EXJW4EVR: My weekly postings are not strawmen fallacies but are collections of texts from the NT that add to my conviction that the NT is the work of man, rather than God. I retrain an appreciation for it, and believe that it contains inspiring and helpful passages. I was a studious JW, and read the Bible eagerly for many years, and feel that it has helped me greatly.
I am very familiar with the teachings of the various other branches of Christianity, as I listen to a daily radio sermon, preached by Clergymen and Clergywomen from all the main Christian denominations here in England. I have been listening to these sermons with interest for many years. I wonder whether many Christians are equally familiar with the sentiments of former Christians.
DEPUTY DOG: Yes, you're right in saying that JWs wouldn't describe themselves as a branch of Christianity. Now being an atheist, I would describe them as such. For me now, anyone who believes the NT's supernatural claims about Jesus and follows what he or she believes to be his teachings is a Christian. By this criteria, I was a Christian for many years.
I became a Christian ( JW style ) in the normal way, ie studied the Bible, went to Christian meetings, prayed to God, associated with other Christians, and lived up to NT demands, and became entirely convinced that Christianity was true, and that I had a genuine relationship with God. I have to say that I delighted in that 'relationship'.
I am aware that as JWs don't believe in the trinity etc, many other Christians don't regard them as 'true' Christians, but to me this is all a matter of differing interpretations of deeply ambiguous ancient text. I don't believe that there is one correct way of interpreting the Bible, as there are contradictory views expressed within the Bible itself; for most doctrines that can be extracted from the Bible, verses can be found that contradict those doctrines.
With regard to whether a 'true' Christian can become disillusioned with 'true' Christianity and leave, you may find it helpful to go to,'Leaving Christianity', and then click on, 'Feedback discussions', and then read the author's debate with a 'true' Christian called Tammy D. Sundby. The author's points are very interesting.