"This is not what we signed up for," ...no sadder words have ever been uttered.
"This is not what we signed up for," ...no sadder words have ever been uttered.
Look at how the churches are run. They have believers in whatever flavor of Christianity that interests them- Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal- whatever. They join a church, pay dues and expect the pastor to feed the sheep- them- and strenghten their faith. The pastor doesn't even have to believe what he is preaching, as he reasons, the flock is receiving what their membership entitles them to and what they are paying for. Unfortunately, many JWs no longer want to receive the blessings that come from membership as a JW- they want to leave- it's just that the WTshunning rules hold their families hostage. Change that and we will see just how many true believers in WT dogma there really are. Now , if these unbelieving JWs had a backbone, they could probably change theWT rules almost overnight, but they have to act a group- I didn't have the Internet back in 1988- I was pretty much alone and fighting by myself- people have it made today.
but I do know why I remain
Most who do remain have similar reasons and fear is often a big part of the equation.
I personally knew Ray- used to stop and visit him and his wife. He wrote 2 great books. I think he missed the logical WT teachings that he thought the Bible taught. As far as I know, he never joined a church of Christendom or published his version of true Christian dogma (did he have one?). He had a cadre of admirers that kept him busy and fulfilled and that was all he needed, IMO.
I did not mean any personal offense- the pig trough was not of your making and JWs, as human beings deserve truth not lies, but they do not demand truth, so they get what they get.
Yes, they would have to act as a group. But they do not, they cannot. Let me be frank, how many brothers and sisters who have left their Jehovah's Witness faith have remained believers in God's existence? Does anyone here have a number for this? Now, let me ask, what incentive do I, or other Witnesses who question the leadership, have to encourage our friends to leave their faith? Can we honestly hope that all our friends who leave will remain believers in God?
You ask that we kill our own, I realize you do not think of it that way, but for us that is the reality. No, we will not kill our own. We will sooner work against all who vilify the Watchtower than kill our own. Yes, the Watchtower that insists at times in killing us, ourselves. I take the example of the U.S. again, Americans may disagree with their leadership and even hate what they do, but few will leave and few will take up arms against what they believe is a government based on good principles. We feel likewise with respect to the Witness faith.
Did you hear what this old man said? This old man who took the name, Damn The Watchtower? I would never encourage my brother or sister to leave their faith because, in truth, what is outside of the our faith is at the very least unknown and at most may lead to unbelief in God's existence.
Do not think we are all idiots led by idiots. No, we are lovers of God who at times are in shame over our leadership but we still love our God.
Thank you, Moshe, for your kind words.
Damn the Watcthtower:
I know there is a body of believers in the fellowship who yearn for words that reach them emotionally, and recognize that they are having a hard time making it.
We used to hear it; granted, there was always a hard case CO or DO, but like a good friend told me once: all CO's make you happy, some when they come and some when they go. I remember CO's well into the 80's who made me WANT to be there; I felt like they understood that it was really hard to raise a family and make a living. I was in recovery also, something most CO's and elders respected. The CO that pushed me over the edge in the 90's asked me if I was keeping my hours low to avoid becoming an elder; he said if I was, I was already washed up. His exact words.
Over the 90's the articles and the CO's that would reach us emotionally and lift us up slowly evaporated, with the coming into being of the Ted Jarascz era.
Gone were the appeals to the heart, to the better sides of our nature and appeals to the elders to be leaders, to be kind, to understand the brothers; to be replaced by the hard line every time. Do more; go out in service more, obey the elders. The thaw toward DF'd ones turned around into an even stricter tirade against those who were df'd; no matter what their circumstances, they were all to be treated the same. An aged parent, who couldn't quit smoking? Shunned the same as someone df'd for child sexual abuse, as rare as that was.
In the 2000's it became the elevation of the GB to a level of the apostles, if the posts about the recent convention can be believed.
I wholeheartedly agree with you DTW; the lack of qualified LEADERS, not managers, has reached a critical stage.
The sad thing is that it was in the cards, you could see it coming; the only men who advanced, even at a local level, are ones who became adept at telling those above them what they want to hear.
How can leadership that is making critical mistakes ever change when they have quashed all criticism? My take is that they believe their own statements that God is leading them. Check that; they are spirit directed. (Tell me the difference, someone, besides that it sounds less shocking)
Creative thought, independent action and decisions based on personal conviction are stifled and punished.
Only unquestioning obedience and towing the party line allows one to advance.
How could the one(s) who would lead them out of this stagnation ever make it to the top?
Those who make it to the top are total company men, not visionaries; they are followers, not leaders.
And the writing, where to start?
Great points Pistoff. Very interesting thread. Thought provoking DTW.
my ex wife jw pioneer is now diagnosed bipolar and manaic depressive.fifteen years ago we were both joyful proclaimers of the wts message.i have been out for 5 years and on my way out i noticed an epidemic of mental illness developing among many of the whole souled servants of the organization.i know i was having occasional aniexty attacks the last couple of years in.i havnt had any since.
" Unfortunately, many JWs no longer want to receive the blessings that come from membership as a JW- they want to leave- it's just that the WTshunning rules hold their families hostage. Change that and we will see just how many true believers in WT dogma there really are. Now , if these unbelieving JWs had a backbone, they could probably change theWT rules almost overnight, but they have to act a group"
Thumbs up for that comment. That is largely the difference between the average christian churches and the JW's (besides theology).
Except, community, network and status still plays a large part. Buisness may also be affected by leaving. There can be many reasons for staying, and faith is often not really one of them.
Now, in Denmark, the JW's have a bad reputation. But when leaving, who should one blame? Leaving the sinking boat, AND explain it all to the "normal" world why they participated. I think people are getting tired of the show...
Leaving is the only option in my book. The close network of JW were build on promises of a promise of Harmageddon. Such a common goal creates a great sense of being united with a common goal, an immensely important project. But Harmageddon did not come, so what then? Now people were addicted to the community and the sense of being closely united and the leaders had an internally status, that would not matter anywhere outside the network. So they just kept going, finding new dates for Harmageddon, new calculations, interpretations aso. That produced the Jehovahs Witnesses. Skisms in JW have been seen before. The dependant people will remain, and new promises will be made. And it will go on once again.
Leave while you mentally and socially can. Staying will mean being addicted to live on a lie, no matter if you are a "Morpheus", a believer or a follower. The Org. may change color like a chameleon, but will remain a reptile.
JS, I was just having this conversation recently. Toward the end of my time there, I noticed that every pioneer suffered from depresion, anxiety, severe low self esteem or obsessive/compulsive issues. This is puzzling for a group that has the happiest job on earth! Crazy huh?
Ray Franz wanted initially didn't want to leave the WTS.. he hoped a long time that it would improve, correct itself. He didn't want to get DF'd,,but his efforts and soft expressions for its to improve was denied. After his disfellowshipping, he never wished to go back any more. He did not have a hope that it would change, nor that it would improve, nor rebuild into anything appropriate.
He did not have a need or desire to start or 'rebuild' another organized group. He realized as an individual that he could help people individually, he helped one person at a time and sometimes just met with a small home group for Bible Study. He didn't have a need to govern people spiritually as he trusted to just turn it over to God to take care of the people. He didn't have a need for strong dogma or some big push to change the WTS. He knew their (GB) heart was not in it for any change.
The GB may try to make minor changes here and here for organizational survival and seeming increases. However, they like 'governing' people. They, in their haughtiness, cannot just turn it over to God to 'govern' his own people.