A Zeal for God...

– posted by meleti
Are Jehovah’s Witnesses in danger of becoming like the Pharisees?
Comparing any Christian group to the Pharisees of Jesus’ day is equivalent to comparing a political party with the Nazis. It’s an insult, or to put it another way, “Them’s fightin’ words.”
However, we should not let a gut reaction inhibit us from examining possible parallels. As the saying goes, “Those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Who Were the Pharisees?

According to some scholars, the name “Pharisee” means “Separated Ones”.  They viewed themselves as among the holiest of men. They were saved while the masses at large were despised; an accursed people.[i]  It isn’t clear when the sect came into existence, but Josephus makes mention of them as far back as the latter half of the second century before Christ.  So the sect was at least 150 years old when  Christ arrived.
These were very zealous men. Paul, himself a former Pharisee, says they were the most zealous of all the sects.[ii]  They fasted twice a week and tithed scrupulously. They extolled their own righteousness for men, even using visual symbols to proclaim their righteous status. They loved money, power, and flattering titles. They added to the law with their own interpretations to such an extent that they created an unnecessary burden upon the people. However, when it came to matters involving true justice, mercy, faithfulness, and love of fellow man, they came up short.  Nevertheless, they went to great lengths to make disciples.[iii]

We Are the True Religion

I cannot think of another religion on earth today whose members commonly and frequently refer to themselves as being “in the truth”, as do Jehovah’s Witnesses. When two Witnesses meet for the first time, the conversation will inevitably turn to the question of when each first “came into the truth”. We speak of young ones growing up in a Witness family and reaching an age when “they can make the truth their own”. We teach that all other religions are false, and will soon be destroyed by God but that we will survive.  We teach that all people who do not enter the ark-like organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses will die at Armageddon.
I have talked with both Catholics and Protestants in my career as a Jehovah’s Witness and on many occasions while discussing false doctrines such as their official belief in Hellfire, I was surprised to learn that the individuals accepted that there was no such literal place. It really didn’t bother them that much that their church taught something which they did not believe to be scriptural. Having the truth wasn’t that important; indeed, most felt as Pilate did when he said to Jesus, “What is truth?”
This is not the case with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Having the truth is absolutely intrinsic to our belief system. Like myself, many who frequent this site have come to learn that some of our core beliefs—those that distinguish us from other churches in Christendom—are not Scriptural.  What follows this realization is a period of turmoil, not unlike what the Kübler-Ross model details as the five stages of grief.  The first stage is denial.
Our denial is often manifest in a number of defensive responses.  Those I have personally encountered, or which I myself proffered when going through this stage, always ended up focusing on two things: Our growth and our zeal in preaching.  The reasoning goes that we must be the true religion because we are always growing and because we are zealous in the preaching work.
It is noteworthy that we never pause for an instant to question the fact that Jesus never used zeal, proselytizing, nor numerical growth as a measuring stick for identifying his true disciples.

The Record of the Pharisees

If you mark the beginning of our faith with the publication of the first issue of the Watchtower, we have been around for almost a century and a half.  For a similar time period, the Pharisees had been growing in numbers and influence.  They were viewed by men as righteous. In fact, there is nothing to indicate the initially they were the most righteous sect of Judaism.  Even by the time of Christ, there were evidently righteous individuals among their ranks.[iv]
But were they righteous as a group?
They truly tried to conform to the law of God as laid down by Moses. They went overboard in applying the law, adding laws of their own in an effort to please God. In doing so, they added unnecessary burdens to the people.  Still, they were noteworthy for their zeal for God.  They preached and ‘traversed dry land and sea to make even one disciple’.[v]   They viewed themselves as saved, while all non-believers, non-Pharisees were cursed.  They practiced their faith by regular attendance to their duties such as weekly fasting and dutifully paying all their tithes and sacrifices to God.
By all observable evidence they were serving God in an acceptable manner.
Yet when the test came, they murdered Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
If you had asked any of them in 29 C.E. if they or their sect would possibly end up murdering God’s Son, what would the answer have been?  Thus we see the danger of measuring ourselves by our zeal and strict adherence to sacrificial forms of service.
Our most recent Watchtower study had this to say:

“Certain sacrifices are fundamental for all true Christians and are essential to our cultivation and maintaining a good relationship with Jehovah.  Such sacrifices include devoting personal time and energy to prayer, Bible reading, family worship, meeting attendance, and the field ministry.”[vi]

That we would consider the wondrous privilege of prayer to be a sacrifice says a lot about our current mentality with regard to what is acceptable worship.  Like the Pharisees, we calibrate our devotion based on measurable works.  How many hours in the field service, how many return visits, how many magazines.  (We have recently begun to measure the number of tracts each individual places in a campaign.)  We are expected to go out regularly in field service, once a week at a minimum ideally.  Missing a full month is viewed as unacceptable.  Missing six months in a row means our name is taken off the posted membership role.
The Pharisees were so fastidious in the payment of their sacrifices that they measured out the tenth of the dill and the cumin.[vii]  We feel it is important to count and report the preaching activity of ailing ones even in quarter-hour increments.  We do this so as to helps such ones not feel guilty, because they are still reporting their time—as if Jehovah is looking at report cards.
We have added to the simple principles of Christianity with a series of “directions” and “suggestions”, which have the virtual force of law, thereby laying unnecessary and at times heavy burdens on our disciples.  (For instance, we regulate minute details involving medical treatments which should be left up to one’s conscience; and we regulate even simple things such as when it is righteous for person to applaud at a meeting.[viii])
The Pharisees loved money. They loved to lord it over others, instructing them what to do and threatening all who would challenge their authority with expulsion from the synagogue.  They loved the prominence their position afforded them.  Are we seeing parallels in the most recent developments of our Organization?
When identifying the true religion, we used to present the evidence and allow our readers to decide;  but for years now we,  like the Pharisees, have publicly proclaimed our own righteousness, while condemning all others who do not hold to our faith as wrong and in desperate need of salvation while there is yet time.
We believe we are the only true believers and we are saved by virtue of our works, such as regular meeting attendance, field service and loyal support for and obedience to the faithful and discrete slave, now represented by the Governing Body.

The Warning

Paul discounted the zeal of such ones because it was not performed according to accurate knowledge.

(Romans 10:2-4)  “…they have a zeal for God; but not according to accurate knowledge; 3 for, because of not knowing the righteousness of God but seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.”

