what where you looking for from the JWS
I cant say I sought the JWS out. I had little choice , as my parents did the seeking, i hold them harmless, they did not investigate it beyond the WTBTS Pubs.
I did however at a point go it on my own, did the water dipping ore 1985 , so I feel, no allegiance to a group I vowed nothing to.
There was a point maybe 2 or 3 months when I felt I had a realtionship with God during my stint with the JWS. Unfortuanately for me I lumped , God and them together and dismissed both together for a long time.
My question though to all here is this.
When you were contacted in the beginiing by the JWS, something attracted you to them. What?
You had to be looking for something , and was this quest fulfilled, and if it wasnt are you still looking to find what you set out for.
I see many here dont want to any form of religion ever again, and I think :
there is bittereness in them
I see those torked by the WTBTS and deny themselves the joy of living or spend their life attempting to get even some how.
SO I ask what do you believe IN
I will write more later. Hope we get lots of
feedback on your pertinent inquiry.
Steve you must have hit a nerve;battman thought it was a
good question so do I. Of course my answer ditto's yours.
Come on people was everyone out there forced fed this
crap from there parents.Question to the elder statesman
of our clan today.Hey when is the last time someone came
into the"darkness" by the preaching work? You know the door
to door magazine stuff. Like the way you came in.Didn't have
a clue-a long-long time. He said he recently asked the ONLY pioneer at his hall how mant studies she had? Anybody -
I'll give you a hint it ends in 0; yes it starts with it too.
The elder that takes him and the mrs, to the meetings
starts a new study every week they last for two.
So I know a lot of us here were faithful kids obeying our
parents and thats why we are now here because we have
not bought what are parents did. But what of the rest come
on. Answer something. People ask me why I'm here in
AZ. I don't have a freaking clue. My answer to the question
though is always the same. My sister did a great sales job
and we came to visit in feburary[I'm polish its the stake-
cross I must carry]. Can we get at least one person to
the bar now serving-Jack and Coke-Captain and Coke
Coors-lite the bill is on us.
I will answer your questions in reverse order. What do I believe in? Myself, my own internal resources, and my intellect. I have had successes and failures, and I own them. They do not belong to anyone else and I don't have to praise or blame anyone or anything outside of myself.
About religion: I don't want to be part of anything that is organized. I would rather function on my own, for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. (Sounds like part of a wedding ceremony doesn't it.) I am not bitter at all. In fact, I am very peaceful in my heart and soul.
Why was I in it: I was born in it, and it seemed very normal and natural as a child. I did not feel any shame or embarrasment by being a Witness child. I was fully integrated into the culture.
Wellll, once upon a time (28 years ago) there was a lonely homemaker with 3 little children. Her husband worked out of town. It was cold winter. This young mom felt insecure because she was not college-educated and her husband was. She was Catholic and loved to read.
So, enter jws with books and magazines galore. Lots of love and good friends! The lonely housewife was enjoying all the reading and friends.
The rest of the story: the hubby left, the mom raised, now 4, kids alone and moved to new state where the congregations were not nearly so friendly.
The mom quit reading most everything but WTBS because everything else 'weakened her faith.' Oh, she read health books, newspapers, etc., but no science, evolution, history, etc.
She had doubts for years but subdued them because she was a good jdub.
Then one morning she woke up! Wrote a long list of "What being a jw has meant to me" included isolation, no social life, no marriage, no free time hardly, and no joy. But she destroyed the list and felt very guilty.
Then, she watched the Disney movie "Dinasour" and said "Wait a darn minute!" How could those vicious creatures (read carnivorous) fit in with Adam's sin, since they lived before Adam?
Said grandmother (by this time!) decided, once and for all, to investigate her OWN ideas in books NOT written by WTBS. Grannie called her inactive sister, who sent her a box of books and printouts. Grannie read and read and read. Still reading!
What does she believe in now? Ha! She believes it's not wise to believe in anything until one has all the facts. But her new education, sans blinders, is leading her to believe she'll never visit a kingdom hall again!
"I'd rather have questions I can't answer than questions I can't ask (or answers I can't question).
Well, it's no secret on this board as to my beliefs. I was a JW for some ten years, almost immediately [few years] after I joined I knew that things weren't perfect, so I didn't expect much from them. As far as I was concerned. they had a lot of truths, and those "truths" which I did not believe to be scriptural, I rejected, those I didn't understand, I put on the shelf.
