My son and Elder janitor

by jam 45 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • jam

    wasblind; That,s the point, "JW,s don,t encourage the

    youth to take a step up from previous generation."

    My father generation (generation 30yrs. not the generation

    that came over on the slave ships, 100-200yrs.) JW term for generation.

    But his generation, waiters, janitors and maids. My generation

    opportunties open up. Our kids (born 70,s-80,s) the sky was

    the limit. The family that never got involve with the cult, the results

    Two doctors, Bank executive, teachers, law enforcement, not one

    janitor. JW side of the family, janitor, janitor, house wife (no job skills)

    car detailer, store clerk , one nurse (my daughter) and my other

    daughter(claim adjuster).

  • Cold Steel
    Cold Steel

    I'm sorry I ruffled so many feathers. Please accept my apology.

    Now I'm not a JW, so could someone explain to me why elders are so special? Are they people to be deferred to?

    When I took the Bible study, I didn't want to reveal my own religious beliefs. I just sat there and let them ask me questions. They kept asking me what my religious beliefs were, which church I belonged to, etc., and I replied that I didn't want to reveal it because then the discussion would center around those beliefs instead of their beliefs. Well, they kept at it and I finally told them -- and guess what? The next time they came, they brought an elder with them who was billed as being an expert in my religion. I saw the two guys who originally came act with great deference, but I thought it might be because of his knowledge of the Bible, which was much greater than the two other guys.

    So please tell me about elders. What do you have to do to become one? Does it require ordination and, if so, who does the ordination?

    I obviously don't understand the pecking order. Do the elders themselves demand a certain respect, or is it just granted them?


  • jam

    Cold steel; Elders, first I must say not all Elders are

    arrogant nut cases. Some are genuinely concern for

    the welfare of the flock. Now that being said there are

    far to many Elders in position of power that wield that power

    like the Sadducees and Pharisees. Their word is law without

    question. There are many ex-elders here, I was one.

    Give you a example. I in my 30,s a elder, sister(50,s) come to me

    with a problem. Her DF daughter moved back home(town) with

    new husband and two little girls. She ask what should I do,

    my unbelieving husband don,t understand why our daughter

    is not welcome in our home. Can I have a mother and daughter

    relationship? The power...

  • Cold Steel
    Cold Steel

    Interesting. I hope you'll finish your story. From a scriptural standpoint I suppose the elders are chosen in some way. Isn't there an overseer in each Kingdom Hall? That would be the equivalent of a bishop in the ancient church, right? Why doesn’t the JW church have bishops, priests, deacons and other officers that existed in the ancient church?

    As for elders, is this an office one can aspire to? And how political is the selection of elders? Do some people become angry that they weren’t chosen and someone else was? And once a person becomes an elder, do they remain an elder? When someone is chosen to be an elder, do they have any kind of a ceremony like an ordination?

    This janitor fellow—he is presently an elder despite his drinking problem?

    As for proselyting, I had a guard in my organization (U.S. Navy) who tried to convert me to Islam. He gave me a very nice hardback embossed copy of the Quran. And there have been a number of evangelical Christians who have made pitches to me, as well as a couple of Seventh Day Adventists. Seeing that I worked for the Navy most of my career, I never came upon any Jehovah’s Witnesses, but they come by the door every now and again. I find it interesting that they no longer seem to want to come in. Back in the 70s you almost had to force their feet out of the door. In other words, I’ve seen a lot of changes in the church since then. I get the feeling that they’re just trying to meet some sort of statistical obligations; otherwise, why wouldn’t they try to come in? Is that a change that came down from the GB?

    Again, any info on elders would be appreciated as I find it very interesting. Specifically, I’d like to know what kind of power they wield and how they get appointed/ordained.

  • steve2

    cold steel asks why do we look down on someone because he's a janitor and then adds even the apostles had lowly jobs. Consider yourself told off. Okay, where''s this going? Oh right: The JWs habitually judge anyone who has a career "in this system" and accuses them of being materialistic.

    As far as the apostles having lowly jobs, that could explain why they found it easier than some to throw everything away in the service of their Lord. Given they expected to rule with him in the hereafter, I wouldn't want to accuse them of calculated deprivation on earth, but it does cross my mind. Just like the JWs who are known to say things like, "In the new system I'll own a house like the one whose windows I'm cleaning..." As has been well said multiple centuries ago, the clownish of men fall prey to 'drop-everything-and-follow-after-me religions. Christianity's fine I suppose, just leave your critical faculties outside the room.

  • konceptual99

    @cold steel - becoming an elder is generally about how much of company man you are.

    There are scriptual qualifications for an overseer and these set a reasonably high bar in terms of being an example and having freedom of speech.

