Jehovah`s Witness/In The Beginning

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A friend asked me how I came into the truth. After sharing, I was encouraged to post it here:

I was more or less raised to go into the Army. "They'll make a man out of you!" Boy did they. Learned to smoke, drink, kill, and live a completely immoral and debauched life.

I also learned from all my travels that people are pretty much the same anywhere you go. They just want to get along. I also discovered how much the U.S. is despised in a lot of the world. That was a rude awaking for a dyed-in-the-wool patriot. And an eye opener of sorts.

I remember being approach by a group of Bedouin out by the Oman/Yemen/Saudi border. I left my squad and approached the one making contact. He was wearing a cross, and in the most basic, pidgin English he asked "You Christian?"

That stopped me: wasn't expecting that question. Here I was, 8,000 miles from home, holding an M-16. Had a pistol and grenades on my belt, and a knife in the back of my collar.

"You Christian??"

That was my final deployment to the Middle East. Got out soon after.

I knew a few JW growing up, so I can truthfully say I've had a bunch of Bible Truth bounced off my thick head over the years.

After a few years of sobriety, I realized AA was NOT filling the void inside me - just like alcohol had not.

I began watching a program on TV. "Shepherds Chapel". Just a guy reading and explaining the Bible. I bought both a KJV and Strongs Concordance, and read along with him. This went on for about 2 years, and I was amazed at how easy Bible Truth is. I also realized the hypocrisy in the TV guy.

I was troubled by this because he really seemed to have it down. So one night, I spent about 45 minutes in intense prayer to 'yahweh'. I needed to know which way to go.

I kid you not: for the next ten days I could not do a single thing without bumping into a JW. In line with me at the store; using the next gas pump; everywhere EXCEPT at my front door (I never learned how to slam slowly).

I finally took a magazine. First one I had read in 20+ years. "Would you welcome a visit?"

I sat down and wrote a letter, describing much of what I just wrote here. I ended it with, "I'm a little denser than most, but after 10 days I'm beginning to see a pattern here."

The brothers showed up at my door a few weeks later with a photocopy of that letter in his hand. "Did you write this?" Began studying the Knowledge Book the next week.

I'm amazed at Jahs patience. I was completely indoctrinated. A real patriot.

Jah kept reeling me in. That Bedouin tribesman was the trigger

And I went out to meet him, prepared to kill him.

"You Christian?"

Hope to meet him again...

You response is?

Answer
Hello, Bill from California.  Its always such a pleasure to hear from you, as the conversations always end up being so pleasant.  I realize that I have previously stated that I will not take your questions, due to your inclination to call names and be difficult to have a peaceful conversation with.  But since you refrained from such actions in this particular writing, I will respond, and allow your story to post for the 2nd time in this forum.  

Thank you for writing with your experience, which if it was your purpose merely to get it posted on Allexperts, you already accomplished that by sending it to Rando.  So, by sending it to me, I have to assume that you want my reaction to it.  

Very well....

First off, I am very glad that you no longer are living a life of moral debauchery.  That's always a good thing.  Glad to know that you no longer smoke, or are committing sexual immorality, and no longer have the desire to kill.  Again, that's always a good thing, too.  I did find it odd that you mention that you learned to drink in the military.  My first and many exposures to alcohol, came from growing up around JWs.  Interesting how different people's stories can be.  When I became a Christian, nobody had to tell me to abstain from alcohol....I just knew that is what I was supposed to do, along with cleaning up my morals, as well.


Now, you want my reaction to your story?  Okay, here goes.  Let me quote some of your statements, if I may.  Before I do, I wish to point out that I am happy for ANYONE who begins to live a better and more moral life.  However, that is not exclusively among JWs.  I can say the same thing about my own life, since my coming to Christ.  We have people sitting in my church, who's lives have been dramatically changed, through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  So, I think you will have to concede that MANY people can attest to their lives being changed for the better, by becoming involved in whatever religious belief that they have embraced.  That in and of itself, while a good thing, does not prove the truth of the particular religion they have joined.  

Let me now quote you, if I may.  

YOU:  "I began watching a program on TV. "Shepherds Chapel". Just a guy reading and explaining the Bible. I bought both a KJV and Strongs Concordance, and read along with him. This went on for about 2 years, and I was amazed at how easy Bible Truth is. I also realized the hypocrisy in the TV guy."

REPLY:  By "Shepherd's Chapel", I assume that you mean that you began listening to the false teacher, Arnold Murray.  That sure does explain a lot about your way of thinking.  

I have known one or two other people to become mixed up with his false teachings.  So basically, I would say that, after a steady diet of false and unbiblical teachings from someone who APPEARED to be well-versed in the Scriptures, you were ripe for falling into a cult.  Its a scenario that has been played out far too many times.

I did find it intriguing that you said you could see his "hypocrisy".  Not sure what you mean by that, since you were just watching him on TV, and not really privy to his lifestyle.  It  would seem that an examination of his errant teachings from the Scriptures, would have been enough to alert you that something was wrong.  But like I said...you apparently didn't have much Bible knowledge going in (not insulting you, but stating the facts), so you fell for the false teachings, and a trend developed.  


YOU:  "So one night, I spent about 45 minutes in intense prayer to 'yahweh'. I needed to know which way to go.

I kid you not: for the next ten days I could not do a single thing without bumping into a JW. In line with me at the store; using the next gas pump; everywhere EXCEPT at my front door (I never learned how to slam slowly).

I finally took a magazine. First one I had read in 20+ years. "Would you welcome a visit?"

I sat down and wrote a letter, describing much of what I just wrote here. I ended it with, "I'm a little denser than most, but after 10 days I'm beginning to see a pattern here."

