Question for SBF
Yours is a very perceptive and reasonable post, ScenicViewer and in my opinion is probably what is going on behind closed doors.
I don't want Watchtower to fail. I'm hoping that an existential crisis will be what prompts JWs to reform and transform into the kind of organisation many hope for. I think it can happen. Oroborius1 used to maintain a website about transformation, but it's not there any more now that I search for it.
I don't see the preaching work lasting another 10 years. To sum up the wt message in one word is: " generation" but now it seems to have switched to songs and cartoons and videos about a Christian way of life and Christian conduct -as if wt is gearing up for another century of preaching., while concurrently teaching that God Kingdom Rules. This translates into money because people are not comforted by watching movies about being a good Christian as they wait to die of old age and sickness with no end in sight; While wt message before was that the end would come in their lifetime. -Anyway, in the 5/15 SL broadcast, where SL informed the world community of JW that WT was in financial need and compared his request for money to that of the israelites who responded with an overflow of wealth, only received in the 1/16 SL broadcast, a response from a little girl sending a very sweet letter - and that's about it. The JW worldwide community did not respond by sending wt any money.
If what SL stated in his broadcast is truly the case, wt finances is grave but who knows if wt will manage or when they will actually run out of money. Whatever the case, I think that preaching is not going to last long.
Yes, no, I was confused earlier. On reflection I agree with Fisherman, Watchtower shows signs of imminent collapse. Ultimately, who knows? But I think there's a fair chance Watchtower is in critical condition at the moment.
Some have assumed that if Lett is lying then it's to exaggerate their financial difficulties in order to elicit more contributions. But it's equally possible he is in fact concealing the extent of the financial crisis in order not to panic the membership or to undermine their confidence in the GB's leadership.
Transformation isn't already in the game plan? I agree it would take a huge undertaking for them to appear normal and safe to attract and do a membership drive. I'm hearing witnesses today have tattoos (are these fake decals?) Dancing like the video (I've not heard this other than here) which perhaps was a very special occasion for publicity?
I don't know how they'd live down their horrific reputation but the Mormans are living proof it's been done. Mormans have many attractions - women's groups for sewing/clucking, dances for youth - promote solid educations, strong family ties/bla bla. One would think Watchtower could sell their Bible promises without the evil and maintain.
They've always cried money blues so I don't think they're crashing soon. Reform would be great for the families stuck inside.
Can anyone show anytime in the past 100 years where the gb informed the jw community that wt was operating at a deficit?
Mormons have always had sports and parties to attract new members. During the testimony meeting last month one of the Mormon sisters described herself as having a "baseball baptism". Becuase as a teenager she joined the Mormon missionaries and other local youngsters to play baseball and before she knew it she was baptised a Mormon. That was in the 1960s and she's still a member of the church. So it was an effective way for Mormons to get converts for a long time. But Mormons are finding it difficult to get any converts in western countries these days. Apart from addicts, homeless people or others with severe social problems they don't have much luck at all.
And to those who say Watchtower is resilient and always changing over its 140 year history: yes and no. They've transformed in many ways: doctrinally, organisationally, demographically, aesthetically.
But one constant during most of their history (1879-1990) was that they made a healthy profit from book and magazine publishing. They built their organisation and community on that basis. Can they find another basis on which to support the organisation? Maybe. But it's not like other challenges they've faced. It strikes at the very core of how the religion operated for most of its existence.
Ok i retract my “on the same team” bit as clearly we are not, however i wish you no ill nor am i simply arguing to argue, we have an honest and intelectual disagreement on certain points
But wouldn't you also welcome a positive transformation?
To be specific the main reform I would require is to stop shunning. And that's basically it. Thereby making blood, free thinking, and most things matters of conscience. People disfellowshipped for "serious sins" (in practice mostly fornication) could be denied privileges but not congregationally shunned, but instead encouraged.
Plus I'd emphasise teaching God's name and rejecting participation in the military. I'd also reinstate book and magazine publishing with cover prices.
I'd also encourage education, programs to help the community, accept gay people, women elders.
But the most important reform is shunning.