Session #8: "Bullet in the Head"
So at the PhD today with my wife and me, and in slowly getting to the heart of matters (like peeling an onion if you ask me), the dialogue in part went like this:
PhD: If it came down to it, would you take a bullet in the head instead of giving up membership in your organization?
Wife: Absolutely, I would die for my faith.
PhD: No, that's not what I asked. You can keep your faith in God and your personal relationship with him, its yours to have, hold, love, and cherish. What I asked is would you take a bullet in the head vs. renouncing membership in the WT organization?
Wife: Absolutely, I would die for what I would believe.
PhD: What about you Brian? Same question.
Brian: Where do I sign?
I married SUCH an intelligent woman. She knows how to love from the heart, how to care for and protect me and the kids. She is giving and unselfish. A deep thinker. Thrifty. Loves music, nature, wine, good food, the peace of sitting at the front of the plane vs. the back, walks on the beach, making things grow...I mean the list goes on and on. But she would would watch her family be executed vs. renouncing her membership in a 100 year old man made organization.
Good god almighty, somebody help me wrap my angry mind around this.
I feel like the way you worded this kind of set you up for failure. I mean, as a born in I was fed countless experiences from the platform and articles from magazines that glorified witnesses who died for not renouncing being a JW. Think of all those concentration camp experiences, etc. Of course she's going to take a bullet rather than renounce being a JW. For a JW who is still in there is no separation of God/faith/organization. It's one big meshed mess. It took me a very long time to separate these things.
It's a reason of pride and what JWs have been prepared for since birth basically to die for their religion.
Reading this brings back a memory that makes me angry.
When I was new in the religion, I thought to myself that I would die for the religion (imagine?). Thankfully, this was a very brief period and I came to my senses. It makes me angry that anybody should be a martyr, especially now that I know what I know.
Its easy for a witness to answer a hypothetical question so affirmatively but I doubt that when faced with the reality they would follow through. Take heart.
the fact that she equated the org with her faith shows that the brainwashing is in full swing. maybe you can tear down that wall of equivalence one brick at a time.
something that may help is to bring up accounts in the bible that shes familiar with and ask questions about what it sounds like they mean. chose accounts that are usually twisted by the org but have a different and plain meaning when read in context. she may start to wonder why they teach it differently.
some good ones are:
the good samaritan account: remember that the question jesus was answering was "who really is my neighbor" and the neighbor turned out to be the person to helped the victim. in essence jesus was saying to love those who show love to you.
the last-coin widow: in context (read a little before this account) jesus is using her as an example of how the pharasees devour the houses of widdows
the one who has died has been aquitted of his sins: i think its in hebrews somewhere but this one is used to teach forgiveness at death but this scripture was an obvious metaphor if you read in context
666 in revelation: you could ask her how 3 sixes could represent something when the number 6 as used today was not invented until centuries after rev. was written, the number was in text format (lit. six hundred and sixty and six) and would not have conveyed the same sense (tripple 6)
theres alot more than those but most would probably set off alarm bells and shut her down.
if you want to get more advanced you could ask how jesus could have helped in creation (as john 1 clearly states he did -'without him was not any thing made that was made' ) if in isa. 44:24 it says "I am Jehovah, who made everything. I stretched out the heavens by myself, And I spread out the earth. Who was with me?"
careful with that one though, you might be accused of promoting the trinity or being an apostate.
God shows no partiality. Jews claimed they are the chosen ones which history shows God did not endorse. God knew that many would choose their faith according to their likes and dislikes which means no reasoning would work with them. It means God has permitted people to have their own faith which means we too must permit others to have their own faith no matter how unreasonable it may seem.
I know it`s easy for me to say in hindsight but what if you asked :?
Is what you currently believe in harmony with what the Bible actually states ?
Is what you currently believe in harmony with what the GB/WT interprets Scripture to mean ?
as opposed to what the Bible actually states in scripture.?
Where for example is the Tetragrammaton or it`s equivalent Greek letters in the Christian Greek Scriptures of The New Testament published by the WTB&TS ? KI.?
Why did Jesus never utter the name Jehovah or an equivalent Greek name ? in the Christian Greek Scriptures ? he never did.
And why in up to 30 references in the Christian Greek Scriptures is the name Jesus and not Jehovah that Christians are to place above the name in heaven on earth or under the earth above every other name
Jesus name was to be exalted above every other name including the name Jehovah.?
Nowhere in the Christian Greek Scriptures are Christians instructed to be witnesses of Jehovah however their upwards of 30 such Scriptures that instruct Christians to be witnesses of, for, and to Jesus Christ. ( not Jehovah )
Take care Brian I wish you well and your wife also.
I willingly refused blood when I was hemorrhaging. It infuriates me and I pity the younger me, so genuine and yet so gullible. Try to use that anger in a positive way and start using gentle Socratic questioning to get her thinking critically.
To be honest, though, in my awakening process separating god and Watchtower was one of the last things to happen....that and really realising it's a cult
I made headway in reasoning with my wife when I made it clear that I was not "questioning Jehovah" when I had doubts about "the Organization". They are NOT one and the same. Ancient was Israel was Jehovah's Organization at one time in history. Are they today? (WT says No! so she should also.) Christendom was once used to preserve divine things like the Vatican 1209 (there's a reason it's called the "Vatican" 1209), one of the best ancient Bible manuscripts.
Chuck Russell said when they have to beg and petition for funds, it would see it as a sign of losing Jehovah's blessing. (WTF does that tell you?)
In the 40s and 50s they claimed it was because of Jehovah's blessing that WTS won 49 of 50 court cases (most or all before the SCOTUS). In recent years, they are losing them left & right and paying out MILLION$. (What should that tell you?)
Would Jehovah allow apostasy to infiltrate the Organization? Even at the highest levels? (According to WT, he did so in the past in Israel and with Ray Franz.)
Could it be that Jehovah has removed his blessing from the Organization because of APOSTASY at the highest level has AGAIN set in at WTHQ? (OMG! What if?)
Should we follow these (potentially) apostate ideas (ie, obeying even when it seems unreasonable)? Did the faithful Israelites follow the Baal worshiping priests unconditionally?
DON'T USE A SHOTGUN TO DELIVER YOUR MESSAGE. Slowly slowly catchee monkey.