During the three years since I wrote the book, My Beloved Religion — And The Governing Body, I have received several hundred e-mails. Most of these have expressed concern about the direction the members of the Governing Body have led the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I have decided to publish some of the letters I recently received because they can be of help to others who have experienced the same things — they will see that they are not alone in having their negative experiences.
Thank you for your book and homepage. You express in words what we have felt for the last 20 years.
My wife and I were pioneers for several years before we got children, and I was an elder for 20 years.
We are still Jehovah’s Witnesses, but at present, we do not want to tell that to anyone. In the congregation, we try to be under the radar. We have both grown up as Jehovah1s Witnesses. We love Jehovah, and studying the Bible is a fantastic endeavor for us.
But the Governing Body has removed the joy of being Jehovah’s Witnesses. I resigned as an elder two years ago because I did not want to follow the rules of the Governing Body anymore.
It has resulted in great personal consequences for you to stand up for the truth. But it has been an immense help for many Jehovah’s Witnesses who see the situation like we and you.
One time more: THANK YOU
AN ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE GOVERNING BODY DATED SEPTEMBER 27, 2021
1. COVID-19 Vaccinations and Respect for Superior Authorities: Out of concern and love, we are sharing the following important information. (1 Cor. 12:25) As a result of the ongoing pandemic, secular authorities in an increasing number of lands are mandating or strongly encouraging that their citizens be vaccinated for COVID-19. The recent Governing Body updates have helped Jehovah’s people understand the thinking of the faithful slave on this matter.
2. Branch offices have reported that some elders have voiced strong personal opinions against COVID-19 vaccination. Why is this of concern? Romans 13:1 says that “the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God.” Also, the study note on Romans 13:5 says: “A Christian submits to human governments when a command does not contradict God’s laws.” Romans 13:2 states: “Whoever opposes the [secular] authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God.” Thus, elders should be careful not to voice personal opinions that contradict direction from the superior authorities. If an elder has been doing so, now is the time to stop. (Matt. 22:21; Rom. 13:4-7) Otherwise, he could become guilty of causing divisions in the congregation.
3. At Romans 16:17, elders are admonished: “Keep your eye on those who create divisions and causes for stumbling contrary to the teaching that you have learned, and avoid them.” Thus, elders have a Scriptural responsibility to counsel any, including fellow elders, who cause divisions in the congregation. (Gal. 6:1) Circuit overseers will closely monitor the situation. We commend you brothers for “holding firmly” to God’s Word, promoting unity in the congregation, and taking the lead in showing “honor” to the secular authorities. (Titus 1:9; 1 Pet. 2:13-17) We thank you for your cooperation in this matter, and we take this opportunity to send our warm Christian love.
FOR COORDINATORS OF THE BODIES OF ELDERS
Announcement for Elders: Please arrange for the body of elders to meet this week to discuss the announcement for elders along with the cited Scriptures.
There are two basic problems with this announcement. First, the reference to the Superior Authorities does not make sense. Christians follow all the laws of the land that definitely do not violate Bible laws. But if a worldly government makes a law that everyone must be vaccinated, this is a violation of the personal freedom of its inhabitants. This is a medical question that each one must decide, and it has nothing to do with opposing the Superior Authorities to object to this law. The members of the Governing Body is here misusing the words of Paul, and they use these words as a pretext for forcing the elders to accept the personal viewpoints of the members of the Governing Body.
Second, the members of the Governing Body are also misusing the words of Paul in Romans 16:17. Paul is not speaking of causing divisions per se. But he is speaking of causing divisions by false teachings and by seducing the hearts of congregation members. The situation is that the members of the Governing Body have strong opinions regarding vaccinations —that everyone must be vaccinated. This opinion is not built on the Bible, but again they use the words of Paul as a pretext to force the elders to agree with this opinion. Those who express disagreement with the personal viewpoints of the Governing Body are causing divisions in the congregation is the argument. This is a serious action that even can lead to disfellowshipping.
The results of the expression of disagreements is seen in the following letter:
Dear Brother Rolf Furuli
I met the truth 1983 –one may want to shout “ THOSE WERE THE DAYS”. I was a regular pioneer for a few years and served as an elder for almost 25 years. I will never forget the freshness as well as the spontaneity of those years. Gradually as by the back door someone put sand on that well-oiled “mechanism”, something not quite right was creeping into the congregations. And here we are today being under attack of the Archenemy of Jehovah which is Satan.
