I never left him - I left a man-made organization but not Jehovah AMEN! stillajwelder!!
Is there any hope of you coming back to Jehovah?
I would say something, but what can I say that hasn't already been said?
I used to accompany my JW wife to the meetings quite regularly. This went on long after I ceased taking them seriously.
I think the JW organization needs to grow up and shed its insular, exclusivistic nature. Until that happens, I don't know why any non-JW would want to attend.
For example, JW speakers think it's OK to discourage young people in the congregation from marrying non-JW's by saying things like, "Kissing an unbeliever is like kissing a walking corpse. And why would you want to do that?"
You can write this off to the fact that the speaker was either too stupid or too callous to realize that there may have been "unbelievers" in the audience, but the fact remains that despite any protestations to the contrary they may make in public, JW's clearly believe that all "unbelievers" ( = Non-JW's) will be destroyed at Armageddon.
Another example is the interference of the JW HLC on medical matters involving children even when one of the parents is not a JW. I'm not sure by what trick of the imagination JW's think the "unbelieving" parent would appreciate total strangers showing up, treating him (or her) as though they didn't exist and "button-holing" the doctors who were busy. But they do.
A final example is the terminology of your own question. Exactly why would you suppose that leaving the JW organization equates with leaving Jehovah?
We see the term "apostate" used by JWs that carries the distinct and undeniable impression that this applies to those who no longer agree with WTS teachings. It too, conveys the distinct impression that these are beneath contempt and should not be given any heed in their opposing views and discoveries about the WTS and its dealings with those that it claims to have no connections with.
How shocked was after I left the WTS, I when I actually opened a dictionary to discover that basically the meaning applies (benignly) to "one who abandons or renounces a former belief, whether it be religious or political".
THIS definition hardly constitutes the venomous overtones employed by the WTS advocates when speaking of those who have simply decided to change their minds about the accuracy of WTS teachings and have chosen to leave.
An apostate (according to the dictionary) would also be one who decided to become a Republican after having been a Democrat for many years! Other than from the teachings and beliefs peculiar to the WTS....do we normally hear of this sneering attitude applied to one who has converted from Baptist to Unitarian? No, it only appears to have this condemnatory application to those who have left the WTS beliefs doesn't it?
The WTS has its own "dictionary" and meanings of words they use to teach its members to be condescending and treat other people as "inferiors" just because they don't share the same beliefs they once did.
The "superior authorities" have stated that everyoe has the right to persue happiness and the choice of religion (if any) that they so desire to follow----yet the WTS has the arrogance and the audacity to order their followers to stop associating with former members for doing what is their legal right. They have set themselves up as personal police in matters of the bedroom, choice of friends and other religioous pursuits to name a few.
The WTS heaps contempt on anyone who has other views than they do----nonJW and former JWs alike. The WTS IS the most contemptuous and totally UNchristian "religion" that has been my experience to know.
I didin't leave Jehovah at all. In fact my faith is stronger now than it ever was. The problem with most Jws is that they equate God with Watchtower. it's not the same thing. As time goes on I find the watchtower society to be apostate. When an organization tells me that I have to give "implicit trust and loyalty to the faithful slave",that is apostasy. Does not the Bible tell us not to put trust in men?
So to your question is there any hope of you coming back to Jehovah? Well, I never left Jehovah.
I have been thinking about you and your loved ones this week and was prompted to reach for a wonderful book, written by a wonderful Christian man who loves Jehovah God, and his son, and who has a deep love for Jehovah's Witnesses.
You know. once people have seen that the truth is not the truth, they can never go back. It is impossible.
Have you read the transcripts of the Walsh court case in Scotland in 1954. Fred Franz and other leading JWs gave evidence under oath, that they would rather promulgate a false prophecy, than publish the truth, because of the need for unity at any cost.
We need to find out whether JWs love of truth exceeds their love of unity: (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11) 10 and with every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing, as a retribution because they did not accept the love of the truth that they might be saved. 11 So that is why God lets an operation of error go to them, that they may get to believing the lie, ...
May I please post an extract from a thread I read and saved a couple of months ago. I hope it helps you to understand why your brother feels the way he does.
I've seen several posts from you and thought I'd share my newfound discoveries with you. I'm sure you're open to at least reading them, since you're frequenting and even contributing here. I notice you've actually contributed more than three times the number of posts than I have.
