Glossary: S

Glossary of American English Hacker Theocratese

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=== S ===

AMOOFL for {Special Assembly Day}, one which is spelled out, not pronounced as an {acronym}. SADs are happy occasions, not sad ones.
A religious sect of the Jews prominent in the first century. Every time we discuss them at a meeting, some cornball feels obligated to pun: <<They didn't believe in the resurrection. That's why they called them SAD, YOU SEE!>> Sigh. The remark is inevitably followed by loud groans from at least one person in the congregation, e.g., the reteller's embarrassed adult daughter. No one actually laughs at this anymore, except persons who are {new in the Truth} and so have never heard it.
saith [obs]
See {common archaisms}.
1. The saving of mankind from condemnation due to the inherited sin of Adam. This is accomplished through the {ransom} sacrifice of Jesus Christ. (Heb 9:26) At Philippians 2:12 Paul tells us to `keep working out our own salvation'. Christians need to be allowed to obey this directive. Therefore, persons bearing a measure of authority, especially elders, should not feel obliged to lay down many rules for others to follow, or to try to live the lives of others. 2. I once knew someone who had a sign hanging above his bar at home that said ``Work out your own salvation''. It was an invitation for people to pour drinks for themselves, using their own discretion as to how much is appropriate.[167]
[167] An extraordinarily poor policy. The barkeep was not a brother.
To make holy, set apart for Jehovah's use, cleanse or purify. We speak of sanctifying Jehovah's name, something that is necessary because of the profanation brought against it by Satan and his offspring. We as individuals can contribute to the sanctification of Jehovah's name on a daily basis by our speech and loyal course of conduct. (Pro 27:11) Ultimately Jehovah himself will act to sanctify his name before all mankind. (Eze 38:23; compare {vindicate}.)
1. The most sacred part of a religious building; in a church, this is the auditorium-like room in which religious {services} are conducted. People in Christendom attach a great deal of importance to their edifices, sometimes declaring them to be ``the house of God''. (But see Act 17:24.) A church sanctuary is usually a solemn place, sometimes extravagantly decorated to appeal to the emotions, where people speak in hushed tones if at all. In contrast, the main seating area of a Kingdom Hall is a well-lit friendly place of study, similar to a modern university classroom, where before and after meetings people mill freely, speaking normally, even laughing, and fully enjoying Christian association. 2. The ordinary meaning of sanctuary is a place of refuge and protection, sometimes including immunity from local law. This use is no different among Jehovah's Witnesses.
The worship of Satan. There are more people than some readers might think who literally do this, complete with ritual sacrifices and other degraded religious practices. This is not surprising considering that John warned: <<The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.>> (1Jo 5:19) Satan's worshipers and others who knowingly or unknowingly serve Satan's purposes would do well to note Jehovah's promise to the Christian congregation: ``The God who gives peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.'' (Rom 16:20)
Throughout the USA Saturday is the first day of the so-called ``weekend'', a day that the most people have off from secular work. Therefore, Saturday is the biggest field service day for Jehovah's Witnesses. That is when the most people go out, and when the most people can be found at home.
Says is frequently used at the beginning of a sentence in the Society's literature, followed by a postpositive subject, which is why the headword is capitalized. I found it 309 times in my online literature collection. It may have been fashionable in the 19th century, but is rarely found in modern journalism. (Compare {exclamation point}.) This form is usually found in connection with the formal citation of a quote. <<Says the book, Raising Wombats for Fun and Profit, ...>> <<Says her admiring husband: ``Four years and lots of rope ladders later, she now climbs them like a sailor.''[168]>>
[168] From an article in [w92 4/15]. Doesn't it provoke your curiosity to find out what the context was all about?
A timetable of events, a primary tool of time management. Jehovah's busy people are told far in advance what is expected of them and when, to enable them to plan to participate, because declining an invitation to feast at Jehovah's table is not an option. The cycle of meetings for each congregation is carefully planned and posted on a sign outside every Kingdom Hall.[169] Dates and times of assemblies, conventions, and visits of traveling brothers are published as far in advance as possible. That way people can work in vacations, and other personal plans around them. Still, conflicts inevitably arise. It is a real dilemma to know what to do when one has spent a large amount of money on tickets and eagerly planned for some special event six months or more in advance, then to learn that the circuit overseer would like to meet with the body of elders on that night. <<It has often been said that the most important key to successful pioneering is to establish a workable schedule.>>
[169] By Society directive.
Though Jehovah's Witnesses conduct many different schools, normally ``the school'' refers to the {Theocratic Ministry School}.
scripturally free
The Bible's teaching on sexual conduct within marriage is unequivocal. A person's status is described as scripturally free to marry when that person

Scriptures, scripture
1. In upper case Scriptures is short for Holy Scriptures, an alternate title for the Bible.[170] <<According to the Scriptures, Christians should serve Jehovah with their whole hearts.>> The example does not make a backward reference to some particular verses mentioned before, but to the Bible as a whole. The upper case form is also used when referring to the two main subdivisions of the Bible, {Hebrew Scriptures} and the {Greek Scriptures}. 2. An excerpted portion of the Bible, usually one or just a few verses cited or quoted to teach or prove a point. <<When preparing the Watchtower lesson we should always look up all the scriptures.>> This example does not mean to read the entire Bible before each lesson, but to read and study the verses that are cited in the lesson.
[170] Compare: the publication title of the version of the Bible that Jehovah's Witnesses favor does not even use the word Bible. It is called New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.
An elder on the {service committee} who handles important congregation records and written communications. <<The congregation secretary maintains publisher record cards, not the field overseer.>>
A subdivided religious organization, one that has split off from another group as a result of differences of opinion or doctrine. Christendom's churches are divided into thousands of sects that are mostly the same except for minor organizational differences. Although sects are the accepted norm in Christendom, the Bible strongly condemns them. (Gal 5:19, 20; 1Co 1:10; Eph 4:4) Some misinformed persons have mistakenly categorized Jehovah's Witnesses as a sect, or worse, as a form of Protestantism. (Compare {denomination}.)

STORY: When I was a Congregationalist, the minister would take an eight week vacation every summer. So that people would not be left hanging, he would arrange to send the congregation across the street to the Methodist church for {interfaith} services. No one saw anything wrong with this routine.

Relating to concerns or activities that are not directly related to spiritual pursuits. The most common use is in connection with one's means of making a living, which often puts him in extended contact with the world, usually in a commercial activity that serves to help fulfill the worldly objectives of employers. <<His secular job as an architect for an airline company requires him to travel all over the world and to be away from home and meetings for extended periods.>> Though a Witness' job may be considered secular, it certainly has great potential to affects his spirituality, depending on the amount of time and effort and the kinds of activity that job requires.
seed of doubt
A clichéd metaphor, but a pretty good one. It expresses the way questions about the {Truth} can have small beginnings, like the tiny seed of a weed. If those questions are not resolved, doubts can germinate and grow, and can ultimately cause a person to lose faith in God's word and organization. <<{Apostates} sometimes sow seeds of doubt by telling half truths or outright lies in an attempt to deceive and draw away faithful ones.>>
A {transliteration} of a Hebrew expression found 71 times in the Psalms and 3 times in Habakkuk. In {NW} it is always written capitalized, in italics, with the accent mark and a period after it. It is believed to be a musical directive, possibly some type of pause. Whatever its meaning, it is not intended to be pronounced when reading aloud, any more than a modern musical expression such as molto ritardando (slowing greatly) is intended to be read aloud when playing the music under which it is written. Brothers who don't know this pronounce it anyway. <<Be agitated, but do not sin. Have your say in your heart, upon your bed, and keep silent. Se'lah.>> (Psa 4:4)
Although the term at face value can mean almost any kind of self-inflicted negative behavior, e.g., stabbing oneself with pins and needles, it is usually used as a euphemism for masturbation. Because masturbation is universally considered one of the most acutely embarrassing subjects of conversation, many substitute terms have arisen to describe it, most of them tasteless, and many of them obscene.

