Finally got CoC!!.....Not really what I had expected.
The book certainly demystifies the organization's operations, something that remains rather secretive from the religion's general "rank and file" membership.
The fact that the GB truly believes and works within the framework of their own fundamentalist/exclusionist ideology is not surprising. The question is whether or not such beliefs are actually worth believing.
After reading his first book I was finally able to deconstruct the myths I had of the organization and how it functions. The idealized hopes and dreams about perfect leadership and direction, as presented in Watchtower publications, was no longer possible. Ray's second book, In Search of Christian Freedom, launched me into the second part of the journey. Specifically, it helped me start to think for myself on the particular value of the Watchtower's arguments and beliefs.
"You have only begun to discover your power." The first part of Crisis of Conscience is an introduction to the author himself and his life. There's not much particularly shocking there. I'm not convinced that Franz merely wanted people to go with his ideas; as you will see when you read onward, he was eager to not just put out an idea and have it accepted, but to have brothers do serious research on the issues. He himself demonstrates that he did an enormous amount of research himself.
Believe me, "this is just the beginning!" You have already learned that you should have your own opinion. But realizing that such thinking can get you DF'd, doesn't that tell you anything already? Well, it will, soon enough.
I think Ray Franz probably felt the organization was right about quite a few things in terms of their teachings; the big problems came more so from the notions of absolute authority and how that authority was used. (You still have more to learn about the Rutherford era, by the way. The 1925 issue was particularly eye-opening.) Not to mention the chronological speculations and then the subsequent rewriting of the history and--well, you'll see. "In time, the suffering of your people will persuade you to see our point of view."
It is great that you are reading it. However, after looking through your post, I am still not sure what you were "expecting" as the title of your post suggests. Perhaps you could elaborate a bit about your expectations?
I just finished it yesterday ... WOW! Enjoy the ride.
So could it be that the brother writing this section in the "proclaimers" book did the same thing?? Could have been a personal idea, or maybe information he wrongly got from someone else and just took it as accurate.
Not a chance.
Mr. Franz went to great lengths to show that the President was a virtual monarch who didn't answer to the Board of Directors.
The first part of CofC describes the divestment of the Presidency of that power and the distrubution of this power to a governing body. In other words, it describes the birth of the JW governing body. That group has only existed as such since the 70's
The author of Proclaimers (Max Larson) witnessed those events first hand.
I think AFTER you read the entire book, you might get a different perspective.
I disagree with you completely ...I loved the book and he was a humble dignified writer....stay with it ...
They could see many facts but decided to reject the facts; that was his disappointment, not the lack of 'pats.
Thank you Gayle, that's exactly what I meant by the "pats", the frustration and disappointment he felt at the apathy of other memebers not too see the things the way there really were.
Undercover: I agree with the fact that he doesn't seem to act rebellious or trying to start his own movement. Specially aprreciated his candor and how well he expresses his confusion and feelings. And like another poster said, no bitterness. Drew Sagan,mentioned how it helped him decosntruct some of the myths, I guess just because of my own experiences and connections I already have a pretty good idea of how the organization works. So I guess I just have to keep reading and see what else I can find.
But realizing that such thinking can get you DF'd, doesn't that tell you anything already?.....the big problems came more so from the notions of absolute authority and how that authority was used.
sd-7: This is probably the first thing that set off a whole bunch of red flags and alarms for me. However, it wouldn't really be the first time this happens with God's people. And this in now way would discredit the JW as being "the truth". It happens all the time when people get to power, in this case they forget that they're supposed to guide people to God, not make all the rules that should be obeyed without question. And I guess that's something both God's servants in the past and in the present have learned to deal with and sometimes work around. Like when he says after his ressignation, brother Swingle (I think, don't have the book with me), came back and said to go back to the restrictions imposed on "approved sexual practices", they didn't have such a big turn up of people coming forward to confess.
"In time, the suffering of your people will persuade you to see our point of view."
We can learn not only from our mistakes, but also from the mistakes of others. In this case, the GB can make mistakes, and we'd rather be responsible before God for making the decision ourselves and not for letting someone else do it for us.