So, from page 50 of the new PDF for the Elder's manual, there is a paragraph that lists some signs of spiritual weakness.
"Symptoms of spiritual fatigue include: lack of self-control in eating, drinking, and pursuit of pleasure; a complacent spirit; loss of enthusiasm for the truth, including daily Bible reading and personal study; harboring serious and lingering doubts; neglecting association at congregation meetings; and becoming overly critical of elders and the organization."
lack of self-control in eating, drinking, and pursuit of pleasure;
So, let me get this straight. Enjoying a fancy meal, appreciating the finer qualities of libations and deciding to enjoy life by pursuing pleasures (bike riding, hiking, camping, fishing, reading, movies, golfing, etc.) makes me spiritually weak?
a complacent spirit;
When you look up complacent in the thesaurus, there are some negative synonyms associated with it such as egotistic, self-righteous and smug. Putting aside for a moment the fact that most elders are themselves egotistic, self-righteous and smug, lets look at the other synonyms. Confident, happy, pleased, satisfied. So, being confident, happy, pleased and satisfied with life is considered a spiritual weakness? Here are some antonyms (opposites) the thesaurus gives for complacent: unhappy, discontent, concerned. So, if we're not supposed to be complacent, we're supposed to feel unhappy, discontented and concerned in order to be spiritually strong?
loss of enthusiasm for the truth, including daily Bible reading and personal study;
This one I kind of give them, although those that experience loss of enthusiasm usually feel that way because of the so-called shepherds in the congregation or because the spiritual food provided has grown stale and unsatisfying.
harboring serious and lingering doubts;
Yep, folks. If you take the Apostle John's advice in 1 John 4:1 to test the inspired expressions, you are spiritually weak because you're doubting.
neglecting association at congregation meetings;
So, if you leave the meeting as soon as it's over (because your kid's bedtime is at 8:00 and meetings don't end until well after 9:00) instead of farting around pretending to be happy (wait, isn't that complacency?), you're spiritually weak.
and becoming overly critical of elders and the organization.
Oops. I guess this post means I'm spiritually weak.