* Please Read Oct 1st WT –A WHOLE article about the dangers or university *

by truthseeker 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • truthseeker

    This topic has been touched on before by another poster, however here are the main paragraphs of the second study article, taken from the October 1 st 2005 Watchtower.

    Before I begin, remember this quote taken from an article published in the 1969 Awake!

    If you are a young person, you will have to face the fact you will never grow old in this system of things

    Keep this quote in mind when you read this article!!! Just remember, in the time since the Awake writer wrote that quote, you could have completed 9 four year degrees.

    Also, bear in mind the stance on higher education the Society has, and how they insidiously made it an issue in a fictional account of Timothy and his friend Jonathan.

    As you read, bear in mind, that in addition to the Internet, it seems that young people, adults as well, are giving the Watchtower a brain drain.

    Parents – What Future Do You Want For Your Children?

    “You young men and also you virgins…Let them praise the name of Jehovah.” – Psalm 148:12, 13.

    1. What parents are not anxiously concerned about the future of their children? From the moment an infant is born – or even before – the parents start worrying about his welfare. Will he be healthy? Will he develop normally? As the child grows older, there are additional concerns. By and large, parents want only what is best for their offspring.

    2. In today’s world, however, it is a challenge for parents to provide what is best for their children. Many parents have gone through hard times – wars, political upheavals, economic hardships, physical or emotional traumas, and so on. Naturally, it is their heartfelt desire that their children not go through the same things. In affluent lands, parents may see the sons and daughters of their friends and relatives move ahead in professional careers and enjoy seemingly successful lives. Thus, they feel compelled to do everything they can to ensure that their children too will be able to enjoy a reasonably comfortable and secure life – a good life – when they grow up.

    And here the Watchtower set the stage for why young people go to college/university. They want to live a reasonably comfortable life? Anything wrong with doing that, and attending 5 meetings a week, and making the national average in the ministry? Plenty, read on to find out.

    Choosing a Good Life

    3. As followers of Jesus Christ, Christians have chosen to dedicate their life to Jehovah. They have taken to heart Jesus’words: “If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake day after day and follow me continually. Yes, a Christian’s life does involve self sacrifice. Yet it is not a life of deprivation and misery. On the contrary, it is a happy and satisfying life – a good life – because it involves giving, and as Jesus said, “there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.”

    Note the deception here. An attempt is made to harmonize being a Christian in the first century as having a happy and satisfying life, with a Christian Witness of Jehovah today, as also having a happy and satisfying life. The two couldn’t be more far apart than chalk and cheese.

    Jesus said, “My yoke is kindly and my load is light”

    Can you honestly say that the “yoke” of the Watchtower is light? With endless meetings, ministry and study and no programs of activity for young people?

    4. People in Jesus’ day were living under very difficult circumstances. In addition to making a living, they had to bear the harsh rule of the Romans and the oppressive burden of the formalistic religionists of the day. Still, many who heard about Jesus gladly set aside personal pursuits – even careers – and became his followers. Were those disciples taking a risk and endangering their future? Note Jesus’ words: “Everyone that has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive many times more and inherit everlasting life.” Jesus assured his followers that the heavenly Father knew their needs. He therefore urged them: “Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his reighteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.”

    Notice how the Watchtower carefully inserted the word “careers” when talking about what Jesus disciples gave up. Why would they do this? Is it because JW youths want to go to uni with the view of pioneering? Or is it because they don’t want to pioneer but would rather go to uni?

    I have trouble too, with what Jesus said. There are millions of starving Christians who live on less than a dollar a day. What has Jesus done for them? Why should Jehovah’s Witnesses think they will get something when millions of people can’t even afford 3 meals a day, and yet they could be serving the same God.

    5. Things are not very different today. Jehovah knows our needs, and those who put Kingdom interests first in their life, especially those pursuing the full-time ministry, have the same assurance that he will care for them. Some parents, however, are ambivalent in this regard. On the one hand, they would like to see their children make advancement in Jehovah’s service, perhaps in time entering the full-time ministry. On the other hand, considering the economic and employment situation in the world today, they feel that it is important for young ones to get a good education first so that they will have the necessary qualifications for a desirable job or at least have something to full back on if needed. To such parents, a good education means higher education.

