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Flag beg2differ December 21, 2008 4:42 PM EST
OK I'm quite wordy just to warn everyone.

Quick background info: I'm Jacqui, almost 24, baptized at age 18 in 2003. Raised as a JW, both parents are as well. My dad committed adultery and got disfellowshipped for awhile and my mom and dad got divorced. My mother physically and emotionally abused me and I finally couldn't take it and moved out this March. I was doing pretty well spiritually but because of the abuse and having bipolar disorder I became more and more depressed to the point where I attempted suicide multiple times, ect and to this day I have it deeply ingrained that God no longer listens to my prayers and "hates" me although at least that part can't really be true...at least I don't think so.

Basically after being depressed for years and years (I became suicidal at age 8) I began to have a more and more negative attitude towards the truth. I mean, I knew it was the truth, but I no longer felt like doing it because I figured, "I'll be destroyed soon enough anyway so I may as well do what I want."

Well I met my boyfriend (who's now my fiance) online, which is obviously not a good idea for Christians to do but I didn't care anymore. He at the time didn't really have a religion although he had some opinionated beliefs and celebrated holidays.

I moved in with him in March of this year, he actually drove all the way to my state from Indiana to pick me up and take me with him away from my mother. Well, we had to stop at a motel on the way since it was a 16 hour drive and of course you can all guess what happened. I was surprised I felt so little guilt afterwards but then it began building up over time until I could barely function and I thought of leaving my then-boyfriend and going back to my hometown and the meetings again.

We moved to TX to live with his family after we got engaged and after some time I decided that this was definately the man I wanted to marry despite the fact that he became a Baptist soon after we moved here. His good qualities seemed to outweigh the fact that his beliefs were against mine.

I have some questions.

I haven't been to a meeting in several months. I'm not entirely sure how many because I would just go once in awhile on Sundays just for the talk and leave during the song. I've been avoiding going to meetings because eventually I'm going to have to go to the elders and I really don't want to be disfellowshipped but it's inevitable since I live with a man I'm not married to and I've committed fornication. (Since he became a Baptist we've decided not to anymore til we get married, hopefully in Feb. '09 but we shall see.) Basically my family lives all the way in New England and I can only communicate with them on the phone. If I became disfellowshipped they made it clear I could only call for emergencies or if something major happens like I get pregnant or something like that. Is there ANY possible way I can avoid being disfellowshipped? Like could I get reproved publicly or something instead? I seriously doubt it.

I am also afraid of being df'd because I have a feeling I might not be able to come back for awhile since I'm doing other things wrong. I attended my fiance's church for the first time today and he wants me to come every other Sunday with him and I agreed to it although I can't stand the things his pastor says like that Jesus is God and all that. But I agreed anyway. Another thing is I haven't explained much about my religion to my fiance's family and slowly I ended up going to some birthday parties (I didn't sing) and I'm about to be spending Christmas with his sister's family and exchanging gifts and such.

I've always felt like I'd be destroyed in Armageddon but lately I think about it constantly. Will I die if I go to church with my fiance and don't believe what they say and just sit there quietly? Will I die if I sort of celebrate holidays? Will I die if I marry a baptist? Can Jehovah see past the bipolar disorder and see the real me? I still feel like there's some good left in me. I can feel it, just by that fact that I do eventually want to come back. But I truly and honestly feel like His spirit has left me. I don't feel like he listens to my prayers anymore. I was praying last night and I suddenly felt like I was thinking instead of praying, like it was going unheard and I had a massive panic attack that nearly sent me to the hospital because of it. It was as though I could feel His spirit leaving me. Since then I've been feeling horribly uneasy but I feel like it's too late now to do anything about it.

I feel like Armageddon is so close that even if I did change it would be too late. I feel like the day I got baptized it was like a lie because I was not relying on Jehovah, instead I was cutting myself and planning to commit suicide soon after my baptism because I felt like I couldn't measure up to His standards. It's a vicious cycle, people.

I just want to  know if any of you have ever felt similar or if they knew any of the answers to my questions.

I'm so sorry this is so long.
Flag annakam December 21, 2008 9:04 PM EST
well...i'm not sure if they'd disfellowship you for marrying a non-witness.....all i know is that they discourage it...they don't encourage us to marry outside of witnesses...

i honestly don't know if they'd disfellowship you for living with someone outside of marriage.....but i do have a suggestion if they do say that you are disfellowshipped if you continue to live with him outside of marriage...how about living in separate households...i'm not sure if you are living with him anymore (you said you stopped after he became a baptist...i don't know if you stopped living together and stopped having sex or you stopped having sex but still living together)

how about talking to your fiance about your beliefs....sit down with him have a lil bible study of what you belief with scriptures and things of that sort....
Flag Nomi69 December 21, 2008 10:08 PM EST
And let them take it to the local congregation, and someone(an elder)will be sent to help you...or contact the local congregation yourself.  While what you are doing is serious...the fact that you see it is, is in your favor. Yes, Jehovah looks for the good in us...but I would encourage you to seek assistance...because your guilt will likely increase. I wish you well. It does make it difficult when you love someone, to try and make the corrections we need...but it is better to do so now, rather then later.....If you do marry this person, are you sure he will not give you trouble over actively being a Witness? If he did do that, it is a hard way to live. I have been there and I know, it gets harder and harder to cope with.......:)
Flag anotherpaul December 21, 2008 11:54 PM EST
Hi,

I hope that you can understand that I am posting because I care about you and Jehovah. I will be quite frank and direct, but I believe it is what you need to hear and know. It is not presented in any spirit of animosity, rather out of a real concern for your future happiness and relationship with Jehovah.

[QUOTE=beg2differ;970883]If I became disfellowshipped they made it clear I could only call for emergencies or if something major happens like I get pregnant or something like that. Is there ANY possible way I can avoid being disfellowshipped? Like could I get reproved publicly or something instead? I seriously doubt it.



Yep. leave the boy friend  and start attending meetings regularly. Avoiding being DF'd means you do not simply want to avoid it,  You need to be repentant (and it appears you are not at this point) showing repentance by actions (and you are not yet) and THEN approaching the elders.

I am also afraid of being df'd because I have a feeling I might not be able to come back for awhile since I'm doing other things wrong. I attended my fiance's church for the first time today and he wants me to come every other Sunday with him and I agreed to it although I can't stand the things his pastor says like that Jesus is God and all that. But I agreed anyway. Another thing is I haven't explained much about my religion to my fiance's family and slowly I ended up going to some birthday parties (I didn't sing) and I'm about to be spending Christmas with his sister's family and exchanging gifts and such.



