Why I Left Jehovah's Witnesses
as published in Lamplighter Magazine
by Jean Eason
I was a third generation Jehovah's Witness (JW). When I recall the days of my
youth it seems that what I heard most often was, "How wrong the "religionist"
were, and how right the JWs were. I realize now the vast difference between
religion and Christianity. As a JW, I was concerned with works - not only doing
such things as preaching from house to house, but with the things I must not do
such as celebrating the holidays and birthdays. Every word written by the
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WBTS) was considered "truth" that must be
followed to the letter, whether it's taking a blood transfusion, voting, or
participating in a war. To do otherwise was sinning against Jehovah, resulting
in the possibility of losing the hope of eternal life.
I was married and had three children before I began having serious doubts about
the WBTS being God's only channel of communication. These doubts began to emerge
when I had to make some very important decisions that simply went against the
grain of my personality. You would think that making decisions such as refusing
a blood transfusion could bring about doubts. Like signing papers to let a baby
die rather than take blood. I had an RH factor blood condition and in those days
they transfused the baby at birth should a problem occur. Fortunately, I was
spared - but I was ready and willing to let my children die! Why? Because I was
convinced that the WBTS had the "Truth" and should I do differently, I would
lose the hope of eternal life and so would my child, should death occur. I began
doubting when the WBTS got "new light" (additions to what had been previously
"New light" said, "If you see JWs
sinning and do not report them, you are guilty of that sin yourself. A sister in
our congregation took blood when she hemorrhaged at childbirth. My options were
- report her - and if I didn't, the sin fell on me. Both options bothered me!
You see, when you are ignorant of having a relationship with Christ, you follow
people blindly, trusting them to be in God's will. Like a good JW, I reported
her and she had to appear before a committee of elders.
This, along with other "new light" caused me to start thinking about "where and
how" they get their new light! I inherited a WBTS library from one of my
relatives, and began reading the older publications. I learned they had changed
their interpretation many times. I took note that the modern literature quoted
often from the older publications. Now I was able to pick up the very book they
quoted from - and guess what? They often misquoted - took out of context - and
misapplied their own writings! After two years of research I realized I was
following an organization - led by man's interpretation of the Bible.
I stopped attending meetings, and all JW activities, but I entered a state of
spiritual loneliness. Where could I go? All religions were false, so I had been
taught! Where is "Truth" found? After a great deal of searching, I decided to
try out a Christian Church. We attended for awhile, but had not come to know the
true person of Christ. I was not yet convinced the churches were not of the
devil. After all - all churches believe in the concept of the Trinity, hellfire,
and a soul leaving the body at death. I didn't believe any of these doctrines!
While I was trying desperately to sort out doctrines, the WBTS got "new light"
saying if any JW attended church, they would be disfellowshipped. Not knowing
whether I was following Satan or Jesus - I submitted to the elders, when called
to a committee meeting - and stopped attending church - I was not ready to be
disfellowshipped for something I was not yet sure of.
Fifteen years later, my Catholic sister-in-law shared that she was born-again.
I'd never heard of a born-again Catholic! I saw a change in her life - she was
giving up bad habits such as smoking - she was aglow with something. I didn't
know what (but of course it was the Holy Spirit!). She spoke of prayer meetings
in the Catholic Church. (I'd never heard of that either). She challenged me to a
meeting. I went out of curiosity. Right away, I realized this was not a typical
"Catholic" meeting. The speaker shared the love of Jesus in such a way that I'd
never heard before. He spoke in various denominations, and it was obvious that
his focus was on the personage of Jesus Christ. Oh, how I needed this message!
When he finished, he asked that we stand, join hands, and sing the Lord's
Prayer. Something very unexpected happened. Suddenly, I felt God's liquid love
pour over me from the top of my head to the tip of my toes! Without knowing what
had happened, I instantly realized I had been searching for "the truth" in all
the wrong places and the Truth was there all the time! John 14:6 says, "I am the
way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except by me." Yes,
Jesus is the Truth and "He was there all the Time!" No wonder a song was written
by that title. The song, "He Touched Me," came to mind - now I understood that,
also. I felt such a joy in my heart -I just wanted to rejoice - but restrained
myself thinking people would notice a strange look on my face!
When we left, my friend said, "How did you like it?" I just started laughing - I
couldn't hold it in any longer! She said, "Something happened to you, didn't
it?" I replied, "Yes, - I can't explain it - but I feel as though I've been
cleansed from head to toe!" I realize now that I was touched by the power of the
Holy Spirit. God knew I could never find the "Truth" by searching through
definitions of words - I had my Watchtower blinders on - I couldn't believe the
simple gospel, I had to experience it!
Now I understood why Paul had to be knocked from the horse to become a believer
-some of us are just like that! I thought sure my new-found joy would be gone
the next morning, but it wasn't! I woke up anxious to read the Bible and pray!
As I read through the book of John, I wondered when the word, "Jesus" was added
to so many pages -seems like I had never realized that before! On my knees in
the privacy of my living room, I asked Jesus to come into my life - that I would
do anything He asked of me. Well, don't pray this prayer if you're not willing -
for I had no idea what He had in store!
My husband liked the change in me - then he was willing to visit prayer
meetings, and finally, church. (Yes, we were reported by a JW when seen going
into a church - we were visited by two JW elders telling us we were being
disfellowshipped - yes - after being out for fifteen years)! Since then, this
practice has stopped, but the end results are the same - they are ostracized. My
husband accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. The next year was spent in
deprogramming ourselves - we had to learn everything over! Then the Lord put it
on my heart to write a book of my testimony. I kept all my research that went
into this book, now in the third printing. I was invited to appear on national
TV along with three other former JWs. Soon, all of us began receiving a ton of
mail! I had not expected to go into ministry any more than I expected to write a
book - but here I was - living out my promise, "I'll do anything!" Before I knew
it, I was sharing my research and my newly learned orthodox views with hundreds
of JWs and Christians who needed to help loved ones in the JWs. I became a
Christian discipler overnight! My JW discipline skills came in handy! I feel so
very privileged to lead many JWs to Christ - it was such a joy to explain to
them who the true person of Jesus of Christ really is! (JWs believe Jesus is
also Michael the archangel - that he was Jehovah's first creation). The concept
of the Trinity is very offensive to them.
We've been privileged to have Dave and Dennis speak at our conferences on the
cults. We met Dave in '85 and he's been our encourages, ever since. We've
thrived on Lamb and Lion's teaching and encouragement.
We continue ministering to those ensnared by the cults, as well as have support
groups when needed. We are very happy in a spiritually strong church, Hill 'N
Dale Christian Church. I'm especially thrilled to see our Youth Minister
educating the young people in becoming servants of Christ - verses being
entertained! He is teaching them to witness to others! I encourage all Education
Ministers to teach their members the concept of the Trinity and include a
teaching on the cults. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Jean's Web Site