Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Former Member Testifies to the Dangers and Dysfunctions of the Jehovah's Witnesses

Is it rational to "train" babies and toddler to sit quietly for up to two hours at a time, five times a week, at congregation meetings? These children cannot color, they cannot read a book, they cannot bring a doll or a small toy to the meeting. They have to sit still, pay attention and listen. The entire concept is ridiculous and inhumane.
If the child become fidgety or starts crying he/she is dragged into the spanking room. Many spankings that I saw had nothing to do with discipline but had to do with parents indulging themselves in the act of releasing their anger due to their embarrassment that their child failed to live up to expectations. Brother and sisters are under enormous pressure to demonstrate that they "train" their children because you are judged by how your children behave.
Of course, some people have children with temperaments that can be easily "trained" to sit still for an extended period of time. However, this is definitely not the norm.
I have noticed that most other Christian churches have day care provisions available at services and events so that parents can benefit from the worship while small children are cared for by volunteers. Often, there are separate programs designed for the small children so that they get some benefits as well. The Watchtower organization has arrogantly and stubbornly resisted any kind of arrangements like this. No wonder so many parents are stressed out.
I believe that many parents thus subconsciously feel pushed, coerced, and pressured to dutifully perform the organization's outlined treadmill of works, while being told from the platform that they need to do more. All of this pent-up frustration tends to outwardly manifest itself in one way or another.
Here is an experience of one former Witness:
ENUMCLAW, Washington, September 16 /Christian Newswire/ -- According to the Jehovah's Witness membership statistics, active Watchtower congregants numbers around 7,000,000. Every year, close to 300,000 new members are baptized into the faith, and over 101,000 organized congregations operate under the direction of a central governing administration located in New York.
Raised in one such congregation, author William Coburn remembers his childhood years and the impact the Jehovah's Witness made on his life.
"When our church building, Kingdom Hall, was renovated, a 'Spanking Room' was added as an extra convenience for mothers. My mother kicked me, punched me, threw a vacuum cleaner at me and even knocked me out on more than one occasion."
"The Spanking Room – A Child's Eye View of the Jehovah's Witnesses" explores the inner-workings of the Kingdom Hall and chronicles a first-hand account of the physical, mental and emotional abuse among Jehovah's Witnesses. It explores how Watchtower doctrine encourages violence against its most helpless members—the children.
A former Jehovah's Witness, Coburn spent over thirteen years of his childhood and adolescence observing the consistency of dysfunction and abuse taught by the Watchtower Society.
Today, Coburn works as executive recruiter with a list of clients that includes the Pentagon. He is an accomplished public speaker and has given seminars, classes, and workshops on subjects ranging from drug awareness counseling to close-combat survival at West Point Military Academy. A Christian, husband, and father, Coburn credits his happiness and survival to God's mercy and grace.
"I'm successful. I'm happy. I have love and faith and hope in my life . . . I turned out fine. But I did not turn out this way "because" of the Watchtower Society; I turned out this way in spite of it."

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

Depending on the year, I would venture to guess the extra room in a Kingdom Hall was expanded for the nursing mothers with babies. Starting in the 70's breast feeding became very popular. Some more progressive Kingdom Halls even put in changing areas in the men's room so dad's could help.

Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Halls do not have "spanking rooms".

Some mothers would go back to the Library or extra school room to quiet their babies. Some walked the Halls and others sat in the bathroom waiting area.

Maybe this sad story is true, but the Watchtower or the Society would not encourage such abuse....ever. So while this is disgusting that a mother abused her son AND pretended to be serving Jehovah. It is not the norm.

Honestly bloggers, ....YOU KNOW this is not true for our children. They sit beside us with soft books, colors, tablets and for some, even a few toys. We love our children and they aren't abused.

Why stoop so low as to suggest that this example of abuse is something that happens in our Kingdom Halls?

AND If I had seen this abuse happen I would have called Social Services. My guess is that this sick woman did this to her son in secret. I am so sorry for that.

Anonymous said...

Oh great...now every person with a story will post how he/she was abused by their moms because they were Jehovah's Witnesses.

NOT

If they did such a thing they were not doing what the Bible, the Watchtower or any Normal JW espouses. So being a JW didn't cause the abuse.

Being a sick ______, (you fill in your own word) is what makes people abuse their little ones.

That kind of slime will be gone soon, unable to hurt any more innocent victims. Amen

Anonymous said...

spanking is denied in every form and today there is no spanking anymore.
But that ended about 10 years ago.
I very well remember when a mother with her 3 year ol.d daughter came into the 2nd room and said: now you will get it onto the naked butt.

