Worshipping Men instead of Jehovah

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by BreakTheWalls, Mar 27, 2017.

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    BreakTheWalls

    BreakTheWalls Guest

    Here is my personal experience and analysis.

    As I studied the Bible, when I first learned the truth, it was about worshipping Jehovah, my focus was on the Bible and learning about Jehovah. You are all familiar with the Org constantly repeating that a lot of people lose their fire after baptism, yes? This is why it happens. Once you get baptized, especially if you are male, they start pressuring you into becoming an MS then Elder. If you are not a certain age and have certain responsibilities, you are considered a spiritual failure, someone who needs encouragement. Now you have to start doing things the elders' way or the highway. You just want to impress the Elders at all times, I was an unbaptized publisher at 17, just converted from Catholicism, I specifically remember thinking to myself, that it was no longer about Jehovah, but the Elders. I tried very hard to change my thinking, but the men of the organization were constantly the center of my attention. I was even scolded by my Bible teacher because I didn't know the GB's names, he literally told me, it was a mistake on the Elders' part by making me a UP, I wasn't stumbled by this, it just comes to show you how most people think in the org.

    Eventually, the truth becomes a job. You can't grow a beard, you are scolded if you don't shave, you are scolded if you chew gum, you need x amount of hours, you can't laugh in service, study the newest edition of the awake and WT every month, every month you need to memorize a new speech for the house holder, and if you don't, you beat yourself because your are not spiritual like the rest of them; service, it probably became the most unenjoyable part while I still believed 1914, the meetings have become so dumbed down throughout the last few years, no matter how hard I try, I cannot focus in the meeting, the content is so uninteresting and it is always trying to make you feel bad about yourself, "do you do this, do you that?" Every little topic you cover is a moral lesson, you can't learn about prophecy without them conditioning you into submission, it is so tiresome. All this, piled up, made me question whether Jehovah even existed. I can't make the connection, but I became the most spiritual while I was inactive, away from the meetings, I was able to stop a lot of bad habits, my faith in his existence restored to 100%, I just don't know how to describe, exactly how the ORG makes you lose faith, but it does, I have seen many leave because of this.

    Honestly, if you are not doing everything just like they expect you to, you will probably throw yourself into a depression. I am pro disfellowshipping, so it is not like I despise authority, but the micromanagement is too much, if you find encouragement by doing your own thing at home, you should really consider it and start blocking a lot of the their ideas from entering your head. There is too much negative influence for me personally at the meeting, especially with the clicks that form, those were also stumbling blocks for me, seeing everyone at a party you were not invited to, every weekend, wondering why the Bros and Sis' don't want to invite you anywhere, I remember overhearing one person saying how they didn't want to be my friend, etc. like seriously?

    The hypocrisy amazes me, I was always an apologetic for the JWs, just like they teach you to be. But learning TTATT really opens your eyes. The drunkards, gossipers, cowards, superfine apostles will be judged by Jehovah. I have witnessed so many haughty people in the truth, about trivial matters, questioning one's intelligence because of their Instagram profile, accepting wrongdoing just because the person has an Elder label. They literally believe calling someone out who is in the wrong is a sin because they are Jehovah's appointed elder, we need to accept corruption because Jehovah appointed them. Accepting their authority is one thing, bringing to light their error is another. They have elevated everyone with the Elder title to Jehovah's level, questioning them is the same as questioning Jehovah, and if you do so they will beat you into submission with guilt.

    So, does anyone have any stories to share, have you noticed any changes in the truth throughout the years, people say there is a huge an emphasize on the GB compared to old times, true?
     
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    ExLuther

    ExLuther New Member

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    Hizazel, I struggle with many of the same issues, though as a sister not in all the same ways. My husband taught me TTATT at the same time as he taught me the truth. After years of trying other churches and having gaps in our spiritual associations and studies, we began a study and joined our cong. My husband is not baptized and I believe he's right in his decision because for him it is too difficult to accept the baptism to the organization. I felt more led to be obedient despite the clear issues and I was baptized two years ago.

    After my baptism the pressure to do service wasn't unbearable, but it was there. I run my own business and so have much freedom, but also much stress and management that goes into it. I also care for my father as his guardian as he's in a nursing home. So there is a lot on my plate and pioneering will not be my goal. The pressure has died down for me, but I also have recognized that the sisters aren't very eager to associate with me often. I'm not invited to join service plans very often or invited out to girls outings or parties or events, either. I've come to terms with it but it hurt a bit when it dropped off, as I know it is partially because I'm not the "active" sister who follows all the expectations.

