A Christmas tree, and a Word of Appreciation
I am looking right now at my 10 footer Christmas tree. Say what? Is "Wonderment" celebrating Christmas?
No! I am not one of those individuals who dropped the WT agenda years ago to hop on the first bandwagon of worldly attractions to cross my path.
The Christmas tree belongs to my wife. She celebrates Christmas just like everyone else. She is probably sad that I don't engage in her yearly celebration, but I make sure not to get in her way of what she wants. I support my wife as much as I can. She is highly religious. Goes to church every week. I don't. She is "trinitarian." I am not. So you can imagine there is plenty to disagree about between us.
Incidentally, another local ex-JW (a female friend) stopped going to the meetings a long time ago. Since then, she goes through the Christmas motions every year, like putting a Christmas tree and decorating her windows, etc. I also have my wife's family and friends engaging in Christmas activities. My ex_JW friend asked me if I wasn't tempted to go with the flow, do whatever everyone else is doing. I answered her: "not at all." The way I see it, I wasn't brought up celebrating Christmas as the child of a JW family. So, the Christmas spirit is not in my blood. I have no need for any of that. I am happy that way. However, I respect what others decide to do with their lives.
And this brings me up to another subject. I participate in this forum, and have sometimes disagreed with other posters on various issues. Please, don't take it personally. If I disagree on a subject, it doesn't mean I'm trying to convert you. No, what it means is that at that moment in time I may have a feeling in presenting a view which otherwise may be passed over.
I have appreciated all along the regular input I receive from your comments. I have learned many things from you guys. In fact, through your posts, you made me aware of many things that until that then I would have never considered.
Thus, I want to thank Simon and everyone else in the forum for contributing to this essential site. God bless you all!
Just thought this explains what all the excitement is about. I never "got it" as a JW.
"Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." —Matthew 1:23
His Birth and Our New Birth
His Birth in History. “…that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35). Jesus Christ was born into this world, not from it. He did not emerge out of history; He came into history from the outside. Jesus Christ is not the best human being the human race can boast of— He is a Being for whom the human race can take no credit at all. He is not man becoming God, but God Incarnate— God coming into human flesh from outside it. His life is the highest and the holiest entering through the most humble of doors. Our Lord’s birth was an advent— the appearance of God in human form.
His Birth in Me. “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you…” (Galatians 4:19). Just as our Lord came into human history from outside it, He must also come into me from outside. Have I allowed my personal human life to become a “Bethlehem” for the Son of God? I cannot enter the realm of the kingdom of God unless I am born again from above by a birth totally unlike physical birth. “You must be born again” (John 3:7). This is not a command, but a fact based on the authority of God.
Fortunately, Wonderment, no one will be offended at the fact that you don't celebrate Christmas.
If you don't feel the need, we love you just the same.
You're finally free to do whatever feels best to you personally.
And, I agree that this forum is wonderful and I'm very grateful for it as well.
I celebrate your freedom with you. And share your sentiments about disagreeing. Hey, we have the freedom to do that now.
Ain't it grand?! xx
Good words Great Teacher and talesin!
talesin: I celebrate your freedom with you. And share your sentiments about disagreeing. Hey, we have the freedom to do that now.
Ain't it grand?! xx
When we were JW's we had to be EXTREMELY careful with what we said around the brotherhood. If someone said anything out of the ordinary, relationships among the involved were halted immediately, or were never the same afterwards.
In this place, one can say almost anything without the fear of having a truck run over us. Even Thomas doubted the Lord, and wasn't rejected for not being faithful to ‘the slaveclass.’ Neither was Peter for negating Christ.
The Bible speaks of Christian freedom. Interestingly, the NWT in Phil. 1.20 shows Paul speaking of his "freeness of speech" in declaring Christ. What a difference an organization makes.
Let me tell you of one bitter episode when I was an elder. I was assigned to give a talk to a nearby congregation 45 mins. away. I deviated quite a bit from the WT outline which I considered "boring" even back then. No sooner did I step down from the podium, when the Presiding Overseer at the local congregation approached me before I left the building. He told me he was not pleased with my talk, not because of the lack of content, but because I did not follow the WT outline by the book (I noticed some elders had the habit of following invited speakers with a copy of the outline, which I personally find tacky).
The PO told me he did not want me back in HIS congregation, and assured me he would contact the PO of my congregation to make that clear, which he did.
Sure enough, the local PO brought it to my attention, and we ended the conversation with disconcerted looks.
Now, talesin (or anyone else), was this necessary? What do you think?
No, it was a power play, and mean. You probably gave a better talk than he could, and he was jealous. Maybe that was a problem for a lot of people. My father used to take hours preparing a talk (especially an 'away' talk), to make sure it was special.
Like everything else in the b'Org, they are never pleased. It's too bad there weren't more 'nice' people - but, I suppose, the whole set-up is meant to suck the joy out of life. Being criticized at every step kept us downtrodden, and fearing 'the whip'.
We expect that sort of thing at work (if it's minimum wage, that's the truth of it), but not at one's place of worship! (I'm an atheist myself, but you know what I mean). It's such a cult, ain't that the truth?
Wonderment, when l was an elder I always deviated from the outline in some way, large or small. I was always struck by the fact that other bros followed it to the letter. When the title of the talk was announced you would think "oh no, l know exactly what his line of reasoning will be, the scriptures, the illustrations...bore, bore, bore." I think people, being people, love something new, so I was often complimented on my "unusual" talks. Once, l found the whole central section of the talk so boring that l replaced the whole 20 minutes of that part (that was in the days of 45 minute talks). Afterwards, a young bro came up and told me that he had never heard that subject developed in that way before. But he liked it! We have moved to a very conservative cong since but even here when I gave public talks they were liked even though again they were quite different from the norm. I was never counseled about deviating from the outline. So you unfortunately had some Very rigid types to deal with. Whatever the org says officially, individuals welcome something different. I actually felt a responsibility not to be boring. After all, the bros and sis had to put up with all those hours of people talking at them from the platform!
What you say is so true!
If I could have been present at one of your speeches back then, I'm sure I would have enjoyed it far more than most current line readers.
Hi Wonderment , it is often pointed out that this forum is a place where everyone can have their say and BE THEMSELVES , not who others think they should be .
So thanks to you ( and all the posters on here ) for being you