    In WTS land however, it goes from being about your underlying attitude and desire to be a loving shepherd but still a humble fellow worker with your brothers and sisters into how much FS you do. This is why young guys who have pioneered, done Bethel, done other WTS schools etc. fast track it to being an elder. If you are regular and keen in FS, regular at meetings, try and push yourself into the centre of the cong, answer lots, demonstrate you are keen to follow WTS rules etc. then you are "reaching out" and stand a reasonable chance of being appointed.

    This still does not guarentee it however as there is still a very political element. If you have a vocal relative already on the BoE then you have a better chance. If you are percieved as a bit of a loose cannon or down on your hours then you are reducing your chances.

    When brothers are considered for appointment as a MS or elder the BoE look at what the person is doing (esp FS - the record card is key here - and meetings) and discuss it. This gives ample opportunity for those who don't like the person to put the boot in basically. It's easy to look at a record card and raise concerns about the number of hours someone does, especially if they expect the congregation average + 4 hours for family study as an absolute minimum for a family man. It's easy to say the individual has been late for a few meetings and is not exemplary. It's easy to suggest that someone's answers are not deep enough. It's easy to suggest that because the brother has his own business, works in an office or has to travel on business sometimes that this might mean he is not really putting kingdom interests first. It's easy to suggest that the brother has not been in Sunday service for ages. It's easy to suggest that since the brother recently moved into a larger house/bought a new car/went on holiday twice last year then perhaps he is materialistic and showing where his heart really lies. It's easy to suggest that since the brother used an ipad at the meeting instead of carrying a ton of books then he is demonstrating a "showy display of one's means of life". The list goes on and on.

    If you are chummy with enough elders however then the boot does not get put in, or if it does then it gets shouted down pretty quickly.

    Once you are an elder however it's pretty hard to get removed. All of the same things that are used to prevent a recommendation are not used to reguarly measure those already serving. True, if an elder got really slack over a long period of time then something may be said but I can't recall the last deletion for anything like the reasons above.

    Howere, there is a real move in the WTS to get the BoE to come down hard on any issues related to loyalty and this is the one area where

    For example, it's a dead nono now to show any desire to put family relationships above the WTS. There have been several deletions that I know about in our area over the past couple of years. All for elders attending weddings of relatives (particuarly children). This is regardless of if the child is DF/DA/inactive. If they are inactive, even for years and years and get married to a non JW then it's marrying out of the lord and the new Flock book leaves little room for manouvre.

    The elders are now much more afraid to operate as free thinkers, show compassion or latitude and use reasonableness. Every slightly contensious issue is handled with no common sense. People are treated harshly and then it's left up to the CO to try and sort out. Act now and ask questions later is par for the course it seems.

    Anyway, that's my take on after 20 years of seeing how the body works from the outside with 15 of those thinking about tryng to get in. Call me cynical but that's what I see. Other's may say it's holy spirit that directs appointments but I'll let you judge that for yourself.

  • Cold Steel
    Cold Steel

    The apostles were almost given death certifcates by Jesus just before he ascended into heaven. He prophesied that apostasy would rule and that it wouldn't come from without, but from within. As far as we know, John was the only one to escape a violent death, and he was exhiled to Patmos. It's very likely that they would have had a much better end had they stayed with fishing and so forth.

    But let me ask, do elders get paid? If not, what are the advantages of being an elder? Why would anyone want to be one? Is it power? When the elder visited me, I noticed the two fellows who had been teaching me deferred to him in a big way. So tell me about elders, how one gets selected as an elder and what kind of power they have. Who do they report to and who is the big dog at a Kingdom Hall? If I were a member who wanted to be an elder, how would I go about becoming one?

  • konceptual99

    @cold steel - my previous tome highlights the inside view of the selection process but in answer to your other questions....

    Do they get paid? No.

    What are the advantages? Depends. Some are genuinely humble and want to help their brothers. For some it's a power trip. It does demand respect and carry a level of prestige as well of course.

    How would you go about becoming one? You would have to be baptised and pretty exemplary for many years. The fast track way is to come in, pioneer for a couple of years, go to a school and serve in your assignment for another couple of years or so. You would have to do a stint as a ministerial servant for a while as well. I don't know of any one who have become an elder in less than 5 years from being baptised and that really is fast tracking. Any form of full time service for several years is the key to fast tracking it.

    The elders operate as a body. They have a chairman known as the coordinator of the body of elders ("COBE"). The role is not meant to carry any extra privilage/status but there's no accounting for personal power trips!

    The body report to the society and are monitored by the circuit overseer who comes every six months.

  • DesirousOfChange

    If I were a member who wanted to be an elder, how would I go about becoming one?

    You would have to be chosen and appointed by God's Holy Spirit.

  • konceptual99

    Sorry Desirous - I forgot the obvious #1 method :-/

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