My Mother is a JW, I have ?'s

by kittycuddler 12 Replies latest jw friends

  • Alleymom

    Kittycuddler --

    I was just thinking about what I wrote to you earlier tonight and it hit me that I actually suggested you read a WT article! I'll never sleep unless I clarify that I think the literature can be VERY dangerous ... I only meant that it might be useful to show your mom that maybe she could be together with the rest of the family and not be considered to be participating in a holiday celebration.

    Have you looked at any of the sites listed at the bottom of each page here? I ordered material from freeminds for a long time before I was on the internet, and I found a wealth of information there.

    Another site that I like is Michael Manning's webpage. He tells how he was disfellowshipped (kicked out and shunned) for smoking 2 cigarettes a day.

    --- excerpt from Michael Manning's page ---
    I was disfellowshipped (expelled) from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society for smoking cigarettes. I broke their law. Not a Biblical law, man's law. Actually, at the time of my expulsion, I smoked about two cigarettes a day. Two cigarettes a day cost me a religion, a family (my dad, step-mother, half brother, and six step sisters) and a marriage. Not to mention what I truly believed was a chance to enter Paradise Earth and everlasting life. All my hope was destroyed because of two cigarettes a day. Incredible isn't it? How can one describe that kind of emotional pain? The heartache? The episode nearly cost me my mental health.
    After a year of secret smoking in the organization, I had had enough of the guilt gnawing at my insides. I hated deceiving my "brothers" and I knew I wasn't fooling Jehovah. Unable to endure anymore guilt and unable to quit, I wrote a
    letter of confession. Shortly after that letter was mailed, I was tried, found guilty and expelled as unworthy of life. Thank God it did not end there. Although it's quite humbling to put one's personal history out for the world to see, you are invited to read about this episode in greater detail. If one soul is helped, it makes it all worth while!

    Edited twice cause I don't remember how to work the controls that make things appear as a quote, and I keep messing it up!


    Edited by - alleymom on 4 February 2003 0:32:19

    Edited by - alleymom on 4 February 2003 0:37:24

  • kittycuddler

    Thank you so much Margorie for the feedback on my question. I love the fact that there are people as yourself out in the world still. I am trying to request a copy of that peticular Watch Tower to help me go over it with my step father and mother. I appreciate your help and best wishes to you always.


  • Alleymom

    kittycuddler --

    I copied the article for you, just the way it was posted to me last year, here on the board, by a person called outnfree. It includes her comments. I am really afraid that if you ask your mom to get you a copy of the magazine, she will want to go over it with you, and then have you read other articles, and pretty soon get you involved in an actual study with the Witnesses. After all, she really believes she has found the truth, and she loves you and will want to share it with you.

    But, please, before you start reading their literature and studying with them, I urge you to do some serious investigation about this organization. Once you start studying you will be told that anyone who speaks against the organization is a tool of Satan, and you will be very strongly discouraged from reading anything negative. So many lives have been ruined.

    I still think about a grandmother who wrote on another board several years ago about how she had been disfellowshipped (also for smoking, like Michael Manning) and was being shunned by her family. Her first grandchild had just been born, and it was breaking her heart that her daughter-in-law would not allow her in the house. She said she was crying herself to sleep every night, thinking about how much she wanted to be able to pick up that baby.

    Since I can't seem to get the quote-thingy working right, I'm just going to paste in the article, the way it was sent to me. If you click on the link I gave you in my first message, you can see the whole thread for yourself. Here goes ....


    Dear Alleymom,

    Welcome to the Board!

    Here is the full text of the 12/15/2001 Questions from Readers (but I'm afraid I couldn't resist some personal asides...):

    "How can a Christian wife balance loyalty to God with submission to her unbelieving husband if he shares in religious holiday activities?

    Her doing so will require wisdom and tact. But she is doing the right thing in striving to balance her two obligations. Jesus gave counsel about a parallel situation: "Pay back, therefore, Caesar's things to Caesar, but God's thinkgs to God." (Matthew 22:21) Granted he was dealing with obligations to governments, to which Christians were later told to be in submission. (Romans 13:1) Yet, his counsel find a parallel in a wife's balancing her obligations to God with her Scriptural obligations to her husband, even if he is an unbeliever.

