Amateur Counselors & Nice "Wicked"...
Two observations since leaving the jws:
1. Are the elders really 'teachers'? In the public talk they have to follow the outline provided by the WT. Of course, in the book study, they follow the book. At all the meetings the teaching comes from, and only from, the WTS.
These elders are not trained counselors, psychologists, teachers, or even their own learning about theology. They are merely 'readers,' if you will, and make sure the group stays on target.
Plus, when do they have time to read and study anything to do with training as counselors, etc.? They're usually family men with full-time jobs.
They really are volunteer amateurs attempting to do what professionals do.
2. When you are a jw, you believe the 'world is lying in the power of Satan.' When you meet nice, moral people at work or school, you wonder why God is going to destroy such ones. You have a choice: to 'save' them (read make them a jw), or find out why they are really wicked 'in God's eyes.'
This all leads to a very subtle form of judgmental attitude.
Since leaving, I feel so much more respect for people at-large. I don't have to view them as 'wicked' and under the influence of 'Satan' and worthy of everlasting destruction and seeing 'their eyeballs rot out,' etc.
Now, my motto is 'live and let live.' It's so much more pleasant.
"I'd rather have questions I can't answer than questions I can't answer (or answers I can't question)."
I can enjoy people for what they are even if they don't believe the way I do.
You make a very valid point. These so called elders have no training or expertise that would make them men with wisdom. It seems that their only suggestions to people is to engage in more meetings and more field service. This advice of no help to people with emotional and/or mental problems. I think that the elders, in their ignorance, do much more harm than good.
The sad part is that even the data they get their sources from [the Watchtower Society] are written by people who are so out of touch with the world, bethelites who live in a commune, who are either not married, or are too old to remember. Teaching us how to raise our children, people who don't even have kids. Telling us how to cope in the world, a people who isolate themselves from the world living and working at Bethel.
Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, it's not God's fault!
Patio and Larc; I to believe the things you say about elders.
Also all JW's once baptized are ministers.
Elders do not take any new vows when they become elders.
Mustang maybe if you read this you can lend an answer.
Being what has been said is true. How is it possible the
Missouri state supreme court sided with the tower to
protect the elders on confidentuality. No vows taken
like a priest-lawyer-doctor. All witnesses are ministers.
Is everything said between two or three sisters confidental
too. Ruling of course is over the on going rape case jn Missouri.
Remember catholics MUST confess to go to heaven thus
protection should be applied if the court is ruling on freedom
of religion. But witness's have no such belief. What gives?
Peace and Love-Mark
Crossroads and Larc,
That is really a good point and it seems it would hold up in court that elders are NOT entitled to the confidentiality of "the confessional." When it suits the WTS, they use other religions' fought-for rights, but other times, they are hateful about other religions.
When you think about it the elders are just businessmen, contractors, construction workers, etc., and yet you are supposed to confide in them? They don't have the qualifications to deal with people in that way.
Back to your other topic about people "in the world". I have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of people are trying to do the right thing. They want to marry a good person, find a decent job, raise kids that are healthy and happy. Some are better at all this than others, but I don't believe like the Witnesses do, that most of these people are inherently evil.
Thanks for the reply. It has been an eyeopener for me to realize the subtle judgmental attitude I had. I see it in other jws too--along with a tendency to see all others as unintelligent too. E.g., Flowerpetal's derogatory comment about the political system, condemning all in Simon's thread "Why."
I've even noticed some talking about the ill management of the environment. Since I work with a lot of environmental health specialists, I know they're not stupid nor corrupt.
The easiest thing in the world to do is sit back on the sidelines and criticize and talk about how stupid and wicked everyone is.
I guess this is a pet peeve of mine, having worked in government for the past 15 years. Even when a jw, I could see that the agency I worked for was really trying to keep things stable. It was annoying to hear jws who knew nothing about the issues be so opinionated about how stupid everything was.
But what choice do they have? The bible, as presented by the WTS, says the world is evil, that almost everyone is worthy of death, Satan rules the world, to be no part of the world, etc. But, really, the WTS does say to be neutral--but they don't follow that either do they?
Well, again I ramble. These things have been pent up for a long time, and it's darn good to be able to express them. Couldn't to other jws (heresy!) nor to 'worldlings' (might stumble someone!). Still can't to non-jws, because they just don't understand the mindset of the org. Now, here in this wonderful place, we can speak our minds!
Recently I had a wonderful opportunity to write my local congregation regarding my opinion of this very subject(and a few others) . Here is a little excerpt from the letter.
"Brothers I see a dangerous positon here,(referring to WTBTS command to call them... rather than authoritys) as one that will not disclose information to authorities, that could both move along an investigation, and one that puts the elders in between the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society ,Inc. and the authorities. In the congregations, somewhere in the world, I am sure a lawyer exists. However, in the thirty years since my association began with Jehovahs Witnesses, I have never met one. This tells me that the society is putting your local elders in harms way , as you are unqualified to have any place in a criminal investigation.
To follow this up, few if any elders ever take any accredited training classes for dealing with emotional,psychological, or mental problems. Yet on a routine basis, you have to Judge what is best for the members of the congregation. I ask by what authority you do this. This is not the first century, the elders are not anointed men,they are not appointed with Holy Spirit, so what then gives any brother who occupies a seat as an elder , the authority to judge one of his brothers. I do not recognize this authority and will reject any and all attempts to be judged in this matter as it is not scriptural."
to go a step further. When you get baptised you are not brougth before commitee, you are not told you are subject to this judgement of unqualified persons.
I see this as the worst snowball that ever rolled through hell. It has just managed to get through because the majority of rank and file , dont question the authority , and just give to much of their own energies, faiths, and consciousness over to others who are quite unqualified.
Funny thing is, as soon as one(an elder) reads a book that might actually qualify them to open their mind , or gets an idea that judging is wrong.........presto magico...hes gone!...
UNITY AT ALL COST>>>>>>>>>>>>>>it cant be said better.......
"Amateur Counselors" is a fine way to present the elders. A person with a little knowledge trying to act like a professional with quite a bit more knowledge (and papers to prove it) can do great harm.
About 6 months ago, there was a WT study in which the elders were equated with "the glorious ones" in the Bible. Stating that's why we should respect them and their position so much.
Yet, the WTBTS lawyers in public print call them "volunteers, untrained," etc.
Would seem that the WTBTS talks from both sides of their mouth depending on who they're trying to convince.
I agree and it reminds me of the cliche of a little knowledge goes a long way--for the elders. How much can they possibly know about counseling folks?
I think the idea behind it all is that the Bible is all that is necessary, and that's what the Bible itself says when "all scripture is inspired. . . that the man of God may be completely equipped. . ."
However, they are not equipped for other professions, so why try to be psychologists, etc.?
It can cause a lot of hurt to one who is in need of a professional counselor.