I think you probably still recognise their authority on some level and unconsciously bow to this when they are there with you. I got to the stage where I knew they were nothing more than a couple of men...just guys ....no one special....not better than me. Also, along with that view, I drank a glass of wine or two when I was getting a special visit and I took control of the conversation......they sat and listened politely...and I got to say all I wanted to say.
Why do I suddenly get stupid when the elders talk to me
If you ever watched "Office Space", some of them remind me of "The Bobs". The guy trying to stay in, and nervous gets DF'd, and the one who is like, Peter - "Well....I usually show up 15 minutes late for the meetings, then I just kinda look at my WT for about 30 minutes, it looks like I'm paying attention, but I really ain't." Bob's - "Uh Peter, it looks like you've been missing some field service lately" Peter-"Well I really wouldn't say I've been 'missing' it. Bob's-'hearty laugh' Well Peter, we'd like to appoint you to an Elder, and you'll have as many a 4 MS's, directly under you, to do the bathroom cleaning and microphones!
thank you for this thread...I need the reminder that the elders are just men and their authority means nothing to me now, and I am entitled to a private life and do not have to talk about anything I do not want to!
I keep getting the phone calls from the KH on sundays & my mom just gave me the message that "Brother Elders wants you to call him". I just said thanks & dropped the subject-
It is obvious by now that I am not calling him back, so the control is lost...what next???
It's the intimidation mixed probably with ( my guess only) ,a little bit of shyness.
My suggestion is take a few days or more ( whatever time you need) and respond to what you remember them saying in a letter. The next time they visit, tell them you are VERY busy but took the time to write them though, with your thoughts on what they said.
As far as control is concerned, I never really had a problem looking at the elders as mere mortals. I had the best training in world for that; THE biggest hypocritical prick of a father who was an elder for most of my young life. Looking at his example of how he verbally abused my mom and then would go to the meetings and act the Saint was enough for me to realize elders were nothing special.
Elders are men who eat, sleep, and crap like the rest of us. Simple as that. No worship or fear of them is warranted.
The last time they came to my house while they were in the field ministry I think it was deliberately, I was just setting there on my porch listening to them asking me straight forward personal questions about why I am no longer attending their meetings; at that moment I reached in my pocket and lit up a Back Woods cigar and blew that sweet spicy smoke in their general direction, then I took a horn on my Sunny Brook whiskey bottle. I don’t think I said three words, but they never came back and that has been fifteen years, those mallet heads.
JWIP... you could start to think of encounters with them like you would a presentation you have to do for school or work. Prepare and practice. You also need to work on not feeling intimidated by them. One method is to think of them standing in their underwear. Or with funny hats on their heads.
Whenever my Father tries to get me to join, I am honest with him. I use subjects that make him uneasy. I say things like "I could never, in all good conscience, join an organization with pedophiles as members." Or "The Bible says that Jesus Christ is The Truth, not the Watchtower." Or "You realize that for over 130 years the Watchtower has been 100% wrong about the fulfillment of their Armageddon Prophecy. This makes them false prophets and the Bible is very clear about people like this."
What do they have to say that is so all powered intimidating unless you're guilty of immorality? MEEETINGS, MEETINGS, MEETINGS, FIELD SERVICE FIELD SERVICE, FIELD SERVICE. And what's compulsory about any of that? Nothing, but if you disagree you've shown APOSTATE LEANINGS.
So they're hitting you with something unscriptural to begin with, with the threat of excommunication if you slightly disagree by word or action.
Psychologically that's a pretty unsettling situation because it's bullying. You're playing their game and it's their rules.
They have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You have nothing to gain and everything to lose. So you either fold or go all in with a pair of 2's.
In my case, I know exactly what I want to say but I can't get it out because I know it will cause offence. I think the trick is to quit worrying about what they think of you.
Well at least you didn't bust out laughing, I had an elder call on me and his whole line of reasoning was so hookey I had to keep pinching myself so I didn't laugh.
Perhaps if you rehearse inadvance like it was a talk, you will not get caught thinking of what to say well their badgering you.