Do most JW's belive their own private version of the religon?

by highdose 33 Replies latest jw friends

  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions

    This perfectly describes my wife and her family. They believe that we're in 'the last days' and that god will 'step in soon' and bring peace and order to the universe. The whole fairy tale lived-happily-ever-after thing.

    They don't believe god is going to kill every last non JW bastard on the planet, just the REALLY BAD guys. They don't believe in every last ray of New Light streaming from the pages of the mags (overlapping generations). And they certainly don't follow all the rules and regulations to a T. For the most part, they will follow their conscience and not just do something because they're 'supposed to.' I have to admire them for that. They are a bit 'rogue.'

    BROKEN PROMISES got it right when he said each generation ( the real kind) kind of picks out what it learned growing up and sticks with it no matter what changes. My wife is a perfect example. She's always finding out she is no longer 'in step.'

  • designs


    I observe that many religious people do a very humane thing in their moral/ethics mind which is to soften difficult stances, for instance interview as many christians as you can about the old teaching of Hell, most today do not believe as their ancestors did about a Literal place, they soften the belief. JWs will do the same with Armageddon and begin plugging in exceptions to the rule. Some Witnesses will allow blood transfusions for their children and even themselves if allowed some privacy otherwise the death numbers would be higher. Some Christian women would opt for an abortion if faced with death to the mother rather than a hard line of protecting the unborn child at all costs.

    Do you remember going out in Service and finding very few Church going people were hard line on doctrine, most had evolved their religion into a social club.

  • Intel

    highdose: You are spot on!!!

    Yes, definitely that describes my personal experience with different Witnesses. Before I DA'ed myself (58 days ago) I "announced" my decision, beforehand to different family members and the "inner circle of friends". Just to prepare them for D-Day ....they tried to "convince" me to stay in with all kinds of arguments, amongst them (the more I explained what I don't believe anymore, the harder they tried to sell me the "Soft-Version" of the cult):

    - "NOOOOO, we are allowed to go to fault with that. The Society NEVER said you can't...."

    - "You can THINK whatever you like....just don't express it publicly. Most important thing is you love Jehober."

    - "Videogames.....Movies?.....You can watch them ALL! ...Just don't tell"

    - "We know the GB is sometimes wrong.....BUT, BUT the main thing is: this is J's Org....don't mind anything else."

  • leavingwt

    Its almost like they listen to the BS from the platform, run it through their head and then process it through their own filter and end up with a bastardised version of "the truth" that they feel comfortable with.

    Yes, especially among those who feel they will not survive Armageddon anyway. Also, as it pertains to 'sins' that nobody will ever find out about. Since my exit, I've learned that plenty of 'captive', active JWs engage in conduct that would be considered loose conduct or could lead to reproof/DF'ing.

  • Bungi Bill
    Bungi Bill

    The JWs that stick with it for any length of time would have to - in practice if not in word - follow their own version of it.

    i.e. giving lip service to the more bizzare requirements of their religion, but conforming with its more "mainstream" aspects.

    Otherwise, how else could they continue to preserve their sanity?


  • designs

    Bungi- I saw that as a Book Study Conductor. Back when the Insight Vol. I II came out there was a significant lag time for the Witnesses to change their beliefs about the creative days not being 7000 years eachand going with the neweer 'undisclosed periods of time'. It also happened in 95 with the Generation change, it took several years for the Witnesses to get their head around that one and many just let the whole issue remain an open question.

  • donuthole

    The majority of newer JW's are increasingly ignorant of the intracasies of their religion, following the overall trend by the Society to dumb down the table of "spiritual food". In absence of a real in depth comprehension of their faith they may get inventive when put on the spot, but otherwise pay little mind.

    Older, longterm members may have a belief system that is a pastiche of old light, new light, urban legend, old CO talks, and speculations. Their version is full of holes and it doesn't quite line up properly, so they may resort to private interpretations to glue the whole thing together.

    I saw a little of this first hand when I had a judicial appeal hearing with some of the "brightest" super-elders of the circuit. When the belief of the governing body as representatives of the Faithful & Discreet Slave was challenged, one elder told me that the term "governing body" was in the Bible to describe such a group. Another told me that it was the first century governing body that told christian residents of judea to flee Jerusalem just prior to the attack by the Romans; there is no support biblically or otherwise to substantiate this.

    On another occasion I attended a public debate where the St. Louis City Overseer was present as a panelist. When confronted by a member of the public who was distraught that this convert-JW daughter no longer acknowledged her mother on mother's day, the overseer stated that observence of mother's day was a conscience matter. Whether this was his own belief, a lapse in thought, or "rahab strategy", I don't know.

  • I quit!
  • mindseye

    This thread is spot on. I've noticed this with my family and many other JWs. I even know one who denied the term 'the truth', as if it was something the society did not actually teach. He said that is what just some misguided JWs say, and that they really shouldn't say it. He then came to some conclusion about how truth is ever changing, hence the 'new light' doctrine.

  • sir82

    I would venture to say that 90% + of JWs harbor secret beliefs at least somewhat in conflict with official JW orthodoxy.

    Of course it's quite hard to get them to actually discuss anything like that, so deply ingrained is their fear of being labeled "apostate".

    But ply them with enough liquor and you might well be very surprised to hear what they believe!

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