And then you heard the heavy claps by her hands.

Today the parents deny ever to have beaten their children.

I remember an illustration in a WT from the 60ies. A father lents his son over the knees and spanks....

that was doctrine and was followed by the JWs and not too long ago elder sisters spake about "he needs some claps on the back".

So I am sure those who deny that are new in the truth or have lost their memory or conscience

Anonymous said...

5 times a week?
What religion r u talking about?
We meet 3 times a week,

Plese recheck before u post something

chocolatepuddingeyes said...

I can vouch for what GBL has posted. I've seen it, I've reported it, I've been labeled as a troublemaker for standing up for defenseless infants and toddlers who got a beating from their parent for making noise during the meeting.

How many of you remember the wooden spoon? Some parents would bring the spoon to the meeting to remind their kids to behave. No, the wooden spoon was not endorsed by the WTS, but the implementing of it was condoned and promoted widely by congregation members for decades.

I've seen it and heard it for myself, how parents are convinced that their kids need corporal punishment. I know many elders who do not have a problem with hitting their kids or encouraging other parents to hit their kids. There's an old WT article that briefly mentions that physical punishment should not leave marks or bruises on the child. But there's an elder that promotes the "red hots." His idea is that if it doesn't hurt and leave a mark, then the discipline won't stick. He's a supporter of giving a kid the red hots with the wooden spoon.

So, what we have here are parents that are taught to put the fear of the wooden spoon into their children. Physical punishment should be a last resort, but that would mean parents would need to learn how to parent their children, wouldn't it? Good parenting takes time and effort.

There is no substitute for good parenting.

kimmy jo said...

"Brother and sisters are under enormous pressure to demonstrate that they "train" their children because you are judged by how your children behave."

This statement is so true. The forced OBIEDIENCE of your children reflects a parents training skills and spirituality, and yes, the parent feels the judgment and pressure to conform! It is all a part of the silent judjment that takes place at the Kingdom Halls. I have been there done that and am sorry to have put my 2 children threw the torture and loss of their childhood.

Anonymous said...

I do not agree that that is just a JW issue. I do remember the second school room being used as a sort of quieting room for children.
Abuse is wide spread. It pains my heart all the time.
I do not hit my Daughter and have resorted to other parenting techniques that have done a wonderful job. My Daughter is sweet and wonderful, and yes, I'm bragging. =)
I do not believe that the JW's have put 'spanking rooms' in. Those are not for that use, even though some people have used them as such and those rooms have gotten a bad rap.
Again, though, abuse is everywhere. Not just in any one religion.

kimmy jo said...

OK, lets just say there is no spanking being done, although we know different. Would you agree it is even slightly abusive and unnatural to expect your child to sit at all the meetings(book study 1hr, theocratic school, sunday and sat field service) quietly for 2 hrs. These meetings run late, past most kids bed times. Homework doesn't get done and they are often tired and pressured to be up on the current 'studies' at the meetings, including participation for answering and giving talks. I think that is stealing their childhood and that is abuse.

Anonymous said...

Kimmy jo,

Teachers expect children to quietly work most of the day...is THAT considered child abuse?
If children are loud and obnoxious in school, they are in trouble. Sometimes even getting sent home.
I think it's a bit of a reach to say that it's COMPLETELY unreasonable.
I don't think it's right if children aren't allowed to BE children. I've been to other churches, they also have 'back rooms' where I've seen parents with their unruly children.
Were those 'back rooms' intended for that use?
Listen, I don't agree with about 50% of what JW's do, but I do want to remain balanced in my views and look at all angles.
We've ALL had bad experiences to some degree, but I will not set here and say that it's confined to ONE religion, ONE group of people. It's everywhere.

tohsibor said...

Anonymous said..."Listen, I don't agree with about 50% of what JW's do, but I do want to remain balanced in my views and look at all angles.
We've ALL had bad experiences to some degree, but I will not set here and say that it's confined to ONE religion, ONE group of people. It's everywhere."

Balance is good. And certainly you are entitled to your beliefs and how much you agree or disagree with the teachings and beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

However, this site focuses on Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the problem is while bad experiences are not confined to ONE religion, ONE group of people…Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught to believe they are the ONE true religion, the ONE group of people that God will save.

But like you said, the bad is everywhere. Likewise so is good. Good people and individuals who are worthy to be saved are not exclusive to one religion or one group of people.

kimmy jo said...

"Teachers expect children to quietly work most of the day...is THAT considered child abuse?
If children are loud and obnoxious in school, they are in trouble. Sometimes even getting sent home."