We have misled people repeatedly about the fulfillment of Bible prophecy causing them to alter their life course as a consequence. We have hidden the true nature of the good news about the Christ by telling our disciples that they have no hope of being with him in heaven and that they are not God’s sons and Jesus is not their mediator.[ix]  We have told them to disobey Christ’s express command to commemorate and proclaim his death by partaking of the emblems as he indicated.
Like the Pharisees, there is much that we believe which is true and in line with Scripture. However, also like them, not all we believe is true.  Again, like them, we practice our zeal but not according to accurate knowledge.  Therefore, how can we say we “worship the Father in spirit and truth”?[x]
When sincere ones have tried to show our leaders the error of some of these key yet erroneous teachings, using only the Scriptures, we have refused to listen or to reason but have dealt with them just as the Pharisees of old did.[xi]
There is sin in this.

(Matthew 12:7) . . .However, if YOU had understood what this means, ‘I want mercy, and not sacrifice,’ YOU would not have condemned the guiltless ones.

Are we becoming, or have we become like the Pharisees?  There are many, many righteous individuals trying sincerely to do God’s will within the faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Like Paul, there will come a time when each will have to make a choice.
Our Song 62 gives us serious food for thought:

1. To whom do you belong?

Which god do you now obey?

Your master is he to whom you bow.

He is your god; you serve him now.

You cannot serve two gods;

Both masters can never share

The love of your heart in its ev’ry part.

To neither you would be fair.


[i] John 7:49
[ii] Acts 22:3
[iii] Mt 9:14; Mr 2:18; Lu 5:33; 11:42; 18:11, 12; Lu 18:11, 12; John 7:47-49; Mt 23:5; Lu 16:14; Mt 23:6, 7; Lu 11:43; Mt 23:4, 23; Lu 11:41-44; Mt 23:15
[iv] John 19:38; Acts 6:7
[v] Mt 23:15
[vi] w13 12/15 p. 11 par.2
[vii] Mt 23:23
[viii] w82 6/15 p. 31; km Feb. 2000 “Question Box”
[ix] Gal. 1:8, 9
[x] John 4:23
[xi] John 9:22

Archived Comments

We have moved to the Disqus commenting system. To post a new comment, go to the bottom of this page.

  • Comment by imacountrygirl2 on 2014-02-21 20:03:01

    This article leaves me incredibly sad. Maybe because it is true.

  • Comment by Alex Rover on 2014-02-21 21:27:07

    Concerning pharisees I have read something really interesting.
    The priestly role was bestowed on the Levite sons of Aaron. Jehovah had appointed them specifically. But over time, the Pharisees emerged. They were NOT necessarily Levite. So how did they get their "credibility"?
    They raised up for themselves Rabbinical schools. They studied the Law and thus, puffed up with knowledge, they felt like they were better than the divinely appointed naturally born, perhaps even humble Levite.
    This is something that I see in Christianity. Do you really think that a doctorate in divinity grants you special status with God? Some wisdom not imparted to the plebs but reserved for the elite? Not at all.
    Jehovah in his time cast out the hypocritical Pharisees and their endless laws and brought in the meek, the humble, uneducated, child-like Christians. Instead of institutions of higher learning to impart divine wisdom, these anointed brothers were taught by Holy Spirit, so that none should boast their wisdom over one another, nor claim 'special knowledge' as a cause to elevate themselves.
    Even as we learn new things by our Bible study or open exchange of truth, we should not feel "individually superior" to our Christian brothers. That would make us guilty of the same.

    • Reply by GodsWordisTruth on 2014-02-22 12:19:39

      I greatly sympathize Alex. That is my prayer as well. I tell our Father that "I am getting out of her" and I no longer share in the sins of preaching or teaching beliefs contrary to what the Bible teaches... When I come to know that they are false. If He means leaving physically from JW's or religion period I beg that he helps me do that. Even if he has to carry me out with his angles like He did Lot. Our plight is so different from other Christian sects when choosing to leave . Meleti talks alot about that in his recent articles. (I can't remember which one)

  • Comment by GodsWordisTruth on 2014-02-21 22:10:43

    “No one comes to Father except thru me”—Jesus (John 14:6). Jesus never said nor implied that any human or group of humans could act as mediators on his behalf. No one other than him is needed for God’s approval.
    If our Father had specific laws he wanted us to follow,He would have without question given these laws to us in writing. He gave the Israelites over 600 laws in writing .Our Father chose to only give us two laws ...to love Him and to love our neighbor (Matt 22:35-40). Paul spent much of his time explaining this idea to Christians in his letters to them : Chirst has set us free....
    Galatians 5:1 NIV "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery"
    There were many sects of Judasim in Jesus' day .The prominent sects in mentioned in the Bible are the Pharisees and the Sadducees.Jesus also condemned the scribes. Which sect was represented "true religion" of Judasim in Jesus' day?We (JW's) have no right to condemn or judge other sects of Christianity. It is unthinkable that Jesus will judge and kill people at Armageddon for not listening to Jehovah's Witnesses .

    • Reply by mdnwa on 2014-02-21 23:13:45

      GodsWordisTruth I 100% agree with your last statement as well as your earlier statement about a group of men informing the world they are the only mediators to God like somehow they own the copyright or trademark to God. Every fiber of my being just cannot accept that God does not find favor in ANYONE not a JW in the entire world although there are many who are sincerely trying to serve God well according to the bible. Now am I naive? Of course not, I understand it's a "narrow road" so a vast majority are not serving God well or may not be serving him as accurately but isn't that reserved for God who reads hearts, emotions, intent, etc? We're taught that only JW's are on that narrow road which even as a kid I never quite accepted that since in my studying the bible and how God dealt with imperfect mankind I just cannot think with so much deception and confusion with religion he would at this most crucial time give eternal death to unknowing ones or even ones trying to serve him but not associated with a religion. I sometimes get going to meetings, publications and talking with some a Jonah vibe where they probably be more upset than relived if I was right and God's mercy extends in ways we never imagined and they were not a special class.
      When the brothers and sisters would say the fact JW's are the only ones preaching which makes JW's only worthy I used to say (1) there are many more million Mormons and billions of Catholics so they are obviously teaching as well worldwide, although we can agree not with as accurate teachings for the most part. (2) preaching was not to brag but a gift such as Eph 4:11. Regarding that scripture why don't JW's ever just appreciate giving a gift to preach with accurate teachings and just be content being bible students rather than take that gift and use that to justify claiming positions or roles that were not assigned and raise ourselves above others although the bible cautions against it?