You will have a miserable time with this man. You do NOT share the same beliefs. Either you will abandon what you believe completely or you will have constant friction in your marriage. Since you have already put your personal desires ahead of God's it will be easy to give in on other matters in the future.

I've always felt like I'd be destroyed in Armageddon but lately I think about it constantly. Will I die if I go to church with my fiance and don't believe what they say and just sit there quietly? Will I die if I sort of celebrate holidays? Will I die if I marry a baptist?



(Revelation 18:4) 4 And I heard another voice out of heaven say: “Get out of her, my people, if YOU do not want to share with her in her sins, and if YOU do not want to receive part of her plagues.

Can Jehovah see past the bipolar disorder and see the real me? I still feel like there's some good left in me. I can feel it, just by that fact that I do eventually want to come back.



Yes. but you need to show Him how much you want His favor and love. Right now you are putting a man who does not love Him ahead of your relationship with God.

I am sure there is good in you. The problem, is like Paul, you have a war going on inside you and you are giving aid to the wrong side. Your continued actions strengthen one side or the other. By favoring the man and staying with him, let alone attending church with him, you are helping the bad desires.

But I truly and honestly feel like His spirit has left me. I don't feel like he listens to my prayers anymore. I was praying last night and I suddenly felt like I was thinking instead of praying, like it was going unheard and I had a massive panic attack that nearly sent me to the hospital because of it. It was as though I could feel His spirit leaving me. Since then I've been feeling horribly uneasy but I feel like it's too late now to do anything about it.



If you feel that way it is unlikely God has left you. However it is an indication that YOU know you are doing wrong. It is time to listen to your conscience, not your heart. The heart is treacherous and will betray you right now. Only when you no longer care, can it be said God has probably withdrawn from you.

I feel like Armageddon is so close that even if I did change it would be too late. I feel like the day I got baptized it was like a lie because I was not relying on Jehovah, instead I was cutting myself and planning to commit suicide soon after my baptism because I felt like I couldn't measure up to His standards. It's a vicious cycle, people.[/q]

Armageddon may come soon, it may not. The more important thing is how you feel and also how you are making God feel.

Think of what happens if you give in further to your potential husband and he uses that against God? He can say; "look I saved another JW from that terrible organization". That would make Satan feel very good and God feel very bad. I do not believe that is what you want.

I just want to  know if any of you have ever felt similar or if they knew any of the answers to my questions..[/QUOTE]

Yep, many have. Some have changed their actions and have been welcomed back by the congregation. Other have chosen what they want and have lost the association they really need; with Jehovah.

The fact that you can reason on this shows you have the ability to make the decision. the question is really do you want to or are you looking for an excuse to do what you want and say it is because of you bi-polar or because Jehovah has left you, etc. That is a shifting of blame and will NOT help you in the long run. You will NOT have a good marriage if you continue in this course.

Your situation is quite common. many face up to it and take the needed, though admittedly hard, steps to do what Jehovah wants. Others do not and feel bad for a longgggggg time.

I made a wrong choice many years ago. Yes I did get out of it and turned back to Jehovah, but I still feel the pain. However if I had stayed it would have been much worse than it is now. I am thankful I did so and figure any suffering I may have now (43 years later) is deserved. The joy I have in my life now makes that "pain" of minimal consequence. It is just enough to help me avoid being stupid again.

You can do it.

Will you?

Jehovah will help you with the proper course to follow if you really want His help.

Flag annakam December 25, 2008 6:37 AM EST
This is the whole September 1, 2008, Watchtower article that I thought would be of interest to you Beg2differ...i hope this helps

CONSIDER THE "END AFTERWARD"


Life's journey presents us with many choices.  Surely it is the course of wisdom to try to find out what is at the end of any road before we take the first step along it.  Some have bitterly regretted decisions that they have made.  Perhaps you too have said, "If only I had known how this was going to turn out, I would never have started it in the first place."

            An experienced traveler wants to know where each road leads.  He may consult a map and talk to people who know the area.  He will certainly take note of signposts he encounters along the way.  On life's journey, though, how can you be sure which is the best path to take?  Regarding the people of ancient Israel, God once said through Moses: "O that they were wise!  Then they would ponder over this.  They would consider their end afterward." – Deuteronomy 32:39.


The Best Advice

            We do not need to be in doubt as to the "end afterward" of the paths that life's journey may offer.  From his vantage point, God is in a unique position to advise all human travelers about the best road to take.  He has seen the many ways that humans have traveled and has observed the outcome.  The Bible says: "The ways of man are in front of the eyes of Jehovah, and he is contemplating all his tracks." – Proverbs 5:21.

            Jehovah cares for those who love him.  By means of his Word, the Bible, he maps out the best path for them.  We read: "I shall make you have insight and instruct you in the way you should go.  I will give advice with my eye upon you."  So before you take the first step down any road, it is wise to seek Jehovah's advice, as did King David of ancient Israel, who prayed: "Make known to me the way in which I should walk." – Psalms 32:8; 143:8.

            Following the route indicated by a trusted, experienced traveler can give you a sense of confidence and security.  You do not worry about where the path is leading.  David asked for and followed Jehovah's guidance and direction.  As a result, he enjoyed a peace of mind that is beautifully expressed in the famous 23rd Psalm.  David wrote: "Jehovah is my Shepherd.  I shall lack noting.  In grassy pastures he makes me lie down; by well-watered resting places he conducts me.  My soul he refreshes.  He leads me in the tracks of righteousness for his name's sake.  Even though I walk in the valley of deep shadow, I fear nothing bad." – Psalms 23:1 – 4.



What Will Be Their Future?

            One traveler on life's journey, a psalmist who was either Asaph or one of his descendents, admitted that he "almost turned aside" from the right way.  What had happened?  He had seen the prosperity of the dishonest and violent ones and had envied the "peace of wicked people."  To him, they seemed to be "at ease indefinitely."  What is worse, the psalmist had begun to doubt the wisdom of following the path of righteousness that he had chosen.  – Psalms 73: 2, 3, 6, 12, 13.

            Then the psalmist entered Jehovah's sanctuary and prayerfully thought about the destiny of the wicked.  "I wanted to discern their future," he said.  He meditated on the prospects of those whom he envied.  What would be their future?  He realized that such people were "on slippery ground" and would be "brought to their finish through sudden terrors!"  What of the path that the psalmist himself was taking?  He acknowledged: "Afterward you (Jehovah) will take me even to glory." – Psalms 73:17 – 19, 24.

            Reflecting on the consequences of the actions of those who achieve prosperity through expedient or questionable dealings reassured the psalmist that he was on the right path.  He concluded: "As for me, the drawing near to God is good for me."  Keeping close to Jehovah God always results in lasting benefits. – Psalms 73:28.



