Jehovah’s Witnesses define apostates in a manner presented to them by their Watchtower magazine. In The Watchtower Feb 15 2004, in the study article, Guard Against Deception, they have twisted scriptures to promote their definition of “apostates” In that Watchtower article they have defined seven types of apostates.
- Ones who may believe in Jehovah & the bible but reject the visible part of his organization.
- Ones who may have returned to the “god-dishonoring doctrines of Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion.”
- Ones who are not content to leave the faith they once believed is true.
- Ones who often want to take others with them.
- Ones who, “rather than going out and making their own disciples, seek to “draw away the disciples [that is, Christ’s disciples] after themselves”.” 1
- Ones who are false teachers “who will carry you off as his prey.”
- Ones who are “like a kidnapper who carries an unsuspecting victim away from his family, apostates prey upon trusting members of the congregation, seeking to carry them away from the flock.”
Responses from so-called “Apostates”
- Ones who believe the Governing Body is the “False Prophet” (Rev. 16:13).
- Ones who have come to realize that Jehovah’s Witnesses are a “god-dishonoring” captive cult.
- You cannot just “leave the faith” without being completely shunned.
- Because it is important for ex-members help family & friends who shun them understand they are part of a cult.
- JWs are not “Christ’s Disciples” and there is no apostate that this website is aware of that wants to “draw away .. disciples after themselves”.1
- This is the Pot calling the Kettle black.
- Kidnappers don’t kidnap their own family & friends. ExJWs simply want to help their kin come to the realization that they are in a cult, a cult that has removed true freedom from their lives and indoctrinated them to the point where its members have effects similar to Stockholm Syndrome.
The DRILL Proposal
Understanding how Jehovah’s Witnesses define and view apostates is very important if we are to help Jehovah’s Witnesses come to realize they are in a cult. Understanding how we as ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses are depicted in their literature should help us to understand how we are stereotyped. We need to avoid being stereotyped. Instead, we need to re-evaluate the methods we use to help Jehovah’s Witnesses. We love Jehovah’s Witnesses. We do not love the cult that controls every aspect of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ lives. In fact, we abhor any disgusting human organization that attempts to put itself in the position of God. We detest the false use of that position to control the lives of unsuspecting individuals. After all, the governing-body-believing individuals (Jehovah’s Witnesses) only want to do what they believe is right in the eyes of God. Let’s remember that.
The Drill Proposal is an idea where we take into consideration the above and re-evaluate how we help Jehovah’s Witnesses. Let’s not be the stereotype. Let’s not be the ones who Jehovah’s Witnesses view as “angry and crazy apostates” shouting out slogans and handing out negative-only leaflets at the entrances to Kingdom Halls, Assembly Halls or at Conventions.
The letters in D.R.I.L.L. stand for Discreet, Respectful, Informative, Loving, Loyalty.
D. for Discreet
The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses interpret the parable at Matthew 24:45-47 as a prophecy from Christ describing themselves. The truth is, the Governing Body are not very discreet. At least not in modern times. One only has to take a quick look at jw.org to see that the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses are not very prudent. Subjects of a delicate matter such as child abuse and homosexuality are handled in a thoughtless manner, showing a complete lack of respect and empathy for those affected.
On the other hand, ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses see the Governing Body for who they really are – a false prophet – who mislead many through their unclean utterances (Rev. 16:13). Knowing this, we do not want to be like the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses who make silly statements and then have to clarify such impudent accounts with supplemental letters.
