I stopped going to the meeting two years ago in July. I felt like Neyank. I just felt so darned hypocritcal. By then I had some serious doubts. The congregation I was going to then was so kind unlike the one before who had mistreated me so badly. But being honest with myself I realized the only reason I was going was for a few of the people. I also realized that the only reason I was staying in was so I wouldn't lose my family. And that just wasn't good enough.
After meeting my husband and doing a lot of talking and crying, he said one thing that really hit home. He said "You are a very honest person. When are you going to start being who you really are?" It took me a few weeks after that to make up my mind. It had already been almost a year since I had been at any meetings.
Nothing has really changed with my family, other than the expressed attitudes on other threads. I still can't be really honest with them about my feelings. They think I left because of perceived badness on my part. How do you tell them, I left because I don't believe it is the truth? They don't want to hear that. So for now I allow them their disillusionment. Maybe someday they will really want to know who I am.
My husband I definitely do not feel the need for any organized religion. I don't think any one of them has the total "truth". For the most part I think organized religion fills an emotional need for some people. I too, have been surprised by so many of the witnesses moving on to another form of control. I guess some have needs that we don't.
I believe we can be very content and fulfilled within ourselves and what we make of our lives.
My husband and I both get bored with long argumentative discussions on scriptural threads. What is the point? There are always opinions and interpretation. We all have a right to that. I don't think God is really interested in hair splitting though. I think living good lives and treating others properly is very important.
I like Carmel have developed a belief system that works for me. It is a little unusual, but it works. You may also email my husband and I and we would be glad to share.
Find what works in your heart and what truly makes you content.