You asked: "what is one to do; not speak or have anything to do with life long friends, just end the association?" Actually, when you get baptised, that is exactly what they will expect. Those who have friends outside of the Truth are considered weak. You are suppose to get all of your friendships from within the ranks. If you keep your 'worldly' friends, you will feel the pressure to get rid of them. This includes, wordly family members. Your brothers and sisters in the truth will be all the family you 'ever' need. This is why it is so hard to leave. Because you end up cutting yourself off from the world outside the orginization. Most of the time you do this willingly. You may actually WANT to leave these good people behind. But one day, you will look around and you will have no one except THEM (the brothers and sisters). And THEY won't let you leave. I grew up inside. My mother got 'the truth' when I was only a year old. I have 3 sisters. All of which got baptised. I am the only one that did not take that step. All 4 of us girls fell away. All from mistakes made. They threw us all out. Our mother is only allowed to speak to the one daughter that was never baptised. Me. :) Trust me, my sisters don't envy me, because she uses the time we talk to preech. But I, unlike my sisters, know better than to fall into the 'truth' traps. I know it isn't the 'truth'. I only wish I could convince my mother. :( In parting, I offer one bit of advice. Don't take that final step. It's not worth it. Especially since the end won't be coming any time soon.
to join or not
Welcome to the board.
The only thig i will say to you as the others have, read the bible and see what's being thaught, look at the message and see that everything that the JW teach
they only use one scripture to back up their doctrines.
faithful and discreet slaves
i have kids in the organization and they truly enjoy it because of many good friends they have.
The time you will disagree with any teachings, you are out and ther goes the love that they claim they have.
If you are weak in the faith you will also be neglected and be viewed as bad association.
Don't rush into it. Do a lot of research on the internet
Appearances can be deceptive, the JW leadership is constantly manipulating and misleading its members with false arguments and any criticism of themselves or their ideas is strictly forbidden on pain of expulsion. Not a Christian approach, their whole mindset is one of deceit and tight control.
Well JWs believe that everyone good and bad, elderly or baby, that is not a JW, will be put to death by their God and that will be the end of the system. I find that prospect quite appalling - I have no wish to live in a world under judgement of a god who will slaughter babies with impunity. Luckily I dont believe any of this is true and will continue trying to make the world a better place rather than look forward with relish to its destruction.
I agree with Crumpet's comment.
To rejoice in the destruction of Billions of INNOCENT people just because they DIDNT TAKE A BIBLE STUDY is sick and cold hearted.
They are a cult,
I know, I never would of said that when I was on the inside...BUT, in my mind, I always thought they were overly controlling...
From Hasson's observations about the Moonies and other cultic organizations, and reports from cult-awareness organizations, some additional identifying characteristics of their definition would be:
Recruiting work performed by all of the members (although they may deny that is what they are doing).
People not allowed to discuss criticism of the leader(s), the doctrine, or the organization, or read information that is critical of the religion.
Members trained to disbelieve criticism of the religion as lies from Satan.
Members spy on one another and report improper activities or comments to leaders.
Members taught to suppress anything which might reflect negatively to outsiders about the religion.
Usually, the doctrine is absolutist and the ideology is internalized as "the Truth."
Members told to avoid contact with ex-members or critics, even their relatives.
Members instilled with a deep fear about ever leaving the organization, and anyone who does depart is of the devil.
Emotional control - terror of being caught and punished by leaders.
Disciplinary action administered by group leaders, which may involve excommunication for such things as questioning organization policy or doctrine.
People foregoing education and career interests to perform recruiting and other organization endeavors.
Advocate socializing only with other members in the organization.
Many cults believe the apocalypse is very near and may even predict dates.
Fear of separation from the organization.
Belief that their's is the only true religion.
From the foregoing information let us examine the questions posed in the February 15, 1994 Watchtower article:
WT-Q: Would it be accurate to refer to Jehovah's Witnesses as a small fringe religious group?
Considering that the Watchtower organization began from a small congregation of "Bible Students" started by C.T. Russell in the late 1800s, which sprang out of a congregation of Second Adventists, we might ask: At what point in time or numbers did the Watchtower Society advance beyond the point of being a small fringe religious group? Was it before or after they were chosen by Jehovah God to be His channel of communication to the whole world through the pages of The Watchtower in "these 'last days' before Armageddon"?
WT-Q: Cult members often isolate themselves from friends, family, and even society in general. Is that the case with Jehovah's Witnesses?Is it not true that Jehovah's Witnesses discourage their members--especially their children in school--from associating with "worldly" friends and relatives, saying Witnesses "are no part of this world"? (John 15:19) What is meant in the Reasoning From the Scriptures book, on page 189 under "Bad associations" where 1Cor.15:33 is cited to discourage friendship with anyone not among Jehovah's Witnesses? Are Jehovah's Witness children in school allowed to participate in the extra-curricular clubs and social activities, including sports?
