It's been awhile since I've been on here. Due to death in the family, chicken pox in children and other nasty things.
I posted here awhile ago about things I had found the unsettled me. I was due to have a visit from two elders and a lot of you gave me lots of help and encouragement.
Well, the two elders visited and I have to admit that it was nothing like I expected.
They sat down, and told me straight away that there was nothing I could say or ask that would hurt me. I asked them outright that was there anything I could say to them that would get me marked or disfellowshipped for being apostate and they replied no.
My husband was in the room with me (he's never had a problem with the Society and is one of these that accepts what he's told.) and he stood witness for me.
Okay I thought... I bet you don't expect this lot though and I began. I started with the NGO business and worked through 1874, 1925, 1975 etc and they sat and listened to me. I mean they really listened, they even asked questions as one of the elders was aware of the NGO business but the other one wasn't.
I expected a long lecture about not looking backwards, light getting brighter and just to rely on Jehovah but they didn't.
One of them said that he was actually there when Bro ? (name escapes me) stood on the platform and asked "what's the time brothers?". He said everyone looked at their watches and he said "No, brothers, what's the time?" etc. They didn't deny anything.
They even stated that there are some things in the watchtower which isn't always right and one of them said that he hears some brothers say things from the platform and he shudders because it's just so off beam. I know that the society don't claim to be inspired or infalliable but I still expected everything to be right because they are god's organisation.
I said how Jehovah never gave Moses a clouded law or a set of instructions that were vague and given to changing on a whim and one of them took me on a very intersting and (I admit sometimes confusing) trot through Galations and Psalms. He said that Paul was writting to them because they had asked the same thing. They wanted to keep to the law because it spelt out to them what they had to do and not to do. But that Jesus had done away with the Law and now brought in a Law of Freedom which required thinking, conscience and living by two laws. He said it gave the people more freedom and it meant they had to think about the way they served Jehovah rather than act like robots.
I also asked about everyone dying that wasn't a baptised witness or their children and they both said that they didn't believe that. One of them quoted the scripture that states "A great crowd of people no man will be able to number" and said that if it were just witnesses then it would be a number easily counted. I said how I find it hard to accept that a person who has spent their entire lives helping other people (eg Red Cross workers in other countries) and sees things that make them doubt God exsists or cares would be killed at Armeggedon just because they failed to listen to the Witnesses.
And he agreed and said that Jehovah knows everyone's heart and will judge on that alone. I replied that the brother at our group study the other week stated catagorically that everyone who has been witnesssed to and rejects it will die. He replied that he has seen nothing in the watchtower to back that up and more importantly he has seen nothing in the bible to back that up.
Which leaves me floundering a little and quite a bit angry at the brothers who jump on the platform and state things they can't prove. (The marriage to ressurected ones is a sore point with my mum having lost my dad in death. She's determined to marry him again, but there are brothers who seem to delight in taking that scripture and trying to prove that anyone ressurected won't get married again. It merely states (to my mind) that ones ressurected aren't married, thus not putting some people in a pickle if they go through Armeggedon with one husband to have another one ressurected.)
I'm still dangling at the cross roads. I want so very much to believe it and I can't get around the two main things that they have going for them. Love (yeah I know sometimes it just doesn't show itself, but when push comes to shove they do pull together, which you don't see in any other religion on such an organised scale.) and the preaching work.
Others do preach but not on the scale or with the intensity (and I have to admit, success) the witnesses have.
There is also Satan. I don't doubt his existance and it stands to reason that if the society is God's Organisation then he's going to do all he can to get people away from it.
And something else they pointed out to me: Imperfection. It's unreasonable to expect the society won't suffer from imperfection and louse up big time too. I did some research on the CDROM and I found a few quotes where they actually admitted they held responsibilty for 1975 so it's not like they deny culparability. (yb80 pg31) They don't seem to deny anything ( having said that a lot of stuff is just not mentioned, such as the star of Alcyone, Russells pyramid etc).
Your thoughts on this would be appreciated as I'd like to get both sides of things before I make a decision one way or the other.