Eventually, in doing my homework, I came upon the old literature, read it, and came to belief that what the early Bible Students believed made a lot more sense, they were closer to Christ, and worked hard, NOT at placing magazines and books, but becoming more Christlike, and so I sought them out, made a comparison of the two, it took some years, over five, I steered away from so called apostate literature, but when I had determined that theologically the Society was not teaching the Gospel of Christ, I then started to read the apostate writings, Crisis of Conscious, etc. these books only revealed to me what I had already suspected, by then it was easy for me to walk away.
Ten years later, I serve with a small group of Bible Students in New Jersey, where we study the scriptures and admonish one another, nice and simple, call me a "Russellite" if you will, I did not jump right in, I compared, I studied, i investigated.
I have found peace and believe I have found Truth, not all Truth, just Truth, enough Truth to help me along my way in serving the God I love so much.
Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, it's not God's fault!
Good topic Steve. In a word, what I was looking for is meaning.
I was not raised in the organization. The witnesses came to our door when I was in my early teens, and before I knew it my brother accepted a study and after having an enthusiastic talk with me accepted one for me as well. As it turns out he left years before I did, before he was actually baptized.
I rememeber having the sense that this is all interesting, but none of it was particularly attractive to me and I was one of those studies that dragged on and on, to the point that the one who studied with me got annoyed and basically said I need to move on to be a publisher and all that. The thing that touched me though was a study article about love, I think it covered 1 Cor 13. I also remember having questions like "Isn't it wrong to serve God just so you can live forever?" Well, to make a long story short that's pretty much what I believe in today, agape. So yes, I think the answer to the second question is that I did find it, yet I also keep looking for it. I believe that ultimately, this is a search within and not without. It seems to me that many become frustrated in searching for love outside themselves, but I think even if you find it you can't keep it, because the love that cannot be taken away is the love you have within yourself.
I was looking for a spiritual Christian community that would not require me to believe in the Trinity. I had already decided at 14 that I did not believe it and refused to make my Lutheran confirmation because of it. At about 17, my ex-brother-in-law came home with some Witness literature, and I discovered that there DID exist a form of Christianity that did not require belief in the Trinity! It took me another 17 years to actually get baptized a JW.
Now that I'm out, I'm still looking for a spiritual Christian community that will not require me to believe in the Trinity!
However, I'm not sure yet what exactly I DO believe in. I find it much easier to list what I DON'T believe.
I used to think there was no immortal soul. Now I'm not so sure. Someone just pointed out to me that Jesus himself is the Bible character who most often mentions hell. So what is it? I'm not sure, but would like to think that if God really is love, he could not in a ga-zillion (being eternal and all, I use this enormous figure ) years think of torturing his wayward children in a burning fire or even just removing himself from their presence which would constitute emotional abuse in my book.
Is God Love? Only? Mustn't He have created Evil as a contrast to good?
Is God the Father and not the Mother?
Oh, oh, oh! So many things to THINK about and not accept blindly because of culture and training.
I DO believe I am a good person, married to a wonderfully patient (never was a JW) man, that I have done a good job raising essentially healthy and HAPPY children (4), and that none of us is wicked nor out to intentionally harm anyone.
I was born in NJ and my best friend, an inactive JW, still lives there. Where does your Bible Student group meet and how often? If you would prefer, you may e-mail me the information. Also, is there a difference between "Russellites" and "Free Bible Students" and/or "Beroeans"? As per my stated goal above, I am still looking for a spiritual Christian community that will accept my disbelief in the trinity. And, despite my questions, I have not yet decided that I should choose NOT to worship God as a Christian.
Introspection, I loved your last thought:
It seems to me that many become frustrated in searching for love outside themselves, but I think even if they find it you can't keep it because the love that cannot be taken away is the love you have within yourself
Thanks to all who posted. It's an interesting thread.
I myself am an xjw and a practicing Lutheran, LCMS
Why do you have a problem with the Trinity?
You cannot believe that Jesus is God?
Do you believe the bible?
As an xjw and Christian apologist I can testify that + Jesus is God, The Father is God, the Holy Spirit is God. I can testify That God is Holy. Jesus said no one is good but God alone. If God accepts a lower form of holiness without justice, he is a liar and calls himself a liar. God cannot lie nor can he cooperate with iniquity which is why sinners are on the road that leads to the place "God prepared for the devil and his angels."