Jehovah's Witness hope, does it remove the sting of death?

by free2beme 21 Replies latest jw friends

  • Honesty

    If anyone reading this thread really believes the WT resurrection hope is a good thing then I need your help with the following (I would particularly love to get the individual views of some active Bethelites):

    When I told a friend of 30+ years about the Bulgarian blood issue I sincerely thought that would get him to re-evaluate his refusal to investigate the WatchTower Society.

    Instead I got this response from him about all the JW's who have died because of the WatchTower's unscriptural ban on using blood as a life-saving organ:

    "So what if they died. They are going to be resurrected."

    This person has/had (he refuses to return my calls or have any contact with me at all since I exposed the WTBTS for the fraud it is and DA'd myself from the apostate JW cult) been my best friend for over 30 years. Only the last 15 of those as JW's. The changes I saw in him after he became a JW were not good ones. Ok, so he quit stealing from companies he did business with, quit smoking and quit committing adultery on his wife. He started stealing from his JW brothers and sisters with his business practices, started drinking like a fish and viewed all non-JW's as trash to be treated with hostility. Except for the adultery he became worse in his treatment of others.

    I have reached the conclusion that the WTBTS dehumanizes people with their resurrection hope. The hope of the bible, as far as I have been able to determine is the hope of being reconciled with God and the resurrection is just a part of that reconciliation. It is not the main issue or agenda of the message Jesus and his followers taught.

    The Christian friends I have acquired since leaving the WT and its Governing Body of Apostates view their own death as something to look forward to because they will then be with Jesus. They view their friends and families deaths as Jesus viewed His friend Lazarus' death. Although he knew that lazarus would be resurrected to everlasting life with Him, Jesus still mourned and despaired over his death.

    Maybe I missed something when I was a JW and shouldn't have mourned so much over my friends' deaths. I remember getting some weird looks everytime I went to a JW sales pitch on the paradise earth memorial service because it really bothered me that my friend had died.

  • Elsewhere
    My mother in law lost both her mother and father in the same year, 25 years ago, and has several items of theirs. Some make sense; pictures, statues, etc. Others are junk; a chair that is in storage infested with spiders, boxes their VCR came in (without the VCR), mail from credit card companies addressed to them, etc. These items should have been trash ages ago, and not something kept. Yet when the family tried to throw these away, my wife's mother cried so hard that we feared she would need to go to the hospital for a nervous breakdown. A sight so terrible to watch, I wish I never saw it. From simple suggesting that the VCR box be thrown out, that small of an item. She is, and remains a strong attending Witness. Along with my wife's father and her sister. Did the Jehovah's Witness hope remove the sting of death from her?

    I can see two reasons why she responded like that.

    1. The items, especially the old bills, are proof that her family members once existed and were here and were real people.
    2. The items are personal items and she is saving them because the family members will be back "soon". For her to throw them out would mean that she has given up her faith that they will be back "soon". So long as she keeps them she is reassuring herself that her family members will be back "soon". This is no different than someone rocking back and forth with a blank stare repeating: "They'll be back soon... They'll be back soon... They'll be back soon..."

    Please remember that forcibly removing those items will be extremely traumatic to her. For now the best thing to do is just leave them alone... they are not hurting anything anyway. Those items are her "security blanket"... taking that away from her would be very cruel.

  • free2beme
    Both sides used it as an opportunity to pitch their religion.

    I was at a JW's memorial once and a man in the crowd stood up and said, "stop using my grandfather's funeral to recruit for your religion. I mean it, you keep doing this and I will come up there and kick your ass." The elder was almost done when this happened and just mentioned that his grandfather had deep feelings for Jehovah and wished him and the family the best and kind of did a quick conclusion to the memorial with a very simple prayer. After the memorial was over, most of the non-believing family went to that man and agreed with him and said he said what they were thinking. The thing is, the memorial or funeral should not be about converting people. I think you should talk about the person who died and what they did ... not what religion and hope they had. Always bothered me.

  • potleg

    I think the sting of death is greater for some witnesses because many (like me) were told we were never ever going to grow old and die in this system, and yet we are getting to that age when we are seeing our peers dying...ouch.

  • free2beme

    I always think about the elder/pioneer who spent his whole life saying, the end was near and his wife was there with them. Proud, strong and feeling like death would not be an issue. Now she is alone, he is dead and she is facing the fact that she soon will be gone into death, as well. No longer proud, no longer strong and no longer feeling that death would not be an issue. That is the real sting of death, knowing your wrong ... at the end!

  • Dan-O

    Yeah, I think it does remove the sting of death. Perhaps no more than other faiths who believe that they will all be reunited in heaven, though. Either way, the pain of losing a loved one is replaced by the hope that you will eventually be reunited. The pain will diminish when you are together again in a better place.

    I was discussing this with someone on another board recently. And my bottom line is this: I don't know what lies beyond this life. Maybe there's an earthly reward. Maybe heaven awaits us. I don't strongly believe in either of them, however. Therefore, I try to make the most of our time together in this life.

    Bob Marley said it best: "If you know what life is worth, you will look for yours on earth."

  • hopetofade

    I have always hated how they turned a funeral into a big witness fest. Then you hear all the comments afterwards - wasn't that just a great funeral talk?? Such a good witness! Ugh! What about poor Dead Brother Joe's family??

  • free2beme
    Yeah, I think it does remove the sting of death.

    True to some extent all religion helps a little. Yet, I think it is a sting without cure. Everyone is different.

  • caligirl

    I never felt comforted one bit from the rhetoric they spit out. My Grandmother (not a witness) died at a time that I was beginning my mental exit. I was much more comforted by the idea that she was somewhere better, no longer in pain, and could see me if she wished. I found out some time after her death that she had told one of my cousins that she thought if anyone of my parents kids might leave the witnesses (my parents are the only witnesses in the family), that she thought it would be me. That was very comforting to me. Although I never got to tell her in person that I left, I would like to believe that she knows that I did. I would also think that she knows that both my siblings are also free of that rubbish. The idea that she is in heaven (whatever that may be) comforts me far more than anything I ever heard from a platform during my 20+ years as a witness.

  • greendawn

    One of the major seductions of the WTS is the sense of power it gives its followers over death in the sense that soon death will cease upon those obeying the GB and the rest will be resurrected (as long as they didn't get disf/ed by the elders or disass/ed LOL)even if conditionally for the following 1000 years.

    They lose however on the immediate life after death concept since they don't believe in the existence of an immaterial soul. A jw thus fears disobedience greatly as it leads to everlasting extinction in his understanding.

Share this