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PeterR

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  1. Curiosity is getting the better of me so I'll follow this up. You wrote " And if they assist in helping others too to increase their effective directing of valuable resources to achieve better results ... " I assumed that you were talking about printing publication simply because that's a line I've heard several times before. Then after coming down hard on my assumption you wrote " Oh, and those resources? I usually equate this with the properly motivated time and energy those who love Jehovah spend in His service. Which is why I included the Psalm 110 reference." I'm prepared to accept that I have a really big blind spot here, but could you explain how making a declaration to the elders of the number of hours you put in last month helps "increase their effective directing of valuable resources". I'm genuinely interested.
  2. I don't really understand your point here, but I doubt that your distrust started with what I last wrote. From our previous exchanges your distrust seems to be based upon anything I write that doesn't fit your world view. Scriptural reasoning doesn't seem to help. What else did you mean then? Rather than just pretend to be astounded by adding multiple questions marks, if you truly wanted to reason on the matter you could actually just clarify what you mean by "resources". My assumption of "literature" doesn't come from nowhere. This is actually a common argument that is given from higher up the chain as to why reports are required. If your point was a different one then all you have to do is clarify. Your concluding Ad Hominem attack is tasteless and baseless.
  3. There you go. To you it seems that if it isn't measurable it doesn't happen. If reporting hours is all you've ever known then I can see why you might not be able to get past that. Philip was known as "the evangelizer". Do you think for a moment it was because he accepted it as a title for doing in excess of x number of hours preaching per month? Or do you think that people simply knew him as a man who naturally preached the Gospel at every opportunity. The latter portion of Deut 6:7 is often tied to talking about your love for Jehovah to your kids. And given the opening that would obviously be true. But when I read it the passage says 1) inculcate your love for God in your children and 2) speak about them always - to anyone, always (including incidentally yourself in meditation). Mal 3:16 talks of those who would naturally talk about spiritual things and share faith as part of any conversation. I actually find it a little shocking that people would so clearly reveal that they don't feel any of this would be noticed by others unless a number of "service hours" was turned in every month. Well yeah. I hadn't even considered that as part of this conversation. But if it even puts a some people under pressure some of the time, such that it could tempt them into any form of dishonesty, then there's another reason why Jesus might have warned against it. I can perfectly see the benefit of setting personal goals. That's not what's being discussed here. They can remain personal and there is no conflict with any scriptural injunction. I'm sorry but I don't buy that. I do have some specific experience into how this process works. Even before everything went electronic, planning for literature production was always done through the movement of literature inventory - and advance requests made for campaigns - at a congregation level. Collecting a report of member's individual hours of service performed in the previous month has no value in this regard. So what would we lose that would apply from that verse? We couldn't boast about total number of hours in any given country. Does anyone actually bring that out when reviewing the annual report anyway? We just wouldn't be able to boast about 1 billion hours (or whatever it is) globally. But isn't the real source of encouragement 1) overall growth and 2) personal experiences. Growth is pretty well measured by baptisms (minus deaths and disfellowshippings). This would be unaffected. The overall number of JWs in any given country and worldwide would still be available. I can see an argument for keeping a tally of studies too. That's encouraging. But that's not what we're talking about here which is individuals reporting how much time they spent publicly representing the organization. Well the fulfillment of the Psalm and the verse in Matthew will be evident regardless. As far as the James scripture I don't see the relevance unless you're somehow reading into it that faith and works would only be evident through numbers.
  4. No, it was intended as a thought experiment only for people to reflect on. I can see why it might have come across another way and I apologize for that. People should indeed do just as their conscience dictates.
  5. To Anna & others who are suggesting that submitting a report of hours is at least one way to measure spiritual heath ... Here's another method. Stop reporting hours and stop accepting titles for your works, and then see what you are motivated to do. That would arguably be a truer test of spiritual health. I have personally seen this go both ways. I've seen people who stop reporting, and end up increasing their Christian activity, including preaching and general Christian acts of kindness. And others who stop reporting and well ... just stop. This argument that metrics help everyone know where they are on the spiritual map is quite misguided IMO. Think about anyone you know in the congregation. Would you really know less about their spiritual condition if you didn't know how a precise number of "field service hours" they were doing?
