After learning “the truth about the truth” (TTATT) at times I would experience cognitive dissonance.  Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously.  While I had learned the facts about the Watchtower organization I still had feelings rooted in almost 50 years of being a Jehovah’s Witness.  My guess is that many who learn TTATT have the same experience.  I still attend some meetings with my wife at the hall and just got back from the 2011 District Convention.  When they sing, “If You Keep Your Eyes on The Prize” my eyes still water.  Why is this?  Why do I sometimes even wonder, “could I be wrong about these people?”  The truth is, these are very good people who are trying to please God.  However, the facts prove that they are being mislead and they truly are false prophets.  So what am I going to do?  Trust the facts or trust my feelings?  As time goes by I will be able to trust my feelings more but for now I cannot ignore the facts and I must focus on them.

The definition of the word “fact” from Dictionary.com is: “1. something that actually exists; reality; truth… 2 something known to exist or to have happened… 3. a truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true.

There are many definitions of the word “feeling” or “feelings” however this one suits this discussion from Dictionary.com: “indicating or characterized by emotion: a feeling reply to the charge.”

In the Watchtower 11/01/1953 article entitled, “Examining Islamic Teachings” After pointointing out contradictions in the Quran… Watchtower comments:

“While what has been said in the foregoing may offend some, let it be noted that we cannot expect to arrive at the truth when we let our feelings rather than our reason govern our beliefs. God’s Word says, “Come now, and let us reason together.” (Isa. 1:18) That means to make comparisons, calmly and objectively weighing the facts and the arguments presented, and then being willing to pay the cost, for the truth will cost something. That is why we are counseled: “Buy the truth, and sell it not.”—Prov. 23:23.”

So the Watchtower agrees we should trust the facts over our feelings.  The Watchtower is very quick to point out contradictions, false teachings and false prophecies when it comes to other religions.  However, when it comes to the history of the Watchtower and it’s facts, they try to cover it all up.  Regarding the Watchtower Library CD jwfacts.com states, “On its CD library there are no publications available prior to 1950, even though all publications every written by the Watchtower Society could fit on just a couple of CD’s.”  Why is this?  Why do we need to resort to the internet and Bible Students to view the history of the Watchtower?  While the Watchtower points out all the flaws and mistakes of other religions, they sweep their own faults and mistakes under the rug hiding the historical facts of their religion!  To research and look up this historical information on the internet is considered apostasy!

“In Jehovah’s organization it is not necessary to spend a lot of time and energy in research, for there are brothers in the organization who are assigned to that very thing” Watchtower 1967 Jun 1 p.338

“False religious propaganda from any source should be avoided like poison! Really, since our Lord has used “the faithful and discreet slave” to convey to us “sayings of everlasting life,” why should we ever want to look anywhere else?” Watchtower 1987 Nov 1 p.20 Please Compare 1 John 4:1, 2 Corinthians 13:5, Proverbs 14:15

From the Watchtower 7/15/2005 Article “The Shrewd One Considers His Steps” we read:

Do Not ‘Put Faith in Every Word

Contrasting the ways of the inexperienced with those of the prudent, Solomon says: “Anyone inexperienced puts faith in every word, but the shrewd one considers his steps.” (Proverbs 14:15) The shrewd one is not gullible. Rather than believing everything he hears or letting others do his thinking for him, he considers his steps wisely. Gathering all available facts, he acts with knowledge.

Take, for example, the question, “Is there a God?” The inexperienced one is inclined to go along with what is popular or with what prominent people believe. The shrewd one, on the other hand, takes time to examine the facts. He reflects on such scriptures as Romans 1:20 and Hebrews 3:4. In spiritual matters, a prudent person does not just accept the word of religious leaders. He ‘tests the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God.’—1 John 4:1.

How wise it is to heed the advice not to ‘put faith in every word’! Those entrusted with the responsibility to counsel others in the Christian congregation must especially take this to heart. The counselor must have the complete picture of what has transpired. He must listen well and gather facts from all sides so that his counsel is not unsound or one-sided.—Proverbs 18:13; 29:20.