    And here, we get to the crux of the matter. The Society, blinded by their isolation in their ivory tower can’t see that times have changed, that both partners have to work to support a family, that the days of getting a well paying job with only a high school education are over, and that the rising cost of living is crippling some families who were formally considered well-off. Yet, they speak with a forked tongue – while acknowledging in word that “times are hard” they make no attempt to lighten the considerable load that they place on their adherents – and the enormous peer pressure to not go to college is only making things worse.

    Is it really that great to be a struggling pioneer, to not be able to fill up the tank, to not buy new clothes, to not be invited with a group of friends who have the money to do things they can’t afford. Is it good to be without health insurance, life insurance and social security or a pension?

    Preparing for the Future

    6. The educational system varies from country to country. In the

    And there you have it in black and white. Higher education is university education, and the Watchtower doesn’t want anyone taking this up. Trade school is about the most they will allow, and there is nothing wrong with a trade school. But look at the bigger picture here.

    7. The trend today is for secondary schools or high schools to groom their students for higher education. To this end, most high schools focus on academic subjects that enable the students to score well in university examinations rather than on courses that will equip the students for the workplace. High school students today are under tremendous pressure from teachers, counsellors, and fellow students to aim for enrolment in the best universities, where they will hopefully earn the best degrees that can open for them doors to promising and well paying jobs.

    Let’s rephrase this a little…

    Witness students today are under tremendous pressure from parents, elders, and circuit overseers to aim for enrolment in full time service, where they will hopefully do well enough so that can open for them doors leading to Bethel service, Gilead service or International quickbuilds.

    8. What, then, are Christian parents to do? Of course, they want their children to do well in school and learn the necessary skills for maintaining themselves in the days ahead. But should they simply let their children be swept along by the spirit of competition for material advancement and success? What sort of goals do they put before their children, either by word or by personal example? Some parents work very hard and save so as to be able to send their children to institutions of higher learning when the time comes. Others are willing to go into debt for this purpose. The cost of such a decision, however, cannot be measured merely in dollars and cents. What is the cost of pursuing higher education today?

    My goodness – parents are actually helping their children to get along in the world. What a crime. Why can’t a youth be a dentist, a doctor or a lawyer. Who says every student is in it for the money? Why can’t they be a social worker, a nurse or a teacher?

    What’s the matter with this religion?

    The Cost of Pursuing Higher Education

    9. When we think of cost, we usually think of financial expenditures. In some countries, higher education is government sponsored and qualified students do not have to pay fees or tuition. In most places, however, higher education is expensive and is getting more so. A New York Times Op-Ed article observes: “Higher education used to be regarded as an engine of opportunity. Now it’s certifying the gap between the haves and the have-lesses.” In other words, quality higher education is fast becoming the domain of the rich and influential, who put their children through it to ensure that they too become rich and influential of this system. Should Christian parents choose such a goal for their children?

    Ah, here we are, crunch time. Let’s make the parents feel guilty for even thinking of sending their son or daughter to college. Have these unlettered men on the writing committee not heard of Pell grants, loans and scholarships? Have they not read accounts of how a poor youth from the inner city made it to Harvard? Again, the whole purpose of this article is to demonise higher education. It seems obvious that few are going to listen to the whim of such self-professed biblical scholars.

    10. Even when higher education is free, there may be strings attached. For example, The Wall Street Journal reports that in one Southeast Asian country, the government runs a “pyramid-style school structure that unabashedly pushes the cream to the top.” “The top” ultimately means placement in the world’s elite institutions – and in , the in the , and others. Why does the government provide such a far-reaching program? “To fuel the national economy,” says the report. The education may be practically free, but the price that the students pay is a life engrossed in advancing the present system. Though such a way of life is highly sought-after in the world, is it what Christian parents want for their children?

    Just look at the loaded and implied language used.

    is it what Christian parents want for their children?

    By using the word Christian, rather than just keeping “parents” the Society are trying to induce fear and guilt into the minds of JW parents. And why do they mention only and . There are thousands of community colleges, which save thousands of dollars on the first two years of college. There are equally thousands of universities across the world.

    They conveniently forget, that many colleges and universities have chapters whereby students can do community service for the benefit of many charitites.

