Yup, if you were EVER a JW, you're gonna be effed up to a certain degree.
Would You Go Back To A Kingdom Hall For A Funeral or Wedding?
It's amazing, isn't it? Every once in a while, I'll get to thinking about something like this, and will realize how effed up I was. How warped a perception I had of the world, from being raised in the cult.
Oh yes, how true!
Still, look on the bright side, we did get out!
let the dead bury their dead....without me!
None of my JW family would invite me to their wedding, so that is out of the question. (my kids are little so that won't be an issue for a while)
Funeral, only if it was a family member.
Without reading any of the posts...I say
There is no reason for me to go back, even for a family friend. 2 minutes is spent talking about the person...the next hour and a half is spent begging for money for th WTBTS and spreading its lies and vicious prejudicies....
the next hour and a half is spent begging for money for th WTBTS and spreading its lies and vicious prejudices
Good grief, what dub funerals did you go to??? The Society's Funeral Outlines that I have limit the talk to about 25 minutes!!! There certainly isn't anything in the outline about money to the WTS.
What's going on in your 'neck of the woods'?
(The Watchtower, Oct. 15, 1952, p.639)
Questions from Readers
But dedicated Christians arrange for a witness to the truth at the funeral. This is taking advantage of an opportunity.
These funeral occasions afforded great opportunities for a witness concerning the Kingdom and Messiah, and that is what funeral occasions are being used for by many of Jehovah's witnesses in these days, and extensive witnesses are being given both by the funeral discourse and by other brothers in attendance at such funerals.
(The Watchtower, June 15, 1950, p.192)
But consecrated Christians arrange for a witness to the truth at the funeral. This is taking advantage of an opportunity.
(Yearbook 1970, p.139)
Country Reports (Part One)
Though most people would never think of attending a meeting of the Witnesses, no fewer than 185 attended the funeral, the highest attendance ever for a talk by Jehovah's witnesses.
(The Watchtower, Oct 15, 1990, p.31)
Questions From Readers
Unbelieving relatives, neighbors, or business associates attending the funeral of a Christian have been favorably impressed by the large number of Witnesses present and thus have been more receptive to the Biblical truths presented.
(The Watchtower June 1 1977, p.346)
Mourning and Funerals-For Whom?
There is also the matter of giving a witness to Bible truths. Usually a funeral is attended by neighbors, acquaintances, business associates and relatives, who may not be believers.
(Awake! July 22, 1992, p.9)
The Sting of Death Removed
That is why the funeral services of Jehovah's Witnesses stand out as different from others. ? They mourn, but not excessively.
(Our Kingdom Ministry, March 1997, p.7)
*When the congregation is called upon to assist in arranging for a funeral, the following questions may arise:
Who should give the funeral discourse? This is a decision to be made by family members. They may select any baptized brother in good standing. If the body of elders are asked to provide a speaker, they will usually select a capable elder to give a talk based on the Society's outline. Although not eulogizing the deceased, it may be appropriate to call attention to exemplary qualities he or she displayed.
May the Kingdom Hall be used? It can if permission has been granted by the body of elders and if it does not interfere with a regularly scheduled meeting. The hall may be used if the deceased had a clean reputation and was a member of the congregation or the minor child of a member. If the individual had caused public notoriety by unchristian conduct, or if other factors exist that might reflect unfavorably on the congregation, the elders may decide not to allow the use of the hall. See Our Ministry book. Pages 62-3.
Ordinarily, Kingdom Halls are not used for funerals of unbelievers. An exception might be made if surviving family members are actively associated as baptized publishers, the deceased was well known by a fair number in the congregation to have had a favorable attitude toward the truth and a good reputation for upright conduct in the community. And no worldly customs are incorporated into the program.
When granting the use of the Kingdom Hall, the elders will consider whether it is customarily expected to see the casket present at the funeral. If it is, they might permit it to be brought into the hall.
What about funerals for worldly people? If the deceased had a good reputation in the community, a brother might give a comforting Bible talk at the funeral home or graveside. The congregation will decline to handle a funeral for one who was known for immoral, unlawful conduct or whose life-style grossly conflicted with Bible principles. A brother certainly would not share with a clergyman in conducting an interfaith service nor in any funeral conducted in a church of Babylon the Great.
What if the deceased was disfellowshipped? The congregation would generally not be involved. The Kingdom Hall would not be used. If the person had been giving evidence of repentance and manifesting a desire to be reinstated, a brother's conscience might allow him to give a Bible talk at the funeral home or graveside, to give a witness to unbelievers and to comfort the relatives. Before making this decision, however, it would by wise for the brother to consult with the body of elders and give consideration to what may be recommended. In situations where it would not be wise for that brother to be involved, it may be appropriate for a brother who is a member of the deceased person's family to give a talk to console the relatives. Further direction can be found in the Watchtower issues of October 15, 1990, pages 30-31; September 15, 1981, page 30; March 15, 1980, pages 5 - 7; June 1, 1978, pages 5-8; June 1, 1977, pages 374 - 8; March 15, 1970, pages 191 - 2; and Awake! of September 8, 1990, pages 22 - 3 and March 22, 1977, pages 12 - 15. ***
("Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock " Unit 5 (a) p. 104)
How funeral arrangements for a disfellowshipped person may be handled:
If the disfellowshipped person had been giving evidence of repentance, some brother's conscience might allow him to give a Bible talk at the funeral home or grave site. However, the Kingdom Hall should not be used. (w81 9/15 p. 31; w77 6/1 pp. 347-8 )
If the deceased still advocated false teachings or ungodly conduct, it would not be appropriate to give a funeral talk for him. (2 John 9-11 )
Keep in mind that all the related hardships and tests generated in this regard are an outgrowth of the wrong conduct of the disfellowshipped person.