The term self-abuse was used consistently in the Society's literature for many years. This word has a strongly judgmental flavor to it. It refers not to the act itself, but to the speaker's righteous indignation toward it. In today's immoral society there are many who do not believe that masturbation is an act of abuse, and many even view it as beneficial.[171] Witnesses inclined to discuss the subject at all with worldly people, who call it self-abuse, stand the danger of sending the discussion off on a tangent, because it is no longer considered {politically correct}. Therefore, when speaking of masturbation, it is better to use the plain and unambiguous English word that has sufficed for centuries. It is significant that self-abuse has not appeared in the Society's publications since 1985, though there have been several articles that deal with masturbation.

[171] In 1994 the Surgeon General of the USA was fired for publicly recommending that masturbation be taught in schools as a part of sex education classes.

NOTE: Just after the text of version 5.1 of the Glossary was completed, I found self-abuse in the literature once again, in [g94 11/8 20]. I decided that rather than rewriting the entry and losing all my reasoning on the point, I would leave it as is and add this rider paragraph, because my personal {opinion} remains that it would be better if the term self-abuse were not used for the reasons just described. Perhaps the suggestion will eventually find its way into the hands of one of the Society's editors and be given serious consideration. I also removed the [obs] tag that was found in the previous version.

Convinced of one's own righteousness, especially as compared with others, an attitude that was characteristic of the Pharisees Jesus condemned, and something to be avoided.

Sometimes self-righteousness is mistaken as zeal, and sometimes it is caused by misdirected zeal. A case of a good quality overdone. But sometimes real zeal is presumptuously labeled as self-righteousness by those who feel condemned when seeing their own activity in light of someone else's. (Compare Joh 7:7.) The moral: it is fruitless for imperfect people to compare themselves with others. (2Co 10:12)

To sacrifice is to give up something of value. Christians are commanded to sacrifice their entire beings, handing themselves over to the service of Jehovah God. (Rom 12:1) Following this command requires a determination to God's will whatever the cost, including the suffering of hardships and inconveniences, centering one's life on God's Kingdom. (Rom 5:7) <<Carrying the Kingdom good news to persons in remote areas calls for the spirit of self-sacrifice and the expenditure of considerable time and money.>> <<Many are the religions that teach it is good for adherents to kill for their beliefs, rather than to die for them.>> (See the article ``Have a Self-Sacrificing Spirit!'' in [w92 2/1].)
sermon [obs]
A {presentation} given on a Bible theme. Interestingly, one version of the Internet Webster's also calls it ``an annoying harangue''. This is probably because of the distasteful style of religious speech people have become accustomed to hearing from the clergy of Christendom. The word has strong sanctimonious overtones, because of its use in Christendom. Although some {Witnesses} still use the word occasionally, it is not heard often. It has not been used in the Society's {publications} to describe our work in about 20 years, and so has been marked obsolete. We had a publication called Sermon Outlines. It was replaced by a series of outlines called Bible Topics for Discussion. Notice the shift in perspective this change suggests, from one of telling to one that seeks to induce the other person to participate.

STORY: Once I had gone a couple of sentences into my chatty introduction with a householder when the man interrupted me with the point blank question: <<Is this going to be a sermon?>> Clearly he did not believe I came to him to engage in small talk about the weather.

sermon on the amount
A pun on the name of Jesus' most famous talk, used to mean the {accounts report}. <<Now Brother Piandell will deliver the monthly sermon on the amount.>>
Sermon on the Mount
The popular name given to a lengthy discourse Jesus gave to his disciples. It contains many of his most famous and fundamental teachings. (Mat 5:3-7:27)
1. One who serves the congregation. Although all dedicated baptized Witnesses are servants of Jehovah, servant usually applies only to those formally appointed to some office of responsibility. Sisters are never servants in this sense, even if they are serving as missionaries or special pioneers. 2. An obsolete word for ``overseer'' when used as a designation of an office of appointment, e.g., as in circuit servant [obs] or book study servant [obs]. 3. Sometimes a shortened form for {ministerial servant}. <<Our congregation has six elders and four servants.>> 4. Sometimes a designation for either an elder or ministerial servant. <<``Are you a servant in your congregation?'' ``Yes, I am an elder.''>> Context usually makes clear which sense is intended.

NOTE: If the answer to the example question is ``No'', some people would say ``No, I'm just a publisher.'' Servants of Jehovah should never feel the need to use self-deprecating expressions about their privileges of service as though they indicated some kind of ranking. (Compare {publisher}.)

1. Any work done that contributes to the welfare of others. <<Jacob served Laban seven years to get Rachel.>> (Gen 29:18) 2. Synonym for {field service}. <<Brother Downer hasn't been in service for three months.>>

NOTE: This word is not used in theocratic speech in the sense that it is used in {Christendom's} churches to indicate a religious ceremony. My guess is that the origin of this usage can be found in the literal serving of {emblems} in the Roman Catholic mass, which is celebrated daily. <<My return visit asked me ``What time are your services tomorrow?''>> <<There will be a burial service for Brother Fadeaway tomorrow.>> Not!

service arrangement
An advance agreement to work in {service} with a particular person or persons. <<Before we pair up the group, is there anyone who has arrangements?>>
service bag
See {book bag}.
service campaign
See {campaign}.
Service Committee
A subcommittee of the {Governing Body} that supervises all aspects of the evangelizing work.
Service Meeting
A weekly meeting designed to teach {service} to Jehovah, particularly {field service}. Normally it follows the Theocratic Ministry School.
service overseer
The {elder} assigned to look after all aspects of {field service}, including such details as {literature} and {territory}.
service talk
A meeting part given by {traveling overseers} and by visiting {Bethel speakers}, designed to encourage appreciation for and activity in service to Jehovah. <<Our visiting Bethel speaker will be giving a service talk entitled ``A Serious Look at Laughter''.>>
service year
The service year runs from September 1st through August 31st. I don't know all the reasons for this, but it does allow the Society a span of time to collect reports and publish a new Yearbook and ``Examine the Scriptures Daily'' in time to coincide with the beginning of a calendar year.[172] <<It is common to see new pioneers begin their pioneer service in September.>>
[172] These two publications used to be published under the same cover.
A scenario concocted to dramatize a {demonstration} or a talk in the {school}. Nowadays male speakers are instructed to speak to the congregation directly, but female speakers always frame their talks in a setting, speaking to one or more others. Years ago we were free to get up and speak as though we were addressing anyone at all, e.g., a high school class in religious studies. When I was {new in the Truth} the {congregation servant} in the Brooklyn Heights congregation at Bethel headquarters gave a school talk that was addressed to natives sitting around a bonfire.[173] Because many foreign-bound Gilead students attended meetings at Brooklyn Heights congregation, this was not an altogether off the wall setting. But we should always strive to make the setting realistic so that it will be practical as a model for others to use. <<Sister Kid's setting is ``Talking to a teacher after class''.>> <<Her setting is ``Witnessing to a drunk lying in the gutter.'' ... ``I see you happen to have a Bible with you down there, so I'd like to share a scripture with you.''>>
[173] See the footnote under {intermission}.
1. God's means for human beings to reproduce. 2. Sexual intercourse. 3. My dictionary says sex is:

the sum of the morphological, physiological, and behavioral peculiarities of living beings that subserves by parental reproduction with its concomitant genetic segregation and recombination which underlie most evolutionary change, that in its typical dichotomous occurrence is usually genetically controlled and associated with special sex chromosomes, and that is typically manifested as maleness and femaleness with one or the other of these being present in most higher animals though both may occur in the same individual in many plants and some invertebrates and though no such distinction can be made in many lower forms (as some fungi, protozoans, and possibly bacteria and viruses) either because males and females are replaced by mating types or because the participants in sexual reproduction are indistinguishable.