Rather, we want to be discreet in our dealings with Jehovah’s Witnesses. We must be careful in how we present evidence to them. How do you tactfully explain to someone that they are in a mind-controlling cult? Obviously, we do not want to irk them. We want to help them. Why? Because we love them. After all, we have family and friends who are still members and, of course, we love them very much. Did we leave Jehovah’s Witnesses because we hated our families and friends and wanted to be shunned? Of course not. That’s a ridiculous notion! We left because we came to learn that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not have the truth. We know that their use of the term “the truth” to refer to their organization is an indoctrination method. Pure and simple. We want our friends and family to learn the “truth about the truth”. To do this, we need to be discreet in our dealings with them. We need to exert a demeanor of mildness and self control. (Gal. 5: 23)
R is for Respectful
In conversations with Jehovah’s Witnesses we may find that they can be very disrespectful of former members, especially if they think that we are apostates. We are not to be surprised by this. This reaction is expected. After all, we were Jehovah’s Witnesses too. We too had a horrible dread of apostates. We believed them to be children of the devil himself. We need to keep this in mind when current members of Jehovah’s Witnesses disrespect us. If we remain discreet, continue to exert a demeanor of mildness and self control, we are more likely to win them over. Thus, they are sure to be surprised that we do not live up to the stereotype that we’ve been depicted as by The Watchtower. Try answering disrespectful comments with a loving response. If you find that you are beginning to become angry, leave the conversation immediately. Do not let your anger get the better of you. (Eccl. 7:9)
I is for Informative
As Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses, we know what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe. We know all the scriptures they know. We know how they interpret scriptures, how they reason with them, and what tools they use to help them in their ministry. However, we are more informed than any Jehovah’s Witness. Why? Because we have an objective view of scripture and Jehovah’s Witnesses’ doctrine. We are no longer shackled to the Watchtower’s unreasonable requirement that we read only their literature and accept their interpretation. We, as ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses, are a very informed group of individuals.
However, being informed doesn’t necessarily mean that we are better equipped to deal with Jehovah’s Witnesses’ reasoning. Consider for a moment: A highly trained archer with one arrow is more deadly than an amateur with ten. We need to be clever in how we inform family and friends about the seedier side of the Watchtower’s teachings. We need to be able to show them in a discreet and respectful way how those teachings have had a very negative impact on their lives. And, unfortunately, thousands of members have paid the ultimate price for such teachings.
Consider the information found on this website and on many other ex-Jehovah’s Witness websites around the world. All of these sites are designed for two reasons:
- To help Jehovah’s Witnesses learn the truth about their cult.
- To help others who may be considering becoming members that they are about to join a cult.
All the individuals who have created these sites have given of their time freely to help Jehovah’s Witnesses and to help society at large. None are trying to draw away members after themselves. Read the information on these websites. Reflect on the arguments provided. Verify the data. Verify the data. Verify the data. We cannot stress verification enough. Once you have verified that what we have said is truth, then you have proven the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses as liars. When you have proven them to be liars, you’ll be like the highly trained archer – one arrow will be enough to help your family and friends: Show them the lies. If they lie about one thing, what’s to say they haven’t lied about a lot of things? (John 8:44)
L is for Loving
We love our family. We love our friends. All humans do. Even most Jehovah’s Witnesses miss the family & friends whom they shun. It’s just the severe indoctrination that they undergo that leads them to believe that it is a “loving provision”. They believe that shunning an ex-member is “shunning what is bad” (Job 1:8). After all, when a member is disfellowshipped or disassociated, they are simply informed at their congregation meeting that the member is “no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses”. They are not informed of the reasons for their expulsion but they are required to shun that member from that moment on. Bear in mind that any Jehovah’s Witness who does not shun a member who is disfellowshipped or disassociated, they risk the same fate.
Therefore, as ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses, we need to understand the undue pressure placed upon current members of Jehovah’s Witnesses to shun us. We need to be loving and considerate of their predicament, in the same way as we understand our current predicament.
L is for Loyalty
We may have left the cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses months or even years. We may still be struggling with the adverse impact of shunning. But we must always remember that we are not alone. There are many other ex-members who are struggling with the same issues. We have each other. We must remain loyal to ourselves and to each other. United we stand, divided we fall.
More importantly, our loyalty to our convictions that Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult may have the opposite effect that the Governing Body envisioned when they placed undue pressure on our families and friends to shun us. Our friends and families may question WHY we have not returned to “the truth”. In their minds, they may be thinking, ‘if it’s a loving provision, surely s/he’ll see the error in their ways and return to Jehovah in time.’ But if we don’t, they may want to know why. If we return to the Watchtower society, even after years from leaving it, we have only convinced them that their shunning works.
To maintain loyalty to ourselves, to our families and to our friends, we must resist giving in to the unscriptural demands of an organization controlled by blood-guilty men.
1 When Jehovah’s Witnesses refer to apostates seeking to “draw away disciples after themselves” they are most likely referring to Christian denominations who attempt to help Jehovah’s Witnesses learn about the real Jesus Christ; but these are not apostates because they were never Jehovah’s Witnesses to begin with.