Glossary: M

Glossary of American English Hacker Theocratese

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=== M ===

magazine
A periodical publication. To Jehovah's Witnesses the default for the unspecified expression ``the magazines'' always means {The Watchtower} and {Awake!}. The periodicals of the Watch Tower Society have been the most important tool of the {faithful and discreet slave} in spreading the {Truth} other than the Bible itself.
magazine counter
See {literature counter}.
magazine day
A day in {field service} devoted primarily to presenting magazines. Saturday is designated as magazine day in most congregations. Many {publishers} who rarely get out any other day never {offer} anything else except magazines.
magazine publisher
A publisher who never {offers} anything except the magazines in field service, regardless of whether it is magazine day, usually because of habit, and sometimes because of being habitually unprepared.[124]
[124] It is much easier to offer magazines than a hard-bound book.
magazine route
A publisher who has several {route calls} might organize a list of names and addresses in such a way that once or twice a month he will be able to care for them in batches. The sequence is called a magazine route because we most frequently merely stop briefly to leave the current magazines with {householders} and chat a minute. We often don't expect to progress far with these calls. (Compare {rut call}.)
magazine servant
A brother, usually a {ministerial servant}, who works behind the {literature counter} handling essentially the same functions for magazines as the {literature servant} does for non-magazine literature.
major fulfillment, minor fulfillment
Some Bible prophecies have multiple {fulfillments} of increasing significance. In such cases, the ultimate realization of the prophetic picture is termed the major fulfillment, whereas the others are called minor fulfillments. <<Jesus' prophecy of Matthew 24:4-22 had a minor fulfillment between 33 and 70 CE. But these verses and those that follow have their major fulfillment in the time period beginning in 1914, identifying these days as the time of Christ's presence and of the conclusion of the system of things.>>
make the Truth one's own
To fully accept and apply the teaching of the Bible of one's own volition, apart from external pressures, conforming to the way of life of {God's people} in general. A favorite song from our current songbook is number 191, entitled ``Make the Truth Your Own''. Applying the exhortation is a special challenge for young people who were {raised in the Truth}, because they have never known any other way of life, and have been strongly directed at every step ultimately to become Jehovah's Witnesses themselves. Getting baptized and taking up {pioneering} is simply expected of them, the only choice they have. Inevitably, some wonder whether they have missed anything by not being a part of the world, and some even wind up being carried off as victims of those who are enemies of the Truth.
manuscript talk
A talk in which every word to be spoken is written down and read directly to the audience. Usually working from a manuscript is a bad idea, a habit that new speakers are encouraged to break away from as early as possible. However, sometimes the Society supplies talks in manuscript form. This is done mainly for principal talks at conventions, and sometimes for the annual {special talk}. Manuscript talks often contain complex or important new material that must be explained very carefully. The best readers available are selected to present these parts, and they are charged with the obligation to read every single word exactly as written, without deviating.
marginal Witness
A person who is baptized and claims to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses but who does virtually nothing to make that evident. Such persons may be infrequent meeting attenders, {inactive}, largely unknown to the congregation, even the elders, and may even be engaging in highly questionable activities, e.g., being deeply involved in materialistic pursuits, worldly association, or unhealthy recreation and entertainment. In some cases it is just a matter of time before they drop out of sight altogether.

NOTE: This term should be used with discretion, being careful about speaking critically or judgmentally about someone else's spiritual condition. It makes a convenient handle for elders to use when talking about someone who fits the description.

marking, marking talk
Marking is the scripturally sanctioned act of personally designating an individual within the congregation as undesirable association, someone to be avoided socially, though still regarded as a brother or sister. (2Th 3:11-15) This action must not be taken lightly or often, and never because of petty grievances or minor differences of opinion. It is applied only toward those who, although they have not committed a sin warranting disfellowshipping, are definitely ``walking disorderly'', flaunting a course contrary to scriptural guidelines, despite counsel and efforts to help them. In most cases this step is taken following a marking talk given on a service meeting by one who represents the body of elders. Persons are never singled out by name in these talks. But the conduct described and scriptural warnings given are specific enough that persons in the congregation who are aware of the situation will get the message. Persons who are marked remain in the congregation, are greeted and continue to participate in congregation activities. But they find their social lives cut dramatically short as long as they persist in the unscriptural course.
materialism
Preoccupation with material things, especially with what money can buy. People become so concerned with such matters that they sacrifice spiritual and intellectual values. <<Brother and Sister Stretch are both working two jobs to keep up with the payments on their new house and boat, and as a result are rarely at meetings or in service.>> I have heard the opinion voiced by persons outside the USA that indicates some people believe that because we generally have a higher standard of living than in other places, it must be because we are more materialistic. There may be some measure of truth in that assessment, but it is also true that the spirit of materialism can possess persons of any economic level. The example sentence could work equally well as <<Brother and Sister Ivanovich are both working two jobs to pay for their new floor lamp ...>> Merely having more does not in itself make one materialistic. One of lesser economic means who is jealous, envious, or critical of persons whose material circumstances are better than his own also has a fight against materialism to deal with.
matter of conscience
An issue that must be settled by individual Christians based on their reasoned understanding of Jehovah's will. <<The Bible makes no mention whatever of artificial birth control methods. Any decision concerning the propriety of using them is a matter of conscience to be determined by married couples.>>