Huh? That's the explanation you can give to your kid when you really don't want to talk about it. 4. One TV talk host said: <<Sex is the most fun you can have without laughing.>>

NOTE: Many worldly persons find sex to be a difficult thing to talk about, especially {Fundamentalists} who have wrongly been taught that intercourse between Adam and Eve was the original sin, and that sexual relations are therefore wrong and shameful. If this teaching were accurate, it would conflict with Jehovah's direct command to the first man and woman to ``be fruitful and become many''. (Gen 1:28) In contrast, Jehovah's Witnesses are quite candid about discussing sex, confident in the accurate knowledge that God not only approves, but even encourages persons to find much pleasure in sexual union within the bounds of marriage. (Pro 5:15-19)

sexist language
Jehovah's Witnesses recognize the different roles of the sexes and do not believe that one sex is superior to the other. In contrast, centuries of sexual discrimination by ungodly persons has led some worldly women to rebel to the point of attempting to inflict their boisterous will on all of society in an attempt to gain what they view as equality.[174] This movement has manifested itself in various ways, including a heightened awareness of sexually biased language, some of it overt, some of it coincidental. One reaction has been an attempt to neuter the English language. Some people insist on replacing words like chairman with chairperson. Some extremists even object to the Bible's portrayal of God as masculine, and have had it blasphemously retranslated and partly rewritten to portray him with neuter or feminine qualities. (Compare Rev 22:19.)

[174] I once saw a {bumper sticker} that said ``Feisty women of the world unite!''

Christians who are sensitive to the feelings of others will avoid using words that blatantly discriminate against women. For example, now that many women have taken up police work, the usual term for them is law enforcement officers rather than policemen. And not policepersons!

One persistent problem is the question of how to handle the pronouns he and she and their objective and possessive counterparts. On this the publications of the Society have closely followed the practice described by language expert William Safire in his delightful book Fumblerules, which I quote:

For centuries, it has been he, when he or she was meant; must we now, in the name of fairness, ostentatiously alternate the usage or use both and thereby give brevity a shot in the teeth? Must ``everybody should watch his language'' now become ``everybody should watch his or her language,'' or worse, ``their language''?
Etymologists know that the word man, going back to the Sanskrit manus, means ``human being'' and is sexless. Although man and woman are differentiated in English, the universal meaning of man to encompass both sexes remains. Why accept a fiat from anti-sexism headquarters to change it now?
Cool it, humankind; let the language change in its own time, not to fit the schedule of any -ism. Resist the linguistic importunings of those who say, ``Get with it, man.''[175]
[175] William Safire, Fumblerules---A Lighthearted Guide to Grammar and Good Usage (New York, 1990) page 66.
sharpshooter [obs]
A term used in the 1930s for an isolated publisher. One was required to devote at least two hours per week to witnessing in order to be counted as a publisher. (Compare {class worker}.) [jv 717]
Jesus referred to his disciples as sheep because of their submissiveness. Scripturally those of the {144,000} are called a ``little flock''. Disciples who do not have the heavenly calling are called ``other sheep''. (Joh 10:16) In his illustration of the ``sheep and the goats'' at Matthew 25:31-46 the sheep are those whom Jesus judges after the outbreak of the {great tribulation} as having done good to his brothers; they represent people today with {earthly hopes} who are accepting the message of the good news and becoming disciples themselves. <<The work of gathering the sheep will continue until Jehovah's time to bring it to an end.>> Sometimes the expression sheeplike is used, but never sheepish, which has the negative connotations of timidity and foolishness. (Compare {goat}.)
{Transliteration} of the Hebrew term meaning the common grave of all mankind. The Hebrew word is translated {hell} in many occurrences within older popular translations. Because of the gruesome untruths and misconceptions that abound about hell, the word is transliterated in {NW} so as to let Bible usage define its meaning. The Greek equivalent is {Hades}.
1. Someone who takes care of sheep. Duh. 2. Another scriptural term for {elder}. It draws attention to his responsibility to render constant care to others in the congregation. (Joh 21:15-17; Act 20:28)
The activity of one who cares for sheep. In the Christian congregation, it refers to the activity of the elders in making personal visits and giving attention to the spiritual needs of individual members of the congregation. <<Some bodies of elders have implemented a formal shepherding plan, with a schedule of persons to visit, brothers assigned to make the calls, and an outline of topics to consider discussing at each home.>>
A garment for the upper body. Those worn by {brothers} to meetings always have a collar to support the use of a {tie}. In former days, it was believed in some quarters that it was necessary for a Christian man's shirt to lack color, or to reflect all colors equally, depending on your understanding of the physics, in order to be regarded as regulation issue. Fortunately, in most places this arbitrary standard has gone the way of the {mustache}.
Outer garments for the feet. Duh. To take them off or not to take them off, that is the question. In some countries the general policy is for guests to remove their shoes on entering. In the USA, though this practice is widely believed to be a good idea, it is usually considered optional. But in some homes it is obligatory. This rarely presents a problem except in homes that are used for {Congregation Book Study} meetings. Some people who show up in suits and ties and nice dresses feel awkward about partially disrobing for the meeting, as though this causes them to be out of uniform. I've known of cases where the book study was moved from a home because of the conflict this requirement caused.
short circuited
Forced to leave the {circuit work} unexpectedly, usually because of {biological circumstances}. <<They entered the traveling work but found themselves short circuited and had to leave after a year.>> The wife got pregnant.[176]
[176] The couple I first heard this term applied to then proceeded to have eight children. That sounds to me more like a case of circuit overload.
short elders' meeting
