Do you have questions about the truth? Has the truth seemed to change over the last few decades? Do you feel guilty for questioning the things that you have been taught? Or for doing research online by visiting websites that are not approved by the Society? Do you lie awake at night trying to sort it all out? Does it seem to you despite inconsistencies in doctrine and policies within the teachings of the Watchtower Society that there is “no where else to go”?
If so you are not alone. My online name is SIAM and I have been in that position. I served as an Elder for 7 years until early last year, when I resigned because of my conscience. I came to the point where I could not teach the congregation in good conscience things that I was unsure about. Like many of you, I was raised as a Witness, and much like Timothy I was taught “from infancy” things from the Bible and the Watchtower Society. I spent 5 years pioneering and sharing “Kingdom truths” with my neighbors. I was used as an Elder on Assembly parts and gave many Public Talks in the Circuit. I might have even given a talk in your hall.
It all changed for me two years ago. Suddenly cracks began to appear in my faith, cracks that were never there before. I began to study God’s word ever deeper in an effort to bolster my faith and drive away the doubt that was creeping in. I felt guilty for questioning the Society and afraid that I was abandoning the love that I had for God.
All of those feelings went away when I read (1 John 4:1) “Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.” (New Living Translation) This scripture actually encourages all true Christians to examine their beliefs. I began to earnestly examine the things I was taught, and what I found changed my viewpoint completely.
In retrospect there had been alarm bells ringing in my head for years, but the recent changes organizationally and doctrinally have made me consider the following facts:
- As Witnesses we were taught that Armageddon is going to be here any moment and is imminent. The direction from the Holy spirit said that the end was going to come in 1914, 1925,1975, Before the end of the twentieth century, and you would never grow old or fulfill any career. It didn’t happen. “Imminent” and “soon” has stretched on for over 130 years. Would Holy Spirit have directed the Society to make these predictions?
- We were taught that there would be few anointed left when the end came and that the number will decrease as the end drew near. The number of anointed is increasing. Considering the published numbers of partakers and 1st Century Christians, it is mathematically impossible to have only 144,000 true chosen ones.
- We are taught that field service is a life saving work that must be performed with a sense of urgency. Even though it is “urgent” the antiquated method of calling on empty houses is used as the primary way of trying to reach people. Television, internet, email, postal service, social networking are not used even though the effectiveness of these methods are proven.
- We are taught that the light gets brighter as Jehovah blesses his servants with Holy Spirit and increased understanding. Is Jehovah responsible for flip-flopping doctrines such as the generation of Matt. 24:34, organ transplants, Blood transfusions, the superior authorities etc. or is it men who claim to be inspired? If it were from Jehovah don’t you think he would have gotten it right the first time? Despite these changes each time credit/blame is given to Jehovah. Consequently, a person could legitimately ask if they can even trust what they read in the publications, because it might change soon.
- We are taught that we live in a spiritual paradise and associate with the safest group of people on earth. Despite this claim it is likely that in your congregation there is a child molester that you don’t know about. Your elders are given instructions in some cases not to tell the authorities or to warn the congregation. Each congregation is actually instructed to maintain a document called the “Child Protection List” that identifies these individuals. Are any of the members in your local hall on this list? How would you know? If you ask one of the elders about this list they will tell you it is confidential…And probably ask you how you knew a such a secret list was being maintained. The organization has tried in the past to sweep the problem of pedophilia under the rug, and continues to do so. Is this in harmony with God’s qualities of love, justice, or wisdom?
- Did you know that disfellowshipping as practiced within the organization, cannot be found in the scriptures? Would Jesus have treated sinners the way that we as Witnesses treat sinners? There are many websites and articles outlining how this practice has “gone beyond the things that are written.” (1 Corinthians 6:4)
- Despite the claim that all policies and instructions to elders are based on the scriptures, there is a book that only the elders have been given that has many congregational rules and policies not based on the scriptures. You are not allowed to look at it unless you are an elder.
- We are taught that the United Nations organization is the wild beast described in Revelation and is one of the organizations controlled by Satan. Despite this, the Watchtower Society was partners of the UN for a number of years as a Non-Governmental Organization.
- Even though the “truth” changes, if you believe something other than what is published as the latest light (right or wrong) you can be disfellowshipped. Does that seem just and loving to you?
- 1914 cannot be proved by scripture as the end of the Gentile times. No one other than the Witnesses believe that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 BCE. Brother Russell used the Great Pyramid of Giza’s measurements to corroborate 1914 as the end of the Gentile times. The calculation arbitrarily uses a lunar year of 360 days to come to a date based on a solar year of 365.25 days.
- Even though we are taught repeatedly that world conditions are deteriorating in fulfillment of Matthew chapter 24, earthquakes are not increasing in frequency according to the USGS. Crime rates have dropped dramatically according to the Department of Justice. The life span of mankind has risen dramatically since 1914 as pestilence is treated, controlled, or eradicated according to the Department of Health. Food shortages are decreasing. Wars are not increasing.
- Even though you pray through Jesus to Jehovah, Jesus is not your mediator. This teaching is in print despite what the Bible says at 1 Tim. 2:5,6. The JWS video on this point explains this fallacy quite well.
I urge any readers of this site to verify the things that I have said. Use secular sources, look up things on the internet, ask your elders if these things are true, even write the branch. Despite the shattering conclusion that some of what I have been taught is wrong, I have drawn closer to God. He has promised to lift us up when we are crushed, and at Hebrews 13:5, 6 he says:
“I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” 6 So we can say with confidence, “The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” (NLT)
You are not alone in your search for truth. There are many sincere brothers and sisters who are still active within the congregations who see that things are not right, and are yet unable to speak up. This is a fact demonstrated by the traffic to this website. When you go to the Kingdom Hall next, look around at your Brothers and Sisters and wonder, are they putting the “inspired expressions to the test” just like you? How many of them are currently investigating matters online as you are?
If you have been put out of the congregation or have voluntarily left, you have not been forgotten by our Heavenly Father or his Son and our King Jesus. We have not been forgotten you either. Dear Friends, I wish you the best as you continue to examine your faith. Put aside fear of man, fear of questioning your long standing beliefs and look to the scriptures for clarity. Our Heavenly father will always bless your efforts to come to know him and his Son.