I was raised as a Witness and I'm raising my two children as Witnesses. I don't really understand the problem that people have with it. To me it is mainly that
(1) they think our kids miss out because we don't celebrate birthdays, christmas, easter and all that sort of thing. To be honest, as a kid I couldn't have cared less about not celebrating them. I didn't feel as though I missed out, we always got presents and my parents did stuff with us all the time like going to the beach, camping, bbq's. I had a pretty good time as a kid. I sometimes felt sorry for my friends who had to wait till their birthday or christmas to get something they wanted. If ever there was a specific time where we got cool stuff it was tax time when my dad got his 'free money' from the government! (we thought it was free, till we got to understand the whole tax system but a return is a return and its great!)
(2) the blood issue. People are so adamant that blood saves lives. It has been beaten into peoples heads for years that blood transfusions are somehow magical and will save your life. When I do research (and for the record, not just in JW publications) I become more and more convinced that blood transfusions are overrated and actually downright dangerous. I don't want that for me or for my children. I would hope that any medical teams would use their expertise in doing everything they could, bar transfusion, to save me and/or my family. Evidence is showing that bloodless treatment and surgery is safer, quicker recovery times and more cost effective. I want the best for my children and blood transfusions are NOT the best. Many non-JW's are also taking the stand against blood (from a health standpoint) and also many doctors would not want blood for themselves.
(3) Ignorance and fear - they don't know who we are, they believe that we are some wacky cult and that somehow our children are in danger from brainwashing and whatever else cults do (I wouldn't know because I'm not in a cult). Truth is we are normal everyday people leading normal everyday lives however doing so in accord with God's laws and principals as set out in the bible. our children are not in any danger and have as much freedom of choice as anyone. They can choose whether they want to continue and become witnesses themselves or not. Whatever the outcome, they have been raised with good principals and the tools to live a good, clean and moral life. What's wrong with that?
PS for the answerer below - Hi! just wanted to let you know that nowhere does it say that if you are a witness you cannot have non-JW friends or that once you get baptised you can't continue friendships with non-JW friends. What it does say is that we must use discernment in these friendships. If you have made a dedication (and I mean YOU have decided that you WANT to be a witness) then the most important thing to you must be your relationship with Jehovah. Any friendship either outside or inside the congregation should be supporting this friendship you have developed with God. If it doesn't it is not a good friendship to be in. A non-JW friendship does not necessarily have to end just because you have been baptised.
Some parents are more protective than others in this regard. Balance is a good thing. If you feel that this aspect of your life growing up as a witness was overbearing and restrictive it was not because of witness teachings against having anything to do with non witnesses, as there arent any. There are only the guidelines of watching your associations so that they don't break your faith or lead you astray. Yes, sorry, that 1st Corinthians15:33 scripture! (yes, I used to hate that one too! But it is so true. I know from personal experience in letting certain friendships continue too long and too deep. Only meant trouble for me) Your parents simply loved you so much that they wanted to protect and shelter you. Maybe they went overboard but if you can overlook that and look at what they were wanting for you, you will see that all they wanted was for you to be safe. Many non-JW parents do the same thing (won't let them out of their sight, won't let them attend functions or do things with their friends etc) and their kids are also (for want of a better word) bitter for what they missed out on, and blame them for not having a greater knowlege of the world and the way it works. Honestly, half the experiences due to not listening to bible principals I have had in my life I would gladly give back. Causes me nothing but shame looking back and could easily have killed me (mostly drinking too much) and a lot of it was from 'friends' trying to introduce me to the 'fun' that I was missing out on. Gotta be careful.
· 10 years ago