What now?

by faundy 28 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • aligot ripounsous
    aligot ripounsous


    I said to the 2 elders who came for a sheperding call last May that I'm still formally a JW because so far I've not found a credible alternative to that religion as far some fundamentals are concerned, which I got from the JWs and which I adhere to : one unique God Jehovah (or yahweh or whatever we pronounce it as long as it is the Bible name), no trinity, Jesus's ransom sacrifice, no immortal soul, no hell nor purgatory, earthly paradise promise (with all the question maks that go with it) , 2 classes (why not, makes sense as much as any other proposal, it all depends of who is part of the little flock, Jah knows).

    Now, I don't see myself as an activist JW, I don't preach anymore (can't bring myself to say that Jah is going to destroy poverty by means of destroying the poor, or claim the lifes of 6 hundred million babies as a price to pay to save 6 million JWs at A.) . My family and I only attend the WE meeting, the way we would do if we went to the church. The two elders didn't really try to bring me back to standard JW activity, as if they understood only too well my position. I personally can't see any other satisfactory religion and if they disfellowship me I will keep an agnostic stand.

    As for the NWT Bible, with all its imperfection and bias, it is quite acceptable to me, as a no linguist expert. So, you see you can find not-too-dogmatic JWs, a type the number of which will go increasing, I believe, because they can't get rid of the JW skin but OTOH just ask the WTS to let them live their own life in the way they want to, with minimal external control from an organization.

  • faundy

    I know of a few brothers and sisters who lie very similarly to you, allgot; they may feel that there are discrepancies, unanswered questions, etc, but that the organization gives at least what seem to be the most logical answers to many questions. However even if I felt that being a witness was the closest I could get, I would not be allowed to continue associating because of theg ay thing. It's as though I would be attending constantly as a disfellowshipped person, going to the meetings but living as a lesbian. I wonder actually , whether that has ever been done before, that someone attends every meeting they can but who never gets reinstated because of a certain part of their life that does not conform. But I guess that's the subject for another topic.

  • faundy

    That should be 'live similarly' by the way, not lie!

  • greendawn

    You should check out some mainstream religions which have no cultic traits. You mustn't be influenced by the JW idea that all religions apart from them are false.

    All religions have misconceptions of one sort or other and the JWs are foremost in this, they are forever changing their beliefs due to them being misconceptions.

  • SnakesInTheTower

    welcome faundy, glad you are here.

    Please allow me comment on what you said and some of the replies. I must say as a matter of disclosure about myself as you are new: I am still technically an active JW, but rarely attend meetings and no longer go in the ministry anymore. (check some of my past posts). I am a lot more liberal in my thinking than the average JW, even when I was still an elder. My thoughts these days would get me D/Fd in about 2 seconds. (that and being on this discussion forum...heh heh)

    I checked your profile and the course you have chosen is definitely not approved by the WT (aka, "the Borg" as we say on the board). Who cares what a man-made religion thinks?! You must choose whatever your hearts desire is. As long as you are an adult and accept the good and bad in any choice you make (lifestyle, religion, or otherwise), then do as you please. I, for one, do not judge your lifestyle one way or the other. Your way is not my way, but it does not make mine better or worse, just different. Thank goodness we are not a homogenized bunch of humans. The fun is in exploring andn discussing those differences.

    There is a nice sense of freedom not rushing around trying to get to all the meetings and ministry and everything associated with that. My dry cleaner bill has dropped down to 0 since stepping aside as an elder and missing so many meetings. Now just an occasional cleaning is needed. I laughed at your reference to "dowdy skirts". Nowadays, I live, play, and work in nice plain t-shirts and blue jeans and walking (tennis) shoes (except for the occasional meeting and my once a week office job).

    Interesting your comments about wondering about your faith. I appreciate OUTLAW's post:

    If you want to check out some Christian Church`s,do it..There`s nothing stopping you now..You may meet some very nice people..