      • Reply by GodsWordIsTruth on 2014-02-22 12:01:36

        I agree Mdnwa, especially with your statements regarding Jonah! Our whole religion is based on a reward system for field service.
        As for religion, Jesus condemned the religious leaders of his day ....
        Matthew 15:14 ESV /
        Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
        Matthew 6:16 ESV
        “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
        Matthew 23: 13"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
        As we know there were differences in the belief systems of these sects, Luke says," For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all"-Acts 23:8
        Yet Jesus says of the Scribes and Pharisees …..
        "The Scribes and Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore, all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them." (Matthew 23:2,3
        I'm not saying Jesus aligned with any sect of his day. Jesus did not come here to settle scores between man made religions or sects. It is clear that Jesus did not agree with the some of the teachings of the Pharisees and baptism is one example . Jesus was baptized by John but of the Pharisees Jesus says at Luke 7:30 ,“But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God's purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John”. Still , not every thing that the Pharisees taught was wrong so Jesus told disciples to listen to them . He did not tell the disciples to give the Pharisees unquestioning obedience.
        Despite what the GB says about engendering a “spirit of independence” we are all anointed by God’s spirit and we all have the word of God through the bible so we can judge for ourselves what teachings are true or false. I love the scripture where Jesus asks the crowd at “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?-- Luke 12:57 .The GB does not have the “ truth. Jesus IS the Truth, the Way and the light and that’s all there is to it.
        From my own observations in choosing a religion ...it's slim pickings. No one has it more right than the other. Our old bookstudy format sans the false teachings is my ideal situation. However, we are meeting together today in a virtual meeting place and I believe we have God's spirit.
        My prayers now include every single person on this earth not just our "brotherhood".I also pray for the brothers that keep this site going and that it remains to be a safe meeting place to study the Bible.

        • Reply by mdnwa on 2014-02-22 14:20:14

          I talked with others regarding me my desire to meet in smaller groups like the old book study groups. Most if not all actually agreed to my surprise. Don't get me wrong I've had good memories with the larger congregation format but I sometimes think about when Paul met with a small group of men, women and kids talking to them and ENCOURAGING them on a smaller scale. Some, like me, do better in small groups than larger and In larger setting it seems people can slip through the cracks especially those that need it the most. In smaller groups we bonded more, associated more, settled disagreements faster since you couldn't just hide out at another part of the hall and even once a month even did pot lucks or did studies outside when it was nice. I sometimes long for that.
          You mentioned you were meeting together in a virtual meeting place, that sounds similar to the Bible Students are you one? Or do you study with others?

          • Reply by GodsWordisTruth on 2014-02-22 14:58:23

            I'm not sure why we got rid of the bookstudy in homes of the brothers and sisters. As you said it was more intimate. We also rotated the conductors which was nice.
            I was actually talking about this site :) Alot of my personal study lately has been inspired by the the topics and comments on this site. At the moment , Meleti has posts to discuss the BS, TMS, SM and watchtower. I consider those discussions my real "meeting".
            I am critical of alot in our organization. However , I am not sure if I would examine the range of topics that the GB presents on a weekly basis on my own. The only difference is now I don't study the publications I study the bible.
            My view on Hebrews 10:25 is softening.....we are encouarged to "not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as YOU behold the day drawing near." The RNWT changed "gathering" to "meeting" and the footnote to this scripture is Ac 2:42, "And they continued devoting themselves to the teaching of the apostles, to associating together, to the taking of meals, and to prayers". On the surface changing the wording from gathering to meeting is not necessarily objectionable. However, the GB uses this scripture and turns it into a command or directive to attend meetings at the Kingdom Hall. Paul was encouraging Chirstians to meet together. I believe this site is one way Christians gather or meeting together to discuss the Bible. Jesus said we only need one other person at most to gather in his name and he would be with us.(Matthew 18:20)

            • Reply by anderestimme on 2014-02-22 22:18:59

              While we may never know the real reason why the old bookstudy arrangement went the way of the dodo bird, my personal theory is that it was a security-related decision. In a lot of places in the world you just can't afford to let strangers into your home.

            • Reply by GodsWordisTruth on 2014-02-23 21:12:23

              That makes sense.
              A sister told me that she believed it was because there was to much "free thinking" going on. She believed that the GB wanted the conductors to be more scripted.
              I don't know what bookstudy she went to because there were not any "free thinkers" in my group. I scoffed at first at the idea when she mentioned it but I guess it's possible.

  • Comment by SilverTop on 2014-02-21 22:47:54

    My dear brother, you have accurately put into words what I have personally felt or many years.

  • Comment by Alex Rover on 2014-02-21 23:31:53

    Today I went in service again, like I do so many times a week. I see happy brothers and sisters. Smiling faces, shake hands. I take the group out. After my 'part' the sisters thank me for some great bible instruction. I always try to make it interesting. Stimulate a love for bible reading.
    I really wanted to forget my doubts. Pretend this other .. truth .. doesn't exist. That the GB doesn't know better, they are true to the best of their ability. That they are sincerely loving us and that in time God will reveal to them what they need to change. That we are indeed a special pure people.
    My family is happy. Why should I risk everything. Mess up this perfect life.
    But I've been thinking a lot lately "get out of her, if you do not also want to share in her plagues", and "when you see these things happen, flee to the mountains".
    That day will more than likely come. I so wish the brothers would see the light before, and change. In fact, I'll pray again tonight. Even if it's naive.

  • Comment by Ross on 2014-02-22 02:39:34

    Hi Alex,
    I know how you feel, I was waiting for them to change 25 years
    ago, guess what, they ALL died since without doing so, I even
    talked to Dan Sydlik on the phone about their involvement with
    the UN, which he said he was aware of, but from which they
    never publicly repented.
    At first, too, I thought they were just slow in getting it, writing
    them many letters and praying, but then the Father showed me in
    the publications between the lines, that they indeed knew the truth,
    but did not publish it for selfish reasons, and in order to keep control
    over their brothers and worse, which is yet to be revealed.
    Finally, He showed me what 1.John 5 verse 16 means, and you can
    ask Him yourself about that one.
    Even Paul wanted to be separated as the cursed one from the Christ
    in behalf of his brothers, but God would have none of it.
    These people know what they are doing, and are having their reward
    in full now. Lu.16:25.26
    And besides, there is a great chasm fixed between them and us, so
    that we cannot reach them, and they cannot come over to our side,
    because they have gone beyond the point of no return.
    As the proverb goes: “A man repeatedly reproved, but making his
    neck hard will suddenly be broken, and that without healing.”
    Also, just as their spiritual forefathers the Pharisees did to Jesus,
    so they will do to Christ’s real brothers at the externalization of the
    incoming kingdom.

