JWs picking and choosing which rules to follow

by kristyann 22 Replies latest jw friends

  • kristyann

    Does anyone else find that many, MANY Jehovah's Witnesses pick and choose which rules they want to follow? My boyfriend's parents are JWs and I have many, many examples to share with you! I'd love to hear if any of you have known of similar type things, or if you know any other rules that JWs commonly break. My boyfriend's parents are very big fans of promoting only certain rules, and they never mention the ones that they happen to not like. I find that they seem to do what is convenient for them, as you'll see in my list that follows. By the way, I know it's long, but I have so many crazy things that they do... yet they are considered members in good standing at their Kingdom Hall, and they always talk about how much their religion means to them... If you get a chance, please read all of it, cause I'd love to hear what others think and if others know people that do stuff like this!

    Rules my boyfriends dub parents break:

    1) They celebrate Thanksgiving. They do NOT celebrate most holidays because most cost money and effort (and they spend very little money or time on their children) but Thanksgiving requires no effort for them because they simply go to the mom's mom's house (my boyfriend's grandma - who, by the way, is not and has never been a JW) and she prepares all of the food... so they seem to celebrate Thanksgiving because they get a big meal at no cost to them. They do not, however, celebrate Christmas because that would require gifts, a tree and decorations, Easter because it would require fancy clothes and candy and baskets, Halloween because it would require costumes and candy (and time to take the kids out trick or treating), birthdays because it would require cakes and presents and parties... etc.

    2) They also celebrate New Year's and the 4th of July. The 4th of July one really shocked me, because they do not vote (because that would require some effort and time and thought), they do not pledge allegiance to the flag, they have no respect or interest in government, politics, and no thankfulness or respect for their country... yet they go to the mom's brother's house for fireworks and a party on the 4th of July.

    3) They have no problem with their kids going to college... in fact, they encourage it strongly. They refuse to help pay for it, and they mock the education system, but I think they want them to go to college so that they will help take care of them and provide for them when they're old. (Plus, they have no money themselves... the father is the typical famous JW blue collar, low wage manual labor worker, and the lazy mother hasn't worked a day in her life... and does nothing around the house, either). But anyway, they encourage college for their kids (but won't help with it).

    4) They don't celebrate Christmas... but every year around Christmas time they bake cookies... and put red and green frosting on them... but yet they don't call them "Christmas cookies." I guess it's just a COINCIDENCE that every December they make cookies with red and green frosting!

    5) The kids weren't allowed to participate in afterschool actitivities like sports, etc... except for one: band. This surprised me, since the marching band often plays patriotic songs in parades, and one of their girls was even in color guard, which waves and twirls flags around... But when, years ago, my boyfriend asked if he could play soccer, they didn't even say no, they just handed him a Watchtower article explaining why sports were wrong.... I think they allowed band because the practices take place during the schoolday, so they didn't have to worry about picking up their kid or dropping them off or doing any extra driving... plus the band uniforms and the instruments could be loaned from the school for little or no money, whereas the soccer uniforms cost some money.

    6) Every year, after holidays, they always rush to the stores and buy all the reduced Halloween and Christmas and Valentine's candy... even though it has all sorts of "pagan" pictures on it that they would never allow their kids to draw. So many JWs seem to be afraid they will be contaminated if they even touch something with a picture of a Christmas tree or a jack-o-lantern on it, but these people don't mind, as long as it's cheap. (Oh, they also are big fans of those little yellow marshmallow chicks, Peeps, for Easter).

    7) They listen to all kinds of "worldly" music... which I know many JWs do... but of all things, they listen to music like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Not something I picture the majority of supposedly "straight-laced, conservative" 40-something year old JWs listen to... but they do! They go to rock concerts where there is moshing and crowd surfing and everything! (I have no idea if their congregation is lazy or what, because I am surprised they have never been disfellowshipped or lectured or anything about any of this).

    8) They miss meetings ALL of the time. They go to about 1 Sunday meeting per month... they often only stay for the public talk and then leave before the Watchtower study... they stand there and never sing the songs when people are singing from the songbook, they just stare into space, or look embarassed... They always get there late and sneak out early. And they NEVER go to the Theocratic Ministry School or book studies during the week. This, to me, is mind-boggling. They always try to make themselves sound so holy, and they look for ANY excuse to not go to meetings! Halfway through the meeting, the mother is always going "I'm dizzy..." or "I have a headache..." and then they get up and leave early! (She's pretty much a hypochondriac... always saying something's wrong to get attention).

    9) The only one that is baptized is the mother... and she's a convert. The father, who was RAISED in it, never got baptized... yet he gets SO MAD when we try to tell him anything about the Watchtower Society. He acts like his religion means so much to him... yet he was never baptized, and has never gone out in the door-to-door work ONCE. Actually, neither have any of the kids! The mother is the ONLY one... and she has gone maybe a total of 5 or 6 times.... I don't even know how she got baptized. She hasn't gone out in like 6 years...

    10) They never go to district assemblies, either. They have been to maybe 2 in their whole lives.

    11) They don't "limit worldly associations." They have absolutely no JW friends... actually, they just don't have any friends at all. But only like a couple of their relatives are JWs... and they talk to everyone, no matter what. They never even tried to convert anyone. They obviously don't seem to care if their relatives die at Armageddon (but I am glad they never tried to convert more people). But the father has like a million brothers and sisters (11 or 12 of them, I think... they are majorly hick)... and only 2 out of the 11 or 12 are JWs... and he talks to all of them and gets together with them, no problem.