I am a third generation Jehovah's Witness, with my daughter and her cousins being of the fourth generation. There are more than thirty members of my family who are Witnesses, my grandmother having started it all back in the early forties. Two of my family members (including my Father) profess to be of the anointed. I served the congregation as an elder for some time, giving public talks far and wide throughout my region. As an organization minded Witness, I was the one who would help other friends (including my fellow elders) when they began having doubts or speculated on things. I didn't appreciate opportunistic faultfinders--those who'd always be jumping at the chance to point fingers and accuse the organization of "not doing things right." Despite this, after finding a few very troubling things within the organization, I finally did something I never imagined doing: I gave the organization I'd been so dedicated to a fair-minded, objective investigation.
Although we may claim that we do this all the time as JWs, unless we are truly willing to be "objective," we may find ourselves adopting a policy that is neither helpful to us nor scriptural. Just as the Bible writer wrote, "Let God be true," we may come to believe we should, "Let the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society be true," always looking for some justification to find them correct--without truly having been "objective." I'm now convinced that I used to do this, and that this is a wholly wrong thing to do.
Would Jehovah have excused individuals of the nation of
After W.W.II the Nazi organization never went on trial for war crimes. Individuals did. An organization cannot commit nor be punished for crimes. It bears no accountability. People do. Jesus said that when he would return he would separate the goats from the sheep. He would base his judgment on personal conduct rather than loyalty to an organization or belief structure.
For example, Elijah thought that he was the only person left that did not bow down to Baal. God said that He had 7,000 in that had not bowed down to him. Those faithful persons would doubtless have been considered disloyal to the anointed king that was in power. Yet they were obviously not organized into any type of group.
Throughout the entire pre-Christian period, the Bible mentions faithful individuals who were loyal to God, regardless of whether the nation's leaders were faithful. This was true right up until Jesus appeared. A righteous prophet named Simeon saw the young child Jesus, in fulfillment of a prophecy given him by the Holy Spirit. A faithful prophetess named Anna is also mentioned.
defd, after looking at all the evidence objectively--and praying earnestly, I came to a conclusion that is so obvious I can't believe I never saw it before. Whether you now realize it or not, the Watchtower Society has created a situation in which it is requiring its adherents to give the organization a more prominent position than Jehovah or Jesus Christ.
As you yourself showed from your post...
According to Hebrews 4:13 There is not a creation that is not manifest to his sight, but all things are naked and openly exposed to the eyes of him with whom we have an accounting.
This being the case, what do we have to fear in looking at all the information available about this organization of Jehovah's Witnesses? If we are truly "in the Truth," should we have to fear the light? Note what they've written in the The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life, 1968, p. 13...
"We need to examine, not only what we personally believe, but also what is taught by any religious organization with which we may be associated. Are its teachings in full harmony with God's Word, or are they based on the traditions of men? If we are lovers of the truth, there is nothing to fear from such an examination."
Yet you and I both know that the Society takes an entirely different stance on doing exactly the same thing when it has to do with its own teachings. Note the Watchtower 1986 March 15 pp.10-15 “Do Not Be Quickly Shaken From Your Reason”...
7 Now, what will you do if you are confronted with apostate teaching—subtle reasonings— claiming that what you believe as one of Jehovah's Witnesses is not the truth? For example, what will you do if you receive a letter or some literature, open it, and see right away that it is from an apostate? Will curiosity cause you to read it, just to see what he has to say? You may even reason: 'It won't affect me; I'm too strong in the truth. And, besides, if we have the truth, we have nothing to fear. The truth will stand the test.' In thinking this way, some have fed their minds upon apostate reasoning and have fallen prey to serious questioning and doubt.
So, although the WTS encourages a thorough and open-minded examination of the things taught by a religion, this only applies to religions other than their own. Any suggestion that “what you believe as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses is not the truth” MUST be considered—not an open minded examination—but instead the devious propaganda of apostates. The reasoning encouraged by the Watchtower Society requires the dogmatic rejection of any possibility that “what you believe as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses is not the truth.” I consider this out of harmony with the scriptures.
