Thank you for the warm welcome to the forum boards after years of just looking and reading.
I have been impressed by the many comments that have followed the introduction of dontplaceliterature and the balanced, humourus and individual views of the brothers and sisters (we are all human beings so as far as I am concerned no matter what religious persuasion we are all one family!) that have replied with both candid and honest and often heartfelt comments.
I have started a topic and will give the reason for asking first, so anyone can skip the "getting to know me" bit.
I am currently wondering as a baptised member of the org, who hasnt attended either meetings or memorial in the last 4 years. (Have not been contacted by anyone apart from a lovely old sister who continues to send invites and various watchtowers on occasions) is it worth writing a letter to dissassociate myself from the JW organisation. I ask because I dont know my status within our congregation as I havent done anything wrong that would disfellowship me, and judging by the lack of contact from anyone, has a "marking talk" been held in my family and I's honour? and am I indeed already disassociated or would they send a letter to me?
I dont want to open a can of worms with contact being restablished with old brothers who I loved and trusted and yet dropped and abandoned us at the drop of a hat, the phonecalls and emotional pressure that I just know would start again at the first inkling of getting back in touch with any of the brothers and sisters, but at the same time I want to make a stand to show I disagree with the teachings and organisation and no longer want to be known as part of that organisation. Please can you give me some guidance on this as I am at a loss as to what to do for the best. Thanks in advance.
The "get to know me" bit:
I am 38 years of age, happily married for 14 years with two beautiful daughters.
For as long as I can remember I have always believed that god exists, a supreme being, a creator and the bible was his letter to his children on earth. 15 years ago I was confronted with a problem that only "HE" could answer. I wasnt part of any religious group or church, however for the first time in my life I prayed long and hard and left the problem with him...if he exisited then he would answer my honest prayer, I honestly believed that. 3 days later, a witness came to my door and did a presentation of a watchtower.....man of god....come in! Low and behold the brother (apart from having a look of utter disbelief as I ushered him into my house) went through various scriptures which were in harmony with the presentation just given at the doorstep. One of them hit the nail on the head....it was an amazing feeling, right there, god had given me his answer through his world the bible. I couldnt believe it, it was a humbling experiance to know that my prayers had been answered. A messenger from god had knocked on my door and given me the answer to my painful question that I was wrestling with.
Without hesitation, I wanted to learn more.....I had sooooo many questions about life, god, and this stranger had ALL the answers, it all fitted perfectly like a jigsaw that I was blown away. He asked if I wanted to have a bible study....you bet I did!!! I kept the two brothers up till all hours firing question after question, hungry to know the answer to lifes secret answers, the people at the congregation were amazing.....dare i say it...they were perfect. Happy, smiling and everyone wanted to say hello or chat or get to know me. Clean looking people, dressed smartly, their chilidren dressed as if they were going to a wedding not unruly urchins like some of the kids from the estate I lived in. Coming from where I had been "the world" where I had had many unsavoury experiances and dealing with unwholesome people, I had found the true religion...........I truly, truly believed that with all my heart and soul.....however appearances can be very deceptive to the untrained eye.
Eight years on, I was a MS, I was a fully fledged robotic servant of Jehovah. Cut off all my fleshly family of course, they wouldnt listen you see from my constant bombardment of insisting they would be destroyed if they didnt join gods people, the answers that would roll off my tongue against their protestations. My worldly friends who thought I had been brainwashed and turned into some religious fanatic....what did they mean...i was trying to save them, poor blinded people. Satan certainly had them in his back pocket. I had a real family now.....one that understood like I did.
My zeal was still burning brightly, my heart in the right place and tried to stimulate the congregation to even greater urgency on the platform in stirring talks as by this stage could see the congregation in a different light. The tired old faces that trudged to the meetings that didnt really want to be there, taking the lead in the field despite the lack of participation on the ministry with the same old faces turning up....not with any passion, but rather a relief to be able to put their hours in the little slip to say they were still onboard.....to me knocking on the next door with the mindset of that I might just save a life.....rather than dogmattically and unjustly tell them whatever they believed was wrong and they should believe everything I was peddling!
To me gods word is black and white....there is no grey area.....however I was soon drowning in grey, seeing elders curry favouritism, twisting scripture to defend things that were not defendable. Challenging things that were man made tradtions. How could this be? This is supposed to be gods organisation....this cant be happening....it was.....and it is......the rose tinted glasses were ripped from my eyes and a devastating realisation was dawning on me and my family. I had put every ounce of effort, energy and devotion into this man made organisation that was purely that.....the governing body cannot have a hotline to god and getting divine direction or things wouldnt be as they were......problem is...the more you start digging, the more dirt you find....piles and piles of it.
I stuck it for a further two years, battle after battle, trying to fight for whats right and being squashed at every turn, cover ups, quiet words etc I even started using questions and answers in the watchtower section to voice my concerns which then resulted in visits of brothers in a spiritual capacity having words with me. (The same brothers I went on holiday with, lent money too, opened my house for the book study/ministry meetings, trusted and knew me fromt the start) ....I stopped going the meetings. The brothers came round and said a MS shouldnt be behaving in this regard. I resigned there and then as by this stage I had visited a couple of internet sites and had ordered the book crisis of consc from amazon and read it in a nights sitting. I got it out to question some of the facts I had read......it was like having garlic waved in the face of a vampire!!!! They left and havent come back since.....no phone calls, no texts, no nothing from either my brothers and sisters who I had given everything too.
We were alone....no friends, no family....nothing. Were still here and are happy as we have made friends with so called worldly people who we choose to be friends with. Our girls are getting straight A's in school, are polite well adjusted individuals and have not had any adverse effects from being in the truth, despite being left out of parties, xmas and assemblies.
I still wholeheartedly believe in god, his son jesus and his word to us the bible. However I will never attach myself to any man made religious organisation and am comforted that god is a god of mercy and love. If he wants me in his new world order, whether it is indeed on the earth or wherever then it is he that will judge my heart, and not a man with a poncy title or a group of individuals that think they know best.
Thanks for listening and giving me the opportunity to speak.