School is a normal part of life...thse JW kids must pack on even more responsibility and work. It is not right. It is all to much even for adults, but that is the mentality of this cult...keep them super busy, super tired, and feeling quilty for feeling that way so they will push even harder and continualy be frustrated.
Ya, that's healthy for kids, you think?

Voice of Reason said...

gossip, gossip and more gossip.

Well, that is better than a Sunday school nursery. Children should be taught to set with their parents for 2 hours.

That is the problem with kids today. If they can't play video games or live in that environment, they cry and whine.

chocolatepuddingeyes said...

Anonymous,

I've never met a teacher yet that expected infants and toddlers to sit still and be quiet for 1-2 hours at a stretch, I've only seen that at JW meetings.

One elder used to jiggle his 6 month old daughter on his knee during the meetings and pop her in the mouth every time she made a sound. Every time. He was quite proud of how he trained his daughter to be quiet during the meetings.

J said...

To the anons
"Honestly bloggers, ....YOU KNOW this is not true for our children."

"spanking is denied in every form and today there is no spanking anymore."

Ok I don't know where you get that JWs don't spank. Second abuse and spanking are two different things.

And yes anon you are right most people do treat their children well.

I do know several in the hall that abuse (what I term abuse pinching hitting etc.)their children during meeting to get them quiet.

The worst part is the old ladies telling young parents what to do. They need to sit down and shut up. (the old ladies not the kids)

@Voice of Reason
"Children should be taught to set with their parents for 2 hours"

Well again some JWs apply this to infants which is wrong. Sure at four you should be able to sit for a while. But they're kids.

In the end as someone already said. Problems are not unique to JW's. Nor are they insulated from problems.

The cult environment does lead to some negatives that's for sure. In the end being made to sit for a couple hours is not going to kill them.

The fact they are indoctrinated with lies into a cult since birth is a much, much, bigger issue.

Voice of Reason said...

chocolate said:
"I can vouch for what GBL has posted. I've seen it, I've reported it, I've been labeled as a troublemaker for standing up for defenseless infants and toddlers who got a beating from their parent for making noise during the meeting."

And your point is what? That you are intercessor of the year?

Why don't you let people run their own lives?

Voice of Reason said...

choco the clown said as she wants to entertain the children:
"I've never met a teacher yet that expected infants and toddlers to sit still and be quiet for 1-2 hours at a stretch, I've only seen that at JW meetings."

That is what is wrong with this world. The children are let loose and cause mayhem.

You are so judgmental of everyone.

tohsibor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tohsibor said...

Voice of Reason said...
"You are so judgmental of everyone."

You mean just like a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses? You mean just like many of the writings of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society's publications?

***The Watchtower, September 1, 1989, p. 19: "Remaining Organized for Survival Into the Millennium":
"Only Jehovah's Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the "great crowd," as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil. (Revelation 7:9-17; 2 Corinthians 4:4)"***
Voice of Reason, as soon as the Organization behind Jehovah's Witnesses stops judging all other religions and stops making such sweeping statements as the above Watchtower quote proves, then you would have a defensive argument that works.

Voice of Reason said...

toh said:
"Voice of Reason, as soon as the Organization behind Jehovah's Witnesses stops judging all other religions and makes such sweeping statements as the above Watchtower quote proves, then you would have a defensive argument that works. "

We do not judge all of the other religions. That has been done long ago. We only announce the verdict that they are so antiGod and we are looking for them to be destroyed.

Anonymous said...

Hey, we got Ronde to change his name!

Maybe he will change his religion next!

Anonymous said...

"that has been done long ago"

Are you saying that things that happened a long time ago DO matter? I seem to recall that you were previously not interested in the events of 1918/1919.

By the way, are you the YouTube user NewAgeGamer? You sound just like him.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Newagegamer3018

chocolatepuddingeyes said...

Voice (aka clashing cymbal),

It looks like it bothers you when people like me don't look the other way. I guess you would prefer that I keep silent when I see wrongdoing.

I've seen infants slapped so hard they had raised welts on their legs for hours after the meeting. I've seen toddlers with bruises, that lasted for days, from beatings they got during the meeting. My conscience tells me it would be wrong to keep silent, so I don't.

TC was raised by strict JW parents. TC was beaten as a kid for being restless/making noise at the meetings. When TC got big enough he gave his father a beating. His father never beat him again.

TC's been in jail and has had problems with drugs and alcohol, yet he was raised by very loving, strict JW's. The problem was that his parents didn't know where to draw the line when it came to discipline. They were taught in the congregation to use the rod liberally, then your son or daughter would turn out well. Neither their son or their daughter is a JW today.

