Another Introduction

by shiloh 3 Replies latest jw friends

  • shiloh

    Hi everybody. I've been lurking here for a few weeks now and thought I would officially pop in and say hi.Hi! I'm not a JW nor have I ever been, but a combination of things lead me here.

    One, I've been Christian all of my life but have recently begun to question my beliefs in God, the Bible and religion in general. The more I research, the less sure I seem to be about it all. I've been looking into a lot of things that I've never looked at before without the filter of my Christian upbringing in the way. It's been very interesting and sometimes a bit frightening to find that I don't really have a firm grasp of WHY I've believed what I have all of these 30 years. I guess I've just done so because that's what I was raised in. I've been looking at Evolution in a new light as well as giving alternate doctrinal issues a previously unheard of amount of consideration.

    Secondly, I've become reaquainted with an old friend after many, many years. Formerly Catholic, this friend is now a Witness. I've been brought up being told that the JW's are a cult and not "real" Christians so my initial reaction to this news was quite negative. I didn't say anything to my friend of course but the news was disturbing to me. In keeping with my new found desire to be open minded about things spiritual I decided to do some research to try and find out for myself what the Watchtower is about. This has been going on for several months now and I must say it's been an enlightening quest. I've read several of the documents on ("Should you believe in the Trinity"..etc) as well as the rebuttals that have been posted by numerous folks in places all over the web. It's a difficult thing to keep my "bias" out of it when trying to decide who is right. The Watchtower doesn't make it any easier for me to be open minded by including demonstrably misquoted information and dubious sources represented as "experts" in their literature. The pattern of misdirection and misleading information is just too great and too blantantly obvious for me to ignore it.

    I suppose the question weighing on my mind now is whether or not to try and present any of this to my friend. I've read alot about the negative things people experience while in the Organization but I don't really see any of this with my friend. In fact, there seems to be a blatant disregard for many of the things that make a JW a JW. Birthdays, mothers day, Christmas, associating with non-JW's. My friend seems to have no problem with any of it. Oh, if a card or something is given, there'll be a statement made along the lines of "oh I don't need things like this" but never anything as strong as "please don't do this for me it's against my religion". There doesn't seem to be any real strong aversion to the things that I read about which JW's are supposed to be so virulently opposed to. My friend even attended Church with me a few times before I really started questioning my own beliefs. There have been several occasions where the statement was made that "if the elders could see me now, I'd be out in a heartbeat".Odd that. I do know that the Doctrines of the Watchtower have been fully accepted. On the couple of occasions when bibilical things have been brought up, I sense a very uncharacteristic arrogance and condescension take over my friend as I'm told that I need to be shown what the Bible REALLY says. It's really hard for me to not get argumentative and angry when this happens. I know, however, that I don't have the Bible knowledge of the average JW so I'm hesitant to try and get into a scriptural argument. Frankly, since I'm not certain anymore of what I believe and since my friend doesn't seem all that "into" the organizational part of the WT I'm not sure why I feel so compelled to do something about it. Maybe I just hate to see a friend being lied to so blatantly. I dunno. If you knew a friends spouse was cheating on them but they were happily unaware, do you tell them?

    It's a bit puzzling considering all that I've read about JW's. I get the sense that my friend feels as if, as long as the org. doesn't find out about things, it's okay and your still a JW. Does that mean that God doesn't know as long as the org doesn't know? If you commit a disfellowshippable (is that a word?) offense, even if no one knows, are you not "self-disfellowshipping"? Has God not seen what you've done? Would the end result not be the same? Meaning, you'll be killed at Armageddon.

    Anyway, that's my story. I doubt that I'll be posting much because I don't think I really have that much add but I must say that some of the discussions I've read here have been the best I've ever read, anywhere, on any topic. I'll pipe in with questions occasionally, I'm sure.

    Returning to lurk mode.


  • cruzanheart

    Welcome to the board, Shiloh! I'm glad you've found some of the discussions helpful. Happy lurking!


  • JamesThomas
  • Gopher

    Shiloh, welcome aboard!! (James Thomas sure knows how to welcome people in style, doesn't he now??)

    In your JW friend, you have come across a difficult case where he/she has a matrix of beliefs -- some embracing the JW theology, others rejecting certain non-essentials. But the EMOTIONAL nature of their defense of the JW system as a whole makes it difficult to reason things out. So your friend is open-minded in some ways, and closed-minded in others... hmmm....

    All I can say is be there for that friend if/when they're ready to come out. They will need emotional support when such a time occurs. Until then, they aren't ready.

    Perhaps from time to time you can raise a question, like "what part of the blood is sacred to you" if they hold to the JW doctrine on blood transfusions. You did know that many blood fractions that were disallowed are now allowed by the WT Society, and a lot of their adherents don't even know it? For more info on that, read Maybe if your friend can be brought to see some of the inconsistencies (to put it kindly) of the JW doctrine, maybe you'll find an opening for further discussion. Maybe. It depends on your friend.

    Welcome to the board. Jump in with comments or questions anytime the mood hits you.

Share this