To my knowledge, there is no registered "Cult Awareness Month" designated to commemorate notable events associated with spiritual abuse. However, if I were to create such a memorial it would have to be in November. And that's what we are proposing to do this month through social media. Some of us are already engaged in bringing awareness to the public through our Facebook pages and speaking engagements, but some have good reasons to keep a low profile and that is understandable. For those who can participate, we're inviting you to make November CULT AWARENESS MONTH with us by posting more than the usual information about Jehovah's Witnesses and/or the psychological studies on shunning and cults in general on your social media pages. There is no shortage of videos, news articles, personal blogs, and websites like this from which to choose.Read more
Wise King Solomon wrote there is
"A time to be silent and a time to speak."
It seems with the #MeToo movement, it is a time for women in particular to speak. Conversations abound on social media concerning rape and the general disrespect for women. The latest news to stir the pot concerns the sexual assault allegations that Christine Blasey Ford has brought forth on Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
I'm not normally one to jump into these debates on social media, but it's easy to see the most common counter argument for Ford's case against Kavanaugh is the time span between the alleged rape and her coming forward. As I was reading one Facebook thread, this comment was left by a man:
"To wait that long whether he's guilty or not is just too long it's done it's over move on nothing anyone can say or do will ever change whether it was right or wrong just move on."
A woman responded with,
"there is no statute of limitations on sexual assault here in Maryland... The law says you're wrong..."
And then it got ugly. He resorted to obscene name calling and wrote, "it takes you 40 years to realize you were raped ? You can't fix stupid ignorance ..."
That's when I considered responding to his ignorance in that thread, but chose to do so here instead.Read more
Being a Jehovah's Witness is an education that few will ever have. You really get to know the religious atmosphere of an area when you're forced to move past the small talk and bring up the topic of God with your neighbors. Even now as I drive past neighborhoods, I can recall certain people and conversations at particular houses. I can tell you who grew up Baptist, Catholic, or Lutheran. Who identifies themselves as Christian but believes in reincarnation or can't find the book of Genesis in a Bible. I remember the house where a Catholic woman told me they didn't need a Bible because they have the catechism. I remember how the other Witnesses in my car laughed harder than me when I told them about our conversation.
The truth is,
Jehovah's Witnesses make fun of Christians.
And talking with our Christian neighbors
on a regular basis only fortifies that position.
Even when a doubting JW takes that brave step to talk with "apostates" in on line discussion groups, they will often point out that ONLY Jehovah's Witnesses are fulfilling the Great Commission by their thorough witnessing work. They'll note that Jehovah's Witnesses are KNOWN worldwide for their evangelism in contrast to others who identify themselves as Christians but are not engaged in such a work. And it's all too true. As a new Witness approved for field service, I was both eager and intimidated by taking my first door, butRead more
A joyful heart is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22 NASB)
When I was one of Jehovah's Witnesses, my summer's were full of meetings at the Kingdom Hall, studying my Watchtower, door knocking, and of course, the District Convention. I had little time left for fun. But six months after my disfellowship announcement in 2004, I was at a week long Clown Camp in La Crosse, Wisconsin and have been filling up my weekends with parades and festivals ever since. I was released from my bondage and became a clown and caricature artist. Oh, I still attend "meetings" for spiritual instruction and worship, engage in Bible studies, share the good news of the kingdom, and attend summer conventions, but I've also learned to extract the F-U-N from what once was a dysFUNctional religious life. Based on these activities, some people might think I've not changed my ways all that much, but I beg to differ. Now when I begin a Bible study with someone, my purpose is not to get them to join an organization or "get religion," my prayer is that through the love and grace offered in the gospel they will discover who they are in God's kingdom because there is no greater joy than being released to become who God created us to be! When that happens, there's no holding back the fruit of His Spirit.Read more
As we pray for our loved ones in the Watchtower, it is my prayer that we focus on their faith and not their flaw. Their faith may be sincere, yet misdirected and therefore flawed indeed. However, I praise God for noticing the offering of every active Jehovah's Witness who prays and witnesses from a place of faith in HIM for I believe what He sees is far deeper than what we see. God treasures faith.