    The pressure on my husband is more ongoing and subtle, but I really felt it was inappropriate around the time of my baptism. Baptism is a very personal decision based on our own relationship with Jehovah. I hated hearing everyone tell him "you're next!" and excitedly ask him when they'd see him up there. I know my husband is dedicated in his heart and baptized in the word. In my one year after baptism visit, the elder sat across from us and said to me, "can't you see him as a great elder some day?" I answered back, "no, I am sorry, but I honestly can't and that is all right." He's such a wonderful part of the congregation as a UB, doing everything he can to help in other ways. He's the first to offer when someone needs help, and he's a wonderful spiritual head in his own unique and very educated manner. I think they've finally realized they must let up on him and started to appreciate him for who he is and what he brings to the spiritual family.

    Truly, our elders are overall very great brothers we respect and admire very much. I know that each congregation is unique and we're grateful and blessed in ours, and all I wish is that the sisters were more inclusive with me. But that presents its own issues as well, so I'm okay where we're at. I've simply retained the worldly associations that I had before who are kind and moderate people. My measuring line is whether I can speak to them about the truth. If they'll have respectful and open conversations with me about the scriptures and their personalities and habits aren't offensive and hedonistic I am happy to share my beliefs and friendship with them. I do think it's another reason people at the hall are stand-offish about me, but they don't understand how much of a witness I'm able to give to this small group of casual associations in my life.

    I do agree that over the past few years the information is so infuriating. We have truly gone back to milk and very little solid food is served most meetings. Sigh. I just figure that because I know this must take place, it is simply further proof that these are indeed the people that Jehovah is using in this time. That confidence helps me enduress!

    Keep it up, brother. Endure and do so with as much love, forgiveness, respect, and integrity as you can, with help from the scriptures which is abundant!
     
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    BreakTheWalls

    BreakTheWalls Guest

    What exactly is holding your husband back from baptism? Since he already knows TTATT, it should be a breeze for him to survive as a JW. The Baptism is about him and Jehovah, not the organization, the questions they ask for baptism are also of little importance. Consider the following article.

    This pasted passage is just a small glimpse, I would highly encourage you to read this in full: http://perimeno.ca/Dedication.htm

    IS BAPTISM ABOUT DEDICATION?

    To know Jehovah is to love him. He is everything we could imagine our father and best friend to be like. As you become better acquainted with him you will come to the point where you want to do something about your love for him. But what? We feel so inadequate. What can we actually give to God? How can we show in a positive way just how much we love him? If you had someone help you come to know Jehovah through a study of the Bible you will soon be told that you must dedicate yourself to God. Ah, isn't that a positive way of demonstrating your love for your Creator? Once you have made a dedication of yourself to God you are then instructed to symbolize that dedication by water baptism. But first you are required to review what you have learned with a couple of elders in your congregation, for they want to discern if you are ready for the commitment that dedication to God entails. You must also be already busy in the witnessing work. Once they are satisfied of your qualification you are ready to be baptized at the next assembly. All those presenting themselves to be baptized will be asked two questions:

    1. On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?
    2. Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?

    From then on you will be expected to live up to your dedication and all the responsibilities that go with it that you willingly accepted, and by doing so you understand that God will bless you with everlasting life.

    Says The Watchtower of 1956, July 1, page 399, paragraph 14, under the study article, "What Dedication Means to Me": It is true that dedication places a heavy load of responsibility upon one. And faithfulness in carrying that load is mandatory!”
    And as you carry that heavy load you believe that you are following the example that Jesus set for us.

    There are those, however, who have studied the Bible and have come to know and love Jehovah, but feel they are not in a position to take on such a "heavy load of responsibility" that comes with making a dedication. (compare Matthew 11:28-30) I have met quite a number over the years who have been faithful meeting attenders for as long as twenty years or more without taking the step of baptism. They feel that it is better not to make a vow than to make one and break it. ―Ecclesiastes 5:5.

    How different this was in the first century. Those who listened to Peter at Pentecost and "embraced his words heartily were baptized," as many as three thousand on that one occasion. (
    Acts 2:41) There was no delaying. Consider some other examples:

    But when they believed Philip, who was declaring the good news of the kingdom of God and of the name of Jesus Christ, they proceeded to be baptized, both men and women. ―Acts 8:12.

    In answer the eunuch said to Philip: "I beg you, About whom does the prophet say this? About himself or about some other man?" Philip opened his mouth and, starting with this Scripture, he declared to him the good news about Jesus. Now as they were going over the road, they came to a certain body of water, and the eunuch said: "Look! A body of water; what prevents me from getting baptized?" ―Acts 8:34-36.

    And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira and a worshiper of God, was listening, and Jehovah opened her heart wide to pay attention to the things being spoken by Paul. Now when
    she and her household got baptized, she said with entreaty: "If YOU men have judged me to be faithful to Jehovah, enter into my house and stay." And she just made us come. ―Acts 16:14-15.

