The fact remains: if you reach for the position of elder, you are reaching for an office whose authority is described as coming from God. Does every man who reaches out think consciously that he is on a plane with God? Probably not.
I'd say most if not all, don't think they're on a plane with God LOL, however some are arrogant enough where it makes you wonder. Funny how some of them change within a matter of weeks after getting appointed, its like you never knew them.
But think of the tones people use when they are couseling about how we talk about elders: 'talking down about the elders, criticizing the elders, pointing out their faults, challenging Jehovah's arrangement'. Those who reach for the position are reaching for a position that is above open criticism, this from a religious culture that riducules other religions as a matter of course, calling out priests, pastors and rabbis.
I agree with that 100%.
They set themselves above criticism. We speak in hushed tones, and refrain from criticizing, those we fear or worship or both.
Again though, that's not necessarily the fault of individual elders, or even remotely the motive of those that serve as elders, as its the culture found within any religion. Which goes back to your point that I agree with 100%, however, you'll find this in ANY religion, not just JWs, and it doesn't necessarily have to be enforced from the top down. Sometimes the bottom up can exert just as much pressure to fear, worship, or both. I just got done going over the Congregation Bible Study lesson for Thursday, and there's a point in there about Stephen who was condemned to death for a few reasons, one of which was blasphemy against Moses which to the Saducees was an offense worthy of death. That same stuff goes on today, heck even to the point of drawing a picture of Muhammad which can get you in hot water, ask Denmark.
So it is easy to see why the elder would be so hasty to drop the hammer on his son in this way. Despicable, but given his job description as elder, understandable.
In some cases, heck if not many cases, however to be fair, we're hearing one side of this story, and also we have to consider that this was a situation that went public and put a spotlight on a family that didn't want to be in this situation. The father being an elder may have played a role into his decision as he may have been overly concerned about how he and his family would look to other JWs. However at the same time, who's to say that this father isn't pious enough to the point that his son's dishonest activity warrented in his father's eyes punishment to the point of cancelling this party? Be honest, his son's dishonest activity ultimately set in motion events that brought shame and embarrasment upon his family, and there has to be repurcussions for his actions regardless of the JW angle. A parent has to do what a responsible parent has to do.
I don't at all agree that he is being a good parent by doing this; a son makes a mistake, and you publicly humiliate him further by canceling his graduation party? Would he have had the party if it had not become public knowledge? There seems like a lot of worry about what others think.
Again, his son humiliated himself by being decietful to his family, and he got got caught. I hate the circumstances as much as any of you do, but there are repurcussions for our actions regardless if we chalk it up to youthful indiscretions or adult hard-headedness.
I will agree with you that there is too much worry about what others think in this religion. It's ridiculous, you can't even fart without worrying about offending someone else's conscience, or some jackass in Walkhill stretching some obscure scripture to fit the needs of those who need to be judgemental and easily offended.
Instead, how about raising your head, standing up for him (after having a talk with him about being deceitful) and letting him and the congregation know that it is human to make mistakes, and that your family stands by you?
What you said right here I never would have ever considered that as a possibility, and that probably says a whole lot about JW culture and even how much its influenced me!!! I'd support that, I'd ride with that to the fullest. Sadly, it would never happen.
I do not respect this father's decision in any way.
I can respect that, I just don't want to say that the father came to his decision soley based upon WT reasoning. Other angles need to be explored before we entirely badmouth this father, and I emphasize again, this father. The elder aspect of it should certainly be mentioned, but secondarily, and not all elders should be badmouthed based off the actions and attitudes of some elders.