"Know Where You Are Headed"

            Similar choices may confront us today.  You may be offered an attractive business contract, a promotion, or an invitation to become a partner in a profitable venture.  Of course, there is an element of risk in any new undertaking.  Even so, can you not see the value of first considering what the "end afterward" of your choice might be?  What are the likely consequences?  Will you be required to be away from home, potentially creating stress for your spouse or for yourself?  Will you be exposed to unwholesome company with business associates or those in hotels and elsewhere?  By taking a close look at the road ahead, you will be able to make a wise decision.  Heed Solomon's advice: "Know where you are headed." – Proverbs 4:26, Contemporary English Version.

            All of us do well to ponder that counsel, but especially should young people do so.  One young man rented a video that he knew featured sexually stimulating scenes.  He later related that after viewing the video, he felt so aroused that he sought out a prostitute, whom he knew to be living nearby.  He ended up with a heavy heart, a guilty conscience, and anxiety over possible disease.  What occurred was exactly as described in the Bible: "All of a sudden he is going after her, like a bull that comes even to the slaughter."  If only he had considered the "end afterward"! – Proverbs 7:22, 23.



Trust the Signposts

            Most people would agree that it is unwise to ignore signposts.  Sadly, though, that is what some do on the road through life when the direction given does not fit their personal preference.  Consider the case of certain Israelites in the time of Jeremiah.  The nation was at a crossroads, and Jehovah God advised them: "Ask for the roadways of long ago, where, now, the good way is; and walk in it."  But the people stubbornly responded that they were "not going to walk" that way.  (Jeremiah 6:16) What was the "end afterward" of their rebellious course?  In 607 B.C.E., the Babylonians came and completely destroyed the city of Jerusalem and took its inhabitants to Babylon as captives.

            Ignoring the signposts that God has set up will never work for our good.  The Scriptures urge us: "Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding.  In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight." – Proverbs 3:5, 6.

            Some of God's warnings are like "Do Not Enter" signs.  For instance, the Bible says: "Into the path of the wicked ones do not enter, and do not walk straight on into thw way of the bad ones." (Proverbs 4:14) Among such harmful paths is the one described at Proverbs 5:3, 4: "As a honeycomb the lips of a strange woman keep dripping, and her palate is smoother than oil.  But the aftereffect from her is as bitter as wormwood; it is as sharp as a two-edged sword."  To some, an immoral relationship – whether with a prostitute or anyone else – may appear exciting.  But ignoring "Do Not Enter" signs that should regulate moral conduct can lead only to disaster.

            Before taking the first step down such road, ask yourself, "Where is this leading me?"  Just pausing to contemplate the potential "end afterward" may suffice to prevent you from taking a course that can have serious consequences.  AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, ruined relationships, and guilty consciences litter the path of those who have chosen to ignore such signposts.  The end of the road for those practicing immorality is clearly stated by the apostle Paul.  They "will not inherit God's kingdom." – 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10.



"This Is the Way"

            Sometimes it is difficult to see where a path is taking us.  How thankful we are, therefore, for God's loving concern and clear direction!  "This is the way," Jehovah has said, "walk in it, you people." (Isaiah 30:21) What is at the end of the path that Jehovah is showing us?  Though the path is narrow and difficult, Jesus said that it leads to life everlasting. – Matthew 7:14.

            Take a moment to think about the path along which you are traveling.  Is the right one?  Where is it headed?  Seek Jehovah's guidance in prayer.  Consult the 'road map,' the Bible.  You may even feel the need to consult an experienced traveler, one who has been endeavoring to walk in God's way.  If you thus see the need to change direction, do so quickly.

            A traveler is often encouraged when he sees a signpost that reassures him that he is on the right road.  If an examination of your course in life reveals that you are walking the path of the righteous, be encouraged to continue.  The most rewarding part of the journey lies just ahead. – 2 Peter 3:13.

            Every path leads somewhere.  When you reach the end of the course that you have chosen, where will you be?  Little will be gained by standing there wishing, 'Oh, if only I had chosen another way!'  So before taking your next step down the path of life, ask yourself, 'What is going to be the "end afterward"?'
Flag annakam December 25, 2008 7:29 AM EST
Remember Jacqui...that you became baptized....I have to say ALL people wanting to draw close to Jehovah the baptized and the unbaptized ppl of Jehovah are all targets for Satan the devil...the unbaptized can be just as dedicated to Jehovah just as the baptized...when you got baptized though you publicly declared your devotion to Jehovah in front of tons of people...especially Jehovah, Jesus, and Satan...but all 3 knew you were dedicated to Jehovah even before you got baptized...i'm not sure which publication i read it at but when we get baptized we are even more targets of Satan...we publicly declare to the public that we are Jehovah's people...and Satan wants to see us fall so we can dirty up Jehovah's name....
         I'm not positive...maybe another Jehovah's Witness can help with this one...but I think there is a scripture in the Bible that says after Jesus was baptized Satan tested him...did Satan test him before he was baptized i'm not 100 percent positive...


I've been studying off -and -on with Jehovah's Witnesses since 1989....i never doubted once that was i was being taught was the truth....i knew it was the truth....but i had weaknesses just like you....i went into churches after knowing about Jehovah and being in his Kingdom Hall..and after one visit at the churches i never went back...I've been with worldly men and all of them lead to nothing.....and each was worser than the last....my break up with my last boyfriend opened my eyes finally to what i was doing....but before i got with him in the first place though i had an inner warning so to speak....at first i didn't want the relationship with this man...he was nice and everything...but something wasn't right...usually when something is not right with me my insides harden...that's the same feeling i had before i got with him and that's the same feeling i had the night before he broke up with me...and i didn't know why i had these feelings...i didn't know what was to come....all i know is that they were warning signs...and i see why they were warning signs but not after experiencing them...this man was my longest relationship i've had in my life, 8 months....and then i'm back to nothing to show for it....but then again do I?  I believe yes I do have something to show for it....that with the ending of that relationship I began to realize whose love I've had all along even when I didn't know about him...even when I continuously would walk away from his love and go my way....I still remembered Jehovah and Jesus....and instead of putting all my time and energy into worldly men now,  I'm putting the same time and energy plus more into serving Jehovah and i'm not stopping.....i know that there will be challenges coming to me especially when i get baptized....but when those come i know i have tons of support especially with Jehovah that will help me to overcome them...
Flag anonpls December 27, 2008 3:33 PM EST
I don't know who you think you are "anotherpaul" but you are being quite harsh.  Recently, I have had many dealings with the elders, mostly through no fault of my own and most likely they will tell her to either marry him or leave him.  They are not going to disfellowship someone who is repentant.  I had a close personal friend who recently became an elder tell me it doesn't matter what someone does, if they are repentant, they will not be disfellowshipped.You act like you already know she is going to be disfellowshipped. It seems to me like she has had quite a hard life already and has a conscience and that is what elders have to determine, the difference between "weakness and wickedness."  Basically if she lives with him w/o marrying him and comes back to the meetings she will be df'ed.  If she marries and comes back to the truth she probably won't be.
Flag anotherpaul December 28, 2008 12:33 AM EST
[QUOTE=anonpls;980701]I don't know who you think you are "anotherpaul" but you are being quite harsh.  Recently, I have had many dealings with the elders, mostly through no fault of my own and most likely they will tell her to either marry him or leave him.  They are not going to disfellowship someone who is repentant.  I had a close personal friend who recently became an elder tell me it doesn't matter what someone does, if they are repentant, they will not be disfellowshipped.You act like you already know she is going to be disfellowshipped. It seems to me like she has had quite a hard life already and has a conscience and that is what elders have to determine, the difference between "weakness and wickedness."  Basically if she lives with him w/o marrying him and comes back to the meetings she will be df'ed.  If she marries and comes back to the truth she probably won't be.[/QUOTE]

