QUESTIONS & RESPONSES
On August 5, 2013, we received the following comment and inquiry:
“I've been a [Jehovah’s Witness] all my life (30+ years). I'm an inactive [Jehovah’s Witness] that got really disappointed with the "new" light. That encouraged me to look and look and look for answers and every time I found something, I was more disappointed.
I've been reading some of your articles and I have to say I'm really impressed with them. But I do have my doubts/concerns about the teachings. Please check the following questions I have for you. I hope you answer them for me, because I'm really LOST right now. This is even affecting my marriage. So please, I beg you to answer them. You do not have to publish them in your site. [Then the brother lists his questions, most of which we will address individually below.] Hope you answer my email. I really need answers. I'm about to disassociate myself.”
To the author, thank you for your email. Usually, we answer questions such as yours privately, but we have come to understand that there are many brothers and sisters with similar concerns who have not mustered the courage to email us with their questions. So, with the exception of the one that we believe is very personal, we will answer your questions one at a time in this response.
First, we want you to know that you are not alone. The power play of the Governing Body with their so-called ‘new light’ is having the opposite effect of what was intended. Instead of corralling the sheep, it is scattering them. Like you, it has opened the door to a new and sincere search for real truth outside the confines of the organization. Many are finding their way to the plain and open teachings of Jesus. When they do, their spirit becomes agitated and restless. A true warring begins to take place between the flesh and the spirit. They are faced with a precipice moment when they must decide to whom they belong. This is your current struggle.
Most of your questions appear to be about us and who we are. But, in reality, they are more about yourself and what you should do. They reveal your struggle and confirm that you already know what to do, though perhaps not how. With that in mind, let us begin.
1. You say you are "local brothers." But many who have questioned the Watchtower before have been disfellowshiped as apostates. How are you still a "member"? Are you or not a [Jehovah’s Witness (“JWs”)]? Are you active? Disfellowshiped? Disassociated?
We are ‘local brothers’ in that we are not a part of the Governing Body or the Bethel Family. Nor are we disfellowshiped or disassociated. But we do not participate in the field service arrangements with the congregation, so we would be considered ‘inactive,’ though it is quite clear that we are very active in the ministry of Christ.
2. You also say that JWs are preaching the wrong message... the wrong Kingdom. If you are still active or a member of JW, do you still go and preach the "good news"? How do you get away with your teachings when you are in the field?
As we mentioned above, we do not participate in the door-to-door ministry with the congregation and we certainly do not preach what we consider to be ‘the wrong message.’ That would be hypocritical, weak and selfish. How can we know the truth, but teach the lie? We are certain neither the Christ nor the Father would be too pleased with us if we did.
3. If you are still an active member, and you know the "spiritual food" we are getting at the kingdom hall and magazines is not correct, do you still go to the meetings? How can you seat there for 90+ mins, knowing it is not entirely the truth?
We are not active according to the definition by the organization and we have ceased attending meetings for a few reasons. One, because of our ministry, we believe we would be too much of a distraction to the congregation. Two, as you allude to, subjecting ourselves to what is taught from the platform would grieve our spirit far too much. Three, we do not have family ties that could cloud our judgment or extort our allegiance. And four, we believe we can do a far better service to our association in this ministry, coupled with personal association outside of congregational arrangements. We maintain a good working relationship with all. We stopped converting and started conversing. Neither do we browbeat our brothers for remaining behind, for not yet having the courage to stand up, or for their temporary visual impairment. We also keep the door open to our Body of Elders and our Circuit Overseer who keep in touch with us.
At the same time, we recognize that many of our brothers and sisters are able to continue in relative association for the purpose of helping their family and friends who remain. You may have read the emails from the growing number of Elders and Circuit Overseers who are stepping down from their positions of oversight. (See Kingdom Update - June 2013 and Emails From Our Visitors.) But instead of leaving the organization, they are remaining behind, as one former Circuit Overseer recently stated, ‘as life rafts to help others get safely to shore.’ But all of this has a lifespan. If the Governing Body continues to stubbornly reject the plain and open teachings, or implements more offensive ideology, we suspect that many, if not all, of these brothers, will move on.
In the past, while we have provided this information in private emails, we have refrained from making public our decisions in this regard because it is important that each of us comes to our own conclusions and makes our own decision. We are not seeking followers. And we have learned over the years that premature departure can be more devastating than staying behind. One need only look at the trail of devastation of those who fled but had no where to go, or who picked up the ministry of the ancient Hebrew prophets rather than the ministry of Jesus, or even worse. (See Converting Pauls to Sauls.)
One of our goals is to empower our brothers so that they can leave as victors, not victims, which would surely occur if they have not build up sufficient spiritual strength to stand alone if necessary. We elect to make this known publicly now because we believe we have built up an adequate storehouse of spiritual encouragement to sustain our brothers during a necessary flight to safety as the time we have allotted for the Governing Body to subject themselves to the plain and open teachings of the Christ is dwindling and will soon come to a close.
4. I agree that the [Governing Body] is going beyond what is written by declaring themselves "God channel". It reminds me of the pharisees, adding rules. Are they overstepping as well with all the rules about celebrating holidays/birthdays, military service, blood, vote, etc? Do you consider that a matter of conscience or not?
We view many of their rules as overstepping their boundaries. But you do not need us to tell you which ones. Consider the Governing Body’s reasoning and then apply knowledge of the plain and open teachings and spiritual discernment and you can figure out which ones. In essence, put on the mind of Christ.
(1 Corinthians 2:16) Those that are conscience matters will be revealed by your own conscience.
5. It is known by others that the Watchtower has prophesied the end several times and failed. It is in our own literature. Isn't that consider a false prophet? Didn't Jesus warn us about this?
You do not need us to answer these questions for you. You already know the answer.
6. I will love to believe all your precious teaching, but someone in another blog said that The Little Known Twelve came straight from the Book of Urantia. I checked it myself and it is true. Why? Why are you using such information? I thought you were basing everything from the Bible. Confused here.
Brother, we do not want you ‘to believe all of our teachings.’ We are not seeking a following nor are we looking to become a new governing body over our brothers. If you believe what is published on our site, believe because you are convinced, not because we say so. That applies not only to us, but to all sources of information that have a bearing on your eternal salvation.
As for the article, The Little Known Twelve, we removed that article from our site back in March 2013. We are no longer ‘using such information.’ We published it under a section entitled Dramatic Presentations and expressly stated that it is not presented as dogma, but as an interesting diversion. Personally we found it very interesting and encouraging. So did many others. But we also saw that some stumbled over it. They continued bound to the spiritually-stifling and fear-inducing idea that everything outside of the Bible is somehow demonic. So for the sake of their consciences, we deleted the article. Its presence or lack of presence on our site does not at all effect our ministry. But even with its presence, that does not change the fact that all of the articles published as teaching articles (that is, not in the Dramatic Presentations section or titled “Contemplations”), are based squarely on the Bible. A review of the articles themselves reveal this fact. We hope we have cleared up your confusion.
Now that you have our answers, we hope you will use the information wisely. We are not the masters over anyone’s faith. We are brothers and fellow workers with you. Whatever decision you make, first count the cost and then act boldly, yet discreetly, and in full faith of the Father’s approval, protection and guidance. That applies to whether you stay or go. Sadly, one does not seem to realize that he is imprisoned and institutionalized until he attempts to leave. You are having an awakening of sorts. Act in a way that does not destroy your faith or unnecessarily destroys your relationships with others. And we will be praying with you.