NOTE: Sadly, some have considered the phrase ``matter of conscience'' to be equivalent to ``do what you want''. But the objective is to use research, reasoning, prayer, and whatever other means is available so as to do what Jehovah wants.

maturity
The point in a Christian's development at which he accepts that the {full range} of Bible truth is important to continued spiritual growth, and so begins to apply it in his life. [outline #16]
meat in due season
The {King James Version} uses this expression in translating Matthew 24:45. The phrase was in common use before the days of NW, where the same words are rendered ``food at the proper time''.
meddle
To become involved in something without right, in such a way as to interfere. It seems that the one thing that is meddled with more than any other is {politics}. I found the word meddle 65 times in my online literature collection, and in 55 cases forms of the word politics were found in the same sentence. <<[Modern Babylon's] corruption, gross immorality, dishonesty, and political meddling have been exposed everywhere.>> [w89 4/1] <<[Popular religions] divide people, meddle in politics, frequently foment wars and many times persecute the true worshipers of Jehovah God.>> [w81 6/1]
meditation
Deep, concentrated, reflective thinking. A form of studying, but usually without books and pens and markers. <<The meditations of the heart should be focused on beneficial things, on Jehovah's splendor and activities, on things pleasing to him, and not on the devices of the wicked.>> [it-2 363]
meeting
A coming together of two or more people for a common purpose, e.g., to assemble for worship and enjoy Christian fellowship. Because the Bible commands us to meet together frequently, especially in the last days, the lives of Jehovah's Witnesses revolve around a never-ending cycle of congregation meetings, assemblies, conventions, special events, and schools, in addition to meetings for a special purpose, such as elders' meetings. (Heb 10:24, 25) Brother Gangas once said: << ``As the compass always points to the north, just so my innermost thought and desire is to attend the meetings.'' [w66 10/15 638]
meeting bag
See {book bag}.
meeting for field service
A 10-15 minute meeting prior to {group witnessing} for the purpose of preparing and organizing the activity for the day.
Memorial
1. Short name for the annual Memorial of Christ's death, the {Lord's Evening Meal}, the most important meeting of the year for Jehovah's Witnesses. It is usually capitalized, like the name of a holiday. 2. A funeral talk. <<There will be a memorial Saturday night for Brother Tot.>> This use of the word is never capitalized.
Memorial season
The period approaching and including the date of the annual {Memorial} of Christ's death. This is as close as Jehovah's Witnesses come to celebrating a holiday. Even so, there are no holiday-like traditions associated with the season. Instead there is a gradual turning of attention toward the coming event, focusing on its importance. A schedule of Bible readings from passages covering the last days of Jesus' life on earth is published, and for about the last week before the Memorial date concentrated effort is made in service to call on those who should be invited. On the night of the Memorial itself, it is common for Witnesses to get together for fellowship, though by no means all do.
menfolk, womenfolk
A {fuddy-duddy} term designating the men or women of a family, household, or community. It's a folksy term that brings to mind peoples in so-called primitive cultures, maybe sitting around a campfire. It may be appropriate terminology in connection with peoples from patriarchal villages, but is rarely used regarding modern urban societies. <<The womenfolk sit quietly and listen whenever the menfolk talk.>> Not in my house they don't. My womenfolk are considered {liberal}.
MEPS
