JWs have failed miserably in their claimed commission from Jehovah to preach the good news of the kingdom- I doubt that any householder can explain what it is- even though JWs have supposedly been preaching about it for generations.
Do JWs Really Still care about the "Truth"?
Emery is correct... Most "active witnesses" believe they know all the truth about the org and its doctrines but at the end of the day absolutely have no clue when it comes to specifics. It's pathetic!
JWs used to brag that they had to teach the trinity to church members in order to then debunk it.
From what I see, most don't care about the particulars. And they are only 'sharp eyed' with regard to anything they detect that is contrary to WT SOP.
Curiously, our meetings are like yours - maybe 25 or 30 present at the start of the Tuesday meeting - by the end there are 80 or so (out of 110 publishers, 100% attendance including unbaptized kids would be about 130).
My experience is similar - interest is waning rapidly, there is little zeal or enthusiasm.
My observation is that foreign language groups are where the remaining zeal is.
My theory: the WTS has been pushing hard for JWs to learn another language, go where the need is greater, etc. The dwindling number of JWs who still maintain a real desire to help others learn "the truth" have gone over to the foreign language congregations, or have moved to become "need-greaters", even at times to other countries.
The fashionable thing to do around here is to go to Euador or Dominican Republic or Panama for 6 months or a a few years, or even move permanently there.
Dozens of others have joined burgeoning foreign language groups & congregations.
This has drained the "regular" congregations of the most zealous & enthusiastic. The ones left behind are the lazy, the bumblers, the burnt-out, and the terminally stupid.
With the "best and brightest" going to where the action is, the "regular" congregation begins a vicious cycle of apathy and going through the motions.
I remember when there was zeal. I think it went along time ago.
I was talking to my wife about this the other day. The majority of JWs are just trying to live normal lives, make money while they can, enjoy life now, prepare for retirement. The GB does try to build urgency for the great tribulation, but the current 35 - 45 yr old JWs have seen there parents grow old, while never expecting 'this system' to hang around. They know better than to put all their eggs in the WT new system basket.
The WT regularly says things like 'the kingdom preaching work should be the number one focus in our lives'. How many JWs could honestly say that it is? Witnessing for the majority is just a token service that they give because they are told it is required. Even many of the younger elders don't live like we are in the 'last of the last days'.
I know quite a few young family men who are pretty good JWs, they attend the meetings, out witnessing nearly every Saturday without fail. But they can't get considered for MS appointment because they don't get enough hours in. The GB will have to lower the standards for MS and elder requirements. Either that or wait for the next September 11 scale catastrophe that they can use to beat up the urgency. They need to do something because there is a major problem with young brothers not reaching out in the org. At the last elders school I heard from a few different attendees that the average age was easily 60+. There will be a lot of elders gone within the next 10yrs. There is nowhere near enough young brothers to replace these ageing elders. This is going to be a huge burden on the society fairly soon.
After the 1995 Generation change anyone my age had to either decide to quit or decide to stick their head in the ground.
The jws that are capable of critical thinking are long gon. what is left are individuals that are in for reasons that have nothing to do with what is the "truth." So learning the truth about the truth creates no value and is a bit confusing.
It's a mix in my local congregation. Many are what I call "social JW's" like me, others are more hard-core.
Ask the average JW to explain to you the current "generation" teaching and look for the deer in the headlights look. It's great!
If you care about the "Truth", it takes time, but eventually you leave or you compromise your conscience.
I had a rather bendy conscience and tried for the longest time to reason my way around the organization's deficiencies.
Then I took a look at the morality of "Jehovah" or any deity that created this world and the arguments for tolerating evil all seemed to be a horrible little bar-bet between two powerful beings who really didn't have the same level of morality as the creation.
The creation was MORE MORAL.
That was when I knew that was it.
I can't be anything but an agnostic now.
I still wish the earth was going to be a paradise.
I still wish all the tears from every eye was going to be wiped out.
But I don't think that will ever happen.
I think it's just the grave along with all the others who thought similar thoughts, but lacked the pen and paper and historical posterity to record the morbidity of their thoughts.
I'm almost hoping that some still believe their fiction, because if they do, at least for the moment they have hope.