Throw out "doctrine" - Did the lack of true Christian Love drive you out of the WT?

by lepermessiah 9 Replies latest jw friends

  • lepermessiah

    Another argument I have used lately with my family is that even if the WT was correct on every doctrinal point (which obviously they are not) the biggest thing that drove me away was the lack of true compassion and "Christian" love from the majority of the congregation, especially the elders.

    I have been bringing up doctrinal points in small doses, but the biggest scriptures I use against them is John 13:35 (my disciples if you have love among yourselves) and 1 Corinthians 13 (pauls description of love).

    I love the irony, since the WT uses John 13:35 to "show" they are a true brotherhood, and they are using 1 Cor 13 (love never fails) as their year text! The WT's version of love makes me want to vomit. LOVE = TOTAL OBEDIENCE (Sounds like I LOVE BIG BROTHER)

    I like how Ray Franz described it in his book - the WT produces people with generally good morals and an outward appearance of warmth, but underneath they typically lack compassion toward others. Obviously that is a general observation since I truly do know JW's who are wonderful people (and I hope I was one when I was in there) but I think it is especially evident among elders - the WT produces more men who are judge, jury, and executioner than kind, warm, compassionate shepherds.

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    Well stated.

    I 'struggled' with this problem for a decade or two before I finally left. It is an interesting dilemna that the governing body has carefully crafted to hold membership. On one hand - we have the 'truth' don't we? - on the other hand - where is the love Jesus commanded?

    I recall a CO addressing the issue in a talk once - a talk that set my exit back no doubt as I took it to heart. He asked: "If you have 'problems' with the brothers here, you say there is no love here, so you decide to change congregations, what do you think you will find over there? You will have 'problems' with the brothers there likely, you will find a lack of love over there too!"

    His implication of course was that the real 'problem' was with the individual who saw the 'problem'. The individual was lacking something, not responding to Jehovah's hs somehow, failing to have a forgiving spirit or something. The entire talk was on that theme. It made me believe that the problem was with me, not with the organization and it's membership. This ploy moves the responsibility to the fault-finder. It is just his wrong view that makes things look so bad. His bad attitude.

    Ray's words, as you quoted above, along with other words in his books, made me see that it was not me. It was the true lack of love. I was finally able to leave the organization at that point.


  • blondie

    It took me awhile to realize it wasn't a few rogue individuals but the organization that developed unloving people, even rewarding them for their behavior and making lying acceptable. While Jesus' prophecies might be open to interpretation, it was love that he said was the identifier not doctrine. I have been so much healthier emotionally since I left 10 years ago. My last stage of abuse to conquer after alcoholic parental abuse, sexual abuse, and lastly spiritual abuse.

  • Olin Moyles Ghost
    Olin Moyles Ghost

    Not for me. As is the case with most Witnesses, I had mixed results with "the friends," including objective mistreatment by JW authority figures. While these experiences were painful, I chalked them up to "human imperfection" and even "tests from Satan," as I had been conditioned to do.

    As long as I believed that the Watchtower Society was God's One True Organization, I was willing to put up with a lot. I wasn't going to let some "imperfect men" rob me of everlasting life!

    Of course, once I started digging into the doctrines (for example, the faithful and discreet slave, the last days, the Bible itself, etc...), the house of cards fell apart.

  • designs

    Religion produces judgementalism- who lives who dies according to their holy books and interpretations. Our former religion was just another in a long line. Our belief in Armageddon took some work to undo, what a destructive perception of fellow humans, no pun intended.

    Attending a recent Mayor's Prayer Breakfast in town was a real eye opener to the polarizing effect of Fundamentalism on a community.

  • not a captive
    not a captive

    Love is a free act.

    It is the defining mark of Jesus' followers.

    The fact is that many of us were drawn to self-sacrificing love that Jehovah's Witnesses emphasized and exemplified. Then something happened to us on a personal level that seemed to be generated by policy from the top. In so many cases the lack of love or the distortion of it has made us emotionally, physically and ultimately spiritually sick. How? Why?

    Because no religion can dictate love.

    We all know people whose lover becomes a neurotic monster who doesn't trust them. Likewise the Organization mutated into a possessive and contolling nit-picker who monitors your milage and phone calls, who you talk to and whether you ironed your shirts properly and dress modestly enough or met him at the door with the right smile. Your endearments once given so freely from the heart are subverted by super control.

    Some might say, "But if love is a commandment of Jesus, shouldn't it be imposed by the Organization guidelines?

    Our translation of John 13:34 says"I give you a new love one another just as I have loved you" might seem to challenge the idea of love being a free choice. But the Greek word does not hold a militant stand so much as a monumental one. Jesus' words are the reminder of the enduring reality of God's love, Jesus' love. It is a love that rests and reposes on freedom to choose.

    Jesus own love was carried so freely that religious leaders hated him for it. He took it to people they didn't think deserved it. He used it on the "off" days for religious observances. He wasted it on the ignorant and the weak.

    The Organization can't help but destroy love when it regulates love. All they need is 1 Cor. 13 for a discription of the absolute no-nos of love --but beyond that lies destruction.

    All tightly run religions will destroy your freedom.

    It is often said that God gave humans the very risky possession of free will because without it we could not love --because love is a choice. That is what makes love so wonderful.

    And that is what has broken love in so many of Jehovah's Witnesses.

  • yourmomma

    i put up with years and years and years of brutality, and would have stayed in there forever if it was true. but once i found out that the watchtower was lying and the docterine was false, thats when i left.

  • LongHairGal

    I always felt that the attitude in the religion ranged from one extreme to the other. The little love that was shown was really towards extended families. The most extreme attitude I saw was actual ruthlessness and lack of compassion. This 'tough love' was really an attitude of survival of the fittest. The 'fittest' being the ones who can claw their way up the stupid 'theocratic' ladder and keep from falling or being pushed off by some other persons more ruthless than themselves. Their 'ruthlessness' and Spartan attitude exhibited itself in certain ways in the congregation such as not even waiting a few minutes for people for the Saturday afternoon field service group.

    As a single woman who works and supports myself, I had the most to lose if I were stupid or gullible. Somebody like me was the target of users looking for somebody to do favors plus jealous sisters who had issues and uptight brothers who had issues. So, I definitely experienced lack of love. But, I learned to deal with it. I simply avoided those who were not friendly towards me. No loss, really.

    While the absense of love didn't exactly throw me out, it definitely kept me on the fringes of the religion until I found out their history in 2000 and began my 'fade'.

  • NiceDream

    Mostly, for the past 10 years I've been trying to cope with the lack of love. The CO even mentioned that our congregation lacks love and they don't like visiting it! That's just awful. We frequently have talks on love and hospitality, but the identifying mark is not there.

    I felt like something wasn't right and began looking into the doctrine, and that sealed the deal. Mentally I'm free and am starting to enjoy the love of "wordly people" who are genuinely friendly and kind.

    I think the atmosphere of the congregation makes people gossipy and paranoid. Some elders abuse their leadership roles and cause pain through their tactlessness and kicking weak ones when they're already down. Jealousy causes elders wives to discourage pioneer sisters because they feel like they should be doing more but try to take others down with them instead. It's a sad mess, and I don't want to be part of it anymore.

    There are a few loving ones there, but the bad apples seem to unfortunaltely spoil the bunch.

  • straightshooter

    It is a combination of lack of love and doctrine that moved me. The backbiting among elders struggling for being top dog was most sickening to me.

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