In.......congrats on thinking for yourself to get an education and/or training despite pressure from the WTS and with the cong. to not do so. My advise is to just think for yourself and not let anyone influence your decision one way or the other. I believe if you stay for now, your mind and heart will help you make the right decision for you. I can honestly say I had no external influence at all on my decision to leave 15 yrs ago. I seen enough on my own to make up my mind and follow my heart. Nothing but success to you buddy.
on the fence
It seems that those of us "on the fence", those who are "out" but still "in" face a dilemma that those of you who made a clean break didn't face. I for example, am a fourth generation born in to JW. My entire family, and nearly everyone I have known my entire life are JW. On top of that, I have lived in the same metro area the entire time. The impact of my leaving outright or being DF'd would be enormous. It is a price I am simply not willing to pay.
I have two young nephews who live with a crazy self-righteous, daughter of a partaker, mother and their out to lunch dad. She has scriptures for them to remember posted on their bedroom walls. That in and of itself is not bad, but given her demeanor and how she interprets things ~ it gave me the creeps. It is not spiritual training, it is brain washing. It made me sick the other night to find out that my nephew told the brothers he wanted to join the TMS because he wanted to be in paradise. I shutter to think that he already is being groomed for the "it doesn't matter who you are, it matters what you do and how it looks to others" kind of christianity that she subscribes to. If I am out, really out ~ that will just emphasize her points more and will eliminate any influence I could be on the boys. On the other hand, if I am "out/in" then at least I can present some counter balance to the craziness that will be no doubt promoted in their family.
Part of my struggle with this, is not the going to meeting and maintaining an " agreeing to disagree" stance, but the confusion I am experiencing about what I really think, and the amount of research I need to do to figure out what the Bible really teaches, if it can be known. Once I am clear on that, then I can find where I stand. I am slowly, with purpose, building a network of people I know on the outside, and will be building friendships to support me as I fade. This takes time. And, there are people who I really like who are "in/in" ~ and I want to keep that communication open without giving them cause to fear or question me.
I have been noticing, that I can spend an extraordinary amount of time with JWs, alone or in a group, and spend little to no time discussing doctrine. Therefore, I think it might not be as difficult as I expect to mix among them in social situations. When they do say something I don't agree with, I just don't say anything, or I might offer a neutral counter point without being overly aggressive. This seems to be accepted up to a certain point. At the meetings, it is more difficult to ignore because of course you are listening to the theology coming from the stage.
At any rate, none of this is easy ~ which is why we come here to sort it out, right?
Its a journey...
You weren't indoctrinated overnight and you won't sort it all out that quickly either.....
I am still not totally solid on all my biblical interpretations, still retain some interpretations like Arianism....
The main thing is discerning that the WTS hasn't been and probably never will be appointed anything by Jesus so they have no authority....
The 'conscious class' are on the rise.....
You got it, yknot. 100% correct. It's a journey and an individual one at that. Too many of us have been told what to think and how to think for so long that at first it feels awkward and inappropriate to try to determine for ourselves what we believe and what to base our beliefs upon.
I'm currently not sure about the status of the Bible or the nature of God. I've worked out an understanding of God based on the Bible (which is different from the WT stance) but I'm not sure I believe in the Bible anymore, either.
I understand where dys and In are coming from. There is still the pull to stay in for those we love even though we're mentally out. But meetings are a torture.
Thinking and asking questions is what Christians are supposed to do. The bible encourages it. To feel fear of asking questions and that searching for answers is wrong...is wrong.
Starting off by yourself to examine things is scary and necessary.
The internet is portrayed as evil because you can find answers there! It's the same with college.You can find history, others experiences, scholar interpretations of the bible, etc.
When I graduated high school, we under the understanding of the generation meaning that Armageddon would come within the lifetime of those who were old enough to remember WWI. It was 1991. We were told not to make future plans, even giving up marriage or children, yet the Society was making plans to open Patterson in 1995 (if I remember correctly). Back then, I remember thinking, how silly of them seeing the end was coming! I didn't think of how that should have told me they were falsly prophesying! I can see that now. It was wrong of them, and still is wrong, that they play with the future of people and put them through suffering and turmoil while they prosper and don't suffer.
Keep in mind that when Christ asked his disciples if they too wanted to leave him, they said "Lord, you have the sayings of everlasting life". They didn't turn to the Watchtower, they didn't turn to other men. They turned to the Lord. This scripture gets twisted by the Governing Body and they apply it to themselves. They say are the channel Christ uses. But this isn't true. If it was, they would welcome questions and the truth would shine and be undestructable. No question would shake it.
Rely on God and the Holy Spirit to lead you. It was enough for centuries and it still is.
Pray for strength and the leading of the Spirit. It will lead you! Buy a new bible with several translations in it. That was my first step! I was so scared in the bookstore that someone might see me in the religion section. It is sad to think how scared I was! But do it. It was the best money ever spent! Compare them as you read. Really read the context and ask for the Spirit to guide you in your reading. Your eyes will open and you will see the bible in a whole new light! You will find comfort and revelations! God will take you under his wing. When I took it with me to a circuit assembly (we were new to the area so I could get away with not feeling like I was under suspicion by using it) I was floored with how much the scripture was twisted to support their teachings! I nearly got up from my seat and screamed! I was so ready to walk out! We left at lunch time and went to the zoo instead! We had a wonderful time and I felt so much closer to God there than at the assembly! We enjoyed our hotel and watched the other JW's leave for the assembly and went to the mall! It's now become our tradition at that time of year!
When people tell you that you need the Society to guide you and interpret the bible, it's not true. The bible itself says that the spirit will guide us. It is all we need.
Your awakening is your own. Your journey is your own. It isn't easy, but it's worth the effort. Whatever you choose, I hope you find peace. I believe God leads us when it is time and we are ready. He is patient with us, much more so than we are with ourselves! We desire knowledge and wisdom so much that we are willing to jump at it before we may be ready to understand it! Take it at your own pace. Your peace will come. Best wishes to you!
Mad Sweeney, you are so right! I remember the feeling of the blinders falling off and that for the first time in my life, at 33 years old, I could make a decision for myself. I had never felt that before!
On the fence,
Who told you it is wrong to sit on the fence?
Who built the fence?
Why does the deer and her fawn lie down at the edge of the forest bordering the meadow? If predators or hunters approach from the meadow she can escape quietly into the forest. If her enemies approach from the side of the forest, then she can bound quicly across the meadow.
I was reading about the author Voltaire and his writings about the great Lisbon earthquake 1n 1755. The Catholic church was always hounding him for his apostate writnings and he was forced to escape from one country to another. He always settled down near a border, if they came at him from one side, he escaped to the other side.
I left the Watchtower enclosure, around 1967, and was disfellowshipped in 1973. I chose the way of confrontation, knowing full well what the outcome would finally be.
One of the realizations I became convinced of is and was:
I don't need permission from anyone to BE WHO I AM!
belbab the insignificant.
Damn! I killed another thread.
Damn! I killed another thread.
You are so cute belbab!
I have often found that thinking JWs have the most problems - they can't get satisfactory answers to their questions so they go looking in other places for the answers. And that's where things happen.