So, how were you rated? – Elders rate pioneers from A to E for metropolitan witnessing
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A Jehovah's Witness in Warrington, UK engaging in metropolitan witnessing

A Jehovah’s Witness in Warrington, UK engaging in metropolitan witnessing

The sight of Jehovah’s Witnesses standing next to eye-catching wheeled carts brimming with books and magazines is fast becoming a familiar sight throughout the developed world as “special metropolitan public witnessing” is embraced as a new way to spread Watchtower’s message.

When you pass these displays on the sidewalks of city centers you would be forgiven for assuming that ANY Witness can engage in this form of public preaching without having to meet any special criteria.

After all, ALL witnesses can participate in door-to-door witnessing. Surely standing next to a colorful cart isn’t too different, right?

Wrong.

A concerned active Witness has sent us a copy of the S-73 form “Application for Special Metropolitan Public Witnessing Program,” which pioneers are required to fill in if they are interested in pursuing the ‘privilege’ of getting involved in this work.

A PDF copy of the form is temporarily available on this link

***PLEASE NOTE: There is a difference between “Special Metropolitan Witnessing Public Witnessing,” which is carried out in densely populated urban areas between (or outside of) congregation boundaries, and “Public Witnessing That Is Organized locally,” which is organized by bodies of elders and may involve normal publishers (not pioneers). This article and the accompanying video discusses the former, not the latter. For more information, see pages 4 to 6 of the July 2013 Our Kingdom Ministry.***

A not-so-complete forgiveness

The form for special metropolitan public witnessing asks basic questions of the applicants before probing them as follows…

  • Have you been reproved by a judicial committee within the last three years? If so, when?
  • Have you been reinstated by a judicial committee within the last five years? If so, when?
  • Are you now of good moral standing and habits?
  • Are you willing and able to follow theocratic direction on public witnessing?

Bear in mind, the above questions are generally being asked of pioneers, who must already be of “good moral standing and habits” and be “willing and able to follow theocratic direction” to hold their positions in the first place.

Then there is the curious probing of how recently the pioneer has been reproved or reinstated. According to Watchtower literature, those who are reinstated after being disfellowshipped for wrongdoing are forgiven “completely and permanently.” They are to be considered as “full-fledged members of the family” for whom Jehovah has “wipe[d] the slate clean.” (w13 6/15 p.19 par.12; w98 10/1 p.17 par.16; w12 11/15 p.27 par.5)

But according to this form, the forgiveness extended through the judicial process isn’t quite so complete and permanent. Even if you’re deemed repentant by a judicial committee and thus reproved, you will still need to endure the humiliation of confessing to this in writing for the next three years if you want to participate in this form of public witnessing.

Rated from A to E

But it doesn’t end there. Once you have navigated the applicant’s part of the form, your elders then have to fill in the other side, and place your conduct under further scrutiny.

The following 10 questions are first asked…

  1. Is the applicant a zealous Kingdom publisher?
  2. Does he care well for his responsibilities?
  3. Does he enjoy and promote good relations with others?
  4. Does he demonstrate a proper view toward people of other cultures?
  5. Does he cooperate with the body of elders?
  6. (a) Does he demonstrate a willingness to approach people in different public settings in order to share the good news? (b) Does he demonstrate discernment when doing so?
  7. (a) If the applicant has been disfellowshipped or disassociated in the past, was he reinstated within the past five years? (b) If so, when?
  8. Has he been reproved by a judicial committee in the last three years? When? Date restrictions lifted:…
  9. Is he now of good moral standing and habits?
  10. Do you recommend that he be trained for this special public witnessing program?
Witnesses who want to stand beside literature carts need to admit to any judicial action taken against them in the recent past

Witnesses who want to stand beside literature carts need to admit to any judicial action taken against them in the recent past

As you can see, the issue of past sin, whether the individual was deemed repentant or not, is regarded as being of pressing urgency in whether or not he or she qualifies to stand next to a literature cart!

The bottom of the form even includes instructions that it is to be “kept on file,” meaning that the fact that the person has sinned will remain on record for an indefinite period. How does this demonstrate true forgiveness?

But the elders are still not done with you, the applicant, yet.

Each member of the service committee, followed by the circuit overseer (provided they are not close relatives of you) must finally rate your worthiness from A to E on the following table…

elder-ratingIt is as though the Governing Body, who will be ultimately responsible for this ridiculous form, are completely oblivious to the fact that witnessing of any kind is a voluntary activity for which Witnesses receive no payment.

They should feel fortunate to have anyone interested in standing on a street corner publicly promoting their propaganda to begin with. Instead they make Witnesses go through this potentially humiliating application process in order to give of their time freely.

Not surprisingly, the person who sent me this document told me that he knows of it deterring at least one applicant from pursuing the metropolitan witnessing work. I can only say how proud I am of this unknown individual for having some self-respect rather than yielding to such invasive and pedantic questioning.

