I believe most Witnesses believe that there is nothing new in their religion....Would you agree with them?
Have The JWs Changed All That Much In The Last 20 Years All That Much?
Most would tell you that all of the "core" doctrines that make them distinct and separate from Christendom (false religion) are unchanged and it is this fact that makes it The Truth(TM).
(I assume they must refer to things like measuring pyramids to determine Christ's return; celebrating Christmas & birthdays; the conviction that Armageddon would commence in 1914; the expectation of the early, earthly resurrection of the faithful older men in the 20th Century; organ transplantation is cannabalism; etc)
More a change in style than substance.
Much? Not much. As much as others have changed much.
I say yes it has. I think things are actually more relaxed. When I was a kid, television was considered bad. Some homes wouldn't allow tvs, they were strict and came down hard on their kids. Now the majority of those kids as grown adults are long gone. I think the kids that grew up and are still in are the generation that is very technology oriented, very instant gratification, and very tell me what I need to do or know, I don't want to do the work. So in the 80s and 90s there were A LOT of hardcore, devout, bible thumpers at the hall. Today I would say most adults have very few verses even memorized. My mom to this day could quote scripture after scripture and talk about anything at the door from her memory. I don't know any young adult in their 20s and 30s that could come even close to being able to do that today. The "end" was always a topic all of the time, I don't think that it is really discussed anymore. While they follow the rules, many families just do what is most convenient and exist. Now it is my opinon Jehovah's Witnesses as a religion will always continue to exist. I don't believe there will be a massive exit or people will just stop going. As long as religions are tax free, they can thrive very easily. Most witnesses today wouldn't have a clue on how to research their history since they only know how to research using a watchtower library cd. As the people change, so will the organization. When a lot of older ones die, I think that things will kind of become go with the flow and exist in the religion.
Yes. From the perspective of 40 years, my view is that current Jehovah's Witnesses are only a "shadow" of what defined them as a group a few decades ago. Below is short list of what the contemporary JW has become - this was not the case during the mid and late 20th century.
1. Apathy toward individuals in congregation.
2. The annointed are on the increase.
3. The WT has become a construction and property management corporation.
4. The rapture of all anointed ones will occur before Armageddon.
5. Millions are spent annually on defending legal cases and child abuse settlements.
6. Matters of personal conscience are few.
7. Apostate 'thinking' can lead to disfellowshipping.
8. Individuals cannot trust their own minds (thoughts) or heart (emotions) to make personal decisions.
9. The Faithful Slave in not the annointed remnant but the Governing Body at WT Headquarters.
10. Baptismal numbers in countries where JW's are established are on the decrease.
11. Very few conversions are made through the door-to-door program.
12. Armageddon will arrive in the immediate (yet indefinite) future.
13. Personal problems are blamed on the wicked system of things.
14. Depression is common (and expected).
.... these are just a few of the 'changes'.
20 years ago it really felt like, "We gotta keep doing what we're doing because the End is sooooo close!"
Now it seems like, "We gotta keep doing what we're doing because. .. . . otherwise we won't be doing it.. .or ummmmm. . . . . What are we doing this for?"
I have been out for a good chunk of that 20, so can only go by the JW's I meet and chat to on occasion.
I don't think those individuals have changed much, of course the religion itself has become more controlling, and more cult-like.
What I sense from all of them is a sense of both weariness and sadness, a feeling that they have to do so much, and yet the reward seems further off than ever, one old guy said to me:
"I only stay with it because in my gut I feel something is going to happen".
What he did not identify was that as a born-in, and in for nearly seventy years, that "gut feeling" was put there by the WT !
i cut all contact with the cult in 1981. i joined this site 3 years ago--after first discovering this whole brave new world of apostates.
back in the 70's--if my memory is correct--there were about a million jw's reporting world wide. over the last 30 odd years i thought the cult had almost died out. i never had any door knockers. my elderly parents were still in it--but we didnt discuss it. so--imagine my surprise to discover it had grown to over 7 million members--so it must be gods true religion after all.
they seem more fanatic and devout.