I would like to commend you for your recent book “ My beloved religion…..” It took a great deal of courage to pen it. You put everything on line, your whole life at stake for the sake of truth.
The sad part is that for many the truth about GB is implausible or hard to digest. They can not come to grips with the simple fact that GB is fallible and is not spiritually immune. Just like each and every one of us.
I would appreciate your view on the obvious meddling of GB in worldly affairs –politics as far as the so called Covid -19 plandemic was concerned. Instead of being neutral they fully supported goofy narrative of corrupted governments and put enormous pressure on the congregations. All those fulltime servants on permanent assignments (paid by GB) were forced to take shots –vaccines.
In my country many elders lost thier privileges because they dared to have a different opinion on that pandemic (including myself). Even worse , there were cases of disfellowshiping because some sisters spoke up about the truth about the pandemic which was inconvenient and not according to the narrative of GB. All under the pretext of causing divisions.
I do not want to bore you to death, but let me briefly relate how I lost my privilege as an elder: During the “pandemic” in one of the service meetings I had the part –congregation’ needs. Since many brothers felt extremely lonely and deserted I told them that in such extreme cases, it is better to visit a brother than let him die of loneliness (Proverbs 18:1) The law did not prohibit it.
Then I told that Jehovah loves the vaccinated as well as the unvaccinated. I felt obliged to mention it because in our congregation elders and their wives pressured those who did not take the shot. They actually persecuted the unvaccinated calling them rebels, apostates, not worthy of being called a Witness of Jehovah. They fell victim to repression. I wanted to stop that madness.
Right after there was a DO visit in our congregation, some elders sneaked upon me that I cause divisions. So the DO decided to evaluate my qualifications as an elder. It was a very unpleasant experience. 11 elders and the DO were shooting the arrows of absurdities and I was a target. Besides blaming me for what I already mentioned, they accused me of using the old version of NWT! A little “pearl”, they asked me how come I have so many hours in the service since there is a ban on preaching. I felt like a schoolboy explaining where those hours came from!
Overall they decided that I had lost the qualifications as an elder. There were other rubbish they cast in my face (visiting an old sister without a mask was a crime in their opinion). The GB knows better on every subject so I asked them: If your car breaks down how come you go to a shop and have a professional mechanic to fix it. Is it not better to have the GB fix it since they all know the best?
As far as the revised NWT is concerned it is not a Bible but just a paraphrase adjusted and strained to our beliefs. In my country, it was done by very incompetent translators: that is why I hardly use it. It even differs from the English counterpart a great deal.
If it were not for the Holy Name of Jehovah, which I hold in the highest esteem, it would be one of the worst bibles ever published! What a shame!
I would like to assure you that for me and many others you are still a brother. You were sacrificed for telling the truth so did I.
Christian Love from your brother
FROM THE USA
On another note, I’ve read your book and appreciate it greatly! It was a great sacrifice on your part to publish it. Over the years -these past few years especially- I’ve realized that when people are confronted with uncomfortable truths, it can be quite disconcerting. I’ve seen this emotional response in people many times over the years when we tactfully point out that what they were taught about God is completely and utterly wrong. I suppose us Witnesses are no different in this regard. I guess, it takes time for things to sink in. Even though I firmly believe in the Bible truths that we as Jehovah’s people teach, it was still very painful to learn we had gotten something like disfellowshipping so wrong! Even though disfellowshipping isn’t exactly what I would consider a “core” Bible teaching, it has been so heavily emphasized ever since I can remember; and frankly still is. I’ve seen many young friends and family needlessly shunned and fallen by the wayside, and this is something that still bothers me sometimes.
However, I know Jehovah isn’t blind and always has a reason for allowing things to happen; I just don’t know what that reason is. Whatever the case, I’ve come to realize (through one of your articles) that the Ransom is much broader in scope and that Jehovah’s mercy is much greater than we know, and He is very fair.
While I fully support disfellowshipping, as it is laid out in scripture, I cannot condone the unscriptural view of shunning. While I understand the mindset of the friends, the shunning of these ones is now very troubling to me.
This knowledge has to be handled with care and delivered in a time and way that is suitable. And you, Brother Furuli, putting that information out there was a courageous first step in the right direction. For many, change is hard. It was even for me, but a friend has helped me to try and stay positive, and be patient.
