Just don't know what to do.
I disagree on some doctrine with the organisation. Yet, I also know these are the kindest,most loving people on Earth. Such people must be guided by the Holy Spirit. I went out into the world when I was a teenager and in my early 20's. I began smoking and drinking. I began to have an attitude of 'what's in it for me' like all the other worldly people. I stole from my family and even dabbled in demonic rituals and Satan worship. One evening while attending l concert, i passed out after trying marijuana. I came to and could not think properly. I immediately contacted the Elders.
I've lived a clean life since those times and I just don't want to return to that lifestyle. The world is truly a dangerous place and satan truly will devour a person. There is no love outside of the organisation.
As i've been reading this forum, several things i've witnessed have shocked me. I've seen several who actually proudly admit to being avowed atheists. I can understand having a disagreement on doctrines, but these are people who are at least familiar with the Bible. This is what I fear more than anything. If I leave will I forget my creator? Science tells us we evolved from protoplasma but where did it come from? And they don't know where the original hydrogen came from.
How long were you in the org since you told the elders about your sins?
Weeping, sorry to hear you had some tough times in life. You may have been out of the organisation for some time but I can see the indoctrination of JWs is still implanted in you. You use gross over generalisations referring to 'wordly' people. As for the atheist bit - I am atheist and it shocks me how people can read the bible and still want to worship him! He's a megalomaniacal genocidal evil bastard. Knowing the bible (among many other reasons) is why I don't believe in a creator. Your example of 'protoplasm' coming from nowhere makes no sense because you only compound the issue by adding God to the picture. Where did he come from? I doubt I'll reply again to this thread - just chipping in my 2 cents.
This board represents a wide range of viewpoints and ideologies. What is common is that everyone has the opportunity to research and arrive at conclusions with no coercion from others. This is what adds to the lively debate since an atheist and a christian can debate a point without it falling into acrimony.
Some who are now atheists were once devout JWs. However when they conducted research into the societies history, and the origins of the doctrines as well as the robustness of the NWT of the Bible they found deep seated problems. Some have questioned a scriptual interpretation of the world finding more substance in science. This was not a snap decision for many but a sincere search for answers and an atheisitic viewpoint seemed right for them.
There are others who like you find that there are specific doctrines that cause concern and although they may not have all the answers they are happy to remain believers in God. The question here is not whether there is a God, but whether he would use a channel such as WTBTS as his exclusive voice on Earth. As another poster said if a religion is going to demand as much from you as JWs does then they must also be able to withstand a high level of scrutiny. If a religon cannot withstand investigation then you have to question whether it has the right to speak exclusively for God and Christ. I personally have found this board to be extremely helpful and supportive in my attempts to determine what I believe and how I can best express my faith. Mouthy, Challam and others have been particularly helpful in this regard.
As JWs we are taught to judge other religons and viewpoints in a negative way. We are taught that the societies opinion is the only one that matters. As soon as someone contradicts what we say we stop paying attention to the words and look for a way in with our arguments. On this board we learn, debate and truly listen to what others have to say. You do not have to agree with all points of view but they will at the very least get you thinking.
although I was raised as a witness, I left for a few years as I mentioned. I returned for good in 1977. My worldly 'friends' turned very quickly against me. They wanted me to continue in Satan worship activities and even threatened my life. I explained that I had nothing to fear, that my god would soon crush Satan. Most never contacted me again but one expressed interest and asked for some publications.
Weeping. You seem to have been unlucky with your non witness friends. There are actually many, many people out there who are not Satan worshippers as you put it.
Remember too that any love you experience in the cong. is absolutely conditional on you accepting ALL the doctrines of the society. Once you tell them you believe something different you will be cut off from the vast majority of them. There are many 'nice' people in the org but there are also many in other religons and they at least allow you to think for yourself whereas the society are very against private research without using any of their publications.
Weeping, what you experienced while "outside" was a case of "out of the frying pan and into the fire". You got out of a mid control cult, and got involved with a much more dangerous cult. By what you told us you really are in a better place in JWs than you were outside. But that doesn't mean they are the best you can get. Don't judge everyone based on your limited experience.
Weeping, No-one here can tell you what to do. All we can do is share our experiences. When I left the JW`s I definately "lived life to the full" for perhaps a decade, and one day it caught up with me. I had a Cocaine induced Cardiac Arrest at the age of 37. Luckily, I survived, (a bit obvious that), but from that day onwards I never touched an illegal drug, and I dramatically cut back on the alcohol intake, ( I went from getting drunk every night, to a six pack every other week).
Everyone is different, all I can say is that if you are happy within the organisation, then that`s your choice. But try to keep an open mind about everything, not everyone in "The World" is a raving, drug addled Satan worshiper, the vast majority of people are normal, and just want to live their lives with a degree of hapiness.
I think the fact that you`ve posted here shows you are not entirely sure what to do. I hope you make the correct choice for you, whatever that may be.
All The Best
"I disagree on some doctrine with the organisation."
If you were open about such disagreements , you know that you would be disfellowshipped , as the society has said that "no one should challenge them" as recently as this weeks Watchtower. Read the recent experience of paualapollos , who was an elder involved in translation & other work at the British branch. He and 3 other appointed brothers were disfellowshipped for "disagreeing on some doctrine with the organisation" , even though they were leading upright , Christian lives. Their "sin" was to study the bible and find questions with a current WTS teaching.
You are right - there are many decent people in "the truth" - my own experience is that most JWs are friendly , kind & nice people. Sadly there are also a few unpleasant people and a small number of very bad ones. To an extent his mirrors the attitudes of all humans , regardless of their beliefs or motivations.