Sometimes the elders get little warning of an upcoming meeting. Frequently it is announced at the beginning of the {Service Meeting} that: <<There will be a short elders' meeting following the meeting tonight.>> The assurance concerning its anticipated shortness is intended as a comfort to the wives and children of elders who will have to wait until this unexpected imposition on their time is done in order to get home. It rarely fails to occur that as the brothers file into the library one brother is already there to proclaim repeatedly to each one who enters: <<I'm sorry, brother, you can't attend because you're too tall; this is a short elders' meeting.>> Perhaps this ritual arose because these meetings are rarely short in duration, so it is supposed that the one announcing it surely must have meant something else.
shotgun answer
An answer to a question that is so broad that the listener knows the answer must be in there somewhere, but is not sure exactly where, as when someone merely rereads most or all of a paragraph at a Watchtower Study. Sometimes a shotgun response is elicited by a compound or multi-part question. <<``What are sixteen primary differences between the religion of the Bible and the religion of Christendom, and what scriptures demonstrate these differences?'' the conductor tremblingly asked, looking at his watch, having just spotted Sister Ramble sitting in the front row with her hand up, and the Insight book and three bound volumes marked with Post-its open in her lap.>>
siddown 'n' shaddup signs
At some convention sites many people, especially younger people, tend to congregate in the hallways while sessions are in progress, sometimes thoughtlessly engaging in loud and distracting conversation. Sometimes in order to cope with this, the attendance department will circulate brothers with signs that say Keep Moving, a subtle hint, or more directly Quiet Please, a not so subtle hint. Some people refer to these by the cheeky designation siddown 'n' shaddup signs, which conveys the real message.
sign of the times
A condition that demonstrates the fulfillment of a Bible prophecy about the {last days} of this system of things, the time period in which we are now living. The Bible contains numerous such prophecies. (Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, Luke 21, 2 Timothy 3:1-5, and most of Revelation, but especially chapter 6.) Furthermore, in an age of global communication it is easy to find situations that exist throughout the world that seem to fit the prophecies. Some people seem to label anything and everything as a ``sign of the times''. <<``They let my kid graduate from high school and he still can't read! I'm not surprised---it's a sign of the times.''[177]>>
[177] It's also a sign that the lazy sloth never bothered to put forth any effort to learn anything a single day of his entire pitiful school career. Who is to blame for that, the Devil?
Having a resemblance. This word is included because it is sometimes mispronounced as SIM-you-lar. Don't!
Jesus used a Greek word that is translated twice as ``simple'', but that can mean ``single'', meaning that in which there is nothing complicated or confused. (Mat 6:22; Luk 11:34) Interestingly, Jesus there contrasted it not with its direct opposite complicated, but with wicked. He was talking about the need for Christians to keep their attention focused on Kingdom matters, not divided among many irrelevant pursuits. It does not mean that we should live an easy pastoral life isolated from the world and free from stress and obligations. In English simple can mean ``pure''. True simplicity can be profoundly sophisticated, e.g., Jehovah's provision of the ransom for mankind's salvation.
simplified convention food service
It was announced in the December 1994 {OKM} in the USA that there will no longer be arrangements for food to be served at circuit and district assemblies. Years ago many workers labored to provide three full hot meals a day for visiting conventioneers. Then over the years steps were taken to make things simpler. In about 1992, the number of food items offered was greatly reduced. The need for cashiers was eliminated by allowing persons to take what food they needed and to leave a donation for it in a nearby contribution box. Families normally made anonymous contributions to cover their overall needs for an assembly. Apparently not everyone did so, because now the simplified food service arrangement means no food at all. The new arrangement will allow many brothers and sisters who formerly worked in the food service department at assemblies to spend more time enjoying the program and being with their families.
simplified literature distribution arrangement
Another way of describing the {donation arrangement}. It simplifies the work for the {literature servant}, but makes more work for the {accounts servant}.
When persons say they are attempting to simplify their lives, they mean they are trying to cut out unnecessary activities in order to make themselves more available for Jehovah's work. Sometimes the simplification process itself is far from simple. It might include such steps as finding part-time employment, learning to live on a reduced income, selling time-consuming personal possessions, and moving to a smaller less expensive dwelling, sometimes to a place far away, where there may be a great need for Kingdom publishers. Though it might appear outwardly that these actions could contribute to making a person's life more complicated, the point as explained under {simple}, is not to kick back and take life easy, but to become more focused, increasing the amount one is able to do that is of real and lasting value.
Any conduct not in harmony with Jehovah's standards. As a verb it means to miss the goal of perfect obedience to Jehovah's standards. The concept of sin is not fashionable in Christendom these days, where ``new morality''[178] and so-called ``situational ethics'' reign. <<Although all sin is deserving of death in Jehovah's eyes, his Word shows that some sins are more serious than others.>>
[178] An alias for old immorality.
An event at {gatherings} where all present are invited to join together in the singing of songs. As noted under {singing}, most people are not very good singers, which is nothing to be ashamed of. Worse, many people in this part of the world are very self-conscious about singing loud enough that others can hear them. These persons, if told in advance that singing is to be a planned activity at a forthcoming gathering, would sooner rush to make an appointment for a root canal at that hour than attend the event. Hosts should be cautious about springing sing-alongs on their guests unannounced. (Compare the NOTE under {Bible game}.)
The act of making music with the voice, as in the performance of songs, especially at meetings, and sometimes at gatherings. (See {sing-along}.) Most people are by their own admission not skilled singers.[179] Nonetheless, the Society frequently publishes encouragement for all to sing out to the best of their ability, in the confidence that it is not the aesthetic quality of our singing that Jehovah notes, but the heartfelt participation.

