QUESTION: Hello Pearl, I have attempted a few times over the past three years to start and finish Bible study but I have stopped. What worries me is the thought that when I die my soul and body will die and not part of me will be conscious, waiting for the Resurrection.
In my face to face meetings and email communication with JW's I have noticed that the women are not allowed to be alone in a room or place with a man, there has to be another man present. There seems to a dividing of women and men. I feel more comfortable talking to women than men, I have never been a man's man. I recently had been communicating via email with a JW from Michigan and because I mentioned this about separating men from women which I find offensive, this lady stopped answering my emails, I presume because she was offended. Over the years I seem to be going hot and cold and I cannot understand why??
I would appreciate any advice you could offer me.
ANSWER: Hello Colin,
You bring up a few subjects, even though your stated subject is "shunning".
I will try to understand what you are telling me, and if I get any of it wrong, please give me feedback.
In your first paragraph, you mention having a fear of death.
Are you telling me this under the subject of "shunning", because you are explaining your motive for your numerous attempts at completing the formal "Bible Study" and initial indoctrination of "J.W.'s"?
If this is
the reason for telling me your fear; It is also clear that despite this fear;
you have also stopped the Bible Study each time you started it.
I can only reason from the totality of what you tell me, that your reason for stopping it, is the "J.W." custom that dictates how opposite sex "witnesses" handle male-female interaction, which you state you find "offensive"...
as well as the "shunning" that you have experienced as a result of expressing your distaste at this custom.
Your last statement is that you vacillate between "hot" and "cold", and that you cannot understand why.
I'm sorry, but I don't know what you are vacillating about,
so it is hard for me to offer my perspective on why this may be occurring.
Can you please tell me what the subject is that you feel hot and cold over?
I will assume you are speaking about your Bible study, and the desire to complete your full initiation and inclusion into the ranks of "J.W.'s".
If this assumption is not correct, please follow up to clarify.
And so, based upon my understanding of what you have told me,
I will offer you my thoughts.
[If you wish to gain more information about our hope of life beyond death,
please submit that additional question via the contact form, located in
the right-side column, located at my Main Page:
I was a "J.W." for many decades, and so I am familiar with the customs and reasoning behind the tenets of behavior between the sexes. I will compare that knowledge to each of your statements (in bold
), in an attempt to be thorough.
"In my face to face meetings and email communication with JW's I have noticed that the women are not allowed to be alone in a room or place with a man, there has to be another man present."
It is true that private (un-chaperoned) interactions between a male and female who are not married, are frowned upon among "J.W.'s". However, it is not required that the chaperone be a man. An additional person (chaperone) of either sex can provide witness, that nothing "inappropriate" took place between the male and female during their meeting or other communication.
I have also heard that when a man and woman are "courting" and pursuing marriage,
being alone in a room can be permissible, IF
the door to that room is wide open, and a chaperon is just outside that door. I have not validated this permit, but have heard it stated among "J.W.'s" who are regarded as being in "good standing" and repute.
The purported reasoning for these tenets,
is to guard the reputation of all involved, so that there is no question as to the purity and innocence of a man or woman, should someone eventually take a serious interest in them as a prospective marriage mate.
I will refrain from judging this practice, because to do so would infringe upon the freedom of every individual to have their own values and conscience in this regard. I guess I can only ask you to reflect upon your own values, by means of a hypothetical situation....
Image that you were engaged to a woman, and then found out that she had spent hours alone in a room with another man, without any witness present to vouch for what took place.
You may treasure within a relationship... trust, freedom, personal liberty and discretion, and an assumption of mutual honesty, as more valuable, than having one's activities formally and rigidly supervised.
But many people would rather take steps to assure that what may take place, is established as being beyond questionable and is above the possibility of accusation or reproach.
"J.W.'s" hold the reputation (and consequently, the future prospects) of individuals, in the balance, determined and estimated by these dictates and practices.
take this opportunity however, to state that despite these imposed commands; practicing pedophiles within many congregations of "J.W.'s" are not held to the same stringent expectations of behavior control. When it comes to other moral situations, "J.W.'s" display the tell-tale sign of hypocrisy...
caring more about and controlling how things look,
than how things really are.
(Matt.23:25,26; 2Tim.3:5; Matt.15:7-9; Ps.43:1; Matt.12:7; Mark12:33)
"There seems to a dividing of women and men."
