Ex-JW apologist network idea

As some of you may or may not know, i’m sometimes involved in discipling and answering questions from those who have left or are in the process of leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  This is a humbling priviledge and something I am very happy to do.  Just recently, however, i’ve learned of a great need that I couldn’t possibly accomplish on my own.  That is, we need a network.  We need a network of informed Christians who not only know their theology really well, but Jehovah’s Witness theology too.

Let me use a recent contact as an example.  I was contacted by a gentlemen who had been disfellowshipped from the organization for various reasons.  Obviously, this would include a relatively lengthy period of shunning.  Even if he were to return in repentance, he didn’t feel that he would be welcomed, given a chance to really explain himself, and would have to undergo a period of time whereby he would be given a minimal amount of contact with the congregation.  Obviously, I can’t verify everything that is going on and can only take him at his word.

But here’s the bottom line: he feels extremely condemend, has major doubts regarding some JW doctrine, desires to know the truth on what the Bible teaches, and wants a community of believers.

I’ve spent a number of hours with him on the phone and doing my best to answer his questions.  But this really isn’t going to cut it.  What he needs is an individual who can meet with him, disciple him, answer his questions, and get him plugged in with a local community of Christians.  Unfortunately, I simply cannot provide this to him at this time.

I’m guessing that there are many more out there like him; JW’s who have been disfellowshipped or exited who want help.  As many of us know, a lot of these ones end up abandoning anything spiritual or religious altogether.  I don’t want that to happen if I can help it.  These need to be treated with compassion and given truth in hopes that they will embrace the gospel.

Ideally, here is what I would propose unless such a thing exists already.  A website that lists trusted contacts in all the major cities in the US (maybe even internationally too?).  I would propose that each contact meet a set of qualifications.  While I haven’t thought about the specifics yet, each contact would be capable of discipleship, know their theology well, belong to a local fellowship, hold to a particular statement of faith (not yet established), has experience with the JW’s, and knows JW theology well.  This would simply be a list that is categorized by city where anyone could visit this website and find someone who is willing to sit down with them in public.  Assuming I would qualify, I would be one such person in the Atlanta area.

I’m sure some would suggest that there are already such sites out there.  I’ve seen many of these and found them to beneficial in some respects.  But here are some of the shortcomings i’ve seen:

  • It’s filled with Christians and non-Christians
  • A lot of these are simply discussion forums
  • It might be discouraging for someone who is desparate for help.
  • Not everyone is vulnerable enough to post in a public forum.
  • There’s no telling how good or bad the forum’s theology might be.
  • It could do more harm than good.  What if they found someone in a forum who is a very bitter ex-JW; or worse, an atheist who leads them away from Christ?

I’m sure I could think of more, but I am thinking of a place with a much more specific filter.  Think about how beneficial this could be!  Knowledgeable Christians all over the country who are readily available to help disciple ex-JW’s!

I would propose a URL that is very simple: http://www.jwhelp.org or something similar.

I’m very open to ideas.  Who wants to help get this going?  Either contact me directly using the contact tab at the top or leave your comments here.

20 thoughts on “Ex-JW apologist network idea

  1. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Mike,

    For those who have drifted away and wish to return the door is open for them to do so. In fact, if they can firmly state that they want to live according to Biblical standards and not return to their sin, there is no need to retroact their judgment and create a disfellowshipping. That is our policy.

    In fact, I would be most willing to help someone in this situation as I have done in the past.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham-

      I’m sure that is the policy. Part of this person’s hesitation is that they claimed to have been completely repentant before even being disfellowshipped. Yet, because of the action itself, they sought to disfellowship anyway. Probably a much more complex situation than perhaps what I’m being told, but one can only go off the info they’ve been given. Obviously, from my standpoint, I’m happy that they are coming to me rather than going back to the KH 🙂

  2. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Mike,

    Just so you know, we are against disfellowshipping in the event of real repentance. However, this doesn’t mean it can’t happen wrongfully. There is a double appeal system in place if someone feels they were wrongfully disfellowshipped, which, from my experience over 30 years, has worked well in overturning wrong decisions. It’s not a perfect system but it is something that is commanded from the scriptures to perform when necessary.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

  3. rotherham2 says:

    Plus, the elders are instructed to call on all disfellowshipped ones in their area (if they are aware of them) to encourge them to return if they are interested. Disfellowshipped ones can interact with the elders to a reasonable degree in their efforts to come back.