Hi,

I am sorry you feel I am being harsh. That was not my intent.

Yes they may suggest she leave him or marry him, in some cases. However in her note she did not indicate she was planning on leaving him. If she doesn't then, she will be DF'd. If she does she could still be DF'd, depending on other factors. I do not have enough info and do not need to hear it, to address that aspect.

My purpose in posting was to give her a realistic assessment of her position. Having served for many years as an elder I know the least favorable thing I can do for someone is to minimize the problem. I have dealt with similar situations as hers, and generally unless she takes the first step and leaves, she will not do well.

If she marries him, she may not be DF'd, or she may. After all marrying an unbeliever, while not a DF'ing offense does show disrespect for Jehovah's direction and brings into question any repentance. Especially when he is trying to turn her away from the congregation. I was trying to give her good and realistic advice. Marrying an opposed unbeliever is never wise.

I agree that there is a difference between weakness and wickedness, but you can be DF'd for weakness if you do NOT repent and SHOW genuine repentance.

I am worried about her, but want her to know what is the reality of her situation so she she will know what she needs to do.

Beyond being someone who cares for others, including her, I am no one special.
Flag anonpls December 28, 2008 1:27 AM EST
How old are you? Are you still an elder?  I am asking because it seems in recent years the elders are not as quick to disfellowship as they used to be.  Maybe there is a new editiion of the elder's book out or something,  I don't know and don't take that as sarcasm.  I guess whether someone is disfellowshipped or not could depend on what committee handles the case because as of the most recent information I have been given by the elders it does not matter if you murder 20 people as long as you are repentant.  In fact, my ex-husband committed adultery multiple times up until the night before his committee meeting and because of his show of repentance the elders actually told me although they thought they would have to disfellowship him they didn't because they did not see a "wicked man"  but instead a weak one.  He was privately reproved.  Unfortunately, he committed adultery again the next day.  Needless to say at his next meeting with them he was disfellowhipped.  Don't think I am bitter about it, I loved my husband and still do.  If he had wanted to stay married I would have, I never wanted to divorce him.  I have talked to many elders since then.  One just basically  told me some committees are too "harsh" and some committees are to " lenient."  Our circuit overseer just gave a talk on the importance of not dwelling on past errors, espicially if we were disfellowshipped at one time.  He, in his own words, said "perhaps we were repentant but the elders didn't think we were."  We all know no one is perfect, but I have learned enough over the past couple of years to realize that it absolutely does come down to "weakness or wickedness" as to why one should be disfellowshipped and I know actions speak louder than words.  The fact that she feels bad is apparent.  Do you know anything about bipolar?  It is a terrible disease.  Thank goodness in the end no "human being" will determine our individual fate.
Flag Nomi69 December 28, 2008 7:20 PM EST

anonpls wrote:

How old are you? Are you still an elder? I am asking because it seems in recent years the elders are not as quick to disfellowship as they used to be. Maybe there is a new editiion of the elder's book out or something, I don't know and don't take that as sarcasm. I guess whether someone is disfellowshipped or not could depend on what committee handles the case because as of the most recent information I have been given by the elders it does not matter if you murder 20 people as long as you are repentant. In fact, my ex-husband committed adultery multiple times up until the night before his committee meeting and because of his show of repentance the elders actually told me although they thought they would have to disfellowship him they didn't because they did not see a "wicked man" but instead a weak one. He was privately reproved. Unfortunately, he committed adultery again the next day. Needless to say at his next meeting with them he was disfellowhipped. Don't think I am bitter about it, I loved my husband and still do. If he had wanted to stay married I would have, I never wanted to divorce him. I have talked to many elders since then. One just basically told me some committees are too "harsh" and some committees are to " lenient." Our circuit overseer just gave a talk on the importance of not dwelling on past errors, espicially if we were disfellowshipped at one time. He, in his own words, said "perhaps we were repentant but the elders didn't think we were." We all know no one is perfect, but I have learned enough over the past couple of years to realize that it absolutely does come down to "weakness or wickedness" as to why one should be disfellowshipped and I know actions speak louder than words. The fact that she feels bad is apparent. Do you know anything about bipolar? It is a terrible disease. Thank goodness in the end no "human being" will determine our individual fate.



I think maybe you concluded a wrong  impression of AP a little too fast. AP is a very understanding, and nice person. He always tries to be one to see thru a situation and come to a "best" conclusion. I know AP from us being here for a fairly long while now. AND I hate for you to mistake him as being "harsh". I never see him intentionally hurting anyone. Always polite, and he is always a very kind, and considerate person...so I hope this helps you to see him a bit differently......Regards....:)

Flag anotherpaul December 28, 2008 8:07 PM EST
[QUOTE=anonpls;981637]How old are you? Are you still an elder?



I am in my 60's and was appointed an elder in the 1st year elders were appointed. Prior to that I was a "servant" in the congregation and was going to be the Ministerial School Servant and then they brought the elder arrangement in and I had to wait for appointment as an elder 6 months later. I was baptized in 1961. I no longer serve as an elder for a variety of reasons starting with health issues and problems stemming from am accident at work.. 

I am asking because it seems in recent years the elders are not as quick to disfellowship as they used to be.  Maybe there is a new editiion of the elder's book out or something,  I don't know and don't take that as sarcasm.