This statement is both true and false.
men and women freely mix at social gatherings and formal meetings.
having a more exclusive opposite-sex friendship, is forbidden. It is believed that there is a natural inclination for romance and lust to develop between members of the opposite sex,
who spend time together developing familiarity and mutual experience.
Should this romance and lust develop previous to an appropriate age of marriage;
harm to ones reputation, spirit, moral integrity, and marriage prospects,
are all feared as possible results.
The Bible asserts God's standard of sex without intent and ability to marry, as the sin of fornication.
This imposed division by "J.W.'s", between men and woman/boys and girls,
is deemed a preventative to such damage to one's character, prospects, spiritual welfare, and standing before God.
"I feel more comfortable talking to women than men, I have never been a man's man."
There are a variety of reasons why you may feel this way, but there are all kinds of men and all kinds of women. I find it wise not to make prejudiced assumptions about a person based upon their gender. However, while nothing will prevent you
from speaking to a "J.W." woman;
(as long as it is openly, and within a group)
if you take an "unusual" interest in developing an exclusive familiarity with her, this carries with it responsibility and obligation.
In other words,
if she is considered too young to marry, a concerned parent may be offended that you risk inciting the child to form a crush on you, with no good result.
If she IS of marrying age, you will be expected to have regard for her feelings, and be responsible for any misunderstanding of intentions that could result in pain and disappointment.
If she is married, then expect to be viewed as, at the very least, lacking prudence and discretion with the mate of another man.
While our own personal values may agree or disagree with this reasoning and mode of behavior,
we respect the right of each person to their own feelings on this matter.
Yet even beyond the consideration of personal freedom of preference,
it is vital that we be most concerned with how God Himself esteems our conscience and behavior. The most important question we can ask ourselves is;
How do my values, tenets, preferences, and principles,
match up to God's standards, as expressed within the scriptures? (Isa.48:17,18)
At the end of our lives, it won't matter much if we did things the way we wanted to,
or the way others in authority wanted us to.
It will only matter if we have secured the approval of God (Ecc.12:13; 1John2:17; Matt.10:28).
In fact, that thought is strongly linked to your original statement about your prospects of life beyond death. Those prospects are in the hands of whom we all must give an accounting for the choices we have made in life, our motives, and the effect we have had on those around us.
If we are soberly wise, God's approval will matter more to us than personal preference based upon our limited perspective.
I believe that there are scriptural modes of appropriate and discreet behavior between men and women. But I also believe that in some ways, "J.W.'s" have gone too far in their emphasis on controlling every aspect of the lives of their followers, to the point of an un-natural and unhealthy emphasis on sex. To do so can actually backfire, and have the opposite effect.
It is also unhealthy to both men and women, to essentially dismiss and discount from the male experience... the wisdom and grace God has given to many women. This effect is the reality, when deeper interaction between the sexes is discouraged. Abraham was told to listen to his wife Sarah. There are records within the Bible of women being chosen by God to be judges and leaders over God's people. Yet today, "elders" often make hurtful and harmful decisions...sad results that could have been avoided if only the scriptural perspective and experience of a woman at hand, had been seriously considered.
Bible prophecy gives a clear description of the powerful influence the Organization of "J.W.'s" presently has over it's members. The resolute reaction you describe from the woman you wrote to, is no surprise. Such obedient subjection to every detail of doctrine, is common. Such is the power, authority, and influence of the "Wild Beast" and it's "Image", among those who are deceived into this end-time idolatry.
The common "J.W." has become a worshipper of an Organizational Idol and it's leaders, rather than maintaining an exclusive devotion to God alone.
This scenario is the essence of the final test...the "Great Tribulation".
I sincerely hope you avoid being ensnared by this final and greatest tactic of Satan.
Regarding your fluctuating feelings...
If your heart really does love truth, such a fluctuation is understandable while exposed to the WT.
At Rev.8:10,11 we are told about an identity, that pollutes only 1/3 of it's teachings.
The other 2/3 are truth. That 2/3 draws those who love truth. Yet, that 1/3 untruth would then cause a sense of discomfort, unrest, and even alarm.
When Jesus taught, those who loved truth were drawn to him and could sense Christ's genuine integrity, divinity, and purity (John1:14; 6:69; Col.2:9; Matt.16:16,17).