[179] One definition for singing given in an old version of Web Webster is ``to make a shrill whining or whistling sound''.

The singing we do at meetings is an important part of our worship, and should not be treated lightly. It is probably a poor idea for a brother to introduce the song at mid-meeting with words like: <<Perhaps you would like to stand and stretch your legs and join in singing song 190.>> The purpose of the song is not to provide an opportunity to perform calisthenics.[180] Note also from the example that the brother announced only the song number and forgot to say the title and accompanying scripture citation. We sing songs, not numbers.

[180] Many nonetheless consider this break an appropriate time to run off to the restroom.

STORY: We had a circuit overseer who repeatedly pointed out that we should always sing as loud as possible. But loud is not necessarily equivalent to good. I remember standing for the opening song one night, and behind me was a brother who was visiting. He absolutely bellowed the songs. Jehovah was undoubtedly delighted with his unquestionable zeal. But in all my years I have never heard such noxious caterwauling. The brother could have substituted for Roseanne Barr doing the national anthem, if he were a national anthem singer.[181]

[181] That's a joke that only readers in the USA are likely to understand.
A baptized female member of the congregation. No brother is a sister, but all sisters are brothers. (See {brother}; also compare {sexist language}.)
sister congregation
In places where more than one congregation share the same {Kingdom Hall}, they are regarded as sister congregations. Although united with all other congregations, they share a unique relationship in that they work together to coordinate their meeting schedules and share expenses.
six-month average
The average calculated by adding the {hours} a publisher has reported for the last six months and dividing by six, usually expressed with a single decimal place of precision. The figure is useful for demonstrating consistency of activity. Auxiliary pioneer months are normally excluded. A sequence of 60, 4, 3, 2, 2, and 1 hours averages out to 12.0 hours per month, but does not portray an accurate picture of what is happening with that publisher. {Trends} must also be considered.
A short dramatic presentation. This is a much less commonly used but certainly more correct term for many of the meeting parts that are called {demonstrations} but that do not demonstrate anything because their purpose is merely to present the material in a setting with two or more people discussing it together.
smiley face
See {emoticon}.
The act of inhaling and exhaling the fumes of burning tobacco or something like it. Tobacco is an addictive drug with no beneficial uses as food or medicine, and has been proven to be harmful to health. Using it shows disrespect for the gift of life. (Act 17:24, 25) Furthermore, the Bible associates drug use with the ``practice of spiritism'' (Gal 5:19-21) For these and other reasons, since 1973 the unrepentant practice of smoking tobacco and other drug use has been considered a sin making one liable for {disfellowshipping}. And while welcome at the Kingdom Hall, no {interested person} may join the {Theocratic Ministry School}, become a {publisher}, or get baptized while still a smoker. (See the Reasoning [rs] book entry on ``Drugs'', also [w73 176-187].)
snail mail
Ordinary paper mail sent over land. The term is used by hackers because of its great slowness relative to {email}. <<I'll have to send you the signed papers by snail mail, but you'll have the summary in five minutes.>>
An old version of Web Webster says: ``to make a sudden violent spasmodic audible expiration of breath''. Good enough. The question is not ``What is it?'' but ``What to say when someone does it?'' It is a common superstitious practice for persons to say: ``Bless you!'' or ``Gesundheit!''[182] when others sneeze, and to expect others to say something of the sort to them when they sneeze. Jehovah's Witnesses do not follow superstitious practices, but this could seem like a pretty trivial matter to make a big stand on. In most cases, if we sneeze and someone says something, we can just politely acknowledge their comment with a smile; some might even just say: ``Thank you'', which is the most common way to acknowledge {holiday greetings}, without returning them. And if someone else sneezes the best thing to say is nothing at all, or in the rare situation where that seems inappropriate, to counter it with something like: ``Are you catching cold?''
[182] A German word meaning ``health''.
so we see
Some brothers use these words as the transition to a comment about almost every scripture they read. Unfortunately, sometimes the comment that follows is nothing more than a weak paraphrase of what has just been read. <<Let's read 1 Thessalonians 5:17. ``Pray incessantly.'' So we see, then, the Bible shows us we need to pray incessantly.>> No kidding. Z-z-z-z-z-z.
[so-and-so] at Bethel says ...
Words sometimes misused to preface a personal opinion that is assumed by the speaker to be second only to divinely inspired truth. <<I haven't researched the Bible or the Society's publications to see what I should do, but my cousin's friend's brother, who has been at Bethel for almost a year, says I should just go for it!>> It is true that people at Bethel, especially those in {Brooklyn} are in close touch with the latest developments of importance to God's people. But Bethelites are imperfect humans like the rest of us. Because someone lives and works there does not make him an oracle. (Compare {Society's opinion}.)
Frequently used shorthand for the {Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society}, referring to the organization and official pronouncements and communications therefrom, or more pointedly, the {anointed} {remnant}, or {faithful and discreet slave}. The Proclaimers book [jv 639] says the following. The footnote is part of the quote:

In 1938, when attention was again given to the appointment of responsible men in the congregations,[a] the elimination of all local elections of servants was generally welcomed. Congregations gladly passed resolutions showing appreciation for theocratic organization and requesting ``the Society'' (which they understood to mean the anointed remnant, or faithful and discreet slave) to organize the congregation for service and to appoint all the servants. Thereafter, the visible Governing Body proceeded to make the needed appointments and to organize the congregations for united and productive activity. Only a few groups held back and withdrew from the organization at this point.

[a] See Chapter 15, ``Development of the Organization Structure.''

<<The Society directs that meetings should open with song and prayer.>>

Society's opinion
This phrase is sometimes heard to give weight to one's own {opinion} in a dispute, because ``the {Society}'' means the organization, which operates under the influence of God's spirit. Therefore it is a veiled synonym for ``my opinion, which happens to be the truth''. Whatever pontification follows this pronouncement may or may not be accurate and representative of reality.
To approach one with a request, especially for donations. Some people put up signs that say No Soliciting on their property, believing these will prevent Jehovah's Witnesses from approaching. We usually ignore them, not because we don't respect our neighbors' wishes, but because our purpose in visiting people is not to ask them for anything, but to share something with them {without cost}, namely the truth of God's word. On the other hand, we will honor a No Trespassing sign if there is reason to believe that the householder takes it seriously.

STORY: Once, just after we in the USA began to offer literature without cost I knocked on a door where there was a No Soliciting sign. I always ignore them. There was no answer. I headed up the drive, but a man came out from the side. He had a scowl on his face, but looked at me intently and listened carefully to everything I had to say. I eventually worked my way around to offering the magazines. He looked for a moment, and then, to my surprise, agreed in a friendly voice that he would like to read them. I gave him the literature and continued the discussion with an appropriate blurb about making a donation if he was inclined. Although, like a lot of people, I was still uncomfortable with trying to adjust to the new way of doing this, I thought I had gotten through it fairly smoothly on that occasion.

Apparently the man thought that he'd been had, and that this was the catch. He scowled even more than initially, but said that he'd go into the house and get some money and turned around to go back inside. As he was walking away he muttered half under his breath, as he was passing his No Soliciting sign something like ``I guess these signs don't mean much to you people!'' and disappeared inside the house. He returned with a $5 bill which he handed to me.

Meanwhile, I had done a little quick thinking while he was gone. I thanked him abundantly for his willingness to make a contribution, and then gave it back to him and refused to accept it. Thereafter I continued the discussion about financing the work. I pointed out that I heard what he said as he went inside, and that I didn't want him to think for one second that we were engaged in any kind of a commercial or money-gathering work. I went on to explain in more detail about where the money comes from to support what we do, and assured him that the literature was truly available without cost to persons who agreed to read it. I reminded him that I did ask him whether he would like to read it before offering it, and that he did say yes. I also pointed out that the next time one of Jehovah's Witnesses stops by, the policy will be the same, and if he wants to give his $5, or any amount at all, to that person, in order to support the work, he will be more than happy to see that it gets into the right hands. Then I left. The scowl had meanwhile changed to an expression of dumbfoundedness. Since then the {worldwide work} has gotten along just fine without that man's $5. It seemed to me that even if he never read the literature, it was important to avoid leaving him with a bad impression. It was the ``right thing to do'' at that time.

A {neologism} from a brother in Canada referring to a {word whisker}-like platitude so boring it nearly puts the listener asleep. Some common examples: <<``And so we see'', ``Let us always bear in mind'', ``and so forth.''[183]>>

[183] There are two kinds of people in this world: those who finish what they start, and so forth.