I was never quick to DF someone. I wanted to know the problem, the reason, the help that had been offered prior to the sin, the attitude and even if they had yet prayed to Jehovah for forgiveness. In the case of adultery even the mate should have some input in this. The decision to DF someone is very serious and should be made based on THEIR actions and responses, not on any personal feelings or for any other reason.

I guess whether someone is disfellowshipped or not could depend on what committee handles the case because as of the most recent information I have been given by the elders it does not matter if you murder 20 people as long as you are repentant.  In fact, my ex-husband committed adultery multiple times up until the night before his committee meeting and because of his show of repentance the elders actually told me although they thought they would have to disfellowship him they didn't because they did not see a "wicked man"  but instead a weak one.



And that was not a good reason. The "show" of repentance must be very strong and verifiable where possible, especially in a case of multiple actions. The committee, hopefully went on more than  just wicked VS weak, as that is only a small part of the whole issue. It must be based solely on repentance, unless extenuating curcumstances exist, such as prior abuse. I sat on one committee where, with the CO involved, we did NOT DF an adulterous sister even though she was not fully repentant, because of abuse by her husband.

He was privately reproved.  Unfortunately, he committed adultery again the next day.  Needless to say at his next meeting with them he was disfellowhipped.



Two errors then. One he was not truly repentant, and two he should not have been privately reproved, with multiple acts involved.  Not handling something properly hurts victims and even the guilty as they do not get the needed discipline to drive home their error. The congregation is not protected and Jehovah's name is further hurt as knowledge of the sins spread. This is part of why I was so clear in my original post. The truth of the matter must be plain so a real and valuable decision can be made by all.

Don't think I am bitter about it, I loved my husband and still do.  If he had wanted to stay married I would have, I never wanted to divorce him.  I have talked to many elders since then.  One just basically  told me some committees are too "harsh" and some committees are to " lenient."  Our circuit overseer just gave a talk on the importance of not dwelling on past errors, espicially if we were disfellowshipped at one time.  He, in his own words, said "perhaps we were repentant but the elders didn't think we were."



Yes unfortunately some committees handle things wrong. If too harsh there is an appeal procedure to protect the one harshly handled. Unfortunately when to lenient, there is no recourse until they sin again. If they would simply listen to the direction of the Slave things would go a lot better for everyone.

We all know no one is perfect, but I have learned enough over the past couple of years to realize that it absolutely does come down to "weakness or wickedness" as to why one should be disfellowshipped and I know actions speak louder than words.



Not as to being DF'd, entirely. Yes if the evidence shows it was weakness, and genuine repentance is shown, then reproof is proper. However even a weak person can not be repentant and if they are not, then they need to be DF'd, as discipline. I sat on a case like that. This was the third time the individual was before a committee, for the same act. This time we DF'd him. At THAT meeting he thanked us, saying it was what he needed. About 1 year later he was reinstated and to the best of my knowledge has not gone back to the wrong acts.

A truly wicked person will not repent or will try to fake it and fool others. That needs to be watched for very carefully or they can do great harm. That is why in the case of multiple acts of sin more than one meeting may well be necessary, to see what is true and what is false.  Real evidence besides tears , etc is absolutely needed.

The fact that she feels bad is apparent.  Do you know anything about bipolar?  It is a terrible disease.  Thank goodness in the end no "human being" will determine our individual fate.[/QUOTE]

I do believe she feels bad and I am quite familiar with Bipolar issues as a friend was bipolar. I hope she does make the right choices. Bipolar issues may well make it harder, but not impossible, especially with Jehovah's help.

The case above that took three committee meetings for three offenses was with an individual who felt bad. BUT he did not feel bad enough to change his 'weak" course. It was the discipline that finally got through to him.

I too want her to do well and leave sin behind. I want her to KNOW clearly what her acts can and will lead to, if she does not quickly change course and come back to Jehovah. I want her back and pray she will come back.

Maybe in posts my feelings do not come through and I hope you will know that I do not want to be harsh to, or ever denigrate, someone who is hurting. I have however seen what happens when some are too emotional and even hopeful, for the sinning individuals own good. I do not want that to happen to this person.

Flag anotherpaul December 28, 2008 8:08 PM EST
[QUOTE=Nomi69;982738]I think maybe you concluded a wrong  impression of AP a little too fast. AP is a very understanding, and nice person. He always tries to be one to see thru a situation and come to a "best" conclusion. I know AP from us being here for a fairly long while now. AND I hate for you to mistake him as being "harsh". I never see him intentionally hurting anyone. Always polite, and he is always a very kind, and considerate person...so I hope this helps you to see him a bit differently......Regards....:)[/QUOTE]

Thank you.

Now I am blushing furiously.

Looks funny at my age.
Flag lifeseeker84 December 28, 2008 11:51 PM EST
AP,
   Just a quick question: how exactly do elders perceive if someone is truly repentant ?, its something that ive often thought about (since ive not experienced being DF'd), i mean, one person may burst into tears, but another may be totally stoic, we are all different and handle things differently, so how does an elder learn to recognise whether someone id truly repentant ?
Flag anonpls December 28, 2008 11:54 PM EST
OK, I get your point.  There are a lot of different factors.  I guess that is why it is important to remember Jehovah won't destroy anyone that is righteous.  I guess I will ask you since you are the "resident" elder on this board, is the committee suppossed to tell you what they are recommending when you request reinstatement if you were disfellowshipped by another committee at another kingdom hall or are you only allowed to know that they wrote "a recommendation" to the original committee?
Flag anonpls December 29, 2008 12:02 AM EST
I think that may be where mistakes are sometimes made.  I guess that is an effective tool of Satan and it sure separates "the men from the boys" so to speak if you were treated unfairly.  I mean it shows that you really love Jehovah when you are humble and never leave him regardless of how someone in the organization treats you.
Flag anotherpaul December 29, 2008 1:11 AM EST
[QUOTE=lifeseeker84;983321]AP,
   Just a quick question: how exactly do elders perceive if someone is truly repentant ?, its something that ive often thought about (since ive not experienced being DF'd), i mean, one person may burst into tears, but another may be totally stoic, we are all different and handle things differently, so how does an elder learn to recognise whether someone id truly repentant ?[/QUOTE]

Hi,

It is a variety of things. Not all apply to each case.

Conduct prior to the committee meeting, length of time since the sin, number of times involved in it and who with, any previous counsel, any previous committee meetings ending in reproof, attitude at the committee meeting(s), did they come forth voluntarily or were they exposed by another, how complete a confession was made, any attempt to minimize the action, blame others, What were the circumstances leading up to it, any indication of it stemming from other bad acts, what type of associates involved, the list can get quite long.