(2 Corinthians 13:5) Keep testing whether YOU are in the faith, keep proving what YOU yourselves are. Or do YOU not recognize that Jesus Christ is in union with YOU?
Sorry about the length of this post. (I tend to go long even when I don't want to!) But, defd, you owe it to yourself and to Almighty God to deeply consider all of the information, not just what the Watchtower Society tells you is okay. Placing your trust in an organization is a course entirely out of harmony with God's Word.
***Any suggestion that what you believe as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses is not the truth MUST be considered not an open minded examination but instead the devious propaganda of apostates. The reasoning encouraged by the Watchtower Society requires the dogmatic rejection of any possibility that what you believe as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses is not the truth. I consider this out of harmony with the scriptures.
IMO, it stands to reason that any set of beliefs that are considered a "religion", and especially one as young as the WTS is, would have to undergo certain scrutiny to be otherwise acceptable in the public eye.
The fact that it has "come on the scene" and goes about telling adherents of any other religion that IT is THE ONLY RELIGION that God favors, and that others are all led by Satan---this religion MUST be able to withstand any intense scrutiny that anyone is able to employ.
While the WTS is making all these claims, it also has changed its teachings and beliefs several times, while at the same time, insisting to its members that they MUST accept whatever they are teaching "at present" is as "food from God" himself, and must be viewed as such.
The mere fact that a JW is forbidden to look into any research unless it is WTS-approved, proves that it is not complying with the scriptures that would allow any in-depth examination of its everchanging beliefs. The entire idea of being restricted in this shows that the WTS has more to hide in what would be found.
This poses a real danger to the WTS itself more than to the individual doing the research, and looking to satisfy his trust in these beliefs, as the individual is looking to verify what he has been told. The WTS is desperately trying to preserve a cocoon-like atmosphere where all JWs will be trusting ONLY in what their present beliefs are, what thier leaders are now claiming, and what is currently running off the presses at the moment.
The WTS is clever and crafty and allows the JW to "think" that he is "making sure of the more important things", while these "more important things" are always WTS based. It takes a "mature thinker" to be able to stand back and critically review the facts and then discern what the WTS is doing, and why.
Nice to get your reply. You ask,
But what are you ACTUALLY saying to me? Leave the truth? Stop going to the Kingdom hall? What is your suggestion?
What I was actually saying was simple: that all of us deserve to know all of the information. I was not saying that you should be compelled to come to the same conclusions I did.
Your response surprised me just a bit. From some of the posts you'd left, I didn't imagine you'd be willing to admit that you found agreement in some of the things I'd written. If you are willing to keep your mind open to all of the information about the Watchtower Society, that's all any of us here can be glad for. Why? Because we feel that (in many cases) for long, long years (and even many generations) we have been misled and manipulated by the leadership of this organization.
God gave you the Bible; he also gave you a mind. Jesus' providing the sin-atoning sacrifice for your sins gives you every right to exercise your Christian freedom. Your conclusions should, of course, be your own.
If you conclude, as so many of us have, that the Watchtower Society can lay no claim to the position of "sole channel of communication from Almighty God," then I would hope you would not allow them to exercise authority over your mind and your life--nor over that of your family's. Some have decided to leave openly by disassociating themselves, some have "faded," and some have (for a few reasons) decided to stay inside.
You see, if it's true that the Watchtower Society is not what it purports to be, then it's horribly, horribly wrong for them to keep saying that they are. And it's even more reprehensible for them to manipulate those over whom they preside, telling them what they are allowed to believe and think under penalty of disfellowshipping and shunning, ripping them from their own families and the only community of friends they've been allowed to have.
Using God's Word as our guide, it has seemed to most of us that--given the foregoing--we are compelled to separate ourselves from such an organization. The Watchtower Society itself actually recommends this course...
[Is This Life All There Is?, 1974, p. 46]
Knowing these things, what will you do? It is obvious that the true God, who is himself “the God of truth” and who hates lies, will not look with favor on persons who cling to organizations that teach falsehood. (Psalm 31:5; Proverbs 6:16-19; Revelation 21:8) And, really, would you want to be even associated with a religion that had not been honest with you?