get it trite syndrome
<<And so, brothers and sisters, let us therefore always bear in mind ...>>
cold water for fire syndrome
<<Now we're going to read a scripture that is very familiar to all of us. We've all read it many times before and most of us could recite it by heart. But let's read it again anyway.>>
kindergarten syndrome
<<And so who can tell us what the good news is that Christians are to preach in all the nations? ... Anyone? ... Anyone? ... Anyone? ...>>
stuck record syndrome
<<Let us turn to Matthew chapter 6, verse 7. ... That's Matthew 6 and verse 7. ... Do we all have that? ... Matthew 6:7. Here's what it says. ... Matthew 6:7 ...>>
enough-already syndrome
<<So when we look at the world today, what do we see? Do we not see dishonesty? Yes we do see dishonesty, don't we? Everywhere we look in this world today, we see dishonesty: dishonesty here, dishonesty there, dishonesty everywhere. The world is filled with dishonesty. It really is a dishonest world, isn't it?>>
non-information from the land of vague
<<And wasn't it wonderful last summer at the assembly, all those fine points that were brought out? Didn't we really enjoy receiving all those good points?>> You bet. Z-z-z-z-z-z.
Short for the responsibility of caring for the Kingdom Hall sound system. <<Brother Blaster is running the sound this weekend.>>
sound system
The electronic equipment used for amplification of sound and playing music, found in every Kingdom Hall in the USA. Managing the system is a job normally given to a ministerial servant. Every hall has at least something to play the song recordings on, even if it is just someone's borrowed portable stereo. Most halls also have a set of microphones and public address sound equipment. At least one microphone is provided for the platform, three or four is better, and two or more with long cords or small transmitters serve as {roving mikes}. In larger halls, there are speakers that may be switched on in libraries and sometimes in the lobby and rest rooms as well so the program may be heard everywhere in the hall. At assemblies the sound system can be quite sophisticated, requiring a mixer and speakers located all over a stadium. Assembly equipment is usually operated by persons with some technical knowledge and experience. Nothing except something to play the music is absolutely required at Kingdom Halls. I once gave a talk in a congregation that used a borrowed building barely bigger than a garage. I had to hold my notes in my hand and juggle them with my Bible because there was not even a {lectern}, much less a sound system. The music was played on someone's boom box that was brought to each meeting. <<The proper use and maintenance of sound systems has become such an important issue that the Society now has a sound system specialist at Bethel who will travel on request to various areas of the country to teach circuit and district sound crews how to use them properly.>>
See {universal sovereignty}.
1. A brother who is giving, or planning on giving a {talk}, or one who customarily gives talks. <<It sounds like the speaker didn't eat his Wheaties this morning.>> <<The visiting speaker Sunday will be Brother Flash from the Faraway Point congregation.>> <<Brother Lotsoluv has been a Bethel speaker for 40 years.>> 2. A loud speaker, part of the sound system. <<We need to install a volume control on the speaker in the nursing mothers room.>>
speaker's stand
Another term for {lectern}, the desk that brothers stand behind to give talks from. (See more at {podium}.)
speaking in tongues
The miraculous ability to speak a language one has never previously spoken. Jehovah's spirit enabled early Christians to do this for the purpose of preaching the good news to {foreign speaking} persons. Speaking in foreign languages is not heard among Witnesses unless a person happens to know more than one language, which is neither miraculous or unusual. To the contrary, the ``miraculous'' ability to speak in tongues today, as is performed in some Pentecostal churches, is a fairly sure sign of demon possession. (1Co 13:8)
Special Assembly Day
Another term for {Special Event}.
Special Event
A one-day {assembly} that replaced the second {circuit assembly} a few years ago. So called because it usually features a visiting representative from {Bethel}.
special needs
See {local needs}.
special pioneer
A full-time preacher of the {Kingdom good news} who agrees to work in areas where there is a great need and to meet a goal of 140 hours of {field service} time each month.
special talk
An annual {public talk} given in each congregation a week or two following the {Memorial}. The only exceptions in scheduling are caused by conflicts with scheduled circuit assemblies or circuit overseer visits. The Society supplies a new outline for this talk, or sometimes a manuscript. The subject matter is usually something of general interest that would appeal to newly interested ones. Extra effort is made to see that such persons are invited, especially those who have recently attended the Memorial.
Inconclusively reasoning on a topic, aimed at drawing conclusions when the truthfulness of the premises for argumentation are unknown; going beyond known fact. In contrast, I can't resist quoting Mark Twain's contention that:
The most interesting information comes from children,
for they tell all they know and then stop.

Speculation among Witnesses often centers on what certain features of God's new world will be like. Opinions vary wildly on what amount and sorts of technology might be a part of the new system. Illustrations in our literature send a mixed message. In portrayals of life in the new world there are no overt evidences of technology---no computers, no powered vehicles, not even a wrist watch. But everyone seems to be wearing plaid and flannel and polyester clothing from J. C. Penny,[184] and the houses are obviously modern and have glass windows.

[184] But no {suits} and {ties}!

Speculation is discouraged in the Society's publications because it can lead persons to forming strong opinions about matters they can't possibly have knowledge of. <<What language will everyone speak in the new world? Some people say Hebrew. Do they have good scriptural reasons to believe it? Yes. Can they prove it? No. I believe it will be English. Do I have good scriptural reasons to believe it? Yes. Can I prove it? No. Any in-depth discussion of the matter would necessarily be rooted in speculation, so there is no basis for holding firmly to any view.[185]>> <<``What's the name of that brother who always complains when the brothers counsel him for speculating?'' ``Oh, Brother Willie Blowhard.'' ``No, I think it's Brother M. I. Kluless.''>>

[185] But now that I have expressed my personal opinion some reader will probably write me a letter on this point, trying to convince me it will be one way or the other, and he will write despite, or maybe because of, reading this footnote.
Speech Counsel slip
Form S-48, used to track student progress in the {Theocratic Ministry School}. <<One out of eight people brought a Speech Counsel slip to the meeting last week.>> Slightly above average.
See {anointed}.
Almost the same as {anointed}, except that saying spirit-begotten draws attention to the subject's rebirth as a ``new creation'', a {spiritual Israelite}. (2Co 5:17)
Characteristic of actions, speech, and attitudes that are in harmony with and related to the {Truth}. The Bible contrasts it with fleshly. (Rom 7:14; 1Co 3:1; Gal 5:15) <<The Society encourages us to keep seeking spiritual goals.>> (Compare {theocratic}.)
spiritual babes
1. Persons whose level of spiritual development is in its infancy. (1Co 13:11; Eph 4:14, 15) 2. Young and attractive pioneer sisters. <<Yo, Lou! Check out the bevy of spiritual babes headed for the bookroom!>>
spiritual credentials
A person's present status and record of accomplishments in the {Truth}. Although it should not matter, because we are both anxious to know about our brothers and cautious about our associates, we often size up strangers by zeroing in on their history and current {privileges} of service. If we learn that a brother is a {servant}, a {pioneer}, or a {Bethelite}, we make mental note that the person is probably {good association}. And if he's an elder it's like having a black belt in spirituality. While this is not strictly true, it seems to work adequately as a rough guide. The converse proposition, that a person who has done none of these things is probably {bad association} is almost always untrue. Most everyone in {good standing} in Jehovah's organization is likely {good association}.
spiritual estate
The spiritual condition or standing of God's people as a whole on the earth has been described repeatedly in the literature as its spiritual estate. Since 1919 that condition has been one of {spiritual paradise}, one which will never again be disrupted or taken away. <<Because they repented of sins involving fear of man and inactivity in Jehovah's service, he freed them from Babylon the Great, brought them back to their rightful spiritual estate, and resumed using them to preach the Kingdom message. A spiritual paradise has flourished among God's people since then.>> [w92 9/15]
spiritual food
The regular flow of spiritual information based on God's word, distributed by the {faithful and discreet slave} for the edification and upbuilding of all true Christians. It is propagated by literature, conventions, assemblies, meetings, and whatever other means are available to teach people the {Truth}. (Mat 24:45; Joh 4:34) Just as people normally eat a certain amount at regularly scheduled meal times rather than skipping meals or trying to do all their eating for the month at one sitting, our spiritual meals are served by means of the scheduled cycle of personal study periods, meetings, and special events.