    11. Then there is the environment. University and college campuses are notorious for bad behaviour – drug and alcohol abuse, immorality, cheating, hazing, and the list goes on. Consider alcohol abuse. Reporting on binge drinking, that is, drinking for the sole purpose of getting drunk, New Scientist magazine says: “About 44 per cent of [university students in the ] binge at least once in a typical two-week period.” The same problem is common among young people in , , and elsewhere. When it comes to sexual immorality, the talk among students today is about “hooking up,” which according to a Newsweek report ”describes one-time sexual encounters-anything from kissing to intercourse-between aquaintances who’ve no plans to even talk afterward.” Studies have shown that from 60 to 80 percent of students engage in this kind of activity. “If you’re a normal college student,” says one researcher, “you’ll do it.”

    So, if you go to college you’ll get drunk and have one night stands. Funny the other 20% didn’t do this. They forget, that there are students of other faiths who do not engage in these practices.

    funny, the Society quote from the Time magazine a lot, yet they somehow overlooked the fact that not all students are into sex, drugs and rock'n'roll.....


    Faith and Frat Boys

    Can devout Christians reconcile their beliefs with college culture? A look inside one campus By JEFF CHU/BLOOMINGTON
    AARON HUEY / POLARIS FOR TIME ON A MISSION: Greek InterVarsity's Straub, center, parties at his house
    Monday, May. 02, 2005At 3:30 on a Sunday Morning, Brandon Straub soberly surveyed the bodies draped across the sofas in his fraternity house at Indiana University. Two girls cuddled and exchanged a languid kiss. One's breast popped out of her low-cut top. "Aaaawesome," drawled one of Straub's frat brothers. Straub could only muster an awkward half-smile. "I'd be lying if I didn't say that seeing some of these scenes makes me sad," he said. "How will they feel when they wake up in the morning?"

    Truth is, most of them wouldn't be up in the morning. By the time the revelers rose, after noon, Straub, 21, who is not only a loyal fraternity member but also a leader in the Greek InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, had already gone to church and come back. As some of his frat brothers nursed hangovers and others cleaned up from the night before, Straub pondered his situation. He walks a fine line of faith at Indiana, which is currently ranked by the Princeton Review as America's No. 15 party school (and No. 5 in the category "lots of beer"). The challenge, Straub says, is "How can I serve God and love the guys here?"


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    College is traditionally a time of transition and new freedoms, the years when young people have to figure out for the first time who they are. The task is even more complex for the growing number of devout young Christians on secular college campuses who feel called to approach this time in a way that sets them apart. They draw inspiration from Paul's letter to the Romans:"Do not be conformed to this world." But the Bible gives few details on how to navigate the collegiate world in 2005, leaving Christians to grapple with tough questions as they try to integrate their beliefs--and themselves--into college life: Can they be, like Straub, both a brother in Christ and a brother in a frat? Or should they live only with other believers? How do they deal with stereotypes of Christianity that others may hold? And what does it mean to live out their faith on a secular campus like Indiana's?

    Faith matters to students as they head off to college, but then it tends to lapse. In a national study issued last month by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute, 79% of 112,000 freshmen surveyed profess a belief in God; 69% say they pray. Still, only 40% think it is very important to follow religious teachings in everyday life. Spiritually, "college is a time of flux," says Alexander Astin, the study's co--principal investigator. That leads to "a dramatic falling-off of religious participation during the undergraduate years." But a significant minority are holding fast to their faith. Fourteen percent put themselves in the "other Christian" category--dominated by the nondenominational Protestant churches that have proliferated across the U.S.--up from just 5% in 1989. And 26% of the students surveyed call themselves born-again Christians, which would be a natural constituency for religious-fellowship groups on campuses. Evangelical student leaders at Indiana University estimate that fewer than 5% of the 30,000 undergraduates participate in one of the campus's Christian groups. But that's an uptick since the stridently secular 1960s, says dean of students Richard McKaig. In the past five years, "attention to spirituality has been especially strong." But committed Christians seem to want more than just spiritual living. "They're looking for something deeper," he says.

    At Indiana, there are five main fellowship groups for evangelical students. The distinctions tend to be stylistic rather than substantive--the religious equivalent of J. Crew vs. American Eagle vs. Abercrombie. Campus Crusade is the largest, drawing as many as 350 students to "Cru," its weekly meetings, which, like those of all the groups, feature singing, Bible study and prayer. (Students say it's the best for dating opportunities as well.) The Christian Student Fellowship (CSF) is set apart by its house on Greek Row in which students of faith can live together. The Navigators, known for rigorous Bible study, are seen as more intellectual. InterVarsity is the most ethnically diverse, with higher numbers of African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic students in its ranks. And Greek InterVarsity is aimed at fraternity and sorority members.

