Jehovah's Witnesses and Love
Comments? Stories? Reminiscences?
After decades of being one, I had to face the fact that Jehovah’s Witnesses are all about the judgment of others, and even each other. Their constant sizing up of each other’s “spiritual strengths” and “spiritual weaknesses” is simply reprehensible. Their disdain of everyone else who is not a Witness is disgusting. Their works-based religion is impossible to fulfill without self-reproach and trepidation.
Neither do they really love. Not others. Not even each other. Their so-called love is based on merit only. If you do what they like, they’ll put up with you. If not, they’ll drop you without hesitation and not feel a thing about it. I’m sorry to say it, but this kind of behavior is simply not love.
When I was a Witness, I was just like them too. But I couldn’t see that what I was doing was wrong. As a rule, Jehovah’s Witnesses simply can’t see this about themselves in the same way people with bad body odor usually can’t smell themselves.
Journey To God’s House: An Inside Story of Life At The World HQ of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Control is not love. The lack of real love was my awakening. Brock outlines it very well.
Jehovahs Witnesses and love is an oxymoron.
Their brand of love is also reflective of their Jehovah. He loves you, as long as you do everything he asks, and if you fail, you will become bird food at Armageddon.
Honestly, I think the religion attracts messed up people, many narcissists, that don't know how to love even before running into them. My grandma told my mom before they married that "that man has never loved anyone or anything" as a warning. She was right. My mom came from a messed up family too. We kids were objects, not humans, just problems at best for them. They dropped us quick once we realized that shunning wasn't loving but psychological abuse and we reached out to my dfed brother after 14 years.
I'm just glad I got a chance to learn emotional health and to leave.
Jehovah's Witnesses completely take the term "Armageddon" out of context. I've asked so many of them to justify the event they're expecting with the event the Bible speaks of when it talks about Armageddon, and not one of them has managed to do it. They read the Bible, study it, and yet they have no idea what Armageddon meant to the ancient Jews or the Christians. The Governing Body takes a fairly interesting and redemptive prophecy and converts it into an engine of hatred and fear in which God slaughters much of the human race.
Brock, in his narrative, talks about how many JWs tell each other, "...well, they're going to get theirs!" and smugly believe that God will avenge them of every criticism or slur that's ever been leveled against them. In fact, everything from status (pecking order) to revenge is at the center of its theology. Those foolish enough to go against those who have been appointed over them apparently risk disciplinary action.
The entire Christian movement was built on forgiveness and service. When a JW denies himself or herself college, they deny themselves personal betterment. When the young people at Bethel were criticized for using the weight room, the critics failed to understand that exercising one's body is a way of building personal discipline and respecting the temple that God gave them. It's not advanced theology. Building discipline is a way people master their mind over body. The same is true of denying one's self a college education, mastering one's mind and respecting the intelligence God gave us. How any theologian could miss these points is beyond me.
Apparently it all comes down to control, which is where this domination comes from. Many JWs have stories of being counseled by other members who feel free to simply barge into their business. I know of no other church where that would be acceptable or appropriate.
How does this go over with converts?
Converts accept it, if I understand your question. Like I said, many are narcissists. Others are victims in life. They go together like peanut butter and jelly and are often attracted to one another. It is all just people playing out roles. The dominant ones feel superior, the submissive ones feel like they're accustomed to feeling. But on the end, both groups get to feel special, like they have the truth, they were blessed to see it, and on some level they're better than everyone else.
Nothing says love like standing at the door of a beautiful home and talking about how you're going to live there after the big A, not even considering the slaughter of everyone in it that will need to occur so you can have it.
That's my take anyway.
I relate to the third paragraph. Being born and raised in that organization, it took some time for me to learn about real relationships, real connections with people, etc. Very interesting thoughts.
When people are removed of their own capacity of thinking and making decisions for themselves, it shouldn't be surprising that they will not be capable of having real relationships with their loved ones or show love properly, even if they truly love.
They are told that their own feelings for their loved ones are secondary, that their stupid Jehovah (and somehow they get convinced that anything and everything that the WT says is their Jehovah's word) supersedes everything and everyone. They are to let loved ones die before taking proper care of their health as per their own Jehovah nonsense. Of course, they would be unable to express or act upon the love they feel for others.
It's not that they don't love; it's not that they don't have the capacity to love; it's that they can't love because of their brainwashing.
The GB changed the definition of love (to mean "obey obey obey") for their adherents a long time ago.
As dubstepped said, what JWs practice is narcissistic control and co-dependency - not love.
I don't think it's as black and white is all that. Even back when I believed and wasn't just pretending, I loved my friends.
I remember back when I was twelve a friend of mine got in trouble with the elders after his parents found weed in his room. He begged me to somehow prevent my mom from attending the next meeting, as that was when they planned to announce his new status in the congregation. I wasn't able to do that but, miraculously, my mother must not have been paying attention when they made the announcement. Of course, everyone else still knew, but that didn't stop me from associating with him. I had already decided that I would hang out with him until I was personally told not to and, even if that happened, we could still meet in secret.
I still believed in Jehovah at that point and the Bible as well, but as far as I was concerned the shunning policy was just wrong. I might be forced to shun in public, but privately I would associate with whomever I chose and no misguided elder was going to stop me.
See my most recent post - the experience touches on that subject...