  • Comment by JB on 2014-02-22 03:20:19

    Excellent article, and I'm also very much saddened when I realize some of the parallels.
    There are some thoughts that come to my mind, I'd like to express. I do find the preaching work definitely exceptional. This is one of the clearest proves for a Jehovah's Witness, or his/her care for other fellow humans. Those hours spent are indeed a personal sacrifice. Now, if all the controls, countings, follow ups on inactive people were lifted, the ones who remain active in this activity would really show the genuine interest. But I'm sure, a great majority do this with a pure intention to help others.
    Although being a Jehovah's Witness is not an excusivity for being honest and peaceful, many Jehovah's Witnesses are so and I think that their interest and care for a good conscience helps many people to become a better person.
    But, I believe that being a Jehovah's Witness, or hurry towards baptism for salvation shouldn't be synonymous for salvation. I remember talking to different people during the field service, from a totally different religion. Some of those people I came across were extremely attached to their life order, tradition. They also had very poor education and they were in rather advanced age. When one talks with them, the only idea that comes to mind is that this is a lost case, it's practically impossible seeing a person like this in the KH one day. Yet, the conversations with those people was very nice experiences, many of such people were very kind, generous and quite peaceful people.
    Upon deeper thinking, I realize how huge an undertaking this can be, so that a person converts from his/her original religion. This can be much more straightforward in some parts of the world, specially in the "Christian world", but in others, such an action is as a dramatic change as it can be. It certainly isn't for the faint-hearted and most of all, such a decision would be extremely hard to do without rather an educated mind. I would also question the value of a blind conversion, as this could end someone up anywhere.
    Also, the term "narrow path" makes me think ... It of course gives the idea of chosing a way that is by its definition difficult (or rather, difficult given our imperfections and the kind of world we live in). We could think that this refers to being a Jehovah's Witness and living after all this burdened lifestyle. However, when I read some basic ideas in the Bible, the narrow way seems to be quite evident and to me, it goes towards other lengths than just converting into an organization.
    When we read Galatians 5:19-21 about the acts of the flesh, we see things as simple as hatred, jealousy, fits of anger, selfish ambition, envy ... Don't we feel at times, that it's hard to be a mild person in all circumstances, specially when we undergo injustice ? Aren't so many people succombing to selfish ambition ? Those points seem to be much subtler than sexual immorality for instance, however, indeed, who would like to be in an earthly paradise with someone who is selfish, jealous, or aggressive ? Indeed, I do feel, even with myself, how the way is narrow and considering these standards, I guess it would be quite logical to think that without Jehovah's mercy, no one would be saved.
    But, are all Jehovah's Witness are away from those acts of flesh ? Isn't there anyone in the world who are of mild character, acting often quite opposite than the acts of flesh, yet they aren't (and maybe never will be) a Jehovah's Witness ?

  • Comment by miken on 2014-02-22 07:38:53

    "We have misled people repeatedly about the fulfilment of Bible prophecy"
    We still publicize our false prophetic history in "From Our Archives" in the Watchtower May 15 pages 31-32 about the early work in Brazil done through the false "Millions Now Living Will Never Die" campaign 1920-1925. Rutherford never apologised for misleading thousands world wide even blaming expectations for 1925 on the rank and file.

    • Reply by smolderingwick1 on 2014-02-22 21:05:07

      But he did say, "I know I made an ass of myself.”

      • Reply by JB on 2014-02-23 05:31:11

        It's an interesting way to apologize but actually if brother Rutherford made a statement about what he did of others, rather than himself, I'm sure that would be a more convincing demonstration of humility.
        It looks like he rather apologized to himself in a manner possible to hear down at the pub.

  • Comment by gogetter60 on 2014-02-22 08:40:38

    Thank you for this great discussion! I have always had issues with the counting "time" requirement for those who wish to preach the Good News as it is absolutely not supported by scripture.
    The fact is that envisioning the Creator of the universe looking at our "numbers" to determine if we qualify for salvation is absurd.
    This has become part of the requirements for membership into the club and used as a measuring stick of one's faith which removes the joy of the ministry from many as all are focused on getting "my time" especially the elite class of pioneers. (also not supported by scripture)
    When I was serving as an Elder / Pioneer I often refused parts that focused on the congregations field service time, much to the frustration of the BOE. I truly loved the ministry but despised the fact it was used as a tool by the organization and local elders to monitor a publishers "spirituality" and for qualifications for any privileges.
    Jesus must be very disappointed in the fact that many millions of good people who are trying to follow his example are just going through the motions focused on the clock and not the heart of those who would listen to the message.
    If the GB was really being directed by Jesus and his father they would eliminate the following man made titles of pioneers , aux. pioneers and publishers along with the reporting of time in the ministry and motivate people to engage in service purely from the heart.
    In my congregation this last service meeting, elders handed out to each publisher aux. pioneer applications as they want everyone to "sign up" for the March/April push.Obviously a move to make ones feel guilty and pressured to do at least the 30 hr. requirement.
    Of course changing this will not happen because it is so ingrained in the organizational control techniques by those who claim they are not "the masters of our faith"
    In my 40 years as one of Jehovah's Witnesses i have seen the folly of this and how so much of the time spent in FS is just fabricated according to the publishers conscience, the numbers are not a reflection of true preaching zeal but just a number on a report.
    One CO stated to a car group I was in " aren't we grateful to the slave that we are not required to report the time we actually spend talking to someone" that kind of says it all and well, to me that would make more sense.
    The way I cope in service is to use only the Bible and I only report my time if I actually witness to someone,a compromise that still rubs me the wrong way and brings me grief from the brothers.
    Come Lord Jesus come!

    • Reply by Anonymous on 2014-02-22 09:25:23

      I have come to the conclusion that the organization is using the prestige that comes with the title 'pioneer' to motivate members to preach for longer hours. By reducing the hour requirement to 30 they are essentially tempting more members to reach out for the title of pioneer, telling them it is even easier to have. It's a convenient way for the organization to capitalize on members' desire for prominence to boost its publishing efforts.
      This is immoral because a person should give his all in the ministry with pure motives empowered by holy spirit - not so that they can have the reward of a privileged title before men. Would Jehovah and Jesus be pleased with such preaching? The title of pioneer is basically a way of pandering to the desire for prominence to motivate others to preach more. Those who preach for prominence are having their reward in full and those who have created that profane system will have to answer for it.
      It is sobering to remember that the bible likens our preaching work to a sacrifice of praise - a voluntary offering. Do you remember the story of the widow's mite? Apply it to our preaching work. What would Jesus think of a situation where persons who are able to give a surplus of hours are given special recognition, special text books and special meetings not afforded to others, whereas someone who can only give a limited number of hours 'out of his want' is not given these privileges and may even be viewed as being less spiritual? Pioneering violates the principles that the story of the widow's mite highlights.