    [Unbeliever he may be, but he's still "Emperor" over her, according to the CCJW! Man doesn't need to be "godly" to rule over lesser mortals like women!

    No one familiar with the Bible would deny that it stresses that a Christian's first obligation is to Almighty God, to be loyal to him at all times. (Acts 5:29) Still, in many situations a true woshiper can accomodate the requests or demands of an unbeliever in authority while not sharing in a violation of God's elevated laws.

    We find an instructive example in the three Hebrews, as related in Daniel chapter 3. Their governmental superior, Nebudchadnezzar, descreed that they and others present themselves on the plain of Dura. Realizing that false worship was scheduled, the three Hebrews would likely to have preferred to avoid being there. Perhaps Daniel was able to excuse himself, but these three could not.* So they complied to the extent of appearing, but they would not--and did not--share in any wrong act. -- Daniel 3:2-18.

    Similarly, around holiday times an unbelieving husband [the wife's "governmental superior"] might request or demand that his Christian wife do something she would like to avoid. Consider some examples: He tells her to cook a certain food on the day he and others will celebrate a holiday. Or he demands that the family (including his wife) visit his relatives on that day for a meal or simply as a social call. Or even prior to the holiday, he might say that while his wife is out shopping, she must make some purchases for him -- foods unique to the holiday, items to use as presents, or wrapping paper and cards to use with his gifts.

    Again, the Christian wife ought to be determined no to share in false religious acts, but what about such requests? He is the family head, and God's Word says: "You wives, be in subjection to your husbands, as it is becoming in the Lord." (Colossians 3:18) In these cases, can she show wifely subjection while being loyal to God? She must decide how to balance obedience to her husband with her overriding obedience to Jehovah.

    At other times, her husband may ask her to cook a certain food, whether because it is his favorite or because he is used to having that meal in a particular season. She will desire to show love for him and recognition of his headship. Could she do so even if he made the request on the occasion of a holiday? Some Christian wives might be able to do so with a good conscience [not a Yule Log, perhaps, too Pagan, but Christmas shortbread cookies shaped like stars?????], simply considering it as a normal task of preparing the daily meal. Certainly, no loyal Christian would attach any holiday significance to it, even if her husband did. [Oh! So the Yule Log IS okay -- it's just a modified jelly roll, after all -- and she can use the Santa cookie cutter after all!!! Yes, and hot cross buns in April, as well! Mmmmmm...] Similarly, he might require her to be with him when he visits his relatives at various times each month or year. Could she do so even if it was the day of a holiday? Or would she normally be willing to purchase things at his request, without judging [!!!!What an earth-shattering idea for a JW!] what he intends to do with the items she buys for him while doing her shopping?

    Of course, a Christian wife should think of others--the effect on them. (Philippians 2:4) [Santa shortbread cookies are made of exactly the same ingredients as the star-shaped ones ] She would like to avoid giving any impression that she is linked to the holiday, just as the three Hebrews may likely have preferred that others not see them traveling to the plain of Dura [she'll bake the cookies but not carry the cookie tin into the relative's?]. So she might tactfully try to reason with her husband to see if, out of consideration for her feelings, he might do certain holiday-related things for himself to accomodate a wife who loves and respects him. [Okay, he'll carry the tin!] He might see the wisdom of not putting both of them in a potentially embarrassing situation if she would have to refuse to engage in false religious acts. [Then again, he might like to watch her squirm.] Yes, calm discussion beforehand might lead to a peaceful solution. [Or, it might deteriorate into hurt feelings and icy relations all around!]-- Proverbs 22:3.

    In the final, analysis, the faithful Christian [interesting there is no 'wife' as a modifier here...] must weigh the facts and then decide what to do. Obedience to God must come first, as it did with the three Hebrews. (1 Corinthians 10:31) But with that in mind, the individual Christian has to decide what noncompromising things can be done at the request of one having authority in the family or in the community. [OK -- I get that an unbelieving father might also have authority over his children, for example, but WHO could this ostensibly unbelieving 'community' member be that has authority over a Christian wife? The mayor's going to ask her to shop?!!!]

    * See "Questions From Readers" in The Watchtower of August 1, 2001"

    Happy to provide the full-text service while I can -- my subs are expiring soon and I'm NOT going to a Kingdumb Hole to get MORE...


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