Ter>>I'm afraid I'm going to have to accept Flowerpetal's volunteer work as genuine :)
See, if the government instituted that 10 hours of volunteer work was required by law, there would still be the Mother Theresa's of the world who would be out doing it, not because it was required, but because they wanted to. Their work would still be volunteer in the most important sense of the work- they wouldn't care two bits about what the government had to say.
I agree T. And it goes without saying that in my book, Mother Theresa was a saint. I admired her very much for the selfless work she did.
T>>On the other hand, I am curious to know what you tell people at the door Flowerpetal. You believe there are certain, fairly major, problems with the Witness faith, yet going door to door you're recruiting people into an organization which has these flaws and is at _times_ quite intolerant of individuals disagreeing with them, or trying to understand the organization's faults.
I don't recruit first of all. I go to share scriptural thoughts and ask the person if they would like a Bible study. If they do, I study with them. At the end of the course, they have a decision to make and that is do they want to dedicate their life to Jehovah and symbolize it by water baptism. And they need to know that this baptism will identify them as one of JWs. But I don't make that decision for them--it is totally up to them.
T>>I understand your desire to talk about God-- and I think I even agree that it's possible to be a Christian (as Jesus intended) while still being a Witness (if you keep your mouth closed), but I think it's easier to be a Christian outside of the organization...
What is your definition of a Christian?
T>>Case in point, women. Now having never been a women in the Witnesses I'll have to rely on what my girlfriend has said about her experience, but it seems to me there is a fairly sublte (at times not very subtle) relegation of women to a secondary role. Not being able to serve as elders, or lead prayers if there are brothers there, or even being able to be parking attendants at District Conventions :)
While the last may not be important, as part of a consistent pattern, my girlfriend at least felt like a second-class spiritual member. This I believe, is an attitude which goes hideously against Jesus' attitudes during his life towards even the most marginal women in society.
Can your friend go from door-to-door just like a man? Can she go on return visits just like a man? Can she conduct bible studies just like a man? Can she give a talk at the hall just like a man? (of coursewith a householder but the information she brings out still benefits the congregation). She can be a auxilliary pioneer or regular pioneer just like a man. Being a parking lot attendant e.g. is not a gauge for the kind of spirituality Jehovah looks at, for crying out loud! And to tell you the truth, I would not want to be an elder. I don't want to know people's business that bad because it would change my attitude toward them. And I have a story about that!
And giving prayers in front of men would make me uncomfortable. Now maybe this is a strong attitude coming from the apostle Paul, but if you accept what the Bible says, God made man first. He is to be the head of the family at least.
T>>Of course, the Witness attitude is not unique, and many fundamentalist Christian groups also follow Paul's prejudices on this matter, but I think any group with an attitude like this is being very unChristian, and makes it hard for women to... I know it's a bit of a corny phrase, live up to what God created them to be
Are you a liberal Christian, T?
IMHO, we still might have a long way to go. I mean there isn't even a woman president yet and I think it might be a long time in coming. Men are uncomfortable with women's cycles, etc. and it terrifies the majority of them that a woman might be making major decisions of the country based on that! LOL