I appreciate all your thoughts. It means a lot to me that there are people out there who've experienced life as a JW. It means even more to me that there are those of you out there who have had doubts, and went through the agony of trying to keep those thoughts to yourself. I wanted to share that first part of my story with you to give you some background into why I am where I am. I'm a very flawed man, and have been for some time, I just didn't realize how pitiful I am until lately. Here's the second part. Thank you for reading and responding to my story. Like I said this is therapeutic to me. Here's the second, and maybe concluding part. I'm not sure how I'll wrap this up. I wasn't really planning on doing this, but I type as my thoughts come to me. I never quite have a plan when I post something, where it ends up, it ends up is my motto. I want to be as honest as anonymity will allow me which is a breath of fresh air considering the 1984 mentality of WT-Land.
The memories of the book study being at people's homes was still relatively fresh to me after I got appointed. Back then, occasionally, an elder would approach me and request that I conduct on his behalf if he'd be out of town, or sick. Me being the yes-man that I was, I always came through. Most cases its nothing to conduct. Its relatively easy. The questions are printed out for you, the answers to the questions contain a part of the question being considered. Difficulties were few, such as having a poor reader and knowing that all of the sisters there could read circles around him. Or a group that had difficulty commenting for a variety of reasons including shyness, or lack of preperation. The hardest part to me when conducting the book study then was stretching the lesson out to an hour. Even now when I do the Congregation Bible Study, or the Watchtower, I feel like the time is crawling because with many of those lessons the main points can be derived in less than the alotted time. At any rate, the only time I really struggled with the book study from a logical perspective, was when we did the Revelation book. I cringed preparing for it, and hated with a passion conducting it. My book study overseer at the time was having health problems, so he asked me often enough to conduct in his absense. So there was no winging it when it came to that book. After the book study arrangement was dissolved, I went back into autopilot as far as my study habits were concerned. I studied just enough to daydream at the meeting, and still wake up at any given moment and comment with ease. It helps that most of the study material isn't rocket science, or neurology. Then I got appointed. Enter PreMisery.
I figured since I'm an elder now, I'd better step my study game up. Which I did, and it paid off for me. Just not in the way that the WT would have liked it to. The more studying and research I did, the more I had this nagging feeling that much of what I was reading was retarded. I've always been interested in history, and current events, which I credit my dad for instilling into me. He's obsessed with World War 2. I joke with him sometimes that if I have a son, I'll name him Adolf. Imagine that, a seventy something old black grandfather showing off his black grandkid Adolf. Anyways, I found myself feeling awkward because the interpretations of biblical history and prophecy as explained on the History Channel, or National Geographic made much more sense to me than what the WT was/is publishing. Even without outside influence, just taking the bible and reading it on its own does major damage to WT doctrine. Doctrines such as the Faithful & Discreet Slave, or the Other Sheep, are simple scriptures that really don't require much explanation or interpretation. They're black and white in my opinion. When I tried to force upon myself the WT's doctrines of these simplistic bible verses, my head started hurting. Does not compute! Does not compute! Password is incorrect! Please try again! Its like forcing a square block into a circular hole.
Thank God, or the Devil, for the internet. I started Googling various doctrines to see what Babylon The Great's views were. Lo and behold, much of their doctrines made more sense than the WTs. Granted many other Christian denominations have ludicrous views as well. I know this sounds cliched but I do believe JWs have the proper view of the relationship between God and His Son, and the Holy Spirit. Do I believe thats a reason to discredit any other Christian faith not affiliated with the WT? Absolutely not. Its proposterious to teach that God is love, and yet he's going to destroy every nonJW on this earth for not recognizing the WT as the selected channel for communication with God. I refuse to accept that as it flies in the face of logic, principle, reasoning, decency, morality, etc.. Its another one of those things taught in WT-land that just doesn't make sense when you get down to it. As I continued researching, I stumbled across Free Minds. Initially I clicked away immediately like it was child porn or something vulgar. But I had to go back, I just had to. I started breezing through it, and eventually I ended up here. I lurked for quite a while during the Year Of Reniaa.
Ohh how I enjoyed watching her and IsaacAustin/Mary go back and forth. There were times I was pro-Reniaa and I'd say to the monitor, "get em girl!" Most times however, my heart sunk into my stomach because the reasonable posts by Isaac and Mary were too logical to refute. What Reniaa was posting was what she was taught, what I was taught, and many others just like us. Many of us were and some are still incapable of seeing the other side of a doctrinal dispute. I'm thankful I've been able to progress beyond that. I'm glad to have read Scholar's debates with AnnOMally, AllTimeJeff's debates with Perry and Jonathan Dough, and several others. Nowadays I refuse to fall back into that I'm right and you're wrong mindset. For the record, all of those names I mentioned, I'm not siding with or criticizing, including Reniaa. I try to have a fair and reasonable approach with any train of thought presented to me. I've allowed the WT to do my thinking for me, for a good 20-30 years of my life, and I refuse to let that continue on. I also refuse to allow anybody else for that matter other than myself think for me. Which is why I try to be fair to the WT and JWs. That being said, my next and final post I'll explain why my heart is really being pulled in different directions at this time.