Elder reveals his secret

By “Shadow Elder, Jr.”

A few weeks ago, my father and I were out working together in the door-to-door preaching work. That morning only four of us showed up at the Kingdom Hall –my dad and I, and a married brother and sister. The other couple announced that they only had a little over an hour available for service and had some return calls to make. They would go off on their own while my dad and I would visit a territory a few miles away in a more rural area.

I am the youngest in my family. I was born into the Jehovah’s Witnesses, as was my father, and his father before him. Dad would not allow any of us to be baptized until we were at least sixteen years old, just to make sure that we truly wanted to dedicate our lives to Jehovah’s service. My oldest brother was baptized when he turned seventeen. My other brothers have not been baptized, although they do go to meetings and occasionally take part in field service. I was baptized the summer before I went to high school.

But back to my story…

My father silently chewed on his lower lip as we drove toward the territory. I could tell that something was definitely on his mind and he seemed troubled. I asked if he was feeling OK. I suggested that he might want to stop and get a cup of coffee before we started knocking on doors. He denied that anything was wrong, but agreed that a cup of coffee might do him some good.

One of our favorite little coffee shops was on the way. I’m not much of a coffee drinker. And when I do have a cup, I put so much sugar and creamers in it that I can barely taste the coffee itself. Then I find myself totally “wired” all day. But for some reason, I felt today was definitely a day when a coffee break was needed.

We sat at a little table off in a corner while we had our coffee and shared a cinnamon roll. Dad looked at me and then surprised me with “What do you think about going back to school? You always got decent grades in high school, and…” he paused, “I was wondering if you had any plans about going to college?”

“Gee, I don’t know, Dad,” I answered. “I haven’t really thought too much about it because I know the Society frowns on anyone going to college – especially a 4-year school. I don’t want to get into any trouble at the Kingdom Hall. After all, you’re an elder – I don’t want you to get into trouble either.”

Dad was deep in thought as he gazed over my head, watching people pass by the window of the coffee shop. He’d start to say something, but failed to form any words. I worried that he was going to tell me he had cancer or that my mother had some terrible disease. “Dad – what is wrong? Are you OK? Is everything OK?”

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An Elder shares his honest opinions

By “Shadow Elder”

Before I express my opinion to the readers and contributors to this website (www.ex-jw.com), I would like to explain who I am and to present my bona fides as someone qualified to comment on this website and Jehovah’s Witnesses in general.

First of all, I am an active Jehovah’s Witness living just outside of New York City. Being a large metropolis, Watchtower shadow manNew York has many Kingdom Halls located within the city and several more in surrounding boroughs, counties, and suburbs. This puts me right next to the Brooklyn Bethel headquarters, in an area where Jehovah’s Witnesses are quite active and well represented in the local population. If you want to know what average Jehovah’s Witnesses are thinking, New York and New England would be a good place to start.

I am in my early 50s, married, with four adult sons. My wife and I own our home and I drive an older four-door Japanese sedan – a perfect car to use for field service. I work as a manager for a national company connected to the food services industry. I earn a decent salary, but we are far from being rich. We get by, but it can be very expensive living in a large city, even when your needs are modest.

I have been a Jehovah’s Witness for most of my life. My parents were Witnesses and remained faithful in the Truth until they passed away a few years ago. My father professed to be of the Anointed class – my mother did not. I have been selected as an elder and have held ministerial servant and overseer positions at several Kingdom Halls.

Now that I’ve explained who I am, I would like to share some of my observations and opinions, not only about this website and others, but also about the attitudes of many current and former Jehovah’s Witnesses.

I think that the readers of this article should consider it to be a “come to Jesus moment” for all of us. Hopefully, when I’m finished we’ll all see the light, recognize the errors of our ways, and take a new approach to jumping in on the ongoing debates over the teachings and lifestyle of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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