I had been thinking about how hard it can be to tell the difference between a high quality product, the “genuine article”, and a knockoff or an inferior product recently. Well sometimes the imitator can be so hard to distinguish that even an expert can be fooled at first. To me it’s like that when we are in the Jehovah’s Witness structure- we are told what to believe, given a very well-thought out schedule of all the things we should be doing, etc.
There are two lengthy meetings per week, field service at least once or twice on the weekend, family study night, cleaning of the Kingdom Hall every couple months or even more often, and more. There is the reading of the three monthly issues of the Watchtower and Awake, and now there is the reading of the extra online content at the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses, JW.org as well. On a yearly basis there are two assemblies and one District Convention to attend, two visits of the circuit overseer (sometimes three even) and on and on it goes.
How could we ever stop and really examine our belief system in fine detail to see if it indeed is that genuine article, or a knockoff in disguise? 1 John 4:1-3 tells us:
Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world. You gain the knowledge of the inspired expression from God by this: Every inspired expression that confesses Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh originates with God, but every inspired expression that does not confess Jesus does not originate with God. (1 John 4:1-3, NWT)
Another question that comes to mind though is this: Do we have anything to compare it to? You can’t tell if a bill is counterfeit or not if you don’t have the “Real McCoy”, an authentic original to compare it to. One point of reasoning that the Watchtower loves to use is that of Jesus’ words about fruits. He basically said that by their fruits you would recognize them, that is, false prophets versus true prophets or worshippers of God. I’d like to share these verses with you from The Message Bible. It is a paraphrased Bible, and it puts Jesus’ words into a very contemporary style:
Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned. “Knowing the correct password–saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance–isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience–doing what my Father wills. I can see it now–at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’ (Matthew 7:15-23 MSG)
These words of Christ make me think of the things that I was always told were hallmarks of true Christianity, things that only we as Witnesses had in abundance, such as:
1. Preaching billions of hours each year
2. True love among followers
3. Morally clean people
4. Accurate doctrine, no pagan roots
So what happens when these things are compared with the actual fruitage of Jehovah’s Witnesses? What happens when we stop to really examine these claims and do detailed research into their veracity?
- Upon comparison, we find that there are Christians all over the world spreading the gospel- one that is just as true as any the Witnesses have ever spoken at anyone’s door. 1 Corinthians 3:11 proves this simply, as it says, “For no man can lay any other foundation than what is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”.
- As for true love, there could be a ten-set volume of books compiled containing nothing but accounts of the cruelty and lack of love shown attendees and dedicated members of the Kingdom Hall.
- During the years I was an elder I sat on literally hundreds of meetings involving wrongdoing. These included fornication, adultery, drug use, alcoholism, allegations of molestation, violence, etc. The facts are that the brothers and sisters at the Kingdom Hall are just as susceptible to falling into sin as most other regular church attenders. The main difference is that most Christians can confide in a friend, pastor, or fellow congregant, pray to God and be forgiven and move on, whereas the Witness is compelled to confess to the elders and have them absolve and adjudicate the matter for them before they can be forgiven.
- The more research we do on Pinatas, birthdays, Christmas, wind chimes, toasting, etc. the more we realize the futility of trying to lay down a “what if” and a rule for each person’s conscience. Colossians says this in part:
Therefore let no man judge you in eating and drinking or in respect of a festival or of an observance of the new moon or of a Sabbath. (Colossians 2:16 NWT)
This scripture along with many others we don’t have time to go into in detail now tells us that these things should be left to personal conscience of each Christian, and not made into ironclad rules that bind others.
So what is some of the “other” fruitage reaped by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society that is not talked about openly among Jehovah’s Witnesses or on JW.org?
- Broken families – Fathers and mothers husbands and wives that are medications, that are over-using alcohol, and hide secret abuses. These include pornography, incest, child molestation, etc. The Candace Conti ruling just recently has shown that the Watchtower’s policies are directly responsible for many of these atrocities against children. Also many JW families are divided and ripped apart due to their extreme shunning.
