[From ws11/16 p. 13 December 5-11]
“In my heart I treasure up your saying.”—Ps. 119:11 (NWT)
A Cause for Concern
The whole purpose of this study is to address the potential problem—from the viewpoint of jw.org—of witnesses losing their zeal while serving in a foreign-language assignment.
Some Christian parents serving in a foreign-language field have come to realize that their children’s interest in the truth has waned. Because of not fully understanding what was said at the meetings, the children were not really touched by the spiritual program that was being presented at the Kingdom Hall. – par. 5
The phrase, “the truth”, in this paragraph is synonymous with “the Organization”. If someone “leaves the truth”, it is understood that they have left the Organization. Leaving the Organization is synonymous with leaving Jehovah in the mind of a Jehovah’s Witness.
There isn’t much that can be said in this review other than to warn parents not to confuse the emotional involvement that comes from understanding all that is said at the meetings and all that is written in the publications with what is actually taught in the word of God. If you are truly interested in building up your child’s spirituality, then do not believe that you need the meetings nor the publications for this purpose. What you need is the Word of God.
The Study gives examples from ancient Israel that unwittingly prove this very point.
Although Daniel was offered food to eat from the king’s delicacies, he “resolved in his heart” that he would not “defile himself.” (Dan. 1:8) Because he kept studying “the sacred books” in his mother tongue, he maintained his spiritual health while living in a foreign land. – par. 8
Daniel and his companions became outstanding examples of faith. Yet they had no weekly meetings to go to, nor did they get regular issues of Jewish publications to study. What they did have was all they really needed. They had the “sacred books”. They also had prayer and meditation. They also associated with those of like mind.
So, study the 66 sacred books which comprise the Bible with your children in their mother tongue and pray with them and exchange meaningful discussions on Bible topics with them whenever the opportunity presents itself. Question all things that men write or teach to ensure that you are not being persuaded to another ‘truth’, for there is only one. (1Th 5:21)
As Forrest Gump said, “That’s all I have to say about that.”
GWIT, if you can write in, then write in. Who knows what will be done with the information, and who will read it. Apart from anything else, writing in helps me to get my thoughts in order. But you do have to be careful not to attack. Just state what the Bible says and how you read it. All the subjects I have written on so far result in a reply which I view as an official defense, carefully avoiding an actual scriptural basis for an answer to the question I raised. What does this tell me ? That there… Read more »
Specifically where do the mothers and sisters work in bethel? I want to write a different and handwritten letter to these ones.
To explain the sufferings of my family and I…..
GWIT, You have a right to write in and in doing so you are bearing witness to them. Whether or not they listen is up to them. My experience with letter writing is that it is disheartening. They are in the mindset that they are above counsel from the lower ranks, so regard any counsel in writing as presumptuousness. Persistence in writing is viewed as a sign of rebellion. To paraphrase the Dread Pirate Roberts: “Be prepared for disappointment.”
You know my struggles brother:(
I just want someone to be moved by a real yearbook experience and find what we have .
I also would like HQ to respond to their discriminatory practices and judicial system.
It is really encouraging to see how many active witnesses are on this site. Keep up the chat, it is really encouraging to know how many of our brothers and sisters are going through this stage. So much credit goes to Meliti and others who have made this forum/outlet available. It has helped me to put into tactful words what to say and how to say it when talking to other JWs. You are always safe referring back to the scriptures, asking them “what does the bible say”, being careful not to criticize the GB (even if we are, indirectly)… Read more »
Confession time :’) When I studied this article I felt it was writing to me personally. I am serving in the foreign language group because my parents moved over from the english congregation and I knew they would be sad if I wouldn’t agree to move with them. Obviously I didn’t want to be left alone either. So the first few months were super hard: I had uni studies (I semi ‘rebelled’ against the idea of no higher education and endured a lot of back room shepherding calls about it but honestly I would hate to spend my life cleaning… Read more »
Hi Candace, interesting to read your story. Your last comment: “Today I remind myself that the issue really is about our obedience and showing Jehovah how far we are willing to push outside the boundaries of our comfort zones in order to please him” If serving like you do is actually a means to please YHWH, I would agree. However, there is no scriptural support for the setup of serving this way. There is not one scripture that indicates that counting time is require, report progress to men is required etc. o not get me wrong. It is admirable what… Read more »
Of course when I am out witnessing I am not thinking about whether it is pleasing to anyone in Bethel or anyone else except to Jehovah. That is the main reason why I do it. But to be totally honest there are always other little reasons too that add up to being very important. Such as making my mum happy because she is a pioneer, all my witness friends are pioneering so we get to associate and preach at the same time (multi tasking!) and… as far as I can see only the spiritual brothers are attracted to pioneer sisters… Read more »