The Watchtower has a double standard.  On one hand we are told “not just accept the word of religious leaders” and this is backed up by scripture.  Then on the other hand we are told this, “Since Jehovah God and Jesus Christ completely trust the faithful and discreet slave, should we not do the same?” Watchtower 2009 Feb 15 p.27

The following statement is from the book, “Mankind’s Search For God” (1990) by Jehovah’s Witnesses Page 10:

“In many countries now, owing to immigration and population movement, people of different religions share the same neighborhood. Therefore, understanding one another’s viewpoint can lead to more meaningful communication and conversation between people of different faiths. Perhaps, too, it may dissipate some of the hatred in the world that is based on religious differences. True, people may strongly disagree about their religious beliefs, but there is no basis for hating a person just because he or she holds a different viewpoint.—1 Peter 3:15; 1 John 4:20-21; Revelation 2:6.”

Say what?  That was written by the Watchtower Society in 1990!  Do they even read what they write?  It’s almost laughable!  Again, they said, “but there is no basis for hating a person just because he or she holds a different viewpoint.” But if a Jehovah’s Witness disagrees with the “faithful and discreet slave” they WILL BE DISFELLOWSHIPPED!  Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught to HATE “apostates” and those who disagree with “Gods people.”

Notice this article by the Watchtower:

Haters of God and his people are to be hated, but this does not mean that we will take any opportunity of bringing physical hurt to them in a spirit of malice or spite, for both malice and spite belong to the Devil, whereas pure hatred does not. We must hate in the truest sense, which is to regard with extreme and active aversion, to consider as loathsome, odious, filthy, to detest. Surely any haters of God are not fit to live on his beautiful earth. The earth will be rid of the wicked and we shall not need to lift a finger to cause physical harm to come to them, for God will attend to that, but we must have a proper perspective of these enemies. His name signifies recompense to the enemies. Watchtower 1952 October 1 p.599

Here we see the Watchtowers TRUE colors.  This was written right around the time they enacted their new disfellowshipping policy.  How does their view compare to Jesus words at Matthew 5:44, “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you!”

Even though Jehovah’s Witnesses may hate us and label us apostates.  Lets not be like them. Lets obey Christ and “love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.”  Lets also pay attention to all the facts and base our feelings on facts.  “Keep on asking, and it will be given YOU; keep on seeking, and YOU will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to YOU. For everyone asking receives, and everyone seeking finds, and to everyone knocking it will be opened.” – Matthew 7:7-8 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6

For more facts on Jehovah’s Witnesses please check this web site out jwfacts.com. This video helped me in putting facts before feelings:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYYv9W0I2Eg

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19 Comments on Is Your Faith Based on Facts or Feelings?

  1. chris says:

    Thank-you for this article Greybeard. I too still attend the odd meeting with my wife and children(that’s the hardest part)and the thing that strikes me more and more is how paralysed my brothers and sisters are. This subliminal desire to conform, or at least be seen to conform, to the dictates of a self appointed group of men is all pervading. I have been experiencing cognitive dissonance since 1984 and until recently I have felt as though I was living in a fishbowl. It is the most delightful and refreshing feeling to finally be able to start accept the undeserved kindness of God, and yet not miss its purpose. Something I feel that I have been doing for the last 25 years because I couldn’t make the pieces fit!
    Some times this makes me sad, until I remind myself that Moses was molded by Jehovah for 40 years before he found his ‘voice’.
    Perhaps many here will agree with Solomons words at Prov.13:12 where he said “expectation postponed is making the heart sick”. When we apply this to the constant drum banging we experience from the ‘Society’ regarding the end of this system it is no wonder that JW have a high rate of mental illness. All of us long for the end of wickedness but the subconscious pressure to meet the standards of men to be saved, damages our spirit.
    An article I read some time back stated that a high proportion of depression can be treated with cognitive behavioural therapy or simply put “talking and expressing your feelings, right or wrong, and having them adjusted and corrected by loving counsel”
    I appreciate this site because even though I cannot see or speak to you all I feel counseled and consoled.
    May thanks always to be to God.
    Warmest Christian Love

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    • greybeard says:

      Dear Chris,

      Thank you for your comments brother. You have been experiencing cognitive dissonance since 1984? Wow, that sounds like a long time to me. I was convinced it was the truth up until I was DFed a few years ago. I only got reinstated for my families sake and then fade. I could not bring myself to look online at “apostate” web sites. Do you mind if I ask, when did you start viewing web sites with facts about JW’s? If not back in 1984, what was it then that gave you doubts?