WT-Q: Do the Witnesses use deceptive and unethical techniques to recruit members?
Perhaps it may depend on what one considers deceptive or unethical. If you were to out-right ask a Jehovah's Witness--who has either come to your door in the house-to-house "witnessing" work, or got your name as a survivor of someone deceased out of the obituaries--if you ask whether the Witnesses are there hoping to recruit you into Jehovah's Witnesses, they would usually deny it. However, ask them if it is true that their mission is to find "other sheep" to bring them into the Watchtower's fold before Armageddon, because everyone living except Jehovah's Witnesses will be destroyed--how might the average Witness respond? They will try to impart the impression that you have the hope of seeing your deceased loved ones very soon in a paradise earth--but will have to be pressed to admit this is only if you join them and survive Armageddon.
WT-Q: Cult leaders are knownto use manipulative methods to control the minds of their followers. Is there any evidence that Jehovah's Witnesses do this?Based on the foregoing information about the techniques of cult mind control, one must determine whether the Watchtower Society employs any number of these tactics to direct and bind the loyalty of Jehovah's Witness members to the organization.
WT-Q: Is their worship cloaked in secrecy?According to the book Crisis of Conscience by former Governing Body member, Raymond Franz, most of their organizational policy making regarding doctrine, worship and disciplinary actions, including disfellowshipping procedures, is done in closed meetings of the Governing Body.
WT-Q: Are they following and venerating a human leader?
Does the Watchtower Society no longer teach that the Governing Body and the "annointed" remnant are the collective mediator between the majority of Jehovah's Witnesses and Jesus Christ?
WT-Q: Pointedly, are Jehovah's Witnesses a cult?Well, considering the The World Book Encyclopedia definition, various dictionaries, the Watchtower Society's definition, or that of recognized cult-awareness advocates, it would seem to depend on your preferred definition of the word 'CULT.'
To become a witness requires a lot of deep thought and huge lifestyle changes but some things are very vague.
How many lifestyle changes did the jailer and his entire household have to make before they were baptised in Acts 16:25-33?
Thank you very much people; your replies have really opened my eyes from your experiences. I have nothing against the the bible, Jesus or God; but these elders need to get their act together and I won't have a bar of it, that is obeying the WT society and leaving my family, mother, brother, father and life long friends for being none JWs. These elders come across as off putting to say the least and although I love bible teachings, Jesus and Jehovah I am stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment. Soon I will talk to JWs and ask a million questions before I make a concrete decision and if I get one sniff of any kind of deception and trickery I will remain as I am.
Once again thank you very much.
I see that you have read Synergy's post. Disfellowshipping is not discussed
with potential recruits. It is cold, heartless, and expected of everyone to obey
the restriction to avoid contact with the disfellowshipped person.
They allow children to get baptized, then many teens get disfellowshipped.
Other than the contact with their parents, they then are shunned by family
and friends at an age when they need help and association the most.
I am fading from activity in the organization, as many here on the JWD are doing.
Our reasons are that we don't want family to be told to shun us, just because
we have discovered the WTS prophecies are wrong, WTS is wrong. If I were
disfellowshipped, my mother would be told to shun me. I have committed no
sins- only wish to stop being a JW.
That list of books posted above- those would really help you. I particularly enjoyed
the Steven Hassan books and CAPTIVES OF A CONCEPT.
Ask the elders if they believe the following Scripture applies to you personally:
The one who has the Son has life.The one who doesn’t have the Son of God does not have life. I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:12-13)
If they tell you it doesn't apply to you and only applies to the 144,000 I suggest you run as fast and as far away from the JW's as your feet will carry you.
Welcome dontknow, you may not know and it is humble that you come here to find out, there is so much experience here and eye witness facts, so much evidence that this is not something that you want to rush in on. Of course they are going to act like your friend. Satan didn't act like an enemy of Eve but rather a friend and the Bible says she was thoroughly decieved. Keep doing more research on the religion and beg God for HS as you study His Word against their teachings.
What I have discussed with JWs is that Jehovah created man with a precious gift called a free will to exercise, think and do what is appropriate for him and not to have someones will imposed on him.
They ought to practice what they preach, they certainly are not like THE FATHER in allowing others to have free choice, step out of line just once and especially after you take the dip, I will bet you, you won't think they are friendly then.
Here is my personal story of how I came to have questions, and how I was treated. Remember I was raised very strong in the organization. I would have NEVER dreamed of leaving. Yet the questions I had deserved honest answers. When it was discovered that I had such questions I was labeled a apostate and now none of those who I thought were my friends will listen as to how I had come to have questions. And my questions were NEVER answered!! That was a huge red flag to me. Remember, unlike what the witnesses claim, you still can have a relationsip with Jehovah and Jesus without the organization. That was never a requirement. The only two commands Jesus gave after the Mosaic law was to love your God and love your neighbor.
Here is my story, it may help you gleen some insite as to why we would ever consider leaving what we had always known to be the "truth".