AN ILLUSTRATION: If we had a six-cylinder car that was sparking on only five cylinders, we would not conclude that five is good enough, since the car still goes. We would immediately get the car fixed. Similarly, we have a six-cylinder spiritual feeding program. There are the five scheduled meetings, and personal study. If we miss any of these, we will {limp} along with spiritual hesitations, going ka-chunk, ka-chunk along the way.

spiritual giant
A metaphor that describes one who is spiritually advanced to a high degree. We do not heap accolades and honors upon men. Nonetheless, the life course of some men and women who have flourished since the latter part of the nineteenth century is well known among us. Every one of the men who have served in the role of president of the legal corporations directed by the Society has been a person of personal integrity and industriousness and unparalleled devotion to our God Jehovah. Summaries of the lives and experiences of many anointed ones have been written down and published in the pages of the Society's magazines. They serve as encouraging examples to us all. Even in these dark {last days}, when godlessness is the dominant spirit over this satanically directed system that is rapidly headed for destruction, it can yet truthfully be said: spiritual giants still exist in this world.
spiritual Israelite
A scripturally derived[186] term based on Galatians 6:16 for one of the ``new creation'', part of ``the Israel of God''.
[186] That is, the expression itself is not in NW, but the thought is.
spiritual paradise
The worldwide {spiritual estate} of Jehovah's people in modern times, a rich blessing that we do not have to wait until the new world to enjoy. <<For God's people today, though we are not yet becoming physically perfect, it is as though the new world has already begun, because the spiritual paradise that was established following the establishment of the Kingdom has been flourishing ever since, and will remain forever and continue only to grow.>>
spiritual [relative]
There is scriptural precedent for a Christian to refer to the primary one who taught him the Truth as his figurative spiritual parent. (1Co 4:15) Some people extend the simile. <<Oh, you studied with Brother Hundredfold? Well, I taught him the Truth, so I guess that makes you my spiritual grandchild.>> That Paul did not intend to take any honor away from Jehovah or Jesus by this expression is seen by his earlier words at 1 Corinthians 3:4-7.
1. To form a new congregation by dividing one in two or by taking members from two or three. This is normally done because of growth in numbers. 2. In Christendom a split refers to a division caused by differing opinions or dissension, sometimes resulting in a new sect. This never happens in Jehovah's organization, though {weak} individuals sometimes fall off the deep end. While visiting an old teacher my daughter mentioned that our congregation had split. Because of her Catholic experience the teacher responded that she was sorry to hear it.
sports coat
A dress coat not made from the same material as the pair of pants it is worn with. Sports coats are considered acceptable attire for true worship in most situations. By Society directive public speakers and brothers appearing on the {platform} at assemblies and conventions must wear {suits}. Some brothers extend the rule and wear suits at all congregation meetings, especially if they expect to be on the stage. A servant who shows up at a meeting wearing a sports coat sends a message: ``I don't want to do anything today'', like a taxicab with a sign that says: Off Duty.
Physical activities, e.g., games, engaged in or watched as a spectator for pleasure. Paul reminded Timothy that ``bodily training is beneficial for a little''. (1Ti 4:8) Therefore some of Jehovah's Witnesses find it scripturally acceptable to enjoy recreational sports in moderation. The most popular participational sports in this part of the world are aerobic exercise, golf, basketball, and volleyball. (But see {little}.)

In the USA, American style football seems to be enjoying the lead in popularity presently among professional spectator sports, with basketball a close second, and the classical game of baseball,[187] formerly regarded as ``the national pastime'' slumping in third.

[187] My personal favorite!

STORY: A local brother who was at Bethel happened to have Brother and Sister Knorr in his book study and would sometimes ride with them to the meeting. Apparently Brother Knorr was a big baseball fan. One night they were waiting for him in the car and Sister Knorr asked the other Bethelites: ``Do you boys like baseball?'' They all did. She said: ``If you would rather talk about spiritual things on the way to the meeting, then you'd better ask Nathan a Bible question as soon as he gets in the car, or he'll start talking about the Mets and you'll never get to it.'' It's only natural that Brother Knorr would be a baseball fan. After all, his middle name was Homer.

Readers outside the USA may be surprised to learn that soccer is not very popular here. It is played mainly by school children in physical education classes. Even the World Cup, when presented in this country, was upstaged on TV by coverage of the O. J. Simpson murder case.

A little friendly competition is not wrong for Christians. (See the article ``Is Competition in Sports Wrong?'' in [g95 12/8 14].) But great care must be taken by persons who enjoy sports not to get overly wrapped up in the competitive side of it, and to shun the violence that pervades professional sports. (Compare Gal 5:26.) This is difficult to do in an activity where someone must always be the loser, and where often someone who fails to achieve his best at a critical moment is labeled the goat and is sent off bitterly disappointed in humiliation and shame. The intrinsic inferiority of sports as compared to an entirely cooperative artistic pursuit, such as {music}, may be seen in what happens following some large sporting events: the attendees in both the winning and the losing cities go out and burn their cities down. This hardly ever happens following a Schubert Lieder recital.

AMOOFL for ``self-righteous'', sometimes used disparagingly about others who seem to be putting on an appearance for show or who are ``trying too hard''. An authoritative source says that this is a Bethelism. The same source also says that some people use the AMOOFL RO for ``righteous overmuch''.
A synonym for {platform}. Stage is used less often than platform, possibly because stage sounds more theatrical.
A set of lines in a poem or the lyrics of a song. Because the Bible book of Psalms is really a collection of song lyrics, it is a popular fad for speakers to refer to individual verses as stanzas. Normally, however, the verse of a song is a whole group of verses, the collection of lines that is sung to a repeated section of the music. For instance,

Mama don' 'low no banjo playin' 'roun' here.
Mama don' 'low no banjo playin' 'roun' here.
I don' care what Mama don' 'low,
  gonna play that banjo anyhow!
Mama don' 'low no banjo playin' 'roun' here.

would be numbered as one song verse, whereas if they were found in the Psalms, the lines would be numbered separately.

A disproportionate number of articles in {The Watchtower} and {Awake!} have titles that take the form of a subject statement followed by a dash followed by a question about the subject, to be answered by the article. <<Jehovah's Witnesses---A Cult or Ministers of God?>> <<A Meal to Remember---How Often?>> <<Women---What Can Be Done About Them?[188]>>
[188] Just kidding!
step aside, step down
On occasion it is necessary for a brother to resign from a privilege of responsibility. When he does so voluntarily for personal reasons other than disqualification he is said to step aside from his assignment. <<Brother Kinder stepped aside as an elder to make more time to care for his dying wife.>> If a brother becomes disqualified but resigns willingly it is more common to say he ``stepped down''. Whether the brother acquiesces willingly or not, if he becomes disqualified because of a judicial matter, his {removal} is automatic.
street witnessing, street work
Public preaching activity carried on by approaching persons on the street. Some people prefer to stand cataleptically in one place, holding up the magazines, waiting for someone to approach them and ask for literature, possibly hoping that nobody will notice or want to talk to them. But by far the most effective results have been obtained by Witnesses who take the initiative to talk to folks. <<Many pioneers engage in street work in busy downtown locations during early morning rush hours.>>
1. Following the tenets of one's beliefs closely. Outsiders sometimes speak of Jehovah's Witnesses as being strict about religious matters. In saying so, they acknowledge that we take our religion seriously, and by implication that most other people do not. If one were to describe someone as a ``strict Catholic'' this would distinguish him from the default ordinary Catholic, namely, a nominal Catholic, one who doesn't really give a hang about his religion. But strict also bears a negative connotation, one of narrowness, rigidity, and inflexibility, emphasizing restriction. Notice that strict is contained within the word restriction. <<The newspaper said the slain parents of the Skinhead boys were strict Jehovah's Witnesses.[189]>> The statement probably provoked some readers to think: ``Well, no wonder they cracked; the poor babies were oppressed!'' Those poor babies are presently serving a sentence of life imprisonment. 2. The word is also applied to the consistent discipline some parents administer to their children.
[189] This actually happened in Pennsylvania in early 1995; two teenage boys murdered their parents and younger brother, apparently because they resented their faithful parents' efforts to keep them from following a rebellious course. One might similarly say the boys were strict Skinheads.
student talk
The {number two, three, and four talks} on the {Theocratic Ministry School}, occurring third, fourth, and fifth on the program respectively.
study article
An article in The Watchtower intended for group study at the congregation meeting called the {Watchtower Study}. <<The second study article in the latest Watchtower deals with the need to prepare better for meetings.>>
study questions, questions for study
The questions at the bottom of the page in Watchtower articles and other publications intended for congregation or group study. The canonical routine in studying such articles is: someone reads a {paragraph} out loud; the one conducting asks the printed question; someone attempts to reiterate the main point in his own words; then follows, as appropriate, a discussion of scriptures cited, applications, insights, and other details. The paragraphs in such materials are all numbered. Sometimes a single paragraph or group of paragraphs has multiple lettered questions.
study report, Bible study report
Report form S-3. It is used to record {Bible study} activity. More often called ``Bible study report'', but the form header says ``STUDY REPORT''.
A tendency to behave like a figurative stuffed shirt, i.e., being needlessly conservative or {strict}, overly serious or cautious, pompous, or old-fashioned. This is my personal neologism. <<Brother 3-CPO would be an outstanding speaker if he could loosen up and shed some of his stuffed-shirtedness.>> (See also {talk}.)
1. To trip; to falter in one's course, possibly committing a sin or weakening in faith, especially as a result of some external set of circumstances, causing one to experience a setback in his relationship with God. <<Seeing a ministerial servant's wife drink more than he thought she should at a gathering caused my Bible study to stumble.>> Christians should take great care both to avoid being stumbled and to avoid becoming a cause for stumbling by others. (Compare Mat 5:29, 30; Phi 1:10.) 2. NW sometimes uses stumble with an object, e.g., to stumble others. <<We stumbled him.>> Although perfectly acceptable, the more common use in my experience is without an object. <<I stumbled.>> Stumbling a person really means to cause him to deviate from true worship, at least momentarily, and so is more serious than merely displeasing or upsetting him.

