Hello, dearest JT... and others (hey, DB and Teej!)... may you all have peace!
As an "intelligent black woman"... and "sista'"... who also formerly followed the WTBTS, may I interject another perspective on this that perhaps may have been overlooked? Thank you!
Some time ago, I was accused of trying to get folks to follow me based on things I had posted on H20 and New Light 2, and I was permitted to respond that as a black (African American woman), IF that was what I WANTED to do, I would have NO problem... and pointed out just how easy it is among our people to start a church (all one needs is an empty building... of any size... usually on a busy street). Unc and DBear might remember that discussion.
I was also permitted to point out in that discussion the REASON for such ease: African Americans tend, generally, to be a much more "faith-based" culture. One example is the blacks in Anne Rice's "Interview With A Vampire" (if you've read it). There, although the White people had no clue that something was amiss, the blacks most certainly knew that the main characters, vampires Louis and LeStat, weren't your "usual" white folk, but had something "wrong"... mainly with their "spirits". Some tend to call us "superstitious" (though, I have to say that the WTBTS is THE most superstitious group of folks I've ever come across!)... but I don't think superstition and spirituality are the same thing, not at all. I am not superstitious in the least bit; however, I have no doubt that we all have spirits... which spirits can be good or bad... and that other spirit beings exist. But blacks cats and spilled salt and christmas and hallowe'en and witches, wizards, dragons... smurfs... don't mean a thing to me, negatively speaking.
But, black people do tend to have a bit more... ummmm... "belief" in the unseen, the spirit world... something they did NOT receive from the white man, but from ancestral/oral teachings. And yes, of course, dear JT... there are exceptions to the rule. Aren't there always?
So, what's my point? Simply this: you can try to take the "spiritual" person out of the false organization, but you CAN'T take the "spiritual NEED" out of the person. This woman, the subject of this thread... NEEDS spiritual contact. And for HER... right now... the "Society" provides that contact! (Well, it doesn't, but she THINKS it does!) Witness her statements that she KNEW they made mistakes, were imperfect, yada, yada, yada... but... basically she asked you... what is the alternative? And you offered her none. So... she has no place TO go... but back! Had you given her a alternative SHE could have lived with, the story might have ended differently.
Now, I find it quite interesting, dear JT, that you used the scenario of freed black slaves... who were afraid to leave the plantation. But I would like to remind you that those who had heard of "the NORTH"... and could VISUALIZE it... so that they could REALIZE it... went for it! Yes? Even if it meant their life... they took the chance. Why? Because someone had made the north "real" to them... someone who had either been there and came back to tell of it... or someone who had heard/read about it and was considered a dependable and reliable source (primarily, someone who could read and crack the "code" - of white newspapers, abolition bulletins, the Bible, etc.). Otherwise, though, for some time... it was only a "pipe dream". And it was most of them who failed to leave, even when freed.
The problem is that most folks (and yes, in this matter I am speaking of ex-JWs and potential ex-JWs) think that there are only the following three options when you leave the Borg:
1. Forget God; if He ain't there (in the Borg and, of course, He ain't), He doesn't exist. Best to rely on yourself.
2. God is not there (in the Borg), but He can be found in some other religion, so just keep looking until you find the "right" one.
3. Go back.
But there is a FOURTH option, and I have the hardest time trying to understand why folks do not consider it, nor offer it to others for consideration: Christ, the One recorded to have said, "Come... to ME!" and of whom Peter is recorded to have said, "Whom shall we go away TO?".
John 14:6; John 7:37, 38; Matthew 11:28
I think the main reason such a thing is SO hard is that... well, as one "sister" said to me shortly after I was asked to leave, "You can't worship what you can't see!" Sigh! Obviously, she missed the whole point of Christ's teachings, yes?
Anyway, you tried to lead this woman out of "Babylon", dear JT, out of Jerusalem, but SHE saw that you were only going to lead her outside the "gate". And for her, it ain't SAFE out there! SHE knows that the only "place" safe for HER... is the mountains! And she's right! It might be safe for some others just outside the gate, but for someone like her... it can't be. Why? Because true, she might want to give up the Organization, but she most CERTAINLY doesn't want to give up GOD. And that, in essence, is what you were leading her to do, whether you meant to... or not.
Dear ones... not everyone wishes to be "void" of spirituality. And why should they be? Is spirituality such a "bad" thing that it should be avoided at all costs? Or is it RELIGION that should be avoided, completely? If you read the teachings of Christ, in what was anything he said or taught or did "bad" or wrong? None. What is bad or wrong, however, is how some have incorporated the teachings of this one and the sayings of that one and, in essence, the traditions and doctrines of MEN... and attributed it to God and Christ! But is it they who are false, and not God and Christ ("Let God be found TRUE, though EVERY man a liar!)
So, I ask you, what would be WORSE: to have led her to Christ, the TRUE Son of God and not the "image" that man has set up, the Christ who teaches mercy and forgiveness and love and tolerance and acceptance and charity and peace and faith, who judges not, condemns not and harbors no illwill accept against those who mislead ones who want to come to him... OR... let her dangle, outside, uncertain, so that after a time she has no choice BUT to return to the "vomit"... and to rolling in the mire? I ask you, which is WORSE?
Dear ones, many of you have taken it upon yourselves to "lead" ones away from the Borg. And that is quite commendable. I do not find fault with you in that, except that some ARE "sheep"... no matter what you may think of that, no matter WHAT your opinion of it is. A leopard CANNOT change his spots. And if it is a "sheep", then you must RECOGNIZE that... and recognize that a SHEEP... MUST be led by a "shepherd". And thus, if you take it upon yourselves to lead a SHEEP, you are OBLIGATED to direct them to the right shepherd. And there is ONLY ONE... the "Fine Shepherd." Otherwise, you may be guilty also of misleading them, of bringing them out... only to let them starve... and die... in the "wilderness"... of "abandoning them... to the wolf."
For those of you who take it upon yourselves to take on this responsibility, please know and understand that this is NOT about you, but about the one you are attempting to "lead"... "assist"... "help". If you can't see THEM... who they TRULY are and what THEY need... as opposed to what YOU see/saw and what YOU needed... then you might be better off just leaving them where they are... and leaving the responsibility for their lives... where it currently is.
If you don't want anyone to "judge" your LACK of spiritual need... then I implore you to refrain from judging their need. Please.
Again, I bid you peace.
YOUR servant... and a slave of Christ,
Edited by - AGuest on 3 January 2003 16:33:46