  • Comment by Anonymous on 2014-02-22 09:04:22

    I'm still thinking of the meaning of the word Pharisee - "Separated Ones". While it is true that Christians are to be separate from the world I see another striking parallel with Jehovah's Witnesses today who take this admonition to extraordinary lengths. Jehovah's Witnesses are indeed "Separated Ones".
    Our use of the term 'worldly' reminds me of the Pharisees use of the term 'accursed' people and am ha arets.
    Those words you quoted from song 62 are sobering. We cannot serve 2 masters. We cannot serve God and Organization. Organizations tend to take on a life of their own. Often, what is deemed to be necessary in the best interests of the organization clashes with the truths of God's word. At such times, those men at the helm of the organization compromise bible truth for the sake of the Almighty Organization.
    Even more profane, those men at the helm of the organization, as a means of clouding the issue of being torn between serving God and serving the Organization, would get the rank and file members to equate loyally serving the Organization with serving God; leaving the Organization with leaving God. Suddenly the Organization gets elevated to be on par with Christ in that they teach you must be associated with the Organization to be saved. They condition the membership to subconsciously equate the Organization with God. When that happens, they get the membership to give the Organization the same level of unquestioning loyalty that only belongs to God. This, in my opinion, is a profane and insidious form of idolatry.
    The absolute power that comes with being at the helm of a global, multi-million dollar religious organization corrupts absolutely.

  • Comment by BeenMislead on 2014-02-22 10:29:43

    We are often told that the reasons we report time is the following:
    “By turning in a field service report, it will be posted on a Congregation’s Publisher Record card made out in his name. The new one can now report his witnessing activity along with the millions of others who joyfully ‘publish the word of God.’ (Acts 13:5) An announcement that he is an unbaptized publisher will be made to the congregation.” - (w96 1/15, Pg. 18, Jehovah’s Sheep Need Tender Care)
    So you are not a member (a Jehovah’s Witness) unless you turn in time!!
    “Such reports provide a realistic picture of what is done in the world field. They show where help is needed and which kind of literature and how much of it is required to advance the preaching work.” – (w05 6/1, Pg. 18, Saved, Not by Works Alone, But by Undeserved Kindness)
    But this could still be accomplished if everybody turned in time anonymously. The only reason for putting your name on it is as gogetter60 stated:
    “Reporting time is used as a tool by the organization and local elders to monitor a publishers “spirituality” and for qualifications for any privileges.”
    You are basically being judged by men. I for one refuse to be judged by men anymore!!

    • Reply by GodsWordisTruth on 2014-02-22 13:01:49

      My thoughts exactly. My voluntary monetary contributions are anonymous so why shouldn't my voluntary contributions of my time?
      For some reason our time belongs to the Organization.We have to justify to Elders and the GB about every second of our time. We should be out in service if our circumstances permit. That means no secular schooling, no jobs that take us away from the organization, no hobbies that take too much of our time and if you have small children spend time with them in service. If we do otherwise we could be "robbing Jehovah" as the latest magazine suggests.
      In the last five years ,The C/O reads off the top congregation who has stellar meeting attendance and hours in service during the circuit assembly. My congregation "won". Believe me when I say that the coordinator talks about this "win" all the time and relentlessly sics the service overseer on those who do not turn in their report on time. The month I did not turn in a report I got a call from the coordinator instead of the service overseer and he said , "You mean to tell me you didn't talk about Jehovah at least one hour this month?" Of course I did! I preached way more than an hour. I told him to report an hour for me. It was the principle. It meant more to him than it did for me.
      But I only reported an hour and not a minute more based on principle for myself. I pioneered for many years and I am personally obessesed with how my field service report looks (hours,mags,rv....every column). I have to pummel myself out of this thinking that Jehovah is looking at this report and it matters to Him. I need to concentrate on the" weighter matters" of the law.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-02-22 14:34:48

      Additionally, this statement is patently untrue.
      “Such reports provide a realistic picture of what is done in the world field. They show where help is needed and which kind of literature and how much of it is required to advance the preaching work.” – (w05 6/1, Pg. 18, Saved, Not by Works Alone, But by Undeserved Kindness)
      They do not use the field service reports to determine what how much and what kind of literature is required. They use the orders which the congregations place from the literature and magazine counters to determine that.
      That goes for hours and even number of publishers. If we stopped reporting all together, nothing would change. They'd ship the number of magazines required based on the "purchase" orders we fill out, just like any other corporation.
      The proof of this is the fact that they ask the local elders to tell them how many extra copies of a special issue to order, and how many tracts are needed for a campaign. Why do this if they can use our field service reports to determine these values.

  • Comment by erick on 2014-02-22 10:37:53

    There can be no doubt that the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses is in desperate need of renewal. However as things stand there can be no renewal. A grassroots movement is desperately needed. However as things stand there can be no grassroots movement.
    The only ones who can make changes are the members of the Governing Body. Only those who are committed to keep the status quo would ever be appointed to the GB. Those few who see the need for vast changes could never even be appointed a MS much less climb the "theocratic ladder" all the way up to be a member of the GB. In fact anyone trying to openly start a grassroots movement to change the stale environment in the org. would be DFed.
    So what is to be done? Speak out? At times I wish I had just spoken out openly. I would have been DFed any my family would never speak to me again but at least I could have possibly touched a few hearts. As it is I've been able to speak to elders about what I see wrong and maybe in the future what I've said will bear fruit.
    Unless there are major changes made this religion will not exist in another couple generations. Human consciousness is rising. In time there will not be room for a self-righteous, condemnatory religion except at the extreme fringes of society.

