What I Observed Last Night At The Kingdom Hall

by stevieb1 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • stevieb1

    I am still one of Jehovah's Witnesses and I still attend meetings at the Kingdom Hall though I am quite disgruntled over many of the Society's teachings and the practices that go on in the congregation. I have read everything about JW's both pro and con, (I have one of the largest collections of material related to JW's in Europe) and I have contributed scholarly articles to the Society on many occasions. I could talk about many things but I'll just talk about what I observed last night. Does anyone else share these observations.

    1. I arrive at the Kingdom Hall and the first thing I observe is that all the elders are chatting in little groups of two or three and appear completely engrossed in routine paperwork and letter reading. This carried on from then on to the start of the meeting. It continued after the meeting. I could also see elderly ones and young ones sitting alone with no-one speaking to them. While the 'shepherds' were otherwise engaged these souls including depressed ones had no encouragement. I'm sure Jesus would have been available for these ones.

    2. I observed large number of cliques amongst the brothers. JW's are encouraged to widen out but it doesn't happen very much in my congregation. The number of brothers passing each other by in the Hall without a word of greeting was unbelievable.

    3. Gossiping is quite a common thing in our congregation as is back-biting amongst the brothers. No real unity!! I observed brothers complaining about their assignments that evening and because they had a talk to do that night. What a joyful occasion this was turning out to be.

    4. Young brothers including some young ministerial servants engaging in quite un-spiritual talk in the midst of the congregation. One could tell they weren't really interested in the meeting or even in spiritual things. Yet these ones especially the ministerial's are given talks the same night in the Service Meeting! Interestingly these ones are related to elders and are in the right clique so to speak! What hypocrisy!

    5. The meeting itself didn't seem to have any life in it. The real meaning and the spirit of the scriptures didn't seem to reach my heart. The Scriptures are hardly ever expounded in detail and the reading of them seems like a perfunctory sacrifice. The Service Meeting is the most boring meeting! Much of the repetitive material on Field Service never seems to be applied in most cases because I think everyone else is bored with the format as presented in Our Kingdom Ministry.

    Anyone else feeling the same?

  • stephenw20

    Prior to 1985
    when I was 'religiously" attending the meetings......I noticed about half of what you wrote to be true

    15 yrs later after my long hiatus...........there is no question all of it is true.........and its not like I wanted it to be.........I was returning to find this promised "unity" and peace.

    the welcome back if you can call it that, lasted a few weeks at best. Since this was a congregation i was not formerly associated with , it is not known if I give off the "dont talk to me" vibe........ or not, but it seemd that i was prejudged even before any one even said hi.......

    after the Greatest Man book finshed, I sensed the congregation COOL off even more..........the last time I visited the meeting, I was greeted only by the visiting speaker.........

    the unity has been acheived....UNITED IN WORSHIP of the TOWER.....which means you can be divided into cliques as long as you attend meetings, go out in service(or at least take the magazines) and dont have anyone give a report that will force us to d/F you...........and above all else "dont make waves"....... it makes everyone wake up and be uncomfortable........


  • BugEye

    So why are you still there?

    Matt 23:15


  • BugEye

    That was a genuine question, not a derogatory statement.


  • CornerStone

    Hello StevieB1,

    Your observations are not unusual to critical thinkers or to people who are just honest with themselves. Because we live in the "western world" and are busy with work, family, possesions, and the cares of this life, we fall into a sort of self absorbed way of living, similar to what Jesus warned the people about in his day. Of course, I am not making excuses for people who KNOW Jesus command to love their brother and fellow man and what you see in your hall is the same thing I see in mine, the very same thing. All one has to do to know why this is takeing place is to look at WHO is takeing the lead in teaching and guiding the flock. It goes all the way up to the GB of the WTS. They have the wrong view that Gods' spirit opperates from the top on down to the R&F. But anybody who has studied the Bible can plainly see that God has frequently used people on the low level of the social, economic, political, and religious systems of the day. Their view has the bad result of "running" the flock like a business,( watchtower and awake! sales) rather than imitating Jesus kindly example of leading the sheep to refreshing drinks of water,( from Gods' word). There are just so many bad situations that result from this kind of "leadership" that it puts a black eye on how people precieve God and Jesus, putting reproach on their names.
    I believe that any good change that will take place does not necessarily begin with THEM but with US as individuals. If others are not kind then we need to be kind. Mercy, friendship, faithfulness to Gods' teachings and the like need to start with us, the individual. In time I believe God will lead us to where we need to be, while not forgetting the lessons of where we came from.
    So, it is distressing to see hippocritical actions and attitudes within the cong. but just remember, if you love truth, you won't be there forever.


  • Pathofthorns

    As was already touched on, these are all problems any thinking person in or out of the organization is aware of. The Society also is well aware of these problems as they address these issues regularly in WT articles, CO visits, and meetings with elders.

    The tendancy is to always view these problems as a "local" problem when in reality it is the SOCIETY that has created the MINDSET which creates and perpetuates the problem and the problems are in fact common to MOST congregations.

    What this means in real terms is that the "spiritual paradise" is a myth. Everyone is doing the best they can to "hold it together" and is going through the motions. The ideal that we claim is imaginary at best.


  • stephenw20

    I enjoyed your post and agree with you on this line

    "I believe that any good change that will take place does not necessarily begin with THEM but with US as individuals. If others are not kind then we need to be kind. "
    Integritiy and honor exist regardless of where we are or who we are with...its not an easy road , but as gods grace is ..., we can grow in it... not achieve it once.......or grow to it........

    "Mercy, friendship, faithfulness to Gods' teachings and the like need to start with us, the individual. In time I believe God will lead us to where we need to be, while not forgetting the lessons of where we came from. "

    Where ever we are, is where we are meant to be for that minute, that day that year that life. Meant to be in ...meant to learn....... and then move to the next challenge...........or learning experience

    for those who doubt the hand of divine intervention, read the lineage between David and Jesus......all those men, had their lives directed at least in one aspect. ANd when you know who Solomons mother is , it is even more, Mystical..........and if this is prophecy, how many more do we look at to see divine intervention.....

    so do we create our own destiny , our own reality..or do we co create it..or not at all?

    any thoughts Cornerstone?

  • Flowerpetal

    Dear Pathofthorns,

    I agree with you.

  • Pathofthorns

    Much of the problems mentioned have to do with the WEAK vs STRONG mindset that Witnesses have. There is the constant resentment between those in the "inner circle" and those "on the fringes".

    The concept that we are all "equal in the faith" is a myth. Those who "do more" on paper (generally "field service hours") move up the "theocratic ladder" by being recognized with "priveleges". Elder's wives and sisters who pioneer are part of the inner gossipping cliques who can look down on those who are less involved.

    This whole mindset originates with the Society. While they will say this discourage it, the whole push to "do more", "reach out" etc. and the labels such as "a good witness", "spiritually minded ones" etc all encourage the animosity between the "weak" and the "strong".

    Ironically it is the weak who generally are the more stronger persons and it is the so called strong ones who are always being offended and upset over what someone does because they have no life but to be caught up with all the politics of a congregation and are only concerned about policing the next person.


  • cocolocoii

    I went to the meeting last tuesday, and I noticed that many of the brothers and sisters were really tired. The meeting was boring and monotonus.
    I think that many of the friends goes to the meetings just as a mechanical process. It looks as if they have already left their minds somewhere else.

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