Well, as my suspicious side suspected, my wife has rather suddenly flipped the script on me. She got confused after I explained reality to her, and by coincidence the elders are now going to do a shepherding call on us.
After having read my e-mail (see 'Drawing Disciples After Myself? Or Jesus' for details on that), she then further questioned me about the person I'd been communicating with. Did I know if they believed in the Trinity, or hellfire? Did I know anything about their personal conduct? They may claim to love God, but do they love Jehovah? Do they use Jehovah's name?
Translation: Is this person one of Jehovah's Witnesses? If not, why are you talking to them?
For one, it's always okay if we believe things that are unscriptural, because 'we have the truth'. That is circular reasoning at its finest, of course. Given the errors in our doctrine, we can hardly harass other Christians for believing things that we happen to think are in error. (Whether they are wrong or not is not an issue I'm addressing here.)
For two, do we know anything about ANYONE'S personal conduct, IN the congregation? NO! We see them a few times a week, but we don't go home with them. So why would we assume that everyone who isn't a Witness is therefore involved in something bad? Given our own state of sinfulness, we're in no position to say a word.
For three, and this is what we then argued about, Jesus Christ, our Exemplar, never used Jehovah's name in his prayers, NOT ONCE. And NOT ONCE in his describing his Father, save where the NWT has him reading the OT and using Jehovah's name in scripture quotation, does he EVER refer to him as Jehovah. NOT ONCE. "That's because that's his Father!" she said, reasoning that most don't call their parents by first name. My response? "Well, he wanted us to know Him as OUR Father. The Israelites already knew Jehovah. Jesus came to show them something different."
I proceeded to explain that there is no basis whatsoever for the use of the name Jehovah in the New Testament--it's not found in any of the oldest Greek manuscripts, not one, and the NWT uses it inconsistently anyway simply because of bias. "That's what you think, huh?" she said. I explained that unbiased scholars--like Jason David BeDuhn, who the 'slave class' itself describes as an 'unbiased scholar'--have determined as much. We're biased just like any other religion.
I told her that anyone who reads the New Testament will see quite clearly that first century Christians were not obsessed with the use of the name Jehovah. Their beliefs were clearly different. The name of Jesus was clearly the focus.
She then suggested the need to talk with the elders, saying that I'd been a negative influence on her spirituality. I explained to her that they do not care about the facts. Their interrogations will conclude with one bottom line question, "Do you believe this is God's organization?" If you answer "No", you're out. I explained to her that I would be DF'd without hesitation.
Well, the elders came to me and said, hey, since you're head of the household, we wanted to ask you if we could stop by for a shepherding call this week. Okay, I said.
So, stage is set. I told my wife that it would be easier if I just go along with the charade. She finds that I ought to stand up for what I believe in if I'm so sure about it, and that she will know if I just go along with the charade when I don't believe in it at all. It's a great irony, as she's supposed to be the one loyal to the organization, yet she tells me to stand up for what I believe in, even though it's clearly apostasy.
It seems like the most logical course of action is to do just that--stand up for what is right, for what is fact, for what is true. To face the consequences of truth at last. To live the reality of Jesus Christ's words, "Men will expel you from the synagogue."
My brother expressed similar concerns that I was 'questioning the organization', maybe 'fault-finding'. He's a company man, an MS/reg. pioneer. Living proof that mind control is very real. If you knew him like I did, trust me, MIND CONTROL IS REAL. I didn't bring up the doctrinal issues with him simply because, being in his position, he has more to lose if he knows I'm questioning the Borg. It would only serve to accelerate my DF'ing rather than it happening on my terms.
I have done enough research, not merely reading Crisis of Conscience and the like, but studying thought reform and mind control (not just Steve Hassan's book, but Robert Jay Lifton's book as well), and the pre-1950 Watchtower publications (the great classics like The Finished Mystery, The Harp of God, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, and 1916, 1922, 1925, and 1928 Watchtowers) to tell me that there is simply no way Jesus Christ would want anything to do with this religion. In hindsight, it seems a lot like the ravings of a bunch of lunatics. I mean, have you read even a little of The Finished Mystery? If not, you'll quickly see that something is VERY WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE. I don't need any further evidence to show me that this is not and never was the true religion.
With all that I have learned over the past year, I am more than equipped to go toe-to-toe with any elder on any subject. Not because I'm a genius, per se, but because you don't have to be. Once you understand mind control, it reduces Watchtower logic to the status of novice infancy. All possible explanations of the Bible are easily predicated by the assumption that the Society is God's channel of communication, guided by the anointed Governing Body. Once you know that, you don't really have to know anything else. As evidenced by my own posts (see my 'Questions From Readers' jokes), it becomes easy to write your own Watchtower articles from off the top of your head! The main weapon elders have available is that of intimidation. Fear is more powerful than logic. Sometimes.
In order to know what to do, I must ask myself, is the truth more important than anything else? Am I willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of what is right? These are questions that Jehovah's Witnesses presumably ask themselves all the time. But not all of them necessarily get the opportunity to test themselves quite like this. Because, like the rest of the world they condemn, they too are following the crowd. Oh--my mistake. They ARE the crowd. They follow the 'little flock'. (Anyone else read the context of Luke 12:32 and find themselves shocked at how out-of-context that verse is taken? See Proverbs 4:18 as another example.)
So...as Rutherford would say, "the fight is on", between those who stand for truth, and those who prefer to be spoonfed the status quo. I have yet to fully decide. But the time is fast approaching.
I wish I had half the courage some of you folks have. ... But this entry has gotten way, way too long. It's safe to say that tough times are ahead. Your prayers would be appreciated, but I understand it's my fight, my load to carry. I face it as the path I chose. If you're reading this, you're still the resistance.