My roommate and I got to pull off our adventure in counter-cult ministry tonight with a visit to the local Kingdom Hall. We’ve been meeting with Jehovah’s Witnesses enough that we figured that it was time to see what the internals of a meeting were like. It would also make the Witnesses definitely take notice of us and be willing to stick with us longer. I’m sure that before too long, push will come to shove and we’ll see what happens when JW doctrine is seriously contradicted. We’ve managed to do it in a friendly way so far, however, the word “Trinity” has yet to come up.
So what was it like?
I’ve been in Mormon meetings before, but this kind of meeting I found far more creepy than the Mormon meetings. At Mormon meetings, there is at least some spontaneity. You do not know exactly what will happen, but when the Witnesses follow in their books, they really follow in their books. 95% of the time, you can tell what the answer to the question is going to be because they are getting it right out of the book. I realized at that point why our Witnesses are so surprised with the answers my roommate and I give. We treat them as discussion topics. The Witnesses do not.
I’m not a musician, but when the music was being sung, I knew that there was something wrong. The Witness material is written on a 6th grade reading level and apparently, the songs are as well. The music is entirely dry. My roommate is a musician and he definitely had some comments on it but I had to say “I’m no musician and I knew that there was something wrong with that music.” I thought about what I’d known about using some tunes to get people to be more suspectible to suggestion. Noteworthy also is that on a page that was listing songs, I did not find one song that mentioned Jesus in the title.
How many times did I hear something about the faithful and discreet slave? The terminology was the same every time. It was massive groupthink. It is one of those things that you hear about what it is like to be a Jehovah’s Witness but when you go to one of their meetings, you really begin to understand what it must be like and how faithfulness to the Watchtower becomes a dominating force in one’s life.
What of the use of Scripture? Scripture is used of course. However, it must be Scripture that is already mentioned in the book. There will be no independently going to another Scripture. The Scripture that will be used is the Scripture spoken of in the book. This is why I now understand more the wisdom of going to Scriptures not commonly studied. Witnesses only know how to deal with the Scriptures that they are presented with.
Everything that goes on in a Witness meeting apparently is rehearsed. People come up with notes for questions that they know in advance. Now I’m not against order in a religious service. I think it should be there. I am however open for some freedom. In our churches, we have participation in the teaching time and we are definitely not indoctrinated. Our pastor, a great guy, has even asked questions to us to answer during the service. This meeting had none of that.
Of course, there was a dependence on Watchtower magazine and everyone knew that they were getting their food from Jehovah. The way this terminology comes up so much makes you realize just how plugged in these people are to the Matrix of the Watchtower. I think especially of some young people in the audience that I felt extreme sorrow for. You realize that these people really think they’re serving God, and they’re not. They will be told on the last day “Depart from me. I never knew you.”
I hope you’re saddened to hear that. I’m saddened to write it.
These people are going door-to-door constantly. They are always training for this. What are you going to do? Are you going to be ready to give them the good news when they come. The news that they need to learn that is contrary to what they heard of what they must do to remain in Jehovah’s love? Are you ready to be as true to the true gospel as Jehovah’s Witnesses are to a false gospel?