Do Jehovah's Witnesses even know their own teachings...

by Tuesday 27 Replies latest jw friends

  • Tuesday

    I've had a rash of people commenting on my videos lately that seem to not even understand their own teachings. It leads me to question if Jehovah's Witnesses can even explain their own beliefs. For example if I ask a question about the 1914 doctrine specifically about the biblical backing behind 607 BCE being the year for the destruction of Jerusalem, 9 times out of 10 I'm going to get some sort of answer that involves the "prophecy" in Matthew 24 and how it somehow has been fufilled since 1914.

    Apart from the fact I honestly don't think I can find a Jehovah's Witness who will actually understand the question at hand enough to answer the points therein, I'm to the point where I don't know if Jehovah's Witnesses even understand their own teachings. Is there something wrong with the recent memorization process or something? I knew at age 5 the steps that were involved in the 1914 doctrine, it seems to me most of that is gone.

    Is it me, or really do Jehovah's Witnesses no longer know how to explain their own beliefs?

    On a side note while I'm mentioning this, isn't there a section in the Reasoning Book on how to come up with a convincing argument? It's getting to the point where I think every JW who comments on my videos are retarded because I will describe a belief then ask a question about it, then in rebuttal a JW will comment on my video by explaining the belief THAT I ALREADY EXPLAINED IN MY VIDEO!!! Would it hurt the congregation to go over the Reasoning Book again, just so I can keep my freakin' sanity not having to explain how their answer is not really an answer. Using a non-JW teaching example to give you a good idea of what the conversations are like lately...

    My Question: "Oranges are a fruit that grows from trees primarily in Florida, what makes the peel of the fruit orange in color?"
    Answer "The Fruit that grows on trees primarily in Florida is called an orange."

    I wish I was the type that deleted comments from my videos for sheer stupidity.

  • leavingwt

    I think you know the answer.

    Remember, when you're in a Mind Control Cult, it's not about facts/dates/reality/doctrines/theology, it's about LOYALTY TO LEADERSHIP. It's about STATUS.

    Nothing else matters.

  • leavingwt

    More. . .

    When you come to the JW, offering facts/truth, they weigh them against what "Mother" has told them. When the facts do not match, fear persuades them to reject your honest argument. For, to reject Mother would mean that Jesus Christ will soon slit their throats.

    When you're speaking with a person literally in fear of his or her life, the normal rules of "debate" do not apply.

    You need an emotional issue to wake them up.


  • OnTheWayOut

    There's a few old-timers that do pretty good with the doctrine and understanding it, but mostly they are kept busy and/or distracted because WTS knows that today's people who learn the doctrine wind up leaving the doctrine behind.

    You can find bunches who understand it on forums such as JWN.

  • TD

    I think many JW's really aren't that familiar with their own beliefs anymore.

    I think part of it though, is just an internet thing. It's too easy on the internet to fire off a reply before you've really thought things through properly. I've seen the exact same phenomenon here among X-JW's.

    For example, I've explained in detail why playing around with the definition of a generation ultimately does not free the JW's from all time constraints. One example is here:

    I got replies on par with, "The Fruit that grows on trees primarily in Florida is called an orange."

  • startingovernow

    As far as the 1914/607 teaching goes, at one time I would have whipped out the Live Forever or Reasoning book and read it out loud. Never got the chance though, unfortunately. Would have liked to have gotten someone educated ask me about it or question where I got the 607 date from.

    I do remember that being my most feared question in service, and do remember being distinctly told that if someone was to ask about it they were most likely looking to start an argument and wouldn't be sincere anyway. Looking back I recognize that it would only be someone who was "apsostate" or had looked into the history of JWs that would ask such a question, and therefore in JWs' minds would not be sincere, but only looking to cause trouble.

    Now that the generation teaching has changed, there isn't much reason for JWs to defend/explain the 1914 teaching as much as in the past.

  • straightshooter

    I have noticed that times have changed. When I first went door-to-door, doctrine was always a major discussion. In recent times, most householders have no concept of hellfire, trinity, the Bible, etc.

    I noticed that recent WTS publications do not discuss doctrines as much, instead they emphasize the qualities of Jehovah and Jesus and the preaching work. Hence only the old-timers will be familiar with doctrine and the newer jw will not fully know about the doctrines of the WTS.

  • PSacramento

    I have noticed that many converts to JW are so "impressed" with the "knowledge" shown them by the JW's that they don't see a reason NOT to take what is told to them at face value, they don't research it, I mean, why shoudl they? they never researched their original religion even when they had questions, why research this one that has "all the answers" ?

    Most JW's don't go int a depth study of the WT organization or their history, sure the former RC's know all about the sexual abuses of the RCC, but do they know about the abuses in the WT?

    Nope, why? no media focus, how else would they know?

    Samething about the rest of the doctrines like 1914, 607BC, not to mention that interpretive doctrines.

    They just don't bother to research it because, truthly, I think the majority feel it is beyond their understanding.

  • darkl1ght3r

    No. The majority don't. And they don't care. For them, faith in the doctrine is more important and desirable than understanding the doctrine itself.

    When I was in, I was fairly studious. I didn't particularly enjoy keeping up with the regular scheduled study (School/Service Meeting; Bookstudy; Watchtower) although I did anyway. But what I really enjoyed was the personal study. I was always wondering about certain issues or points and wanting to get the "Slaves" clarification on the matter. (It was these habits that led to my exit hehe) So I could explain all the deeper issues fairly well, and i was up on all the "New Light". I wasn't doing anything remarkable, I was doing what was requested of us by the Society.

    But what was amazing was how I was constantly surprised at how several Elders didn't know how to explain even simple things, and how superficial their knoweledge was. Many of them regularly spouted "Old Light" from the platform. I remember one Elder making a huge deal out of how he 'just found out' who/what the "Prince of Persia" is!!! I was thinking... "I knew that when I was 15. WTF?" Another Elder seemed, from hearing him talk, like he had just finished the 'Knoweledge' book and became an unbaptized publisher. And that was about the depth of his knoweledge.

    On my exit, I was also suprised at how I would explain my problems on certain doctrines to brothers and they'd say, "Well I havn't researched that in a while." I could tell they didn't even know the BASIS for the doctrine let alone understand it enough to comprehend the problem I had with it!!!! Ahhh! It was frustrating... They were putting faith in these beliefs simply because the MEN on the GB said so. I even had certain individual tell me "I don't care... I don't need to know the details to believe it."

    And that just highlights my original point... For them, faith in the doctrine is more important and desirable than understanding the doctrine itself.

    I can't do that. That's not how I roll.

  • Leprechaun

    Haven’t you heard the saying: “When everyone is thinking alike no one is thinking at all!” Well, it aptly applies to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, just go to one of their Witch Tower meetings, I don’t consider that a discussion, they all use the same platitudes and catch phrases no matter what kingdom hall you may be at, and further more the guy conducting the so called study is trained to make sure they all stay to what is in the paragraph, incidentally remember you have to use their study materials not even different bibles. What a Farce.

    "I think a full, free talk is frequently of great use; we want nothing secret nor
    underhanded, and I for one want no association with things that cannot
    be talked about and will not bear investigation."
    ---Mormon President John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, vol. 20, p. 264.

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