My wife and I served in a foreign language group for the first 16 years of our marriage. There was a vitality to be had with an emerging group that was no longer there in the staid English congregations around us. The shared goals, the commaraderie, the joy of youth spent in the service of God, all created a heady atmosphere that I recall to this day with great fondness. However, when you speak of obedience, that question is: Obedience to whom? If to men, then all the good intentions will still lead to disillusionment. However, if to Christ, then… Read more »
That is a very good experience, thanks for sharing Meleti! I feel that is happening to me right now and I hope I can last 16 years (in foreign language assignment with the same enthusiasm, marriage is still in the future haha). I think obedience is a tricky issue to talk about because being imperfect it is super easy to fall into the slippery slope of excusing ourselves from doing what is right because it doesn’t suit us, because we don’t agree with it, or its just too hard for us to even try. Remember when the Israelites fled Egypt… Read more »
Here’s the thing, Candace. Moses had credentials. He was used to bring 10 plagues and he split the Red Sea. Does obedience to someone like Moses who was undoubtedly God’s representative, mean that anyone who puts himself in Moses shoes also requires our obedience? If so, then why aren’t you obeying the Pope of Rome? You are right. We don’t get to cherry pick what we obey and what we disobey. We have a standard for obedience. But that standard is God’s word. So if the Governing Body tells you to do something that doesn’t conflict with God’s word, you… Read more »
‘What you need is the word of God’, – how true, .. I wonder why parents would put their own aspirations of serving in foreign language groups ahead of the needs of their children who frankly have a tough enough time of it sitting through meetings in their own language! It seems a great pity that some children are so put off by what they see and hear amongst Jehovah’s Witnesses that they eventually become atheist. If only they could get a balance between the evangelising work and the demonstration of genuine Christian agape. But at the end of the… Read more »
Great job as usual! I have a question though. You wrote that Daniel kept up with “the sacred books”. Where is that scripture? I have been curious of just how accessible the scriptures available were to any given generation. Thanks
Actually, I was quoting from the Watchtower. I really don’t know if he had access to the “sacred books” or not, but was using the Watchtower’s own logic to disprove their point about the need for meeting attendance to stay strong spiritually.
Haha well I should have known better. I was loooking all over the book of Daniel. Leave it to them to imply something that wasn’t there.
Hi Meleti and simplyme, I hope u don’t mind, I understand your sentiment, the “sacred books” appears in the footnote of Dan 9:2:
Daniel 9:2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, discerned by the books the number of years mentioned in the word of Jehovah to Jeremiah the prophet to fulfill the desolation of Jerusalem, namely, 70 years.
Footnote- 9:2aThat is, the sacred books.
Thanks Lazarus. Now I can delve into that a little further.
So I know someone who recently accepted a full time assignment at Bethel.
She has to get her own apartment, car and work offsite… in New York alone after living a sheltered life!!
Why are we applauding this again? Remember college is not a real choice. Her Married brother was sent home permanently this time -with no skills and has been there since high school- his whole life.
Why do most JW Parents still think this is a good idea or even safe?
I must admit this is one thing I couldn’t follow which makes me feel guilty some times but deep down I know I made the right choice. Here in Aus, no education means NO meaningful job…unless you like cleaning, gardening, or working casual in a retail store. None of that would give me any security in this economy, besides the “bad association” from other students is literally no different to those of you who have non believing workmates at work. In fact with what I am studying no one has time to be out partying and acting ‘reckless’ and ‘immoral’… Read more »
You said: I must admit this is one thing I couldn’t follow which makes me feel guilty some times WHy feel guilty? hat studies did Paul have? And Moses and David? Paul wrote many letters and was able to explain many things about the law. The only reason an organisation does not support its members to follow university studies is fear. Fear that its members develop skills to think, to analyse etc. These skills may also be used then to analyse the doctrines and the material in the WT. On the other side, these same leaders use very well qualified… Read more »
Well, maybe I should have studied Law, IT or real estate so I could be more useful to the organisation! But with what I am studying maybe I could help with dispensing medicine by volunteering in disaster relief zones so the poor victims can get all the help they need. You’re right, uni students are far less critical. Most are pretty apathetic in Aus to be honest, so they just say “cool, whatever” when I tell them I can’t join them in guild parties due to being JW. At work their reaction to finding out I am a JW is… Read more »
Ask yourself this: Can I find a scripture that supports the teaching that higher education is bad? If there is no scriptural prohibition, then is it not up to the conscience of each one. Why are you seeking higher education? Is it to serve God better by being able to provide for yourself throughout your life? Or is it for selfish reasons? It is not the education which is wrong. The Bethel in my country has actually sent several to law school. What determines whether something is right or wrong is heart-motivation. Only the individual can determine that, which is… Read more »
Forrest also said “I’m not a smart man. But I *know* what love is,” to which his mom said, “You have to do the best with what God gave you.”