Thoughts on Reading CoC

by love2Bworldly 24 Replies latest jw friends

  • love2Bworldly

    I am reading Crisis of Conscience and am wondering what goes through people's minds when they read it, I am on about page 115. I find it slow reading because of the way it is written.

    Even though I have been out of the Org for going on 20 years, I am a little shocked at some of the stuff I'm reading and I feel like it shouldn't shock me. I remember when I was a JW, how the Governing Body was put on a pedestal; everyone assumes they spend all their time studying and praying over matters from a scriptural standpoint. I'm finding out what a horrible man-made organization the JWs really are. The president of the WTS has been the only one all these years to make decisions, and they're not even Bible-based; some are just opinion and some are just decisions to make everything coincide with Watchtower articles. Some of these wonderful 'older' ones were just sleeping through the meetings, and then nudged awake to vote. But it wasn't voting, it was just raising your hand to agree with Brother Knorr or Brother Franz.

    Also the fact that the Bethelites weren't even treated that great, and they gave up everything to be at Bethel.

    And I just keep learning about all the horrible decisions that have ruined people's lives. One woman caught her husband screwing an animal and that was not grounds for scriptural divorce? How absolutely disgusting! Can you imagine the horror of catching your husband 'giving' it to Rover, the family dog? And then you are forced to stay married to them?

    I'm a little speechless. What are your thoughts?

  • GetBusyLiving

    :Can you imagine the horror of catching your husband 'giving' it to Rover, the family dog?

    Thanks for the visual, I nearly lost my breakfast. I finished CoC in two days and ISOCF in (800 + pages I think) in 5. I was completely mortified by what I learnt from those books. The thing that grabs you most is that the org. is simply run by a bunch of guys that bought in to a deeply flawed concept. Followers of followers. It became painfully obvious from reading that the org was a pile of crap.


  • diamondblue1974

    Ive just started reading it and its another eye opener; makes a great deal of sense too.

    Cant wait to get to the even juicier parts.


  • TheListener

    Ray Franz wrote the best books I ever read. I was fairly convinced everything I knew was wrong. But I was equally convinced I was going to die at Armageddon. After reading Ray's books I began to feel much better and even to research things for myself.

    Thank you Ray. You reached a toughened old school elder with your gentle and loving approach.

  • tetrapod.sapien

    i can't wait to read it! thanks for the semi reviews!

  • integ

    I have heard that "In Search of Christian Freedom" is just about Ray's search for Christ or something. Is there any juicy inside the GB stuff in that book as well?

    Thanks for any responses on this,


  • integ

    I'm sorry. I didn't mean to try to "hi-jack" this thread.


