So I pulled the trigger, and I’m riding the bullet.
Called my mother yesterday and spilled all the beans. Every last one.
She listened. Tearfully so, but at least she listened. First question?
“But how are you going to keep yourself upbuilt spiritually?”
I explained that one of the things the WTS does is promote the teaching that there must be one organized group to which you “belong,” and that full association and participation in it is necessary to receive God’s approval. I said I did not believe the scriptures supported this. Then she asked…
“Well what about “not forsaking the gathering of yourselves together?””
I replied that, yes, gathering together was good, but what about Jesus’ words indicating that “wherever two or more of you are gathered in my name” there he would be? I explained that I have found many, many Christian people with whom I share fine fellowship.
As so many of you know, this is a tough scenario. You don’t know how the person will react. You don’t want to be “overwhelming.” But you do want to make sure they know your reasons for leaving are substantive and were based on a deep examination.
I discussed my original flashpoint on the subject of confession while an elder—and how that subject eventually led to my investigation into the teachings of the WTS. I told her of the UN-NGO issue, 607 BCE being an entirely erroneous date, and the mindless stream of date prophecies that they advanced—all which were failures. I explained how good I used to be at deflecting these arguments as a JW, but how I truly never knew the half of it.
I told her, as I recently wrote in this forum, how when a Witness I used to be frustrated that so few would listen to us at the door. Now I feel even more frustrated in knowing that most active JWs will likely not listen to me. But I explained that there was a big difference between these two situations. Now I was basing my conclusions on all of the information, and not simply on what the WTS wanted me to see.
“But now this means you’re an apostate.” “I know, Mom. I know that’s what the Watchtower Society teaches us to believe. But they only say that because they assert “faith in God” equals “faith in the Watchtower Society.” They arrogantly brand someone who was once baptized as a Witness—but who no longer recognizes them as God’s sole channel of communication—an apostate. But they are not “masters over your faith,” Mom. Ultimately you should be able to decide such things for yourself. Do you see how they ask you to give over this judgment to them instead? Do you see how Witnesses, in effect, end up worshipping the organization itself instead of Jehovah?”
I went on to reason with her about the age the WTS recommends young ones get baptized. Twelve, thirteen, fourteen years old. (Get them young before Satan's world gets 'em.) Did she think it fair to move a thirteen year old to make a commitment so large that--if they later as an adult decided such a commitment was wrong--they would then be ripped from their family and community of friends, branded as an evil apostate?
Another interesting thing. She twice asked me if I thought she, my dad, and the rest of the family, in worshipping as JWs, were doing something that would bring them Jehovah’s displeasure? Although she said she has never doubted that she had “the Truth,” her question did seem to be genuine. I tried to make clear that it was the WTS who I blame for religious legalism, authoritarianism and manipulation, and that I will always respect anyone else’s decision as to what they choose to do.
For a seventy-two year old woman who has been a zealous JW for more than fifty years, wife of a professed anointed elder, and primary matron of a four-generation, thirty-member JW family…I’d have to say she held up pretty well on hearing the news, although at the end, through more tears, she told me she’d have to go since her head had begun to hurt badly.
I have absolutely no idea what the future holds. But I am prepared for the possibility that I may never see nor speak to my family again.