I was a JW pioneer for 12 years but a very unorthodox one I must say. I never told people they had to come into the organization to be saved, nor taught my kids that. I never taught that they were the only way to God - I believed Jesus was the way to God for Christians and I believed that since I was a small child. I had many bible studies but never brought anyone into the org. because I could not claim they had the only truth.
You can imagine the situation I was in. I think I only joined the Witnesses because I bought into the whole world-wide brotherhood which I found out later was a total sham. I always looked for some spiritual support as my views have always been different from the rest of my family. I decided on my own to leave the Roman Catholic Church I was baptised into at age 12 - against my families strong objections.
When I became a witness - at age 22, my Catholic family refused to speak to me for 14 years. Then 2 years ago when I decided not to be a Witness, my JW friends of 14 years stoped speaking to me so in one day I lost everyone I held dear to me all at once. Again. Thank God, my Catholic family came around but only when they heard I was not a JW anymore. I forgave them completely and we are in contact again. Do you know who did all these things to me and my family?
Some may say God or Jesus - I say man, and his religion! Right now my faith in God and Christ is even stronger than ever. I feel that Jesus himself called me out of false religious institutions forever - if he can do that for me and wishes to call my kids, he will do that too. If I made my choice to leave the Catholics at 12 and felt I was mature enough, knowing full well the consequences, then my kids deserve the same chance I had to make their own decision. And I would never treat them like my family treated me if they decide to join a different faith or none at all.
I know in my heart and through my faith that if he is not calling them to be in him now, he will help them when he arrives to rule. And I know they will respond to the kingdom message then. Christ is coming to break down all these religions made by man that oppress, cheat, hurt, breakdown, and abuse people who are just trying to do what they think is right and that is worship God. But one thing he is not going to do is to destroy all these good people just because they do not see things his way at this time. I mean how many really could when religions that claim they are from God do so much evil?
Sorry for rambling - but I never as a witness would talk to a child about religion without a parent there. I had many parents ask me to teach their kids about God but would never use scare tactics on adults so why would I do that to a child? I think the thing I most disagree with that happened today is that your religion is a personal matter and families can make that decision for themselves and that these people tried to use the hellfire fear to scare my kid into believing what they do. Only because I taught my children otherwise, this did not scare my daughter. But I have to think, what about someone elses kid?