Elders getting burnt up.
They can't keep it straight. They have so many letters and rules and policies that they are getting confused and forgetting everything. They don't seem to know which end is up anymore.
I've been thinking a lot lately how it seems that a similar situation exists with all JWs - not just elders. I used to be a detail-oriented, studious JW. I kept up with doctrine. I could quote Watchtowers like a lawyer could quote legal precedent.
However, now, I wouldn't even want to try to keep up. It's not clear anymore what official JW doctrine is. They dropped a lot of the type/antitype stuff, but does any still apply? If so, which? What is still approved from the older publications like the old Franz books? What about older, deeper stuff from Watchtower articles? If I were a JW doing research, I wouldn't know what to accept as valid JW doctrine anymore; I'd be scared to research and comment on such at meetings for fear I'd be wrong. I'd have to just stick with the latest drivel coming from the org (that's probably what they want).
Biblexaminer: I feel badly for these guys...they're in an impossible situation in many ways. Prayers are supposed to be heartfelt and spontaneous rather than rehearsed and done by rote. However I can see someone who is already stressed out, needing time to mentally compose oneself before standing up before an audience to pray...something that was never easy for me to do.
How old are the Elders you are talking about? It sounds like they are either heading for some sort of melt down or are having age related memory issues.
Welcome to the age of paid clergy...
coming soon to a kingdom hall near you!!
I might rejoin if that happens!
Elder Pbrow has a nice ring to it
About 20 years ago I started noticing men who'd otherwise been long-time, professional ministerial servants getting appointed elders. It was surprising to me because prior to that being an elder was a special thing. You really had to live up to a relatively high standard and be seen as a role model.
I think it began as a gap-filling mechanism. The congregations were growing, mainly due to immigration (Witnesses moving to Texas from Latin America). In order to create new congregations they needed more elders. Then it slowly started becoming more commonplace. Men who'd been ministerial servants 10, 15 years, people who nobody really looked up to started getting elevated to elder as other long time elders died or dropped out.
I stopped going to meetings about 11 or 12 years ago. At some point my brother, who couldn't give a 5 minute talk without having me write out the script for him, got promoted to elder. At that point I knew the position had become a farce.
In speaking with the few JWs I remained in contact with, it became clear that the standard had morphed to roughly the following:
Are you a baptized Witness over the age of 19? If so, have you averaged 10 or so hours a month for the past two years? Have you been free from any judicial actions? If yes, congratulations. You're now a ministerial servant! It doesn't even matter if you're an illiterate buffoon.
Have you been a ministerial servant for at least 3 years? Have you been free of judicial actions during that span and averaged roughly 10 hours in field service? Congrats! You're now an elder.
It became as simple as that. There was no subjectivity to it anymore. If you checked the boxes you got promoted. It didn't matter whether you were someone whom the congregation could trust and lean on. They needed bodies and the COs started to enforce the standards vigorously.
A lot of JWs thought this was a good development because it prevented vindictive elders from maintaining blacklists. I think it made the life of the average Witness worse. It can't be encouraging to, for example, be dealing with the death of a loved one only to have elder-buffoon attempt to console you in your time of need.
It takes a lot of resources - time, energy and money - to keep an illegitimate, corrupt and sinking ship afloat...
JW elders are not conscripted. They volunteered. They had free choice. They have rights albeit at great cost if they assert them.
Only JW children are conscripted. They did not volunteer. They have no free choice. They have no rights.
What sort of a loving god never thanks his volunteer elders but instead demands more and more of their time until they burn out in frustration? What sort of a loving god entraps his volunteer elders and turns on them when they need some down time?
If Jesus' load is light then why is the load of elders so heavy?
Wow, this is amazing reading all the comments. You really feel the load those elders carry. Poor bastards.
It reminds me more and more of Orwell's book, "Animal Farm"... Where the pigs became more and more powerful & created more and more rules, while exempting themselves from the many tasks and then continually increased the workload, especially on their most faithful workers; and even more so upon their best, most devoted & loyal workhorse, driven to its ultimate.... end.
If Jesus' load is light then why is the load of elders so heavy?
Love it! Gonna steal it!
Jesus was contrasting the heavy load the Pharisees put on the jews...that means the WTS leaders are Pharisees. But the WTS does not see themselves in their own explanation.
Jesus denounced the scribes and Pharisees, saying: “They bind up heavy loads and put them upon the shoulders of men, but they themselves are not willing to budge them with their finger.” (Mt 23:2, 4) Jesus was evidently referring to minute rules and burdensome traditions that these men laid upon the common people, being unwilling to lift even one small regulation to make things easier for them.—Mt 23:13, 23, 24.
On the other hand, Jesus freed persons spiritually from such oppressive traditions. (Joh 8:31, 32) He invited those who were toiling and loaded down to come to him, to take his yoke upon them, and to become his disciples, for he was mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and they would thus find refreshment for their souls. He said: “My yoke is kindly and my load is light.” (Mt 11:28-30) Christ was not harsh or oppressive but kind, and those coming to him would receive proper treatment. Christ’s yoke, by comparison with that placed upon the people by religious traditionists, would be a comparatively light one. Jesus may also have meant that those weary of the burden of sin and error should come to him for spiritual refreshment.
Problem identified "...too many balls to juggle." Aaand....
Too little balls to step down.