Drew, I would not let the "apostate" term even concern you: if you do, it shows you're still playing by their rules. You are NOT an apostate, you ARE a thinking human being.
I would be like a broken record on the central issue of serving God vs. serving an Organization. Let them show you how many scriptural texts there are (other than the "faithful and discreet slave" one that they have twisted) that says that God needs an organization on earth. In contrast, you can load them up with all the scriptures that emphasize the only way to salvation is a relationship with Christ (start with John 3:16). There are hundreds of these. Clearly, one can (one should) serve God without the Watchtower, and one can (and should) read/interpret/understand the bible without Watchtower.
I'm going to make a general post about this topic tomorrow. But I would certainly be like a broken record about this one if I were face to face with the "elders" now.
Take care, my friend.
Grace to you.