I’M THINKING ABOUT LEAVING, BUT I’M CONFUSED! Does anyone have the truth?
.:HOW TO FIND TRUTH AFTER THE WATCHTOWER
“I’m beginning to question my faith as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but I’m so confused! If I leave, where else can I go? Does anyone have the truth? I don’t know what to believe anymore. Is leaving REALLY worth loosing my Jehovah’s Witness friends and family?”
Hi, I am Anne Marie and I know exactly how you are feeling as I too felt lost when I first left the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but let me encourage you. I am so glad that you are questioning the Watchtower as to whether or not “it” is “the truth.” It’s a good place to start, and yes! Someone DOES have “the truth”!
When anyone is in an organization that teaches its members that they are the virtual “voice of God,” and that the members are required to believe what they are told to believe, this can become quite a burden. Sincere persons that join a religion that professes to be “God’s Organization” often end up feeling “not good enough,” fearful, and downhearted, because they fear that God is “displeased” with them, that they are not “living up to God’s righteous requirements,” and they begin to wonder if it’s all worth it.
Often Jehovah’s Witnesses who feel this way go to the elders for advice, and I am sure that you know what that advice is. Yes!
“Study more! Go out in the ministry more! Pray more!”
When you follow this advice, the feelings of guilt and insufficiency do not go away, but you keep “plodding along,” because you do not know what else to do. But deep down, you sense that this religion (despite the fact that it claims to be the “voice of God”), just doesn’t feel right. It has, in fact, made you miserable, and you feel trapped because you know that if you leave, you will lose all that is dear to you—i.e., your family and friends in the organization. This is by design! This is why all the new Jehovah’s Witnesses are encouraged to cut off ties to those who are “outside,” so that all ties that are close to their hearts are now ties that are within the organization. It is a setup of emotional blackmail!
When you are in the Watchtower and you discover that it is killing you emotionally and spiritually, the hardest thing to do is to leave. Again, this is by design. But to stay in this toxic place is not going to make it any easier in the long run. So, where do you go after you leave Jehovah’s Witnesses?
I can tell you that the “Someone” who has the truth is Jesus! Don’t be afraid of my mentioning Him. Here’s what happened. The founder of the Watchtower Organization, Charles Russell, knew that our freedom—our spiritual freedom lay only in Christ. At that time, no member of the Watchtower organization was under “spiritual tyranny” for the Zion’s Watch Towers of 1894-1895 claimed:
“In view of these facts… it is plain that the forming of a visible organization of such gathered out ones would be out of harmony with the spirit of the divine plan…”—Zion’s Watch Tower, December 1, 1894, pp. 383-386 (Watchtower Reprints, p. 1743)
“Beware of ‘organization.’ It is wholly unnecessary. The Bible rules will be the only rules you will need. Do not seek to bind others’ consciences, and do not permit others to bind yours. Believe and obey so far as you can understand God’s Word today, and so continue growing in grace and knowledge and love day by day.” —Zion’s Watch Tower, September 15, 1895, pp. 215-216 (Watchtower Reprints, p. 1866)
However, when subsequent Watchtower presidents took over, they wanted to exert absolute power and control over the rank-and-file Witnesses so they slowly got rid of everything that had to do with our salvation and freedom through Christ and took us all back to the laws, rules, mandates, regulations, and punishments of the Old Testament. This is why Rutherford used Isaiah 43:10 to identify the unique name of his followers. He wanted to rename his religion “Jehovah’s Witnesses” in order to take the focus off of us being under the authority of Jesus Christ. But at Acts 1:8, Jesus said that we would be HIS witnesses!
So, there’s a clue right there as to why so many in the organization feel “weighed down.” It is because they are not supposed to be “held hostage” to a group of men who claim the title of “The Faithful And Discreet Slave,” being in control of whether you spiritually live or die, what you believe, and virtually every facet of your life. It’s no wonder you feel the stress of your situation the way that you do!
Jesus said at John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” It is clear that Jesus is “the way.” Jesus is “the truth.” Jesus is “the life.” Is it possible that the reason you are wanting to leave is because the Watchtower has told you that THEY are “the truth,” that THEY are “the way” to a right standing with Jehovah God, and that THEY are the ones to follow if you want to have any hope of “life”? Does what THEY have taught you agree with what Jesus said at John 14:6?
