the dubs aren't supposed to?
I remember being told that the book study was a necessary provision. It was expected that the dubs would make whatever sacrifices were needed to attend. Sometimes the sacrifices were extreme. Some would quit their jobs or turn down employment or face dangers from weather, animals or warfare to attend. It was tempting to weigh the benefits of the bookstudy against the cost of attending, but this was strongly discouraged. I would sometimes miss a book study for a good reason other than being sick, but there was always guilt involved.
Now the governing body eliminated the book study as a separate meeting. It comes down to a cost verses benefit analysis. Fuel prices are up and that time can be better used for family or personal study. It is hard to grasp why the governing body can make this kind of decision for everybody, but it is wrong for someone to make this kind of decision for himself or his family. Don't family heads have the Biblical responsibility to do what is best for their family?
The governing body is setting a dangerous precedent. They have admitted that one of the meetings isn't necessary and it isn't worth any sacrifice to attend. They have pretty much admitted that for many dubs the cost exceeded the benefit of attending that "spiritual provision" How
can they justify putting so much pressure on the dubs in the past to attend that meeting?
There's always the unity defense, the idea that the dubs have to be united in what they do. This is a hard sell. It's one thing to claim that a dub has to do something difficult because it is in his best interest. It's a very different situation to admit that doing that may not be in his best interest, but should be done anyway to preserve unity. How many people are going to be willing to endanger their physical, mental, emotional, financial or spiritual well being for the abstract concept of unity? Once it is admitted that "spiritual provisions" can be subjected to a cost verses benefit analysis, it can be argued that everyone, especially family heads, have a responsibility to "count the cost" when deciding what spiritual
activities are worth their efforts. So far, it sounds like most of the dubs are responding in a typically cult like way to this announcement. I wonder how many will start to think about the consequences of this after some time has passed. I think human nature will help many to see this as an opportunity to slack off in other areas. What do you think?