Just got called by a lovely elder(ly) woman trying to get a conversation started about the state of affairs in the world and if it is ever going to get better (this introduction is so old, this came straight from the old 1980's brown book of conversation starters). At first I asked whether she was a telemarketer, no, she is a "Bible Student". I hadn't heard that in a while, so I asked her what denomination, she kind of struggled and quietly said I'm one of Jehovah's Witnesses - the embarrassment was palpable.
So I said, oh, I'm one of Jehovah's Witnesses too! She sounded flustered after that. Asked me what congregation I was from. Oh, I haven't been to a congregation in a while. Why? Was it one of the "friends" that stumbled you? Yes, in a sense it was, I didn't find the support I needed in the congregation when my daughter was in the hospital and I was treated poorly and I put on the sop of having my newborn in the hospital (without mentioning the blood issue).
Oh, but the congregation has improved so much in the last 30-40 years since we became members, that definitely wouldn't happen in the last 20 years (I must sound a lot older than I am). I stopped going about a decade ago. Oh... silence... well, what congregation was that. I listed her 3 notoriously bad congregations in our area that has since been disbanded. Oh I understand now, perhaps you want to try visiting again here in our congregation and she basically implied her congregation was so much better than "those".
I said, no, I think the organization itself has been corrupted, I still love the people that go there and I still have friends which I have conversation with in the congregations, but I don't think the Watchtower organization can be an authority when it has been corrupted this badly. Then I want back to the story about my daughter and pivoted to the blood transfusion issue, talking about how even the Orthodox Jewish tradition believes that breaking the rules in the bible is acceptable to save lives. I asked her, I don't know if you have children, but if you do, put yourself in the situation where the court will take away your children from you and the elders are telling you not to 'or else', what would you do? Well, I decided to save my child's life, don't you think that's reasonable? She kind of had to agree with me on that.
Well let me ask you a question: If the Watchtower and the Bible were in conflict, which would you believe. She got really flustered, I would have to do some research. Yes, but what if after doing all the research, you still found fault, which would you believe, because that's what happened in my situation. Well, I would have to accept the Bible is above the word of men. So why do you think the whole organization is corrupted?
Oh, well, you can see the issues in the news with child abuse and the protection of the watchtower of elders that have committed great sins and I understand that the corporation has to shield the congregations and their elders from these issues, but it's still corruption when you allow these things to happen. "I never heard of those cases", oh, but your husband is an elder, he definitely has heard about those cases in the local congregations, I know of several cases, you can also go online and find these cases in the news.
What is your name? My name is so-and-so, but I don't think anyone within the congregations would admit talking with someone like me. Oh, I don't believe that. My husband is right here, do you want to talk to him. No, I have to end this because I have another meeting, but as I said I'm still talking to many of my friends and I also have a great Jehovah's Witness community online - you should go to jehovahs-witness.net. Oh, I don't think I'll do that, but you can go to jw.org. Oh, I go there regularly, to research my positions.
Oh, you're "one of those" she said, are you just going to wait for the end to come and then see where the dice land. I said, no, I have been raised a Jehovah's Witness, I have believed the end to come for all my life, I think that if Jehovah is a loving God, and there is some form of judgement day, don't you think he would look at me and judge me according to the good and bad I have done in my life, not just whether I belonged to an organization. Oh, yes, Jehovah is a loving God, he would definitely do that.
Then I said, well, I have to leave now, it was nice talking to you. Well, I hope you can do some more research on our website. I said, you as well, you should go online and do your own research.