I need some serious help
I grew up a JW kid until the age of twelve....Since then I have lived a worldly life. I have enjoyed a lot of my life experiences, but I now feel like I am lost. I have made some terrible choices recently that may affect how the rest of my life carries out. Now at the age of 41, I crave spiritual guidance.
Sin is corrosive and progressive. It has its own will quite apart from our own will at times. It is not the sins that we are OK with that ruin our lives in this life, it is the ones that we are not OK with that do it.
Since God knows far more that us, he knows that all sin will lead to harm to ourselves or to others....not just the ones that we can see are harmful. If you want a solution to all sin, you should probably go find a nice non-denominational church and attend some Sunday.
Professional counseling can help too, but won't get to the root of the problem. I spent a lot of money and time on professional counseling and in buying and reading self-help books when I left.
While somewhat helpful, it does not even compare to getting born again, which is a supernatural attack on the sin nature itself.
if you really need religion in your life---shop around! sooner or later you will find one your comfortable with--not too demanding.
it doesnt matter which--they all worship the same imaginary myth.
Be careful about swapping one set of religious hang-ups for another, which is what I did when I left.
Contrary to what Perry states above, "sin" is not the root of the problem - religious exclusivism is - it is found in all the Great Religions of the world: Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam etc. Within each of these systems are smaller cells that call out the "sinfulness" of the others. Perry would speak the same even to a devout Muslim as he did to you.
You will get nowhere fast fussing over who has the "right" interpretations and "understandings", including the "true" Sacred Text.
Your healing consists of facing up to the doctrinal arrogance of the religious cells that are sprinkled through all of the world's Great Religions, JWs and born-agains alike.
Also, to answer Perry's astonishing ignorance, registered health practitioners such as clinical psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors are bound by strict codes of ethics and belong to professional associations - so they are accountable for practices with no vested interest in promoting - or damning - one religious system over another. You are helped to understand your difficulties in terms of learned behaviour and helped to challenge and replace automatic negative thinking, among other things. There are no magic and/or born-againn solutions. But if you want to grow up and take responsibility for your life - and stop living in religiously-induced fear, seek out a registered health professional.
As Smiddy pointed out on page 1, you left at 12. You don't know the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. You only know that they say they are right and everyone else is wrong, they teach living forever in paradise.
I can tell you that anyone can start a journey of spiritual learning. Each person's journey will be different. I will tell you a little about mine if it helps.
I first started learning that the religion I believed (Jehovah's Witnesses) was loaded with contradictions and changes and failures of predictions. jwfacts . com was a big help. Reading books such as COMBATTING CULT MIND CONTROL and CRISIS OF CONSCIENCE was my biggest help.
Next, I assumed that "Christendom" was probably correct. But I continued learning before just accepting that. I examined the Bible, their main tool. One great book that helped me was THE BIBLE UNEARTHED by Finkelstein and Silberman. Also, there were two video series, one from Nova and one from BBC, both called THE BIBLE's BURIED SECRETS. There was much much more, but all must find their own path.
After being positive that Christianity was not the way, I briefly looked at Buddhism. The greatest thing about Buddhism is that you can accept any or all of it, you can reject as much as you want and still benefit from the wisdom and guidance remaining. But that wasn't satisfying enough. As a former JW, I had to know "the truth" from the lies. So finally, I started learning what science has to say. I read about the origins of the planet, life, the universe, the big bang, etc. Also, while I was learning about beliefs outside of Christianity, I was meditating on thoughts that were critical of God. Would a "loving" god allow a tsunami that wiped out tens of thousands of children? ....or an earthquake that killed and injured tens of thousands of children?
Anyway, I think you can see where I went. My point is not to just return to the religion of your youth. I did that in a time of trouble and went back to Jehovah's Witnesses. I wasted precious time and stayed in a depression for a long time. I could have gotten the professional counseling that I needed and started my proper journey of spiritual learning much sooner.
Best to you.
There is nobody in the Watchtower organization that can give you true "spiritual guidance". Nobody in that organization are your superior in regards this quest--you have the means to seek that within yourself.
Some might have the illusion of spiritual knowledge, the illusion of guidance, but as has been encouraged, if you truly factcheck it, it will quickly be exposed for the illusion it is.
Sorry to rain on your parade but paradise was an invention of the ancient Egyptians, they called it the field of reeds. The Greeks copied this idea and called paradise Elysian. Pretty much everything Christian has its roots in Egypt. Baptism, circumcision, anointing, spirit, afterlife, heaven, judgment of ones heart, 10 commandments, etc all come from the Egyptian religion.
We often look at the past with rose colored glasses and forget the difficulties we had, only remembering the good things. I'm wondering if you are looking back on your JW life this way.
There is a saying "You can't go home again". I'm not saying you shouldn't revisit the JW religion if you think it may help but don't expect to be able to go back to the naive state you were once in and rebelled against once you grew out of it. People often need structure and any structure is better than no structure at all but remember, you can find real and practical guidance as well as the structure you crave via many avenues besides JW's or with religion itself.
Whatever you do in this regard, make sure it's done based on provable facts and tangible evidence in the here and now rather than based on fear or in sentimental hopes and dreams that can only be kept alive by ignoring reality.
Sounds a bit like my husband. Went through a health crisis, a financial crisis then decided the thing to do was go back to his "religious training" to relieve his worry and stress. Only, it makes it worse.The JW "religion" is not helpful at all. It creates more problems than it might help ( like providing routine, which is actually pressure to keep up) , a ( false) feeling of belonging, promises that you will be the happiest people on earth, when in reality it is false.
This kind of mindset has been killing our marriage, along with other learned behaviors from growing up JW.
Please seek therapy, and find someone familiar with the JW,( but not a JW.)
You've made a lot of bad decisions, and now you want to make another bad decision.
GreetIng s bulldogg,
Youve been out for a long time. You left at twelve and have lived a life outside of the organization making mistakes, learning like everyone in the world. Some mistakes are bigger than others but it's life.
May I ask, are you thinking of going back to the organization just because your at a point you regret where you are in life OR are you seriously interested in knowing " TRUTH?"