Hi, long time no see. I am finally out of the borg. Had a talk with an elder-friend-family member today who said I should just do it if that's what I want to do, and my wife says if that's what I want to do that she's fine with it. I know people are going to be disappointed but hey, I'm not running or hiding, I'll do what I want to do whatever that may be. I'll take care of my wife and child. I'll be a better person because of it I think. I won't be feeling bad because I sinned or because God will destroy my brother and my mother. I feel free, I was happy, I noticed the sky was blue today (seriously) and thought for the first time in my life that it's not God's will and God won't change it. I don't have reason to be mad at individual Witnesses.
So now what? I'll simply quit going. I'm giving the paperwork I have in my position back (unfinished) with my wife, she can give it to whoever. I don't care. I am free of slavery. Hopefully others will wake up.
The straw that finally got things rolling with the elders and caught the attention was my last talk combined with the answers I've been giving over the past few weeks:
How to imitate God and Jesus in Good Manners.
Manners - the unenforced standards of conduct which demonstrate that a person is proper, polite, and refined. Schools have existed for the sole purpose of teaching manners and they change over time, location, social status and other circumstances.
Let's read Habakkuk 2:3. What can we learn about good manners from this verse? We can learn for one thing that God himself promises he will not be late. And that is sometimes a problem for all of us. However one writer on manners says: Being fashionably late has never been acceptable etiquette.
So how can we fix being late? The best thing to do is to make plans. Proverbs 20:18 says "By counsel plans themselves are firmly established".
Especially our meetings should start and end at the times advertised which includes the closing song and prayer. If we have a part in the meeting and we are running late, we could take out a section or we could ask those that comment to keep their answers short and to the point.
As said, manners change over time. Back in bible times God did not condone religious tolerance. Even among the first century Christians, Paul vilified other religions and different Christian groups such as the Gnostic, Gentile and Jewish Christians often went against each other as evidenced in Acts 11.
But these days it is not proper to call people out on their what we consider 'wrong' beliefs. Yes, we should always try to be cordial. And many of us already do that in the every day door to door ministry. However we sometimes have the tendency to change that tone when we get engaged in a discussion and we have to defend our personal beliefs.
We can find a good way of discussing someone's religious beliefs by example of Jesus in Matthew 17:25 when he asked about who paid head tax. You may remember Jesus asked "What do you believe Simon?"
Whether they be right or wrong you should know beforehand what someone believes. That means we may have to ask or do some research in advance.
For example, what does it mean when somebody says he's an atheist? Do we say "Well, you don't believe in God". That is not what atheism is, atheists simply do not feel they have enough evidence to substantiate the existence of a God that cares for us but they are willing to change their viewpoints.
How about our own believes? Are we well mannered to let others criticize or explain what they think about us? For example if someone says "You do not accept Christ as your mediator", we may be quick to say "Yes I do" but you would be wrong. The Insight book on Mediator clearly shows that Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus is only a mediator or savior for anointed Christians.
How about the people we meet? Let’s read Matthew 28:9. Jesus said “Good Day”. This is a basic greeting and common manner in all cultures. However sometimes we have a problem with that. Maybe it is a person we don’t like. Maybe it’s a person that was once associated with the Witnesses but no longer does. However, a simple “Good Day” could lead to a spiritually upbuilding conversation.
Nowhere do the scriptures allow us to shun or avoid contact with somebody regardless of what they did to us or to others but we can learn again from the example of Jesus, he ate with sinners and tax collectors and admonished us to “continue” loving our enemies and continue being merciful, forgiving.
So what have we learned about good manners? 1) We should try to be on time and plan to do this. 2) Allow people to express their beliefs and make sure that what you ask them to do, you can do likewise 3) Even if we don’t like someone or someone has done us wrong, always greet them, always show love towards them.