My new answer to an annoying question we have all been asked.
You have some good reasoning. And even all the reasoning the WT gives in your quote is simply their own perspective. Like they say, 'What about all the improved understanding we have gotten over the years?' Yet, the supposed 'improvement' is nothing but their own opinion. But we are the only ones who see that.
More and more I see Matthew 7:6 ('not to throw your pearls before swine') as being the best response to them. I come to prefer to simply to throw the question back at them, or use some non-engagement type of response like, "I'm not the judge of those things" or "You'll have to show/tell me" or "That's something to think about" repeated over and over.
Most of them prefer the mind prison the WT has imposed upon them (yes, this past week's WT study on free will was so ironic!). And they are not likely to budge from it until it becomes uncomfortable to them personally.
"Good does not testify directly about them through the scriptures - an impossibility since they did not even exist when the scriptures were written!"
Of course it's not impossible for God! All he needed to do was get the bloke that wrote Revelation to add a bit that said:
"One thousand and nine hundred years from now, in the land over the Western sea, a group of men will arise, blessed by God speaking truth. Then they will change that truth many times and also, they will be strangely obsessed with your sexual activity. Obey these men as you would the word of God or they will break up your family bonds and cause great lamentation in the land."
Another tactic that can be used with them is to never agree to the obvious. You don't deny the obvious. But you never personally agree to it.
The JW mindset uses a stepping stone type of logic. They state some 'fact,' get you to agree to it, and then move on to their next step in their logic. Once you've agreed to the 'fact,' whatever it is, they proceed in their logic. What you have agreed to is, in their minds, now established.
You can disrupt their 'logic' by not personally agreeing at some obvious point. You don't deny the obvious. You simply never agree to it.
For example, Bobcat is not on the mid-week TMS/CLAM. So Brother Elder approaches him about it
"Brother Bobcat, when you gonna get back on the school?"
"What are you talking about?
" You're not on the school."
" Yea, your not!"
"Well, believe what you want."
"But you're not!"
"If you say so."
He might accuse you of "saying" the reverse:
"So you're saying you are on the school?"
"When did I say that?
And on and on. After a while Brother elder tires and moves on.
can you see any other pitfalls in this line of reasoning that I should be aware of/prepared for?
"That's apostate reasoning, brother. Have you been reading apostate literature?"
(That is the standard response when you come up with a line of reasoning not found in any JW "literature")
Personally, of course, I think your reasoning is sound, but a true-believer JW will throw up their shields almost immediately.
I was asked the "Loyalty Question" at least twice, in different words, by two Elders who called on me to prove I was an Apostate worthy of being slung out.
Back then, all those years ago, I did not want to be DA'd or DF'd, so I simply did not answer, one of the Elders present hates it when he can't hear his own voice, so he soon filled the void I had left, and I steered the conversation off on a tangent.
Now of course I would simply reply " I do not believe there is a god".
Interestingly, I don't think they can do anything if you have simply lost your faith to this degree.
As I'd like to remain inactive, I'd say:
Of course I believe in the GB. Sure they make mistake, but they never hesitate to bring new lights.
Sure, I'd appreciate a greater level of transparency, but who am I right? If they decide to keep everyone in the dark regarding their finances or legal battles with the victims of paedophilia ... I guess that's their right. Still, you have to admit that when an outsider like a journalist knows more about these things then any active members, even you elders... there must be a short coming in the Kingdom news somewhere. But heck... who am I right? I'm not anointed! Come to think of it, even if I was, it wouldn't matter! My opinion, your opinion or anyone else's opinion doesn't matter. It all comes down to the GB. And even than.. I assume that they are not unanimous on everything! So, sometimes, the millions of us are living and dying on the judgement of 4 man, even when they do get it wrong. But than again, that's the way Jehovah wanted it.
So, yeah, every now and than, I ask for God's forgiveness that somehow, I do not have the strength to follow the schedule established by his representative on earth.
My answer: " The reply our beloved brother Geoffrey Jackson gave to a similar question at the ARC is precisely my belief on this matter at the present time ! FINIS "
Q: "And what is that ...precisely?"
My Answer: "Go and read the ARC transcript relating to his testimony!"
...do you believe that the GB..."
Channel to a non existent entity preaching a non existent "truth", hoping for a non existent future and empty worship to a non existent god.
You have the hope that they will listen and comprehend your reasoning.
I had that same hope back in 1982 when they questioned me. It was a shock for me to realize that JWs were not that interested in listening and comprehending my reasoning. Instead, they quickly shifted the focus to my alleged motives for my reasoning.
If you have a different experience with them and they listen respectfully to your reasoning and don't question you about your motives, please let us know.
I dont let people get away with questioning my motives or integrity. I point out my decades of faithful and zealous service. Like Paul says of himself, "I was more zealous than my contemporaries." My track record proves my character.
A case in point: During one their visits I was discussing with my colleagues (from the elder body I stepped down from) how I had prayed earnestly to Jehovah for answers to my questions, and for help with my distress, but had not received any answers or any comfort. One elder then (without thinking) used the old faith-healer fallacy: if you are not getting the results the problem is with you - you don't have enough faith. Only he worded it in a way as to question my sincerity and motives - that I was not genuine on my prayers or not working in harmony with them etc.
I immediately challenged them on this and asked them to leave. Lo and behold, they soon after arranged another visit to "apologise." They admitted to overstepping their authority and crossing a line they shouldn't cross when making those accusations. I think they realised they had no valid grounds. I respect them for acknowledging that at least.