Is going into a church really THAT bad?
Family background: My wife ("liberal" JW), me (UBM), two children aged 5 and 2. (want more details? -> http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/topic/279456/raising-kids-jw-mother-agnostic-father)
Today I took my son to a christmas concert. Which took place in a (mainstream) church building. One thing about churches in our area is, that they are great concert locations, not only around christmas. So I told my wife about the plan. And then: "Hello, my wife's cult persona! Have we met?"
I didn't even try to ask her, to come with us, because I knew she would decline. But obviously she hated the idea of me taking our son there. So why does going into a chuch seem to be the worst sin ever? I mean we kind of celebrate small scale birthdays, she accompanies us to celebrate christmas with parents, she would even talk to DFed people. Is it her or why is a church so baaaaad for a JW?
Watchtower interpretation of Babylon the Great:
All other religions are part of Babylon the Great, "the world empire of false religion", the dwelling place of demons. JWs are to "get out of her" and "touch nothing unclean".
1. Churches and crosses to JWs are like garlic and sunlight for vampires. Some simply have an irrational fear of churches because they have internalised the idea that they are the dwelling place of all things demonic.
2. Unlike many other JW prohibitions avoiding churches and crosses is usually fairly easy and habit forming. Avoiding birthdays or not talking to DFed people can be embarrassing or a drag. But avoiding churches seems easier. Unless there's a wedding you want to attend in high case many liberal JWs will make an exception. Some will make a weird requirement like sitting near the door or something stupid. But for more mundane reasons most believing JWs would decline to go in a church.
No. Going to a Church is not bad at all.
Satan hangs out in Churches with all his demon pals.
Jehovah and the Angels keep it real at the KH.
"...why is a church so baaaaad for a JW?"
Just put yourself in the sandals of an ancient Hebrew and imagine him setting foot in a pagan temple.
I knew the JW manager of my apartment complex who stood outside of a Catholic church during the funeral services of one of her employees. Hey, at least she came.
slimboyfat: "Churches and crosses to JWs are like garlic and sunlight for vampires."
That's a good one slim.
It's called phobia indoctrination. It takes many forms and is pervasive in the JW cult. The following is just what I can come up with off the top of my head as the reason for this behavior:
- JWs seen attending services in a church building can be deemed as having disassociated themselves from the JW cult and would thus be subject to shunning. Even though you did not invite her to attend, this fact creates a negative view of churches in general because of the disastrous consequences of going to one. Furthermore the JW rumor mill is a scary thing and she may fear for her status if you and her children are seen going to the church.
- Churches are a center of "false religion" "christendom" (christendom is exclusively used in a negative connotation in the JW loaded language) and "babylon the great." JWs are told to "get out of her" lest they share in her sins and receive her coming tribulation (i.e. death at armageddon).
- While there's been less focus on it these days, your wife was likely raised in an era in which fear of demons was pushed extensively and many JWs see churches and symbols of christianity (i.e. the cross or virgin mary) as potential sources of demonic possession or torment.
- The JW literature often gives counsel not to even enter a church for the funeral of a parent or a family member. There was a thread about a recent article (tried to find it but couldn't after a cursory search) in which an account was given of a woman with an unbelieving spouse that was attending the funeral of one of his parents (I think) and the account explained how she demonstrated respect for her husband by waiting outside the church for him. Now this may sound like something that would tell you that taking your children to the church would be fine, but in reality this serves to demonstrate to a JW that merely entering a church building for any reason is something to be feared and will displease god. Your wife doesn't want her children to be murdered by her god at armageddon so she wants to keep them out of the church.
- Churches are often held up as examples of money-grubbing organizations that do nothing to benefit their members (ironic, huh?) and this is yet another reason that they will have a negative view of them.
I'm probably forgetting more than I'm putting down here. The point is that there's a TON of indoctrination going on regarding so much as entering a church building (I think even cleaning one if you work for a janitorial company has been discouraged) and your wife can't possibly be expected to be able to sort through it all. It just hits her as a big emotional red flag of fear and terror and sadness for her children and she can't handle it and shuts down. It's designed to do this so that you can't get past it. It's designed to be a wall too tall to climb so she won't put in the effort even if you try to work through it with her.
That said, it might be something you can get past, but be patient and go slow because it's going to be difficult for her.
Not unless you're getting married in the morning.
But, you have to get me to the church, get me to the church, get me to the church on time.
Churches and crosses to JWs are like garlic and sunlight for vampires. Some simply have an irrational fear of churches because they have internalised the idea that they are the dwelling place of all things demonic.
LOL - Best laugh I've had all day. I think Catholic churches are fascinating from the standpoint of art and architecture, but that seems to be the very thing that frightens JWs. Baptist churches don't strike me as materially different than "kingdom halls" inside.