    Regards

  4. Heber Perez says:

    Mike

    http://www.4Jehovah.com has a similar service from ex-jws and it truly is very helpful. When I was having questions and doubts they got me in touch with ex-jws that helped me personally. I studied with an xjw for about six month via the phone answering many of my questions. I totally agree with you that sometimes it takes an ex-jw to understand what the person is asking. I had problems asking Christians certain questions, because they did not understand Jehovah’s Witness theology and sometimes they simply dismiss my question without truly answering it.

  5. Octavio says:

    The Society does not help people, they want more robots to obey the policies of the governing body. This theology is destructive. … I don’t believe that a witness who knows the truth about the Society’s Truth, would want to remain there. ….. On the other hand I don’t live in US, but I know some ex-witnesses who live in US who are mature christians and they can give spiritual support for any ex-witness who wants to follow Christ in freedom. Just send me an email.

  6. Octavio says:

    Rotherham says : “Well, if he is wise, he will see through the folly of Christendom’s answers.”….this phrase shows very well the blindness of the Watchtower leaders. This is why they are not shocked after reading the Finished Msytery, because they identify themselves with that unstable theological falsehood.

  7. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Mike,

    Just an FYI. It has come to my attention that Octavio is also Arius on an X-JW website entitled ChannelC. Apparently, he does not acept the Bible as inerrant. I thought you should know.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham-

      I’ll leave Octavio to clarify his position on that. I haven’t come up with the qualifications yet, but inerrancy will surely be one of them. Nonetheless, I’ve appreciated Octavio’s input on various topics.

  8. Octavio says:

    As I see, Rotherham likes to read X-JW websites in contradiction with the Governing Body advice. My personal name is Octavio, What is your personal name Rotherham?….. …I see that Rotherham is concerned about my identity, why??

  9. Octavio says:

    Hi Mike, I am just offering my help for witnesses who need help, and I know mature ex-witnesses who are christian who can help them and live in US. Of course, if you want for that help christians who are trinitarians and believe in the immortality of the soul, those ex-witnesses are not, but they can give spiritual support without treating doctrine. On the other hand, as you know, I have created a webpage in which I expose the Watchtower falsehood, and I use orthodox christian arguments to expose the doctrines of the Watchtower. In that webpage you will not find any criticism against the Bible. The Bible itself shows that The Watchtower Society is not following the early christian tradition taught by the Apostles. That’s all.

  10. Mike Felker says:

    Heber-

    The site you linked to can be a valuable resource for those leaving or have left the org. The closest thing I could find to what i’m proposing are their forums and their link to the ex-JW meetup groups. While forums can be quite useful, they aren’t quite what i’m looking for and wouldn’t work for the guy i’m discipling at this time. As far as the meetup groups, a lot of them describe themselves as “religiously neutral.” That raises a few red flags for me, though I don’t deny that they may provide some psychological aid.

    Jeff-

    That could be a great resource as well, but not always practical for those living on the other side of the country.

    I definitely don’t want to reinvent the wheel here and would love to see such a network listing if such a thing already exists. So I may go ahead and get started on the list and host it on this site until it becomes large enough to consider creating a website of its own.

    Thanks for everyone’s input!

  11. Matthew Purves says:

    Hi,

    I have just stumbled across this website and it’s great. Briefly, my story is that I was an elder and Bethelite who came out of JWs a few years back after receiving Christ. I put my testimony on YouTube and even tried some apologetic stuff but I didn’t feel it was my calling – plus there are much better apologists out there like yourself. I am now an elder in an evangelical church in Manchester, England. I have a good grasp of WT theology (although it’s difficult to keep up with the changes), so if I can be of help feel free to contact me.

    Matthew

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