AMOOFL for ``Multilanguage Electronic Phototypesetting System'', the Society's unique computer system that aids us in publishing literature simultaneously in many languages. It is more commonly referred to by its acronym, pronounced as a word, not spelled out.
Messiah, Messianic Kingdom
Messiah is the Hebrew-derived equivalent to the word transliterated from Greek as Christ. It means anointed or anointed one. The Messianic Kingdom is Jehovah's Kingdom over the earth, now ruling from the heavens with his son Jesus Christ as King. (See {Kingdom message}.)
mezuzah
A small piece of parchment containing parts of Deuteronomy that is rolled up and placed in a little case and attached in a slanted position on the right hand doorpost of Jewish homes. These are easy to spot. They serve to give us fair warning that we should be alert to tailor any scriptural presentation we make to emphasize the {Hebrew Scriptures}. (Compare {Jesus fish}.)
Mickey Mouse factor
Petty behavior by someone who should know better. For example, a woman begins to study and after attending just a couple of meetings some {sister} counsels her about some trivial aspect of her personal appearance, e.g., the color of makeup she wears or the style of a certain garment. Such behavior could easily put off a new one. As Paul said, ``Who is stumbled, and I am not incensed?'' (2Co 11:29) Silly things like this seldom actually stumble a serious person, who has recognized the voice of the Shepherd. It just irritates the snot out of them.
microphone, mike
An instrument used to convey sound to an amplifier where it is processed in a sound system, often called a mike for short. Most every Kingdom Hall in the USA has a sound system with two or three microphones for the platform, and two or three more to be used as {roving mikes}.
midweek service
Arrangements for {group witnessing} that are scheduled from Monday to Friday.
migratory Christian
One who moves frequently from congregation to congregation, often because of dissatisfaction. <<Like the migratory herds of Africa's plains that are always looking for greener pastures, these migratory Christians are always looking for the right congregation.>> [w95 2/1 27, 28]
mike handlers
Brothers assigned to carry {roving mikes} to persons who comment from their seats. Any brother in good standing can receive this assignment, because it is not difficult. The main requirements are that handlers should know the names of most people in the congregation, be properly dressed, and remain attentive throughout the meeting. The privilege is usually reserved for younger brothers who are beginning to {reach out}. <<Please be patient if things are a little disorganized today; we have elders working as mike handlers.>>
militantly ignorant
Persons who rigorously eschew all forms of mental stimulation, on the feeble premise that Jehovah will teach us all we need to know.[125] Such persons are often vocally opposed to formal secular education,[126] rarely read books or even magazines or newspapers, admit they don't enjoy the fine arts,[127] have a poor sense of history,[128] can't find Mexico on a globe, don't own library cards, avoid watching the news on TV,[129] have an aversion to new-fangled gadgets like computers and CD players, believing them to be fads from the Devil that will never catch on, and are completely unaware of the existence of resources such as National Public Radio or the Internet. They can't read, spell, or even talk very well, don't recognize or use many words, and believe that writing is something that only writers do. They laugh or sometimes brag about having no sense of size, quantity, or direction.[130] What informational channels they do expose themselves to through TV or movies is invariably either drivel or very low-grade. Unfortunately, such persons often rarely prepare for meetings, or engage in personal Bible study, and do poorly at defending their {professed} beliefs. Eventually their brains atrophy from disuse.

