Before knowing TTATT did you really believe in things as...
I believed most of the things that I was taught, even though a lot of it did not make any sense. The ENTIRE City of Nineveh repenting? C'mon.
When the Daniel book came out I couldn't put faith in a lot of stuff they were trying to say applied to Rutherford and the other brothers being imprisoned and such from Scriptures in Daniel. That was bogus in my mind and I was about 14/15 at the time
Was pretty sure the flood couldn't have drowned literally the whole earth, since species such as kangaroos were only found in Australia, and have been there tens of thousands of years, at least.
Felt that paul was sexist and put his thoughts on women in the bible as his own opinion.
believed the world could get a HECK of a lot worse whenever witnesses said 'the end is so close, the world can't get worse.'
believed in apemen, didn't know how they fit in the grand scheme of things. Thought they might be another species. Believed in carnivorous dinosaurs.
Believed that astronomers would find other planets outside the solar system. Was rebuked by witnesses until it happened.
Was pretty sure evolution was real. Especially sure that micro evolution was real, didn't know why witnesses would never say that.
Thought perhaps sex before marriage isn't such a bad thing now that there is birth control. The whole point was preserving the family arrangement, wasn't it? Making sure babies knew who their fathers were.
Was pretty sure I would never let a child of mine die who needed blood.
was skeptical of the anointed 'knowing' they were anointed. How, exactly??
hell seemed pretty fiery in a few of the passages. Seemed pretty obvious witnesses simply chose not to believe in it. Am currently in a religion that doesn't choose to believe in a fiery hell either, and I'm still not sure, but I like it better this way.
i was sure gay people were born gay and in most cases it was not a choice.
highly doubted witnesses were the only ones going to survive Armageddon. Thought perhaps a third of the world would be destroyed, as it says in revelation.
I regret to have to report that yes, there was a time when I believed all those things you just mentioned. Later on, it became a case of :
(i) wanting to still believe it was all true,
(ii) then desperately wanting to still believe that this was the truth.
(iii) and finally the realisation that I was just trying harder and harder to defend something that was indefensible!
PS: Not in any way proud of all this. Like Cofty, though, I could never have remained with the JWs (or any religious group, for that matter) if I didn't believe their teachings.
I was born in in 1962 and believed it verbatim, after all my father said it was true and he had checked out other religions so it must be. I always doubted that I would survive Armageddon even though I was not really a bad person, just spiritually weak and did not have a pioneering spirit or even just a door to door spirit.
As I grew up, I still believed in Armageddon but did not think about whether other things were right or wrong, I just did what I had always done. I noticed problems such as lack of love in the cong and I always seemed to be on the outside looking in. In 1995, I visited Brooklyn Bethel. Something there just did not sit right with me although I had always wanted to go there. I did not regret spending a whole day of my time in the US at Bethel but the slacking off began after that.
My father, I think may have been having some doubts also. I can't ask him as he is deceased, but before he passed away, according to mum, he stopped reading the society's publications and read only the Bible and did only meeting prep from the WT, etc. He has been gone over 16 years now and I do know for sure that if he was still alive, he would be very interested in what I have been researching on this site and others. He would be very open to TTATT. In fact if he was resurrected like the people on the TV series, he would be absolutely shocked to know he has been dead 16 years.
i have learnt so much in the past 6 months. I had not been to a meeting since the memorial of 2013 but only began looking into it 6 months ago. A few things bothered me such as shunning D/F young ones, JW's only ones to survive Armageddon, uncaring attitudes of elders, Bethel bros, etc. The main thing that stopped me was the uncaring attitude towards the elderly, in particular my mother. Then I found out it was a widespread problem. Don't even start me on child abuse!
Sorry my rant is so long. I have, like so many others, put many years into the org, not so much as a pioneer but just in my everyday life, always thinking before I bought clothes, saving money for conventions, being separate from others at school and work. Now my life is much less of a burden. The Bible says that my yoke is kindly and my load is light. That was not the case in the JW's. Now I can buy more fashionable clothes, get a piercing if I want to. I still subconsciously think about what I should do then remind myself that I am free now.
Harmagheddon or the end of the world coming soon
I think that to be a 'witness' one had to believe and have faith in the good news regarding the establishment of God's kingdom in 1914 and the elevation of the 'Servant' mentioned in Isaiah to the throne of the Messianic Kingdom so that they could join with the anointed remnant in the preaching and so by doing be a witness.
As a witness and recognising Matthew 24:14 as being fulfilled all the other beliefs followed which included the appointment of the 'faithful slave class' and the role assigned to them.
As a 3rd generation born-in I mostly accepted the "reality" presented to me.
Doubts on birthdays, the generation, the anointed, and (spiritually) infantile "elders" were suppressed or rationalised.
Then one day the gospel was brought to my attention.
The more I pursued the gospel in their own publications the more I realised they don't in reality believe or teach it.
The clincher was the vitriolic contempt of the Pharisees ("elders") for the gospel in their own publications.
A great little irony for me now is the realisation that Armageddon just might be the spiritual battle between good and evil, in which case evil has won out in the Watchtower and their destruction is now a mere formality.
Oubliette - "I was, however, persuaded to entertain the other ideas you mentioned because I was persuaded to believe that JWs had 'the Truth'. And when I say, 'entertain', I mean that I tentatively accepted that they MIGHT be true because I accepted that the religion was true."
That's actually a really good way of describing it.
I remember studying 1914 in depth with the WT publications, and the numbers didn't add up.
I'm not bad at maths in reality, but this knocked my confidance as i thought i might not be as clever as i thought i was.
It always used to confuse me how some people could just real it all off, but i could get my head around it.
Now i know it's because it doesn't make sense, and the numbers do not check out. You can't make 2+2=5.
I believed 144,000 being a literal number. I believed in Armageddon, but didn't think i would survive. And i worked out that if i didn't survive, then probably only 90% wouldn't survive either.
I think i believed pretty much every thing i was told by the WT 100%
I'm just glad i have an inquisitive mind, and had the guts to check out the internet.