Tuesday, August 26, 2008

This Is Just Sad

One of the main concerns of Jehovah's Witnesses Is Being Loyal To The Organization.
The binding, restricting effect that this concern for organizational submission can have on person's minds was illustrated to me by an experience related by Robert Lang, then the assistant Bethel Home Overseer at the international headquarters. He had been transferred to a different congregation in the New York city area and he said that at one of the first meetings he attended there the elders approached him for advice.
It seems that a young woman, the sister of one of the ministerial servants, was disfellowshiped and was still attending meetings. She had a small baby and brought it with her to the Kingdom Hall in a baby carriage. The Hall itself was on the second story of a building and the stairs were long and steep. The young woman would back up the stairs, pulling the baby carriage - with the baby in it - up the stairs as she went. The question the elders asked was whether it would be proper for the disfellowshiped woman's brother to assist her in getting up the stairs! Some thought so, others said, no, being disfellowshiped she should be considered as if she were not even there.
To his credit, Lang said, "I don't know what the rule is on this, I only know one thing: if I'm around when she starts pulling that carriage up the stairs, I'm going to help her! When I think of what could happen if she were to stumble and lose control of the carriage ....'
The most frightening thing about this is that adult men did not feel they could be guided by their own hearts and minds in a circumstance so obviously calling for human kindness. The pressing concern for them was - not the danger to the infant's life - but WHAT THE ORGANIZATION POLICY ALLOWED in such cases They gave evidence of having become emasculated men in matters of ethics, of right and wrong.
Robert Lang was for him "the kind of person he was, not because of the organization, but in spite of the organization."
IN SEARCH OF CHRISTIAN FREEDOM, Ray Franz, pp. 404, 405.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is exactly what is happening within our congregation. I see our elders paying more attention to the "Policy" placed by the Organization. It has affected our familly as well. Your website has helped me and my whole familly beggin to see how we almost replaced God with the Organization. Even we are all still witnessess we see things differently and will from now on be more cautious as to what we allow the Organization to impose upon us.
thank you.

Wolf 2 said...

The Brothers in that congregation must have missed this Watchtower Study:

*** w74 8/1 pp. 467-468 pars. 5-7 Maintaining a Balanced Viewpoint Toward Disfellowshiped Ones ***
5 Congregational elders, as well as individual members of a congregation ought to guard against developing an attitude approaching that which some Jewish rabbinical writers fomented toward Gentiles in viewing them as virtual enemies. It is right to hate the wrong committed by the disfellowshiped one, but it is not right to hate the person nor is it right to treat such ones in an inhumane way. As noted earlier, some rabbinical writings held that, even if in peril of death, no assistance should be extended to Gentiles. Suppose, then, a member of a Christian congregation boating on a lake were to see another boat containing a disfellowshiped person capsize, throwing the disfellowshiped one into the water where he struggled to stay afloat. Could the Christian ignore that one’s peril, row away and feel free from guilt before God—inasmuch as the one in danger of drowning was disfellowshiped, viewed as “a man of the nations”? Certainly not. That would be cruel and inhumane. We cannot imagine Christ Jesus doing so; nor would any other Jew of the first century who had a balanced viewpoint have reacted that way toward a Gentile or a tax collector in such a plight.

6 But consider a less extreme situation. What if a woman who had been disfellowshiped were to attend a congregational meeting and upon leaving the hall found that her car, parked nearby, had developed a flat tire? Should the male members of the congregation, seeing her plight, refuse to aid her, perhaps leaving it up to some worldly person to come along and do so? This too would be needlessly unkind and inhumane. Yet situations just like this have developed, perhaps in all good conscience, yet due to a lack of balance in viewpoint.

7 If we imitate our heavenly Father we will remember that he even showed certain considerateness toward the first human pair after their disfellowshiping in Eden, providing them with clothing. (Gen. 3:21) This was an undeserved kindness toward them. As Jesus reminded his disciples, Jehovah God “makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous.” (Matt. 5:45) The apostle Paul showed that, despite the independent course the Gentile nations took contrary to God’s way, Jehovah “did not leave himself without witness in that he did good, giving [them] rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling [their] hearts to the full with food and good cheer.” (Acts 14:16, 17) So, not “mixing in company” with a person, or treating such one as “a man of the nations,” does not prevent us from being decent, courteous, considerate and humane.

Governing Body Letters said...

