Work Christmas functions: Being a Bible Student (unbaptized)
Ruley -To other commenters - no my Study Conductor has not tried to separate me from any non-JW family members - and I don't really have any JW friends either.
Just wait and see how this all changes if you get baptised.
I only talk to my congregation buddies at meetings, I don't hang out with them outside of meetings as most are older and have families.
Let me ask you some serious questions.
How would you know if you were in a cult?
If you decided the Watchtower corporation was not for you, how would your 'buddies at meetings' respond? Would they still talk to you or drop you like hot cakes?
Welcome, by the way. Please keep researching and asking questions.
PS. I am a former elder, born in that woke up from what the 'truth' really is and ran like the clappers away from the corporation.
And what makes those 7 men different from other heads of organised religion?
Nothing...and that is the biggest problem of all.
Hi Rulehayl, glad you found this site and thank you for posting. You sound like a decent person and want to do the right thing. When thinking of "what is right" you must not forget you have your own rights, you are not obliged to do anyone else's bidding or let others think for you. Please think about this.
Every coin has two sides, when you study with JWs you are only ever given one perspective; the one which supports their own doctrines. Always check for evidence on the internet about any information you are told, preferably from an academic source or a recognised authority on the subject. (not another preacher) For example: could a global flood really have existed? Was Adam really the first man?
There is another aspect to celebrating a person's birthday, it is the opportunity to say to them that you are pleased they share their community with you. It is an opportunity to validate a friend or family member, it says; I'm glad you exist!
Ah, yes...Rules, Rules Rules of the JWs. Some are clear cut. Some have gray areas. Most, however, are in place to make the Witnesses feel guilty about everything and, in the end, the average JW will simply err on the side of caution so as to not feel guilty.
Example: Smoking is not allowed in JW land. Neither is playing the lottery. However, tons of JWs work as cashiers at places which sells these items. The JW cashier handles these items every day, literally touching the items and handing them to paying customers. But, I have never heard of a JW quitting this type of job due to feeling guilty.
But if I were an active JW and tried to purchase a lottery ticket, I would feel guilty. Honestly, when the lottery had a high payout, I would secretly buy tickets, but I felt guilty. And then, when I inevitably lost, I would repent and vow never to do it again. Until I did. LOL!
A long time ago, I was in the same position that you are. Now, I realize that this is the first step in isolating you of everything outside of the JW org. It's baby steps. First, cut off any extracurricular outside the org at work...then friends outside the org...and finally family. Once you are isolated from any outside influence, you are in their grip, fear, obligation, and guilt. You will be investing in superficial friendships that are wholly conditional on obedience to a man made organization. Once fully invested without anything on the outside, it will be much harder to leave once your eyes are opened. They play by the same rules as scientology except without the huge financial investment due to the witness prohibition on higher education and secular advancement (reasons for their current downfall.) You can substitute L Ron Hubbard with Russell, Franz, or the governing body. I cut everybody and everything off and listened and "faithfully" followed their edicts and admonitions. At nearly 50, I am still recovering from a stunted lifestyle and a lack of true friendships and family relationships that support a happy lifestyle. I wasted years serving a self preserving organization that is only concerned about itself and it's outward appearance. As an example, see the exposed JW pedophilia legal issues and cover ups. Look at jwfacts.com. They are not "apostate lies." You will just be a cog in their machine and tossed aside once you are not useful to their needs. You need to research outside the org on the internet, something that wasn't available when I was indoctrinated.
I wasn't allowed to work in a Petrol Station because it would mean selling cigarettes. My mother got the elders to sit me down and have a talk with me.
To other commenters - no my Study Conductor has not tried to separate me from any non-JW family members - and I don't really have any JW friends either.
Ask your Bible Study Conductor:
- Why do we need a study manual to study the bible? Weren't Gods rules meant to be clear enough for humans to understand?
- Did Jesus, his apostles and the early Christian Congregation study with people from a set of study aids?
