Open your mouth for the mute,
For the rights of all the unfortunate.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)
There’s been plenty of talk. Discussions among former Jehovah’s Witnesses abound on YouTube, Facebook, large gatherings and small. We talk about our own battles and rejection but also about those left trapped inside, those who can’t speak, the afflicted and needy. The wisdom of God’s word admonishes us to open our mouths on behalf of the mute and defend the rights of those unable to stand themselves. There had to be a visible presence opening their mouths. For this reason, I support activism.
Activism comes in many forms, I’ve written about that before in my article What is Activism? My personal activism lately involves prayer, encouraging former Jehovah’s Witnesses through one-on-one phone support, and teaching others how they can get involved and help. I did not travel to participate in the boots on the ground protest in Warwick, New York this past November 5, 2017, but make no mistake, I was involved. And so were many others because every role mattered from the unseen prayers to the visible protest signs of the Vast Apostate Army in front of the world headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses. One is not greater or less than the other. The protest in New York may not be up to everyone’s taste, but I hope it has a ripple affect to inspire and awaken others to question what role they can play.
Don’t underestimate the INSPIRATION that those 50 or so protesters are giving to those of us who were not there. Just like the results of our prayers are not always readily seen, the fruit of this weekend activity remains to unfold. With every YouTube testimony and media coverage of protests at least we have footage to show those beginning to question the Watchtower. Jehovah’s Witnesses are conditioned not to associate with the “worldly” and “apostates” for we’ve all been portrayed as monsters to them. It’s a view protected by the regime they serve, but little by little the footage leaks through their cell phones to see and hear facts about their own history of failed prophecies, doctrinal flip flops, illegal policies and the real life trauma of sexual abuse, broken families, depression and fear that active Jehovah’s Witnesses watching may be experiencing themselves. So my role in this weekend? Among the many prayers uttered, I also prayed for keen media attention to catch the right moments to be shown and shared.
Through the videos that will continue to be watched, former JWs in their home communities may be inspired to enlarge this small beginning at world headquarters and/or do more protesting within their own territory. Because of their inspiration to me, I set aside time to visit my local Kingdom Hall on a prayer march and also distribute literature in the parking lot on November 5. I noticed I wasn’t the only one as the videos began to get shared in Facebook groups for Ex Jehovah’s Witnesses. Others had done the same thing and visited their local Kingdom Halls!
The atmosphere is ripe, so I’d really like to encourage everyone of us to DO SOMETHING right where we’re at.
If you couldn’t be in New York, do what you can at home.
Let this small gathering serve as a great inspiration!
There are more videos than I can share of this weekend protest, but I encourage you to start here. Several YouTube activists positioned themselves to speak one at a time during the Sunday meeting at a Kingdom Hall in Mahwah, New Jersey as part of the protest on November 5. After the morning song, one man stood up and began to enlighten the congregation by posing a question about child molestation and the two witness rule of the Watchtower. Some “brothers” began to politely ask him to leave while the elder leading the study that morning ignored him and went right into their scheduled talk titled “Why would a loving God permit wickedness?” I think they just answered it. To Jehovah’s Witnesses, the organization IS God and that organization permits wickedness by shutting up anyone standing up for justice. As one protester finished their part, another stood up to speak. One by one these “apostates” were opening their mouths to judge righteously and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy. (Proverbs 31:9) The elders escorted them all to the parking lot where they continued to share their stories and facts about the Watchtower organization. It’s worth a watch.
Please watch: Best flash mob Kingdom hall protest 11/5/2017
Another video I was encouraged by was filmed in my home state of Wisconsin. Like me, this woman did not travel to New York but felt compelled to visit a Kingdom Hall closer to home to address the pedophile issue.
I saw a few other ExJWs that caught the bug to visit a local Hall also. Who knows how many more of us did this without video or written report? I didn’t video my activities at the local Kingdom Hall, but some of my written prayers prior to the weekend are archived on a private Facebook group for prayer along with my brief report of activities.
