Welcome, Eclectic! I'm kinda new too!
May I enter?
Hello Eclectic, welcome. I left the JWs three years ago after 22 years on the inside, recruited at the doors, believe it or not! I believed it completely for many years, then began to look around me and wonder. Even when I realised I didn't enjoy it at meetings and conventions because a lot of what was said and written was self-congratulatory, self-affirming stuff, I felt I still could not break my ties completely.
The turning point, as it was with many ex-JWs, was reading Ray Franz's "Crisis of Conscience." Franz, if you;re unaware, was a member of the Governing Body who, like you, became uneasy with what was going on in the organisation. He began to think, and reason, and then question. For that he was punished and publicly vilified. Many JWs still believe he is the devil incarnate.
His book, however, (easily obtained) is a very sincere and fair examination of the highest echelons of the religion from the inside, and reading it rips back the curtain on how the religion has become what it is and why it treats people the way it does. Once you've read it, it's very hard to see the religion in the same way.
Be warned: Franz was disfellowshipped and therefore Witnesses are forbidden to read it. But you must ask yourself if a "Christian" organisation has the right to determine what you read in order to make informed decisions about your life. What do they have to hide?
Hi, Like many here I was raised in and I am still 'in' due to family. You have to be careful what you say and who you say it to if you want to keep family/friends connections.
Many years ago, my father-in-law, an elder, gave me a good piece of advice - 'never trust an elder!'
BTW beards have been discussed:
@MrMonroe, I know the existence of Franz's book, I am reading it actually. In fact, I told my elders I was doing it, and that it was great (LOL imagine that! sometimes I amaze myself).
@St George of England, I do not trust elders, not any more after my experience. And I am happy to see that it was Mad who started the beard topic. It was very funny, but it was not discussed beards INSIDE the congregation among active members. I'll do it soon, I must prepare the material.
And I am happy to see that it was Mad who started the beard topic. It was very funny, but it was not discussed beards INSIDE the congregation among active members. I'll do it soon, I must prepare the material.
If you fancy a beard just grow one and see what happens. I have had one on and off over the years and no-one ever said anything. If you get any flack just ask them why beards are not allowed; when they don't know or come up with some feeble excuse, show them the Yearbook 1974 quote below!
*** yb74 pp. 97-98 Part 1—Germany ***
But more equipment was needed. For that reason Brother Balzereit asked Brother Rutherford for permission to buy a rotary press. Brother Rutherford saw the necessity and agreed, but on one condition. He had noticed that over the years Brother Balzereit had grown a beard very similar to the one that had been worn by Brother Russell. His example soon caught on, for there were others who also wanted to look like Brother Russell. This could give rise to a tendency toward creature worship, and Brother Rutherford wanted to prevent this. So during his next visit, within hearing of all the Bible House family, he told Brother Balzereit that he could buy the rotary press but only on the condition that he shave off his beard. Brother Balzereit sadly agreed and afterward went to the barber. During the next few days there were several cases of mistaken identity and some funny situations because of the “stranger” who was sometimes not recognized by his fellow workers.
Welcome to JWN!
Welcome ! You will find most things have been discussed at length on here, the "search" button will help you find threads, as to the beard thing, minor though it is compared to other problems with the religion, it does illustrate how they like to control without any scriptural or even logical justification.
I wore a beard from 1975 till 1988, I served as a MS during that time and gave Public Talks, often visiting other congregations, it wasn't a problem until they wanted to use me on a Circuit Assembly programme, what a joke !
Don't worry about starting threads on subjects already covered, or about asking questions we may have answered before, it is good for new readers to see the matters dealt with, even if for us old-timers on here it is going over old ground.
It does us good to re-affirm our "faith" Tee Hee !
Eclectic. I sent you a reply.
You are NOT alone! I didn't stay in after I knew the "truth" of the "religion" but I understand the friends and family reason to stay. Best wishes to you!
Welcome to the board!