I am happy for you fuzzy paul, I too am a Baptist, and enjoy visiting my home church whenever I get the chance.
Going to Church
I know the feeling!!! My first time I went to the Orthodox Apostolic Church I was crying. All I was listening it was the Gloryfication of Jesus.In the Orthodox Church the ceremony is in the old Greek language, and the Church uses the Original Greek Texts in the Church. Then I realize how poor my spirituality was in the WT world. In the Church we praise Jesus and God, and we are asking their forgiveness since we are all sinners. It is our faith in Jesus that saves us. Thats all it takes. In the Church I never listen condemning other dominations, or accusing the "apostates". In fact there is a prayer that asks from Jesus to show the way back to the Apostolic Church all those who left the faith, and ask from Him to show forgiveness. Can you imagine that happening in the WT?
You will find a spiritual treasure in the real world, and you are the one who will make the choice what to accept or not.
Blessings to you buddy!
Isn't it cool how the Baptists talk Kingdom, Witnessing, Love, Study - all the things the WT said was their exclusive domain. Except as a Baptist, I really do feel loved - I have never felt so loved in all my life. My 10 year old son has friends, takes guitar lessons from one of the older youth here, learns the bible at his level as a kid thinks - like they teach a kid in grade school. And prayer. These fellow Baptists are a praying people - prayer is very powerful.
Pray for JWs to discern the futility of earning salvation and seeing the false front of the WTBTS. Pray that JWs will discover God's love in Jesus at a regular Christian Church.
To date: My son then my JW wife joined me in Baptism. My 19 year old step-daughter goes to church with us as does the oldest step-daughter's little girl. That oldest daughter also attends a womans study here. My son has brought a boy and his sister, and another two boys to church with us. We fill a row!
I sing in a men's four part harmony group and the choir. What can possibly be wrong with singing for others in worship. The WT has no use for choirs or individual music performances. Worship and prayer are US telling GOD how we feel. The words of the speaker (pastor, minister ... ) need to be GOD speaking to US.
Baptists are a Congregational system of governance and the authority for belief is the Bible with each believer authorized to hold to his own revelation of what the scriptures mean. The idea of all other religions being a strict list of doctrines, with their own check-lists is non-sense. The WT's idea that this leads to an a-la-carte belief sustem is non-sense. Freedom of belief is freedom of conscience! The booklet, The Baptist Faith and Message, is a list of well over a thousand scriptures under 17 subject headings with an introductory paragraph. It is no larger than a pocket pamphlet and surpasses any WT study primers for detail of fact and evidence of faith.
How many ex-JWs are Baptists now and should we make a new posting for this question?
Very few Paul, most become Atheist or Agnostic. Baptist XJW's really are a minority. The county I originate from is predominately Baptist of various denominations and only one Kingdom Hall for 2 whole counties.
Personally, I feel the need to attend a church or to be part of some sort or religious movement; I am reluctant to use the word 'organisation' because of its JW connotations. However, as my wife is still 'in' and I feel that the local elders would be on me like a ton of bricks and disfellowship me, I am reluctant to attend any church at the moment.
If nothing else, I think that religion should help us face up to our own mortality; either in terms of the Christian hope of the resurrection or the eastern religious approach that our own lives are simply part of a bigger cosmic presence in to which we dissolve at death.
My first time I went to the Orthodox Apostolic Church I was crying. All I was listening it was the Gloryfication of Jesus.In the Orthodox Church the ceremony is in the old Greek language, and the Church uses the Original Greek Texts in the Church. Then I realize how poor my spirituality was in the WT world. In the Church we praise Jesus and God, and we are asking their forgiveness since we are all sinners. It is our faith in Jesus that saves us. Thats all it takes. In the Church I never listen condemning other dominations, or accusing the "apostates". In fact there is a prayer that asks from Jesus to show the way back to the Apostolic Church all those who left the faith, and ask from Him to show forgiveness. Can you imagine that happening in the WT?
I know where you are coming from, justhuman. I cried the first time I went to Church, too. I have cried every other time as well, tell you the truth. I love love love the devotional aspect of worship of God. I missed that so much while I was a jw. Their instructional 'worship' always left me cold. I used to leave the kh feeling blue nearly every meeting (and no wonder, being guilt tripped and told that whatever I do is never ever enough, and having to associate with the psychos in the cong!). By contrast, I always feel uplifted and contented after Church. It used to bug me how the jw's used to abase Jesus Christ - I never agreed with that. How wonderful for me to hear my Lord and Saviour being given glory and his true position being acknowledged.
I enjoyed my 2 yrs of church going. It always gave me a positive buzz. The first time i went was to check out a traveling preacher, max solbreken, that my dad used to deride when i was a kid. I was scared shirtless. I found him to be very nice. I certainly didn't stop going because of the people.
Its so interesting that we've all said the same thing pretty much. On the ocassions when I go to the Kingdom Hall, I leave out of there needing a drink, a good cry, feeling despondent and like I am the most worthless piece of you know what on the face of the planet. I have started attending the church of my childhood, the United Methodist Church and never have I felt so loved, so uplifted, so wanted. I really believe that I will find a good man to marry someday very soon in the Methodist Church, I know that I've found a loving and forgiving God who cares and is genuinely interested in the total me, not just how many hours I've clocked or if I've attended all the meetings in a month.
Very soon, I hope to be able to truthfully introduce myself by my real name. I'm a bit of a chicken, but I'm am working on resumes and sending them out, for me it will be easier to just walk away without a backward glance, but to do that I need a job and a place to live, once I have those two things, I'm gone, and those things are now shall we say, 'in the mix'