October 14, 2017
Master, Creator, Loving Father, how can I pray down this tower? For you use it to challenge the sleeping and slumbering. You use it as a weight of resistance to stretch our spiritual muscles and grow in understanding of what faith, righteousness, and grace mean. What I pray then is not that this particular tower fall as if it itself were the problem, but rather my heart’s desire is that whether in or out of the Tower we seek your face, we seek TRUTH even at the cost of our pride, our personal fears, and our reputations. Lead us to repentance if we’ve strayed from your intentions when you gave us the hunger to seek after you. We pray for a release of those held captive in the Watchtower yes, but all forms of legalism that have attached to us as well. Give us each a hunger to promote TRUTH and give us the undeniable testimony of eternal life in us which declares JESUS IS LORD even when we are embarrassed ourselves to say it! Your Spirit is the force that takes all falsehood away. Your Spirit testifies within us what is true. Your Spirit is never inhibited from entering the doors of a Kingdom Hall, you sneak in all the time and awaken the dead. And so you also awaken the dead at the doors they encounter. Who can hide from your Spirit? Chase us down Lord! Thank you for ferociously running after me even as I cursed against your church with my false doctrines. Help us each to remember that you know the plans of each current JW and set them apart in their mother’s wombs for works yet to be seen. We wait on your timing and trust that it is perfect! But Lord, we do not wait as pacifists, but peacemakers. We know that YOU ARE OUR PEACE and we are restored only IN YOU, so we make peace by praying them into the kingdom now. In Jesus’ name, come, take life’s water free! Listen to the trickle, let it float you out of that Kingdom Hall, God splash it on those who come to mind now! Jesus, you most certainly reign!
As with all our prayers on that page, it was followed with several “amens” plus these comments:
“Let it fall like how the walls of Jericho fell”
“Shall we start marching?”
My response was: “Yes. Actually we’ve talked about that before. Sing praise songs while marching around kingdom halls. I’m up for it.”
October 23, 2017
I woke up with agitation. Lord, I feel the pain. My mind swirls around all the reasons we have to hate. Even your word reminds me we are in good company with saints of long ago. David wrote,
“Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
I hate them with the utmost hatred; They have become my enemies.” (Psalm 139:21-22)
David was not praying for his enemies that day, he was filled with hatred toward them! I am not weeping for my friends who’ve been shunned and hurt by their loved ones today, I am ANGRY!!! Your word reminds me that to be angry is not the sin, but rather what I do with it (Ephesians 4:26). As I feel the fire in my veins, I recognize the impulse of retaliation rising in me. Hatred for every greedy tyrant who took advantage of a pauper, and a sword ready to slice through and denounce every religionist who assumes their act of scorn is to the glory of God! Lord, I confess the hate inside me. And the way you choose to calm me is a constant image of you on that cross asking me “when was righteousness ever rewarded here?” If even you allowed imperfect men to spit in your face Lord, then the answer to this agitation is simply that I am no longer part of this world, shake it off. Our reward is not here. We are fools here. I long to be home with you Lord, where righteousness dwells. This world doesn’t want what’s beautiful. Jesus, beautiful and perfect one, you came to be scorned. So Lord, I don’t ask for any of us to be removed from this world nor that the evil stop, I simply ask for FAITH and strength in the face of oppression so that none of us succumb to this atmosphere seeking it’s temporary reward. Help us to be light in the darkness as you are light. Help us to be kind where it is not deserved, yet stand up for what is right. Lord, you make your rain fall and your sun shine on the righteous and the wicked. I am not so unconditional with my affections. So even in this agitation, I find a reason to praise because I know how far I am from you and all I can utter is HOLY, HOLY, HOLY. If they could only see you as I do. Then all of us would drop our weapons and lift our hands to praise you. But how will they see you unless we let you shine in us? So we speak your name, take our stand, and once again, we’re led to the slaughter. Help us to see it as an honor to be counted among all those who suffered for your name’s sake. Be with your children today Abba, many need to be held.
several “amens” followed plus these comments:
“My Father, The joy of the Lord is our strength! Strengthen us God, that we may stand and keep pressing forward!”
