The year was 1989 and I was still very active in our local KH I was serving as an elder responsible for the Theocratic Ministry School. I explained in earlier blogs what that entailed. Also I had been part of the elder body that met to deal with individuals who sinned. The Watchtower takes this very seriously, and when a person is reported to have sinned, he or she comes before this judicial body, composed most of the time of 3 elders, who hear the confession and take the appropriate measures to deal with the sinner. If the person is unrepentant usually they would be disfellowshipped, which meant kicked out of the cong. The consequences of that deliberation would also cost him fellowship with any other witness, meaning he would be be shunned, no one could speak with him or greet him or have any dealings with him, because if they did they could risk the same fate. In other instances if the person was repentant they could be either publicly or privately reproved, with some additional restrictions. So, here we were bragging about being Jehovah’s Witnesses being God’s clean Organization, but in reality, we were far from it. The grapevine is alive and well with the witnesses and the news about unchristian behavior becomes know pretty quick among the local cong and I have to confess there was a lot of uncleanness going on, some very serious and some petty. I don’t know why or when, but one day I began to THINK critically about what we preached and said as well as what we read in the publications the Watchtower, and what we really were. My conclusion was not what I expected, wait a minute I thought, we are no different than “the people in the world” that we continually condemned. That initial event triggered other thoughts about the Organization I had been obediently following and faithfully serving. Was the Watchtower God’s visible representative on earth to dispense and feed Jehovah’s spiritual food? Had they misled me? Going from door to door I had heard many times how the Watchtower had failed in their predictions of the end of the world many times before, each time I heard that I chalked it down to hate talk, they told lies about us, they did not like Jehovah’s Witnesses, so I never really allowed myself to deal with it. But now after all these years of service, was I really ready to risk my position in the org, was I ready to accept what this critical investigation may bring? I was ready to do an investigation into what so many people had accused the organization of being a “ False Prophet”. Was I having a crisis of my faith by by going forth with this? The next problem was, where could I go, who could I talk to, about what I was feeling? Certainly no one in the cong, not any of my close friends, yes not even my own wife, lest I run the risk of being removed from my position of elder and possibly asked to leave the Jehovah’s witnesses. I was not ready to do that, my original plan was to reassure myself that I was in the right place, and that people had lied about the Watchtower Org. So I was at an impasse, I could not speak to any Jehovah’s Witness lest I would be reported to the leadership, and I did not know anyone outside of the Org. that could help me with the dilemma I was facing. The Answer came from an unexpected source.
more to follow