My name is …. I am writing you from … Mexico. I am one of JW and in my personal research I found your book. Since the moment I read the introduction and table of contents I knew that I was not alone in many of my personal concerns over the years of being a JW. Many things I felt you mention them and expand on having a well-ballanced, reasonable and biblical perspective. I have learned many things in the past month and a half since I started studying carefully your book. In many instances I completelly agree with you, in a few I don’t. But it is a big relief to me that someone has the courage to speak out their mind about what he feels is the right thing to do. I´ve been struggling in my conscience as to how to live my personal biblical convictions that I have that don´t fit the official narrative of the Governing Body, but I know from my personal study of the scriptures that are more reasonable. I have the idea and intention, not of leaving the congregation, but of generate a dialogue from within the congregation to move to maturity in many aspects that you touch upon in your book. One of the ways I see I can collaborate is helping others who care about these topics to get your book. That´s why I want to offer my help in translating My Beloved Religion into Spanish so that this dialogue continues on this side of the world. I would do it gladly free of charge in my spare time.
Please contact me if you´re interested so we can work the details of the task. I really appreciate what you are doing.
Best regards from your brother,
I read the article posted on the website about the Great Jubilee and found the conclusion of the subject at the end of the article interesting. I would like to thank you for the post and make an observation on the subject.
Although we do not know the time that elapsed between the creation of Adam and the creation of Eve, and therefore we do not know exactly when the Jubilee begins, we do know that when Seth, Adam’s third son was born – who Eve saw as a replacement for Abel . (Gen. 4:25), Adam was 130 years old (Genesis 5:3). Then, within the period of 130 years, Adam was created, gave names to all the domestic animals, the flying creatures of the heavens and every wild animal. Also, within this period of 130 years, Eve was created, was expelled from paradise, had Cain and Abel, who grew up and acquired professions. Cain chose farming while Abel became a shepherd. This assumes the passage of a good number of years.
In summary, since Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born – after all the periods already mentioned – and since 48 years have passed since 1975, although we do not know the time that elapsed between the creation of Adam and the creation of Eve, we can to assert based on this data that the beginning of the Jubilee is imminent and even establish a time limit for it?
My name is … and I am from Austria and I am a baptized JW for 28 years now.
Yesterday I downloaded your book „Me beloved Religion – And the Governing Body“.
I already read a great portion of the the book and found it very very interesting.
It is so very true, that nowadays the style the Bible is studied in our meetings has changed
a lot and I must say I got a bit bored at the meetings lately … because the public talk has never anything
New or interesting to offer and the watchtower articles are all kept in the simplified language and
Bible texts are never analyzed or explained well … it’s all just statements.
And as you are saying „reminds of“ statements.
I always thought it is because of a great portion of JW’s growth potential is in Africa and South America
Where people often have lower education so they want to keep it more simple.
Even for reasons of quick translation it’s easier to when it’s kept short and on the point.
But it’s sad on the other hand because it does not feel like real bible study.
Well it is how it is ….
I do enjoy reading older publications from the 1950s-1970s.
You are often mentioning books and articles from older sources 1930s – 1950s -> is there
Any source in the internet where I could access those publications ?
I couldn’t find any.
Neither could I find to download or purchase your book “Can we Trust the Bible? With Focus on the Creation Account, the Worldwide Flood, and the Prophecies“. Since on my studies about the flood I was really struggling to believe it really happened.
Could you name me a source where I can find the ePub ?
I also found it very interesting that you did not doubt the fulfillment of 1914.
I am having a real struggle to see that 1914 had any significance.
You explain it in your book, but still the „7 times“ – I don’t see a „biblical rule“ in days are years.
And the word „times“ – why weeks ?
Why would Jehovah choose a pagan king to foreshadow his kingdom ?
As I see it – the last days started when Jesus died and went up to heaven.
He is waiting to judge the earth but on my view I was king since he went back to heaven.
He was ruling over the congregation since then in the invisible sense from the heavens and will come with the clouds during the great tribulation.
The explanation of the word parousia as presence does not convince me, because really the disciples asking Jesus where asking him
When he would come back. They were saying the word parousia and they for sure didn’t have in mind an invisible presence.
Even that John doesn’t mention the whole scenario is interesting since he wrote ist book after the destruction of Jerusalem.
Well I have said enough for today,
I hope you are doing well and it would be kind if you could take a moment to tell me about the sources
Of your books and the older WT publications.
Thank you very much in advance,