If you are a struggling Jehovah’s Witness of the “conscious class” you may feel very lonely. I know I do as most of my friends are JW’s. It’s not easy to tell if your JW friends are of the “conscious class” without possibly risking being disfellowshipped. Before you know it you could be approached by an elder or two elder asking you questions about your loyalty to the GB.
When Jesus was questioned by one of the chief priests how did he react?
John 18: 19-23, “And so the chief priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. Jesus answered him: “I have spoken to the world publicly. I always taught in a synagogue and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret. Why do you question me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them. See! These know what I said.” After he said these things, one of the officers that was standing by gave Jesus a slap in the face and said: “Is that the way you answer the chief priest?” Jesus answered him: “If I spoke wrongly, bear witness concerning the wrong; but if rightly, why do you hit me?”
Did Jesus incriminate himself? Never! So the question is, how can we be like Jesus and not ever incriminate ourselves with our friends or elders (chief priest)? I believe the number one rule should be, never incriminate yourself. I have already done this in the past with my family and I am having a hard time recovering from it because I already let the cat out of the bag. Have you ever tried to put a cat back into a bag? It’s not easy, almost impossible!
If you want to test the waters with a friend or family member I recommend taking it slow. Don’t jump into the deep end of the pool like I did, stick your toe in the shallow end first. How can you do this? I think the key word is doubts.
Jude 1:22, “Also, continue showing mercy to some that have doubts.”
Elders are told to show mercy to those who have doubts. Doubts are very common. If you wanted to test a friend you could say something like, “sometimes I have doubts about my faith and don’t know what to do.” You just told them you have doubts so if they do also, you just gave them an opportunity to tell you about theirs. If they say, “really, what do you doubt about?” DO NOT incriminate yourself, say nothing. Ask them, “do you ever have doubts?” If they say no then you know they are definitely not of the “conscious class”. This person will be a hard nut to crack in my opinion. I would just leave it at that. Say, “It’s no big deal, I want to keep it to myself and wait on Jehovah.” Just say no more. This tells them they are not going to get anything at all out of you unless they express their doubts too. Maybe they will, maybe they will not. Never express anything with two JW’s because then they have two witness’s to hang you if they want to.
Their is the chance that the other person is of the “conscious class” and wonders if you are too. Let them lead the conversation and never admit to anything they don’t. If they say, “yeah I wonder about disfellowshiping”, you can say, “yes me too!” If the say, “I wonder about 1914” you can say, “yes me too!”
The key here is to use doubts but don’t express what they are until the other person lets you know they have doubts too. If they don’t and you keep on talking, my opinion is, you will get nowhere except maybe disfellowshipped. If you don’t keep on talking you can keep your friend. If they have doubts you can help them join the “conscious class”.