  6. I do. And thanks for your comments JWI. Sometimes it's easy to feel you're going nuts when you are reading clear admonitions in the Bible, and you've got so many people implying that we're just exempt from certain passages without ever explaining why.
  7. Sure. If you think true Christianity is measured like blood pressure then I have no wish to argue with you. I believe JW's are fairly unique among Christian denominations in this regard. Perhaps Jesus' direction in Matt 6:3 doesn't actually apply to us, and perhaps also the Bible just omitted the need to measure people by "hours of work" by accident. If you truly believe that then I don't wish to dispute with you. Some people are suggesting that it's the right way to handle things, and I'm simply pointing out the mindset and counter-productive fruits that can result by being constantly oriented in this way. Personally I don't feel that any scriptural instruction is for no reason, but I appreciate that others rationalize differently.
  8. Who obsesses more - the one who finally comprehends Jesus' words not to "let your left hand know what your right hand is doing" (Matt 6:3), or the one who chases people for their reports, tabulates them, send them off to HQ, reviews them with the body, and brings them out whenever a decision has to be made?
  9. I also am not the best at taking spontaneous visits. The thing is, in 2017, in a car group of 4 people there will usually be 4 charged cellphones. When I visit that sister and she says she misses seeing people at the hall because she couldn't get there and nobody's dropped in for the last couple of weeks, do you think it's a fair excuse to drive by with the mindset that you're out to finish your time, probably spend 20-30 mins in a coffee shop somewhere along the way, and never reach for your cellphone when you were passing that sister's house just to see if she'd like a drop-in? I grant you, not everyone is like this at all. But keeping those metrics up sure does have an effect on some people's behavior. If you want to deny it's true then be my guest. I appreciate not everyone wants to hear this. Either you know and acknowledge what I'm talking about, or you don't.
  10. I'd certainly recognize that what is being discussed varies quite a bit from congregation to congregation. Some elder bodies are more "rules and metrics" oriented than others. In fact observing the differences between those if you've moved around a bit helps you to see which approach actually does the most practical good. By the way I'm not criticizing someone who makes a note of someone who's missing from the hall with the intent to kindly check-up if they're okay. It's the idea of measuring someone's spiritual worth by numbers on a record card that creates a whole different paradigm to first century Christianity.
  11. There you have it then. People who don't hand in 10 hours on a report probably wouldn't visit the sick and the elderly. The correlation is obvious. Except in the real world it's not like that. I've personally seen pioneers talk about "Sister so-and-so who we haven't seen", and then drive straight pass their house in order to make sure they get their "time in". The doctor analogy is poor in this case. Did Jesus "go in blind"? No. Did Jesus use metrics? No Did Jesus get to know people personally? Yes And before you pull the "but Jesus can read hearts" line, yes he can. But that doesn't mean that we would be unable to know people personally without metrics. In fact often times people in the congregation will know a lot more about a person's spirituality than the elders if the elders are looking at record cards and others are giving personal attention.
  12. You do give me a wry smile TH. If the congregation average hours is 10hrs then >10hrs = spiritually okay, <10hrs = something wrong (Gal 6:4 anyone?) And those 10hrs can be standing by a cart smiling, but they can't be visiting the sick, helping the elderly, etc. Where are these metrics found in God's Word? Can you not just know a brother/sister well enough to know how they are truly doing spiritually? Or is that a part of the problem - more time spent gathering metrics than getting to know people?
  13. The elder body I served with also seemed to need a check list. Not just of people mind you, but a check list of how those people ranked spiritually based on metrics like meeting attendance, hours in FS, etc. Then the people on the check list would be dealt with according to their spiritual ranking. Yeah JTR, maybe it's not rocket science, but some people make it more like a science than a humanity.
  14. BTW - who do you think is more likely to be influencing Google - the God of this system of things, or the God of the Universe who already gave us his Word? I actually don't have a strong opinion on this, but one can be sure that if JWs were ranking low on these things the average JW would be blaming the other guy.

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