Funeral Recruiting - It ain't just for Jw's anymore!

by AK - Jeff 6 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff


    My sister's MIL passed. The funeral was today. I thought it would never be over. Started at 11. First words out of the Baptist minister's mouth? "The funeral directors told me to take all the time I wanted. That's a bad thing to say to a preacher."

    Two plus hours later we adjourn to the parking lot, after at least a hundred 'subtle' reminders that to see her again would mean that we had 'accepted Jesus as Personal Savior' or substance thereof. Then another half hour at the cemetery. The preacher at the cemetery ended with 'Just remember that you can be there with Carol too, if you believe/accept/trust/ Jesus/God/Holy Spirit. '

    By halfway thru this I was begging to be Transfigured to a new location, or just killed by a bombing leftist to end my misery.

    The celebration of her life was actually cool. Something I never experienced with Jw funerals. But Jw's never topped this recruiting effort. Of course they were recruiting more generally, whereas Jw's are more specific recruiters. Still, it reminded me of why religion is so demented in my mind.

    I wanted to stand up and shout "Please prove to me the text you are quoting as truth, really is truthful and factual in these matters." But, good little Agnostic that I am, I just bit my lip.



  • jamiebowers

    When my father in law died the sermon was given by my mother in law's brother, who had a special disdain for his alcoholic, gambling and womanizing ways. He started with saying something like, "You may not smoke or drink or chew, but you run with those who do,", so apparently everyone in the room was going to hell unless they decided to go to this guy's church. Although he had a difficult relationship with his father, my dear husband loved him nontheless and was grief stricken at his passing. About half way through the sermon, the message dawned on him, and he spoke up saying, "What is this horsesh*t?" It was, hands down, the worst funeral I've ever attended. The sermon was shockingly cruel.

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    Well, that one was worse jamiebowers no doubt. The one I attended was mild, peaceful at least

    This one felt more like a church sermon. I would not have minded if he just went around the house once or twice, but it just went on and on and on and on. Same song, verse after verse. Not a bad sermon for a two hour church service, but way over the top for a funeral IMO.


  • dissed

    My mother in law passed away this year. She asked me to take the lead and say something at her service.

    I had very heart rendering discussions with her bedside. I listened carefully, then came back to talk about it some more.

    She had some specific requests.

    Don't offend anybody. We have various feelings in the family, from Lutherans(her) to JW's. She wanted me to show consideration to others.

    When it came to a prayer, I asked her if it was okay to have the JW say it? She was very firm, no. "He would use the occassion to preach" She was right.

    After she passed away, I interviewed everyone in the family for requests. All had some nice ideas, except for the JW's. She was to have a JW service period!

    I informed them of her wishes and they replied, she was gone, she wouldn't know, and the family needed it. One third of the family are ex-JW's.

    They wanted to use the occassion to recruit. To recruit them back.

    I shared their ideas with the other siblings. It was firmly rejected by all. The JW's said then they would not come. I told them as respectfully as I could, we wanted them there, but they were not coming to mom's service.

    They reconsidered and came, but complained loudly as I was speaking on how stupid this was, the wife walked out. Yup, they was recruiting alright.

    What a fine witness for their god. Did you ever hear me say how self righteous the good JW's are?

  • OnTheWayOut

    Jeff, I know it seems impolite in such a delicate situation, but I might have gotten up about 15 to 20 minutes into this preaching and gone outside the main room and hoped to talk with others. I had to do just that at a conference called BRCI where former JW's gather and give talks. I was there for Barbara Anderson's talk. After her, this guy went on and on about Christ and other stuff in his belief system. Shortly after I walked out, others were doing it too.

    I gave the eulogy for both of my mother's parents. They were not religious. I read up on what should be done. I learned that a eulogy should stick with the positive and only include negatives that really make the essence of the person. I also learned that it should not be extremely lengthy. 15 to 30 minutes even for a long life is generally enough. Beyond that, others can share their thoughts as they are invited up. But they should never re-eulogize them.

    Preachers will do what preachers will do. They should have a time limit, a schedule- so everyone knows how long to walk out if they aren't interested in hearing it.

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    There is an interesting irony here.

    Back when I was a Jw, beginning to have doubts, but couldn't put my finger on what was wrong precisely, I met this Baptist pastor. He mowed the lawn at the library right across the street from my house. I would see him stopping and speaking with people as they came in and out of the library. I met him the same way on a couple occasions. He was just legitimately interested in people. I watched him from my porch on many days as I rested after work.

    At about the same time I was deeply contemplating the duplicity and unkindness of several Jw elders in my life at the time. Some of them did similar 'service' jobs, but I could not imagine that any of them would take so much time to show kindness if they had changed places with this guy. I wondered how a minister, which we considered to be the spawn of Satan in effect, was kinder and gentler than the ones we called 'servants of Jehovah'? I sensed that this guy was not just putting on a show. He seemed genuinely interested in people. Most elders I ever knew only had enough time to live the compartmentalized Jw life of 'service', never any real time taken out of schedule to 'love one another freely' as suggested by the Bible. I am sure that on some days this guy could have gotten his work done and home an hour earlier had he not taken so much time to visit and assist others up the steps or open the doors.

    Though I was disgusted by the quantity of time he took during the funeral, and offput by his forward intent to convert lost souls, I still found the guy to be likable otherwise. Afterward I spoke with my sister. Though, she like me is not Christian in belief anymore, she said "Well, Carol would have loved it ". Carol was very religious, and I suspect she is correct in her assessment.

    So, I forgive the guy I guess. Still, the only thing missing in that funeral was an alter call.


  • Chalam

    Cool post Jeff :)

    Follow you heart...

    All the best,


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