Hi, anonymous4. I hope you do come and visit this thread a few more times so we can chat.
I see one one hand you are looking for deeper truth, and on the other hand, wonder how bad the witnesses could be? There's a world of difference between greater truth, which reminds me of climbing a great mountain, crisp air and grand panoramas, and "not so bad" which reminds me of scorched oatmeal. You can eat it, but who would want to?
If you are serious about finding greater truth beyond your pentecostal upbringing, might I suggest you learn some sharper reasoning techniques. This will help you sort out the wheat from the chaff. For instance, even though the true path is narrow that few will find (Matthew 7:13), it does not follow that those with the most exclusive followers must have the truth. Otherwise, the flat earth society and Heaven's Gate are right.
You must have learned from your upbringing that scripture balances scripture and you should not take one verse to live by without considering the counterpoint. Regarding Luke 12:53 (leaving your mother and father) and Matthew 8:22 (leave the dead to bury their dead), we have stories of entire households coming to Christ (Acts 16:15, 1 Chronicles 1:16). Just because you have a desire to break away from your upbringing to find higher truth, does not necessarily prove that the Witnesses have it.
I find the Jehovah's Witness study techniques, once you peel off the gloss, to be sadly lacking in depth. Reasoning switches from bible verse (usually only one, and not balanced by others) to "reasoning". If a Jehovah's Witness doctrine is not supported by bible truth, they will use words like, "it is reasonable", "clearly" or "evidently". When you see these words in the publication, ask yourself if the argument really has been made?
A few doctrines of the Jehovah's Witnesses that are just not supporable, broadly, from the bible include:
- The separation of "anointed" from the "other sheep", and denial of the heavenly reward for the great majority of believers.
- The taking of a blood transfusion as being equivalent to the biblical requirement to avoid eating blood.
- Similarly, the condemnation and abstaining from Mother's Day, Thanksgiving, and birthdays is just not supported by scripture.
If you do choose to join a book study from a Jehovah's Witness, I urge you to continue to question and not just go along for the ride. Do not accept deferrals and delays to your questions. Do not accept that the "answers" will come in time. Keep your mind sharp, maintain your questioning spirit.
If you like the Witness doctrines, might I suggest the Seventh Day Adventists, who obsessively search after bible truth without trying to deceptively recruit their neighbours.