1. to contend with an adversary or opposing force. 2. to contend resolutely with a task, problem, etc.; strive: to struggle for existence. 3. a task or goal requiring much effort to accomplish or achieve.
Synonyms: 1. oppose, contest, fight, conflict. 7. endeavor, exertion. 8. encounter, skirmish. Struggle, brush, clash refer to a hostile meeting of opposing persons, parties, or forces. Clash implies a direct and sharp collision between opposing parties, efforts, interests, etc.: a clash of opinions.
My struggle is between what I was taught upon coming into the truth, and the growing disparity between what the Scriptures teach and what the Watchtower Organization compels its members to practice. Reading Ray Franz’s “Crisis of Conscience” was a jaw dropping, emotionally draining experience. Getting a glimpse of the inner workings of the Governing Body at Brooklyn Bethel is what first caused me to experience “cognitive dissonance”. This is defined as:
“Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.”
So many of the brothers and sisters I speak to allude to this without even knowing what it is. They just intuitively feel that something is wrong and they are trying to figure it out. That is what I am doing. Struggling to reconcile my faith with my conscience and trying to find a way to mesh them together. The more research I do, the more of the friends I find that are having this same epic conflict in their minds and hearts. Some think the Watch Tower Society is simply a false prophet and pure evil. Others say Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult, however that is an oversimplification and according to Ray Franz himself is an inaccurate designation. Maybe we are in a time similar to Jeremiah’s. There were some that were trying their best to serve Jehovah, despite the fact that their leaders had apostatized from pure worship and needed to repent before God punished them severely.
Many have simply left over the years, and floated along without morals or a hope for the future. Peter Gregerson, the brother that helped Ray write his books by giving him work and a modest place to stay, made a great point about this one time when he said that some leave the Organization and then that spiritual void never gets filled and they “eat drink and [are] merry” because they feel like there is nothing else to be done. This is sad! So can you just go to a non-denominational church and worshiping in your own way? Or the Catholic Church for that matter? That’s a hard one, and a choice that many of us are not ready for. Why not simply do “the fade” and stop going to meetings, service, and melt into the background? Then you are free to worship Jehovah privately- but is that enough either? Will that ease your conscience or make it worse?
More importantly, what does our Heavenly Father want us to do? That’s a big question. A very big one indeed.