They do not tell the rank and file to put off everyday normal activities Mary because "higher education, better paying jobs, buying a house, getting married and saving for retirement are NOT normal everyday activities for millions upon millions of people around the world, including myself...rather they are goals that we can aspire to
Oops...sorry...I was cutting and pasting from the notes I was writing and didn't review my comment before I posted it. The comment should have read like so:
"They do not tell the rank and file to put off everyday normal activities just because they believe the end is near but also because they want all their followers to devote all their time and resources to the work. I don't think this distinction works Mary because these plans aren't normal activities and besides higher education, better paying jobs, buying a house, getting married and saving for retirement are NOT normal everyday activities for millions upon millions of people around the world, including myself...rather they are goals we can aspire to"
If you think that "higher education, better paying jobs, buying a house, getting married and saving for retirement" are normal everyday activities for all Mary then try telling that to the homeless, to the refugees in Darfur or people dying of aids or other diseases. For millions of people, it's a struggle to survive and these things are not even on the radar, that's why in the WT quotes you cited Mary the writers labled it a "so called" normal life because even they can't deny that for millions of people, what some of their members (and millions of "Westerners") think is a normal life isn't.
Remember that these plans are not things that will distract the WTS or it's followers from their goals. In fact they compliment their goals and aide them in doing what they view as their commission from God. They have a singular pursuit...the preaching and they will do what it takes to accomplish this goal and these plans aid them in that. That is no double standard because, if you look at it from their point of view, they are setting the example they want all their followers to follow...putting all their time and resources into the work and having your plans for life revolve around said work. Again, from their point of view, if the rank and file were to divert from that and start trying to live what the WT has called a "so called normal way of life" then they take away from the work they believe (rightly or wrongly) that they have been commissioned to do.
Jesus did say that you can't server two masters and he was right and that's the philosophy behind this...even though it may not track, even though it may not be true and regardless of the motivation for it (some here would say $$$, others power)...in the end the motivation, whatever that may be is not the point I am trying to make, nor am I saying the WTS doesn't have any double standards.
What I am saying is that these plans as announced by some unnamed "Bethel heavy" fall within the scope of what the WTS is urging it's followers to do and even if they believe the end is imminent that doesn't mean they should just stop everything and sit on their thumbs especially since these plans and the overall work they do is, in their minds, connected to the end that is imminent.
Remember this is a vague word and as I noted earlier, when any disaster is imminent, you don't bring your life to a screeching halt until you have to.
It looks like I may have cancer.
I don't have very much in this life and what plans I do have may seem small (certainly they are not the "so called normal everyday activities that Mary apparently engages in as cited above) but I do not intend to put those plans on hold or abandon them all together even though I firmly believe that my end is imminent.