Awake! Feb 8, 1999 p. 11 Should the Dead Be Honored?
Is It Wrong to Eulogize?
The principle of being balanced applies also to the matter of eulogizing the dead. At funeral services, Jehovah's Witnesses strive to comfort the bereaved. (2-Corinthians 1:3-5) A formal program may include one or more speakers. But it would be inappropriate to convert the occasion into a long parade of eulogizers extolling the deceased.
The Watchtower July 15, 1998 p. 24 A Christian View of Funeral Customs
Funeral services conducted by Jehovah's Witnesses do not place an expensive burden on the bereaved. So it should not be necessary to have a special arrangement for those present to give money to cover lavish funeral expenses. If poor widows cannot meet necessary expenses, others in the congregation will no doubt be glad to assist. If such help is inadequate, the elders may arrange to provide material assistance for worthy ones.
The Watchtower July 15, 1975 p. 448 Questions from Readers
Where death appears to have been accidental, even though it was reported as a suicide or may have involved mental illness, the consciences of some members of the congregation may permit them to attend the funeral to comfort the bereaved ones. Also, it is left up to the personal decision of an elder whether he will conduct such a funeral upon request. However, the congregation may prefer not to sponsor such a funeral publicly or to have it in the Kingdom Hall because of the effect it may have on the uninformed community.
On the other hand, where it is a clearly established suicide, members of the congregation and elders may desire not to become involved in the funeral.
Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses 1974 p. 114 Germany (Part One)
Since many brothers from neighboring congregations would be present for the funeral, Brother Niedersberg was asked to deliver the funeral discourse. He took advantage of this opportunity to give a forceful talk . . .
The Watchtower July 15, 1959 pp. 447-448 Questions from Readers
Is it proper for a brother to conduct the funeral service of an individual who was never associated with Jehovah's witnesses and who committed suicide?K. L., U.S.A.
This all depends on the conscientious attitude of the brother in the truth who may be requested to perform the funeral service. If his conscience revolts against the thought because of self-murder, then he should not violate his conscience by performing the ceremony. If another capable brother feels that he can conscientiously do so, there is no objection to his doing so. Whereas he cannot preach the suicide into heaven or even hold forth Scriptural promises that the suicide will have an opportunity for life in the new world, and although he does not condone the suicide, yet he appreciates that the holding of a funeral service affords a marvelous opportunity to give a witness to God's kingdom and the blessings that it will bring to mankind, including the resurrection of the dead.
The Watchtower March 15, 1980 p. 6 Do You Honor the Dead? ***
WHAT ABOUT FUNERALS?
A Christian funeral provides for disposal of the body in a way that meets legal sanitary requirements and is socially acceptable. It furnishes an opportunity to give comfort to the bereaved and a message of hope to all in attendance.
Awake! Feb. 8 1999 p. 11 Should the Dead Be Honored?
the funeral affords an opportunity to extol God's marvelous qualities, including his kindness in providing us with the hope of the resurrection.
Awake! August 8, 1979 p. 7 The Biblical Basis for a Paradise Hope
. In reality, we are obligated to make known to as many persons as we possibly can this comforting hope of a future earthly paradise. A funeral offered me a good opportunity to do this.
Yearbook Of Jehovah's Witnesses 1989 p. 96 Austria
A funeral was scheduled in that village, and Brother Ronovsky of Vienna was to give the talk. At that time funerals afforded the only opportunity to give a witness to a large group.
Short answer? No! As I have stated previously, I would never willingly enter a kh - if I were to attend, I would either need to be dead, or in a coma.
No chance of me ever being invited to a wedding at the kh, so that is simple. As far as funerals are concerned, whenever my wife's mother happens to die, I will attend the kh grounds but will not enter the hall or be within earshot of the ritual. Should I be so lucky to be around when my wife's father dies, then, at the time of the funeral I will be celebrating elsewhere, the fact that he has finally done the most decent thing in his life - and that was to die.
cheeses. And yes, my wife has no problem with my intentions.
**But dedicated Christians arrange for a witness to the truth at the funeral. This is taking advantage of an opportunity
I think this SHOULD read--"This is taking advantage of the nonJW mourners". I have seen this tactic far too many times, and it is so blatantly obvious just what they're trying to accomplish. Rather than "tone it down" with the "wordly: folks in mind, the end up laying it on too thick IMO. I'm pretty sure that those who aren't JWs---don't sit in awe of all the "new things" they're hearing and race out to start a bible study on the spot!
(sorry about the underlining---I can't figure out how to stop it! LOL)
GARY.....GREAT RESEARCH!! THANK YOU!!