    And he brought them outside and said: "Sirs, what must I do to get saved?" They said: "Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will get saved, you and your household." And they spoke the word of Jehovah to him together with all those in his house. And he took them along in that hour of the night and bathed their stripes; and, one and all,
    he and his were baptized without delay. And he brought them into his house and set a table before them, and he rejoiced greatly with all his household now that he had believed God. ―Acts 16:30-34.

    Do you notice in the above scriptural examples that the believers were baptized without delay? Do you see any mention of them having to "dedicate" themselves first to God and having to weigh the responsibilities that go with such a dedication? Is water baptism about dedication? What does the Bible say on this matter?

    So, Baptism isn't about dedication to an organization. Baptism is about being saved and having your sins cleansed, the questions they ask for the baptism, the vows they make you take, they don't mean anything. Baptism is about spirit and truth, not labels, knowledge and identity.

    I hope he is able to see passed the flaws and recognize the baptism has nothing to do with Jehovah's Witnesses, it is between him and Jehovah.
     
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    BreakTheWalls

    BreakTheWalls Guest

    I expect numbers to soon turn negative, there will be a decrease in # of JWs per year, the down curve has already begun, they are only growing at 2.5% per year and with the age of the internet beginning, and WTS' absence in public forums, etc. All it will take is a quick Google search to fall out of the truth.

    And because of the dumbing down and infuriating articles, essentially the retardation they are causing, these people will seek answers from the Elders, and they will be unable to answer them and thus the love the greater number will begin to cool off.
     
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    marshroanoke

    marshroanoke Member

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    Hi Hizazel,

    I share a lot of your feelings and frustrations about the organization. I had to make peace with the fact I will never be a model JW in the organization, but being a model JW is more about checking check boxes (pioneer, ministerial servant, assembly parts) than doing right by Jehovah. You can be doing all of those things and still have a bad heart condition. I focus on my personal relationship with Jehovah and doing all I can to personally honor him. You're not alone in your struggles, amigo! Try not to over-stress about the organization and its ways...you'll drive yourself crazy. God values all that you do for him and don't let anyone tell you otherwise! If someone does not want to share your company at a get-together, they are not worth your time. I've also dealt with judgmental cliques at my former kingdom hall.

    -marshroanoke
     
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    ExLuther

    ExLuther New Member

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    That is so true, Hizazel, and even if the elders wanted to answer or address the questions, I feel that they cannot. Their tongues are kind of tied because they must tow the party line and support the GB. I understand why, but it is sad....
     
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    ExLuther

    ExLuther New Member

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    I, too, have had to make peace with not being a model JW! It is hard, because I want to do THE RIGHT THING. But I cannot let the fear of man drive me into doing what they see is right if it will exhaust and frustrate me, because that may affect my relationship with Jehovah over time... it's a protection in a way to do what is truly right rather than what is right in the eyes of the GB...

    Also, why do they not see that "not many of you should be teachers" could apply here?!
     
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    wallflower

    wallflower Moderator

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    I started attending meetings at the hall, as a teenager. At that time, there were 12 members on the GB. It was unusual to meet anyone who could recite all of the 12 names. Most of the brothers/sisters knew a few names but that was about it. These days, the GB are all known by name and they receive a lot of public attention. How times have changed!

    As a young person, I was able to do a lot in the ministry and got to know quite a few brothers and sisters, along the way. Without giving away too much detail, there was a change in my circumstances coming and I knew that this would impact on the amount of activity, I could do in the ministry. So I had lots of advance notice. I let various brothers and sisters know about the new change in my circumstances, so that it wouldn't come as a surprise to them. When I got to the point that I had to scale back on the ministry, I lost a lot of friendships (or at least, what I thought was a friendship.) The impression this gave me was that the friendships were based on how well I "performed."

    At the hall, I have to initiate my conversations as I don't get approached. I'm not in anyone's clique, either. Occasionally, I notice that some sisters will talk to my wardrobe ("That's a nice dress") as they scurry by to talk to someone who is in their clique. I will have to train my wardrobe to talk back and respond, but as yet, I haven't figured out how to do that. I don't regard that as being a genuine conversation with me, as a person.
     
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    ExLuther

    ExLuther New Member

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    Wallflower, that must be at least a little rough to deal with, I'm sorry. I do feel some of that at times. Now that I think about it, I probably react by mimicking their behavior. It's kind of a defense...

    I was in a book club of sisters for a while, but it hasn't been active for over a year. I have wondered if it's because I suggested we read Darwin's Doubt for my month, lol.
     
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    wallflower

    wallflower Moderator

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    Hi ExLuther

    The social behaviours and responses really surprised me at first - especially as I had discussed openly that my circumstances were about to change. At the hall, I focus on encouraging the elderly ones and other individuals who are not included in the cliques - those who are treated as the "outcasts," socially speaking.

