Contradictions, should we really care?
Some really thoughtful perspectives from Shelby and Terry. I can see that your challenge is rather different from mine, Gary, insofar as you can pursue a scriptural solution to greater effect than I can. My wife sees me as a non-believer, so whatever purely Christian logic I might apply will have a muted effect. Citing biblical references are still worthwhile in my case, but my wife will see secular proofs coming from me as more in line with my headspace. A few years ago, when I was not yet a defacto atheist (See Dawkins' scale of 1-7, 1 being a strong Theist who's belief in God is absolute and 7 being a strong Atheist who's non-belief in God is absolute. I'm a 6.) a purely scriptural approach would probably have worked for me. My fault for waiting this long.
Thanks for starting the thread. Horizons of possibility and understanding continue to expand.
Sounds like your wife sticks around for reasons other than reason. Like relationships and friendship.
This might be your key to get her out. The Jehovah's Witnesses can't help it. Sometimes they can be very judgemental and hard-hearted towards their own members. Probably comes from trying too hard to follow all the rules. Party poopers. Find examples of that, my man, and presto.
Could you two start socializing with regular people outside the society? Provide non-verbal examples of simple friendship with no strings attached? I do this with my hubby and every time he talks about "this old world" going progressively downhill and how most people are too "hard-hearted" to accept the truth, I call him on it. "Do you mean like Sally Jane next door? Do you really think SHE is hopelessly evil? He admits not. "Or how about old Martha Sue down the street?" He mumbles not. "And Harry, too?" Change of subject.
The congregation does the rest. The less approved he is, the farther they detach themselves from him.
Thanks Shelby and Terry. Thanks also Nick and JGNAT.
I think my wife is indeed in her own little world, or is just putting up her wall to drown out the dissonance.
She asked me to provide proof that the Watchtower Society advocated worshipping Jesus because she did not believe that they ever did that. I provided it and basically all she says is, "Well, unless I can verify it, I can't believe it and even if it is true, the light's getting brighter."
She read in the Proclaimers book that neither Russell nor Rutherford were given special guidance from Angels or what-not. I said that I had heard differently. She wanted proof. I provided it. Again she tried to use that light is getting better non sense. However, this time it was not about the light getting brighter, it was about the Proclaimer's book saying one thing about the WT's history and history saying something different.
She says I concern myself too much with history, yet the Bible contains the history of the Jewish people. She does not see it that way. The Bible is a mystery book to her that she has to study to understand how to apply it today. Historians say that studying history is useful so that we may learn it, not repeat it.
Yeah guys, reasoning with her is hopeless. She does not want the truth.
She does not want the truth.
Yeah, she does, dear GN (again, peace to you!). She just doesn't trust your form of it. Comparing what she [think she] has (God, through the eyes of imperfect men)... and what you're offering (no God)... she considers yours the more evil of the two. If only she could see... there is a third choice. Ah, well...
A slave of Christ,
I think your wife needs to come to the realisation that JW's are no different than many other groups. Many groups have good hearted people. If doctrine does not matter too much, and changes are ok, then there are many groups that fit the bill.
"It is important to understand that in most Bible-based cults, although the member is aggressively taught doctrine, it is not the doctrine that holds him in the group. It is the sense that the group is God's true people, a feeling cultivated by techniques of mind control. Thus, to engage the cult member in a Biblical argument or discussion is often futile." Releasing the Bondsp.145 Stephen Hassan
Try discussing with her groups like Mormons, SDAs, Bible students and Christadelphians. See http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/similar-religions-to-jehovahs-witnesses.php
I feel for you Gary. My wife won't discuss anything wts. She stopped going to all the meetings and is done with wts BUT won't discuss it. Her entire family is in the cult and if she's at her mother's, she'll behave like a dub and go to kh, but not here. This is as far as I got with my wife as she can see wts isn't the truth and pretty much admits it but she will not discuss wts doctrine and just keeps it in.
At least in your case you can discuss things to some extend and hopefully in time she will snap out of it. JWs are under mind control. As jws we had to go to meetings for our own good, we we encouraged to study for the meetings, study for service and go out in service. Participate at the meetings and associate with other jws. From the beginning one starts to be dependent on the mother - wts - and it's hard to believe it's not the truth when they keep repeating same BS over and over and over at every opportunity. They have their own lingo and it's always the truth. Truth this and truth that. When one is under their spell, one doesn't reason properly or see clearly nor does one want to hear the other side of the story. That is why when believing jws get disfellowshipped it's so hard on them and they allow themselves to be treated like dirt by the elders when they try to cower back in. As long as they feed jws BS on a regular basis it's hard for the follower to break free from the "hypnosis" as it were. When there is any anti-wts phrase they change as if under hypnosis and stop being reasonable and their minds go blank and keep repeating same crap in their heads (not literally) that they are in the truth and all outsiders are under devil's influence or are being tested.
Keep working to free your wife and hopefully she's break free of wts spell. Different things affect people differently, dates worked for my wife as they did for me initially as well. As soon as my wife was able to realize that 607 was wrong and 1914 couldn't be and all that, she concluded that it's not the truth and stopped going to all the meetings. Wish you all the best on freeing your wife.
Comparing what she [think she] has (God, through the eyes of imperfect men)... and what you're offering (no God)... she considers yours the more evil of the two.
Well Shelby, my view of God is being tested as well as I believe I am genuinely trying to seek TRUTH though I believe I will never find it exclusively in one religion or ideology. I guess if she feels like I have 'no God' to offer her, ah well.
Personally, I find that a tad insulting. I mean, I won't deny that over the course of the past year my view of God has changed but I don't feel it has totally diminished. I guess I just have to be reasonable about why I believe what I believe as I use to be as dogmatic and sure of what I thought was right as the witnesses now are.
Thanks, I guess I do need to go back and reread that book Releasing the Bonds. I was looking at a site devoted to Mormonism and I was reading one person's testimony of his exit and it read so eerily like the testimonies of witnesses on this site and on free minds. I could almost change a few words here and there and turn it into a former witness testimonial.
Gary, peace to you and my sincere apologies. I didn't mean to imply that you absolutely no longer believed in God, but surely you realize that what most diehard JWs believe... is that by leading them away from the WTBTS you're leading them away from God... and so offering them no God. It doesn't cross their mind... while that harlot still holds their mind... that they may be led TO God. I realize that you haven't completely "crossed over" (LOLOLOLOL!)... but from how you describe your wife, it seemed to me that SHE might think that. I probably should have said, however, imperfect men... vs. belief in a false God or no God at all.
Again, my apologies - I did not mean to insult you and even if your wife does think such, no need to feel insulted. Allowing yourself to feel insult for something that someone blind, ignorant, or even stupid believes, thinks, or says, is... IMHO... a waste of one's time.
Again, peace to you!
A slave of Christ,
I didn't mean to imply that you absolutely no longer believed in God, but surely you realize that what most diehard JWs believe...
That's what I figured you meant. Truth is, witnesses are insulting like that. I remember them acting that way towards me when my wife and I first met.
I realize that you haven't completely "crossed over" (LOLOLOLOL!)... but from how you describe your wife, it seemed to me that SHE might think that.
Honestly, I do not know what my wife thinks of what my beliefs may be. It is unlikely she will understand it anyway. Seems like she only understands something that is just as structured and regimented as what she now has. Anything less is people living any way they want.
Allowing yourself to feel insult for something that someone blind, ignorant, or even stupid believes, thinks, or says, is... IMHO... a waste of one's time.
True. I am gradually learning to just let their comments just roll off my back and remember telling myself that they are simply misled.