- Premature death of their members because of a stubborn refusal to receive blood in medical emergencies (estimated at about 50,000 dead since the anti-blood policy was instituted) Not to mention many of these ones are children of JWs
- Suicides brought on by disfellowshippment: The shunning practiced by JWs is nearly unmatched among religious people. The Amish are the only others that I know of that are as cruel. People’s entire lives are wiped away in mere moments and all the friends, family members, and even their livelihood if working for JW employers are gone in an instant. Some give in to despair and hedonism, risky lifestyles, and worse, death due to overindulgence or worse.
- Billions of lost hours the friends could be spending with their family members and in truly productive endeavors. But the almighty door knocking recruitment work is constantly expected and emphasized. Driving around and around and around burning up gasoline wastes time but if you are lucky enough to be in the back of the minivan talking with your friends and then going to the donut shop it is endurable. And then there is the countless hours lost underlining WT publications and studying the endless list of policies and rules that are repeated and studied over and over and over again. When I was an elder I endured scores of meetings and researched hundreds of letters to the bodies of elders from the Governing Body for who knows how many hours, especially when I was the secretary. It is pointless, and a waste, a distraction from the real message and the real gospel- that of love and devotion to our Master Christ!
It is true that some have gotten off drugs or repaired their marriage by studying with sincere JWs and been helped. And that’s a good thing! But how many other organizations can also lay claim to these good works? There are thousands of groups worldwide than can and do help tens of millions of people every year! Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, The Salvation Army, The Gideons, and countless churches of all denominations can point to many fine testimonies. (If you had previously never been to another religious service or heard any sermons whatsoever like me, being a born-in Witness, you wouldn’t realize that they use the same scriptures, and have so many similiarities with what goes on at the Kingdom Hall it is unbelievable)
Yes they have rebuilt some houses for the brothers after hurricane and other natural disasters, and that too is commendable. But again, how many other individual people and church groups are also doing this? Thousands! So where’s the beef as they say? Well there isn’t much there- this Filet Mignon religion turned out to be a chuck roast marked down to $1.99 a pound church and we didn’t even know it until now! Until learning T.T.A.T.T.!
“Do You Know TTATT?” Is something that we say here on this website often. And more and more Awake Witnesses of the Conscious Class, and Fading Witnesses too know the phrase and use it. So do you know The Truth About The Truth? It is so important, and so profound when you learn this simple acronym. The fact that you are reading or watching this means something. It means a lot.
So the bracelets I ordered and now wear as I write this article are available, and I want you to have one of these. In fact every single one of you that wants one of these bracelets is free to have one. No charge. No shipping. So will you wear one? Will you empower yourself and let your light shine? One brother and good friend of mine told me that after wearing his for awhile he felt solidarity with the rest of us that have left the Watchtower movement and escaped the slavery to men. It personally makes me feel empowered and confident that I’m on the right track when I wear mine.
SUPPORT THE STRUGGLE!
For more information click here.
And if you don’t want to wear it that’s okay too. My point, the reason I’m getting so fired up, is that learning TTATT is so vitally important for so many. It can literally save a JW’s life after they are kicked out or become “weak” or have doubts. It’s about freedom. People have fought and died over freedom for thousands of years. The country I live in, America, was founded by people that were fleeing from religious tyranny- that wanted to have the right to serve God in their own way and not be told how to practice one of the most intimate things a person can do, that of how they personally worship God. And they escaped the tyranny of their day, and they landed on their own “promised land” of a sort.
So I ask again: Do You Know TTATT? If you do, that’s great, keep it up, and find your freedom. Find your path, as I always seem to be saying lately, and stick to it! Life is the journey. We must ask ourselves honestly whether we are on the path at all. Am I hiding behind a rock, or asleep under a tree off on the side of the road? Click on the link below to watch a video version of this discussion on YouTube, and below that there’s a link to how you can get your free bracelet. God bless you all, have fun, enjoy life, and wear your TTATT bracelet proudly if you can.