"Conscience Matter" is a euphemism for Watchtower policies requiring "plausible deniability" to avoid legal repercussions. "Coercion Matter" is a more apt term, insofar as the rank and file are concerned.
It might be time to stop and ask ourselves: "What part of me is ME?"
iDENTITY distinguishes us FROM the others. If the goal of a JW is to lose their identity, they will lose their own inner voice.
The casual manner in which the word "slaves" is gleefully applied to this organization strongly suggests a debasement of human rights.
I remember being at a Circuit Assembly when an Elder handed me the Society's Letter ( they didn't or would not mail me a response directly) that they would not be helping me in my Draft Case.
Thanks for shedding more light on why.
The only matters upon which a J W may exercise a right of conscience are those that the WTS has told them they can, e g which blood fractions to accept (after the ones that that "the Society" has proscribed) . I am hard put to find many more that do not bring at least some disapproval since choice of dress entertainment is down to you but will attract criticism if you chose what they do not like.
The expression "Bible trained conscience" which we all know is surely a contradiction in terms. For a start it is really a Watchtower trained conscience and if your conscience it trained by somebody else then it is not your own, but theirs...We are also aware of the duplicity used by the WTS when they say that, e g voting is a "conscience matter, but a Christian would not wish to do it"
They like to divert attention from themselves by having the r & f publishers choose their words very carefully in The Ministry:
WT 1998 3/15 p19
"4 In order to avoid misunderstandings, Jehovah’s Witnesses try to be careful about how they express themselves. Instead of saying, “the Society teaches,” many Witnesses prefer to use such expressions as, “the Bible says” or, “I understand the Bible to teach.” In this way they emphasize the personal decision that each Witness has made in accepting Bible teachings and also avoid giving the false impression that Witnesses are somehow bound to the dictates of some religious sect. Of course, suggestions as regards terminology should never become a subject of controversy. After all, terminology is of importance only to the extent that it prevents misunderstandings. Christian balance is required. The Bible admonishes us “not to fight about words.” (2 Timothy 2:14, 15) The Scriptures also state this principle: “Unless you through the tongue utter speech easily understood, how will it be known what is being spoken?”
In JWese, "conscience matter" is code for
We can't actually find any Scriptural support for our personal opinion. We've tried and tried, but no verse can be twisted so far without setting off the alarms of even the most retarded publishers. So, since the Bible remains totally silent on the subject (or actually supports a view diametrically opposed to ours), we'll only yell at you and publicly humiliate you, rather than throw you out.
As the real gods of JWs, the "Society" have taken it upon themselves to make up doctrine. Contrary to Scripture, not only do they rely on their own understandings, but they demand you rely on it too. Also, contrary to Scripture, not only do they feel perfectly qualified to direct their own steps, but demand to direct yours too. In addition, contrary to Scripture, you are ordered to put your faith in earthling man, in whom there is no salvation. But since there are still non-JWs left to be converted and a few JWs with functioning brain cells, they couch their self-idolatrous and blasphemous demands in noble-sounding double talk. Any JW who's ever been dragged into the back room knows, what the words say in the Watchtower and what they are intended to be interpreted as, may be totally opposite. When an article makes it very clear that a tattoo, beard, music, etc. are left to our consciences, what they really mean is
Now that we've told you what the Society God feels, you're supposed to voluntarily adopt our God's feelings. If you don't, you obviously lack a Watchtower- Bible-trained conscience and your mentally-diseased and demonic decision is trumped by our positions apointed by the Watchtower corporation Holy Spirit.