What Religious Trajectory Are The JWs Following?

by millie210 40 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • millie210

    As the organization continues to gradually decline, the more the leaders will grasp for authority. They are circling the wagons now. If there is a fast decline, the more cultlike theirtrajectory will be.

    True, I am thinking that after this assembly, we will see the results of the "wagons circling" talks that were given.

    There is a decline, how much would be considered fast enough to precipitate a more cult like action? And what form would it take?

  • millie210

    Crazyguy, I see your comparison.

    There was a time when that would have seemed impossible but not now!

  • millie210

    HI Terry,

    Thanks for that link. I thought it was interesting that the "Left Behind" series was written with a bias against Catholicism.

    The Org doing a reboot is exactly right. Its what we are seeing now.

  • David_Jay

    There are parallels between JWs and Roman Catholicism. But the similarities are not necessarily indicative of a guarantee that the two religious systems are sisters or cut from the same cloth.

    Roman Catholicism itself is actually one of three branches of the historical original Christian church, which includes not just the Roman Catholic but the Oriental and the Orthodox churches as well. There was even a fourth, the Jerusalem Church, made up of Jewish Christians, but it dissolved after the Romans crushed the Bar Kokhba led rebellion (what became of the last Jewish Christian bishop, Judah Kyriakos, is unclear). As a consequence the road traveled by the Roman Catholic Church has never been one it followed alone, nor has it had as much control of its destiny as it might seem to some.

    Because the West has exercised such great influence in world affairs, and most of us here participate in the Western world culture, Roman Catholicism seems formidable. But just as the baseball World Series is just a championship among American baseball teams and not of all the various baseball teams on the planet, the power, control, and place held by the Roman Church is somewhat a matter of perspective.

    Roman Catholicism has been shaped by her Oriental and Greek Orthodox counterparts, and even Judaism affects the way the Roman Church moves about. This has changed doctrine considerably in the 20th century, especially with and after Vatican II. Her religious trajectory has never been her own to mark out or determine, especially today where laypersons often wield as much power and authority over church affairs as clerics.

    Because it has no historical links or counterparts, and especially since it believes it has destiny ensured by the Almighty in opposition to the world around it, whatever similarities the Watchtower has to Roman Catholic Church parts at a critical junction: the Governing Body does not bend.

    The churches, on the other hand, do bend to the winds of change. Standards and morals even alter. The churches, after all, do not consist of hierarchy alone. They consist of people. When a pope dies, there is still a church, and church can exist without a pope. But a pope cannot exist alone. Shepherds without flocks are just men standing around with sticks.

    The Governing Body is different. They are like the LDS prophet and the leader of the now dissolved WCG, Herbert W. Armstrong, and that idiot who is still running E-Bible Fellowship despite his last two predictions for the end of the world failing miserably. These types will shout alone on a street corner as the world passes by and mocks them. They are the ones that hold those "The End Is Nigh" signs and those who write ranting blogs that nobody reads.

    Often they attract followers, but sooner or later the show ends. When the guy holding up the sign dies, unless someone is stupid enough to take their place, it ends. And even when someone does pick up the sign, eventually people will realize the sign is old and worn and has never been right.

    I cannot promise that my words are surely prophetic here, but some people run religions because they believe God has assigned them to. They will act as a pope even when there is no church, develop a hierarchy even though there are few or none to wield over. If sheep do show up, they hit them with their rod instead of lead them and protect them with it.

    Jehovah's Witnesses are religious lemmings. Should the leaders run over a cliff, those following will do the same despite the cries of pain the others make as they crash to their painful death. The Catholic Church may have more faults than I can list here, no doubt, but I think the trajectory of the JWs is just a repeat of something else that will end up being a byword.

  • Coded Logic
    Coded Logic
    If there is a fast decline, the more cultlike their trajectory will be.

    I completely agree. I think we're just now seeing the beginning of this with ever growing message of "obey" along with more and more focus on staying away from apostates and DFd ones. Now they're even making a bigger deal out of not associating with "inactive ones".

    I wonder what their paranoia will bring next? Recommendations that kids be home schooled? Increase in disfellowshipable offenses? Elders instructed to go on the offensive against apostates?

  • shepherdless
    millie210 - For me, I am seeing the Org looking more and more like a little baby Catholic Church.

    No, I just can't see it that way. I tend to agree with David Jay. Perhaps the Roman Catholic church 100 years ago was more JW like in that it was stricter, more rule bound and more controlling, but comparing the 2 religions as they behave today is ridiculous.

    Whilst there are many valid criticisms of the Roman Catholic church, they do allow an internal divergence of views on all sorts of issues, including theological issues, and tolerate upward feedback from it adherents. On the other hand, Watchtower tolerates no dissent (or even doubt) whatsoever. The views of the"rank and file" are plain not welcome. Also, contrary to the trash you might read in Washtowel, the pope does not have absolute authority, in the way the GB has.

    I think the real question is whether Watchtower will become a more moderate religion. I think if history is any recent guide, the answer is no. If anything, they are getting worse, with their "bunker" and "shunning" videos.

    Watchtower could have also secured its future with a bit of pragmatism. For example Seventh Day Adventists and the Exclusive Bretheren (both arguably nuttier religions than JWism) are doing okay because they have started and maintained profitable business.

    I can't see Watchtower making a WCG type apology. That was an almost unique event in the history of religion.

    I think that the most likely future for Watchtower is a parallel of Church of Christ, Scientist. By that I mean that the membership will start to decline as they get old and die off. There are already some stats showing the average JW age is increasing. Also, I note that when Church of Christ, Scientist had financial problems in the 1980's, the rate of membership decline increased. Hopefully there will be a parallel there, as well.

  • LisaRose

    I see two possible futures for any small cult like religion like the JWs. . Either they move away from the doomsday ideology and become more mainstream in order to grow or they become even more cult like and crazy, driving away people who cannot tolerate the more negative aspects.

    It appears to me that the GB is moving towards becoming even more cult like. They could have dropped the generation teaching and stopped insisting Armageddon is happening any day but they did not. They could have dropped the shunning, but they have not. They could have quietly dropped the ban on blood transfusions but they have not. They attempt to appear more mainstream by the website and videos, but the content of the videos is anything but mainstream.

    Other things that indicate they are moving towards tighter control and more cult like behavior.

    Obsession with tight pants and the fear of homosexuals

    Continuing to encourage, even demand baptism of minors

    Bunker mentality (Videos of people hiding in basements during the great tribulation)

    Elevating the governing body to godlike status

    Selling off property and drastic cost cutting

    I think they will soon be facing a drop in membership. This will be hard to stop given that they don't appear willing to compromise or drop unsustainable policies, instead focusing on fear and control.

  • millie210


    I really appreciated that timeline you laid out with such detail. And to think that we are now 14 years in to the same type of loop is a very compelling thought.

    I had never seen it laid out like that before and so easy to understand. Thank you!

  • millie210

    Data-Dog, thanks for making me laugh. Love your humor. So no on the comparison between the Org and the Catholic church huh?

    Even if we are talking Catholic church of olden days?

  • millie210

    Spiral! At last someone who sees a glimmer of the Grand Old Church in the modern day JW religion!

    (( was beginning to think it was just me...)

    I totally agree about the real estate business. They used to have the "Bible literature printing business to hide all the real estate maneuverings but not anymore. Now its very obvious isnt it?

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