What is the answer?
After a lifetime spent under an unbelievable level of control, it can be very challenging for those who were part of the "rank and file" to know what they need to do to be acceptable to God. Fortunately, the answer may be far simpler than you may think. Our Father only asks of us that we observe his commandments, to love him, love others and love everything as it pertains to the things that are righteous, and to minister to others when we can. These things we should do "according to what we have resolved in our heart."(2 Cor 9:7) How simple is that?
As mentioned earlier in this website, I spent a total of 45 years in the organization, 36 of them baptized. And though I have many fond memories, it came with an extraordinary cost. I came to realize, generally through the efforts of others (who had left and were where I am now), that it was not the works that would decide our salvation. Is it any wonder that the apostle Paul wrote, "Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness."
While both faith and works compliment each other, it is faith that the apostle highlighted as being the primary factor associated with our salvation. It was by genuine faith that we are motivated as Christians to help others, and to glorify God. Such faith needed to be spontaneous, and as such, the works would automatically fall in line.
This is part of the issue I had in the organization. The majority of my life was spent seeking out more and more privilege, engaging in more works in an attempt to be viewed as righteous, or acceptable to God. Handling the mics, the sound ("mixer"), the stage, literature, reading the Watchtower, giving talks, etc etc . Showing up for service, even though there were many times I wanted to do something else, for fear of not "living up." I loved doing all these things for God... but they are meant to be seen (in the organization) as necessary, as Christians, to be acceptable.. especially in the congregation. Let's face it, if a brother was not handling the mics, he was viewed as having some sort of discipline.
I remember being told by the Presiding Overseer (now called the Coordinator), that to use a brother for a privilege, I needed to occasionally observe if their magazine, or study material was underlined. I was also told that any brother that was to be used for the microphones, or other duties, had to be reporting at least six hours a month in the ministry. This greatly disillusioned me! I understood the word of God, and never could find any justification, scripturally, for this kind of reasoning. Yet surprisingly, most in the organization accept this as not just standard, but completely reasonable. If a brother had a beard, he was not used. If he didn't wear a two-piece suit, there was no privilege on stage.
The organization has benefited us all greatly. We have learned a lot through the many years associated. We have learned how to cope with a variety of friends, often times, coming from a completely different background than ourselves. It taught us commitment to the things we held sacred and holy. It helped us establish a fine network of friends, those that we trusted implicitly. We grew to love our Father Jehovah, his son, and the things associated with righteousness. Yes, much we have gained. But it came at a cost that in no way is required by our Father! All these works cannot gain us life. We must be spontaneously driven out of love to worship our God. We should not be left to feel that our love of God and the things that pertain to holiness is acquired through the works we give. Our works come later. Engaging in the works (described above) congregationally, or organizationally does not yield to an approved status before our Lord. There is no way around that.
Notice the admonition at Philippians 3:8,9: "More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith."
Yes, we are to be found in Christ! Not the Jehovah's Witnesses, Lutherans, Baptists, or any other religion of many sorts. We are to be found in our Master Jesus. For many of these faiths are in their own respects, bound by the charters and law. We must be allowed to worship in a manner that is free from such laws. The fact is, you cannot legislate a person's faith! You cannot lead by establishing rules, dictates, policy, procedure or anything else for that matter. We must worship out of faith and free will, and that is part of the Christian freedom we (should) enjoy as Witnesses under Christ. But it is a freedom we are NOT allowed in the organization! In fact, we do not understand at all what true Christian freedom is, or what it means!
The fact is, is there are many millions in differing Christian faiths earth wide who are giving their attention to our Master Jesus now. There are literally hundreds of thousands meeting in underground China who meet regularly to worship. According to the pew report, there are as many as 80 million Christians now in China. They recognize their Master Jesus and give him their worship. This they are doing in lieu of putting their lives in danger. And the message of our Master, Jesus is a message they received by Christian ministers who were willing to put their own lives in jeopardy to bring the message of the good news of our Lord to them! While we know ultimate worship belongs to our Father, Jehovah, nonetheless these ones are giving attention to the place of his son, Jesus. And this is holy. Jesus said, "And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." Also, the scriptures say: "Who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him." Yes, these ones are giving attention to their Master.
They, in time, will be taught about our Father Jehovah. But they are exercising their faith in Jesus now. And this is holy. Even with false understandings of such topics as "hell," they are willing to be persecuted for their Lord and Savior, Jesus. They will, in time, learn the truth about these false doctrine's. Will they at that time change their attitude's regarding these false beliefs? Answer: WE DID!
There are also those turning their attention in multitudes in Saudi Arabia. What proof that the good news is being spread around the world. Also, in refugee camps in Iraq, entire camps are being taught about Christ Jesus and are turning their lives around to recognize him. Like already mentioned, these ones will someday be taught about our dear Father, Jehovah. All these ones, and many more are being declared righteous now. They will someday, in the new system, be taught about our loving Father, Jehovah. And because of the good condition of their hearts, and turning their attention to Jesus, they will no doubt be thrilled to learn about our Father! All of these ones around the world are serving as an answer to wickedness. We are all part of Christ' congregation.
The will to give out of a spontaneous heart, a heart that desires to be bound by the scriptures is a holy thing. This law of faith, and the law of love (as it is given to us by God's spirit) must motivate us toward a life of holiness before our Master Jesus and our dear Father Jehovah. And it is these things that remain the aggregate of what is expected of us as Christians. Yes....... how truly refreshing!
PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINKS IN THE OPENING HEADER TO SEE VIDEO PROOF
OF THESE DIFFERENT ONE'S TURNING TO CHRIST.