I lived conservatively, but questioned liberally...
Were You A Liberal, Moderate or Conservative JW?
by minimus 31 Replies latest jw friends
I was very conservative to start with, had real tunnel vision where the borg was concerned, didn't question anything, but the liberal side kind of crept up on me after a few run - ins with the elders over various "offences" like maintainig regular contact with my non - witness relatives (all my family are non - dub), my tastes in music (led zeppelin etc) and occasional nights out with my best friend before i became a dub. that's what got me thinking that being a jw maybe wasn't the best deal
Can someone try to provide a definition of Liberal and Conservative as it relates to JWs? I think it may differ from the usually-considered political understandings of those terms.
I think I'd go with Conservative, since I was all about doing things "the right way." Most of the time I favored close adherence to what was stated by the Society. Yet some you might consider conservative were staunch and rigid. In elder meetings, when faced with these types--perhaps in judicial situations, I would remind them that "the act" wasn't what got a person disfellowshiped, but rather the repentance shown. I did this--not because I was a liberal--but because I thought it was the right thing to do--straight from the Society.
I think the term "conservative" has come to mean something beyond what my understanding of it is. I was also very "open-minded." And this is no doubt what created the cognitive dissonance. I didn't blast friends I knew (even as an elder) for limited reading of what might be called "apostate material." Why? Because I was liberal hippy elder? No, but because I knew God's Word said we should "keep proving to ourselves what the will of God is." And I didn't think truth should have to fear the light.
As time went by--and the more I learned--the more I saw instances in which the Society was not doing things "right" even using their own definitions. For instance, I saw that while they often printed material that showed they knew confession was something to be made to God--and forgiveness only from Him--they also used lack of confession as a reason to disfellowship and shun people. This combined with the fact that they blasted the Catholic church for it's practice of confession--when theirs was really no different. When I broached the idea that an accused person might not be confessing because he didn't think confession to men was necessary, my fellow elders just looked at me like I was weird. No one would even look at the information I'd found from the Society's own writings--even though I was merely trying to get into the mind of one of our brothers in an attempt to help him. I was also occasionally shocked at some of the positions taken by the Society. I was in my thirties before I really saw in black and white what they used to write about oral and anal sex. The words were something to the effect of 'if it is not clear that these acts are something wholly disgusting to Jehovah then there's something wrong with you.' I thought this was wrong--again not because I was so liberal--but because there was NOTHING in the Bible about it--and they were clearly inserting their own personal opinions, making a gratuitous assertion part of their "law."
You might call me a Liberal. Maybe I am. Politically I think I side with Libertarians the most. I just think the government should keep out of our business as much as possible. Although things have changed a lot in the last 30 or 40 years, I think that is bascially a conservative position--apart from the liberal idea that government should be more involved in peoples' lives.
And I think this transferred to my life as a Witness. While I was mostly clear about what behavior was obviously wrong or right--I was just as clear about gray areas being none of anybody's business.
Since it's multiple choice I would have to go with:
Very liberal, for which I always paid the price with a guilty conscience.
Moderate to Liberal.
When I was an elder their were times when I sat on commitee meetings were people should have been disfellowshipped when the JW rules were applied. But being a moderate I would always give the person the benefit of the doubt, therefore, I would do my best to convince the other elders not to disfellowship the person. It did'nt always work but some people whom should of been disfellowshiped got off.
moderate to conservative.
Moderate in judicial matters. Conservative about everything else. Weird eh?
I was so conservative I would have thought Ted Jaracz was too soft in his ideas.
Funny how some people were really scared to have Elder Tough Looking sit on their committees and they were the nicest ones---after all.