The daughter was a model young person. KC was respectful of her parents and spent her summers auxiliary pioneering. She ended up disassociating herself and joining another religion. It pretty much shocked the congregation because there was no indication that KC was having any doubts. But when you grow up in a home where your older brother is beaten on a regular basis for things not warranting a beating, you begin to question things when you become a teenager.

Instead of using common sense, or their own power of reasoning, the parents were under the spell of the organization. They wanted to qualify for life in the new system of things, so they did everything they were told to do, including beating their son. See, no one told them about "chastizing to the proper degree" or making the punishment fit the crime. No, those things were pretty much ignored. Because the end was so close, they feared doing anything that would put their kids' lives in jeopardy.

Some day you may come to understand what I'm talking about.

Anonymous said...

No Kimmy Jo,
I don't know any teacher that would MAKE a child be completely quiet during school, but, it is expected... and as I said before, the child would be excused from the class room if they were being too loud. You say that School is a part of childhood...What about parents that put their kids in Swimming, baseball, ballet, music, after school recreation, 5 times a week? Those kids are busy, not normal. I agree with being balanced.
Some after school recreation is great, asking your child to go to church and learn about God is great.
I was a JW for many years, I rarely seen what some of you describe. Maybe it boils down to experiences.
I would feel terrible if I saw what some of you describe. And I'm sorry that you had to experience that.



Toh,
I understand what this site focuses on.
I appreciate this site very much. And I usually agree with the topics that are posted, I just don't agree with this one.

The KH's that I attended, I saw children with coloring books, toys, pads of paper...etc. When I was little we did the same thing.
I knew kids that were abused by their parents, it had very little to do with whether they were being quiet at the KH, the parents had serious issues.

And as I said before, I've seen this in other churches, children getting taken to the back, parents getting upset when children are acting out during church service.

I just think it happens more than you are aware, or want to be aware of.

Anyways, this is getting long, I will stick with my opinion. Again, I am really very sorry that some of you have had a bad experience with this.

james said...

In my congregation children having colouring books/pens etc was definitely frowned upon, we discussed it at an elders meeting. If a parent allowed this they would be viewed as spiritually weak and in need of correction on the matter. Also children were taken out for 'misbehaving' and hit. I left 2 years ago and this was still going on.

Voice of Reason said...

Choco
"It looks like it bothers you when people like me don't look the other way. I guess you would prefer that I keep silent when I see wrongdoing. "

No, what bothers me is the Matt Lauer type wusses. I a more of the Boy named Sue types to where tough times makes people tough.

But if you see wrongdoing, do something about it. Don't go complaining about the Watchtower, talk to the people.

Voice of Reason said...

James said:
"we discussed it at an elders meeting. If a parent allowed this they would be viewed as spiritually weak and in need of correction on the matter. Also children were taken out for 'misbehaving' and hit. I left 2 years ago and this was still going on."

So your quitting is going to put an end to it, how?

Why do people care if they are viewed as spiritually weak?

And if children are taken out for misbehaving, they should stop misbehaving.

The Pastor said...

Voice of Reason wrote: "And if children are taken out for misbehaving, they should stop misbehaving."

Spoken like a true single man, with no kids.

People who are perceived as 'spiritually weak' are treated as second-class Christians in Kingdom Halls across the planet. This is a big deal, if you're on the receiving end of the un-Christlike treatment.

Voice of Reason said...

pastor said:"People who are perceived as 'spiritually weak' are treated as second-class Christians in Kingdom Halls across the planet. This is a big deal, if you're on the receiving end of the un-Christlike treatment."

So what? So they don't invite you to golf games? No big deal.

Run your own life. I do.

The Pastor said...

Voice of Reason wrote: "So what?"

I'll tell you what. Christianity is not about treating people like that. It's about love. God is love. The heart of Christianity is about following the example of Christ. Refreshing others, caring for widows and orphans.

"Run your own life."

Yeah, I certainly did that. I sent the brothers a letter, explaining I was leaving the CCoJW to become a Christian. Try it. If you don't like being an apostate, they will take you back. They have an arrangement whereby you can repent and be punished for a while, and then the congregation will reinstate you and take you back as if nothing ever happened.

It's Me said...

The Pastor says:
"Try it."

Great thing about being an 'Apostate' it has a money back grantee. To bad you can’t say the same thing for becoming a JW. When you want your money back they pretend you don’t exist.

chocolatepuddingeyes said...

VoR (aka clashing cymbals),

I did used to talk ONLY to the people involved. You know what happened? Time after time excuses were made and the problems were swept under the rug. Nothing changed, nothing got better.