    Really, "going to church" is really about two things to most people, First, and foremost, it is a social activity, a chance to be around other people. Second, it is about faith, values, beliefs that we hold in common. Some may disagree about first and second, but that's not the main point. "Church" brings those people with similar values together. Please understand, if you don't already do, that faith and values are two separate things. You can have one without the other. Values without faith is called morals, common across the human spectrum. Religious faith without values is called hypocrisy. All faiths have a value code, yet how many people do you know that go to church (JW or otherwise) that don't live their alleged faith/value system outside of the KH/church/synagogue/temple? Better to have Values without Faith, in my opinion.

    Personally, if (and likely when) I leave the JW faith completely, whether voluntarily by DA or involuntarily by DF, I will not attach myself to another religion or belief system once that happens. I will still have my values, some of which initially have been shaped by being raised a JW. There are some good things in their professed moral code. I will take those good things and build on them. JWs do not corner the market on being "good people."

    As for reading the Bible, I rarely do it anymore. I studied the NWT Reference Bible in depth. Yes, we appreciate the clear English text of the NWT. Do not confuse clear with precise. As others have mentioned, the NWT is slanted by the WTS to back up its doctrinal views, views which I am certain you have discovered are faulty at best. As Eclipse and others posted, feel free to explore other translations and versions of the Bible. I used to love comparing different texts and even used them in my Public Talks. (I got many compliments on doing that, although it seems speakers are discouraged from doing that these days...stick to the NWT they are told now). I don't blame you about not wanting to wade through all of the King's English (thees and thous). Personally, I don't put any more stock in the Bible in general than a self help book at the book store. I find it has a good moral code in some things, but is very judgmental in others. I dont feel like bobbing for apples in the sewer just because the apples themselves appear good.

    As to your comments about a creator (note creator is not capitalized). I believe that there must be a "higher intelligence" on some dimension other than ours that created what we know in this dimension, the one we can observe. Was creation outright created by this entity, or was it started by the entity and then left to evolve over time? No real way to prove it...we weren;t there. Even archelogical finds are subject to interpretation, according to the bias of whomever is doing the reporting. Do I believe that entity to be God, something divine, something to be worshiped? NO. I respect that entity as a creator by showing respect to the creation....the planet I live on. I try to leave as small a footprint as I can on it for the generations that will come behind me. I believe the need to worship something bigger than ourselves is not imbred, but just something that humans thought up along the way to explain the unexplainable and to control others. Why else have an unprovable burning hell as part of your belief system?

    Choosing Life made a good comment:

    take your time and do some research. It takes quite a lot of time to get all of the jw mindset out of a person

    CL was not raised in the Borg, yet CL still cant get it all out of their head. I, on the other hand, was raised in it. I seriously doubt that I will get out of my head in the 40-60 years of my remaining life here. You may not either, but you have more years to do so than I do. That's the nature of mind control.. and that is what you left when you left the WTS....mind control.

    WAC's quote of Buddha is excellent....just use the common sense you surely must have. It will take time for it to come out from behind the JW mask, but it is there.

    Finally, tula.....what a great idea...go hang out at Barnes & Noble..they encourage you to browse. I have hung out there for hours at a time and bought only a cup of coffee..or nothing...other times I buy the book I was reading because I want to finish it. B&N knows this and encourages in store reading. It really is a great way to unwind...especially on a Sunday.

    A lot of those Christians think they are chosen also. They think they are going to fly out of here real soon.

    LMAO at that Tula....don't have to guess what you think about it.

    OK, I have rambled here enough. faundy, this board is a social network and therapy and a party all wrapped up in one. Glad you found your way here. Sometimes the party even spills out onto the sidewalk of the real world. You can make friends here.....

    SnakesInTheTower (...)

