I just spent 30 minutes writing this story and lost it all before I hit submit. I'll try to be brief.
Last night a former co-worker of my wife's called saying he was on his way to the house to drop off a job he would like her to do. We haven't seen him in over 8 years. He is a born-in Witness and had already started asking my wife questions as to why we were no longer attending meetings. I knew it would be an interesting visit. Due to my work, I've grown my hair long and have a full beard. So, I knew it would be memorable.
We were all sitting in my living room when he asked me why we no longer attended meetings. He was asking because he truly cares about us and because he takes great joy in being a Witness. I really don't think he was just being nosy and wanting to report someone out of self-righteousness.
I decided to hold nothing back, but also to do it in a way that was kind to him. To seperate the people from the organization. I think I did a good job with this.
I explained that we faded out do to my having to work 70+ hours a week for 3 year period. I then went in to how I began to study things that I could no longer believe in the Bible account of creation, the great flood of Noah's day, etc. All purely science.
I next went into the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society's policies of dealing with reported child sex crimes in the congregation and the "Two Witness" rule that governored them. As a police officer I could not put up with such things and as a human I could not stomach it. I brought up how that the more and more child sex abuse within the Jehovah's Witness religion was coming to the public's attention.
I explained that what also bother me about that issue was how I grew up reading the Watchtower that attacked the Catholic church for clergy pedophila. Both Catholics and Witnesses are imperfect men, but the Watchtower was hypocritical. The Watchtower had to hide these horrible crimes from the general public to maintain the status of the "only true religion".
I went into the UN NGO membership briefly. I asked how the one true religion would voluntarily join the wild beast of Revelation. I didn't spend too much time on that.
I also spoke about the difference in "the light getting lighter" and just imperfect men using their position to enforce their opinions. I spoke on the number of brothers who refused military service when drafted and refused alternative service because they were directed to. As a result they went to prison only to find out years later that the organization reverses its stand on alternative service. I also brought up the thousands who died unnecessarily for refusing blood component treatment only to have the policy changed years later.
I went into other things, but I brought it all to close with this: I love the brothers and sisters. I wish peace be upon them. It would pain me to know that a brother, who truly enjoyed being a Witness, leave the organization and his joy because of something I said. I explained that it is why I keep my thoughts to myself and avoid speaking to Witnesses, especially about my beliefs. I made it clear that I could not violate my morals by being associated with an organization responsible for the things I spoke about, but I also do not hold it against him or anyone else who choses to do some. I told him that I would never turn my back on a Witness just because they are a Witness, and that it is unfortunate that the organization will not allow the reverse. I told him that his risks being disfellowshipped simply by speaking to me.
I could tell that all of this was making him think. He told me that he was unaware of just about everything I said. He began to use the "imperfect men" excuse in regards to the issue of child sex crimes, but then stopped himself.
He then ended the conversation with this: "Maybe we can get together again, but lets just keep that to ourselves."