“I am angry what this Org does to our loved ones. I have great nieces and nephews I don’t even know and my nieces and nephews were like my own kids I babysat constantly growing up. I wrote the Org years ago telling them I forgave them and explained how they had destroyed my life but I forgave them because of knowing Jesus. It was therapy for me at the time in letting go of anger and hope it made it into some hands that it helped.”
A few days later, I was praying about some friends and kept getting “doors and gates” and felt the urge to use a worship song in my prayers. No songs with that topic readily came to mind so I did the 21st century thing and Googled “worship songs with doors and gates” and the song that came up was “Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble.” Of course, perfect! It even has my name in it “a time of Jubilee is coming…” and so, I had a song to sing and posted it on our prayer group with these words,
October 28, 2017
Please pray with me through this song. Declare those doors open with me. God is moving.
Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble
I wasn’t singing it out in prayer because of the upcoming protest, I was was just led to sing on behalf of some friends of mine. It wasn’t until writing this today that I noticed the video I chose of this version was recorded in New York. Meanwhile, as I scrolled through Facebook discussions that week I was moved to pray about individual roles.
October 30, 2017
May God bless each one of us in the role He’s prescribed for us. As we look over posts on Facebook and pray for individuals, as we interact with family members, neighbors, school and workmates, as we fellowship with other Christians, and as we pray “send me another one Lord.” God I ask that you would rise up from within us. Make it obvious what each of us is here to do. No role is less important than another. Keep us from envying anyone else’s role, freshen us in our own. May your banner over us always be LOVE as you send us out. Through us, change the atmosphere….. as we head out to work, as we mentor children at home, as we encourage those leaving the Watchtower…. change the atmosphere. God, my heart burns for everyone to know, receive, and walk in their own gift. As I begin my week using the gift of teaching you’ve given me, may it RELEASE the gifts you’ve laid in the ones receiving the lessons. Each one stronger in their own role to be a blessing to others. Father, they are your people, not my puzzles. I am a bus station through which others travel and connect to their next destination. So use me here and now. Jesus, draw each person closer to you as I lift you up before them. May your present kingdom be a delight to them as they enter and each lie fall and be left outside it’s gates. Through you I pray for you have washed me in the blood and made me righteous before this throne of grace. Amen.
With that song in my head and my prayers tuned to individual roles, Holy Spirit shifted “Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?” to an anthem for the protest rather than just the two friends I’d been praying for. I felt joined with others gathered for this protest in one way or another as if I was praying for each role.
November 3, 2017
We’re gonna dance in the river.. yeah… we’re gonna dance in the river… yeah…
Your name is Warrior, your name is Deliver. I claim McKeeth Road of Galesville, Wisconsin for Christ. Tonight I stepped on the land, filled with your Spirit and your words. The parcel of land on which the Kingdom Hall stands was claimed for you Jesus. You have given me the land and I took my shoes off and circled the building declaring it empty. I am a steward over the beasts of the field and have taken authority to pray. Lord Jesus, you covered me tonight. Take the prayers uttered by my lips and echo them through out the building as many times as needed. As I laid my hands upon the door and prayed, you reminded me that my prayers are INCENSE and seep through the cracks of the door where my body and my own words do not. Agitate Steve! Lead Gary to research! Cause mother’s hearts to weep over those they’ve shunned. God you are moving, you are making mountains tremble. They fear truth, but I march victoriously because of your grace and mercy. Spread this to them. Grant grace and mercy to those trapped in the lie. With a shout make this tower fall! In the Warrior Spirit of my Deliverer I celebrate the day! We’re gonna dance in the river yeah… we’re gonna dance in the river yeah….