  • Comment by BeenMislead on 2014-02-22 10:43:03

    Here is an interesting quote from the 1988 Watchtower. Notice how it says that by turning in time you demonstrate “submission” to the organization!!
    “The two elders will inform the student that when he qualifies for and shares in the field service, he may turn in a field service report and a Congregation’s Publisher Record card will be made out in his name. This will demonstrate his affiliation with the theocratic organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses and his submission to it. (This would also be true of all others turning in field service reports.)” - (w88 11/15, Pg. 17, Helping Others to Worship God)

  • Comment by kev c on 2014-02-22 18:17:55

    Thanks meleti an accurate observation its just incredible how many similarities there are . Also incredible is the fact that the majority of the brothers just can't see it . The truth is their knowledge of the NT is extremely patchy and even the scriptures they do know on many they have some serious mis conceptions . You mentioned about the way they think the preaching work is heralded as a proof that identifies the true disciples why do they think that when the bible says that many false prophets have gone into the world jesus even warned of those who had that confidence at matthew 7 v 21. Yet he said he never knew them . Its also strange that they say salvation is not by works. And then place so much emphasis on dress and grooming and on the hours one attains in the ministry like its some sort of pre requisite for everlasting life . In a nutshell all that god requires from us is to have faith in his son and to love people 1 john 3v22 and that love should be manifested in many different ways not just in preaching . Also why is it that so many on this site can see the same things and come to the same conclusions about the scriptures there's been very few things said on this site that I didn't already believe before reading any of the posts why ? Is it because we are reading it in context with an open and honest mind .this is the true unity jesus spoke of and its based on love of god and his word and it leads us to love others . It is not somethig that's forced on us and we have to believe or else . I really hope the majority of brothers would wake up and take off this pharisaical garb before its too late. . Kev

  • Comment by smolderingwick1 on 2014-02-22 22:45:35

    Meleti, you say "The Pharisees loved money. They loved to lord it over others, instructing them what to do and threatening all who would challenge their authority with expulsion from the synagogue. They loved the prominence their position afforded them. Are we seeing parallels in the most recent developments of our Organization?"
    The Pharisees didn't have to be wealthy to love money. In fact they were trained by their view toward those who failed to measure up to be tight-fisted and condescending toward the poor as though all such poor were unclean and without God. And so love was not equated with possession and the desire to be given "acts of favoritism" to the point of becoming "judges rendering wicked decisions," (James 2:4)

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-02-23 09:35:50

      That's a good point, smolderingwick1.

  • Comment by Sargon on 2014-02-23 03:16:07

    The judgemental attitude of the organization is what made me reconsider my loyalty to the organization. Seeing how some elders viewed as unspiritual those who failed to meet certain organizational standards. How did the length of ones sideburns make someone bad? How does a person's trendy but dignified haircut make them unworthy of God's love? Who determines what is worldly? As a ministerial servant I was able to see how we often judge people on arbitrary non scriptural standards. Just as the Pharisees needed to define what classified as work on the Sabbath, the GB had seen the need to micromanage the lives of witnesses. The GB tells us what is worldly, what is materialistic and how many hours of service we need to love God. We are judged on adherence to hundreds of unsciptural laws and not on being loving and kind. Spirituality is equated with doing works for the organization abd not on showing love for neighbor or Christ.

  • Comment by imacountrygirl2 on 2014-02-23 03:27:13

    kev, I believe the word is "denial".
    I can only share what I have learned about denial, besides its being a river in Egypt. I may speak in generalities, but I am basing this on the situation of my marriage, among other things, and the similarities to the GB.
    Denial can be a life of bliss and happiness, we can live there for years and years.....as long as we ignore those little urgings coming from inside us that try to prod us into facing reality.
    "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
    Jeremiah 17:9 AKJV The easiest person I've ever deceived or lied to, is myself.
    The thing about denial is it's inherent nature to blind us to the reality of what is happening. It's comfortable and familiar because we so desperately do not want to believe what's right in front of our eyes. This thing that we are beginning to see cannot be true...because if it is, it changes everything and we have to do something we do not want to do.
    We've been raised complying with rules from the GB, believing their every word is truth. What if we find a mistake, is it an honest one-time mistake? What if it happens again? And again. And again. When do we decide that it is not mistakes, but a series of deliberate actions or deceptions? At what point do we ask ourselves what is the truth and what is a lie about EVERYTHING they have told us? After all, haven't they seemed to have our best interest at heart? Haven't we been better people because of being "in the truth"? How could the GB appear so faithful, yet seem to have a secret, very dark agenda of their own which they have gone to great lengths to cover?
    It paralyzes us, we can't go back and "undo" or "unlearn" what is happening. Knowledge brings responsibility. Yet we can't move forward because our mind is attempting to cope with the pain we inevitably know is coming if we have to actually acknowledge reality. The reality that we have ever so slowly went from relying on Jehovah, to relying on an organization that claims to be his channel of communication on earth. From believing in the Bible to believing the writings of the Watchtower society as truth from God. From viewing Jesus as our mediator to God, to the GB being our mediator to Jesus. So we live in a zombie like state, frozen in time.
    Until our un-conscience mind processes the information and lets us know that it's safe to start moving forward. There is no way to get above the pain, below the pain, around the pain. The only way to get past the pain.....is to go through the pain.
    Emotional work, like dealing with pain is the hardest work we will ever have to do. It takes all your energy, all of your attention because you are wrestling within yourself. Your opponent, your enemy, your fight....is with yourself and your heart. But that is also where your answers are, within your heart.
    This is how our Loving Heavenly Father designed us. To reason things out. To arrive at conclusions. Sometimes to make changes to our lives and our core beliefs. To be able to get past the pain those changes make in our lives.
    I know these things to be true because I have had to fight this fight more than once.
    We all are survivors because we have all had to endure losses of some kind in our lives. It is just that the degree of this loss is.........unfathomable. There was no way to prepare for it. It's like standing over one of those sink holes that appear out of no-where, the earth itself opens beneath you and you find yourself falling into a bottomless pit.
    I can tell you this. There is life past this pain, though you will never be the same. After the turmoil of going through this particular pain, it can make you a better, stronger, more loving, more understanding, more forgiving, more sympathetic, more empathetic; and, a more humble person.
    Likewise it could destroy your faith. It could make you angry, bitter, cynical, hateful, resentful.
    I am not a professional, I only speak of my own experiences and observations over my lifetime. Ultimately, it is an individual process and denial is only one part of the whole process. I had to have professional help, a therapist to talk to and even medication to help me cope with life's pains, stresses, losses and disappointments.
    Your process could be completely different from mine. There are many who are stronger than I was. I did not have good coping skills. I was weak spiritually and ill physically which caused me to miss many meetings. I had no support system.
    There is no right way or wrong way. There is no time-table to follow. There is only our own God given conscience to guide us.
    My one anchor that I hold on to....my love of Jehovah God as I know him to be, loving and forgiving.

