What did the "Godly Obedience" District Conventions really achieve?

by truthseeker 13 Replies latest jw friends

  • truthseeker

    This is a re-print of a post found on E-Watchman's discussion board, a public forum. It has a few interesting tidbits in there. Thought you might be interested.

    By the way, does JWD have a policy about using posts from other boards, even if credit to the original author is given?



    "How spiritually refreshed we feel after attending our 'Godly Obedience' convention!", one speaker announced heartily.

    Yes, it was refreshing...refreshing to see old friends again, meet new ones, observe the baptism of dozens, consider our elderly ones, faithfully awaiting the fulfillment of the Bible's (and Watchtower) promises.

    Refreshed, certainly, but.......

    I could not help thinking, while coming away from the convention, what was really achieved by the numerous discourses we listened to? What effect did the words spoken have on the audience, listening so attentively and respectfully?

    At the London convention, one Governing Body member was in attendance, giving three discourses, providing words of needed encouragement. Beyond all this though was more of a serious, and at times disturbing message.

    Let me confess I was not in attendance for the Friday sessions, but I was able to gain feedback from those that were.

    There was much sound encouragement from the resurrection discussions in the morning, it was an indication of the depth of God's mercy and love which at times we miss through our own preconceived ideas.

    The atmosphere changed by the afternoon.

    Do not Follow "Artfully Contrived False Stories" - What was one definition of an artfully contrived false story? Watchtower child abuse as reported by the BBC a couple of years ago! While the Watchtower detaches itself from the conduct of body of elders who have 'messed up' in their judgment with regards to child abuse in congregations, is it really so that such incidents are artfully contrived false stories?

    This was the first hint of the Watchtower's desparation to protect its image.

    The usual prophetic scenarios followed by late afternoon with the symposium of Haggai and Zechariah. No prizes for guessing who this prophecy was applied to! And it was not to the 'household of faith' of the present time!

    All Suffering soon to end! No indication of when, no mention of any year to look forward to!! However, to comfort others there was the release of a new tract, with the usual ridiculously embarrasing picture of two individuals sharing a field with wild animals and bowls of fruit! Sorry, I just cannot relate to pictures like this, and I don't think the majority of people will either!

    Saturday, What a day! A grand symposium about family life in the morning, reminding us that family life continues to deteriorate at a rapid pace, not only in the 'world' but also within the congregations, such needed counsel, 'food at the proper time!'

    Meeting attendance did not escape attention - Assembling Together - Why "All the More So"? - Basically, be at all the meetings, apart from when one is near to death's door, then maybe you can miss, but also ensure you participate regularly and widen out in love for others, even if they don't respond likewise!!

    The blessings of our meetings are that they alieve the pressures we face, and we can experience much refuge within our congregations (as long as you don't get too involved with bad associations found in the congregation and other misdemeanours taking place!) Let Your Yes Mean Yes - A discourse for everyone here on this DB . Somehow the speaker included in this discourse the fact that there cannot be any 'independant thinking' among us, we must not isolate ourselves, but work in association with Jehovah's spirit directed organization. In other words, do not think for yourself, but just accept everything the Watchtower says as gospel, its safer that way!!!

    Another sinister twist came on the Saturday afternoon. "Pass on From Seeing What is Worthless" - Very sound advice, after all pornography is a no-go, (but there again so are Harry Potter films) - parents, clear out the DVDs and videos, books which contain any mention of the occult, magic and wizardry, as well as the violence in games. I can see one day, tv will be a no-no eventually! 'Return to the Shepherd of Your Souls' - Comforting discourse about those who have become inactive, strayed sheep as described by the speaker.

    "Come back to Jehovah's organization, you will have a warm welcome awaiting you!" The only problem was that there was no mention as to why some have left, or the fact that the Watchtower has been a cause of irritation and stumbling to many. Perhaps it has finally dawned on our leadership that there are literally millions of strayed sheep who have been let down, a haemorraging from within and now is the time to get them back.....!

    However with talks like "Be Obedient to those taking the lead" - By Loyally Supporting 'the Faithful Slave' I doubt it if there would be much incentive for some to come back!

    Again we were treated with the usual glorification of the 'faithful slave' , inspected and refined in 1918 by Jesus, and now the 'channel' being used. By using Heb. 13:7, 17, where the term 'those taking the lead' literally in the Greek means 'governors of you' we had an explanation for the scriptural reason why a Governing Body exists, to govern us!

    It is our support and appreciation of such which determines our judgment! Be careful what we say and think!!

    The speaker spelled out to his audience that the 'faithful slave' was not self-appointed and that we must obey and support them in all their directives (even when they are wrong? Even though they are not inspired? Eeeek!)

    Interestingly in this symposium there was much stress on the fact that elders will be accountable for their decisions, all the more so if they handle congregation matters badly - I don't envy elders who have unscripturally disfellowshipped anyone or who continue to teach erroneous ideas, 'I was just following orders' will be a lame excuse!!