    I was trained from a young age, on how to observe people's behaviour, as well as facial expression and body language. They speak volumes to me and I use those same skills when working with clients on a daily basis. I can pick out the social "outcasts" easily as there is a pattern to the cliques within the congregation.

    Fortunately, I'm quite self-sufficient by nature. I can't claim any personal credit for that, as there is a "reason" for having that trait.
     
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    BreakTheWalls

    BreakTheWalls Guest

    Can you elaborate on how you know is an outcast?
     
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    ExLuther New Member

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    Thank you for the encouragement, brother! I know it is something on his mind. He may one day choose to. We discussed it in detail when I decided to get baptized. I take the same stance; it is a very personal decision and must be weighed individually. :)
     
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    wallflower Moderator

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    Hi BreakTheWalls

    Well, I look for patterns - from what I can see, the congregation appears to be made up of several cliques. If I observe that a person is not included in a clique, left on their own and others do not attempt to engage in conversation with that person - if that continually happens, then I know that I'm looking at a person who is a social "outcast," figuratively speaking.

    At my hall, I can list off the social "outcasts" in my mind and I can be sure that when I go into the hall, I know already that those people will be sitting on their own. The pattern is consistent.

    We have a number of sisters who are grandmothers. Two of the grandmothers are social "outcasts." I notice that people will come up and talk to them, but ONLY if they are bouncing one of their grandchildren on their knee. If Sister Grandmother is sitting there by herself, no-one attempts to converse with her. So when people talk to her when she's holding a grandchild, that means they are drawn to the child but they are not drawn to her. Quite sad.
     
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    apocalypse

    apocalypse Guest

    It would be incorrect to view the Watchtower baptism as valid.
    FACT. Jehovah didn't tell anyone to get baptized. JESUS DID.
    FACT. What Jesus said was that they should be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. You have never seen and will never see anyone baptized correctly in a Watchtower environment.

    They will never ever discuss the command given anywhere outside the Kingdom Hall. The Watchtower does a bait and switch, telling you about the command Jesus gave in Mt. 28:19 during meetings, but they practice other at the assembly. It's baptism FRAUD.
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Wrong...

    Jhn 5:19 "Most truly I say to you, the Son cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things that One does, these things the Son does also in like manner."

    Jhn 5:30 "I cannot do a single thing of my own initiative. Just as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous because I seek, not my own will, but the will of him who sent me."
     
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    apocalypse

    apocalypse Guest

    Josh, you make my point for me. We all know those verses. We all know Jesus did the will of the Father. But you called me "Wrong..." and then support my correctness with verse.

    If I am wrong, then show me a verse that says "Jehovah said unto the world, GO BAPTISING"... You cannot find it.

    I said Jesus told us to baptise. Not Jehovah. And by the way, Jehovah is not God's name. Even the Watchtower has repeatedly had to admit is is improper.

    Don't make me put up the WT quotes.
    Also, you failed to speak to my point about Watchtower baptism.

    Yes, I see you there, pointing the finger.
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Let's see, I've studied this subject for decades, so let's see if you can shed some light into it for us. What is Gods name? In what language is it correctly pronunciated? Should we only pronounce JHVH or YHVH or YHWH in the original Hebrew tongue when we pray and teach others of God?

    Tell us...

    To be honest I haven't found in scripture where this is a requirement or even important, I know you do, but is this from scripture or your own feelings that is important?

    Just saying "Jehovah didn't tell us, Jesus did", says you are saying Jehovah didn't tell us to be baptized, and I think we all know what Jesus response to that would be, I quoted it... Jesus didn't say anything of his own initiative.

    We will be judged upon our own understandings of right and wrong. If they feel that they are doing the right thing, yet they just don't have what we consider the entire truth of baptism, that does not disqualify their baptism. That's just common sense.

    Lack of knowledge will not condemn us...
     
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    apocalypse

    apocalypse Guest

    You are so arrogant. The next thing you are going to tell us josh, is that Jesus didn't do any miracles. Sure... by your argument, Jesus was doing Jehovah's will, and as such, all of us are wrong if we say Jesus raised the dead.

    Maybe Jesus didn't walk on water either, hey josh, maybe that was Jehovah...
     
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    apocalypse

    apocalypse Guest

    "Lack of knowledge will not condemn us", you say Josh.
    And any baptism will do, you say josh.

    Then tear Mt. 28:19,20 out of your bible josh, because you don't need to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Just splash in the lake and recite the Koran. And don't be "teaching them to observe all the things " JESUS COMMANDED, because you don't need to know anything.
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Here let me help you out, because it sounds like you are having a hard time understanding what Jesus was saying;

    (Dictionary)

    initiative

    noun
    1. an introductory act or step; leading action:
    to take the initiative in making friends.
     

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