Keep reading...I think your opinion will change about Ray and the way the WT operates. So much of what we learned as JW's is not how things actually operate at Bethel...
Finally got CoC!!.....Not really what I had expected.
sd-7: I hate you. You know way too much and always say the right thing to get me thinking. As soon as you mentioned Sahdow Hunter, I had a wow moment. Darn apostates..... Both you and leaving WT are right about the Society fearing the FACTS in the book, seeing that most of it is direct quotes from WT publications. Right when they got rid of all info before 1970/80 in in the WT-CDROM I knew someting was up. A little too late, as myself and hundreds of other witnesses had already found all the contradictions and failed prophesies. Thanks for the rest of you as well for your comments and input, it all helps.
I did notice the following chapter was much harder to follow, it wasn't just a story anymore. I had to slow down more than once and go back and reread and reasses some ideas. Keeps getting better and better.
Keeps getting better and better.
Yes, it does. Please keep reading. (Once you're finished with it, be sure to read Don Cameron's brief book, Captives of a Concept, if you haven't already done so.)
I had already come to the conclusion that while the Governign Body might have the best intentions, their personal feelings and upbringing definetely get in the way.
Reading about Ray's experience with other GB members and their reactions to some of the issues at the time has definetely convinced me that the GB is not to be blindly obeyed, and that I'm entitled to my own opinion and set of beliefs.
At the same time, the fact that anyone with a differing oppinion is right away tossed out, means I have to be careful how I exercise this.
These three consecutive sentences seem totally discordant to me.
Does this not show more than just personal feelings and upbringing to you? Does it not show an utter desire to control, modify behaviour, and restrain anyone from thinking outside a box contrived by them in order to stay at peace with them? Do you believe that by submitting to their tactics you are truly free to have 'differing opinion'? I think not.
Jeff. As someone who still (somewhat) believes JW to have the "truth", I'm at a little bit of a crossroads in my life. For many years I was a very strong, spiritually-minded, pillar of the congregations kinda witness. During my many years of faithful service I seriously messed up more than a couple times, but was convinced that those failures didn't mean I wasn't being sincere or honesthearted or trying my best. And I've always tried to see other witnesses and people in general in the same way. Always try to find the good in people no matter what. Even the GB. Like I said before, I've always had a pretty good idea of how things operate and how oppresive & authoritative things have gotten sometimes, especially in the last few years. However this woudn't be the first time that those in charge of Jehovah's people start lording it over God's servants. That's what I mean by "being careful of how to excercise my own opinions and set of beliefs." While I'd like to remain part of God's people on earth, I still want to be accountable to God PERSONALLY, not through the GB or any other person or entity on Earth.
So, while I'm not trying to make excuses for the GB, I'm trying to be as balanced as I can.
Please keep reading, Mr. Franz was not looking for any accolades. He just wanted the story to be told.
That's an honorable sentiment, my Jedi friend. I'm sure there are some who have finished CoC and still stayed in the organization for the good that they see in it. But you have to put two and two together at a certain point. I was probably not that different from you--people always hoped I'd become a circuit overseer or something. Granted, I had personal issues that started me on the road to questioning things. But the biggest thing for me was, our authority is the Bible, right? So we should be able to verify every belief through scripture. I already knew from just reading the Bible that early Christians were probably not much like the JWs. The Proclaimers book showed me things I thought were unusual, but I ignored all that.
I think on some level, the GB DOES have good intentions. But they do say that the path to hell is paved with good intentions, don't they? I mean, Vader had good intentions, and I'm sure he didn't plan on killing children at first, but guess what? He did it. The GB wants people to serve God--that's great. But the system set up to do that results in a "The buck stops here" approach to it. For Christians, the buck stops with Jesus, not any man or group of men. I would recommend a careful reading of the September 15th, 2010 WT. Pay attention to what the "faithful slave" says about itself. Compare it to what Jesus said. John 14:6, is it? "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." In effect, the organization said, great, Jesus, that's great. But not one comes to YOU, Jesus, except through US.
Riddle me this, JediMaster: is Jesus Christ the Mediator for all mankind? If you had to answer that off the top of your head with a yes or no, what would your answer be? Then consider Hebrews 7-9 all at once, just that. And consider 1 Timothy 2:5, 6. Compare it to what the WT says for yourself. I consider that, coupled with what the 'slave' says about itself, to have very serious implications. You're smart enough--and I'm not aiming at intellectual intimidation here, just making a compliment--to put the pieces together. What are they saying about themselves? Do you see consistent, genuine humility, or not?
You might conclude that the Society is right, and that's your right. It can be a very destabilizing thing to consider the alternative. I'm living it myself. But it's also your right to ask these legitimate questions and find the answers on your own. If anyone finds out you're reading this book, Crisis of Conscience, you will be tried as a criminal for heresy. Is it God's will for you to be denied the right to test and see whether or not you have the truth?
I'll leave that up to you. Have I used "tricky reasonings" with you thus far? If so, by all means point them out to me. You can ignore me, ignore whatever data you find in your research. It's all up to you. You'll make the choice according to your conscience, and I hope you'll find happiness with whatever choice you make. Either way, I'm in your corner. But I prefer the term 'heretic' to 'apostate'.