Recently I attended the midweek study at the kingdom hall. The last time I attended was awkward, with the elders questioning my motives (see my previous post, Warning: You Might Get Kicked Out of the Kingdom Hall by a Donkey). They confronted me about sharing my opinions with the members, implying that my purpose was to plant doubt in their minds. (Truthfully, that is one of my sub-purposes, but my main purpose is to get people to think critically about the Watchtower claims, and to discover for themselves the richness of all the kingdom privileges available to them in Christ.) So, this time I was determined to be good in their eyes. I interacted in a friendly manner with everyone I met, and kept the conversation to innocuous subjects, while still affirming my joy in Jehovah, and my care and concern for them. I dutifully refrained from bringing up any controversial subjects, such as the denial of kingdom privileges to the Great Crowd believers, God’s real name (Yahweh rather than Jehovah), the fallibility of the governing body, or any other of a host of topics. It took great amounts of restraint to resist doing what I enjoy.
When I talked with my friend Aaron, I brought up my desire to meet with him again, and assured him that if it needed to be with one of the elders, that would be fine. I also asked whether we should, “in light of the awkwardness of the past,” do a Bible study together, in effect starting fresh. He seemed very enthusiastic about that idea.
This was a tactical retreat on my part. I envision the three of us going through What Does the Bible Really Teach, following their agenda rather than mine. That little book will provide plenty of opportunities for me to bring up some of my favorite subjects, asking them tough questions, and getting them to think and consider scriptures that are unfamiliar to them. I’m excited about the opportunity, and will report on the results.