  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    a review of ISOCF from

    Reviewer: Jeff Chapman(Nagoya, Japan)
    Throughout the 20th century, the Jehovah's Witnesses movement has attracted a great deal of attention to itself, both favorable and critical. In recent years, events surrounding the movement as well as the stirring of sentiment from those who have left the organization have precipitated a flood of related literature, in general written from a critical point of view. It is no small wonder that those who continue to hail the movement as representing God's vested interests on earth view this tide of critical thinking with a great deal of suspicion and even distrust. Yet it might be said that none of the writers of "worldly" literature have written with the unreserved compassion, scholastic authority, and from such a wealth of real-life experience stemming from many decades spent within the organization as has Raymond V. Franz. In his book, "In Search of Christian Freedom," Franz has brought together a rich array of background knowledge and memories of actual conversations with top leaders within the Watch Tower organization to squarely and thoroughly investigate the validity of the claims made by the movement. As with most related literature, the book makes use of old publications and documents which the organization has virtually buried through decades of organizational upheaval and policy changes. However, in addition to this, Franz reviews and tests the entire authority structure of his former religion and makes a solid inquiry into the general issue of Christian freedom as it pertains to other religious movements as well, using sound logic, Biblical and moral precedents. Not content to simply rehash the past faults and blunders of the Watch Tower organization, Franz digs deeper than the majority of literature of this genre, investigating why the Witnesses and members of other comparable religious movements believe what they do. On the whole, the samples provided are quite relevant, and the commentary is logical, valid, and thorough; although admittedly the book is text-heavy, quite serious in tone and requires a certain degree of patience on the reader's part to thoroughly soak in and analyze from a critical point of view. What "Christian Freedom" lacks in conciseness, however, it easily makes up for in its applicableness and depth of thought, challenging the reader at every bend in the course to investigate his or her own beliefs and to make an informed value judgment of the claims of the Watch Tower Society. It is for this reason that many members of the religion view the book and the author himself with a degree of loathing, even outright anger at his audacity to propose solutions or claims contrary to the organization. However, Franz makes no excuses, and his course of action is clearly documented throughout the book for each reader to fairly investigate. I could find absolutely no trace of sentimentality, hostility, or prejudice against the Jehovah's Witnesses or against any other religious group within the book. Franz' carefully-worded expositions on the Christian mindset and motivations for the Christian life will leave an indelibly strong mark on the reader who is honestly willing to investigate his propositions. After reading this book, I could find no reason to question the integrity of Franz' experience within the upper echelons of the Watch Tower Society, nor could I find fault with his candor and appreciation of the things which he finds to make life worthwhile. His experience has apparently strengthened his faith, rather than demolishing it... a refreshing point of note which should comfort readers who are hesitant to forego their faith in God, in Jesus as his Son, and as the Bible as the Word of God. At the same time, "Christian Freedom" leaves a great deal of room for the diversity of opinion and ideology, which Franz believes should exist as a natural product of the undiluted Christian faith. My main complaint regarding this book is the sheer bulk. Not content to leave out essential details at any rate, Franz has apparently sacrificed readability and simplicity of thought for comprehensiveness. I also think that some of the personal anecdotes in the book are beginning to show their age, as Franz left the Watch Tower organization in the early 1980's. (We might hope that Franz will be able to undertake future revisions himself.) As a manual which addresses the core issues which should be closest to the heart of those involved with the Jehovah's Witnesses or with any similar organization, however, I judge this book to be of inestimable value. For those who are actively questioning the validity and properness of submitting to religious authority or of ready-made religious systems for a meaning in life, I believe that one could hardly do better than to delve into this book.
  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    Here is a review of CoC by a never-wasJW

    Reviewer: David T. Bennett(Kingston, OH United States)
    About 12 years ago I considered myself the "cult-buster." In my young mind I could, armed with proof-texts, shoot down any cult member, especially Jehovah's Witnesses. Unfortunately I was just as rigid and legalistic as the Jehovah's Witnesses I would witness to. Actually most of them were less chained to their ideology than I was. Unfortunately, many books that reach out to Jehovah's witnesses are written by conservative JWs turned conservative Baptist, who take a different doctrinal stance, but still do not shed the notion that only "Only I and those Christians like me have the truth." Franz, on the contrary, offers a more balanced appraisal. Unlike other books written by former JWs, Franz seems more saddened than angry, and his tone reflects this. This style displays his personality, which was in constant conflict with the Watchtower's rigid leadership.

    Franz does not detail doctrinal problems with the Watchtower. Franz most likely holds to many of his old Watchtower doctrines. The Watchtower does have doctrinal problems when compared with the beliefs commonly held by the Church throughout Christian history. In fact the Watchtower is in my opinion just another apocalyptic group founded in the mid-late 1800s. However, Franz is not concerned with issues like the Trinity or Christ's divinity. He is more concerned with what makes a group truly a cult, which is control by the leaders over its members. Franz details this marvelously, and explains how the Watchtower even monitored its members bedroom activities. He speaks of disfellowshippings where families were encouraged to "shun" other members who had been kicked out of the Watchtower, effectively ruining the lives of thousands people. Franz also documents and explains failed prophecy, which caused many trusting members of the "truth" to sell homes, postpone college, and other goals in order to be ready for the end. The entire book is a calm and sober, yet highly personal, account of Franz's life deep within the Watchtower and his eventual exit.

    Franz's book is a breath of fresh air. I believe that many who write anti-cult books are themselves so concerned with minor issues, that they themselves sometimes come across as cultish. Their tone is often disrespectful, which I think turns off educated people. As someone who studys Christian history and embraces its doctrines and practices, I think the Watchtower is indeed incorrect in certain areas of its theology and its practice, but I think its "cult" status hinges on its leadership's control over members. Franz's book documents this fact in a fashion befitting of Christ's love and mercy.

  • tijkmo
    i was amazed at the number of times ray would describe thinking and feelings that were exactly what i was thinking and feeling...and i would feel relieved because i cant explain these feelings to anyone else

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