Higher Education and Disqualification for Privileges in the Congregation
My son's best friend just completed 6 year university doctorate.
$130,000/year qualifies as "living wage" in my book.
Oh yeah, 3-year contract, $30K signing bonus once he decided what company to work for from the 5 offers he received.
Locally, lots of young ones going to college. Esp nursing. No waves with their fathers' positions as long as the kids stay active.
One of the reasons I started searching the net for answers (to my many questions) was that an elder in my congo (who i confided in) was extremely busy getting his doctorate's degree to help me with my "doubts"... so you could say his higher education helped me escape the cult... he still gets talks in assemblies because he takes the CO to dinner at fine restaurants and hands him a thick envelope at the end of each visit...
oodad, i love your posts! You're such a wonderful writer!
00DAD seems to be having trouble posting on the forum. He PM'ed me and asked me to post this on his behalf. These are 00DAD's words:
When I was still serving as an elder in the summer of 2006 in a congregation in SoCal we received a letter from the "Christian Congregation of JWs" directing that ANYONE pursuing a higher education would be disqualified from any privileges of service: Elder, MS, Pioneer, etc.
I remember this distinctly because I had just received a B.A. in Education only a few months before in June of that year. In 2002, I had decided to go back to college and get a degree under the Society's then current "It's a personal decision" policy.
I was, needless to say, quite shocked at their sudden and drastic policy change that was made without any explanation or justification. I was also angry at the implication made that I (and of course anyone else that had pursued such a course) had shown a lack of faith in Jehovah and his organization by such a choice and that I was therefore a bad example!
I had already been having major issues with the organization for several years and this was one of the final straws. I was completely outraged by the realization that, had this letter come just a few months earlier, I would have been forced to make a decision to either quit school or resign as an elder, simply because these capricious, insensitive men that claim to be God's Representatives on earth can't make up their mind!
I did not keep a copy of this letter. Does anyone have a copy? It should have been around early Fall of 2006, but it could possibly have been 2007 because I received my credential then and might be confusing the awarding of my degree with the credential.
My situation is similar to 00DAD's. I received a Bachelor's in 2003. I squeaked by. I recall how they tightened up on college education sometime afterwards, now that I think about it. I started fading out of the JWs in late 2006.
we just had a young HS student appointed MS who makes no secret about pursuing a degree in electrical engineering...confuses the heck out of me....no not really just more hypocrisy which abounds in these parts....
I also remember the CO bringing the subject up circa 2006 with the elders & servants.
An appointed Brother would be deleted if...
1. He promoted going to college/university.
2. His son or himself stopped going to meetings & service.
3. His motives were becoming rich or an important someone in this system.
4. Or If even the Congregation just lost respect or was stumbled.
If a Brother or his son go to college or university, what's the difference between just working 8-10 hrs? No body gets in the business of those that work even up to 12 hrs a day. Then why meddle in the life of someone that doesn't want to be a dishwasher/pioneer the rest of their life and instead decides to improve their quality of life by getting an education?
The GB sees it as an attack on their authority and that attitude ripples down to the rest of chain of command (CO's, DO's Boe's)
If anyone still has any doubts, just ask Judah Schroeder son of GB member Albert Schroeder. He was smart enough to realize that just going out on service and not worrying about an education is not practical. Guess he didn't want to be like the rest of the rank & file who work menial jobs to put Kingdom interest in first place. Besides, he will be well compensated by a prominent position in the organization unlike those naive pioneers that followed too literally the guidance of the Watchtower. This is just another example of double standards.
William H. Conley
Attending to personal and family necessities is a secondary objective (1 Tim. 6:-6-8: w96 1/2,
p. 14, para. 22) To make good decisions, one must anticipate the costs of higher education (Luke 14:28-30) Question: What costs does a higher education incur? [Monetary costs, promotes the desire
for prominence in Satan’s system, a climate of moral relativity, some have abandoned the
truth, etc. (w05 1/10, pp. 28, 29, paragraphs 9-13)] Parents should help their children by practical means to choose an education which can
provide them a happy and lasting future. Focus on congregational activities produces happiness (Acts. 20:35) The first disciples of Jesus renounced promising professions (Matt. 4:18-22; 9:9; Col. 4:14)
They did not see it as a loss (Matt. 19:29) Would a brother be continuing to satisfy the requirements for holding privileges in the congregation if he, his wife or his children pursued higher studies? [Ask for brief comments on 1 Timothy 3:13 and Titus 1:9] Situation: The son of an elder is studying for a career in architecture, lives with his parents,
is a ministerial servant, has organized his studies so that they do not interfere with the
meetings or the ministry, occasionally auxiliary pioneers and the family does not promote the
idea that others should obtain this type of education Questions: By his lifestyle and that of his family, can it be said that this elder is teaching
his family to place the Kingdom first? (Matt. 6:33). [If a brother or a member of his family is
pursuing higher education in order to obtain a specific job, does not promote it, and if it is
clear that both he and his family are seeking first the Kingdom, his services of privilege need
not be affected. Some professions require that an individual periodically take certification
courses so as not to lose a professional license] Situation: The daughter of an elder studies at university far from home with the goal of
earning a lot of money. The elder and his wife tell other brothers that their daughter is doing
this at their request, in view of the good economic situation that she will have and the prestige
which the family will gain Questions: What opinion does this family have of that which the faithful slave has said
concerning higher education, as revealed by their words and conduct? (Ps. 1:2, 3; 1 Cor.
2:13-16; 3 John 9) [When an appointed servant promotes higher education for the purpose of
economic gain or prestige, this places in doubt his qualifications to serve in the congregation,
and may affect his freeness of expression and that of his fellow elders] LOCAL NEEDS (10 min.) USE OF MATERIAL RESOURCES (5 min.)
[Use points from the article “Making friends by means of unrighteous riches,” from The
Watchtower of 1 December 1994, to encourage contributions for the worldwide work] CONCLUSION (3 min.) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The letter is in Spanish and translated into English. Click on bookmark for page 2 in English. - http://www.megaupload.com/?d=WZOKB0LM - Atlantis