[125] Who really knows what he needs to know that he does not know now, or will not need to know in the future, until he has lived forever and realizes that he has never needed to know it?

[126] ``Persons who go to college will die at Armageddon.''

[127] ``I don't know much about ____ but I know what I like!''

[128] ``Lemme see, did Moses live before or after Jesus?''

[129] It interferes with watching Beavis and Butthead.

[130] ``Ha, ha, ha---math was always my worst subject in school!''

NOTE: Jesus' command to be ``no part of the world'' was not a mandate to remain an ignoramus. (Compare Gen 1:28.) A dummy is still a dummy {irregardless} of his religion.[131]

[131] OK, I'll get off my soapbox now.
Millennial Dawnist
A name given by outsiders to Jehovah's people early in the twentieth century, based on an important publication of the Society in those days, a six-volume series by Charles T. Russell called Millennial Dawn. Later the name of the series was changed to Studies in the Scriptures. The name Millennial Dawnist was never used by God's people, so was not marked obsolete here. (See also {Russellite}.)
Millennium
Popular term for the thousand-year reign of Christ. The term ``Millennium'' itself is not found in {NW}, but the expression ``thousand years'' is mentioned in each verse from Revelation 20:2-7.
mine [obs]
An obsolete {archaism} for the possessive pronoun my, used mainly preceding words that begin with a vowel. <<Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come.[132]>> (Joh 2:4 KJ) <<Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.>> ("Battle Hymn of the Republic") <<Where in tarnation did I leave mine other black sock!?>>
[132] This verse is a virtual smorgasbord of {common archaisms}!
minister
All of {Jehovah's Witnesses} who are {dedicated} and {baptized} servants of Jehovah are ministers, because the word refers to one who serves. Our baptism in water is a symbol of our dedication to Jehovah and constitutes our {ordination} as ministers. This sense of the word is in great contrast to the way generally used in western countries, as referring to a Protestant clergyman ordained in one of Christendom's seminaries. (See more at {ordained minister}.)
ministerial servant
The scriptural term for spiritually mature men assigned to assist the {elders} in caring for important congregation services. (Phi 1:1; 1Ti 3:8; 1Ti 3:12)
Ministerial Training School
A school for single {elders} and {ministerial servants} who are available to be sent anywhere there is a need in the worldwide field.
ministry
The service of one who is a {minister}. All dedicated and baptized servants of Jehovah are considered ministers, and so anything they do in connection with their service of him is considered a part of their ministry. The default application is to the fulfillment of our assignment to preach. <<We had thirty people out in the ministry last Saturday.>>
Ministry School
Short form of {Theocratic Ministry School}.
minor fulfillment
See {major fulfillment}.
miracle
An occurrence that beholders cannot fully understand or explain by physical laws and is therefore attributed to supernatural powers, e.g., when Jesus changed water into wine at a wedding in Cana. (Joh 2:1-10) In the world it is popular to attach the label miracle even to the outcome of events that God would have nothing to do with, such as the winning of a sports contest, conquering an enemy in battle, or striking it rich in a lottery. Christians may discern the likelihood of divine influence in occurrences that are in harmony with his will, for instance, the starting of a Bible study under remarkable circumstances. But Jehovah's people do not habitually go around declaring even such events to be miracles, much less so concerning happenings that obviously have nothing to do with the working out of Jehovah's will.
miserable serpent
A quippish Briticism for {ministerial servant}. Ha ha. :-| British humor sometimes escapes me. (See Headword Sources.) The Australian equivalent is minnow.
miss meetings
To fail to attend congregation gatherings. It is a Bible command to attend meetings provided by the {faithful and discreet slave}. (Heb 10:24, 25) Therefore, meeting attendance hovers around 100 percent of total publishers in most congregations, and is often even higher. This fact is all the more significant in that there are nearly five hours of meetings scheduled per week in all congregations, in addition to various events. Contrast this with Christendom's typical poorly attended one-hour-a-week church service on Sunday morning.

An elder from Portugal wrote to explain that in Portuguese the expression means literally to lose meetings, because the same word means ``to miss'' and ``to lose''. One who misses a meeting is therefore seen as having lost something.

STORY: I once knew an {anointed} sister at Bethel who claimed that she never once missed a single meeting in over sixty years, even for illness. As I write this entry it was just yesterday that the sporting world wildly celebrated baseball player Calvin Ripkin's setting a new record by playing in 2,131 consecutive games over a thirteen-year period without ever missing, a record that had been thought to be unmatchable for over fifty years. This feat pales into insignificance when compared to our sister's demonstration of the value she assigned to congregation meetings.

