I Was Told To "Read Between The Lines"

by minimus 28 Replies latest jw friends

  • minimus

    Yesterday, my wife and I got together with my brother and his wife for dinner. They began talking about how they never thought they'd still be here in this system of things.They complained that the elders were often jerks and unfair. They talked about how they hoped their disfellowshipped daughter would soon get reinstated. Everytime they spoke of how the elders pushed everyone to do more, in spite of illness or age, I reminded them that they were only following orders from the "slave". My sister-in-law admitted that the elders are "programmed" to do this. Then I asked if they thought that this was the way Jehovah wants us to feel, burdened and stressed. My brother said, "Well, we do have to read between the lines, don't you think?" I answered, "No." I explained that if the demands weren't there in the firstplace, there would be no need to "read betwwen the lines". It struck me that Witnesses will defend the religion, no matter what. Even when they themselves know that alot of stuff is wrong, they still blame themselves, if they are not "reading between the lines".

  • sandy

    Hey Minimus I really enjoy reading your posts. You always make me think.

    I am not sure though what you and your brother mean when you say "reading between the lines" Maybe I am a little dense today.

    Please elaborate.

    Are you DF'd or DA'd? Do your brother and sis-inlaw know you are on this site?

    Nosy girl,


  • Victorian sky
    Victorian sky

    Wow, Scary isn't it? I can't help but notice how much happier I am now that i've stopped going. You know how they warn that your life will fall apart if you leave, that JWs are the happiest people on earth? It's such Bull. There is an african proverb that says people are more afraid of what they could do with their life if really given the opportunity. There is a certain comfort in having someone else tell you what to do, think for you, make decisions for you but at what price? I feel so sorry for them. I'd rather not read between the lines and think for myself, live my own life and do it my way. - Victorian Sky

  • Pleasuredome

    its just another way of saying that the WTS are never wrong

  • Swan

    In the Bible, whenever people were given instructions by Jah, they never had to read between the lines. To paraphrase some examples:

    "This big flood is coming and here are the exact measurements of the ark you are to build."

    "And there is a plague coming to kill all the firstborn in the land, and you need to take this kind of sheep, and splash blood on your door-post in exactly this manner."

    "And I want you to build this ark of the covenant and it is to be built this way, ya-da, ya-da, ya-da."

    "And there is this temple I want you to build, and the dimensions are ya-da ya-da ya-da."

    "And you Levites are to wash this way, ya-da ya-da ya-da."

    You get the idea. The Bible can go on and on about some of these details until you are bored stiff listening to exactly how an ephod should be made. In fact, Monty Python and the Holy Grail has a great bit about this style of detailed tedium in the Bible when they read the rules for the Holy Hand Grenade.

    So why does the WTBTS always say things that can be misinterpreted, aren't clear, or can be taken back at some point in time. Hedging their bets, maybe? Is that like Jah?


    The wink at the Mexican brothers to read between the lines when it came to their military service. The 1975 thing that cause many people to sell their homes, give up jobs, etc. because they read between the lines. Vaccinations, transplants, blood transfusions and voting are other examples of decisions of conscience (read between the lines). If you make the wrong decision though, you are guilty of having a bad attitude, stumbling your brothers, selfishness, etc.

    So what's wrong with demanding and getting a clear definition when you need it rather than having to always guess? Not a thing. You just can't be a JW and do it or you are running ahead of Jah and the organization.


  • 95stormfront
    Then I asked if they thought that this was the way Jehovah wants us to feel, burdened and stressed. My brother said, "Well, we do have to read between the lines, don't you think?"

    Interesting that he would think that the R\F should be encouraged to "read between the lines" when they feel burdened or stressed by WT rules and regulations since "reading between the lines" is the same accusation thrown out by JW's when confronted by an ex or non jw about their 1975 fiasco.

  • minimus

    Hu Sandy, My brother would not probably think that I'd post here. He expects people to read an instruction and not take it so literally.If the Society says, "Do more", then, he interpets that to mean that the Society is really saying, "Do more if you can." I am a JW in name only. I have family that are "in".

  • minimus

    It's true that the Society can say, "read between the lines" when it comes to 1975. But, see how trained the R&F is to look at things the same way? It's amazing, imo.

  • minimus

    One is not "running ahead of God's organization" if they they that they are merely "reading between the lines".And if they fail to see the point properly, a good JW has no one to blame but himself.

  • Maverick

    It appears to me this, "read between the lines" is a safety valve this witness uses to deal with the inconsistencies within the Society. Whenever there is some unreasonable or unloving edict from J-dud Central he just 'reads between the lines' and let's it slide. I wonder how many witnesses have similar psychological escape mechanisms to 'release' them from the anomalous and incongruent actions of their 'faith'? Maverick

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