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 Post subject: Hello. I am not sure how to do this.
PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2007 6:41 pm 
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Hi, I am uncertain as to how to begin a dialog here. I am a Sunday School teacher for a ladies class in a small Baptist church. I am not and have not ever been a Jehovah's Witness. Probably no great surprise to you, I have not ever had a friendship with a Jehovah's Witness. Our class of ladies of mixed ages and backgrounds were interested in learning more about the Jehovah's Witness in order that we may better speak to these precious folks that greet us in the Wal-Mart parking lot and come to our doors. I do not wish to compromise anyone that we encounter and make them unnecessarily suspect to their peer's and partners.
I have read some info on-line- this site has been very informative!- and in The Kingdom of the Cults; but I would like to hear from some former members. My questions are probably naive; but I do want to have some real life input prior to the historical/beliefs that I can research.
That said, may I pitch a few questions out to start any dialog?

How did you come to be exposed/involved in the Jehovah's Witnesses?
What brought you to a commitment to this community?
Is my using the "JW" abbreviation offensive to you?
What would you want to say to folks that are completely clueless about the Jehovah's Witnesses?

Thanks for your consideration. Is there a question(s) I should ask; but haven't? Feel free to share your insights and wisdom with me, I appreciate all input.

Thanks so very much,
Just Curious


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 Post subject: Re: Hello. I am not sure how to do this.
PostPosted: Tue 13 Mar, 2007 9:34 am 
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Hi there just curious, welcome to the forum. We're glad you've come asking questions, as a matter of fact we wish more people were interested in reaching Jehovah's Witnesses with the true gospel of Jesus. You'll find everyone here very receptive and happy to answer any questions you may have.

just curious wrote:
That said, may I pitch a few questions out to start any dialog?

How did you come to be exposed/involved in the Jehovah's Witnesses?

My mother began studying with them when I was 3 years old. It was the only church I went to, other than my uncle's wedding at a Catholic church.

just curious wrote:
What brought you to a commitment to this community?

Since it was what I was raised in and the only religion I was exposed to, I just accepted it to be "the one true religion" as my mother taught me.

just curious wrote:
Is my using the "JW" abbreviation offensive to you?

Not at all. We use this abbreviation, as well as GB for Governing Body, WTS for Watchtower Society, etc. What is not tolerated is vulgarity or demeaning comments about JW's. It is not our intention to humiliate JW's but to show them who Jesus is and pray for them to find the real Truth.

just curious wrote:
What would you want to say to folks that are completely clueless about the Jehovah's Witnesses?

I always tell them that the JW's are not a Christian religion but a cult, one that will take them away from loved ones and seclude them from anyone that is not a JW, then use this to make them feel they can't leave. This may seem harsh to some but I don't believe in sugar coating the reality of what JW's teach. These are sincere people who love God but are teaching a false gospel, which is dangerous.

just curious wrote:
Thanks for your consideration. Is there a question(s) I should ask; but haven't? Feel free to share your insights and wisdom with me, I appreciate all input.

Thanks so very much,
Just Curious

Any questions you have, as "naive" as they may seem to you, are welcome. I'm glad you've read from the Towerwatch website, there's plenty of information there. The testimonies are also eye opening. If you read anything and don't understand or want more information, we're here for you. May God bless you and your small group for wanting to help JW's find Jesus. I pray the Lord will use you in a mighty way.

In Christ,

Mrs. R

_________________
"He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit" - Titus 3:5


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 Post subject: learning about the JWs
PostPosted: Tue 13 Mar, 2007 5:21 pm 
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Thanks so much for responding to me.
I am not a believer in information for information's sake. We as believers have a responsibility to spread the gospel in truth and grace and love. So, in order for us to put our "mouths where our learnin' is" and since we are learning about the Jehovah's Witnesses, prayer is one thing we can do from where we are on the east coast for anyone, anywhere. I would like to have our class praying for the Jehovah's Witnesses; I believe that praying specifically aids us in being vigilant in praying and helps us to better see Father God's answers. What I have in mind is for each of our ladies to sponsor a Jehovah's Witness through intercession to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I would probably be able to assign ten names to our members. To begin with, let me volunteer myself to pray. Are you comfortable in giving me a first name or perhaps initials and a gender of someone for whom I will intercede? I will give you my email address - if I haven't already submitted it in my registry, I forget. - if you are more comfortable in sharing a prayer request that way. Use a code name if you are more comfortable with that - God knows for whom we pray.

Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: Hello. I am not sure how to do this.
PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2007 9:28 am 
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just curious wrote:
How did you come to be exposed/involved in the Jehovah's Witnesses?
What brought you to a commitment to this community?
Is my using the "JW" abbreviation offensive to you?
What would you want to say to folks that are completely clueless about the Jehovah's Witnesses?

Thanks so very much,
Just Curious


Hello Just Curious. I was JW for 29 years.

"What brought...." my mother began studying with the JW's in 1967 when I was 4. It was all I knew as I grew up as the whole family became so.

"Is term 'JW' offensive" -to me not in the least. I use it a lot as well :)

"Say to folks..." If they are considering joining be sure to unbiasly examine against scripture all that they hear and are told. Don't be lulled into thinking that just because JW's claim to 'prove' something that it is actually so.


By the way: welcome to the Forum.

_________________
Chris Stire
A Watchtower Slave For 29 Years 1967-1996

-Looking Forward To The Trumpet Call-


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 Post subject: Re: Hello. I am not sure how to do this.
PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2007 9:59 am 
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"Say to folks..." If they are considering joining be sure to unbiasly examine against scripture all that they hear and are told. Don't be lulled into thinking that just because JW's claim to 'prove' something that it is actually so.


By the way: welcome to the Forum.[/quote]

Thanks for the welcome.

Are the people that go door to door or meet us in WalMart's parking lot full-fledged JW's or are they trial members or what? Your wisdom to caution a person against being lulled (great choice of word!) into thinking the proof is valid - is that appropriate to do to these sweet folks at the door-to-door encounter?

Do I need to shift gears in the forum and go to JW address to continue these questions?

In evangelical churches there seems to be a much greater number of women to men. Does this imbalance (ratio wise) hold true to KH's?

I have had several encounters with JW folks that come to my door. Frequently, I have invited them in. They come (usually, not the same two ladies) back and ask for "the wife" when they meet my husband. Is there a taboo against ladies speaking to men? Is there marketing/training that directs the sisters to the females?

By the way, every JW I have spoken with has been so sweet and sincere - delightful yet focused to visit with. Only one time have I had an unpleasant visit. She was a bit aggressive and unpleasant - a big difference from the other precious ladies that come by. She was also quite a bit younger than most of the others, too. I realize many circumstances could contribute to her demeanor; I hope doubt was one of them. However, is there a different technique used for different ages? Is there a "good JW/bad JW" approach? Are all of the approaches scripted? How much flexibility do they have in presenting their information?

Thanks again for your insights. I think I may have to change my name to Very Curious and Now Compelled.

Blessing on ya,
t


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 Post subject: Re: Hello. I am not sure how to do this.
PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2007 2:06 pm 
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just curious wrote:
Are the people that go door to door or meet us in WalMart's parking lot full-fledged JW's or are they trial members or what? Your wisdom to caution a person against being lulled (great choice of word!) into thinking the proof is valid - is that appropriate to do to these sweet folks at the door-to-door encounter?


Many are, but some are what they refer to as "studies", people who are studying the WTS books to become JW's. For a person to become a full-fledged JW they must be attending all 5 weekly meetings, participating in the field service (refers to door-to-door and street proselytizing) and must be able to answer some 80 questions on JW doctrine, then they can be baptized into the organization. As for the best way to speak to Witnesses who come to your door, I would recommend you go to the TowerWatch online bookstore and look for Approaching Jehovah's Witnesses in Love (I think that's the title). Witnesses are trained weekly at their Service meetings, and the minute they see that you are trying to convert them they will block you out. This book will give you ways to speak to them so that the dialog will continue in a friendly fashion.

just curious wrote:
Do I need to shift gears in the forum and go to JW address to continue these questions?


Not sure what you mean. You can continue using this thread if you like, or create a new one under another topic. Either way we'll get back to you soon as we can.

just curious wrote:
In evangelical churches there seems to be a much greater number of women to men. Does this imbalance (ratio wise) hold true to KH's?


