Thursday, July 31, 2008

Some Thoughts About The Changes Coming in January 2009

There was a special announcement a few months ago saying that Book Study groups are being done away with starting in January 2009. Well take a look at these comments in the new book ("Keep Yourselves in God's Love") released at this year's conventions, under the heading "Be Obedient to Those Who Are Taking the Lead" on page 48:
In the Christian congregation today, there is a similar need for organization. That is why a book study group has an overseer, a congregation has elders, a group of congregations has a circuit overseer, a group of circuits has a district overseer, and a country has a Country Committee or a Branch Committee. Because of this organization, each man acting as a shepherd is able to pay close attention to Jehovah's sheep assigned to his care. Such shepherds are accountable to Jehovah and to Christ. - Acts 20:28
This can only mean that the decision to drop the Book Study was made in such a hurry this spring that it was too late to change the comments in the new book about how vital the book study is. Plus, when they rid of the Circuit Overseers, by the time this book is actually studied (at the abbreviated Ministry School "Bible Study" presumably) some time next year, two key components of this 'vital organisation' will have already vanished -- the Book Study and Circuit Overseers. What are ordinary Witnesses to make of these slapdash, ill-thought-out changes? If the organization is so vital why are they dismantling it?
Does this apparent rush indicate that dropping the Book Study was indeed a hasty change made for legal reasons? Perhaps because of prosecutions against the Society for crimes committed at book study venues?
At least when they made the "generation" change in 1995 there seems to have been a run-up period of 6 months to a year where they did not reiterate the "old light" before introducing the new. With these structural changes it seems like they are being made on a whim, with no forward planning, and nobody warning the writing department about what is in the pipeline.
There is no grand strategy. I wonder if the Governing Body even knows what the hell they are doing.
Just had another thought. It's one thing to move the Book Study out of private homes, but what about the pillar of door to door witnessing, Saturday morning field service? If "liability" is the reason to move the Book Study out of homes, seems like that same "liability" would exist for meetings for service. So, maybe move Saturday meetings for service to the Kingdom Hall?
But some Kingdom Halls have 2, 3, maye even 5 congregations sharing the building. If you've got 500-600 publishers sharing one building, what happens when 250 of them show up at 9:30 Saturday morning, fighting over parking spots, exceeding the fire code's maximum building occupancy, etc.?
The GB mentioned absolutely nothing about how Saturday morning field service will be handled in their original letter. This is an indication that they haven't worked it out yet...another signal that they are just making this up as they go along.
I'll let you know if I hear anything definitive.

16 comments:

Joice said...

When the proper time comes, FDS will definitely give insight how to conduct field service meetings...Do not worry too much about things that are not in your jurisdicion.. Now humbly submit to what is revealed...

Anonymous said...

....humbly submit.....

The term that all cults use. Don't think, just obey. Joice, I am worried about you.

Anonymous said...

Something to think about:

Illustration about obedience:

"...do you realize that in the Bible there are many instances of situations where Jehovah's people were given directions that made no sense from a human standpoint and seemed totally illogical? For instance - Abraham sacrificing Isaac; Noah building an ark when there had never been rain; Moses having the Israelites march out in battle formation and then marching back in the direction they left. Pharaoh thought they were crazy and then Moses led them to the Red Sea ; Pharaoh thought he could kill them all as their backs were against the wall (sea). Also Gideon; his army was whittled down to 300 men. With torches and jars they went out to defeat the enemy. And what about Jericho; for six days they marched around the city once and on the seventh day they marched seven times and then shouted. Then there was Jehoshophat who was afraid when the Ammonites and others were coming to annihilate them. He prayed, and Jehovah said put the singers and women and children in front of the armed forces and go and meet the enemy! All of these situations were Jehovah's direction but they seemed foolish, illogical from a human standpoint. It seemed each time as if they would be killed."

Then the brother asked this question: "Do you have the faith to follow the direction of the faithful and discreet slave in these last days even if you don't understand what they are asking and it seems as if you will die because the direction is illogical? Will you quickly obey and trust the channel Jehovah is using?" He told us to carefully meditate on that because we will be in a similar situation in the tribulation where we will think we are facing death, but we need to obey quickly the directions given."

Not worried about you Joice, from anonymous #2.

Anonymous said...

anonymous #2. You are correct. But those directions came directly from Jehovah and not from a book publishing organization in Brooklyn. If Jehovah gives me a direction I will do it as fast as I can. Until then forget it.

Now I'm worried about the both of you!

kimmy jo said...

So much for "not forsaking the gathering together even more so as the day draws near"

enigmatic said...

That's great: 'Don't think for yourselves, silly humans; we'll do all of that for you'.

In hindsight, everything makes sense, because it has to if you are a believer. It just becomes a matter of how you will interpret it. Faced with something that is difficult to reconcile, it is time to change your position on a issue to line up with expectations of your worldview. 'New light'.

There is an interesting briefing on Cognitive Dissonance at Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is alive and very evident in the org, and all religions for that matter. If it doesn't fit with what you want to believe, just reject out of hand. The mind is so eaisily manipulated and controlled in this kind of situation; amazing....

Anonymous said...

Please tell us not only these interesting things, but also where you found them. :)

Anonymous said...

Any wonder why I became atheist?

Good points made in this post about the book study. Talk about knee jerk decision making... obviously Jehovah didn't see fit to update the new book.

zepa said...

What bungling!!!!So much for being the only true religion that is led by a God of order!!!!

Ronde said...

The governing body is the overseers of the worldwide congregation, and they are doing what is best for the congregation.

If you have a complaint, put it in File 13.

kimmy jo said...

hey ronde,
The governing body is passing out kool-aide, want some?

Anonymous said...

As stated in the letter from the GB, the field service meetings will remain at the private ex-book study-spots.
(At least until they get a better idea...)

Anonymous said...

See my webpage www.freewebs.com/scripturalanswers
I was recently (in March 2008) disfellowshiped for promoting "apostate ideas".

Ronde said...

"I was recently (in March 2008) disfellowshiped for promoting "apostate ideas"."

I would hope so. One should be disfellowshipped for promoting apostate ideas.

Now as to what an apostate idea is, that is another question.

juice said...

Why is it necessary for ex-witnesses to try stumble those members who are in still in good standing. Some of the information on this site is relevant, but much of focuses on old information that has been revised or clarified. Yes, it true the Society has dropped the ball on certain issues, but so has scientists, politicians, economists, world leaders, parents, and every single human on this planet. Stop expecting perfection from imperfect people who run the Organization. Are you perfect? Please don't bother answering because I KNOW YOU ARE NOT!!!!!

Voice of Reason said...

Juice, you are the new - Voice of Reason