Why She Left the Jehovah Witness organization

Hi everyone!
It's been quite a while since I lasted posted anything on JWN. I was in hiding previously, but only because I wanted to avoid the shun gun until I had the opportunity to tell my former congregation what I think about the Org./GB. I last attended a meeting over 2.5 years ago but it wasn't until June--when I earned my bachelor's degree--that I finally had the time to collect my thoughts and get them down on paper...I decided to write my letter in a style I felt would be most appealing to my target audience--JW's still under GB mind control --in the hope that at least a few would read it and actually "think".
The elders called and sent text messages after I emailed the letter (below) to about 150 recipients (I will be happy to share those, i.e., the texts, as well if any is interested in reading them). When I refused to meet with them, the conversations abruptly ended; about two weeks later I was disfellowshipped--as expected. Believe it or not, I was thrilled to finally get that monkey off my back! But my situation is different from most --I wasn't raised in the Org. and I have no JW family members.
Please feel free to share it, use it, etc. if you think it might help some JW, somewhere....
Dear Friend,
As you may know, it has been over two years since I last attended a meeting at the Kingdom Hall. There were several factors that contributed to my decision to leave at that time, but the most compelling was my health. I had reached a point where I felt physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. The breakup of my marriage and loss of livelihood within a one year period had weighed me down to the point where I could hardly think straight. I tried my best to function on auto-pilot and continue to faithfully attend the meetings, but that didn’t work after a while. Maybe it was my occasional outspokenness; subpar performance in the ministry; the decision to pursue a bachelor’s degree; KH gossip, or all the above that led some to view me as “marked” or bad association. Whatever the case was, walking through that big metal door had become a weekly exercise in stress management, for I no longer felt genuinely welcome, safe, or comfortable in the Kingdom Hall. Feeling trapped under a load I could no longer carry, I prayed to Jehovah then made the decision to never subject myself to that again. But this was not the only reason I decided to leave, as mentioned. Please allow me to explain.
Gaining bible knowledge through reading and study was something I deeply cherished as a Jehovah’s Witness. But as my comprehension grew over time, so did my troubles with a restless conscience. The specific information I read in the publications, and particular statements repeated by elders and others on a regular basis didn’t appear to be supported scripturally; likewise for certain mandated procedures that were carried out each week, month, etc. But the real source of the cognitive dissonance I struggled with for years was a couple of rules I bumped into not long after my baptism over 17 years ago--the two most important rules for JW’s: 1. obey the Governing Body as if they are God himself 2. Accept and comply with all Watchtower teachings, even when they deviate from the scriptures. The publications, elders, etc. never stated these directives in such straightforward terms, but they were fully understood by the rank and file nonetheless. Why the issue? These rules required me to obediently “follow the leader” regardless of whether it bothered my conscience to do so. This was not what I dedicated my life to God for and in fact, such requirements were completely incongruous with what I was preaching to individuals of other faiths. The same bible verses were recited time and time again to the Lutheran, Catholic, and Mormon: obey God as ruler rather than men; be faithful even in what is least; be sure of all things; test every inspired expression; do not put your trust in men. I wanted to help all I met in the ministry to understand that blind complacency was not acceptable according to God’s word. “True” Christians must: 1. carefully scrutinize every church policy, procedure, and doctrine 2. Defy church authorities and their organizational protocols when it is evident that scriptural directives are not being followed 3. Cancel church membership if necessary. Needless to say, the imposed double standard --do as I say, not as I do--made it increasingly difficult to engage in the door to door ministry. How could I tell anyone to do these things when I wasn’t doing them myself?
From the beginning right up to the present, the Organization has been well-known for its countless changes in doctrines, policies, and procedures, as well as numerous failed predictions. So I am simply drawing attention to the obvious by pointing out that Watchtower leadership is wrong at times. As mentioned, my biggest issue was that I was required to “follow the leader”, i.e., accept and comply with absolutely everything the Governing Body and elders told me to--despite the frequent changes and inconsistencies, and despite the fact that doing so meant I had to not only ignore my bible-trained conscience but ignore God as well. There were times when I went out on a limb and discussed my concerns with a few individuals, but the response was always the same: Wait on Jehovah. Put another way, do what the elders and Governing Body tell you to do no matter what; Jehovah will straighten things out in his own due time. (sound familiar?)This stock answer never made sense to me so one day I decided to do a bit of research (Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1)