      Your brother in Christ,
      Greybeard

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  2. Joe says:

    Hello Greybeard,

    I enjoyed your article – truly we should base our faith on facts and as we learn these facts we should lovingly encourage one another with the things that Jehovah’s word teaches us. But unfortunately if you do this in the organization of the watchtower they will not have and interchange of encouragement with you – no rather they will spiritually kill you from their midst. What a shame that they do not allow the freedom of speech that is so important to a healthy faith.

    Because of this it reminds me of a scripture @ Micah 2:10 “Get up and go, because this is not a resting-place. Because of the fact that she has become unclean, there is a wrecking work and the wrecking work is painful.”

    Inside the intimate group of the organization you cannot be at rest, in fact you have to be on guard constantly. Because of how we are treated by these so called spiritual men I am convinced that somewhere in the future that Jehovah and Jesus will do a wrecking work to the organization – He won’t take delight in it – It will be painful to him – but he will do it because of the damage that they have done to the spiritual lives of so many people that just want to humbly speak the truth.

    This counsel to “Get up and go, because this is not a resting-place.” seems like a good idea to me. Because when the wrecking work happens a person don’t want to be to close to it.

    Your Brother in Christ
    belongingtojah

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    • greybeard says:

      Thank you Belongingtojah,

      You make some good points. As Micah 2:10 brings out, it certainly is no resting-place. Micah goes on to say about false prophets at Micah 3:5-7, “Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who lead my people astray; When they have something to bite with their teeth, They cry, “Peace,” But against him who puts nothing in their mouths They declare holy war. Therefore it will be night for you—without vision, And darkness for you—without divination. The sun will go down on the prophets, And the day will become dark over them. The seers will be ashamed
      And the diviners will be embarrassed. Indeed, they will all cover their mouths Because there is no answer from God.” (NWT)

      Your Brother in Christ,
      Greybeard

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  3. JJ says:

    Brilliant article Greybeard!

    The WT quotations are really helpful. This highlights to me the importance of having these references indexed and at hand.

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    • greybeard says:

      Thanks JJ. As far as “references indexed”. I wouldn’t know how to spear head the project. Could we use a forum or data base to get it started? I don’t know much about databases. A online database would be nice. Would a forum work to launch this project?

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  4. JJ says:

    The mechanics of how to do it are laid out in detail in the “Volunteers Needed for Research Project” post:

    http://www.jwstruggle.com/2011.....h-project/

    I have some volunteers already just am needing a project leader to really grab it and run. I hope to have a post about this and other ways to contribute to the site and our struggle soon.

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    • Amos says:

      Dear Brother Greybeard,
      This is a really good article that you’ve posted. It very clearly shows the hypocritical attitude of the WTS’s standards.

      I am very glad that you brought out the verses that show we are to “love our enemies”. This is a thing that has stuck in my neck for a long time with the GB’s very unloving approach to those they are “ruling over”. They show either very little or no love for “their flock”, & fail to recognize that they are VERY accountable for their actions. Their often descriptive references to “other clerics” positions af accountability, seem to evade their own sensibilities of their own accountabilty, on both a personal & collective basis.

      Thank’s for an excellent article & the subsequent comments.

      Your fellow servant of the Most High,

      Amos

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      • greybeard says:

        Hi Amos,

        Thank you for your comments. The GB fails to understand what Jesus said at Matthew 12:36-37, “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

        Your brother in Christ,
        Greybeard

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  5. JWB says:

    Dear Brother Greybeard, I enjoyed your post very much.

    I am amazed at the presumptiousness coming from the GB with statements like: “Since Jehovah God and Jesus Christ completely trust the faithful and discreet slave, should we not do the same?”

    Here is presumptiousness again, from one of your quotes: “Really, since our Lord has used ‘the faithful and discreet slave’ to convey to us ‘sayings of everlasting life,’ why should we ever want to look anywhere else?” Excuse me?! Those ‘sayings of everlasting life’ do not need to be ‘conveyed’ to us, we can just open up our Bibles and find them right before our eyes! Also, we should not be looking at a ‘where’ (such as a religious organization), but rather a ‘whom’ (Jesus Christ):

    “Therefore Jesus said to the twelve: ‘YOU do not want to go also, do YOU?’ Simon Peter answered him: ‘Lord, *whom* shall we go away to? *You* have sayings of everlasting life; and we have believed and come to know that you are the Holy One of God.'” – John 6:67-69.