I know what thoughts and feelings I experienced as I went through this process less than a year ago. At first you hold out great hope that there will be reform within the organization. Then you start asking, "Where then shall we go?" as if leaving the Watchtower Society means leaving God or Christianity itself. It's hard to see yourself doing this, I know. But, despite what they taught us, I have found many, many kind, loving, wonderful Christian human beings not affiliated with them. I've found that my relationships with them can be even stronger given that they are not under the thumb of an oppressive organization that restricts their thoughts and expressions--and that they will be my friends despite the protests of any group of men who might have them shun me.
Getting out of the organization is not easy; I'm not fully out myself. But you can rest assured that many, many other righteous people have gone before in this exodus--and that you will have the full help and support of thousands of caring persons from around the globe.
If you conclude that there is still some reason to remain affiliated with the Watchtower Society, I would hope that you would at least retain your ability to use your mind yourself--rather than letting them have the strong control over it they think they've the right to have. I would also hope you would refuse to treat others who've come to differing conclusions in the way they would have you treat them.
My love and best wishes to you
I am pretty sure defd isn't talking to me any more, but here are some other things to consider.
- Perhaps faith in God is not dependent on being affiliated with any organization. This deserves further investigation.
- Perhaps as the organization has been proven faulty in other things, their sweeping generalizations on all other churches is also flawed. Don't take their word on this, investigate for yourself.
If these two ideas are pursued, an exiting JW now has a place to go. Is it right to remain with an organization, obviously flawed, just because it is assumed there is nothing better?
Although defd is shunning me, too I do sincerely hope that he will at least entertain the idea that the WTBTS has not been truthful in their descriptions and generalisations of other churches. Jesus said that His followers would be recognised by the love they showed among themselves. He also said that when He separated the sheep and the goats that those who had fed, clothed and nursed His brothers will be blessed. Those who were doing such things did not know that they were doing this to Jesus' brothers because they did not know that they were Jesus' brothers when they fed, clothed and nursed them. Jesus taught that His followers to have love for all other humans, not just Jews or those who shared the same faith in Him. Jesus demonstrated His love for all of mankind. It wasn't conditional on their beliefs, race, economic or social position, language or geographic location.
*** Rbi8 Matthew 25:31-40 ***
31 “When the Son of man arrives in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne. 32 And all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will put the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.
34 “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, YOU who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for YOU from the founding of the world. 35 For I became hungry and YOU gave me something to eat; I got thirsty and YOU gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and YOU received me hospitably; 36 naked, and YOU clothed me. I fell sick and YOU looked after me. I was in prison and YOU came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous ones will answer him with the words, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and receive you hospitably, or naked, and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to you?’ 40 And in reply the king will say to them, ‘Truly I say to YOU, To the extent that YOU did it to one of the least of these my brothers, YOU did it to me.
*** Rbi8 John 13:33-35 ***
34 I am giving YOU a new commandment, that YOU love one another; just as I have loved YOU, that YOU also love one another. 35 By this all will know that YOU are my disciples, if YOU have love among yourselves.”
In this regard, the JW religion is sadly lacking. They have been mislead by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses into believing that they should only show love to those who share their religion.
*** Rbi8 Matthew 5:43-48 ***
43 “YOU heard that it was said, ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 However, I say to YOU: Continue to love YOUR enemies and to pray for those persecuting YOU; 45 that YOU may prove yourselves sons of YOUR Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous. 46 For if YOU love those loving YOU, what reward do YOU have? Are not also the tax collectors doing the same thing? 47 And if YOU greet YOUR brothers only, what extraordinary thing are YOU doing? Are not also the people of the nations doing the same thing? 48 YOU must accordingly be perfect, as YOUR heavenly Father is perfect.
Defd, We need to find out whether JWs love of truth exceeds their love of unity: (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11) 10 and with every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing, as a retribution because they did not accept the love of the truth that they might be saved. 11 So that is why God lets an operation of error go to them, that they may get to believing the lie, ...
