Getting rid of the Book Study - a way to isolate the JW?

by skeeter1 35 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • skeeter1

    The Book Study meeting was cancelled a while back. The Watch Tower said that it was to provide for a Family Study night and high gas costs. Hmmm.

    I thought about the cancellation of the book study meeting after listening to another pastor discus his Mega-Church’s dependence on small circle groups. His Atlanta based church has over 40,000 people placed in small circle groups. Each group meets for 2 years. Each group is based on life’s stage, gender, marital status, etc. He offers children and teenage groups too. The reason he places a high importance on groups is that it allows people to get to know each other, to be there to help each other out when one stumbles, has life’s problems, etc. Circles allow people to grow, through building relationships and helping each other out. A normal church service is a preacher –to-parishiner (row) experience, but that does not complete the spiritual picutre of a person like the circle of a group. Rather, it takes person –to-person help when someone has a need. People are more likely to turn to their small circle, rather than someone with less of a relationship.

    In contrast, the Watch Tower Society does not really like person-to-person help. Rather, things are reported to the elders, who meet in a committee of 2 (or 3), to “help” the person, investigate the matter, report it, give sanctions, etc. I could see a non-elder JDub getting in trouble for taking on “spiritual counseling” with an in-trouble JW. Further, women, especially, are not treated fairly by the elders, and getting rid of the book study arrangement will eventually cut down on a woman’s ability to find non-elder help. Now, if the WTS could get every person to take their own car out in transportation, and to clear out the KH quickly after a meeting.

    This reminds me of the Watch Tower’s rules for Christian get-togethers. The host is to play Christian music and redirect talk back to “Kingdom” matters. Talk of outside matters, interests, and current events is not to be encouraged. In other words, it’s a way for the Watch Tower to be the director of human-to-human affairs. It’s a way to keep relationships cooled, by not allowing common ground to build bonds.

    This reminds me of the Watch Tower’s rules to married people to not touch or hold hands at meetings. Again, not showing outright love between two JWs is preferred within the Kingdom Hall. Again, the Watch Tower wants to take center stage.

    So, why is the Watch Tower afraid of JDubs having book studies? I know that in my book study meetings, I became the closest with those witnesses. I didn’t really know the other witnesses in the Hall that well. I would be more willing to talk with my book study friends, then with an elder, if I had a problem.

    I don’t think the Watch Tower liked the Book Study arrangement. It interfered with their ability to “make points” directly from the written literature to the flock or by an elder to the person in trouble. It keeps the KH friendship temperature a little colder. Therefore, the JDubs have to cling closer to the Watch Tower. After all the meetings are arranged in rows, not circles. Circles of Christians are bad as the Watch Tower Society wants all the limelight.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    It also takes away the ability of individual conscious elders to teach their groups reason and help them develop a real conscience. Now the book study is done in front of the entire congregation, I believe on a rotating basis. The one-on-one leadership is gone.

  • Ding

    1. Control

    2. Control

    3. Control

  • Violia

    we live in a litigious world and people sue now for things they never would have before. Also, folks are now suing " their brother" and calling the police on them. ( that should have always happened in cases of crimes) the wts has reacted to protect it's own interests b/c while you might hold the book study in your home, as case can be made that it is one of the 3 authorized meetings of the JWS religion and a such, they are responsible for anything that happens there.

  • sd-7

    Well, come on. This is a PYRAMID, not a circle group!


    144,000 (Sorry, it's very confusing!) JESUS










  • SirNose586

    Also it frees up another night to cram another congregation into the hall.

  • moshe

    Some bookstudies were better than others- it sucked if you were assigned to one of the dud groups- better to be in with the hip bunch-

  • Quandry

    It's going to come back to bite them later.

    Everything is becoming more impersonal. When people walk into the KHall before a meeting, they can't really discuss anything, just say hello or engage in trivial chit-chat. This is not conducive to getting to know anyone.

    Also, large gatherings are discouraged, and so is studying he literature in groups.

    No doubt this is going to result in lower attendance in the future.

    We can only hope.

  • sabastious

    Book Study was one of the few good things left from the glory days of the Watchtower. It was the SINGLE thing that the Watchtower had that benefitted families and kids. No wonder they did away with it.



  • blondie

    Actually, they didn't get rid of the book study, they just renamed it the Congregation Bible Study, shortened it, and added it to the beginning of the school and service meeting and put it at the KH rather than having an option to have it in a private home.

    The WTS started out as small study groups in private homes, no KHs. I always felt there was more intimacy between people at the book study, opportunities to have snacks afterwards, a smaller group, a less sterile location. I can remember playing a basketball type game before the meeting in the summer.

    Ending that possible closeness and heading off conductors that espoused personal beliefs...that does spell control.

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