I spent more than a decade "going through the proper channels" in regard to various situations that arose. When I got to my breaking point I had one of those defining moments that was mentioned by another blogger. I too believe that Jehovah's spirit led me out of the organization and to something much better.....worshiping Jehovah in spirit and truth.

I'm finding there's a growing number of JW's just like myself. Some are still on the inside, but most have made a break with the organization for reasons of conscience. There were brothers and sisters who helped me to understand the issues, and to put everything in perspective, especially in regard to the scriptures. Now it's my turn to help others who are in the same situation I was.

So, thank you for the time you take to post on this blog because you too are playing your part in getting the message spread. You may think of yourself as our adversary, but I think you are doing a valuable service. I'm sure there are people who read the responses who feel the points we make resonate with them. While you may still be in denial, there are others who are coming out of that river. ;)

Voice of Reason said...

Pastor said:
"Yeah, I certainly did that. I sent the brothers a letter, explaining I was leaving the CCoJW to become a Christian. Try it."

Unfortunately the CCJW is the only Christianity there is. Leaving it, leaves Christ.

You left the congregation because you were corrupt and were put out.

Voice of Reason said...

choco the clown said:
"I did used to talk ONLY to the people involved. You know what happened? Time after time excuses were made and the problems were swept under the rug. Nothing changed, nothing got better."

Maybe they weren't supposed to. Since it is not your business, then you are not the one who decides what is better.

The Pastor said...

VoR wrote: "Leaving it, leaves Christ."

With this statement, you are placing a human organization on par with Jesus Christ. Imagine how Jesus must feel about that. Jesus Christ is the only way to the father. No man can separate me from the love of the Christ.

I'm sorry you cannot accept my truthful story. I voluntarily left, for reasons of conscience. I was in good standing, an ex-Bethelite, held in high esteem. I was not put out of anything.

Please realize, if I believed it was God's organization, I would return tonight.

Voice of Reason said...

Pastor mistated:
"With this statement, you are placing a human organization on par with Jesus Christ."

It is not a human organization. It is Jehovah's Organization.

Jesus selected 12 apostles to follow him. To do so they stuck together. When then went off to do their own thing, as you did, and as Judas did, then they were not following him.

The Pastor said...

VoR wrote: "It is not a human organization."

I suppose Martians are currently running Brooklyn Bethel? You've left all reason and gone into a fairy tale explanation.

Actually, I'm with the original Christians. I'm not a part of an apocalyptic millenarian sect, founded just over 130 years ago. It's a matter of perspective.

I'm with a group that believes ever since Jesus there were true Christians, and there still are today. We believe the gospel today is the same as it was in Paul's day.

JWs preach a different gospel. One about Jesus returning invisibly in 1914. I've proven to myself that this is false.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

VofR states:

"You left the congregation because you were corrupt and were put out."

So now leaving a false religious group is equivalent to being corrupt and put out.
Hmm. So all those JW’s who left ‘Christendom’ are “corrupt and were put out” huh? As a dub trying taking everything you say and substitute your religion instead of 'Christendom'. Funny how that works. What if you examine your religion like you tell people at the door to do. Then what?

Voice of Reason said...

Pastor:
"Actually, I'm with the original Christians. I'm not a part of an apocalyptic millenarian sect, founded just over 130 years ago. It's a matter of perspective."

Well, the original Christians are not around anymore. The devil planted weeds and they grew with the wheat until the harvest. The harvest is happening and the wheat separated and took the name Jehovah's Witnesses.

"I'm with a group that believes ever since Jesus there were true Christians, and there still are today. We believe the gospel today is the same as it was in Paul's day."

Jesus never said that. He said that the enemy would sow weeds and that became the Catholic church and the like.

"JWs preach a different gospel. One about Jesus returning invisibly in 1914. I've proven to myself that this is false. "

I would hope it is different as it is the harvest gospel. You have proven nothing.

The Pastor said...

Not a human organization.

For the benefit of our non-JW audience, I would like to call your attention to this 1997 Watchtower magazine article.

*** w97 6/1 p. 10 par. 13 Jehovah—A God Who Reveals Secrets ***

"If we highly respect God’s inspired prophets of bygone days, and particularly God’s Son, should we not also respect the human agency that Jehovah is using today in revealing Biblical information so necessary for his people in these critical times?"

It's a human agency.

I give my allegiance to the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. No human agency holds authority over the Body of Christ.

The Pastor said...

VoR:

You rely on the unique interpretation of Watchtower.

I rely on the Holy Scriptures, completed some 2000 years ago. The Bible does not have an expiration date. Most WT books do.

Think about it.

I'm not here to prove anything. I'm here to speak the truth, not parrot what a human agency DEMANDS that I believe.

chocolatepuddingeyes said...