Have you studied the transcripts of the Walsh case trial in , at which Fred Franz and Hayden Covington gave evidence under oath? :- Q. It was promulgated as a matter which must [have been] believed by all members of Jehovah's Witnesses that the Lord's second coming took place in 1874...? A. It was a false statement or an erroneous statement in fulfillment of a prophecy that was false or erroneous. Q. And that had to believed by the whole of Jehovah's Witnesses? A. Yes, because you must understand we must have unity... Q. Back to the point now. A false prophecy was promulgated? A. I agree to that. Q. It had to be accepted by Jehovah's Witnesses? A. That is correct. Q. If a member of Jehovah's Witnesses took the view himself that that prophecy was wrong and said so, he would be disfellowshiped? A. Yes...our purpose is to have unity. Q. Unity at all costs? A. Unity at all costs... Q. A unity based on an enforced acceptance of false prophecy ? A. That is conceded to be true.
Perhaps you should read Crisis of Conscience by Raymond Franz, if for no other reason, so that you can begin to understand your brother's decision. As for the name 'apostate', have you looked it up in the dictionary? Please don't call your brother names or question his motives, that seems unfair and therefore unchristian.
Awake Magazine 2000 June 22 p. 6 Name-Calling
Some people insult those who disagree with them by questioning character or motives instead of focusing on the facts. Name-calling slaps a negative, easy-to-remember label onto a person, a group, or an idea. The name-caller hopes that the label will stick. If people reject the person or the idea on the basis of the negative label instead of weighing the evidence for themselves, the name-caller’s strategy has worked.
Watchtower Jan 15 1974
When persons are in great danger from a source that they do not suspect or are being misled by those they consider their friends, is it an unkindness to warn them?
They may prefer not to believe the warning. They may even resent it. But does that free one from the moral responsibility to give that warning.
Crisis of Conscience, by Raymond Franz (introduction)
Life is uncertain and when a man dies what he knows dies along with him – unless he passes it on while still in life.
What this book contains is written out of obligation to people whom I sincerely love. In all good conscience I can say that its aim is to help and not to hurt. If some of what is presented is painful to read, it was also painful to write.
It is hoped that the reader will recognize that the search for truth need never be destructive of faith, that every effort to know and uphold truth will, instead, strengthen the basis for true faith. What those reading this information will do with it is, of course, their own decision. At least it will have been said, and a moral responsibility will have been met.
Sorry but Buddha's load was lighter and the spiritual waters from Buddhism quenched my thirst. But thanks for asking. I believe many roads lead to the same person. God created us to be unique......look at all the shapes, colors, and cultures we have of humans. Why would there only be one way to reach God? Why crete such uniqueness to only be obtuse when it comes to our spirituality?
What happened to you that made you leave?
I was raised as a Roman Catholic and converted to JW at age 25, so I suppose the Catholics could call me an "apostate" too. But they don't, and they treat me as well as they ever did in the past. I was a JW for 20 years. I had left behind all my "worldly" friends, and I virtually shunned my "worldly" family because I was taught that they were "bad association". After the way I treated them I am still shocked that they never once spoke a reproachful word to me. In my 20 years as a JW I never had a single friend who I could even meet up with for a cup of coffee. They were quick to call me when they wanted something, like help moving or free computer help, or money. Oh yeah, they always knew where to find me when they had something to "counsel" me for, like having a moustache, going to school, or any one of a myriad of trivial "offenses". I eventually got married to a fellow "pioneer" who was similarly shunned within the congregation for no good reason. She had her problems too, as she was sexually abused as a child by 3 men. Two of them later became elders, even though they never repented, and the abuse was covered up by the elders and the society. Do you believe they were "appointed by holy spirit" as the society claims? I don't.
At first I thought hers was an isolated case. After seeing items on the evening news about child molestation in the organization I did some research, and found out how widespread the problem was, through web sites and then examining court transcripts. I also discovered the society's involvement with the UN, who the society had many times called the "wild beast" and a tool of Satan. A "library card" might seem like a small thing, but in order to qualify for NGO membership they must meet certain requirements. One is that they must agree with the UN Charter. Another is that they must dispense favourable information about the UN to their members, and provide the UN with evidence of this. These are not trivial matters. Further research, most of it in the society's own publications, showed them to be a false prophet. Also, an investigation into a good interlinear bible translation will show the NWT of the bible to be very flawed. I suggest you compare the NWT with a word-for-word translation from the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts.
But, all that aside, even if the JWs were the "truth" I would not go back. The JWs treated me like dirt for 20 years, though I never did anything to deserve such treatment. 20 years among them taught me that eternal life in a world filled only with JWs could be called many things, but paradise is not one of them.