It didn’t take long to see that such thinking was entirely out of sync with God’s word, and the following explains why. According to the Gospels, the leaders of God’s covenant people had once again strayed from his Word by establishing their own standards of righteousness and, as in times past, Jehovah wasn’t happy about it. His feelings on the matter were made known by Jesus’ scathing denunciations, but more than anything else, he condemned them for their self-righteous arrogance and hypocritical double standards. (Matt. 3:9; 23:3, 13-32; Romans 2:17-24) As you know, the story ends with the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem--God’s divine execution of justice upon his unfaithful people, his “ channel” which, interestingly, wiped out the lives of not only the Jewish religious leaders, but the rank and file as well, i.e., those who had trusted and obeyed these men rather than God. From this information, one can draw the following conclusion: We will all be individually accountable to the Lord on judgment day, regardless of our religious affiliation (2 Corinthians 5:10). Therefore, no individual, nor group of individuals, nor religious organization is exempt from God’s judgment, regardless of what anyone may claim to the contrary (Matt. 3:9; 7:21-23) There is no salvation, no “ark” of safety, in any religious organizations nor the leaders who guide them consequently. (Psalms 146:3, 4) The tragic death of each and every rank and file Jew that perished in Jerusalem in 70 CE is a sobering reminder of what awaits those who think otherwise, who erroneously believe the following: 1. Membership in a particular religious organization provides divine protection and exemption from some of the scriptural requirements they teach others to live by (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:21) 2. Absolute, rather than relative subjection to their religious leaders equates to obedience to God and Christ. Remember, giving allegiance and loyalty to anyone or anything other than Jah first, constitutes spiritual fornication, idolatry--something He does not tolerate. (Exodus 20:3; Ephesians 5:5; Rev. 14:4a) Think about this the next time you compliantly promote Watchtower dogma that is not supported scripturally (Ephesians 4:25) or follow organizational procedures that violate bible principles, because you have probably done these things over and over again with little or no thought as to the potential consequences. I did. For years, I tried to silence that little inner voice and faithfully do whatever I was told in order to demonstrate obedience to the “Slave” and maintain good standing in the congregation. It’s truly ironic that for 17 years, I was vigilant in avoiding any sort of political and/or nationalistic demonstration of allegiance or loyalty for fear of committing idolatry; and yet for 17 years, I made sacrifices, not to God, but to an image –a religious organization.
But what about the verses that say we must speak in agreement and be submissive to those taking the lead (1 Corinthians 1:10; Hebrews 13:7), or the one that mentions the light getting brighter (Proverbs 4:18), you may ask. Well think about this: since Jah never lies or contradicts, his principles, rules, and prophecies are consistent and unchanging, even if this doesn’t always appear to be the case. As a beautiful masterpiece in a dimly lit museum, the many intricacies of God’s immutable truths cannot be seen nor fully appreciated without a bright light--a divine luminary that dissipates the shadows of unenlightenment over time. (Psalms 36:9; 43:3) So even though we may not comprehend everything we read in God’s Word, we can still draw the conclusion that Jah does not require anyone to blindly “follow the leader” and/or maintain hypocritical double standards in worship. If the inverse were true, verses such as Acts 5:29, Psalms 146:3, and 1 John 4:1 would not be in the bible. With this in mind, why is it that JW’s hang on the Governing Body’s every word, never questioning any of their claims, yet exhort their neighbors to carefully scrutinize everything their religious leaders say and do? After much thought, I believe I have formulated a reasonable explanation. Consider the following.
As a student of the Bible, I can say with confidence that neither Proverbs 4:18 nor any verse indicates that Jehovah is directly or indirectly responsible for the Governing Body’s long track record of contradictions, flip-flops in understanding, major policy changes (e.g., organ transplants), failed predictions, etc. To even imply anything to the contrary is clearly misleading, for this suggests that the Organization’s consistent misrepresentation of the scriptures is due to Jehovah’s slowness in shedding light, rather than the real reasons - presumptuousness, lack of holy spirit, arrogance, etc. on the part of the GB. And yet, each time these changes occur, Proverbs 4:18 is cited in the related Watchtower articles and quoted in talks from the podium, leading JW’s to believe that these men are not directly responsible for any errors they make (because it’s God’s doing). This raises the GB to the level of infallibility, which is the very reason why you and many others mechanically “follow the leader”, regardless of how much or how often they deviate, revamp, revise, scrap, screw-up, etc. A similar process takes place in the case of Hebrews 13:7, 1 Corinthians 1:10, and other verses such as Psalms 42:5. When considered within the context of the biblical canon, not a single verse, illustration, or account indicates that JW’s are under divine obligation to comply with the GB’s every dictate –right or wrong (Acts 5:29). Even hinting that the inverse is true is nothing less than a deceptive, megalomaniacal attempt to alter God’s universal hierarchy of authority in the minds of spiritually-inclined individuals (1 Corinthians 11:3) And yet, the GB does just that and more in order to perpetuate the lie that absolute, rather than relative subjection to their headship equates to obedience to God and Christ. These eisegeses and others are consistently and frequently dispensed via the talks, publications, etc. week after week, month after month, and year after year. In fact, during one particular meeting, a highly respected elder declared, “Whatever comes out of the mouth of the Slave, you consider that as coming out of the mouth of Jehovah.” In light of the foregoing, such grandiose claims are utter blasphemy (Jah NEVER lies --Romans 3:4). What’s even worse is the fact that compliance with these mistruths and others is strictly enforced much in the same way the Catholic Church once sanctioned any who challenged its unscriptural dogmas, policies, and practices. Apostate branding, public humiliation, removal from the congregation and shunning by JW family members and friends is the outcome that awaits all who dare to listen to their consciences and loyally uphold God’s word (Acts 5:29). These shameful implements of evil have led to mental and emotional problems, serious physical ailments, and even death among a significant number of disfellowshipped JW’s. Taking all this into account, it’s no wonder Jehovah’s Witnesses practice hypocrisy!