Those who found fault with him were not really lovers of God and truth (John8:42,43,45,47).
When you really find the truth, as coming from God's genuine channel and vessels (Rev.14:5; John7:17; 2Tim.3:14),
you will know it. You will not need to vacillate between hot and cold...
comfort and discomfort, trust and distrust.
"I would appreciate any advice you could offer me."
My advise is simply what the Bible advises...
1John4:1; Matt.7:15-27; 24:4,5,24,25; 2Thess2:1-12; 2Pet.3:17,18; Rev.13:7-18
In addition and in harmony with those scriptures; continue your Bible education, but exercise the discretion the Bible advises in choosing which teachings to consider, and then, which to believe.
I hope you will consider some more information about these things, within the following three articles.
Please focus your attention primarily on the scriptures they contain.
If, when you are done with these, you wish to learn more,
you will find other links at that location, as well as a search-box on the Main Page,
by means of which you can research any subject you like.
If you remain unsatisfied, you are always welcome to write to me again, by means of the contact form, also found on the right side of this Main Page:
There is also a link to a directory of articles, on that Main Page.
I pray for your progress on the path of life,
so that some day soon,
your fear of death will be replaced with a certain hope, peace, and confidence
in the "real life" to come (1Tim.6:19; John10:10; Rev.21:4,5; 1Cor.2:9).
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss these things with you.
Love in Christ,
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Dear Pearl, sorry for my confusing Question. The subject heading is wrong.
my main qustion is the subject of Death. I know wbat the Bible says regarding Death. What about Near death Experiences, Ghosts, Souls that have not moved on and are earthbound. Its the subject of Death that is stopping me from moving on with Bible Study. Being told that I wont exist after the death of my body and not being conscious with a spirit body , I find this frightening, being unconscious and totally nonexistent.
Hello again Collin,
Despite the improper subject heading, I urge you to carefully read the entire answer and the cited scriptures. They pertain to your concerns about death, and especially your hope for life.
Your answer to follow lies mostly in the cited scriptures.
Only by means of them will you find your true needs met. There are answers within them, which I do not write.
You say you already know what the Bible says about death, but you have interpreted it by means of WT interpretation, yes?
Are you referring to Ecc.9:5,10? But this speaks of the same people as Ecc.9:6!
These are those who will not be resurrected... those who are not to be "remembered"
(Mal.3:16; John5:28; Luke10:20; Rev.21:27).
Note what Jesus said about those who become his faithful disciples...
John5:24; 6:40,47,50,58; 8:51; 11:26; 20:31; 3:16; 1John3:14; 5:13
There is something much more important than the subject of death, which should stop you from pursuing your Bible study with "J.W.'s".
If you truly desire eternal life, the paramount concern is attaining the approval of the giver of life, and meeting his just requirements. If you continue to learn doctrines of error that lead you into the most grave sin of idolatry; you will not gain life.
Have you learned about the unseen reality of the spirit realm, and the unseen creation of spirit sons of God? Have you considered the possibility that these are the true manifestation of "ghosts" and supposed souls of dead humans? Remember that the lie Satan first told Eve, was that she would not really die if she sinned
(Gen.3:4,22,24; 5:5; John8:44). We must not believe that lie ourselves.
Yet it is possible to stop sinning, and live
(1Pet.4:1,2; Rom.6:2,7; Col.3:3; Gal.6:8; 1John2:1)!
Near death, is not death.
Those who are born of spirit, have a spirit body, unseen within their physical body.
If you are not born of spirit, you will die, because you are only flesh.
The co-existence of flesh and spirit, is the new creation. It is possible now
(Gal.6:15; 2Cor.5:16-18). But there are requirements. Adam and Eve lost the tree of eternal life because of their choice to sin. The trees of life are again within reach, for those willing to desist from sin (Rev.22:2; 1Thess.5:22).
Fear not death, but God (Prov.14:27; Heb.2:15; 5:7; Mark8:35; Heb.7:25; 2:9).
Fear not the authority of men or an Organization. To do so, is death. (Prov.29:25; Luke12:4,5)
You are in my prayers that you will succeed in escaping the present spiritual threats to all those seeking Truth (Luke21:36).
Love in Christ,