Among the rank and file Witness, yes. However, women are not allowed to hold positions within the congregation, such as ministerial servants (similar to a deacon in some churches) or elder (similar to a pastor). So the leaders are all men, but within the congregation there tends to be more women than men.

just curious wrote:
I have had several encounters with JW folks that come to my door. Frequently, I have invited them in. They come (usually, not the same two ladies) back and ask for "the wife" when they meet my husband. Is there a taboo against ladies speaking to men? Is there marketing/training that directs the sisters to the females?


If a Witness has spoken with you and left literature, you become a "return visit" rather than just a "householder". When they return they will look specifically for the person with whom they spoke. That being said, yes there is a tendency for the women to teach other women while the men give studies to men, but mostly it's to avoid the possibility of sexual sin.

just curious wrote:
By the way, every JW I have spoken with has been so sweet and sincere - delightful yet focused to visit with. Only one time have I had an unpleasant visit. She was a bit aggressive and unpleasant - a big difference from the other precious ladies that come by. She was also quite a bit younger than most of the others, too. I realize many circumstances could contribute to her demeanor; I hope doubt was one of them. However, is there a different technique used for different ages? Is there a "good JW/bad JW" approach? Are all of the approaches scripted? How much flexibility do they have in presenting their information?


Most JW's are sincere, kind people who believe that the work they are doing is helping to insure their salvation while at the same time keeping people from being destroyed at Armaggedon. I would say most are very pleasant to speak to in the beginning, though there are always some that have a stronger personality and come across more aggressively. If a study is started it also begins very pleasantly, with pictures of Paradise and promises of living forever on Earth. Once the person gets deeper into the doctrines, then the stronger teachings of no blood transfusions, no association with family members, no holidays of any kind, strict conforming to the WTS rules and regulations come into play. By then the weaker person, especially one who was not well versed in Scripture, gets pulled in. Understand, that they are not doing this in an evil way. Most JW's are extremely indoctrinated and believe that this is the one and only true religion on Earth, and if they leave they will lead a life of misery and will die with no hope of being resurrected. They do not believe in "grace". This word doesn't even appear in the NWT Bible. They are a work based religion, believing that they must continue in the preaching work and faithfulness to the organization until death, otherwise they lose their chance for salvation.

just curious wrote:
Thanks again for your insights. I think I may have to change my name to Very Curious and Now Compelled.



If I could change your name, I'd call you Filled With Love For the Lost Ones. Hope these answers help.

God bless,

Mrs. R

_________________
"He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit" - Titus 3:5


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 Post subject: Re: Hello. I am not sure how to do this.
PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2007 2:29 pm 
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[quote="Mrs. R"

Many are, but some are what they refer to as "studies", people who are studying the WTS books to become JW's. For a person to become a full-fledged JW they must be attending all 5 weekly meetings, participating in the field service (refers to door-to-door and street proselytizing) and must be able to answer some 80 questions on JW doctrine, then they can be baptized into the organization. As for the best way to speak to Witnesses who come to your door, I would recommend you go to the TowerWatch online bookstore and look for Approaching Jehovah's Witnesses in Love (I think that's the title). Witnesses are trained weekly at their Service meetings, and the minute they see that you are trying to convert them they will block you out. This book will give you ways to speak to them so that the dialog will continue in a friendly fashion.
]

Yikees! How exhausted these folks must be. How does one successfully do the JW and still have a life? This sounds so very consuming both in one's time and mind. Did you ever have any peace about what you had done or were doing? Did you ever feel it was too overwhelming? Did it come easily to you to do and schedule? How would a household operate if both adults were as involved as this requires?

Please, anyone that wishes to answer, do so. Mrs. R., if I ask too much or too personally, please, please don't be offended. This is all so new and different for me.

Thanks,
t

Also, I am sorry that I have not figured out how to appropriately quote another in the special, white box way. I'll keep trying. javascript:emoticon(':?')
Confused


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2007 2:42 pm 
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Yikees! How exhausted these folks must be. How does one successfully do the JW and still have a life? This sounds so very consuming both in one's time and mind. Did you ever have any peace about what you had done or were doing? Did you ever feel it was too overwhelming? Did it come easily to you to do and schedule? How would a household operate if both adults were as involved as this requires?


I believe that is the whole point, keep em busy and keep em here! No chance to let someone tell them otherwise....