    But all the groups tend to go about their business quietly. "They kind of operate under the surface," McKaig says. Josh Sanburn, editor in chief of the Indiana Daily Student, notes that the number of students in the fellowships is roughly the same as the school's African-American student population, but unlike the Christians, "the black students on this campus are very good about making sure they're heard." Evangelical students, however, see their spiritual mission differently. Says sophomore CSF member Emily Hoefling: "We usually believe what affects people more than a newspaper article is to see people living Christian lives."

    Joshua Hoke, 21, a preacher's son from Franklin, Ind., was more interested in having a good time than in setting a Christian example when he arrived at Indiana in 2002. At home, "Christianity wasn't a choice, and I wanted to do what I wanted to do," he says. "The culture of college is, If it feels good, do it." He says pot was his drug of choice but admits that he also drank heavily and even tried cocaine. None of that felt as good as he had hoped. One night in his sophomore year, he went for a walk, talking along the way to a God he wasn't sure was listening. "I said, God, are you even on this campus?" Hoke recalls. As he wandered down Greek Row, he heard music. "I thought it was a band in some frat," he says, but it was actually CSF's worship team. He saw the CHRISTIAN STUDENT FELLOWSHIP sign outside the house and went in.

    Today Hoke lives in the house with 54 others, in what director Bill Kershner says is "possibly the biggest Christ-centered community living together on a college campus." CSF bought the house in 2001, after the fraternity that had occupied it was suspended for alcohol violations. Christian students share rooms with one or two other like-minded students, eat their meals in a communal dining room and get together for one-on-one spiritual mentoring and small-group Bible study. One women's group is studying Song of Solomon; an all-male group is looking at biblical role models like Abraham, King David and Jesus' disciples.

    Some CSF members say they wanted the academic challenge of a secular school but appreciate the house's spiritual ethos. "It's almost like going to a Christian school," says Andrew Harper, 23, a senior from Indianapolis, "but you're not totally excluding yourself from the world." Says Tyler Irwin, 20, a sophomore from Polson, Mont.: "I don't want to put myself in a compromising position, with lots of alcohol and lots of girls and not a lot of clothes." House rules ban drinking, tobacco, illegal drugs and premarital sex. Room doors must be open when students of the opposite sex are together inside. Marks of holy living are everywhere. In the corridors, residents have posted snippets of Scripture, like FLEE THE EVIL DESIRES OF YOUTH. On a recent Friday night, as other Greek Row residents headed for bars, CSFers watched the animated film The Incredibles in their basement lounge.

    For believers who live together--at CSF or in off-campus houses and apartments--insularity is a real concern. Lane Bowman, 22, a Crusade senior from Chesterton, Ind., lives with four other Christians and admits, "I'm immersed in a Christian bubble." He says he prays regularly that he can break out of his bubble and share his faith. But his cultural cues--his music, his books--are almost all Christian. The "angry music" that he liked in high school--such as Eminem's--is out, replaced by Christian rockers like Sonicflood. His nonclass reading tends toward books like Lord, Change My Attitude (Before It's Too Late), a guide to Christ-centered thinking by Illinois pastor James MacDonald.

    Reaching out to other students is easier for the faithful who live in regular campus housing. Senior Kathryn Nelson, 22, a Crusade member from Milford, Ohio, recalls how she invited the atheist girl across the hall in her old dorm to join her at Bible study and would talk with the Jewish girl two doors down about faith. Now that she shares a house with nine other Christians, she has lost such casual, everyday interactions. "When you're living with people who aren't Christians, your ministry is right in front of your face," she says.

    That was what attracted Greek InterVarsity's Straub to frat life. He pledged after an older InterVarsity member told him it would be "an incredible ministry opportunity," he says. "Try to think of another time when you'll live with 100 other guys, most of whom don't want to be bothered with God right now." But influence can flow both ways. Early in his freshman year, Straub found himself waking up after a couple of drunken nights, suffering a spiritual hangover of guilt. Now he leads a weekly Bible study in his secular frat. It's a daunting challenge, but he draws strength from Paul's letter to the Ephesians, in which the Apostle urges believers to "put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil." The idea "is very manly," Straub says with a smile. "If I'm saying to God, 'You're my man,' then I have to aspire to be a warrior for him."