The Bible says Jehovah is looking for those who want to worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23,24). I believe he is searching out those who are sighing and groaning over the things going on INSIDE the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses (Ezekiel 9:4).

Note that Jehovah told the angels to go through "the midst of Jerusalem." In verse 5 Jehovah says "from my sanctuary you should start," leaving no doubt who is being targeted. Verse 9 further underscores what group of people Jehovah is referring to:

So he said to me: “The error of the house of Israel and Judah is very, very great, and the land is filled with bloodshed and the city is full of crookedness; for they have said, ‘Jehovah has left the land, and Jehovah is not seeing.’ 10 And as for me also, my eye will not feel sorry, neither shall I show compassion. Their way I shall certainly bring upon their own head.”

Anonymous said...

"So he said to me: “The error of the house of Israel and Judah is very, very great, and the land is filled with bloodshed and the city is full of crookedness; for they have said, ‘Jehovah has left the land, and Jehovah is not seeing.’"

Made me think....

JWs proclaim that they are the Israel of Isaiah 43 of whom God says "You are my witnesses whom I have chosen".

So, if they are the Israel of that chapter, then aren't they the Israel of THIS one?

Think about it.

Voice of Reason said...

Pastor said:
"You rely on the unique interpretation of Watchtower."

So that is your way of dealing with Witnesses? All you do is point to the Watchtower. You can't deal with Witnesses as individuals because you say we need interpretation from the Watchtower, then you place yourself as some special individual who interprets the Bible for himself.


It is good that I can see through your methods.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

Blogger J said...

VofR States: 'the wheat separated'

Oh,
So now it's up to the wheat to do it’s own separating. I thought that was Jesus job, my bad. Oh was that what Russell was into? That magic wheat was self separating wheat, I get it. Anything to make Jesus job a little easier, after all murdering all those non-JW children is going to be a lot of work.



______



‘You place yourself as some special individual who interprets the Bible for himself’

Kinda like Luther, Russell, Rutherford, and Franz. Oh wait Rutherford and Franz interpreted it for everyone. Then there were those mods they had to make to the word of God. Sometimes when you interpret things you have to ‘fix’ the mistakes. Especially in that there ol’ Bible. Best make a ‘NEW’ world translation of that. None of that ol’ pagan God and Jesus are one stuffs gonna make it into our the ‘NEW’ version.

Voice of Reason said...

Choco,
Sure, the marking work starts with the congregation and then goes out.

But in the end, one has to be marked and in the congregation.

chocolatepuddingeyes said...

VoR,

Nope, you don't have to be in the congregation. Sorry. You are forgetting about the scriptures that talk about the scattered sheep. Jehovah knows that the bad shepherds have scattered many of his sheep. Not all the sheep will be found on the inside.

I realize that's probably a new thought for you. Here are some scriptures you can read:

(Jeremiah 23:1-4) . . .“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasturage!” is the utterance of Jehovah.

2 Therefore this is what Jehovah the God of Israel has said against the shepherds who are shepherding my people: “YOU yourselves have scattered my sheep; and YOU kept dispersing them, and YOU have not turned your attention to them.”

“Here I am turning my attention upon YOU for the badness of YOUR dealings,” is the utterance of Jehovah.

3 “And I myself shall collect together the remnant of my sheep out of all the lands to which I had dispersed them, and I will bring them back to their pasture ground, and they will certainly be fruitful and become many. 4 And I will raise up over them shepherds who will actually shepherd them; and they will be afraid no more, neither will they be struck with any terror, and none will be missing,” is the utterance of Jehovah.

(Ezekiel 34:1-16) . . .And the word of Jehovah continued to occur to me, saying: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy, and you must say to them, to the shepherds, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel, who have become feeders of themselves! Is it not the flock that the shepherds ought to feed? 3 The fat is what YOU eat, and with the wool YOU clothe your own selves. The plump animal is what YOU slaughter. The flock itself YOU do not feed. 4 The sickened ones YOU have not strengthened, and the ailing one YOU have not healed, and the broken one YOU have not bandaged, and the dispersed one YOU have not brought back, and the lost one YOU have not sought to find, but with harshness YOU have had them in subjection, even with tyranny. 5 And they were gradually scattered because of there being no shepherd, so that they became food for every wild beast of the field, and they continued to be scattered. 6 My sheep kept straying on all the mountains and on every high hill; and on all the surface of the earth my sheep were scattered, with no one making a search and with no one seeking to find.