The intent is to restore the person, so when someone is DF'd it is based on their attitude, actions and words. In effect, they basically DF themselves, while the elders try to help them avoid it.
Flag anotherpaul December 29, 2008 1:14 AM EST
[QUOTE=anonpls;983329]OK, I get your point.  There are a lot of different factors.  I guess that is why it is important to remember Jehovah won't destroy anyone that is righteous.  I guess I will ask you since you are the "resident" elder on this board, is the committee suppossed to tell you what they are recommending when you request reinstatement if you were disfellowshipped by another committee at another kingdom hall or are you only allowed to know that they wrote "a recommendation" to the original committee?[/QUOTE]

Usually they will not tell you they wrote at all. They will wait until they hear back. I know of no rule that says they can't tell you, but if the original committee says no, it can make things a bit harder on the person if they had their hopes built up.

In some cases they will say they are writing, but it is just for information about the original case. at least as much as they need to know. The original committee  may have questions they want answered or things confirmed. It also depends on how long someone has been gone from the original congregation. If for quite a while, the original congregation normally will be guided by the new committee's recommendations.
Flag anotherpaul December 29, 2008 1:16 AM EST
[QUOTE=anonpls;983346]I think that may be where mistakes are sometimes made.  I guess that is an effective tool of Satan and it sure separates "the men from the boys" so to speak if you were treated unfairly.  I mean it shows that you really love Jehovah when you are humble and never leave him regardless of how someone in the organization treats you.[/QUOTE]

That is correct. Remember how David was treated by Saul?

He waited on Jehovah to straighten it out.

I have known of a couple of cases that were mishandled. Eventually they were corrected and if the elders were really acting badly and knew it, they will not only be removed but never again can serve as an elder. That just happened in my area.
Flag lifeseeker84 December 29, 2008 7:50 AM EST
[QUOTE=anotherpaul;983427]Hi,

It is a variety of things. Not all apply to each case.

Conduct prior to the committee meeting, length of time since the sin, number of times involved in it and who with, any previous counsel, any previous committee meetings ending in reproof, attitude at the committee meeting(s), did they come forth voluntarily or were they exposed by another, how complete a confession was made, any attempt to minimize the action, blame others, What were the circumstances leading up to it, any indication of it stemming from other bad acts, what type of associates involved, the list can get quite long.

The intent is to restore the person, so when someone is DF'd it is based on their attitude, actions and words. In effect, they basically DF themselves, while the elders try to help them avoid it.[/QUOTE]

Thank you for shedding some light on this for me, i understand the process alot better now :)
Flag Bunnyone July 27, 2009 6:53 AM EDT

Hi Begtodiffer,


 


I just wanted to know if you are ok, how did things work out?


I got myself into a pickle as well a few years ago. I lived with a man and nearly got disfellowshipped. We got married quickly and I have to say he has been a wonderful husband and helps me attend some meetings when I struggle as I have a number of illnesses; depression being one and social phobia.


One thing I will say is though, now the tribulation is on our doorstep I feel a terrible fear for my husband and that is an extra burden of marrying out of the truth. He is a loving and loyal mate who is happy to come to the odd meeting and is happy for me to serve Jehovah, but I have never stopped feeling guilty that I didn't follow Jehovah's direction for marrying out of the truth. It always comes at a price when we just do what we want. But I allowed my heart to rule my head; I was madly in love.


My heart goes out to you, I hope things have worked out well. If you ever need to chat, please contact me.


Sisterly love


Debs

Flag Goodtobehomestill July 27, 2009 9:05 AM EDT

Dearest sister, let go of your guilt.


Our circuit overseer stressed with us recently that for Jehovah, forgiving sins is like hitting the delete button on a hard drive... it can't print out that 'list' anymore if it is deleted!  If Jehovah isn't holding that mistake over your head, and he isn't! you can trust me on that!  (Made the same mistake WHILE disfellowshipped ten years ago, so it is a subject I know from the inside...) stop holding it over your own.  You're forgiven.  Completely.  No part of your daily life is an apology for past mistakes.  Jehovah is a positive God of Joy and Love and he wants you to radiate only Joy and Love to your mate.  You made a mistake.. doesn't mean your marriage is a mistake automatically, maybe Jehovah has big plans for it.  Your feelings of guilt limit his plans, you know.  You are allowed and even encouraged to love your mate with a whole heart.  My life got so much more peaceful and my marriage much more positive as I trained myself not to think of my 'mistake' (which God has put behind him and 'deleted') but to focus on making the most positive thing out of what exists right now in this moment.   If you view your marriage as an error, it colors your view of your husband.. if the marriage is a mistake then at least in some small way, he is a mistake.  And he sounds like a great guy!


Jer 29:11 is my current favorite scripture. 




(Jeremiah29:11-12) 11 "'For I myself well know the thoughts that I am thinking toward YOU,' is the utterance of Jehovah, 'thoughts of peace, and not of calamity, to give YOU a future and a hope. 12 And YOU will certainly call me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to YOU.'


Jehovah has thoughts of you that involve the future.  Thoughts that involve the future are called PLANS.  He has plans for you.  Guilt doesn't align you with God's plans for you, but Hope does! 


 


hugs


 




 

Flag Bunnyone July 27, 2009 10:24 AM EDT

That was a really lovely thing to say, I hadn't thought of it like that before, you have made me feel better - Thank you so much.


I wish I was there to give you a  sisterly hug Smile


David is a wonderful man - He even hates birthdays and christmas so I don't have any problems with  not being involved any worldly celebrations either. There seems to be more people around that hate those celebrations without being religious now.


We both have a great deal of physical illnesses to deal with, and we lost our home and jobs through it, but with all the stress we have never once in 6 years raised our voices or had an argument with each other, he is such a gentle person. I keep trying to sow bible seeds in hope one of them will sprout in his heart, he would make a wonderful brother.


Anyway once again, thank you for your kind words


Debs

Flag Goodtobehomestill July 27, 2009 10:36 AM EDT

I consider myself hugged and hug you back!


My husband gives me no resistance either, it is a real blessing.  Good for you for seeing your husband as God does, through the lens of his potential.  I am blessed you are my sister, and treasure your positive spirit!

Flag Bobiejay August 10, 2009 3:17 AM EDT

This really confuses me. The bible says that God is love. People know that we are his followers by the love we show to others. Why are so many JW parents verbally abusive to their children and are not very affectionate toward them?


I am not making this up. A man joined my church after being disfellowshipped from JWs for dating outside of the faith. He said that his mother severed all ties with him when he was disfellowshipped. He is 27 years old and his mother never hugged him and told him that she loved him. His friends used to discuss how their mothers were cold and withdrawn. How can you teach the love of God, if you can't even show it to your own children?

