t was May 28th of the year 2000, and I was a young elder with a newborn baby and a devout Jehovah’s Witness wife. On top of owning and operating a business and having family responsibilities, my elder duties seemed endless. In the three years since being appointed an elder I had already seen two elders removed, which caused bitter in-fighting on the elder body because of it. Two “alpha-male” elders were constantly sparring and trying to out-quote the other using Watchtower articles during backroom elder meetings. These would sometimes last for four or five hours and were exhausting. I was serving as the Service Overseer and was a regular pioneer, although the pioneering had to give way soon as my body could not indefinitely take the pace of such a breakneck schedule.
You are likely familiar with the two questions asked of baptismal candidates at assemblies and conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It has been worded and used in the exact same way since 1985, which incidentally was the year I was baptized into the Watchtower Organization. If you were baptized prior to 1985 then the second question was different for you. We have written about this before in the article, entitled, “Questions about our baptism” but the topic bears revisiting as you will see as this article progresses.
My judicial trial is now over. The elders were not arrogant or mean spirited. Mutual respect was shown by all four of us, but these men were compelled to follow the Watchtower policy playbook, and by those standards of men they had no alternative but to disfellowship me. I do not blame them, and harbor no ill will towards them.
After much prayer I felt that I had to let my light shine, and that the Lord was with me, giving me the words that I should say. I was found guilty of “apostasy” as defined by the Watchtower Organization, and they will be announcing that I am no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses on Tuesday the 25th of September. I am not devastated, nor downhearted. Quite the contrary, as literally hundreds of people have been expressing their thanks and prayers in my behalf. It is overwhelming and very much a humbling experience for me.
A brother that resigned as an elder wrote this letter to the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses less than a year ago. Now it has been emailed to thousands of elders and ministerial servants. It is also being re-circulated and sent to many publishers. It is reproduced below:
I have been receiving a number of emails and contacts from brothers that are currently serving in the congregation. Also several that have stepped down, not for “wrong doing” but because their conscience does not allow them to continue to teach things that they have found are untrue.
The excerpts below are from a variety of these communications.