7 “‘“Therefore, YOU shepherds, hear the word of Jehovah, 8 ‘“As I am alive,” is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, “surely for the reason that my sheep became something for plunder and my sheep continued to be food for every wild beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, and my shepherds did not search for my sheep, but the shepherds kept feeding themselves, and my own sheep they did not feed,”’ 9 therefore, YOU shepherds, hear the word of Jehovah. 10 This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said, ‘Here I am against the shepherds, and I shall certainly ask back my sheep from their hand and make them cease from feeding [my] sheep, and the shepherds will no longer feed themselves; and I will deliver my sheep out of their mouth, and they will not become food for them.’”

11 “‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: “Here I am, I myself, and I will search for my sheep and care for them. 12 According to the care of one feeding his drove in the day of his coming to be in the midst of his sheep that have been spread abroad, that is the way that I shall care for my sheep; and I will deliver them out of all the places to which they have been scattered in the day of clouds and thick gloom. 13 And I will bring them out from the peoples and collect them together from the lands and bring them in onto their soil and feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streambeds and by all the dwelling places of the land. 14 In a good pasturage I shall feed them, and on Israel’s high mountains their abiding place will come to be. There they will lie down in a good abiding place, and on a fat pasturage they will feed upon the mountains of Israel.”

15 “‘“I myself shall feed my sheep, and I myself shall make them lie down,” is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. 16 “The lost one I shall search for, and the dispersed one I shall bring back, and the broken one I shall bandage and the ailing one I shall strengthen, but the fat one and the strong one I shall annihilate. I shall feed that one with judgment.”

Voice of Reason said...

choco the clown said;
"Nope, you don't have to be in the congregation."

That makes it hard to follow Heb 10:23-25,

And for Jesus' letters to the 7 congregations to be read.

Anonymous said...

Hebrews doesn't give any indication how often Christians should meet. Nor does it conflict with Jesus' words, indicating that where TWO or more are gathered, he would be with them.

The frequency of the meetings and the nature of them are not finite. Unless you're a JW. You then have a rigid schedule of meetings. If you miss even one of the weekly meetings, you will viewed as spiritually weak. Why? Not because you have violated a Biblical command, but because you have violated a rule made by men. Men that have taken it upon themselves to KNOW what God's will is for the frequency and number of meetings.

chocolatepuddingeyes said...

choco the clown said;

"Nope, you don't have to be in the congregation."

VoR said: That makes it hard to follow Heb 10:23-25,

My reply: No it doesn't. I associate with brothers and sisters on a regular basis. There are lots of sheep on the outside. We incite each other to fine works all the time.

VoR said: And for Jesus' letters to the 7 congregations to be read.

My reply: Jesus' letters to the 7 congregations mentioned in Revelation are recorded for anyone to read, at any time, any where.

Voice of Reason said...

"Hebrews doesn't give any indication how often Christians should meet."

No, that is up to the congregation's overseers.

" Nor does it conflict with Jesus' words, indicating that where TWO or more are gathered, he would be with them."

It does not make sense for 2 to meet unless there is persecution. Congregations are set up for 100-120. It is better to meet together in such groups. How can people complain about the meetings when the megachurches meet in 800 or more?

"The frequency of the meetings and the nature of them are not finite. Unless you're a JW. You then have a rigid schedule of meetings."

That is incorrect. All of the congregation have the same schedules. The reason is so that if people are traveling or visiting, they know what to expect.

" If you miss even one of the weekly meetings, you will viewed as spiritually weak. Why? Not because you have violated a Biblical command, but because you have violated a rule made by men. "

That is incorrect. Missing meetings are not an indicator of weakness, but of the fact that one is not getting stronger.

"Men that have taken it upon themselves to KNOW what God's will is for the frequency and number of meetings. "

And that is a problem, how?

Voice of Reason said...

chocolate, you are just being disagreeable just to be disagreeing.

Just because you don't like going to meetings does not make meetings bad or not needed. I can understand not liking to go to all of the meetings, but I don't come up with reasons to justify that. Those who miss, just are not encouraging others.

chocolatepuddingeyes said...

VoR said, "All of the congregation have the same schedules. The reason is so that if people are traveling or visiting, they know what to expect."

My reply: That is incorrect. All of the congregations do not have the same schedule. Where have you been? The first thing you have to do when traveling is either drive by the hall or call the number in the phone book, if it's listed.

If you drive by the hall, you hope the meeting schedule posted is correct. Half the time it's showing the previous year's schedule and nobody bothered changing it when the congregations rotated. This is how a person ends up going to a meeting with a foreign language program. Numerous times we have gone by the schedule posted on the outside of the building, only to find it was not accurate, and ended up at a Spanish meeting, instead of the English one.