She was in the wrong religion. The leaders she trusted took her offerings but did not shepherd her through her losses. She had little left to give and yet in her sincerity gave all because she had nowhere else to go. So day after day she spent her faith serving an outdated religion set for the fall. But some had already left it to follow the truth and watched her activities pondering the outcome as her insignificant offering was taken up by the shepherds fleecing their flock.
Stop right there. What is stirring in your heart? Do you run to tell her? Do you rail against her religion and it's leadership? Do you plead in prayer and ask Jesus to show Himself to her?Read more
At this conference everyone is given a voice. Present, questioning, exiting and former Jehovah’s Witnesses as well as anyone who has been affected by the teachings and policies of Jehovah’s Witnesses organization. Whether you are a former witness for the Watchtower Society or a "witness now for Jesus," you are invited.
The second annual "Witnesses Now for Jesus: Midwest" conference is coming up fast the weekend of Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28. As with the 40th annual conference of its same kind in Pennsylvania (October 5-7, 2018), Friday morning will begin with introductions from all in attendance as the microphone gets passed at 9:30 am with "Let's Get Acquainted."
Can I make a confession here? I still like the Awake! magazine that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society publishes. As a former Jehovah's Witness, I no longer have a subscription so I'm not up to date on all of them, but when I do get my hands on one I usually enjoy the articles. They're rarely controversial and often upbeat and informative.
Recently I stopped to read the bulletin board at my local grocery store where someone had left 4 Awake! magazines. Likely the same sister I'd seen in the store that day. It was all the same issue, No. 1 2017 on Teen Depression. I took them all off the counter so no one else could have a chance to read them. Even though I don't consider the contents of those magazines very dangerous, they do serve as a lure to get readers interested in studying with Jehovah's Witnesses. Something I do find dangerous and deceiving. And so, I have 4 copies of the same Awake! magazine sitting at my desk.Read more
Back in 1979, long before Facebook or any Internet groups, Ex Jehovah's Witnesses managed to gather and put together a conference in Pennsylvania. 40 years later it's still going! Even those who've never attended have benefited from the recorded talks on YouTube given by those who shared their struggle and joy coming out of the Watchtower.
In 2017, another conference was added in Missouri for those not able to make the trip out east. And this year the west coast Witnesses Now for Jesus conference was introduced in Sacramento, California. "Life After the Watchtower, Now What?" was the appropriate title given to that conference held in April on the west coast. Now with the California conference behind us, it's time to make plans for the Witnesses Now for Jesus Midwest conference in Missouri this July.Read more
I was in prayer this morning having a lot of thoughts about the difference between prayer and worship. In prayer, we often spend the time petitioning. And we are indeed called to do that. But petition takes us out of the present. It focuses on future desire, "God, please help so-and-so overcome..." But worship has no past or future but only brings you into the present. And a stream of thoughts was filling me on how to present this truth to you. As Jehovah's Witnesses we were very "thinking" oriented. And even now, as we engage in Bible study we are using our minds. But over and over we see Scriptures encouraging us to live in a place called Spirit.
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.... unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:3-6)
Look back at that passage. Do you notice what the Spirit allows us to do? To SEE the kingdom of God. We actually ENTER it when born of Spirit. And that which is born of the Spirit is…. ?Read more
Whenever Christians find out how Jehovah's Witnesses practice their version of communion at the annual Memorial, they're usually pretty shocked. "You mean no one eats the bread or drinks the wine?" That's right. It's only for the remnant of the 144,000. A very small number in relation to the 8 million Witnesses who claim an "earthly hope." Most Kingdom Halls have no one at all who is "allowed" to partake that night. And so, bread and wine get passed from person to person with a very conscious decision not to partake. They are rejecting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in favor of "Jehovah's arrangement" set forth by the Watchtower Society.
I attended my last Memorial in 2002 or 2003. I'm not sure. But I do know when I first partook of the bread and wine with full understanding that the sacrifice Jesus made was for me. September 9, 2007 was a very joyous day and I've never stopped appreciating this remembrance ritual whether gathered with other believers at church or at home alone.
But is it a mere ritual? To some, perhaps. But communion has become a form of prayer for me. And as I contemplate with sadness the upcoming Memorial of 2018 in which Jehovah's Witnesses will once again confirm their rejection of Jesus Christ, I'm reminded of the intimacy they will all miss out on and the lessons God taught me one sleepless night when I listened close to what His indwelling Spirit had to teach me.Read more