There will always be good families that produce bad kids and
bad families that produce good kids - call it genes or reincarnation
or whatever. Nevertheless, it should be evident to all that the
organization has a huge problem with young people "falling out of the
truth", getting into trouble, and causing heartache for their parents.
The critical issue is why and what can be done about it.
Many Witnesses would say "We did what we could! It's just the
influence of the world and the Devil". While the opinion expressed
is sincere and no doubt heartfelt, it is also superficial and
doesn't deeply analyse what's really happening. Witness parents
are commonly very loyal and freely blame every agent available,
including themselves - without blaiming the Society and its
body of teaching.
I will herein show why the Society's stance toward young people
is flawed and how to repair this situation that has caused
so many Witnesses in the US, Canada, South Africa, Australia,
and Europe to weep over their chidren:
1) The Watchtower does not emphasize love. As a whole, relentless
emphasis is placed on outward rites of obedience - hours in
field service and meeting attendance. Love, charity, and
unselfishness are given mere lip service. Yet, children need
instruction in being loving more than anyone else and more than
anything else. Why? Because babies are born into the world
utterly "selfish". This is not because of what Adam did, it's
just a survival necessity - babies are weak and vunerable and
can't be concerned about anyone but themselves. As children
grow up, they learn to be concerned about other people.
OR AT LEAST WE HOPE THEY DO! More than anything else, I believe
this could prevent problems with selfish, sociopathic young
people - they must be actively taught charity, altruism,
and compassion. Draining off their youthful spirits in a sterile
door to door ministry to save a few from Armageddon's slaughter
is no way to create kind children.
2) The Society destroys its own authority and that of parents,
thereby creating a dismissive attitude in youth - and rebellion.
How so? Teenagers are filled with hormones and rebellious
ideas by nature. HOW DO YOU GUARANTEE REBELLION? By insisting
on zealously attending meetings that teach little or nothing,
by demanding hours spent accomplishing nothing
door to door, by long painful hours of assembly attendance
that drone on about nothing. Seriously, if you look at the matter
through your kids eyes wouldn't you be inclined to say
"my parents are crazy! I'm getting away from this weird cult
as soon as I turn 18!". In addition, when Johnny is confronted
with drugs, booze or the opportunity for "booty", his inner
dialogue is going to tell him that his parents' counsel is
worthless - because of the extremes of irrational devotion
they insist on. ("My parents are religious fanatics! They're
nuts!"). The baby gets thrown out with the bathwater.
3) The Society teaches extreme standards that are unattainable.
As a result, people (youth included) simply give up.
You're never good enough, zealous enough, or righteous
enough. The "Young People Ask" book has TWO chapters on
masturbation! Not one, TWO! Read Acts 15:10 and use some
heartfelt reasoning on the matter.
4) Special problems call for specific programs. The early
Christian congregation had a specific problem with poor
widows starving or being driven into prostitution. They
developed a specific program to fix the problem.(Acts 6:1-7
also,1Tim 5:9) It is therefore, by scriptural example,
the Society's responsibility to create specific programs
to deal with the issue of youth - a college? camping trips?
Sunday school? - they love the "talk" of being the "faithful
and discreet slave" but they don't live up to what the apostles
5) Failure to celebrate holidays is an excellent way to break up
an extended family. No wonder relatives object so strongly
to Witnesses and the rejection of holidays! Maybe they discern
that it means they're out of the picture! You only get so many
days off work to visit/ eat Christmas/Thanksgiving dinner, etc.
"We'll go visit some other time" quickly becomes NEVER!
6) The corruption of the elder arrangement doesn't help, either.
Can you ask for better "stumbling" than covering up child abuse?
And-- Does anybody here REMEMBER what the elder arrangement
originally was promised to be? Hospitality? Brotherhood?
Sharing decision making with the Society? Boy, that didn't last
There's more that could be said or suggested here. If the Society
can't open its hardened heart and feel the anguish of Witness
parents, I understand. Yet, at least they might comprehend the
utter foolishness of pursuing an aggressive "ministry" - while
the organization's children quietly slip away and ruin their
Is there hope?
I don't know