The brothers showed up at my door a few weeks later with a photocopy of that letter in his hand. "Did you write this?" Began studying the Knowledge Book the next week."


REPLY:  The problem here, Bill, is that NONE of this is how we are supposed to go about joining a religion.  You don't join up with a religion because you run into JWs at a gas pump, at Wal-Mart, or at the park.  Don't you think Satan can also arrange things like this?  Don't get me wrong....We have people in our movement that would say the exact same thing you are saying, about how they prayed for direction, and God sent someone their way with the Gospel.  Some of the most wonderful accounts I have ever heard, are those of people who were about to take a pistol and blow their brains out, but uttered a prayer for help, and a Christian with a Bible happened to walk by.  I'm certainly not saying that God can't, or doesn't, do this also.  I am simply saying that it is not proof in and of itself, that God is doing it.  Or else, you would have to explain why practically EVERY Bible-believing Christian group, has stories similar to this one.   

In fact, MY own story is quite similar, in that I prayed a similar prayer as you, when I was 15 years old.  And I ended up coming into contact with some born again Christians, who eventually led me to Christ.  And I was brought up in the religion that you are currently in now.  Would you say that was God doing this, Bill?  Does Jehovah lead some people to become JWs, some Baptists, some Pentecostals, some Church of Christ, etc?

Bill, the fact is, we are supposed to TEST EVERY belief by the Scriptures....not by the fact that you had a stretch where you seemed to find JWs everywhere you went.  

I think I am seeing why you are so prone to falling into doctrinal error.  I notice that you went from "accepting a magazine" (presumably the Watchtower or AWAKE!), and then proceeded study a book".  It seems to me that we find God through the SCRIPTURES, not from studying one man-made publication after another.  Not that some extra reading can't be valuable in our growth, but the Bible says that it is the SCRIPTURES that make us "wise unto salvation".

2 Timothy 3:15-17  "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  

All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  

That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."


See the problem here, Bill?  You went from listening to a man who thinks he has some great, God-given insight into the Scriptures, to following a GROUP of men, who think you can't possibly understand the Scriptural path to salvation without their help.  And both views completely contradict the above passage of Scripture.


One more thing I need to add, Bill.  The BIBLE defines being a Christian, as someone who is "born of God", or born again.  Jesus said quite clearly that you MUST be born again.  If you are not born again, you are not a Christian in the Biblical sense.  You may live by some Christian standards, no one is denying that.  But that doesn't automatically make you a Christian.  You have to become a Christian the SCRIPTURAL way.

Being a Christian is not:

1.  Simply living a better, and more moral life.

2.  Running into members of a certain religion, and thinking this is a sign from heaven, that you are supposed to join up with them.

3.  Somehow tied to becoming part of a certain religious group, and following its rules and requirements, which cannot be found anywhere in Scripture.  

Funny...the entire New Testament says not one word about joining ANYTHING, to become a Christian.  It's conspicuous by its absence.  

The bottom line is, Bill....To be a Christian, you have to become one the way God laid out in the Scriptures.  You have to be born again.  You do yourself no favors, by denying that Jesus is your only Mediator, and thinking you can ignore what Jesus said about being born again, and apply that to some elite group, which Jesus did not do.  

When we study what the Bible defines as being a Christian (being born again through faith in Christ), then I have to echo the question of the Bedouin, Bill....

"You Christian"?  

Jehovah`s Witness

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Derrick Holland

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I was raised in the religion known as Jehovah`s Witnesses for 13 years. Since becoming a born-again Christian, I have researched extensively this religion, especially their doctrines and their history. I can answer questions about their doctrines from the perspective of Biblical Christianity. To be clear: Jehovahs Witnesses is the religion of my upbringing, though I myself was never baptized into the religion, nor have I ever been considered as a Jehovahs Witness.

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29 years of Biblical research into the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, and how they differ from the teachings of the Watchtower.

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I would advise each questioner to this forum, to carefully READ the profiles of the various volunteers. There are several such as myself, who are not practicing JWs, but will provide you with an accurate and honest answer, regarding JW teaching. If we don't know the answer, we will try to research and get it for you. There are also some excellent practicing JWs here, who also endeavor to give you a factual and honest answer, based on their point of view. I believe by getting both points of view, the questioner can weigh the evidence for themselves, and make an informed decision. Unfortunately, there are also 3 here who claim to be JWs, but do NOT give honest, or well-researched answers. They will tell you only what they want you to believe, and they often hide facts about the history of their religion, as well as print untruths about other people's beliefs. This is done in an attempt to deceive the unsuspecting reader. It can be easily seen who these 3 are, simply by reading the public posts and "answers" which they write. Their posts will normally be filled with personal attacks, and if you question them about some teaching or aspect of the Watchtower that makes them uncomfortable, they will often reject your question, question your motives for asking it, tell you that you have been reading "apostate" sites, or turn the conversation into an attack on another expert. These ones are better avoided, as there is nothing to be gained by way of positive discussion, as they are not interested in intelligent conversation, or honest dialogue. If after reading the forum, you still have any questions as to who they are, just ask me, and I will be happy to tell you. And I can also provide documentation of their willful dishonesty. One thing is for certain...in a forum where people from both sides claim to be "Christians", there should never be any willful lying. Such ones only create a distraction in the forum, and provide nothing of any real value.

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High School, some college. Studies of God's Word, the Bible, and how it compares to JW theology. I have found my own personal study and experiences to be far more valuable than any formal education or training. The Bible message is clear...Salvation is ONLY through and by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and no religious organization has a thing to do with it. While attendance at a Bible-preaching, Bible-believing church is a must for spiritual growth and fellowship, no church can grant salvation to its members. Nor is joining a particular group a prerequisite for being saved.

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