I Attended a Christian Convention last weekend

by Prisca 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • Prisca

    Hello all,

    When I was a JW (born and raised), I was lead to believe that the clergy class of Christendom was some elite class who ruled over the meek and mild sheep of the congregation; that they wore fancy robes to do their services in, and generally were every bad thing the WTS told me they would be.

    They lied.

    I attended a Christian convention just this last weekend. It was a non-denominational one, meaning you didn't have to be of a certain faith to attend, neither were some of the speakers who participated. However, the organisers were from the Anglican (Church of England) religion so the communion on Sunday was conducted according to Anglican tradition, but I'll get to that later.

    One of the things that hit me first was that you were allowed to wear what you liked. Being an Australian summer, very few were ties or business wear. Most were in smart casual, whatever each person felt appropriate. Some men wore beards, some women wore trousers, some (like me) were in jeans, some men wore earrings. But no one was looked down upon for what they wore.

    Secondly, the "waters of Babylon" are not drying up! There was a full house on the Sunday. People of all ages - yes, many many young people were there!

    The convention was/is still on for a whole week. It started last Saturday, and will conclude this coming Friday. So if people weren't interested in attending, do you think they would bother to hold a week-long convention?

    And that was another matter - no one was obligated to attend. As I said, it was a non-denominational event, so anyone was welcome. Those who could and wanted to attend did.

    The days started with singing. You have never heard at a JW convention singing like this before! They had a small band playing (electric guitar, flute, bass, drums) as well as 4 singers to lead us. Some of the songs were old hymms, some were modern up-beat numbers. But 1000 people joyfully singing is hard to beat.

    There were creches for the littlies, plus play groups for older children, and groups for teenagers too. Thus, the adults were able to listen to the talks in peace, whilst the children were given activities that helped them to learn at their own level.

    Bible talks were given straight from the Bible. No references were given to any publication as the cut and dried interpretation of a Bible passage. The speaker may have given a bit of history, or referred to an incident he thought was related, but the talks were based on the Bible, nothing else. Plus the scriptures were read in their context, often whole chapters at a time. Not a bad idea, eh?

    What else? Oh yes, the clergy. THE CLERGY DID NOT WEAR FANCY GARBS, NOT EVEN TO DO COMMUNION. Milling in the crowd, you would not know who was the bishop, and who was a deacon. I couldn't even work out who was who, and I'd met some of them before! They (the deacons, bishops) are normal, down-to-earth men, who clearly have a great love for God, and who want to help others to serve Him.

    Finally, I felt spiritually refreshed and encouraged by the convention. I'm not just saying that, like we did when we attended the JW conventions. I enjoyed the 2 days I experienced, and would have loved to been able to attend the rest of this week's sessions.

    Sorry for the length of this post, but I just wanted to share my experience at one of "Christendom's" gatherings, and the difference between what the WTS told us, and the reality of church gatherings today.

  • LDH

    GREAT post Prisca.

    When I met a Catholic priest 5 years ago, imagine my surprise to find out he was the most down to earth guy EVER. I expected him to be dripping blood from his JW-hating fangs, I guess. LOL.

    I'm glad you enjoyed yourself.


  • refiners fire
    refiners fire

    Good for you Prisca.
    Were you genuinely surprised That it was like that? Or are you justed messing with my head?Did you really expect it to be like a dub meeting? Lol.
    If you really were shocked I can only say
    Its an eyeopener the first time.

  • unclebruce
    Finally, I felt spiritually refreshed and encouraged by the convention. I'm not just saying that, like we did when we attended the JW conventions. I enjoyed the 2 days I experienced, and would have loved to been able to attend the rest of this week's sessions.

    Good one Prisca,

    Wonderfull isn't it, not my cup of tea but wonderfull all the same. I think all JW's leaving should go to a few different church services to see how things really are in Christendom the Great. Most religions, Catholic, Jewish, Greek Orthodox, Pagan, revolve around the rituals of the old canibal feast. Fresh Jesus anyone?

    I've enjoyed a few Church services but find myself guffawing and wanting to argue with the speakers (a habit I picked up arguing with the tele ;) I'm glad you had a good time Prisca. Cleared a few pre-conception cob webs eh? lol.

    cheers unclebruce.

  • RedhorseWoman

    Surprising, isn't it? I've never joined a church, but I've been to several events (weddings, funerals, etc.) at churches since leaving the JWs.

    Any vestments worn were simple, and the services were, as you mentioned, from the Bible...not a publication. However, just like UB, I found myself wanting to argue points with them. Not a good thing. LOL

    I'm glad you were able to find something such as this that seemed to meet your needs.

  • Skeptic


    Since I was very religious before becoming a Witness. For some reason, I was a minor celebrity, because of having Witness relatives but never having been "got" by them. So I met many clergymen, from many churches.

    A few were self-righteous but by far the majority were sincere and very, very nice.

    As a JW...The Witness attitude towards individual clergymen always puzzled me. If an "ordinary" householder was at the door, the JWs were polite. If a priest or minister came to the door, the JWs became very rude and argumentative. I never understood this, but then I am comfortable around clergymen.

    One priest in our town was known for playing "mind games" with Witnesses....they would never call on him. I did, but I never got him at home. The brothers were told not to call on this man, but I told them his is a person and should be treated as any other householder.


  • Sam Beli
    Sam Beli

    Thank you Prisca for sharing your experience. I can confirm that “worldly people” in general and religious persons in particular are no way near as bad as the WTS portrays them to be.

    I have not attended as extensive a religious function as you have, but awhile back I did go to a prayer breakfast lead by a well known clergyman in the USA. A few prominent politicians were sponsors of the event. It was one of the few times in my life that I had been in such an environment. With my long history as a JW, it felt strange to be there, but it also felt good. The messages were positive and seemed heartfelt. Everyone around me thoroughly enjoyed themselves and seemed to have their spiritual outlook improved by the experience.

    I’ll do it again, sometime; you will too probably, right?

    Sam Beli

    I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind. What is crooked cannot be straightened and what is lacking cannot be counted. Solomon

  • Kristen

    Hi Prisca,
    Enjoyed your experience. I run across a few people who attend a church that seems to be just as you described. And I can tell that they genuinely enjoy going!

    Interesting observations on the music part. I've heard some inspirational music on the radio before and find it very moving. Unlike the overplayed and monotonous kingdom melodies JWs have been singing forever without much heart or soul. Sigh.

    Glad you enjoyed yourself.


    free to be me

  • Scorpion

    Hello Prisca,

    It is good to hear you enjoyed yourself. I have attended many gatherings and churches since leaving the WT. It is a real learning and unlearning experience. I have even attended the Mormon church when they have had a special function. I have made many friends from different denominations including Mormons. Sometimes the Missionaries do not know how to take me.

  • DB

    Hi Prisca, I'm glad to hear that you had such a good time. Some things I made mental note of: The dress and grooming, the enthusiastic singing, and the reading from the Bible, in context. Sounds like a good thing indeed!

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