The "WOW!!" moment...Theocratic Ministry School was a sham!

by Terry 98 Replies latest jw friends

  • snowbird
    They have a scripture to explain their kindergarten knowledge, don'cha know? (something about becoming like children. I think it's in Matt.)

    Matthew 18, Mark 9, and Luke 9. Mnemonic device: 9+9=18.

    Matthew 18:1 At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, "Who gets the highest rank in God's kingdom?"

    2 -5 For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, "I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom. What's more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it's the same as receiving me. 6 -7 "But if you give them a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you'll soon wish you hadn't. You'd be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck. Doom to the world for giving these God-believing children a hard time! Hard times are inevitable, but you don't have to make it worse—and it's doomsday to you if you do. The Message Bible

    The context shows Jesus was advocating humility, not cutthroat competitiveness. Humility doesn't mean being a dupe.


  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    Terry, can I share this experience on Cult Free Radio?

  • Terry

    Terry: so interesting/insightful -- i've not read about other religions being so educational. you don't have to answer this, but in your opinion, what church/religion would one attend for knowledge - real study of the Bible and not just social structure. i visited a small, neighborhood, baptist and it was great (corporate setting -- in a bldg.) but they stand and sing like forever. great kids w/the guitars, piano, etc., (i loved the music) but it was a tad long. i probably should have checked out a bible-study group but decided to visit other churches and haven't. guess the brainwashing of the w/tower was stronger than i imagined re/their education being tops and no one had the literature/study aids they made available - duh!

    While working in the Religion section of a bookstore here in Fort Worth for the last six years I've talked to a great many curious and studious people who attend various venues, churches, seminary, etc.

    I'd break it down like this.

    1.Anybody who is intelligent and curious who knows others with similar drive can create their own study situation. The drawback is that there is USUALLY (not always) a Type-A personality in charge who wants to LEAD the others. This is unfortunate.

    2.Different groups have different goals. A lot of studying is presupposition driven. Meaning what? They are trying to prove some point they already believe.

    They might be trying to prove evolution is false, for example and only study writings polemical rather than reading everything on both sides.

    3.Seminary students fall into two distinct personality types (as far as I've encountered). The genuine, humble, social driven person and the smugh, know-it-all. They mostly study what the Seminary tells them. But, I have encountered a genius or two who are brilliant and read EVERYTHING they can lay their hands on. One fellow from Africa was the smartest person I've ever met.

    I don't think Bible study per se is beneficial!!

    That means you've started with the presupposition (or "given" ) that the bible is inspired and containes a coherent, inerrant truth.

    I believe it is wise, prudent and honest to BEGIN BY INVESTIGATING how the bible was put together.

    Quentin has started a thread topic about WHO WROTE THE BIBLE that is extremely neutral and honest. Give it a look.

    Back to your question......historically, the Methodists were methodical in their investigations of scripture. But, I have never met one who knew anything that wasn't superficial.

    The equation boils down to this: THOSE WHO INVESTIGATE historically are skeptical in the end. THOSE WHO STICK WITH SCRIPTURE stay fervent and convinced.

  • Terry

    Terry, can I share this experience on Cult Free Radio?

    I give blanket permission (and always have) for anything I write to be reprinted that can be useful.

  • pirata

    My epiphany was when I realized that I had been hearing the same thing over and over for decades and was so bored that I didn't pay much attention because it seemed so repetetive.

    It's like reading the same book over and over, every time you read it you may get out a new point or two (if it can hold your attention). But there is the opportunity cost of the books that you aren't reading, which would provide a lot more new information in the same time it takes to glean new things from a book you've already read.

    It's the only school that you can never graduate from.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    My father, the family Bethelite, paritcular expertise was in baiting Roman Catholics. One would have thought the Witness and Protestants were the same with the ferociousness he displayed belittling CAtholics. With very rudimentary knowledge and before Vatican II, he demolished the local parish people. No one converted. They just could not match his expertise. He spent countless hours preparing his antiCatholic venom. A Jesuit seminarian started to work there for a short while. He was ecstatic. A Jesuit! What a catch. So they both prepared lectures about the Witness translation of "soul." My father, despiser of CAtholics, bodyguard to Rutherford and Knorr, returned from work ashen faced and took to his bed. He told my mother that not only were the Catholics correct but that he was trounced. This was a major incident in our lives.

    I learned nothing from Ministry School. Because I was female and needed a householder for demonstration purposes, it was very awkard. I could not make a direct statement. My brother had a much easier time. One thing I remain curious about. We had access to all the old WTs b/c of family. How did new converts research their presentations? It was a very poor KH.

    Fundamentally, I did not leave the Witnesses over any doctrine. The lack of love and hatred of decent worldly people revolted me. Meetings were an alternative to being beaten to a pulp. Their fruits or lack thereof were the key. I did not care what doctrines were. Love existed in many forms. They were zombies. I was not accepted b/c I was white.

    College was the second revelation. For some reason, I still do not know I enrolled in New Testament. My professor, Elaine Pagels of Gnostic fame, was only a few years younger than we were. She wore the shortest mini skirts I ever saw. In her spare time, she did the NY art scene happenings. She was warm but kept barriers to being a prof. We had to read the gospels in consecutive verses for entire books at a time. The first night of reading the Bible this way brought many stunning developments. I saw the Witnesses lie about four different topics. These weren't grey areas. It was black and white. This surprised me. I kept running to the pay phone from the library to announce it to my family. During my severe illness, I turned to the Bible and read the Bible with the skills I learned in college. I always made certain I read no commentaries until I ran through it by myself and asked what I thought it meant. I truly fear reading some elegant commentary and have it influence my initial take.

    With Vatican II, even the CAtholics are well read. I've taken sophisticated courses at Episcopal churches, including Koine Greek. Most parishoners know the Church Fathers and have read Augustine, Merton, Bonhoeffer and Barth. They understand the geopolitical problems 1st Century Christians faced. This surprised me, too. I am so happy to study now. Others certainly look happy and excited. Sometimes, a priest leads. Priests never lecture or tell. They faciliate discussion and act as a ready reference. Often when questions are asked, the response is I don't know. I adore those "I don't know."s

  • straightshooter

    The WTS have no real Bible study course. The TMS is designed to make effective door to door messingers. The WTS never wants groups of jw to research the Bible in fear of the GB losing control.

  • edmond dantes
    edmond dantes

    I have said it before the Ministry School should be called Selling the Product School it's the place where JWs go to learn how to place the company product and how to overcome objections by becoming part of the company sales team.

    It's a sham they tell people that they go to the Kingdom Hall for worship , I don't think so.

  • jamiebowers
    I critically said to my brother, "...geez they're giving you all the answers right in the paragraph......."
    Only this time my eyes flew open and I saw for the first time that they also give you the Questions!!

    Exactly, Clarity!

    Mad, why not just invite Terry to be on the show? I'd love to hear his voice.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    I may just do that. I've already invited someone, though, and am waiting for a response. . .

    Terry, I'll be sending you a PM.

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