missionary
A Christian who enters {full-time service} in a {foreign} country, usually after being trained at the {Gilead School}.
missionary home
Dwelling place provided by the Society to house {missionaries}.
model prayer
The demonstration prayer Jesus presented as part of his {Sermon on the Mount}. It is recorded at Matthew 6:9-13. It has been dubbed the ``Our Father'' prayer by Roman Catholics. <<Say ten Our Fathers and twenty Hail Marys and go your way and rape, murder, and pillage no more.>> Protestants more commonly refer to it as ``the Lord's Prayer''. Significantly, Jesus was not actually praying at this time, but merely explaining the proper manner to pray for the benefit of his disciples, showing what matters should receive the greatest priority. So it is most appropriately described as a model prayer. If any prayer rightly bears the name the Lord's prayer, it is the one Jesus spoke to his Father in the garden of Gethsemane on the night of his betrayal.
modem
A device with which one may communicate from one computer to another by means of a telephone. A gateway to large phone bills, time loss, and wifely irritations.
Monday
Because it is rarely a meeting day, most frequently Monday evenings are reserved for family Bible study. Monday is Bethel family study night all over the world. (See also {first day of the week}.)
Money, money tickles the parson
A rough translation of the scriptural phrase MENE, MENE, TEKEL and PARSIN, the handwriting Belshazzar saw on the wall the night Babylon was conquered by Darius the Mede. (Dan 5:25-28)
mongalvian
As near as I can tell, this neologism coined by our circuit overseer was intended, at the moment of its creation, to mean ``big and grotesque''. He had been discussing worldly ways in his final talk at the circuit assembly, and said something like: <<... he shows up at a meeting with one of these [long pause] mongalvian hair styles>>, illustrated by holding his hands about a foot from either side of his head. Then after thinking about it for a moment, he added: ``I think I just gave Mr. Webster a new word for his dictionary.'' Mr. Webster was not there that day, but I happened to be sitting in the front row, and winked knowingly at my wife as I took note.
mortal
Capable of dying, the opposite of {immortal}. The angels and humans are mortal. Jesus is now immortal, a gift he was granted for his faithful life course on earth. Had he not been mortal before, he could not have been sent to earth to die as a ransom for mankind. If the angels were not mortal, Satan and his demons could never be destroyed as God has promised.
most heavenly
A meaningless expression used by some brothers as a form of address to Jehovah in public prayer: <<Most heavenly Jehovah ...>> The condition of being heavenly is not something that is measured relatively as in ``more or less heavenly'', or ``most or least heavenly''. <<Was Satan the least heavenly angel?>> Not! (See the NOTE under {Jehovah}.)
move-in
A person who has moved in from another congregation. <<We live in an area of economic growth, so much of the growth in our congregation comes from move-ins.>>
Mrs. Joseph Blow
Married sisters are always referred to in the Society's correspondence as ``Mrs.'' followed by their husband's full name, regardless of whether he is a brother or an honorable person or even living. <<We're happy to announce that Mrs. David Koresh has been appointed a regular pioneer.>> Former and potential women's rights advocates bite your tongues.
MS
AMOOFL for {ministerial servant}.
Ms.
Popular alternative to ``Mrs.'' and ``Miss'', the female equivalent of ``Mr.'', in that it gives no indication of the bearer's marital status. Although ``Ms.'' is now in wide use in the {world}, it is not recognized or used by the Society in any of its printed materials. This form of address is probably viewed by the Society as an artifact of the feminist political movement, and is therefore best avoided. (Compare {political correctness}.)
Multilanguage Electronic Phototypesetting System
Full name for the Society's computer system for publishing known as {MEPS}.
music
The art of combining sounds into melodies, rhythms, harmonies, and structures. That definition is grossly inadequate, but I wouldn't dare try to improve it.[134] As a famous musician replied to a woman who asked him to define jazz: ``Lady, if you got to ask what it is, you'll never know.''[135] Music is one of God's greatest gifts for mankind's pleasure; it has the potential to affect the emotions deeply. Its forms are as varied as the people on the earth.

[134] It is worth noting that the 20-volume Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians does not have an entry under music, suggesting that the word itself is difficult to define. But musicians certainly know it when they hear it, even if others do not.

[135] Attributed to Louis Armstrong.

Satan is well aware of music's power and has used it effectively during the {last days} as a teaching device. The lyrics and spirit of a great deal of American-style popular music is debased in the extreme. Its content is often rebellious, vulgar, profane, immoral, violent, or blasphemous, not to mention downright ugly. But listeners, especially young ones, are easily seduced by the music that accompanies the words, and often catch themselves enthusiastically singing along. Thus there is need for Christians to be careful about what music they approve. (Rom 14:22) Many articles have appeared in the literature warning us of these dangers.

The commercial pulp marketed by the music industry is so pervasive that many Americans believe it is the only music worth listening to except for that favored by people whose tastes are hopelessly old-fashioned or highbrow. On the other hand, I have heard some say <<I like all kinds of music: pop, rock, folk, country, blues and jazz.>> This is similar to saying ``I like all kinds of food: baked, boiled, mashed, French fried, and sometimes au gratin.'' It's still all potatoes. This is sad, because even in this imperfect world there is more genuinely good music being made than a person could ever experience, even if he devoted all day of every day of his life to nothing but listening to new things. In reality there are entire worlds of music that most casual listeners are generally unaware of. And in Jehovah's new world there will be a whole lot more of it.

mustache
Male facial hair on the upper lip, a different kind of uncircumcision of lips. (Exo 6:12) :-{)[133] They are now common among Witness men, but for most of the 20th century, until the early 1970s, they were regarded in much the same light as {beards}.
[133] {Smiley face} with a mustache.

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