    12) Their kids (which would be my boyfriend's brother and 2 sisters) are allowed to hang out with anyone they want.... and they are allowed to date anyone they want. They date non-JWs all the time, and not one of them has a single JW friend. I think the parents are too lazy to try to keep up with what their kids are even doing... so they have "worldly" people hanging out, coming in and out of the house all day, and the parents don't care. Actually, I am the only non-JW person they ever had a problem with... and the reason they said they didn't like me was because I'm not a JW! LOL Then what about everyone else? Why do you still like them?

    13) The father (my boyfriend's dad) smoked for years.

    14) They both did drugs for years - still considering themselves JWs, of course. They did pot and acid.

    15) They had my boyfriend out of wedlock, before they were married... so obviously they had no problem with premarital sex... and they didn't get married until months and months after he was born... yet they still went to the Kingdom Hall... and no one at the Kingdom Hall even gave them a hard time about it, apparently (I wasn't there, of course... but it seems that everyone seemed to congratulate them, from what I can gather... maybe they lied and said they were married?)

    16) They don't seem to have much of a problem with "dangerous, risky" behaviors that are so warned against... especially in the "What Does God Require Of Us?" booklet. They have snowmobiles and 4-wheelers (even though they spend no money on anything else, all their clothes are thrift store stuff and they won't even take their kids to the doctors... their one daughter was in a coma, and they didn't want to take her to occupational therapy after she got out of it because they said it cost too much!) So anyway they ride around on their 4-wheelers and snowmobiles... and the mother has epilepsy and has seizures, yet she has never told this to a doctor (seeing as to how she doesn't go to one).... and she drives around all of the time, even though anyone with her condition should not be driving... unless they're on medicine. (I know this, because I have an ex-bf who had the same thing, and he was allowed to drive after awhile, but he needed medicine). She could have a seizure at any time on the road, cause she says she "never knows when they're coming" and gets no warning signals, and she could kill herself, her kids, her husband, or any number of innocent strangers.. yet she's too selfish to stop driving.

    17) The mother carries around a no-blood card but the father doesn't. The mother tried to get her kids to carry them, but they wouldn't, so she didn't say anything else about it.

    18) They used to beat their kids with all kinds of things... belts, paint stirrers, hairbrushes, wooden spoons, silverware, their fists... the father even pushed my boyfriend down a flight of stairs when he was a toddler! Yet don't the WT publications say not to abuse your children?

    Okay, let me know if you know of similar things!

    God bless you all (and thanks for being so welcoming to me)

  • doffy

    Hi Kristy

    that's quite a list! How do they get away with that? Wow, I think if I had been in their KH I wouldn't have left!!! lol

    What annoys me more is JWs that follow a 'rule' one minute, and then bend the same rule for someone else.

    For example, my mum would visit her brother when he was df. But now I am df my parents have nothing to do with me.

    And we would see my Uncle at my nan's when we visited her, and my mum said that's OK. But she won't come and see her grand children (my kids) because they are with me. It really makes no sense.

  • kid-A

    In many ways, these sorts of JWs I find more difficult to comprehend then those that actually follow all the rules. Why are they wasting their time? At some level they must understand they are breaking the majority of the prohibitions set forth by "gods mouthpiece", the WTS, so why not just LEAVE???? What sorts of psychological gymnastics would you have to be performing to justify calling yourself a JW while simultaneously smoking dope and dropping acid?? LOL.

    This is one for the textbooks!

  • knot4me

    Sounds very familiar. I have family that pick and choose what rules to follow as well. Grandma-has a wordly man friend that comes over unchaparoned almost everyday. her and my aunt are veryinvolved in their little towns politics. They have a "I love you" party which is basically Christmas. I could go on but I won't.

  • Jourles
    They miss meetings ALL of the time. They go to about 1 Sunday meeting per month... they often only stay for the public talk and then leave before the Watchtower study... they stand there and never sing the songs when people are singing from the songbook, they just stare into space, or look embarassed... They always get there late and sneak out early. And they NEVER go to the Theocratic Ministry School or book studies during the week.

    Hmmm...if this is completely true and not exagerated in any way, I would not be so hard on them. It very well could be that they are trying to 'fade away.' If this is the case, encourage them to do whatever they want to do that the Society balks at. Let them feel that being rebellious is a good thing when it comes to theocratic order.

  • sir82

    Just a few observations...

    These folks are very likely considered "spitirually weak" by the uber-witnesses in their congregation. Those who are really into it likely ignore them completely--which probably doesn't bother the family you describe in the least.

    What surprises me is that there are more and more families like this, and many elders don't seem to care. A generation or 2 ago, such a family would be getting shepherding calls every 3 months. Now elders can't be bothered, until/unless some rule from the Mishnah elder manual is broken.

    At least that is my experience in my area. Your results may vary.

  • Mastodon

    SOunds a lot like my ex-best friend and his father, MS and elder respectively, and yet they would get drunk all the time, download porn inot PC's, sell computers with pirated software and embezzlig money. They were even found guilty in court and still the son only got a private reprimand and the father is still an elder... I GUESS THAT FAMILIES THAT SIN TOGETHER, STAY TOGETHER.

  • Ingenuous
    Now elders can't be bothered, until/unless some rule from the Mishnah elder manual is broken.


    In the congregations I've gone to, none of the things on the list were acceptable except college (as long as you don't talk about it too much) and buying the holiday candy on sale after-the-fact. My Mom is especially fond of those giant Easter eggs with nuts and nougat.

  • dedpoet

    Welcome krystyann

    That's quite a list, I am left wondering if there are any rules they actually do obey?

    At least they never "made a disciple", so they haven't got that on their conscience

  • M.J.

    Ironically, JWs laugh at and ridicule some Catholics for being "buffet Catholics"...picking and choosing what suits them.

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