dealing with religion after leaving the witnesses

by joker 29 Replies latest jw experiences

  • joker

    I’ve noticed many people posting on this site seem to have completely given up on religion/spirituality.

    But some have attended services at another religion, or just follow their own heart regarding what to believe.

    My question is how does anyone deal after leaving with all of the witness crap that we believed about Babylon the Great, the great Harlot, spiritual prostitute, etc., etc.

    I’m finding out that I seem to have built myself a pretty solid wall regarding religion.

    Some people can just chuck all beliefs into one basket saying that they are all basically garbage,,, and that is OK, no problem I respect that.

    But for myself there is a certain part of my personality that needs a spiritual belief not like the witnesses in any way, but something to meditate on, and contemplate.

    Being a witness taught me how bad it is to actually think of God in any other way besides what the jw’s believe. And now when I attend any other service, the dark jw side seems to pop out and seriously makes me believe that everything I see/do/say is wrong. And it is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde it just come out. It’s really quite a big drag that keeps me from moving forward in a positive way. I’m not looking to become a self-righteous religious person like before with my jw life, but just looking for something to lean on. Before becoming a witness ( for 15 years before) my parents were religious, but not self-righteous as the jw’s made them out to be later.

    Has anyone else dealt with this type of backhanded residual effect after leaving the witnesses?

  • lriddle80

    About 10 years after I left I was invited to a church. I, of course, prayed that something would happen that would cause us not to go, but nothing did. (Some people bought us groceries and then invited us, so we had to go). So, at first, the teaching sounded familiar. The cross and Trinity ones were uncomfortable. Soon it was Palm Sunday and there was a talk on the wheat and tare. That someone could look like wheat, but nothing was on the inside and would get thrown in the fire. I wanted to be wheat, a real follower of Christ! I went up and got saved. Then Easter came and it seemed like the first time I had heard the message of how Christ died for me, to forgive me of my sins! I felt so sorrowful because I had been doing drugs and stomping on his sacrifice my whole life! I think I really repented in that moment and after that I just read the Bible and have been learning, little by little, the truth of who I am in Christ and the freedom that his sacrifice gives me! It's a lifetime of learning and unlearning! But his spirit is with us guiding us along the way! Hope you get it figured out!!

  • My Name is of No Consequence
    My Name is of No Consequence

    I am still in (barely) because of family. I believe that 99.9% of what we were taught and how we were taught is garbage. For me, I don't see how I could ever go after another religion after being a witness my whole life.

  • DJS

    @joker: "Some people can just chuck all beliefs into one basket saying that they are all basically garbage,,,"

    "Some People" can probably do anything. I don't know ANY atheists who fit your description. As for this atheist, as I've pointed out many times previously, my atheism was the result of a very long (decades) sojourn that included the time I was in the DarkTower. After I left the cult I continued my research, meditation, reflection, evaluation, and study of life, religion, god, and the bible.

    It was only after many, many years and thousands of hours of contemplation that I arrived at the conclusion that religion is a man-made construct which grew out of the needs of humans to deal with all the hardships and heartaches that we experience. Life, for 100,000 years, for humans has been difficult; it's amazing we are still around.

    Perhaps there are 'some people' who can chuck all their beliefs in an instant, as you say. I don't know anyone fitting that description. I don't know anyone who has 'given up' on god or religion. It's about the evidence. My atheism was calm, rational and well-thought out. Chucking and giving up had nothing to do with it.

    Geesh. When are you all going to 'get it'? (Answer: When you stop projecting your emotional, irrational views and feelings onto others - in this case atheists).

  • dozy

    I'm with DJS here. I don't think anyone would lightly give up the possibility that there could be an "afterlife" of eternal health , happiness etc that pretty much all religions promise , in various models ( heaven , "paradise earth" etc. ) For me as well it took a lot of research etc to come to similar conclusions as DJS did.

    To the OP - It takes a long long time to rid oneself of a lifetime of indoctrination - meeting after meeting after meeting for , in some cases , decades. In that sense , we are all on a journey here. Chill out and enjoy the views - we never stop learning.

  • cofty

    Hi Joker

    Do you think you need to hold supernatural beliefs in order to be "spiritual"?

  • Bw500

    I consider myself at this point in time spiritual but agnostic. I don't have to believe in any God or religion to appreciate the beauty and wisdom that can be found in the worlds religions. Of course that's just my philosophy and since I've only been mentally out since January, I reserve the right to change my philosophy at any given time.

    The biggest problem I think many of us have coming out of the JWs is black and white thinking. I know I struggle with this. The either/or mentality that says a religion is either true or its false. The reality is that it's both and neither. I don't think that there is one true religion, but I think many religions contain gems of universal truth.

    I believe that all religion is a human construct, containing human wisdom. But that wisdom should not be discounted just because it's human. But it is hard to fight the decades of indoctrination that says there is true God given religion and false Satan given religion and human philosophies are foolish.

  • FayeDunaway

    Research, buddy. Look into the trinity and the cross etc through sources NOT witness and see what they say. There's all sorts of info out there. I did the research and am happy at a liberal Protestant mainline church. Most of us believe in evolution and all of us believe in freedom. You have to do the research tho before you can make peace with it.

  • Dagney

    When I left I took the time to research things I never had time to study before. The cross, salvation, kurios...several subjects. My gut feeling all along as a JW was they were making it up as they went along. I found out they didn't really come up with anything new...their doctrines were based on teachings that already existed. So no magic for me in the JW.

    I listened to xtian radio on my commute for a while, and lo and behold, they sounded just like JW's with just a slight tweak in destinations. When I thought about going to church, I just felt I had enough religion for a lifetime. I wasn't going to learn anything new after years of defending my faith and bible study. I didn't really "need" religion like I thought I did.

    So I did the work for my own "spirituality," and was able to sort out what was best for me. I recommend taking time to do the same, and not make decisions based on what others think you should do. Your feelings will sort themselves out accordingly. Good luck.

  • nicolaou

    Over its near 150 year history the Watchtower Society have changed doctrines left, right and centre. At it's heart though it is rooted in the same bedrock of fallacy and error as any church you may subsequently join.

    You may find a denomination that is less damaging and even truly philanthropic (rare), but you will not have moved any closer to the truth of reality.

    The cult of 'spirituality' is a broad church that includes Jehovah’s Witnesses as your brothers.

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