- Can I study with you straight out of the Bible without studying in a book or books that were written by men?
- Why aren't the Study Aids from the 1950's, 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's being used anymore?
- If the JW's had "The Truth" and were God's chosen religion since the late 1800's why have their beliefs changed so much and will they change again after I get baptized?
- What about the people who died upholding those beliefs, if they were incorrect, did they die in vain or in a state of disapproval by God?
- What are the two questions they ask you just before you are baptize and do I have to answer them?
- Does the Bible show that Jesus and the early Christians asked those questions before they Baptized people?
- Can I get baptized without having to join the Ministry School or without having to go from door to door each month?
- What happens if I join the Ministry School and go from door to door but decide to stop doing those things after I'm baptized?
- If someone I know gets married or has a funeral in a church, can I attend ?
- Can I vote in a local or national election on issues that are important to me?
- Once I'm baptized, will I be allowed to research anything I hear in the meetings, from outside sources or participate in religious discussion groups outside the organization?
For many of these and other questions, you'll be told that "it's up to your own conscience" but if you don't do things their way, you'll be heavily advised to comply and if you don't you'll be marginalized by the rest of the congregation and viewed as spiritually immature, spiritually weak or as a "bad associate". The individual Jehovah's Witness is typically a sincere person but is so heavily steeped in the religion that they don't realize the degree to which they have been mislead and they are able to rationalize the fact that they misleading you and that they are doing so for your own good.
If Christmas is pagan and hence should not be celebrated then JWs should not wear wedding rings or toast as these are also of pagan origin.
Talk about double standards!
My husband was enamored in the love bombing stage. Many are. It is different- more strict and judgmental once you are full fledged /baptized. It is also non-negotiable if you wish to remain in the organization, or when it comes to any family or friends in the organization once you are baptized. You must do as the GB/elders say, or you risk being shunned or removed.
High control, as you are already getting a taste of with this party meant to get co workers to socialize, to build better teamwork. The party is at a time when the office is closed or reduced, as most other businesses. It is a logical time for the party. Or maybe it is retail and in high gear, and the party is a good moral booster, appreciation.
Your study conductor is giving you a rule. Think hard about that rule, where it came from. Research the history within the Watchtower of that rule. Use multiple sources. ( your study conductor will discourage any materials outside the Watchtower approved material - RED FLAG)
Any organization that limits you in what you read, or ask, or think, or say, wear, do ( not referring to illegal things) talk to, etc., is a HUGE red flag. One that needs to be addressed in your mind with critical thought. A good youtube channel, respectful and very well spoken is JT and his you tube channel " Critical Thought:". it will give you things to think about. Things to evaluate. Please give that channel a try before you take the major step of becoming baptized.
Tell your meddling study conductor:
“When you start paying my bills, you can tell me how to do my job.”
Then start looking for a new job. You’ve already marked yourself as a troublemaker at work.
I have discussed my situation with some colleagues privately, nobody really cares to be honest.
They probably know you’ve been recruited into a dangerous cult that breaks up families, harms vulnerable children, harbors criminals and denies life-saving medical care. They mostly likely have concerns that you’re going to preach at them in an effort to convert them to this disaster. You cannot reasonably expect them respect you as a co-worker anymore.
no my Study Conductor has not tried to separate me from any non-JW family members
It's my brother's birthday this weekend, he knows I won't be going. He is disappointed, but I might pop in to say hello after the festivities have died down.
You are either a cult victim, or a troll. Either way you are lying to yourself and to us.
Watchtower Bible Students actively engaged in and promoted celebrating Christmas, birthdays and Mother's Day until well after 1919. These were thought out apparently under the guidance of Jehovah's holy spirit and explained as acceptable.
Now Jehovah has dictated that practising these customs is to be considered pagan or creature worship and those that participate are described as "ignorant."
This makes a mockery of any claim that the Organization had a special standing in Jesus' eyes in 1919, or chose Watchtower to be his sole channel for salvation, based on it being the only Organization teaching and practicing truth.