I just heard from my family that my little nephew, going to turn 8 soon, just joined the ministry school. I felt a little sick when I heard. So starts the panting on the treadmill and the "faith by works" routine that leads to IMHO, superficial christianity.
Anyway, I guess they have to "interview" people now when they join the ministry school. Here's how it went:
Elder: "Why do you want to joint the TMS?"
Nephew: Because I want to live in Paradise.
Elder: Ok, so do we celebrate birthdays or Christmas?
Nephew: No, I don't celebrate birthdays. Besides, I don't really like chocolate.
Elder: What about vanilla?
[cue cheesey laughter]
So it went. On the one hand, I think, well, it will be good training in public speaking. On the other hand I just cringe. His dad is sort of out to lunch and leaves everything to the step mother who is a self-righteous crazy extreamist who (my nephew has said) tells him that his mother isn't really a JW because she doesn't go to meeting; and neither is his dad because he struggles with meetings too.
Then he looks at me with big crocodile tears and says "I don't want my dad to diiiiee." All I can say to him is that it is not her place to say who is a witness and who is not, and that God reads our hearts.
I guess at this point I am just sensitive because I know that my whole life I silently questioned what I was taught and then got baptised under peer pressure from my family. Now, I am old enough to start dismantling things, and really taking a look. I just hate to see him go down the same road I did. And I hope, that I can, in some small way, encourage him to really think his decisions through and encourage him to wait until he is older to make a dedication ~ if that is what he chooses to do.
I guess this is part of the pain of the conscious class of JW. We are "in" and "out" at the same time. He is the reason I stick around. I wish I didn't love the kid so damn much, it would make walking away so much easier. But it is too late, and I can't help myself. He is just one of the best little people I know, and I can't imagine walking away knowing what I am leaving him to sort out alone.
Any words of Wisdom from the Peanut Gallery are very much appreciated.