After the fun time I had at the MI 'fest with everyone that attended, I was sent off to CA and WA to work for a few weeks. While in the Bay area, I met up with a good friend of mine that I had not seen in over ten years. He is married now to a sweet jw 'sis' who is quite a few years younger than him. We went out a for a few nights on the town and even got to include a baseball game where the Giants stomped the Pirates(dang it). Just the guys having fun. You seem to get more out of the association when you have not seen each other in quite a while - so much to talk about. We had been asking each other how things were going in each other's life and I tried very hard not to give away my current situation. We grew up together and each of our parents know each other and still stay in touch.
Anyway, while at a brewery one night, he asked what my goals were in the congregation. At this point in the evening I had managed to steer the conversation clear of any "theocratic" discussion. When he brought that question up, I had roughly a pitcher's worth of porter giving me the liquid courage to say anything I felt like saying regardless of the consequences. Not a good idea.
I proceeded to tell him that I have not been as active as I would like to be as my job tends to keep me away quite a bit. Now for those of you who may not know my situation, I am very inactive and proud of it! I was merely trying to lessen the shock to him without receiving a lecture in return. It did not go as planned. He then drilled me asking if I had any doubts or concerns that maybe he could help me with. If he only knew that I know more about the org now than he would ever know in his lifetime of being in it. That damn beer mixed with my anger towards the org started to rear its nasty side now.
I told him that I did not agree with many doctrines anymore and that there was no use in trying to convince me otherwise. He pressed me further asking me to reveal what they were. So I said OK, I'll just give you one of them, but that's it. He said OK.
Me - "So, how do YOU feel about the blood doctrine and the flip-flops and changes that happen every other year?"
His face changed from a look of helpful concern to one of disdain in a matter of a second. The first question out of his mouth was, "So you don't feel that Jehovah uses the faithful and discreet slave to give us the necessary food and lifesaving material at the right time?" Gawwwd, that is not what I was hoping to hear, but I admit I expected it in a way. I told him it is not a matter of who Jehovah is using, but it is the truthfulness and accuracy of the information that is being distributed. I also told him that I did not appreciate someone else forcing their conscience upon my own and telling me what I should think. Damn beer.
"Jourles, have you thought about going to the elders and telling them the doubts you are having? You really should the way it sounds." I asked him if he wanted to hear my thoughts on the blood issue and he kindly said, "Not really, but rather you should discuss it with the elders as they are more knowledgeable on this subject than I am." It turns out that my friend is still well indoctrinated as the day I last said goodbye to him ten years ago.
A day later, he and his wife asked me if I would like to go out bowling with them and some friends of theirs. I said it sounded like fun and I would meet them at the alley. Little did I know that a few phone calls had already been made to certain parents, both his and mine, and that there were going to be a couple elders attending this bowling outing. I have to admit, that was a sweet setup on their part. I did not see it coming whatsoever.
Next -----> Part 2 - At the Bowling Alley