We've found numerous congregations that don't list a number in the phone book. Why they don't list a phone number is beyond me. Finding the right language group and the right meeting times can be difficult sometimes.

VoR said: Missing meetings are not an indicator of weakness, but of the fact that one is not getting stronger.

My reply: I know more than a few chronically ill people who are treated as being spiritually weak based upon their meeting attendance. Elders and publishers have been known to say that you have to be at the meetings in order to get Jehovah's spirit. That's not true. Jehovah gives his spirit freely to those who ask for it.

Why do you supposes elders promote the idea that you HAVE to be at the meetings in the Kingdom Hall in order to get Jehovah's spirit? Is it because they can't depend on publishers to show up of their own accord? They resort to spiritual blackmail tactics because they are under pressure to keep their numbers up. They know the CO is going to give them a hard time if meeting attendance isn't at 100%.

Elders are so concerned about the numbers game that they will do anything to keep their numbers up. When it came time for the HS congregation to vote on whether to keep afternoon Sunday meetings or rotate to morning meetings, the first vote indicated that the majority of publishers wanted to keep afternoon meetings. I was so excited because this was the first time ever we had a majority vote to keep afternoon meetings on Sunday. The elder taking the count was not happy because he knew that meant going through another year of having a low count because of all the publishers who went to the morning meeting of the sister congregation on Sundays. After the vote was taken he lied and said the count was too close, the audience had to vote again. I wish I would have spoken up and called him a liar, because that's exactly what he was doing. (That was back when I was still meek and mild, lol.)

When he had the audience vote again the second time around it WAS about half and half, yet he lied again and said the majority voted for morning meetings. The elder got his way, and the congregation switched to morning meetings on January 1st.

What won't elders do when it comes to pumping up the numbers?

By the way, I don't disagree with you just to be disagreeable. Anyone can see that I'm speaking from my own experiences, which mirror what many other pubs have seen. You can argue all you want, but you can't take away my experiences or change them.

I can't undo the past either, so I do what I can to help others to be aware of what state (condition) the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses are really in. There's an impending execution of judgment, and I hope that ALL will be sighing and groaning over what's going on inside the congregations (Ezekiel 9:4). I worry about those who defend the WTS/CCoJW's and make excuses for the badness going on inside the congregation, or pretend that what we're saying is not true.

Voice of Reason said...

chocolate said:
"My reply: That is incorrect. All of the congregations do not have the same schedule. Where have you been? The first thing you have to do when traveling is either drive by the hall or call the number in the phone book, if it's listed."

I was not talking about when the meetings start. That is up to the congregation. I was talking about content and timing. You are being a boogerhead for disagreeing with everything just to be disagreeable.
I would not be the Voice of Reason if I said something could be disagreed with.

Voice of Reason said...

chocolate said:
"My reply: I know more than a few chronically ill people who are treated as being spiritually weak based upon their meeting attendance. Elders and publishers have been known to say that you have to be at the meetings in order to get Jehovah's spirit. That's not true. Jehovah gives his spirit freely to those who ask for it."

If we don't see them, then how would we know. And why does it matter whether one is spiritually weak or not? And Jehovah's spirit is at the meeting and other congregational occasions.

"Why do you supposes elders promote the idea that you HAVE to be at the meetings in the Kingdom Hall in order to get Jehovah's spirit?"

Why are you thinking man's thoughts and not God's. If you were thinking God's thoughts you would do what you can to promote God's service and that means the meetings.

"yet he lied again"

You really don't have Jehovah's spirit if you call others 'liars' so easily.

"Anyone can see that I'm speaking from my own experiences, which mirror what many other pubs have seen. "

Which we really don't care about. Your experiences are just that. You are not talking about the religion, just what people do. No one cares what people do. What we care about is the religion. You don't know what the religion is. You are just so arrogant that you think that your experiences mean something. Well, they don't amount to a hill of beans.

The Pastor said...

Voice of Reason wrote: "What we care about is the religion. You don't know what the religion is."

Yes, you care about 'Religion'. The JWs before you knew that Religion was a snare and a racket. In this sense, they had brighter light than you.

The Body of Christ is not a denomination, nor is it limited to Kindgdom Halls.

We do indeed know what your religion is. We have tasted it. We have proven to ourselves that you produce rotten fruit.

On the other hand, we know that was Christ Jesus offers is refreshing and fine. The Christian message was alive and well long before the Watchtower magazine was printed and before C.T. Russell decided he was chosen by God to lead the 'real Christians'.

Anonymous said...

in my congregation my parents and the other parents always used the toilet as a spanking room. no wonder that some congregation had the idea of a specific room for that.