    • Reply by mdnwa on 2014-02-23 10:16:09

      I agree this process can change you. I've had doubts and questions since I was much younger but just kind of went along almost like a robot on cruse control. However a year ago I couldn't contain myself on questions or issues and wanted to see how they were justifiable. I honestly tried to talk with a JW friend but they IMMEDIATELY told me I was acting like an apostate even though I was almost at the point of tears asking them questions out of sincerity. So I jumped online and of course the first "info" that pops up of course are the Wiki entries or other sites that really do a number on JW organization talking about everything from Russell and Rutherford but also our failed statements and some incorrect logic with our history. I actually was shaking my head almost like someone telling you something about your parents, it cut that deep since I kept telling myself there is no way I had gone all these years blinded.
      Then what happens and it's bound to happen by accident... you stumble onto EX JW's sites where they are so cynical, hateful, angry and bitter that you almost feel like you're infected and need to shower with what they have in their hearts. Those sites were so over the top hateful any "truths" they talked about I could not respect since the love that God said we were and would identify his servants was missing in large batches replaced with a free for all of EXTREME sarcastic bitter rage. I remember for 2 months having MANY sleepless nights, spending 12 hours a day just on researching things read online versus the bible and being so stressed out I could not sleep for more than 2 hours. I actually was so stressed out it affected my body! My friends kept asking me if the stress and extreme back and neck pain was from my injury somehow but told them no it was the single most important decision (going against the GB and doing research outside their publications) and my mind and body were affected. Unlike others online who just wanted to vent I REALLY wanted truth and understanding and REAL answers that even elders wanted no part or just said to pray over it.
      At one point though, with me being EXTREMELY discouraged at the amount of hate towards JW's and not seeing any other alternative I thought THIS is why the GB doesn't want us to read anything since everyone is just out to get ONLY JW's. But going online I also realized that it's not just JW's, people pretty much hate on every religion. I admit... unlike others here maybe I didn't do it the best way as I did not step back into a hall of go out in service but my reason was not because I don't need spiritual guidance or see the importance of gathering as the bible stated I just felt hypocritical going in service saying one thing or skipping around things and my heart feeling opposite. Even to this day I REALLY want to see my best solution to this as (and I hate to use this movie as a reference) I feel like the Matrix and already being unplugged and not able to easily go back into what everyone else believes while knowing if I speak honestly, even though respectfully, I would be kicked out.
      It's a shame since I believe a lot of what the org teaches and really loved how the org started as just being bible students and even not wanting to be a religion. When someone pointed out that I should imitate the Beoeans of course I researched them and stumbled on this site. After personally talking with Meleti and seeing that ones felt like me but handled or expressed themselves like I would and not over the top bitterness or anger was like a drink of lemonade on a hot day. I realized not only did people feel the way I did but they could use the bible to explain WHY I felt certain ways and why my thoughts were justified. But something else happened I did not anticipate...
      You said a person has two choices, get bitter and upset or go another route and for some reason I went the other route. As a JW you're told that going against the GB and disagreeing or being on a website like this will lead you away from God but to be honest many of those I knew had one foot on the banana peal before or were living double lives and they just got the incentive they needed to finally leave to do things they want or live a certain life. For me.. I became more loving, more understanding, more forgiving, more sympathetic, more empathetic; and while never been a "look at me guy" I humble myself MUCH more and give God credit when people give me credit for my conduct. Trust me... I'm still imperfect and still trying to see the best way for me to balance association, gathering for teaching/ studying, etc but this start of a journey while lonely I have to admit it also has pushed bible reading, research and appreciation for ones such as on this site to higher levels.

      • Reply by JB on 2014-02-23 15:07:22

        I'm really pleased to read your comments and imacountrygirl2's. It's wonderful to know that there are people thoughtful and courageous to ask questions and honestly seek the answers. I'm also pleased to discover this site it's very encouraging.
        There are only a few sites who deal with such topics seriously, I'm glad this enthousiasm still exists.
        It may happen that someone loses their ties with the organization due to various reasons but I hope they never leave their individual path in search for the truth.

    • Reply by erick on 2014-02-23 12:30:58

      I like your comment country girl about your awakening can make you a stronger, more loving person.
      Despite being a former elder who was very active at a district and circuit level I now realize that I was not a very spiritual person. A fair amount of what I did I only did because it was expected of me, I was on auto-pilot, or to receive accolades from others. The org. puts so much emphasis on appearance that it's just natural to begin to care more about appearance than the heart.
      The negative vibes of guilt, judgmentalism, fear, comparing, self-righteousness etc. begin to build up in the subconscious mind. When I woke up spiritually these negative vibes had built up in me to a degree that I was starting a downward spiral. I began to be anxious all the time even to the point of having panic attacks. I was not happy. I was drinking too much. Not to the point of being drunk but it was every night.
      2 12 yrs. after stopping attending meetings I am so much more happy. I have been using techniques to clear all the negative emotions out of my subconsciousness and it has been a tremendous help. I am the most spiritual I've ever been at this time.
      The last thing God wants us to do is to follow blindly a leader or an organization. You can not develop discernment doing that. You remain a spiritual child. Truth is written in your inside parts. Look within your heart. The kingdom is within you.

      • Reply by GodsWordisTruth on 2014-02-23 15:56:44

        I appreciated hearing all of your experiences.
        I couldn't help but think that your expressions of faith ,discouragement and perseverance is what we desperately need on our circuit assemblies and the pages of our magazines. Our purpose in gathering together is to love and encourage each other all the more so as the day draws near. (heb 10:25)Most of the experiences on our assemblies and magazines deal with how to desperately hold on to privileges of service and draw attention to the sacrifices our brothers and sisters make to become or remain pioneer/elder. I greatly appreciate their experiences and the love they show for God's name but your experiences remind me how every one of us is struggling just to serve God.
        We truly live in tough times and it's hard to be a Christian.Paul says "We have a wrestling, not against blood and flesh, but against the [invisible] governments, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) Christians all over the world are fighting for their spiritual lives. The political, commercial , and religious(our religion is definitely not an exception) elements of this world contribute to the hostile environment for God's people.

  • Comment by menrov on 2014-02-23 16:30:45

    All, I can only say that the comparison was.amazing but at the same time disturbing. The comments are all very understandable and often it is like looking into a mirror or seeing your own life being described. If have started to realize the rea identity of the GB and its organization after the famous WT last year on the so-called new light regarsing the slave etc. Like most described above, one thing is to recognize the lies, it is another thing to live with it. Sleepless night, bloospressure issues, restless and anxiety. And in certain occassions I feel a hypcrite as I keep silent....not always because of myself but for my wife. She will suffer as well if I start to act. Not easy at all. But sharing my thoughts here and reading about others on this, very well behaving (polite) site is something I very much need. Thanks to all!!

