Hello Everyone! This is my first post and I'm feeling like I'm doing something bad big time! I know on my mind it isn't, but the feelings are less manageable.
Well, since I'm still a JW it's better not to give too much info, but I'm from Brazil.
I've grown-up in the religion and practicly all my family, my closest friends and my girlfriend are loyal JWs. I used to be a regular pioneer but I still have a service privilege on my congregation.
I've had questions about the teachings of the WT since I was 10, but naturally I always pushed it away as it were "questioning the holy organization".
I started a friendship with some people in a course I took and we talked about a lot of subjects. Every now and then we talked about religion, christianity and JWs in particular. I defended the JWs every time, but sometimes I had to be disonest to them, like on the time I claimed we JWs have freedom to think and believe what we think it's better when the subject isn't clear on the Bible. I knew it wasn't true but when I uncounsciously prefered to lie then to tell them the truth I realized how important were the subject. After that I started to search about the Jws and religion in general. I bumped into a lot of things, since the mason CT Russell, to the apostle Paul being the antiChrist. I personally thought most of the material just like the WT literature: made to shock and get your attention but usually without any base for the allegations. After a time I decided that it was time to read R. Franz. This time I had the certain that I was missing. The JW is just another religion and R. Franz was maybe the most sincere of their leaders after CT Russell. It's funny the parallell between what they did to Franz (cast off) and what they continue doing to CT Russell (from THE FaDS to just one more sincere bible student). It's clear their preference for the authoritatian approach of JF Rutherford and his immediate successors.
Well after that I read Carl Olof Johnson, the second book of Franz and I'm reading Penton now.
I have tried to talk about these subjects with my parents. One of them, the one with higher education seems capable to talk freely about it. The other every time do what the WT tought to do : Close the doors of the mind. So I just can't continue talking to them so often about my questions.
It's important to highlight that my goal here in this forum, at least at this moment, isn't find a way to get out, but simply to have the oportunity to talk about the subjects freely. one may say I'm being a coward for not trying to get out, but, since I'm not an atheist, I know that this religion isn't the only one right but I don't either think it's the work of Satan. I'm just living my life without having to personally confront any of my JW friends, since it's obvious it's never going to go well.
PS: I do have some JW friends who I talk about it, but they don't live close and after all they still aren't desperate to get out.
Welcome! Keep researching, and you will be free... at least mentally, and eventually physically.
Welcome! Great first post!
Welcome and thanks for sharing your story. This is not emergency and you are under no time constraint in terms of making a decision one way or another. Take a "wait and see" attitude and enjoy the ride.
Ray Franz was my instructor at Bethel and I used to sit by him at meals. He was the epitome of what a Christian should be. I knew back then that something was bothering him and wasn't surprised when he left a few years later. I read his books and you can take it from me, every word of his writings are honest and true and his portrayal of what went on at Bethel in those days, is spot on.
Welcome RF. Glad to see you are open minded and willing to share your experiences, your thoughts and your faith. The authors you mention are excellent. Ray Franz' second book, "In Search of Christian Freedom" is one of my favorites. Keep seeking; the truth sets free.
Welcome! We all had to start somewhere. Come in, ask questions, read, discuss, and see where things take you. Don't try to control it, just be open and humble and you'll have a good time.
Welcome to the forum. I was struck by what you said about sometimes having to be dishonest when talking to people about the Witness religion. You felt you had to lie a little so that it would be seen in a better light.
I remember doing this myself and I never felt good about it. If most Witnesses are honest with themselves they will admit they are dishonest as well when defending the religion to non-JWs.
Whatever your goal is on this forum, I hope you find peace of mind.
Welcome to the forum, hopefully you can find what you're looking for here.
Welcome to the group, and I hope you're able to share some details about how things are in Brazil, without being too specific.
I'm sure you will find it very encouraging to be able to vent about this "best organization in the world", when even the slightest criticism isn't allowed.
I've read on here before a quote that said "I would rather have questions I can't answer, than answers I can't question ".
Welcome to the forum Ray Frankz.