Flag Tellyy September 5, 2009 2:02 AM EDT

what people failed to understand is that when a person is disfellowshiped that does not mean that the family of the person does not love him,they love their son,but they got to follow what the  bible says about treating a disfellowshiped person. you could have only contacts with him if hes doing business or if its a legit emergency.we're not that cruel.Cool

Flag Cassie144000 September 7, 2009 8:04 PM EDT

The Watchtower Society does not easily forgive a witness that marries a non-witness as this quote illustrates.




***


w86 11/15 pp. 27-28 Are You Looking for a Partner in Life?

***




 


But how can you say that?' someone may ask. 'I know a brother who did not marry a fellow worshiper, and now they are both serving Jehovah.' True, in a few cases matters have worked out that way, and we are glad that both mates are now "walking in the truth." (3 John 4) Nevertheless, the brother who married an unbaptized person was disobedient. Will that independent spirit surface once again? Might he be tempted to think he knows better than God and thus disregard Bible counsel and trust in his own wisdom in yet another situation? We are encouraged to 'trust in Jehovah with all our heart.' (Proverbs 3:5) That implies submissive compliance with the divine will in all things. So we should want to develop an obedient heart, one meeting the test of obedience even in small things. (Luke 16:10) If we disobey God, what kind of pattern are we developing? The brother who did not 'marry in the Lord' probably now recognizes his mistake in doing things his own way and has sought Jehovah's forgiveness. But is that how you want to initiate your marriage?

Flag Goodtobehomestill September 7, 2009 8:46 PM EDT

Learning to submit our will to God's is basically a life-long endeavor in this imperfect flesh.


But God expects us to do the best we can with each situation we find ourselves in, or have put ourselves into, and if we turn to him, he will certainly do his best to help us.


(Cassie may be finding herself in the wrong forum, this is the JW faith forum after all.)

Flag humbly.search.for.truth September 8, 2009 10:13 AM EDT

First of all, marrying a non-believer is not a disfellowshipping act.  Fornication (pornea) IS forbidding as plain as day from God's Word, the Bible.  For a good detailed description of this, you might read the thread "a condemned practice" which outlines very well the Bible's firm stand on this matter.  By the way, it was written by someone who is NOT a JW, yet seems to recognize and appreciate the Bible's wise council in this regard.  


I personally have known those within our congregation who have chosen to marry someone who isn't a believer and doesn't share the same views and lifestyle choices as we do. The result?  Many (but not all) end up slowing down in their zealousness.  It is gradual.  They slow down in such things as their personal Bible study, prayer, meeting attendance, active participation at meetings, etc.  Then, their views gravitate towards their newly chosen mate.  Some even just completely fade away completely.  This is not the case always by any means.  There are a few who happen to make it work.  But those ones will tell you that it isn't always easy and can be an uphill battle in many ways.  Even if that one doesn't oppose your meeting attendance, who is there to 'build you up' as your mate? Encourage you to keep your faith when times are tough?  Living a life as a Witness is a lifestyle, not just a one hour Sunday morning activity.  We strive to live our lives according to the Bible.  


I personally spend a great deal of time with my wife when I am not working and taking care of other matters.  When we are home together, I work hard at devoting time to build up my household.  We talk about our beliefs and what we read from our bible reading (in fact we usually read and study together).  We talk about how we can apply the words we read in our lives, whether it be action needed on our part or just an adjustment needed with our viewpoint on certain matters.  Now, what if I didn't marry someone who shares my beliefs?  What would we talk about then?  Most of that strong bond we have would be severed or at least not nearly as strong.  Why would I create such a vulnerability for myself regarding my faith??  Food for thought.


Nevertheless, as stated above marrying a non-believer is not a disfellowshipping offense and there is no one who will need to "forgive."  There is nothing to "forgive."  Each one must carry our own load.  However, for good reason marrying a non-believer is certainly not recommended!


A few scriptures quickly come to mind:


(1 Corinthians 7:39) "...marry only in the lord." 


 


(2 Corinthians 6:14-15) 14 Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what sharing does light have with darkness? 15 Further, what harmony is there between Christ and Be′li·al? Or what portion does a faithful person have with an unbeliever? 


Oh, and then there is the example of the Israelites who were warned not to associate themselves with the neighboring Moabites.  See Exodus 34:12-15 below.  Your association can certain have a profound affect on your life and persuade you to do and believe things you never thought you would ever do.



(Exodus 34:12-15) . . .Watch yourself that you do not conclude a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you are going, for fear it may prove itself a snare in your midst. 13 But their altars YOU people are to pull down, and their sacred pillars YOU are to shatter, and their sacred poles YOU are to cut down. 14 For you must not prostrate yourself to another god, because Jehovah, whose name is Jealous, he is a jealous God; 15 for fear that you may conclude a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, as they will certainly have immoral intercourse with their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and someone will be certain to invite you, and you will certainly eat some of his sacrifice. 


GTBHS is correct though.  Cassie seemed to have meandered into the JW forum by mistake. This needs to be respected...please.



 

Flag Cassie144000 September 10, 2009 9:59 AM EDT

No, if you check my profile, I am a witness and probably one longer than you have lived.  Interesting how you address me in the third person, seeming to trivalize me and what I posted.  I know of several sisters who had that very information read to them by elders who said that because they deliberately disobeyed God, they could never be completely trusted again.


 

Flag humbly.search.for.truth September 10, 2009 6:05 PM EDT

Cassie14400: "No, if you check my profile, I am a witness and probably one longer than you have lived."


Humbly: "What is the point of such comment about your length of time as a JW? How do you know my age anyway? I don't remember disclosing that information."


Cassie14400: "...seeming to trivalize me and what I posted."


Humbly: "No intent to "trivialize" any comment from anyone. I was merely speaking to the group in general. That bothers you? If so, I am truly sorry. No maliciousness intended."


Cassie14400: "I know of several sisters who had that very information read to them by elders who said that because they deliberately disobeyed God, they could never be completely trusted again."


Humbly14400: "What is your opinion of those (man or woman) who decide to marry someone who does not share our beliefs? Wise? Unwise? Doesn't matter? In my opinion if a person is serious about their beliefs, wanting to live each day by such standards, it is unwise to marry someone who has opposite or conflicting goals. Agree? Disagree? That goes for any faith, not just JW. Your comment that "they could never be completely trusted again" doesn't seem to be a fair one. The point that the article is trying to get across is that we should choose our mates wisely. Marriage is forever in God's eyes and only allows one scriptural reason for divorce. Still he hates a divorce. Separation is permitted under severe guidelines also based on the Bible.  For example, no one is expected to stay living with an extreme abusive individual.


