My Cognitive Dissonance is Eating Me Alive (Intro Post)
All these thoughts keep running through my mind, even as I do research into whatever this is that I'm still part of. Sometimes what they say just seems so "airtight" and Bible-based, and then I think, how can I argue with god?
It's very good to be cautious. The JW faith has been criticized by a very large cross section of people, ranging from thoughtful scholars to uneducated lunatics. And the quality of the respective arguments are about what you would expect from each group.
I'm in no position to give advice to an active JW, (I'm an unbelieving spouse..) but if I were, I would say to take it slow. Lots of people here have stood where you are now.
I was a born in that woke up at age 62. My narcissist abusive Elder husband was only finally deleted as an Elder after I fled to a woman's shelter for safety. The Elder's were angry at me, not him. They came to the house to tell me to read my Bible more, pray more, go out in service more (and also to tell me I couldn't talk to anyone because it would hurt Jehovah's feelings and might give the wrong impression to worldly (normal) people. My ex lied in Court. I called the Elder's that it is in written Court documents that he is a liar (since they wouldn't believe me). They said we don't get involved in Court proceedings.
JW..org beliefs are that 99.999% of people will die at their Big "A". Seven and one half billion people will die because they don't want to agree to JW..org's flip flop made up doctrines??? That does not make sense at all.
I know three (3) Elders who have PhD's. They got their higher degree after baptism while they were Elder's. They are all just nice guys. Family is in.
You do know that many JW's are in because it is just a big Boys Club and a social outlet for everyone?
It is my own belief based on what I saw and experienced that there are very few true Believers like I was. I was naive to the extreme. It was reading Crisis of Conscience by former governing body Ray Franz that woke me up. I was finished with the religion when I finished reading that book.
As far as preaching in University cities and having return visits, let alone Bible studies, no educated person has ever come to the hall or wanted any of the literature published by WT that I have been aware of.
JW's who have given up thousands of dollars worth of scholarship money, too numerous to post. They stayed poor and put the GB's Kingdom (in Brooklyn and now Walkill) first.
That is not fair for anyone to control another person's life and educational goals but JW..org does this.
JW..org Governing Body is not loving or truthful. They want everyone to change their thinking to confirm to what ever is their latest hair brain idea. All with the "promise" of a panda petting paradise. If you question anything you are out. That should be enough to wake anyone up from the FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) that JW..org puts on it's practioners.
Yes, you were one of the smart ones that woke up to WT lies.
Welcome and thank you for sharing where you are in your faith pilgrimage. So many simply write an opening post and then flee after receiving multiple responses. Thank you for staying with us and continuing to post
Do you have family in? Are you concerned about their reactions?
@Vanderhoven7 Yes I do have family in, and they are IN. MY personal psychological torture is knowing that if I left it might destroy them.
What particular doctrine does the WTS have that bothers you the most which makes you question its viability. ?
I echo all that have posted here, similar has happened to all of us you are in good company. I looked at this website from afar for about 4 years before I got the courage to post.
My advice is to take the time to find out what you want for your life. Your family is stronger than you think as regards to their reaction to whatever decision you make, to stay or leave. They WILL survive. There are tens of thousands of relatives of ours that prove it so. They will take it hard, but they survive just fine. Some will stay, some will look at how you live outside JW and will get the courage to leave as you did. It happens all the time.
Tomorrow is granted to no one. Life is meant to be lived now...not held in abeyance for some future paradise. Times will be hard and confusing...but it is so worth it. Ask anyone here.
I wish you strength for the journey...you can do it!
@Finkelstein Definitely the blood doctrine. It's something I've always questioned. Even before going to any other site, it just didn't make sense. I researched historical context: how Paul was particularly talking about blood used in idol worship. And besides that, how they were blatantly misusing and devaluing blood this way. I can even understand not eating it (consuming orally) as disregarding the sanctity of it. But I couldn't reconcile it with something that might save my life. Furthermore, eating something is NOT the same as injecting it. Otherwise, couldn't we take all medicine orally and have it be just as effective? That illustration they always used about "Abstaining from alcohol means I wouldn't inject it in my veins" never held water for me. Then, I found out that breastmilk has white blood cells in it, and a quick search of the WT Library will give articles extolling the benefits of breastfeeding. My thing is, if we are going to equate transfusion with eating and be so rigid on this issue, then you have to prohibit breastfeeding too. But we all know how ridiculous that sounds. Then, I reasoned with Jesus Christ on this issue. He broke the Sabbath law to heal someone, and blasted the Pharisees for being so unreasonable with regards to this (Matthew 12). If someone could break the Sabbath to save a bull, wouldn't my life mean more than that?
Maybe my reasoning is flawed, but I realized that I am not willing to die for this doctrine that doesn't make sense to me. Of course I have to do more research, but that's one of the main things thus far.
"You don't always have the answers."
"You can't get answers right away."
"Where is your faith?" (Certainly not in seven men, that's for sure.)
Faith is a word that people often use to make themselves feel good about having given up searching for the real answers.
Re the blood doctrine.....
With use of blood in modern medicine as a fluid organ, remember that NO LIFE is taken or sacrificed....I think there is a key issue there ....
God's laws regarding the use of blood was to do with death and blood, and the acknowledgement of the sanctity of life.
The Christian scriptures 'abstain from blood' was in a letter particularly about newly converted 'pagans' who would have been familiar with the corrupt use of blood, drinking it in rituals, sacrificing lives for it....as if it contained magical properties.
And as you've already worked out.....fractions and approved blood sourced products require donation, storage.....go figure that against the reasons for prohibiting blood transfusions, donating blood etc!
It's the manipulation of scripture that gets me, and the ultimate denial of anything wrong with the clearly nonsensical prohibition ....
i actually found it 'scary' to ultimately realise there is no two/way conversation between the leadership and the general flock, no respecting that if indeed we are brothers and sisters in fellowship, then EVERYONE is accountable, and no-one can dictate the growing of your own God-given personal spiritual maturity and your conscience. Free exchange of discernment and understanding without fear of being 'exiled' is true love, true unity amongst those who surely wish to call themselves humble followers of Christ?
I'm writing this entirely from a faith-based view, as that is how I see things....but I don't mean it in a 'preachy' context if that makes sense??
The scriptures give a clear picture that teachers would arise that could fool even the "chosen ones" - preaching exclusivity, divisions and sects.
All I'm wanting to say, is that if you have a bad gut feeling, then you have an absolutely right, actually an obligation (as a Christian) to carefully test out why that is.......
You'll feel bad about it, it will be a roller coaster - but however you work it out, wherever your questioning takes you, be it within your your religion or something else... at least you can stand and say, I'm trying, I'm trying to learn and do my best.
And there is NO HURRY 👍😎
Just to add.....its been just about 4 years or more since my last meeting (I think)
It seems many JW "doubters" go through hell as they face a complete breakdown in the very thing they trusted, that perhaps has been the glue of their lives....providing community, purpose and more.
Very tough when 'life' can be pretty good as a JW....for some...and I had some very good things to seemed to me.
I was a long term convert.....like a few others here I was in my late 50s when the uncomfortable feelings just kept coming and coming.....
I invested my life really, friends, wonderful memories.....but the dark 'issues' could not be overlooked as in overlooking in a 'loving way'.....summat was up. I knew it.
It was ugly, the pulling away, the early years that followed....and to be honest, my life suddenly seemed to be in the middle of perfect storm coming from all sides...on all sorts of issues....
But....My life has bloomed in the past year or so....in a heartfelt way, in a peace in my heart way.
I wouldn't trade this feeling for anything.
The pain and the dark days were ultimately (although I couldn't see it at the time) just a path to what I now hold to be precious, more precious then anything.
Have courage dear.