    Another interesting quote you gave is the organization’s advice that “it is not necessary to spend a lot of time and energy in research, for there are brothers in the organization who are assigned to that very thing.” Why would we not want to do our own research, even if it may take a lot of time and energy? Maybe because we might find something that doesn’t tally with “current truth”? If I had spent a lot of time and energy in research I would not have discovered that people such as Irenaeus, Ignatius and Tertullian pointed to the parable (yes, an illustration not a prophecy) of the “faithful and discreet slave” as refering to elders/overseers in the various congregations (presumably they would receive their reward of being appointed over all Christ’s belongings, when they became co-rulers with Christ.) You can imagine how I felt after not knowing anything different.

    As I’ve pointed out before, the organization has in a sense created a hybrid faith by superimposing the old Jewish system over the new Christian way of life. So they will happily pluck out scriptures from the Hebrew scriptures which related to living as part of a physical nation, and try to apply them to the Christian faith. As pointed out before in a previous post, it is very important to look at scriptures in context. Even Jesus showed that certain scriptures applicable to the old Jewish nation no longer applied:

    “YOU heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ However, I say to YOU: Do not resist him that is wicked; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other also to him.” – Matthew 5:38-39.

    Cognitive dissonance is something that had, I think, been with me personally ever since I was a young man (I was taken to meetings as a baby, got baptized in my mid-teens, then ‘faded’ in more recent times). Although it was bearly noticeable at first, over the years I always sensed that something was not quite right. About ten years ago I did a lot of research and got to the stage where I was like the fictional character Neo in the movie “The Matrix”. When Neo wakes up from the comfortable world of illusion into harsh reality his experience is traumatic. Over time I, like him, adjusted. Although it has been a very hard ten years, I believe I did the right thing in choosing the more difficult course.

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    • greybeard says:

      I enjoyed your comment too JWB. You make some very good points. Cognitive dissonance is a tough one for sure. Thinking patterns developed from infancy are hard to change.

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  6. andrew says:

    Good post GB,

    JWB its interesting that you reference the Matrix in your comment. Many of us have also identified with Neo. You may know that something isn’t quite right but even though its all around you, you can’t see it.
    When you finally “get it” you can’t believe you were so blind. It is a totally crushing experience.

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  7. CAMELOT says:

    When you think about the witnesses, they are just trying to live a life that would be pleasing to God. Only problem is they really living every aspect of thier life as God is requiring them to. It is a group of men who are claiming they speak for God but using a dogmatic persuasive tactic to do so. I believe the GB know for a certainty they are not God’s channel. Raymond Franz mentioned it was a year after being asked to go to Bethel that he joined the GB. He lived his life not being a member of that group until 1972. He never talks about having HOLY spirit in these meetings. Instead he mentions how often he disagreed over the years but was afraid to speak up. He tells that these men who argue the point. How they would change their policies. How secretive this GB was. The Society is overbearing and demonstrative in it’s manner keep control over it’s membership. Jesus taught the opposite. He condemned the Pharisees for suppressing the people by adding a fence to the law. In Matthew 9:13 he stated– But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” It is a struggle to get out of this organization but allowing yourself to look at it’s roots and practices I don’t see how it’s a struggle to realize they are false prophets who have been misleading the entire earth.

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  8. DanielB says:

    Greybeard, “Walking In Integrity” is my favorite and best remembered song lyrics after 20 years of new living. It’s a prayer and not one dependent upon the JW screen, with universal meaning.

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  9. DanielB says:

    P.S. – Our faith needs to be based upon both facts and feelings.

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    • greybeard says:

      That is true Daniel if our feelings are in line with the facts. Sad to say, many refuse to look at the facts and adjust their feelings. So their faith is based more on their emotional feelings than true facts.

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  10. serein says:

    my faith is based on feelings first,the facts come in to play now when im geting confused on different view points
    its difficult to base faith on facts to me at the moment,im in a whirl with all the different stuff iv been reading of late,so i think its better to just have faith and keep it personal beteewn you and god im fedup of searching im geting more confused,i deff have a prob with my thoughts becouse of being a jw for years i think all will have the same prob,

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