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Why I had to choose my own family over being a Jehovah’s Witness..... By JODIE CHAPMAN


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    Hello guest!

 Raised a Jehovah’s Witness, a prohibition on birthday parties was the tip of the iceberg when it came to the strict beliefs that governed every aspect of my life until I made the decision to step back from the religion a few years ago.   It’s one that has cost me dearly. Some members of my family no longer speak to me, and I’m now an outsider in the only community I’ve ever known. 

Behind closed doors, however, our family life was very different to most people’s. As Jehovah’s Witnesses, every moment of every day was governed by the rules of the faith. And they were endless. Witnesses are Christians who believe the Bible is historically accurate and interpret much of it literally as the basis for how they live their life. They believe the end of the world is coming and only they will survive Armageddon, passing into Paradise, while everyone else is killed.

Something I never enjoyed was ‘ministry’ – going with my parents every weekend from house to house, trying to convert others. Standing in the cold, while one door after another was closed in our faces, I just wanted to be at home.

As I became a teenager, my outlook began to change. I started to look at my life with more mature eyes and I saw so many paths closed to me. Friends from school were planning gap years abroad but I couldn’t do that because I’d miss weekly meetings and ministry. University was also discouraged because it’s seen as an improper use of time in the last days before Armageddon.

In 2015, the church was plunged into a child sex abuse scandal after an investigation in Australia revealed over 1,000 allegations had been reported to elders there since 1950 but not one passed on to the police. This didn’t surprise me, as Witnesses believe the authorities are controlled by Satan. But the idea that children had endured such horrors because members chose to protect one another made me feel sick.

I don’t wish I hadn’t been raised a Witness. Like every religion, there is good and bad in it, and I did have happy times among many good people. But it’s a religion that demands all of you, that generally favours obedience over truth, and I struggled with its lack of flexibility. Ironically, being taught I was different gave me the self-belief to take a step back and put myself and my family first.

I think this is a fabulous article and so true to life for many people. I don't care if she is trying to promote her book, some on this forum are doing likewise. 

The article is well worth a complete read. I've only quoted bits here. 

 

 

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The total self-absorbtion is a tip-off, too. If his self-importance is pricked in any way, he goes into search-and-destroy mode, and nobody gets even the tiniest bit of credit for anything. @Arauna is case-in-point and it pains me to see her so abused. She has her point of view, of course, like anyone. Still, Cesar was routinely upvoting her posts. Then she made the mistake of mildly contradicting him on an inconsequential point. Even though she clarified, mollified, partially backtracked,

Do you mean like the proverbs about where there is no fuel, the fire goes out? (Proverbs 20:26) There may be something to that.  Sometimes rage boils over into the actual world. You wouldn’t want to think you were a contributing factor to that. It may not be like how “experts” in the back pocket of video game makers assure us that online violence presents just a harmless substitute for the real thing.  It may be like how those “experts” would never dare say the same thing with reg

I keep trying to tell you; he is a troll

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Like all of us - she made her choice. Halloween, birthdays, Xmas and other pagan holidays like valentines day was too important to her.  Her freedom to do as she likes made her a different kind of slave - to her desires - but she does not realize that.

I bet she found reading the bible also tedious..... nor every person one earth today have the same capacity for godly devotion.  They want to have their cake and eat it and then still be accepted unconditionally.

Pity - she will soon regret her decisions..... we are on our way to Armageddon and persecution of true Christians.  She will be looking for knowledge of Jehovah but it will not be found.

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23 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

I think this is a fabulous article and so true to life for many people

You dodo. In your eagerness to post anything trashing God’s organization, you do not notice that she has turned her back on not just us but also you. I mean, do you get any sense that she is advancing in her relationship with God? Or is she leaving it all behind, thank you very much, and the quicker the better?

23 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

Witnesses are Christians who believe the Bible is historically accurate

Don’t you claim to believe this, too?

23 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

and interpret much of it literally as the basis for how they live their life.

Don’t you claim to view it that way, too?

23 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

The article is well worth a complete read.

Okay. I read how she wanted to be a film critic, but the elders discouraged that on the basis of the filth she would regularly have to feed on. Do you think their counsel was wrong?

23 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

I made the decision to step back from the religion a few years ago....I’m now an outsider in the only community I’ve ever known. 

Yeah, that’s because she stepped away from it. That happens when you step away from anything. Note that some of her family does not speak with her. That means that some do. When she sees Witnesses she once knew, many walk away, but some chat. It is hardly as draconian as she makes it out to be, given that she has repudiated the one thing they all had in common.

Her beefs notwithstanding, and even given her lack of context with the ARC matter, it is not a bad article. She says the faith “demands all.” Isn’t that what Jesus repeatedly said? She says there is emphasis on obedience. Didn’t Paul say the same? She says she learned to “put herself first.” Is that the course you want to endorse when it comes to matters of God? 

