How far does our world-wide brotherhood extend? Is it limited to just ONE Christian group? Is the “free gift of the spirit” (Acts 2:38) opened up to many groups or just one? You and I both know that Christ is the judge and individuals from many nations and creeds can be sharers in the “one hope” to which we were were called. (Ephesians 4:4, ESV) I certainly don’t have all the answers to these questions. These are complex notions to contemplate and perhaps impossible to answer definitively.
It has been mentioned to me (and I agree) that this place is not necessarily a final destination on our Christian journey as servants of the Father and our King Christ Jesus. But no matter where we go online or in the flesh, and how many years we follow the narrow path, we want to strive to upbuild our fellow man, and especially our fellow Christian brothers and sisters. (Galatians 6:10, NIV)
We meet; we commiserate; we encourage one another, and share points that have resonated with us on a personal level. The JWS forum makes it easy to bring up a Bible topic of whatever we have or are currently studying, ask a deeper Bible question to the group or just get feedback on something we are thinking about or dealing with. Our efforts, as small as they may be, can have far-reaching effects, and many times the fruits of these efforts to figure things out and encourage others are unknown. But occasionally we are pleasantly surprised with positive feedback from unexpected sources. This fires our zeal and gives us impetus to press on and do more in the Lord’s service. Above all, let us not sow sparingly! (2 Corinthians 9:6, HCSB) It is my personal resolve to expend myself in this ministry, and in my efforts to help more and more of my brothers and sisters within the Watchtower structure to awaken to “the truth about the truth”. Others among you are led by the Spirit on another path, and that too can be God’s will and plan for you. (1 Corinthians 12:5, NAS)
But should we forget those of other Christian movements and denominations? Has it dawned on us that they also could have a share in “the one hope” (Ephesians 4:4) that we do? Partaking of the blood and flesh of our Master at this recent Nisan 14 brings this to our minds. For nearly 2,000 years Christian groups have appreciated and partaken of the body of Christ. These were not all benighted “apostates” as some would have us believe. Misguided belief in our own personal superiority has hopefully shrunk down to a speck of its former size (1 Timothy 1:15) and now our WT blinders have been removed. We are not the only ones with a corner on the market of Truth; we are not the sole arbiters and adjudicators of the judgement of the Christ. Can we unilaterally decide what the fates of these others will be? (Acts 10:34-35)
A loving and humble Christian brother recently emailed me. He is not, nor ever was, one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. His positive expressions are included below. I wanted to share them with you, and hopefully it will uplift you as much as it did me. (Romans 1:11) Again, you will note that the brother emailing me is not a Witness. So how and/or why would he be visiting JWStruggle? Isn’t this a strictly “JW-related website”? The answer is no. This is only one tiny part of the worldwide brotherhood of Christians…and we rejoice that this is so! The field is white for the harvest (John 4:35), and each of us go out wherever we are impelled to go, utilizing and coping with whatever circumstance we are born into or presents itself. But we are still a brotherhood. And the field is the entire world. (Matthew 13:38)
With you in Christ,
I have to tell you how amazed I am with your website. Last summer, I had Jehovah’s Witnesses knock on my door. Unlike the other multitude of times, one of the two came with patience, caring, and a willingness to actually listen to what I had to say. The other times, the ones who came were not interested in having a two-sided discussion, but this one was different. I allowed him to say what he wanted to say, and vice-versa. The best conversations came when he was alone. Often his visiting partner dominated the conversation which became a pointless stalemate. It was through these visits that I had some of the most wonderful and intense prayer and bible study of my life. Those visits ended about 4 months after they began, and I miss them.
Not because I am interested in being a Jehovah’s Witness. A large and wonderful part of my family are Jehovah’s Witnesses…cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. I have the utmost respect for what they do, and I am astounded at the dedication and organization of it all. They have a heartfelt, genuine desire to do and learn, something that I cannot say the same about of many of the churches I have attended. What I missed was digging into God’s Word. For a long time I had really wanted to, but I had no direction, and the sheer amount of pages seemed very daunting. Then Clarence came to my door. He didn’t know it, and probably still doesn’t, but he gave me the direction that I needed to begin my search for the truth. I was very careful to openly consider everything that he had to say and questioned everything I could think of. The little yellow book about “what the Bible really says” is not incredibly controversial, and fortunately Clarence was willing to skip to the parts that were. I read every verse I could find on both sides of the belief system and prayed fervently for the truth to be made known to me. One thing that became very clear to me through prayer was that my beliefs were becoming more and more grounded and that Clarence was sent to my house for two reasons: to inspire my own reading and to hear the scripture for himself.
Since then, I have had an insatiable desire to learn about Jehovah’s Witnesses beliefs, rationales, practices, and organizational structure. I truly feel that God is leading me to show them His love and reveal to them things that He has revealed to me. Since I have never been a Jehovah’s Witness, I am not privy to many things, and I fear that the forums and websites that I run into express a great deal of bias and misrepresent the people within the organization and sometimes the organization itself. Much of what I read focuses so much on the Watchtower and doctrinal issues and neglects the people who are serving Jehovah the way they have been told. I have a real heart for them as I spent the vast majority of my life “knowing” what I believed because that is what the church taught. I feel so relieved to say the answers I have now came from Bible study and prayer, and equally relieved to be able to say that there are things that I don’t know but can’t wait to learn.
I miss the Bible study that I had with Clarence. The last time he came over, he actually came to realize a couple things that bothered him. The next day, he texted me to tell me he wouldn’t return as I wasn’t making progress. Obviously I was disappointed. My cousin even contacted him to see if he would return. He would not. In the meantime, I have read many things. However, all of the ex-witness sites that I have run across are different than yours. The other sites focus on the abuse and problems. They are hurt and the disagreement comes from the desire to be the polar opposite of what they once were. They miss out on the wonderful aspects that Jehovah’s Witnesses do have, a love and respect for God. Your site is different, and frankly had my jaw on the floor for weeks. You openly disagree with many of the same things that I have come to learn are improperly taught in Kingdom Halls, and you are still considered Jehovah’s Witnesses. This concept has gone against literally everything that I have learned about the organization. Current witnesses tell me that complete unity is present and anything other than their unity is apostasy. I have only seen the hard-line approach, so it is very surprising for me to see so many people on your site follow your line of thinking.
I love it! While we disagree on a few things, the ideas that you bring up have helped re-direct me in my own studies. You are willing to take a look and investigate what the Bible says rather than accept what you are told. You are interested in serving Almighty God and recognize that Jesus Christ is vital in that endeavor. You are willing to admit that there are policies that have been imposed on you that are unscriptural and that scripture trumps all other literature. You are searching for the truth of God through the Word of God. I know it seems so obvious, but it is rare. I thoroughly enjoy reading the website and hope to strike up a dialogue at some point in time. Your perspective is invaluable, and I appreciate and agree with so much of what you have to say. I wish you and others on the site the very best as you keep growing in Christ.