JWs picking and choosing which rules to follow

by kristyann 22 Replies latest jw friends

  • GMahler
    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 effot 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.

    My mother kind of does the same thing, though she would never be caught dead doing all of the other things on your list. Every year on Thanksgiving weekend her brothers and sister have a family "dinner", but they never call refer to it as a Thanksgiving celebration. Apparently this was a common occurence in many congregations because our CO at the time spoke out against it from the platform. He said that many JW's were visiting their family during the holidays and eased their conscience by just calling it another family get together. He suggested that we avoid visiting our families during the holidays and to arrange to associate with them at other times throughout the year.

    Your boyfriend's parents sound like they are on fringe of the WTS. Though I believe such JW's are in the minority, they are probably more common that many conservative JW's are willing to admit. When I was in high school I became friends with this guy who consider himself and his family JW's. But some of the things he told me caused me to have doubts about the seriousness of his families commitment. His parents, for example, loved wild parties and loved alcohol. I think that are some JW's who are attracted to some of the doctrines of the WTS, especially the concept of living for ever in paradise, and they think that just by embracing a few of the beliefs of the WTS and by attending a meeting here or there they are in God's good graces. My brother is kind of the same way. Even though he is disfellowshipped, and even though he believes some of the things the WTS teaches is bullshit, he still believes in the whole "were living in the last days" and "JW's being saved during Armageddon" thing. I think that this belief is so powerful in the minds of some that, while they do not wish to commit themselves fully to all JW practices, they want to do just enough just in case God shows up tomorrow.

  • Joel Wideman
    Joel Wideman

    For all but the last, so what? Good for them!
    As for the last, that's entirely in line with JW teaching. Spare the rod, spoil the child. Don't abuse your kids? Meh. Given all the abuse stories, particularly where the abuser was an elder, that doesn't seem to be a rule at all.

  • steve2


    Religions that have been around as long as the JWs have have often accrued lots and lots of hangers-on. If I may be so bold, your boyfriend's parents sound like they are not JWs but instead colloquially referred to derogatorily as "weak" and "inactive". To be fair on the JWs, it is conceivable that the local JWs may not even consider his parents JWs either.

    However, what really impresses me about your post is you seem to have a extremely detailed knowledge of what you boyfriend's parents do - and don't do - in relation to JW beliefs and practices. In fact, your depth of knowledge suggests that you have or had a close connection to with that religion. Is my hunch correct?

  • MungoBaobab

    It's kinda funny how on the one hand it pisses you off when you see dubs breaking the rules and getting away with it, but at the same time you're glad they're taking steps in the right direction and living their lives the way they want. Weird.

  • kristyann

    Hey everyone,

    No I definitely don't care if they make Christmas cookies or stuff like that... I say good for them. But I think it's more than slightly idiotic that they condemn me for giving Christmas presents when they make Christmas cookies... do you know what I mean? But no, most of the stuff on there I don't care about... except for child abuse and drugs and the like. But anyhow... my point was not to say that I'm ANGRY that they do these things... I think some of the stuff like sneaking out of meetings is kind of funny. I was just BAFFLED by it. It amazes me, actually. It's amazing that someone could consider themselves JWs when they do all that stuff... I haven't talked to a lot of former members except for my boyfriend and a couple of others, so my point was not to say "Oh I am so angry at them for making Christmas cookies!" but just to express my complete bewilderment at it... and see if anyone had any explanations for it, or if anyone else experienced similar things. That's all. I find some of it funny, some of it sad, some of it makes me angry.... but I was really just curious if anyone else had experienced similar things. I don't know why that's weird.

    No, I have never been involved directly with Jehovah's Witnesses. I have been raised in a non-denominational Christian church all of my life. However, I can DEFINITELY understand someone thinking that. I know far more than the typical person does about Jehovah's Witnesses (unless, of course, they were in it). The reason I think I became somewhat obsessed with it is because of my boyfriend. When I met him and he told me he used to be a JW, I was like "Oh brother" but I didn't know too much about them except that they went around doorknocking. That's about it. I didn't even know what the Watchtower was when he mentioned it. And I didn't even know about the no blood transfusions thing! I knew very little about it... but then I became fascinated with it, started going to all these websites like freeminds and reading books (like David Reed's books). I suppose it's definitely a little weird that I know so much about them, though, I will give you that. I don't know, I guess I was just trying to understand things better, and I didn't understand why my boyfriend couldn't stand his parents and why he had so many problems with them until I learned all of this stuff... sorry if that's weird.


  • carla

    I thought the elders kept copies of blood cards at the hall? or is that just for people with ubm's? I don't even know if husband has one. All I know is it wouldn't bother me a bit to make sure he got the blood needed in an emergency. If that ever happens guess I will have to hope it isn't in our home town where there could be jw's at the hospital.

  • defd


    If you know those things to be wrong than learn from there example and dont do the same. Jesus will judge us ALL for what is in our hearts.

  • carla

    They are definately a weird bunch. To get over that, or even trying to figure out the rationalization from them when all these things are not Biblical, just look at it like this- Watchtower = Modern day pharisees.

  • TheresMoreToCome

    My grandma calls me on my birthday and asks me how it feels to be a day older. I find it funny, because she avoids actually saying happy birthday, and instead just hints around at it. I never understood why we couldn't celebrate birthdays to begin with. Because everytime it's mentioned in the Bible someone dies? That could just be coincidence. Regardless, it's a little extreme.

  • Scully

    This one really bugs me: JWs go on holiday with JW friends who have DFd relative in the area they will be visiting. All the JWs stay at the DF'd person's home for the duration of the holiday, go sightseeing together, go to restaurants together, DF'd person included.

    JWs come home, and same DF'd person comes to their town to visit JW relative. DF'd person gets invited to dinner. DF'd person also allowed to speak to JWs on phone before and after holiday.

    Same JWs stop talking to Inactive family members and exclude them from family gatherings, based on rumor (lie) that one Inactive family member DAd.

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