She doesn’t confess to a life of misery. She says her childhood included much happiness—the main stresses only from the sense of being different.  Isn’t ‘different from the world’ exactly what Christ preached?

I think of that verse of Paul and how some were preaching the Christ with good motive, but some were trying to stir up trouble for him. So? he says. Either way the Christ is being preached.

Like Demas, she loved the world and has forsaken Paul for it. People do that. But I am surprised you would lionize her for it, since you claim to be one who thinks Paul deserves support. 

I tried to check with her on some details before posting this. But I threw up in the theatre aisle at the torture scene she was taking notes on moonlighting as a movie critic, so I had to abandon the project.

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I have had many opportunities in life to be more than I am now..... I did not take it.  I am so happy to have put Jehovah first because if I had, I would no longer be a witness.

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On 4/13/2021 at 4:25 PM, Arauna said:

Halloween, birthdays, Xmas and other pagan holidays

Bible not condemns birthdays as it is clearly visible by few records in Bible text. Also, what is "birthday"? Start of new period of life, for kid and for family. And people wish/want to be reminded of that happy day. What is wrong with that?

Celebrating a wedding day is allowed in JW religion, but celebrating a child’s birthday is not allowed. A complete absurdity!

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2 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

Bible not condemns birthdays

There are many things the bible does not condemn outright  but if you want to be morally clean and without any pagan images in your worship then one understands that it is wrong. It depends on level of obedience to god and the level of accurate knowledge.

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13 hours ago, Arauna said:

There are many things the bible does not condemn outright  but if you want to be morally clean and without any pagan images in your worship then one understands that it is wrong. It depends on level of obedience to god and the level of accurate knowledge.

I think you should say "It depends on level of obedience to" the GB and the Org.  Because that is the truth of it. 

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On 4/13/2021 at 6:06 PM, TrueTomHarley said:

You dodo. In your eagerness to post anything trashing God’s organization, you do not notice that she has turned her back on not just us but also you. I mean, do you get any sense that she is advancing in her relationship with God? Or is she leaving it all behind, thank you very much, and the quicker the better?

Thanks for calling me names again. It gives me more to laugh at. 

But you seem to be missing the whole point of the article. You are toooooo keen to trash me. 

The points I took from this article was that she has been stumbled by her parent's complete obedience to an Organisation.

It re-enforces what I've said before about children being forced to do field ministry. It also makes it clear that children are stumbled at a young age by the GB rules.  

Her concern was being domineered in every part of her life as a JW.  She wasn't allowed to make her own decisions. She couldn't choose a job, couldn't go to Uni', couldn't even talk about the parts of the religion that she disagreed with. Basically she was supposed to be a puppet. A controlled zombee. 

And she tells it as it actually was for her, and as it is for so many others. 

 

 

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On 4/13/2021 at 6:06 PM, TrueTomHarley said:

She says the faith “demands all.” Isn’t that what Jesus repeatedly said?

Well even in the 1st century there seemed to be two types on Christian.  There were the ones that gave up everything and literally followed Jesus, but there were also the ones that carried on their daily lives and remained in their own homes. This second type would surely have chosen their own type of work and other activities. 

Not everyone is cut out to serve 100% of the time, and in the case of JWs it's serving the Org. 

 

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12 hours ago, Arauna said:

There are many things the bible does not condemn outright  but if you want to be morally clean and without any pagan images in your worship then one understands that it is wrong. It depends on level of obedience to god and the level of accurate knowledge.

Further Example for illustration and argumentation:

Does the Bible support or condemn slavery? Does it approve of it somewhere in the text or is it neutral on that issue?

The OT text regulates slavery, meaning, it supports it as part of the social circumstances of the time. In the NT the matter of slavery is still relevant and nowhere is it described to be unacceptable to Christians. In fact, Paul also advises slaves to return to their master and be obedient (Ephesians 6). Isn't Paul "Christianly enlightened" so that he comes to understand that it is wrong to support slavery? Or did he obey the social injustices normal for the society of that time?

When did slavery begin to be abolished and why? Was it because of a sense of injustice and that it was contrary to the freedom God had given to man or because of the social changes in the political consciousness of those who participated in power? Or was it all mixed together?

So, Paul under “inspiration”, seems, supports slavery in the 1st century. What is inspired here? Paul's advice for slaves? Or is it inspired that the record became part of the Bible and shows how Paul gave counsel that was contrary to God’s love, but was already in accordance with the rights of slaveholders?

Well it looks like, whether something is right or wrong becomes a process that goes beyond the framework of "level of accurate knowledge", and biblical understanding and interpretation in the past and today. 

True Christian people in the past was good Christian despise their slaveholder position. Today JW Christian would be considered as bad Christian if would had slaves. What has changed? Bible text in Ephesians 6? Interpretation of same text? Or Human Society today?

 

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