    • Reply by Alex Rover on 2014-02-23 18:45:06

      I'm in the same situation. I hope I can get through to my wife, slowly. Then move far far away.

  • Comment by imacountrygirl2 on 2014-02-23 18:14:12

    Menrov, my dear brother, I can feel your suffering and I'm so glad that you are sharing with us. Share what is in your heart, it will not fall on deaf ears.
    One of my greatest problems I had was there was absolutely no one to talk to that would understand, not only the situation I was in, but the "foreign language" JWs speak. No one can understand that you cannot just leave. Not without tearing your whole life up-side down and losing your flesh and blood family, your marriage, your children, as well as friends that you thought loved you unconditionally. It's one thing to talk about it in the abstract...but the reality is heartbreak for everyone involved, because you leave completely alone.
    I eventually was forced to seek out professional help...because I found myself thinking that suicide was my only way out. The only thing that stopped me was knowing I could not do that to my son, he was young and no one else would ever love him the way that I do. To find myself even thinking about my death as a way to solve my problems was unacceptable to me.
    Many years ago our congregation had lost a 20 year old pioneer brother who seemed OK on the outside, but one Sunday, he didn't go to the meeting and his siblings came home to find he had killed himself with a shotgun. I remember thinking that if I had only known how desperate he was, I would have tried to do something. Say something. If I had only known. I would have given anything to talk with him one more time. It was a shock to everyone, because he never told anyone a thing to indicate he was having problems. I have since learned that suicide is extremely high among Jehovah's Witnesses.
    Over two months ago, in a town near me, a brother who seemed to have no outward problems, according to the news report, shot and killed his wife and his two young sons before killing himself. What desperation could drive a JW to do that to his family? What agony he must have gone through to make that decision. How incredibly sad to think he felt he had no other answer to his problems. I have wondered if he had known there were sites like this, could there have been a diffeent outcome?
    It wasn't until years later when I was eventually diagnosed with depression myself that I finally understood how powerful depression is. I didn't choose it from some list of ailments. It is real and it is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Medication brings those chemicals closer to being balanced and helps to relieve some symptoms. Mine was situational depression because I felt trapped with no way out. I suffered for years, until I finally gave myself permission to get out of the situation I was in. I just prayed for forgiveness. I left my marriage and I left the KH, but I did not leave Jehovah.
    Every one of us on here has a story. None of us are on the same page. The most amazing thing about this site is the love and kindness and acceptance shown to each other. We are all on here because something was missing in our lives. We are all seeking the Truth, no matter where that might lead us. We are all getting to know Jesus and that He is our Saviour, and to appreciate how much his sacrafice means to us.
    Just know that whatever you decide to do...or not do...there are others who do understand exactly what you are going through and who love you and care about you and will do all they can to support you.

  • Comment by on 2014-02-24 05:43:07

    Thanks all. Reading your experiences is very helpfull. I too began suffer depression and severe neck pain from stress since I learnt that Jw are not only true religion on the planet Earth. I feel much better after discovering this site.

    • Reply by Chris on 2014-03-28 09:37:24

      That's good. I always thought to myself that we weren't the only true Christians. Jehovah did not send his Son to die for us so that we can join an organization. I still am one of Jehovah's Witnesses but I know that Jesus said " Come to me." Not "Come to my Organization." Now I do believe we have a lot more truth than some religions but it doesn't make us "the truth." There are a few other denominations whose beliefs match ours about 90%: The Restored Church of God, Christadelphians, Seventh-Day Adventists. Jehovah reads our hearts and judges us individually based on us, not what organization we belong to.

    • Reply by smolderingwick1 on 2014-03-28 19:03:11

      There are more Jehovah's Witnesses on antidepressants than we would want to admit. What causes it? Cognitive dissonance—i.e., two conflicting messages running tandem in the human brain causing its belief system to be in constant denial of its presence.
      I had the therapy, read the books and documented everything for my own survival. The dissonance is caused by the sort of unity the human conscience was built to reject. Put another way, the human conscience was meant to be reasoned—not enslaved into unity. Whether forced or not, any conscience that attempts to unify two contradicting sides will find itself on the horns of an intolerable dilemma—even being damaged beyond repair such as those “whose conscience is seared as with a branding iron,” (i.e., rendered without any feeling or knowledge that it had been damaged) Such a person can then believe without conscience all such “hypocrisy of men who speak lies” just as Paul would himself remember his former life as a Pharisee. (1 Timothy 4:2)
      In this the scribes and Pharisees were classic. While in conflict with each other, both felt "purified" in their own group through the "rules for clarification" of the Law that made their own traditional values both outshine and contradict the inspired Law! What better way to keep the rest suppressed! (Luke 18:11) Is there any wonder how Catholicism got its own foothold by adding dogma that had no conscience toward Christ?
      Which all left the average layman as divided as we are today. I'm not sure what they used to treat depression back then but I know St. John's Wort has been around since long before Christ arrived.

  • Comment by Chris on 2014-03-28 09:32:46

    This is one thing that I have always wondered about. I felt like when I first learned the truth that I was becoming more like the Pharisees. I was walking around as is I was superior because I had "the truth." Now I am still one of Jehovah's Witnesses, but I feel like I have this superiority complex. I feel like I need to battle every "false Christian" that comes along. I walk with my Bible like the Pharisees did. They wore it on themselves and I carry mine. I also am ready to quote like they did and not listen to anyone else. Now I've been in the organization for 5 years and I still have that false superiority complex. I feel like a Pharisee. :(

Recent content

Hello everyone. This is the second to last video in this series on shunning. Thank you for your patience as it has taken a while to get to this point. For those of you who haven’t seen the previous videos on shunning as…

Hello, everyone. I have something truly bizarre to share with you this time. It comes from a rather innocuous place, the July 2024 letter from the Governing Body to all the elders in North America and, I assume, around…

Statement by Brother Joss Goodall To My Brother and Sisters, I am writing to you to bring to your attention some very serious concerns that have been troubling me since August of last year when I listened to a morning worship video by Kenneth…

Jesus said that “the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him.” (John 4:23 BSB) Are you one of the people that God is seeking to worship Him? Maybe you’re thinking, “I…

In this video we will continue our analysis of the gaslighting methods used by the Governing Body to induce a hypnotic grip on the hearts and minds of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This time we’ll be covering a talk delivered by Gage Fleegle on JW.org called…

[This contributed letter does not necessarily reflect all the views of our community. We post it here as a service to those who seek to worship God "in spirit and in truth" (John 4:20-24)] AN OPEN LETTER TO THE GOVERNING BODY OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES…