"If I wasn't born a JW, I would never have become one."
I told a CO this once. That if I had not been born into the family I was that I would never have become a JW. He looked at me and said 'see that is how much love Jehovah has for you because he read your heart and put you into that family knowing this. This is how much Jehovah loves you.'
I told the CO let me get this straight my parents were extremely abusive and I suffered hugely for that, not having a childhood at all and then the friends treated be badly because of how strange my family was I had to overcome so much. I was never invited or included with any of the JW's as a child everyone kept away from us, I was not even offered rides to the meetings and had to walk 3 miles each way when I was in my late teens, I struggled to pioneer because the other pioneers did not want me with them in their car groups, I have been to Bethel and and some of the friends treat me like dirt for that for some insane reason. So you are telling me Jehovah had me go though all of this pain because he knew I would not join on my own.
The CO said "yes." This is when I really started to wake up.,
" If I wasn't born a JW , I would never have become one ".
Yes indeed I think that's a pretty accurate and true assessment of my situation as well . Very true. I was the MOST independent thinker in my JW family of 3 older siblings and my elder dad and mom had joined the JW's 8 years before me the last child was born. So I didn't have a snowball's chance in hell NOT to be raised in the JW cult as my folks had been in it for 8 years already when I was born. Lucky me. Not.
So I had to find many coping mechanisms as a teenage JW growing up in a strict JW household with a Nazi elder dad. Things like listening to rock n' roll music i.e. Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Moody Blues , Pink Floyd - just to survive and maintain possession of my own brain and critical thinking ability. Through some miracle- it worked - here I am at age 56 a free thinking ex-JW who has a fuller world view than I once did. Have tried to read and re-educate myself these last 12 years after exiting the JW cult. It helped.
So no I would NEVER have joined the Witnesses as it was thrust upon me without my choice from birth to age 18. Freedom of mind is now priceless to me- and I will never let anybody steal away that freedom of mind ever again ! Peace out, Mr. Flipper
The reason I thought when I was a witness that if my parents had not become JW then I wouldn't is because my personality wouldn't have allowed me.
when I left home I rarely attended assemblies in their entirety the bookstudy was the first meeting I stopped attending.
so I always felt thankful they had become witnesses and I tailored it to my personality
a jacket has to fit
You I always felt guilty about having to chance to survive Armageddon, as I knew I would never have converted if not born in.
Jwfacts this us exactly explains feeling I went through as well. I alway felt I was sneaking by. Then I would think the big aj must know this and I'll die anyway. Hell of a way to grow up.
I can't imagine that I would have fallen for it... then again I seriously looked into Scientology at one point...and I also thought that Enron was a financial juggernaut.
I'll stop now.
startingover you said "I now realize i was a closet atheist for most of my life."
That was myself. I remember clearly the day when I realized I was agnostic, I was four years old. My grandfather had been talking about God when we were visiting and we were in the car, I asked my mother what grandpa had said and why. She was frustrated with me and told me that it was crazy, etc to not believe in God.
I clearly remember thinking even though I went to all the meetings and both my parents and older sister who was 10 years old had a strong belief in God that they were wrong and grandpa was right. My grandfather was atheist and at 4 years old I did not believe like he did that there was no God but I felt that God did not care about us.
Even though I went on to embrace the JW's as a teenager, young adult. I pioneered, served where the need was great, went to Bethel, etc in my heart I was and have always been agnostic. I just find it strange how a child can be so sure like I was, and even though I lied to myself and tried to force myself to believe in God or a God that cared I always knew deep inside that God never did and does not care about us.
We are such strange people when we can lie to ourselves even.
that's pretty much what I observe among people in general; they grow up in the religion of their family. When I heard jws crow about being "in the truth" I wondered would they be a jw if they had not been born in a jw family.
I know. You always felt guilty about something. Always. I can remember this from a very, very young age.
Feelings of guilt, for not going with things 100%, guilty for not going.in FS instead of to waterslides. Guilty for being at the beach and not at the meetings.
Guilt. Drummed into someones head from the get go. Can really @#&!-you up.
I guess I considered my religion as something like a heritage, like jews can relate to the jewish experience even if they are not religious. Or how people of ethnic or racial backgrounds have that in common. I knew before I was a teenager that if I wasn't born into this religion I would not have become one. But that didn't get me thinking that maybe I shouldn't be one...because you were taught to behave like one even before baptism so it didn't matter as much.
This concept was one of the intriguing things that made me question belief in god. Our religious direction was sealed at birth, being born in the western world, we were "assigned" to believe in Jesus or Yahweh.
If we had been born in India, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, Central Africa, or another place, we would have been "assigned" a different religion and a different god and would have likely defended it with as much fervor. We sometimes forget that each of these religious groups is its own little universe. When someone asks us if we believe in God, we don't even consider the hundreds of other gods that others believe in - we just consider the one we were "assigned" to believe. Likewise if you ask the same question to a person in one of other religious groups, they will only consider their God's existence, without Yahweh or Jesus even being considered.
On a final analysis, god (pick one) has a territory which is delimited by cultural background, and seems to not care about territories owned by other gods, since each god seems to be content with just maintaining its allotted portion of the world.