Borg cubes inbound!
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.
I am thrilled! Of course, the prospects in WTville aren't good for those who point out the obvious error but then are you prepared to sever your conscience?
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.
Don't worry, I am praying :)
This is for you. Note, all Christians are "grafted in" to Israel's promise, see Romans 11, Ephesians 2 etc.
Isaiah 43 (New International Version)
Israel's Only Savior
1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give men in exchange for you,
and people in exchange for your life.
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
6 I will say to the north, 'Give them up!'
and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.'
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth-
7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made."
8 Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,
who have ears but are deaf.
9 All the nations gather together
and the peoples assemble.
Which of them foretold this
and proclaimed to us the former things?
Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,
so that others may hear and say, "It is true."
10 "You are my witnesses," declares the LORD,
"and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor will there be one after me.
11 I, even I, am the LORD,
and apart from me there is no savior.
12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—
I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I am God.
13 Yes, and from ancient days I am he.
No one can deliver out of my hand.
When I act, who can reverse it?"
God's Mercy and Israel's Unfaithfulness
14 This is what the LORD says—
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
"For your sake I will send to Babylon
and bring down as fugitives all the Babylonians,
in the ships in which they took pride.
15 I am the LORD, your Holy One,
Israel's Creator, your King."
16 This is what the LORD says—
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,
17 who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
18 "Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.
20 The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the desert
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21 the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.
22 "Yet you have not called upon me, O Jacob,
you have not wearied yourselves for me, O Israel.
23 You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings,
nor honored me with your sacrifices.
I have not burdened you with grain offerings
nor wearied you with demands for incense.
24 You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me,
or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices.
But you have burdened me with your sins
and wearied me with your offenses.
25 "I, even I, am he who blots out
your transgressions, for my own sake,
and remembers your sins no more.
26 Review the past for me,
let us argue the matter together;
state the case for your innocence.
27 Your first father sinned;
your spokesmen rebelled against me.
28 So I will disgrace the dignitaries of your temple,
and I will consign Jacob to destruction
and Israel to scorn.
I wish I had half the courage some of you folks have.
Luke 12:12 "The Holy Spirit will give you the right words when the time comes." MSG
I, too, am praying for you.
Matthew 10:18-22 (New International Version)
18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21 "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
SD-7, you are being arrested principally on Jesus' account. Pray for the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of your Father to speak. Yes they will put you to death, figuratively at least, but in you will receive life. It starts now, not on "paradise earth" John 10:10
Yeah, it's OK for the WT to be dishonest in promoting its cause because "We have The Truth!" Ditto that for every instance of the WT doing the same thing they accuse other religions of (i.e. leg-humping the UN).
Sorry you have to go through this, Sd-7. Have courage!
Best of Luck SD7. I will be thinking of you. A phonecall from elder yesterday would indicate I may well be in line for visit soon. I still haven't decided whether I see them or just tell them to take a hike. I think I will see them and and say what they want to hear. I'd love to them where to stick it, but family and business prevent me from from doing what I should.
Chalam/Stephen--thanks. Those are good scriptures to bear in mind.
Everyone else, thank you. Coming here is about the only time I can have a clear head. If I'd been born just 15 years earlier, I might not have ever learned about reality. It's good to have a place to talk about this, since therapy isn't in the budget these days. Thanks for your prayers. Fact is, other folks here, like oompa, for example, need your prayers far more. My life's pretty tame and easy by comparison to some of the stories I've read here.
Much power to you.