You posted this comment: "The Watchtower Society does not easily forgive a witness that marries a non-witness as this quote illustrates." The "Watchtower Society" is a legal corporation there to legally complete the work that we do. They are our brothers and sisters just like anyone else. Why are they involved in your comment? The article you posted (when read in its entirety) brings out some very good points, and scriptures that apply. Do you not agree with the scriptures cited? (ie 1 Corinthians 7:39; Deuteronomy 7:3,4). It is the BIBLE's council to "marry only in the lord" NOT the WTS. Do you agree with that scriptural council? Do you agree that there is a measure of disobedience or disregard to the scriptural admonition to 'marry only in the lord'?


My intent here, Cassie, is not to bring you down. I am merely trying to help you to see your comment the way GTBH and myself, along with others who might interpret your comment. Could we perhaps be a little more positive? Upbuilding? If you have had a bad experience with an elder or two, then could you perhaps resolve that with that individual(s) involved and not make a generalized, blanket statement directed to the WTS on an open forum such as this? We all reap what we sow. This does not mean that we are "not ever forgiven."


Suggestion: (if you are open for suggestions) is to restate your sentence in a more constructive and less all-inclusive way. Perhaps identifying yourself as one of Jehovah's Witnesses in your post would be nice. Every now and then we do actually have a non-believer (or former JW) post here and voice a comment that can easily be interpretted the wrong way or is outright offensive. I have no idea who you are. Also, the non-verbal communication is missing when communicating online. All we see are words, so we need to choose them wisely so as not to stumble others.


Why not rephrase your comment in another way. For example, "From my experience as a JW, I have observed some who seem to..." Including absolute terminology doesn't always season your words with salt and we are not sure of your intent. I am sure you must have good intentions, but sometimes it is not too clear when reading words online. Again, I am sorry if I put you down in any way. Please accept it. Our goal should be to be positive and upbuilding with one another. Point blank comments are not productive, but destructive, and I believe that is how we are viewing your comments at first glance.


Flag Goodtobehomestill September 10, 2009 7:06 PM EDT

As a sister with an unbelieving mate, my friends at the Hall have never made me feel unforgiven.  I think sometimes if a person feels negative, they may project their own negative feelings on someone else.  If you feel guilty about something, you might assume someone is looking down their nose at you when they are just worried about their own concerns!  Sadly it is so easy to think we know what others are thinking, and I think we are rarely right.


I do know the Bible say Jehovah forgives completely.  That's good enough for me.


As far as the wisdom of marrying out of the Truth?  Don't do it!  Oh goodness it makes life hard.  Disagreements over money will be larger.  Where the brothers are given reminders not to do anything that might lead to jealousy on the wife's part, the unbelieving man may well  have a different set of boundaries in his friendships with women, and even if he does nothing really wrong! you may still suffer.


If you want to have to work twice as hard to keep up your spirituality, if you want extra 'drama' and uncertainty, go for it.  I don't recommend it, most heartily don't.


However.  Once you are this situation.. then you work with it.  You do as David did and pray for Jehovah to 'guard you from presumptuous acts.'  Ps 19:13  You constantly reexamine yourself and see if you are really doing all you can to preserve the marriage.. after all, you made a vow, and even if it is 'bad for yourself' Jehovah expects you to honor it.  Ps 15:4   You don't let any wishes for a different situation cause you to behave negatively...That would likely lead to 'presumptuous acts.'  I mean really.. if a woman wants a man to leave her she can get him to do it.  How treacherous the heart can be!  But the sister would then have to live with having been 'traitorous' and possibly having influenced another person to be immoral!


So any sisters in this situation.. be ever so careful.   Be ever so loving.  Draw ever closer to God and try ever harder to imitate him.  It'll be tough, but Jehovah can use it to make you an ever better servant of his.  Don't let Satan use this to get you down again.  Learn and grow.


And Cassie... if you are our true sister, I hope we are able to get to know you as such.  We all make missteps.  I practically never check profiles, you just weren't sounding very 'sisterly' in your post.  But if that isn't how you meant it I would be happy to know you.

Flag cereus December 27, 2010 12:26 PM EST

I realize this is an old thread, but as the "Unbelieving" (i.e. Non-Witness) spouse of one of Jehovah's Witnesses, I have to say that the comments here are disturbing at many levels


My wife and I have been married for over thirty years and have been very happy.  I've bent over backwards during that time to accommodate her beliefs. We've planned vacations around her summer conventions and I've even donated my professional services free of charge to the building of some of your Kingdom Halls.


When I was invited to JW gatherings, I honestly thought that I was accepted. Certainly not as a "Brother" but perhaps as a "Cousin" of sorts.


I'm wondering now if I've simply been fooling myself for a very long time....


 

Flag juliannaP December 28, 2010 12:12 AM EST

Cereus,


I guess I should probably read all posts before responding, but wanted to share my own personal situation in relation to yours.  I am a baptized witness and my husband is not.  Not only is he not a witness, but he studied for quite some time and then stopped.  Not because he doesn't believe in what I do, but he has stumbling blocks in his own life that he apparantly isn't ready to remove.  He sounds a lot like you do in the way he supports me and my faith.  He has ALWAYS been treated very well by the ones in the congregation.  Do I believe that the treatment is sincere?  Yes... I KNOW it is.  Please do not be discouraged.  I have no doubt that the way you are treated by the witnesses is sincere.  Not only do the witnesses care about my husband, but they were almost the only ones who visited him in the hospital when he had a very serious medical condition.  Very few of his family members outside of our home visited him...but a huge part of the congregation did.  In fact, the hospital had to put a sign on his door stating no more visitors!  They did not have to visit...but they did. 


:)


julianna

Flag rangerken December 28, 2010 10:20 AM EST

Dear Juliana and cereus,


This is just to let you know that although I am not a JW, nor do I have any personal relationship with any Jehovah's witnesses and therefore never participate on this board, as the board host I  do check in regularly and I appreciate well written, thoughtful, and meaningful posts like you two just put up.


I hope you get good replies from others soon.


Rangerken, Beliefnet Community Moderator

Flag Newtonian January 1, 2011 5:39 AM EST

We have had recent counsel at one of our meetings to warm up to unbelieving mates - i.e. for those in the congregation to do so.   This was counsel for all of Jehovah's Witnesses - not just our local congregation.  Hopefully someone else will post the details of that counsel.


If not, I will ask around at our special assembly day Sunday - I think it was in our Kingdom Ministry at our Service Meeting - one of the 5 meetings (on two days) we have each week.

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