    Christians at Indiana say one of the biggest battles they fight is the stereotype that they are intolerant of the way other people live. "I'm in a Teaching in a Pluralistic Society class," says InterVarsity member Jennifer Beach, 19, a physical-education major. "People will talk about how women are oppressed and how that comes from the idea in the Bible that women have to be submissive."

    Others lament that they are lumped with fundamentalist Christian groups--whether or not they agree with them. Protesters from Old Paths Baptist Church in Campbellsburg, Ind., 50 miles from Indiana's Bloomington campus, have come to the school weekly, toting posters of aborted fetuses and shouting anti-gay slogans. A picketer spotted Greek InterVarsity member Samantha Schein wearing an Alpha Phi sorority sweat shirt and told her that she lived in a "house of sin." "I said, 'Can't you just be quiet?'" says Schein. "Other students will just assume most Christians are like that."

    What is true is that some of the students are making their mark in ways that will never draw much public attention. On the first Tuesday night after Easter, Greek InterVarsity president Peter Howell went door to door in his house, Sigma Nu, inviting his brothers to Bible study, as he has done every week for the past two years. Just two of the 70 brothers accepted the offer, but that doesn't mean the rest haven't been affected by Howell. "In the biggest meathead frat, he's himself. He's 100%. And no matter what day I say no, he'll always come back," says junior Trevor Loe, who declined to attend that week's session. "One day, when I'm ready, I'll remember Peter." ??

    12. In addition to the bad environment, there is the pressure of schoolwork and examinations. Naturally, students need to study and to do their homework to pass the exams. Some may also need to hold down a job while going to school. All of this takes a great deal of their time and energy. What, then, will be left for spiritual activities? When pressures mount, what will be let go? Will Kingdom interests still come first, or will they be put aside? The Bible urges Christians: “Keep strict watch that how you walk is not as unwise but as wise persons, buying out the opportunities for yourselves, because the days are wicked. How sad that some have fallen away from the faith as a result of succumbing to the demands of their time and energy or of getting entangled in unscriptual conduct at college!

    Yep folks, here it is. Let’s read it carefully…..

    What, then, will be left for spiritual activities?

    When pressures mount, what will be let go?

    Will Kingdom interests still come first, or will they be put aside?

    And this really is it in a nutshell. JW youths who are college students are leaving the organization. The brain drain continues.

    The alternatives to higher education were covered in a previous post.

  • truthseeker

    Sorry about the occasional spelling mistake. A few sentences somehow disappeared while this was posted.

    It's too difficult to edit a post of this size when you have all those extra spaces. Hope you could make sense of it.

  • jschwehm


    Sounds like the articles and talks the JWs used to give in the 1980's. I wonder how this will be taken seeing as the cat was sort of let out of the bag in the 1990's

    Jeff S.

  • tsunami_rid3r

    im going to the university and im fading away. guess theyre right.

  • VM44

    Could someone scan and post the text for the whole Watchtower article? --VM44

  • truthseeker

    This article really makes my blood boil.

    So, if your university education is free, you still can't go. You might get drunk and have sex.

    Haven't these a**holes found out about online degrees?

    I feel sorry for all those JWs who are CURRENTLY in university or are going to start next month.

    Damn this cult.

  • truthseeker

    When you think about, if you asked someone in the street, "What would you think of a religion who doesn't want their youth to go to university", what would they say?

    The Watchtower will concede trade school.

    I mean, you don't have to think too much when you're soldering pipes together. No essays, no English Lit.

    The Watchtower doesn't want highly educated youth - because then they can dismantle their crazy belief system as just another religion.

  • Will Power
    Will Power

    are you sure about the intent?

    As that article shows, christian youth groups (on the rise) in the colleges & universities would be a huge problem for the WT
    Influences just as big or BIGGER than the internet for that matter - esp. for that age group.

    those new cults are much more HIP than the WT will ever be.
    and some are just plain nice people.


  • wanderlustguy

    It's so sad to see people that didn't plan to be alive at the ages they now are, and they have nothing, always under stress because of finances.

  • Room 215
    Room 215

    Wonderful...... let's hold onto copies of this WT; it's perfect as an ``Exhibit A" for any non-JW parent embroiled in a custoday battle for his/her children with a dubbie spouse. What idiots.

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