Wolf, you have probably not seen one of the organization's latest stance on disfellowshipped ones.
Please see August 2002 Kingdom Ministry.
The organization has of late taken a much harsher stance toward those who are disfellowshipped and, of course, the witnesses goose step along.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Wolf 2 for your article....but I was not even born in 1974 so that article must have gotten buried and forgotten, because the actions we see differ from that article....at least from all the congregations we have visited. At times I try to ignore these things (not just this topic) because I want to beleive....so hard, but everytime I manage to get back on my feet another elder or brother pushes me down (spiritually speaking) and im never good enought. I realise im not the problem. God bless you wolf, and GBL because even though we argue about this/that we are aware of the importance of our spritiuality. May we all find happines!

Bud said...

I was sad to find that the first Appendix in the new book released at the District Convention has just as harsh a stand on Disfellowshipping as ever. We see it in our cong., a desire to punish sinners. It is very 'un-Christlike'.

Governing Body Letters said...

Yes, and because of this harsh stance the Watchtower is responsible for many, many families being shattered. It is no longer possible to just walk away from this religion. No, you are suspected of being immoral, or an alcoholic, or any number of terrible things. They simply will not acknowledge that perhaps the person just no longer believes that the Watchtower is Jehovah's spirit directed organization.

Governing Body Letters said...

"Your website has helped me and my whole familly beggin to see how we almost replaced God with the Organization."

Thank you. Then my work is not in vain.

Governing Body Letters said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kimmy jo said...

It is true, the organization develops hate in the hearts of their people.

Example,
A person can become a victim of a crime and because of the two witness policy can be re-victimized(left to hang out and dry, sorta speak) if they do not have two witnesses and the perpetrator denies it.
So lets say the victim is a young, baptised person, after handling the matter with the elders and the outcome is as stated above, the young person is "counseled" to "wait on Jehovah and matters will work out accordingly, don't TALK about the matter to anyone, just PRAY about it.
As time goes on the victim, unheard, and feels uncared for and alone in suffering, becomes very depressed, turns to drugs.
Of course, the elders have been after him with "encouragement" and "counsel" but he is unresponsive and they view this as a rebellion and disfellowship him. He tries unsuccessfully to commit suicide.
His parents, one is a 17 year loyal JW the other is an unbeliever, they are at his bedside all night and day, in the hospital as he lay there with systemic failure, near death, due to his attempt at pain relief(suicide).
His parents are clearly completely broken down with sadness. As their child(young adult) is recovering after 5 days in the hospital, both parents do some deep soul searching and begin to LISTEN to the cries of the child and begin to SEE that the LOVE for their child should supersede any "disfellowshiping rules" anything less is unnatural.
The entire time this JW parent maintained meeting attendance and field service, with much pain. She began to realize that NO ONE cared enough to bring a dinner or simply ASK, just ASK how their child was or how she was!!! It was as though he was already dead because he was disfellowshipped!!!
I tell this because bad actions do not always come from a bad heart as the organization teaches.
It is horribly sad that this young person never felt God's tender mercy within the congragation of JW, the supposed "true religion". What a mockery and so discusting to behave in such a way, in the name of God.
It is the "HARDENED CONDITION OF THE HEARTS" of many JW's who mistakenly believe they are correct in their thinking and the practice of disfellowshipping and the way they treat another human.

The perpetrator is still in the congregation practicing his faith as a trusted brother!
End of story.

P.S. don't pick this all apart word for word, it's just a story.

Bud said...

1. Years (even decades) of conditioning cause us to go along with this arrangement even though it feels so wrong to the depths of our souls.
2. Power in the hands of men (elders, governing body) corrupts everytime.
We are recovering from gross injustice. Wising up and owe you thanks!

Anonymous said...

kimmo jo...

That is exactly what happens. Our system sets our children to fail and then we blame them for being spririally weak. My wife and I are JW's and my wife grew up in the "truth" and she fought so hard to defend it.....even when she suffered physical/emotional abuse from many other brothers/sisters/parents that she even tried to commit suicide.....she had nobody to turn to, not even the elders, nor her parents (she had no friends of coarse). No matter which way she turned for help we were forced to see her as a bad influence for having been weak in faith. I went agaisnt it, they were all against our marriage because they beleived every lie her parents said about her and I had so much more to offer the congregation than waisting my time with this girl. She is the most loving, caring person, that would not hurt anyone. I't has taken me years to 'fix' all the emotional scars and to let her know it was never her fault. Thank you GBL and everyone that has let us seen how things really are. We have never felt better with God (even when we've try to win Him over with deeds-preaching-comenting-passig mics-cleaining the hall-public talks. We have realised that we just cant win Him over with deeds and laws and obedience to humans. . We followed all the instructions....and where was our guarrantied promised happines by the Organisation? We have been approaching it all wrong.

chocolatepuddingeyes said...