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 Post subject: Re: Hello. I am not sure how to do this.
PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2007 3:47 pm 
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just curious wrote:

How did you come to be exposed/involved in the Jehovah's Witnesses?
What brought you to a commitment to this community?
Is my using the "JW" abbreviation offensive to you?
What would you want to say to folks that are completely clueless about the Jehovah's Witnesses?

Thanks for your consideration. Is there a question(s) I should ask; but haven't? Feel free to share your insights and wisdom with me, I appreciate all input.

Thanks so very much,
Just Curious


I was exposed to the JW's as a child. My mother's parents were JW's and some aunts and uncles. One uncle was a JW elder. My parents studied when I was 5. They stopped. Later, after a divorce, we moved in with my grandparents and I was even more exposed. I made a committment at about 15, becoming an unbaptized publisher. That's where I started a 20 year trek in the JW's.

I committed because I believed it was the truth of the bible. I also wanted to move up in the organization...become an Elder one day..maybe a Circuit Overseer. Of course, I didn't know any better; not having any other exposure to religion.

No, the JW abbreviation is freely used on this forum, along with WTS.

What would I say to folks? RUN, RUN, RUN. If they come to your door, tell them in no uncertain terms to leave and never come back....or they will. Tell them to put you down on the territory card as a DO NOT CALL. Advise them if they come back you will call the police and press charges of trespassing. But....that's just me. Most of the JW's, the rank and file members, truly think they are doing God's will. Poor souls.

Here's the thing: If you invite them in to discuss the bible, they will be working out a way to discuss their literature with you...not the bible. Even if they discuss the bible, their version is skewered. It was written by prominent members of the WTS who didn't have any knowledge of biblical greek or hebrew. If you invite them in, they will be counting "time" as witnessing or preaching to you. 99.8% of the time, you will never be able to convince a JW at the door they are wrong...whether you use scriptures and are kind about it or not. They are firmly convinced they are right. Oh...I'm rambling on here....sorry...I get very passionate about this. I'm almost to the point of being repulsed completely by anything having to do with the WTS.....including former friends and family.

Hope I answered your questions....

_________________
Ken Oziah
Police Officer
Former M.S.
Former J.W.

as of 01/20/07


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 Post subject: Re: Hello. I am not sure how to do this.
PostPosted: Thu 15 Mar, 2007 1:53 pm 
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just curious wrote:
Yikees! How exhausted these folks must be. How does one successfully do the JW and still have a life? This sounds so very consuming both in one's time and mind. Did you ever have any peace about what you had done or were doing? Did you ever feel it was too overwhelming? Did it come easily to you to do and schedule? How would a household operate if both adults were as involved as this requires?


1 - JW's do not have a life outside of the WTS. That is their life. To live otherwise would mean they'd be marked as being "lukewarm in the truth". It's a stigma they avoid, since it puts their salvation in jeopardy. Yes, it is extremely consuming, but that's the whole idea behind a cult. They keep you so busy with meetings, book reading & preaching work that you don't have time to investigate what they're teaching, or question their doctrines.

2 - There is never true peace, because salvation is not guaranteed. They believe they can stumble at any time and lose their salvation, so it's like the hamster on the wheel, running and running but never getting anywhere. It's overwhelming, too much for some. Those are called weak ones, because they can't handle the pressure.

3 - Scheduling became routine, after all it's all we had. There were no after school activities, no hanging out with friends or partying. Parties that are allowed by JW's are weddings, bridal showers and baby showers. These are few and far between. There are no youth groups or youth outings sponsored by the WTS. Their whole lives revolve around the meetings and preaching, so with nothing left it becomes second nature.

4 - Unfortunately, many marriages in the JW religion are unhappy precisely because their lives are so entwined in the requirements that they don't have time to spend with each other. It was not uncommon to hear of an elder that was disfellowshipped because he'd had an affair. They must work to support the family, take care of the congregation, and still keep up with the meetings, book reading, preaching, etc. The marriage suffers because it falls at the end of the priority list.

just curious wrote:
Please, anyone that wishes to answer, do so. Mrs. R., if I ask too much or too personally, please, please don't be offended. This is all so new and different for me.


I'm not bothered by your questions at all, in fact I welcome them. Please feel free to ask away. And if anything sounds strange to you let me know, I'll try to explain it a bit better. Of course some stuff is just plain strange, no matter how you slice it.

God bless you,

Mrs. R

_________________
"He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit" - Titus 3:5


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