  • faundy

    We don't have Barnes and Noble here in the UK, I think our equivalent would be Waterstones; as an English Literature student I spend quite a bit of time in there already. I can't say I'm into philosophy and the like. I have recently simply been in the kind of mood where I wish it was clearer, and easier, to know what God wanted and exactly which faith he approved of. I spoke to my girlfriend before and she agrees that going to church would be nice; she's a protestant by birth and attends church when she's home. As a student in Liverpool Sunday mornings as I'm sure you can appreciate are about recovering from the night before. But I think it would be good for both of us; she challenges me to think about religion and I'm glad that we can talk openly about it. She has only known me since I've been openly gay and away from the meetings but is trying to understand the shunning I'm experiencing and the difficulty to leave something that has been a part of my life since I was born. By the way, just a small point; I don't want to be seen as nitpicking but I do not think my lifestyle is something I have chosen, it's simply a part of me. Your calling it a 'choice' sounds very much like something an elder would say; I don't honestly believe it was something I could ever have changed about myself, and for years I really did try.

  • choosing life
    choosing life

    Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reasons and your own common sense." -- Buddha

    Good quote WAC. If only we can do it.


    It's true that a lot og jws are becomming like nominal christians, attending less and just saying no to the hectic lifestyle forced upon them. Many still believe in part of it, at least. It is strange, once my non-jw mother told me in the 70's that as time went on, the religion would become more like the other churchs. I don't see that in everything, but I see it in the way people are setting their own terms with their time and support.

    The majority of jws I know are only there for the social aspect. It doesn't even seem like the same religion I knew 30 years ago. It is in constant flux, always running from one scandal or another.

  • poppers

    There are two fundamental questions that you are faced with now: Do you want to have a belief in something or do you want to discover what's real and present right now? If you simply want a belief then there are lots of avenues to explore; if, however, you want to find what is real and true about yourself no beliefs are necessary. There is a richness of life and a peace and wholeness that is discovered when one finds the truth of one's own being. The compulsion to seek answers in beliefs dissolves when the reality of what one is becomes familiar. Let go of all beliefs, with all striving to know, with all expectation of future, with all regret of past, with all labels and judgments and see what is here right now in this very moment. You may be surprised.

  • Open mind
    Open mind

    First off, a big thumbs up to Snakes!!

    That was a very enjoyable ramble. My blood pressure didn't rise. I'm not hating the JWs. I'm not ready to burn an atheist at the stake. Live and let live. You're recovering quite well my friend.


    I'm excited for you. I hope you are too.

    One thing you said:

    to know what God wanted and exactly which faith he approved of.

    I was a little surprised to hear these words coming from someone who has been judged as much as you have. Ask yourself whether this may just be decades of JW indoctrination rearing it's ugly head again. (Don't feel bad, I do it all the time. ) The idea that there is one faith that God approves of is likely an idea that you will move away from over time. It puts very human, narrow limits on God.

    I'm gonna go find a couple other nuggets I've found here on JWD that you might enjoy.

    Take care,

    Open Mind

  • Open mind
    Open mind

    Speaking of enjoyable reads, I failed to mention Poppers and James Thomas. They're definitely worth reading, IMO. I consider them my JWD "blood pressure medicine". I always feel calmer and more centered after reading their posts.

    You may not be ready for this yet, but when/if you are, I highly recommend "The Power of Now" by Eckhard Tolle. If you can, get it in audio book format. It's read by Mr. Tolle. Neither Poppers, James Thomas or Eckhard Tolle will try getting you to join anything. They just have beautiful thoughts to share and nothing to sell. (Well, except Eckhard is selling books, but that's it. No cults hiding in the bushes. )

    In the meantime, here's a snippet that I first heard repeated here by Nvrgnbk. It's called the Atheist's Wager. See what you think.

    "You should live your life and try to make the world a better place for your being in it, whether or not you believe in God. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will be remembered fondly by those you left behind. If there is a benevolent God, he will judge you on your merits and not just on whether or not you believed in him. "

    I really like that. If you want to read posters bouncing this idea around, here's the thread Nvr started on it.


    This place is like a candy store Faundy. If you find a poster whose ideas interest you, click on their name, and then Topic History.

    Simon, (the owner of this here den of snakes) got the Search feature up and running recently. Try that out as well. I just typed in "Atheist's Wager" and Nvr's thread was the first hit.

    Thanks Simon.

    Peace and respect,

    Open Mind

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