Let me share just one more Scripture with you, okay? Jesus also said something about TRUTH and FREEDOM at John 8:31-32. He said that everyone that remains in HIS teachings (not the Watchtower’s teachings) is truly His disciple, and that we would “know the TRUTH,” and then the “truth would set us free”! Further on down in the passage, at verse 36, Jesus says that if HE “sets us free,” then we are “free indeed”!
So why have I mentioned these Scriptures? It is to help you with your dilemma of confusion about whether the Jehovah’s Witness religion is “the truth,” and if anyone else has “the truth.” If you can understand that an organization run by imperfect men is not “The Truth,” but that Jesus as He is revealed in God’s Word, the Bible, is “The Truth,” you will be greatly comforted, and you will be able to believe Jesus when He says that HE is “The Truth.”
Men may lie to you, and fool you, but I believe that if we go straight to God’s Word, and listen to what HE says, we will not only find “truth,” but we will find “freedom”! Because when you are no longer placing yourself in the position of being under the “authority of men,” you will be free to put yourself under the “authority of God and Jesus Christ Himself” and then His Holy Spirit will guide you into “all truth” (John 16:13).
Truth is never really “confusing,” even though we may not understand everything all at once. The truth is there for any who wishes to know it, and it doesn’t come from the minds of men. (Not “God’s truth,” anyway!) I would like to encourage you to pray for God to help you in your trouble. He understands more than you know, and He loves you. Yes! He really does! I would also encourage you to read the book of John without “Watchtower Glasses,” and then read the books of Ephesians and Galatians. There is much truth that you will find that you may have never noticed before, especially in Galatians where much of the book can easily be related to the Watchtower organization to show it for what it truly is, an organization of men.
And please remember this thought, too. If joining some type of human organization was to be a requirement of Jehovah in order to be deemed “worthy of life,” don’t you think that Jesus would have mentioned it? But yet, this so-called “requirement” is nowhere to be found in the Scriptures. Rather, many times Jesus tell us that we must “come to” HIM in order to have life (John 5:39, 40; John 21:19; Matthew 11: 28-30).
And as for you facing the loss of your family and friends, well, yes, I can certainly sympathize with you. The Watchtower Organization is an “us vs. them” organization. You are labeled as either “one of us,” or “out there in the world, serving Satan.” And as you surely know by now, this is by design! There will be “punishment” if you leave as there is no “honorable” way out of the Watchtower Organization and this is truly a sad thing. But that is the way that it is, and thousands of us have been just where you are, and we know how hard it is to be where you are right now at a spiritual “crossroads,” so to speak. Of course, you may decide to “put it off,” but it will only cause you more mental anguish and emotional turmoil, and this is why the mental health field knows that among the general population, Jehovah’s Witnesses have a much higher rate of mental illness ** It is simply a proven fact. Yet, doesn’t this seem to be odd? Think about it. If the Watchtower is truly “God’s Organization,” and “they” really do have “the truth,” and if Jehovah’s Witnesses are truly the “happiest people on earth,” why do statistics prove that they have a much higher rate of mental illness?
Educate yourself. Go on the Internet. Read the facts about the Society. Do research. If you want to know JEHOVAH’S plan of salvation, (and it has NOTHIHG to do with any man-made organization), then you can find it in this article:
- SALVATION – What is required to have eternal life? (www.4witness.org)
Freedom is never “free” when you are trying to free yourself from the tyranny of men (Luke 12:51-53). The very real threat of losing your loved ones is like being “chained in a spiritual prison cell.” But many of us have successfully faced this very situation and we came out much stronger, and we are FREE! You cannot do anything about your loved ones, or how they will treat you if you follow your heart, and the prodding’s of the Holy Spirit; but you are the one responsible for your own mental, emotional, and spiritual welfare. So please pray for guidance, and don’t be afraid to search for the real truth.
I was where you are now. And yes, it has been very difficult and painful. I have cried many tears, but I have never regretted my decision! In fact, though for many years I thought that I might “go back” someday, the research that I did showed me “THE TRUTH about The Truth,” and I can tell you that the peace and well-being that I now have, the joy and freedom in Christ that I now have, has made EVERYTHING worthwhile. Yes, the incredible blessings from God have most certainly made it all worthwhile!
In Christian love,
FOR MORE INFORMATION SEE:
** See Chapter 2 of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Problem of Mental Illness, 1992, by Jerry Bergman, Ph.D.
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