If you have no problem being deceived, lied to, manipulated and controlled by fear, you are where you should be—in the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, if, like me, you have experienced a crisis of conscience due to the unscriptural autocratic style of governance the Organization wields, DO NOT IGNORE IT. God has given you a conscience for a reason, so it is vitally important that you use it as HE intended. Here’s how: 1. Read and study your bible exclusively and independently 2. Independently research the history of the Organization and current and past Watchtower doctrines, policies, and procedures, paying particular attention to the frequent flip-flopping, revisions, etc. 3. Independently and carefully verify all information that is dispensed via the publications and public talks, rejecting anything that is not solidly backed by God’s word. Be particularly on guard for statements that tell you to accept and/or comply with whatever you are told, even if it doesn’t make sense, add-up, etc. 4. Practice what you preach! Refuse to hypocritically teach others to apply bible standards that you are not fully complying with yourself (e.g., preaching 1 John 4:1 but not applying it) 5. Refuse to commit idolatry/spiritual fornication by complacently “following the leader” when you know or even sense that doing so requires, or may require, disobedience to God and his word (Remember, he who is faithful in what is least, is faithful in what is most!) 6. Refuse to be intimidated and controlled by family, friends, elders or anyone else that attempts to frighten you into remaining in subjection to the Organization rather than Jehovah 7. Pray to God for strength and courage to do what is right according to his word. If you are unclear by what I mean by “independently”, let me explain. Rather than relying on the Organization’s self-published material to verify the accuracy of the Organization’s assertions, claims, etc., seek out sources that are not controlled by, nor affiliated with the Watchtower. This is what Jah wants you to do and it’s what you tell others to do! (Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1) Verify, test, check--just as you would if you were buying a vehicle. Rather than rely on the salesman’s claims, you would consult independent and objective sources of information like Consumer Reports or carfax.com, before making the decision to buy.
What is the purpose of this letter? I assure you it is in no way an attempt to subvert your faith in God. To the contrary, it is a plea to fully trust and comply with God’s Word, regardless of the consequences (fear of man is what lays a snare). And it is a warning. If you continue to remain in the Organization and complacently accept whatever you are spoon-fed, you are pleasing men, not Jehovah…. and you are in danger. The tragedy that befell God’s unfaithful anointed in the first century foreshadows future events that will befall God’s modern-day, unfaithful anointed remnant and all those (the rank and file) who put their faith and trust in them. I realize JW’s are taught to believe that Christendom is modern-day apostate Jerusalem, but this simply isn’t so. If that’s the case, God’s anointed remnant is in Christendom, not the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is a critical point because it involves you on a very personal level. How? According to the scriptures, wherever the anointed are is precisely where the apostasy and subsequent judgment will occur. So then, if the remnant is located in your religious organization, the foretold apostasy will also occur within your religious organization. Ask yourself: why did Jehovah spare the Samaritans –the “pagan half-Jews”--when he brought destruction upon his covenant people in 70 CE?
According to the pattern set in the first century, the purpose of the modern-day apostasy is to fully test the anointed. (Malachi 3:2, 3) Whether they qualify to co-rule mankind in the future will be determined by whom they ultimately choose to serve –Jah or their unfaithful religious leaders. The Revelation prophesies and many others reveal this tuggle war of loyalty (Matt. 4:8, 9; John 14:30,18:36; Rev. 1:5, 5:10, 6:15; 16:12, 14; 17:2, 10, 12, 14, 18; 18:3, 9; 19:16-19; 20:4, 6; 21:24; 22:5). On one side is Satan and the unfaithful anointed who, like the Pharisees, deviate from God’s word (and deceive the rank & file into doing the same), and on the other, Christ and his faithful anointed who loyally uphold Jah’s standards even unto death (Revelation 2:10). Sadly, the vast majority of those on the battle lines will not prevail because they are on the losing side, caught in the same trap that Satan set in the first century: a religious organization that appears to have God’s approval.
This information (preceding two paragraphs) is not of my own originality but comes from anointed brothers and sisters--yes, members of the body of Christ--who have been kicked out of the Organization for refusing to comply with unscriptural doctrines, policies, and practices. Many of these faithful ones wrote letters to the Governing Body about these matters, but they were largely ignored. How do you think Jehovah feels about that? Well, how did He feel when Jesus and his disciples were thrown out of the synagogues?
In closing, I want to point out that I still worship Jehovah God (and no, I’m not a Trinitarian). And I still care about you; this is the sole reason why you have personally received this information. Should you desire to discuss any of the points presented here in greater detail, or simply need a listening ear and some loving support, please don’t hesitate to contact me. All communication will be completely confidential so you don’t have to worry.
All My Love,
S. Murray

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1 Response to Why She Left the Jehovah Witness organization

  1. jacqueline says:

    This is a letter I have had in my files for some time and thought others might be encouraged to see she is okay now. Enjoy

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