Are we wrong to attack the Elders?

by MARTINLEYSHON 61 Replies latest jw friends


    Hillary_Step this is exactly what I was thinking. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

    Of course any elder who willfully wants to keep his position at the risk of someone else is full of pride. Those are not the individuals I was referring to. You all have to remember the socialogical and psychological pressure these men and their families sometimes have to endure. Its often not as simple as "ok I don't want to be an elder anymore, you people are unethical so I am just going to sit here in the KH as a regular publisher and do good" though I wish it was that simple.

  • hillary_step


    Yes, you are right, thank you for pointing this out to me.

    However, sometimes it is prudent to remain silent in certain circumstances as an elder working from 'within'. Superficially he might be seen as 'supporting' the system, but this may be very far from the truth.

    Best regards - HS

    Edited by - hillary_step on 2 October 2002 12:28:5

  • Pathofthorns

    HS.. I will accept the probablity that I may be unreasonable and narrow-minded on this subject but I see few things that directly cause more unrest in the JW community than how elders handle matters. Likely they are in a no win situation, but too often they get involved where they shouldn't and too often they turn blind eyes to things they should be paying attention to. All in all you have untrained men stumbling around and disasterously wrecking havoc in people's personal lives.

    Yes there are many good elders but all I am saying is that it is inevitable that tests of loyalty will come their way. Whether an elder puts his position over people says much about him imo. Even nice elders often turn nasty when their backs are to the wall.

    This is an organization that attaches so much importance and weight to position and rank - things that any spiritual man whether a JW or not knows are corrupting things that Jesus cautioned strongly regarding. I would have great respect for any elder that handed in his book and took his seat with the rest of the congregation over a serious matter of injustice that refused to be handled properly. He could still be loyal and yet clearly indicate he has not supported injustice.

    Too many exJW's who were elders imo refuse to accept any responsibility for the harm they caused and look to excuse their past. And too many throw their former qualifications around like they are some kind of badges of honor when imo they are badges of shame.


    Edited by - Pathofthorns on 2 October 2002 12:31:29

  • hillary_step


    I cannot disagree with anything that you have noted above. I will say however that I have known many elders who have been good men, honorable and decent. I have known also known many such as you describe above. My analogy with a government however is still valid. A corrupt government may not be made up of 100% corrupt officials. Many may chose to try to reform the party from within. I am not suggesting that that they have any chance of success, but I am suggesting that these people should be judged as people and for motive, not as 'positions'.

    Best - HS

  • outoftheorg

    I was an elder for aprox. 4 yrs. I functioned in that position in two different congregations. In both of them I found about 2 or 3 out of 5 elders were arrogant bullies that wanted to run the whole show. They were beligerant and dogmatic. The ones that were more understanding and thoughtful were pushed a side by the other 2 or 3 who insisted on having their way. They were insulting and would degrade those that did not agree with them during elder meetings. Never did they consider what others brought up in a rational fashion. This attitude carried over into their every day lives. They were never aware of others feelings and would intrude into another families personal business. Such as how their little kids behaved in meetings and other things none of their business. One of them had been literaly told to leave a congregation and never come back by its members after several had left the "troof" due to his actions. But he was still an elder. I refused to continue as an elder because I felt I was a part of something I Could not and would not do any longer.

    While I did know some elders that rightly tried to be what an elder should be, I found the ELDER ARRANGEMENT as it functioned to be one of the most detestable parts of the wbts organization.

    The BODY of elders was always corrupted by a few arrogant ones and its functions were corrupted in turn. If anyone stays in as an elder after experiencing what I saw they are in my opinion no better than the worst one in the group.

    my opinion Outoftheorg

  • hillary_step

    Hi Out,

    While I did know some elders that rightly tried to be what an elder should be, I found the ELDER ARRANGEMENT as it functioned to be one of the most detestable parts of the wbts organization

    I think that your statement perfectly sums up my own experience and feelings about the system. Even more disgusting than the elder arrangment are the shenanigans that are allowed to develop within the Branches, the 'Houses Of God', which are imho, as corrupt a system as exists anywhere.

    Best regards - HS

    Edited by - hillary_step on 2 October 2002 12:49:2

  • Pathofthorns

    I cannot rationalize the reform-minded elder either. I can understand that many elders before they ultimately resign might consider that as a viable option, but reality is again that tests of loyalty will arrise.

    Even the reform-minded elder has to ultimately risk his position to stand up against injustice. And when it comes down to it his stand against injustice will either get him removed or he will resign over how the matter is handled.

    A person cannot turn a blind eye to injustice and vote along with a body or go with the flow at the expense of people and what is morally and ethically right and then claim he was doing so in the interests of reform. Intent to reform something to a higher standard while selling out those same standards to keep a position is completely contradictory.

    I believe we can do without these elders seeking reform. Sure they are nice and handy sometimes but ultimately quality elders leaving their positions in sufficient numbers will leave the Society stranded. The Society cannot operate without these men.

    And if these men are worried they will lose their families for giving up a position, then they need to explain that they can serve Jehovah just fine as a publisher..



    Are we missing the point of this thread?

  • hillary_step


    Are we missing the point of this thread?

    Uhh! Seldom have I seen a thread on this Board actually stay *on* point for so long. Why do you think it had deviated from your thread heading?

    Best regards - HS

  • Valis

    I think this semi apollogy for elder mistreatment or the flock or inaction goes something like this...lets play the blame game..

    Move 1

    Let us not blame the comes from higher up and they are only following orders..


    Alright then lets blame the COs and DOs


    Let us not blame the COs and comes from higher up and they are only following orders..

    Further Countermove

    Alright then blame the GB


    No wait! There may be some congregations that don't follow all our guidance..blame the individual elder of the offending congo!

    You see where this viscious little cycle goes? I say blame them all. If someone doesn't want the responsibility of holding a postion of import, which includes blame for wrongdoing, then they shouldn't step up to the plate at all. They are far from being innocent lambs of any sort. The JWs so many times talk about what "a matter on conscience" is, yet when it comes to those they put in charge, the conscience gets thrown out and replaced with "Jehovah's loving arrangement". Never to be questioned or set aside or used in combination with following one's heart on a matter. Yet more bullshit and very telling. As well, they have no fear of taking responsibility with the exception of losing their postition. Not good enough for me.


    District Overbeer

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