Sing it with me please! We’re praying it down!
And the worldwide members of our online group prayed and sang with me as they added their “amens!”
I kept them up to date with my personal activities.
November 4, 2017
So… I stopped at the Kingdom Hall again tonight and prayed over the door again. We’re still dancin’ in the river! You guys are awesome! I’m so happy to be dancin’ together with ya!
Two days in a row I had circled my local Kingdom Hall in prayer and song. It was peaceful, no shouting or destruction of property. Then the next day, November 5, I stopped at the Kingdom Hall on my way to church. It felt like tract work but instead of door to door it was Chevy to Ford.
November 5, 2017
Well it wasn’t a RIVER today, but I did dance in the rain. The service at the local Kingdom Hall I’ve been marching around began at 10 am. I arrived shortly after. Full parking lot, so I got out of my car with umbrella in hand to begin distributing witness cards on their windshields. I waved at a few late arrivals. One brother looked at me while I went about my business. I recognized him and said “Good morning Roger!” He smiled back and kept walking toward the door and I shouted “God bless you” as I continued to pray over each car and leave a small business card titled “Is Jesus your mediator?” It took about 15 minutes total on my way to church. And you can bet I prayed when I got there and thoroughly enjoyed the worship set.
Lord, thank you for the idea and the courage to carry out your will. Thank you also for using the inspiration of our brothers and sisters in New York to heighten my resolve to do this. It is not the first time and I doubt it will be the last, but I thank you for the present fire. I know the river I danced in today was the one flowing from your throne. Jesus, you are the true vine, I am a well watered branch. Abiding in you, that water flows and bubbles up inside me to produce fruit and leaves for the healing of the nations. (John 15:1-11; Rev 22:2) I pray that precious, holy water touched each car today. As the raindrops fell, you reminded me that no one produces the rain but you. Rain down from heaven even now upon the men and women who quickly tucked those cards into their pockets and purses. Take them out and cause their eyes to read the content and contemplate not only the words but also my actions. Help them to see the YOU sent me Lord. That YOU care about them! Lord, may it bear fruit for your kingdom. As I prayed for the exodus, I was feverishly mindful to pray for your church to rise up and meet the need as I shouted your praises today. “Stir up your church Lord!” and “Make us radical again!” Lord, I know you will. It’s a dangerous prayer and I know it will be answered. Thank you in advance for turning hearts tonight to the thought of reaching out to Jehovah’s Witnesses. Prepare your church to receive them. They need support, they need correct doctrine, they need prayer, comfort, family and friends. God, I know you will not allow for this exodus until we as a church are prepared to receive them. So Lord, make us radical again. We’re not pew sitters, we’re your church. We want to be your hands and feet. Help us Jesus, where you go, the body follows. Take us on a trip.
That’s a dangerous prayer.
Keep yourself in God’s love,
Of interest is the fact that a couple of days after this Ex-Jehovah’s Witness protest took place on November 5, 2017, the Watchtower posted the following video which appears to be in response to the Ex-Jehovah’s Witness concerns stated during this protest regarding the Jehovah’s Witness “two witness” rule which discourages elders from reporting pedophiles to the police. Watch the following video to see how they sidestepped the real issues and refused to take this problem seriously:
EDITOR’S NOTE CONTINUED:
While we agree with the concerns espoused by those who protested in the November 5th, 2017 Vast Apostate Army (VAA) day, our ministry does not endorse the act of disrupting public meetings at the Kingdom Hall (such as what was done by those seen in the videos above). The actions of those who participated in this November 5, 2017 protest in this way, were not sponsored by our ministry Witnesses for Jesus Inc. While we are sympathetic to this cause and we encourage confrontation with truth and love, we always request that those who engage with our ministry’s resources, abide by our “Code of Conduct Policy” posted on our website at: http://www.4witness.org/home/code-of-conduct-for-evangelism/ so that our conduct is in-line with our values and comes across in a respectful way. Thank you.