BB pistol that looked like a revolver from that time period. Those were the only two costumes that raised any eyebrows.
Many of the friends came as their favorite Bible character. There were elders there in costume even.
But a few days after the event, the elder meetings started. And by the next "local needs" part they had effectively condemned the party and in the meeting counseled everyone who went and recommended that it not happen again.
Just a few years ago a group of brothers who had some musical talent got together and would rent an auditorium to practice and play. They started inviting the friends to come watch and bring an instrument and play along. All they asked was that anyone coming to pitch in to help pay for the rental of the auditorium. Any excess would be put in the Kingdom Hall contribution box.
Well, once the elders got wind of that they again had meetings and came to the conclusion that it shouldn't be happening. They started at first counseling individual people about attending, then eventually they worked up to the brothers who were the instigators and they were counseled to concentrate on Kingdom matters instead of musical ones.
Another fun event killed by the pharisees.
Man, here in Iowa, we had quite a number of larger gatherings, and usually my "witness band", played them. We played like 3 times for larger gatherings. However, many songs I was unable to do, because of "cause for stumbling". So I wasn't allowed to do any ZZ Top, and no blues at all, and of course any hard rock, metal, punk or rap was all outlawed right away.
But we had lots of food gathering with music, and honestly, they were pretty fun. My dad and I cooked for lots of them, and many others were great cooks as well. The "cause for stumbling" was always a killer for me though. I would go outside and drink whiskey with some former elders, and we'd swear and just act like ourselves. Everyone, always wanted me to go nuts on my guitar and bust out some old school AC/DC or ZZ Top stuff, but I told them that I'd get DF'd in a minute if I did it. No counsel was ever given, BUT, of course, grandpa and dad were elders, and the rest of my hall's elders were always a little intimidated by me.
Bluesbreaker: So, the only songs approved would be kingdom melodies?...and then a friend of mine would jazz up the kingdom songs tempo etc. but the Elders told him not to mess with "worship songs."
Some years back some of the friends wanted to do a "Formal". Well the elders wanted to kill that so their excuse was that those who could not afford the dress code would feel excluded. The brother organizing it went ahead anyways. He was marked by the elders and when he moved out of the area and changed halls they sent a nasty review of him to the new congregation.
I do have a question here though. Is a wedding considered a "large gathering?'' Should we ban thoses as well?
a friend of mine would jazz up the kingdom songs tempo etc. but the Elders told him not to mess with "worship songs."
I remember an excellent piano player in one hall that would spice up the playing of the songs at the hall(before they went to recordings). Everyone enjoyed his playing but the elders came down on him for not playing it the way the Society wrote it.
They said that the Society knew how the songs should be played and he should follow the notes and timing exactly the way it was written. Any variance of that was just showing off, trying to bring attention to himself instead of Jehovah.
death knell,...... besides all the contradictions that were coming out at the time...... was the 'frowning' upon large gatherings.\
Did'nt the men in grey suits realise thats the only freeking fun we had?