Thank you very kindly! - I'm so glad I joined! Instead of finding 'drunkards, fornicators, criminals etc' , as predicted by the WTS, so far I have only found sincere and kind people on this web site. The sky did not fall down, and I was not hit by lightening! LOL - Instead I feel more spritually encouraged and detemerned to study the Bible than in all of my 30+ years as a witness. The story of Raymond Franz opened my eyes. I'm proud to be part of this.
Effects of the changes if the book study is amalgamated with the TMS
This is the first I've heard of this change (haven't been attending meetings lately altho my hubby still does.) Is this to be announced on Sunday the 27th? I will probably want to go for that one! If this is true, then to me it is just another desperate attempt to hold on to the JW members. There must be a real slack-off in meeting attendance and the FDS is alarmed obviously. But it just reaffirms my position that I have taken, which I finally made clear to my husband just a month ago, that I will not go in service ever again, and I will not stay on the "treadmill" of regular meeting attandance because I don't believe in this religion at all anymore! He didn't really want to let me explain the cogent reasons I have spent the last 5 years developing and researching, but he said he sorta expected this from me. What a huge relief to get that off my chest and feel some true freedom at last! (Been baptized since I was 12 in 1961 - a long, long time!)
I remember the PO's stating from the "pulpit" that The Book STudy groups were the lowest in attendance compared to the others.
Sounds to me that all the complaining from the "pulpit" didn't change anything, so they are trying a new avenue to get attendance up.
I don't know if others have thought about this, but they recently came out against independent meetings and study groups the brothers were engaging in. The Book Study is informal and so there is more of a chance to ask questions and challenge the Society. This cuts down on these book study groups getting out of hand in their discussions. It is easier to control content and thinking at the Kingdom Hall. This is very much in line with the JW-only Watchtowers. So the "apostates" within the organization seemingly are having an impact. I see this as a feeble and desperate attempt to hold onto control of the members and to decrease opportunity for personal interaction with the members. Individuals have less influence in a congregational setting than at the Book Study group.
But all this is GOOD. The WTS will not completely self destruct before Armageddon but it is clear Jehovah is not backing them and they are struggling to hold on. If you isolate a group and tightly control everything they think then you can hold on to them. Now, there is so much available for them to think about and be affected by on the net, it is inevitable it will have an effect on the witnesses. So they are just becoming more of a cult than they ever were. Their new vulnerability is quite encouraging Armageddon is on its way! If I were still an active member, I think at this point I would simply break away. The hypocrisy is just too much.
The reaction to the announcement of this new arrangement, while predictable, still makes me shake my head. 'Clearly Jehovah is directing things here; he's adjusting things because he knows we're very close to the end and really need more time for personal and family study.' What would be the reaction if the announcement was that the book study will now be held twice a week instead of once? 'Clearly Jehovah is directing things here; he knows the end is near and that we really need more spiritual food.' Heads God wins; tails you lose. PS: was (finally!!) disfellowshipped tonight for "deliberately spreading false teachings". free at last. free at last.
botheyesopen: so true. This announcement simply smacked me down back then. It was delivered by the self-appointed over-righteous elder hounder of our congregation, who I felt had the covert single-man mission of guilt trapping everyone to go at absolutely every meeting. He took every opportunity to boast how he can't remember the last time he missed a meeting, and he can count his missings in the last decade on one hand, all because of heavy illness, and if you do any less you are a disgrace to Jehovah, who so lovingly prepared the meal for us. I think you know his type.
Now imagine my amazement, when he announced with a smile on his face, that Jehovah directed things so that now we have more time, we don't have to go to book study. "Aren't we all glad of Jehovah's new arrangement?" - If you told me before there would lesser meetings, I would have thought I would be the only one actually glad. But lo and behold - everyone in the KH applauded like they just announced Armageddon started. Everyone applauded - except me. I just couldn't believe my ears of this total hypocrisy.