Excerpt from August 2002 KM:

*** km 8/02 p. 4 par. 10 Display Christian Loyalty When a Relative Is Disfellowshipped ***

10 The Watchtower addresses another situation that can arise: “What if a close relative, such as a son or a parent who does not live in the home, is disfellowshiped and subsequently wants to move back there? The family could decide what to do depending on the situation. For example, a disfellowshiped parent may be sick or no longer able to care for himself financially or physically. The Christian children have a Scriptural and moral obligation to assist. (1 Tim. 5:8) . . . What is done may depend on factors such as the parent’s true needs, his attitude and the regard the head of the household has for the spiritual welfare of the household.”—The Watchtower of September 15, 1981, pages 28-9.

While acknowledging the responsibility of children to their parents by citing 1 Tim. 5:8, the Society then goes on to water down that scriptural command by telling the publishers that they can judge whether or not their parent is worthy of receiving assistance. The Society completely ignores the principle found at Matt. 5:45.

Let's take a look at 1 Tim. 5:8,

8 Certainly if anyone does not provide for those who are his own, and especially for those who are members of his household, he has disowned the faith and is worse than a person without faith.

Now, compare that with Matt. 5:45 in context of the surrounding scriptures.

(Matthew 5:43-48) . . .“YOU heard that it was said, ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 However, I say to YOU: Continue to love YOUR enemies and to pray for those persecuting YOU; 45 that YOU may prove yourselves sons of YOUR Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous. 46 For if YOU love those loving YOU, what reward do YOU have? Are not also the tax collectors doing the same thing? 47 And if YOU greet YOUR brothers only, what extraordinary thing are YOU doing? Are not also the people of the nations doing the same thing? 48 YOU must accordingly be perfect, as YOUR heavenly Father is perfect.

Whose commands are we going to follow? Jesus' or man's? The choice is yours.

kimmy jo said...

The saddest part of the story I told in this post is that the rest of the congregation will never know the facts of the disfellowship, they will never understand it was a reaction to a trauma. A trauma inflicted by one of their "brothers" still sitting at the meetings, with privileges.
They(the cong.) can only HATE the disfellowshipped one and the family that choose to stand by his side and support him with true comfort and love. They call us "APOSTATES".
Today this suicidal young man is doing well, recovery has taken 7 years. He has not done drugs for 6 yrs, maintains a good paying job in a specialized field and loves his life and new family...all of us FREE from the restrictive chains of the Watchtower. We are now FREE to show deep love and support to our family and reach out to others without the ulterior motive of trying to get them in the watchtower.

Governing Body Letters said...

".....all of us FREE from the restrictive chains of the Watchtower. We are now FREE to show deep love and support to our family and reach out to others without the ulterior motive of trying to get them in the watchtower."
--------------------------------
Amen kimmy jo. Amen.

kimmy jo said...

GBL,
Thank you.

Thank you for all YOU do here for those seeking TRUTH and peace in their lives.

kimmy jo said...

wolf 2,

That is so incredibly sad that you see this Watchtower study as a defense. Unless one is brain dead why does one need such explicit directions on how to treat another HUMAN BEING???

PATHETIC example of Christ like behavior or lack of it.

It is against our natural inclination to deprive loving kindness when we have the power to do so.

It seems that the Watchtower has the JW's trained to be so hard hearted(or desensitized) they need this artical to tell them that they can show LIMITED loving kindness.

P U. Something stinks in paridise.

JoePublish said...

Boy GBL, did you hit the nail on the head with this comment: "The most frightening thing about this is that adult men did not feel they could be guided by their own hearts and minds in a circumstance so obviously calling for human kindness."

Gosh... there is just no defending this and proves the case that JW's are so mind-conditioned by this organization... well, if they say "jump", it's not a matter of whether they will jump, it's a matter of how high they will jump.

I don't think some people understand the significance of your blogs. I look at them as VERY REVEALING and certainly something to give thought to BEFORE immediately responding with a defense.

Bud said...

Break the Silence! A key step towards stopping oppression is to expose it. Don't agree to keep it secret.