AN ILLUSTRATION: Some people allow themselves to be stumbled and then look for pity, feeling sorry for themselves. But if someone did a royal pratfall in the parking lot of the Kingdom Hall, he wouldn't just lie there sad-eyed, whining ``I've been stumbled.'' He would get back up on his feet just as soon as he could, and look around hoping nobody noticed. We should guard our spirituality similarly.

1. The Bible's use of stupid applies to those who resist the truth of God's word because they are morally insensitive. It implies a degree of knowing culpability on the part of the stupid one. (Compare Psa 14:1.) A Nobel Prize winning university president who smokes, criticizes the Bible, promotes atheism, and is an all-around jerk, is stupid in the Bible sense. To describe a person of this type as stupid may be accurate, but would be a tactless thing to say to his face. <<Sometimes smart people do grossly stupid things.>>[190] 2. The commoner worldly use of the term applies to persons who are slow to learn, those with learning disabilities or handicaps. To call a person of this type stupid to his face is less than tactless; it is extraordinarily unkind, because such persons are what they are through no fault of their own. Christians avoid derogatory name calling.
[190] Like devoting much time and effort to creating elaborate Web pages dedicated entirely to the persecution and harassment of Jehovah's Witnesses.
submarine Witness
A low-profile and often spiritually weak Christian who is rarely found participating in the day-to-day activities of the congregation, surfacing only for the {Memorial}, assemblies, {CO}'s visit, and of course for parties, where there will be food that others provide.
Willingness to yield to others in authority, particularly to Jehovah's {theocratic} arrangement of things. In this world independent thinking and rebellion are encouraged, authority is challenged at all levels, and persons who unquestioningly subject themselves to any organizational structure are viewed askance. (Compare {headship}. Also, see the article SUBMISSIVENESS in the Insight book. [it]) But once a person learns the {Truth}, recognizing it for what it really is, and comes into close association with Jehovah's organization, there is genuinely no need to resist further. Christians are therefore encouraged to surrender themselves fully to the Christian congregation, under the perfect leadership of Jesus Christ, whose competent and trustworthy leadership we have no reason to doubt. (Phi 2:11; 2Co 6:14-18; Rom 12:11; Col 3:24)
Drab, uncomfortable, and expensive clothing that is presently required dress for all {Public Meeting} and {convention} speakers, television news anchormen, lawyers, politicians, corporate raiders, organized crime bosses, and Protestant ministers. Popular wisdom says that in dressing like businessmen we gain the respect of the community. But if the world's greedy commercial empire is to be destroyed, as Revelation teaches, I don't understand why we would strive to imitate its promoters. Where I work it's the guys with the suits you've got to look out for, not those who eschew the wearing of them.

These garments often have a deleterious effect on persons. Some people even change personalities when they put on a sooot.[191] Suit coats are particularly loathsome to wear when it is 115 degrees (Fahrenheit) in Phoenix, Arizona, and close to 130 degrees[192] in a car that has been sitting closed up in the driveway.[193] As I say to my family in such circumstances: <<Does everyone have their nice warm clothes on good and tight?>> No, that example doesn't use the headword, but I felt a need to vent my frustration. (Compare Phi 4:5.)

[191] They suddenly begin talking like old men. Compare {fuddy-duddy}.

[192] 46 and 54 degrees Celsius respectively.

[193] While proofing this entry I'm watching a guy on TV frying eggs on a Phoenix sidewalk.

summary, summarize
1. A concise abstract of main points, normally found near the conclusion of a discourse. <<In summary, just remember the acronym PASS: by means of incessant Prayer, upbuilding Association, diligent Study, and frequent Service, we may find we will be allowed to PASS into God's {new world}.>> 2. The word is frequently misused as a replacement for read, as in <<Brother Recap is going to summarize the paragraphs today.>> I was surprised to find this sentence in the School Guidebook [sg 28 par. 17]: <<Paragraphs of the study material are read in summary at the Watchtower Study and the Congregation Book Study.>> But that was in my online copy of the 1971 edition. The updated 1992 edition deletes the words ``in summary'' from that sentence!
Sunday school
Religious classes for children, held in the churches of Christendom. In Bible times, parents bore primary responsibility for teaching their children about spiritual matters. When they gathered together for worship, the children attended the same proceedings. There were no isolated sessions for children. In Christendom things are carried on quite differently. Most parents have completely abdicated responsibility for teaching their children about God's will, because they don't know what it is to begin with, and don't really care anyhow. At their places of worship they shuffle them off to insipid and ineffective classes for children taught by clueless volunteers who likewise know nothing whatever about God's will, and so act as baby sitters, keeping them busy with activities such as playing boring games, coloring pictures of Jesus, and pasting construction paper lambs. (Compare Mat 15:14.)
Sunday, Sunday meeting
Because the greater number of congregations have their {Public Meeting} and {Watchtower Study} on Sunday, people sometimes refer to the pair of meetings together as the Sunday meeting. There is nothing scripturally special about Sunday or any other day, so schedules vary, especially in areas where more than one congregation shares a single Kingdom Hall. Occasionally some jokester will dryly quip: <<We have our Sunday meeting on Friday.>>
An elder who is unusually active and who seems to be carrying the load of congregation work almost single-handedly. In reality there is no such thing.
superior authorities
A scriptural term for local worldly governments; they hold a form of authority over Christians that is second to the law of God. (Rom 13:1-7) <<The superior authorities must bear the responsibility for how they spend the tax dollars they acquire.>>
A compound talk in two or more parts, given by a series of brothers. Beginning {public speakers} are often given parts of a public talk in a symposium as training. Symposia are a common part of assemblies and conventions.
See {Gospel}.

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