So next time you see Jehovah’s Witnesses standing proudly beside their literature carts in some bustling metropolis, spare a thought for the indignity they likely suffered to do so.

 

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I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the individual who made this information available.

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99 Responses to So, how were you rated? – Elders rate pioneers from A to E for metropolitan witnessing

  1. anonymous says:

    Jeremy, I wanted to add a few more things that the religion that Jesus supposedly chose in 1919 did was they met in small groups and discussed and read the Bible and nobody was disfellowshipped if they didn’t agree with what the Watchtower said. They didn’t have to leave their church if they belonged to a church and they didn’t have to fill out time slips and they didn’t have to go to 5 meetings a week in order to not make it through Armageddon. Another thing is they sold the literature and the Society made a good profit off of their sales. That is how they were able to accumulate all of the properties around the world, tax free that make them billionaires. It was off the backs of free labor.

    The thing I like the best is that they were free to discuss the Bible openly, without having to be afraid of being disfellowshipped for it.

    • Jeremy says:

      You don’t get disfellowshipped for merely not agreeing with the instructions given by the faithful slave but haughtily acting out sin willfully, much like Cedars enjoys doing. There were in fact disfellowshippings early in the infancy of the JWs because that is based on scripture. So if people have a problem with disfellowshipping then they have a problem with the way the apostles handled things and with God’s inspired word the bible.

      • Cedars says:

        “You don’t get disfellowshipped for merely not agreeing with the instructions given by the faithful slave but haughtily acting out sin willfully, much like Cedars enjoys doing.”

        On what basis do you claim I was disfellowshipped for acting out sin willfully? The only “sin” for which I was disassociated (not disfellowshipped) as a Witness in December 2013 was my refusal to believe nonsensical Watchtower teachings.

        “There were in fact disfellowshippings early in the infancy of the JWs because that is based on scripture.”

        That’s not the impression I get from the January 8, 1947 Awake…
        http://jwsurvey.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/excommunicated.jpg
        http://jwsurvey.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/excommunicated2.jpg

        • anonymous says:

          Jeremy, you don’t have to agree with everything from the Watchtower as long as you keep it to yourself but you had better not going around telling about how you disagree with the Society.

          That’s where they will get you on apostasy and disfellowship you for that. Doesn’t that kind of remind you of the gestapo? It does me.

          When I was baptized in 1966, nobody told me how that works or if they had told me how it works, I would have run the other way.

          The Society can change it’s mind on any policy it wants to at any time and if you don’t go along with the new changes in policy, you will be considered an apostate and disfellowshipped. But like I said, where they will get you is if you open up your mouth and tell somebody, either in the organization or out of it. It doesn’t matter.

          Prove us wrong here. I’d like to see that information so that I can tell all my friends and relatives in the Organization all the ugly stuff that the Organization is hiding from them.

          As it is now, I am not free to talk to them about anything I have uncovered that they would be shocked to find out that is coming from “God’s one and only true organization” and if I tried to tell what I have found out, they will be barred from talking to me or else they will also be disfellowshipped.

          Does that even begin to sound like 1st century Christians like what Excelsior was describing?

  2. smgirl says:

    I really appreciate your thorough video and article. Growing up in this and seeing it through different eyes as an adult, I cannot believe the mentality that this voluntary service is viewed as such a privilege. And sadly, that is exactly how people feel towards this ‘special’ cart witnessing, that these ‘hoops’ they have to jump through, make the ones chosen to do it, special and are honoured to do it. It is, in a word, ridiculous.

  3. Excelsior! says:

    Jeremy,

    Thank you for returning to JW Survey. It is of benefit to both current and former JWs to debate.

    I notice with disappointment that you did not answer any of my questions. That is a shame. I was genuinely interested in your answers.

    Still, never mind. It’s good to have you back, sir.

    I would like to share some bible verses with you, and I would like you to consider whether these acts would evoke disfellowshipping and its subsequent shunning in the JW religion.

    Firstly, please read 2nd Timothy 4: 14,15

    Paul did not instruct Timothy to disfellowship Alexander the coppersmith. Paul leaves it to God to repay his sins, not a three man, in camera court.

    Would not someone be disfellowshipped for resisting the words of “JEHOVAH God’s spirit – directed organisation”, or of one of the Governing Body?

    So the WTBTS does NOT follow the patern of the early church.

    Please read 3rd John, verses 9 to 10

    John, a hand picked, original Apostle, and JESUS’ favourite, did not call for Diotrephes to be disfellowshipped. Did you notice that it was the apostate Diotrephes who was expelling people from the congregation?

    What do you think we should learn from these verses, Jeremy?

    I am not a Christian. I am using the bible to try to reason and debate with you, Jeremy, because you are a Christian, and these verses make up part of what you believe is the inspired word of God.

    I hope that we will not have to wait another eight months for another chance to read your opinion.

    Peace be with you, Excelsior!

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