    What does the Bible Really Teach? concluded the day with a release of the same titled book, a new study book for Bible students and new Bible studies.

    I never knew the Bible really taught Jesus would arrive in 1914CE. I never saw that date in my Bible! I'll just keep looking!

    Sunday saw a u-turn on education again in the discourse Youths - Are Your Goals Leading You to Success? and the drama about Timothy.

    Anti-university and higher education seems to be the policy now, even though the Watchtower continues to benefit from many professional people, e.g. Doctors, nurses and lawyers, most of whom attended university. As one brother mentioned, "If the Governing Body think that our young people will give up their studies now, they've got another thing coming!" It touched a raw nerve obviously!

    You may not agree with my estimation of the Convention (tongue-in-cheek too). But what did the convention really achieve?

    In all seriousness, I could not help thinking there was a sound of desparation in what was being taught. It seems the Governing Body, however well their intentions are, must face up to the fact that the unity among God's people is becoming more fragile hence the need to demand obedience and loyalty to the Watchtower.

    The fact that the Governing Body member had to point out his concern when only 16,000 attended on the Friday and 27,000 on the Sunday, and demanding that we take time off work for next years convention is an indication that all is not well among us. Personally I was one who did not attend on Friday for various reasons, and yet I did not feel guilty and yet guilt and mind control is what has to be achieved by the Governing Body to make their point. I have never known so much emphasis on obedience to the 'faithful slave' which basically means the 10 appointed GB members and their committees. By not agreeing with or abiding by their directives and authority is now likened to being disloyal to God's arrangement and being an 'independent thinker!'

    These are interesting developments, but for me it shows we must continue to be 'cautious as serpents and innocent as doves'. The 'man of lawlessness' is ready to take control!

  • PaNiCAtTaCk

    thanks for posting this. It was a great wrap up of exactly what I heard!

  • AlmostAtheist

    I just read the thread truthseeker pointed out. It's sad to see folks that continue shackled to "Jehovah's chariot", while recognizing that it's really just some old men in a wheelchair. It's one thing to be blinded (as some on the thread obviously still are), those folks are brain washed and effectively trapped. But several seemed to recognize that the Watchtower is nothing more than a publishing company and the GB nothing more than a collective CEO. Yet they stay. And attend conventions, and go out in service. To each his own, of course, but that seems just incredible to me.

    Thanks for posting this.


  • kid-A

    I think for the true believers, its like a shot of adrenaline....my grand-ma used to get so fired up about the the DCs she would transcribe ALL the talks in short-hand then TYPE them out word for word when she got home!! For us poor saps who were dragged there by parents or spouses....all it accomplished is numbing our asses and deep vein thrombosis sitting in those hellish stadium chairs...

  • Mulan

    They probably raised some money, which is the real reason they have the conventions and assemblies.

  • ithinkisee

    My wife remarked to me yesterday that one of her close (and very cool for JWs) girlfriends said, "You know, that drama at the convention made me feel really guilty about building a new house."

    (For those of you who don't know, I came clean on my true JW feelings to my wife last week.)

    My wife also remarked that all the wives have been discussing lately how almost no husbands take the lead spiritually in their families.

    I am not sure about in other places, but here where I live, the women are waking up and noticing all is not right. They are realizing it is not their husbands alone that are being duds - something else is wrong.

    This was encouraging to me.


  • core
    They probably raised some money, which is the real reason they have the conventions and assemblies


    Spot on - assemblies are a cash cow for the WT - it has no costs or outlay - programme repeated year on year with minor cut-n-past changes - same cast of creeps and "worthies" assigned parts - same ridiculous rules on dress/food etc

    YET...thousands still flock there - how very sad.

  • Cognitive_Dissident

    after attending saturday's morning session for reasons completely other than wanting to be there, the line of nonreasoning that stood out to me in glaring relief was this one - questioning the elders is tantamount to questioning the congregational arrangement, and since the congregational arrangement is from Jehovah, questioning the elders is the same as questioning God. They didn't even try to hint at it - the speaker actually said the words "questioning the elders is the same as questioning God." I wanted to frisbee toss my songbook from the balcony.

    The only way the WTBTS makes sense is as a business model. Completely devoid of human compassion and integrity, and concerned only with its own propagation.

    I definitely agree that there seems to be a note of desperation as of late. And I think it's tangible in everyone that's still inside. Since 1975 there has been no year to set everyone's sights on(obviously because they don't want to add another failed prophecy to the list). And I think that feeling of speeding forward in the dark, with no idea of how far or how long, is beginning to stretch everyone thin.

  • TheListener

    Yes, Hebrews 13:7, 17 used for the governing body. I heard that too. I've never heard that before though. Anyone have any references where the society has used that in the past for the governing body?

  • ithinkisee
    Since 1975 there has been no year to set everyone's sights on(obviously because they don't want to add another failed prophecy to the list).

    Well, many of us were pretty sure that the system couldn't go on past the year 2000 until they changed the generation definition in 1995.

    That was when I became a real Cognitive Dissident.


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