Do elders take their job too seriously?

by JH 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • Athanasius

    I don't know what the elders are like today since I resigned my position in 1984 and stopped attending meetings. But during the ten years that I served, elders came in all shapes and sizes. Many were sincere, compassionate, and worked hard to shepherd the congregation in love. Then there were those who were elders because of the prestige. They would work all day at their job at the sewer works, go home and shower, put on suit, go to the meeting, and they were "Brother Elder." Often they prepared their parts during the meeting and ignored their duties. We had liberals, moderates, conservatives, and Watch Tower fascist pigs. We had one of the latter on our body of elders. His brother-in-law was a circuit overseer so he knew all the numbers to call back at the Vatican for advise. Several in our congregation hated his guts because he was always interferring in their life.

    Most of the liberal elders that I served with no longer hold that position in the congregation. It would be very difficult for them to serve as elders in today's Watch Tower culture with a clear conscience.



  • moreisbetter

    "Did you enjoy the company of elders?" A very thought provoking question. And thinking about it is what I have been doing

    here goes:

    To start, there are a lot of elders that I know that I hate. Period. Currently there are now a lot of elders that I don't know that I despise because how they are taking care of their flock (in denial, kowtowing, hypocrisy & more) . But I don't want to be a person that hates; anything! It requires a lot of time & energy, & since I'm beginning my journey into the 2nd half of my life, I don't want to spend what time I have left on hate (some things in life should be though). I have to work this stuff out & move on. Anywhay,

    So, to answer the question in a positive light, I would like to tell about what i enjoyed about 4 elders. They have & will always have a seat of honor in my heart.

    One is a current elder; he is a lifelong family friend & I always regarded him as an uncle. He has his faults (his wife is a total, hypocrtical, gossiping, living in denial, arrogant bitch- ok, not his fault). He always enjoyed his beer way too much. With one exception, he always treated me & my family with love. He officiated at my grandmother's memorial service a year ago & even though he knew of my current feelings & position, he not only acknowledged me but approached me in love to give me a hug. No more, no less. I pushed him away because I was still angry after 12 yrs. I wished i hadn't done that. A hug is a hug. He has always shown me love. Whether he is right or wrong about his beliefs, that's his choice & his right. Regarding his position as an elder, I still don't agree with his beliefs, but still respect him for his faith in those beliefs. All I know is that he always showed a non-judgmental love to me & my family. He has a special place in my heart. I really, really hope that memory is never destroyed by something like the recent cover-ups & others.

    The 2nd was a blood relative uncle. He was my paternal great uncle who lived in IL. IMO hHe was just an all around neat guy! I never heard him condemn or judge a person, howver he had his opinions about their actions based on his JW beliefs. He wasn't arrogant or power hungry (ok, i may be biased here & don't know everything) At the age of 14, I gave into the pressure that it was time for me to be baptized. However, according to JW regs, an elder that knew me was to study & review the "questions" with me in preparation & approve my baptism. Well, I had already made plans to visit uncle & aunt that summer. We approached my cong elders & asked if it was acceptable that uncle go over the questions. After a few letter exchanges between congs, everything was approved & if elder uncle was staisfied, i could be approved for baptism. I travelled from TX to IL to spend 4 summer weeks with uncle, aunt & cousins. Uncle went over the baptismal questions in a manner that was peaceful, nonjudgemental & very loving for me. He truly beleived in all of it. Uncle & aunt made the study sessions into events; one time was a picnic breakfast at a local lake. I never took it to be a detraction from the study, but provided a relaxed ,loving atmosphere for me to contempleate the seriousnes of the situation; the commitment I was making. They were making it an Event! Ya know, upon reflection, it was a good thing. To this day, I do not believe anther elder would have cared as much about my baptism. Hell, not even one g**d*** person from my cong witnessed my baptism. Not even my local TX family. ANyway Due to KH politics, Uncle was asked to step down as an elder & gave in. He never served in a position again. He still held onto his faith and died an active witness in 1994. Uncle, in my opinion, separated the stupidity of some of the local power member/brokers/elder morons from what he truley beleived was the truth. right or wrong. Aunt past over in 78. I miss them both. Although quite old, Uncle liked to travel, and did so; making long car trips visiting nieces & nephews in many states. Uncle visited me 4 times in those years, even after he knew of my "sin" and my position. He came anyway & always treated me with love. Uncle believed in the religion he chose, the religion of Jehovah' Witnesses; he died committed to it. But he also knew right from wrong. He still believed in treaing people with love. I truly believe if Uncle was alive today and faced with current facts regarding the WTBS, he would still beleive in a Jehovah, but would be screaming his bloody head off about the JW practices of today and to them. He believed in christian love as he understood it & believed it. I just can't fault him for that. At uncle'e funeral, 1st Corinthians 13:4-8 was printed on the announcements. There are many, many christian scriptures one may find appropriate to live by, but i like this one.

    The 3rd was an elder in my new cong that I met right after my marriage. I was very young, alienated, weak & defensive. Many, many, MANY times I was defensive & bitchy. He was the the only one who did not counsel me on this but rather came up to me and said "whats wrong? how can I help YOU?" All the others either critisized or thought I was crazy & dismissed me as a weak, crazy, sister/publisher/human thing. He was the only one that asked, "tell me whats going on? how can i help? I'm ashamed to say I don't think I told him how much I appreciated that gesture! It has been over 26 yrs, but I can clearly remember where I was in the KH when he approached me & asked that. But what convinced me that he was sincere was thhe fact he was that kind of shepherd to everyone. That was many years ago. He passed over way, way to young due to cancer. I miss him. I felt he loved not just because he was a JW, but becaue he was human. No one can convince me he didn't.

    Ok, the 4th, & the last. And if your still here, i appreciate it your indulgence. The 4th is my ex husband; a MS when we married & later elder. did I enjoy his company? yeah, I did. At the risk of being considered biased, I always thought he was humble, sincere with a great deal of integrity for what was right, not just what the WTS said what right but was logicaly supposed to be right. He cared for & looked after with compassion many in the cong especially older ones; He was a very talented speaker who always made sure it was not his agenda that was delivered in that talk, but the msg that WTS wanted delivered (pls, no comments here; right or wrong in the msg, I respect a guy's right to their belief); he was nevrer, ever an arrogant, greedy, power hungry, abusive MoFoSOB elder. Whatever confd. cong matters were going on, whatever juicy JCs were taking place, I didn't know about them because he didn't tell. He was one of a few elders in our area that didn't tell thier wives anything. He is by no means a saint. He had/has LOTS of faults. He DF as an elder, then reinstated, but he has never been the same (that is another story) He is currently inactive. For many reasons I can't adequately explain and perhaps shouldn't have brought up, I very much admire & respect him. But one reason I will share. He's a damn fine dad (still with faults lol) But Damn Fine! I'm so very lucky, and grateful, & very appreciative that we have worked extremly well together as separated, divorced parents the last 10 yrs raising our 4 kids. He loves.

    I'm sorry for the long post, but that question just struck a nerve. a sensitive one. All of the above mentioned elder persons I love because I think of them as humans first, then elders way down on the list . To be fair there are a few other elder persons I do know that are ok, but I didn't mention.

    Please excuse me for what I'm about to say but: To all the rest of you current elders that I know AND don't know but, who are cold, sadistic, paranoid, power hungry, just plain sick perverts, protect the image of your life sucking regardless of who it hurts org slime: Go to bloody F***** H***. I know you don't believe in one, but one can easily be provided for you.

    Once again sorry folks, got carried away.

    Edited by - moreisbetter on 5 January 2003 1:8:1

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