A former Jehovah’s Witness shares why she walked away for good
“We would have Bible studies, and I even preached from door to door. I was very well versed in the Bible. I knew the Bible back and forth. All the books in the Bible.”
Andrea grew up in a family of devout Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“My grandmother was a pioneer. She converted a lot of people to that religion.”
Like all enthusiastic followers, they owned a copy of the “Let God Be True,” which was written, printed, and distributed by the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. Andrea embraced its teachings and followed all of JW’s beliefs to a T.
She didn’t celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any other holidays, and she avoided birthday celebrations. She didn’t party, she didn’t drink, and she stayed out of politics.
Instead, Andrea spent her time attending meetings at Kingdom Hall, sharing her faith, and being with her family. She was especially close to her sister Cynthia.
When Cynthia became friends with George, who was a member of the Church Of Christ, Andrea had her guard up because she refused to let someone from another religion influence their faith. She tried to push his friendship away, which meant pushing Cynthia away too. But she realized she couldn’t help her sister if she remained at a distance. So when Cynthia invited her to meet George and his family at a gathering, she felt obliged to go.
She met George, his family, and a few others from the Church Of Christ, including Brother Eddie San Gabriel, a Minister of the Gospel. The gathering was a Bible study.
Andrea started to panic and pulled Cynthia aside.
“What are you doing? Have you lost your mind? This is another religion. Why are you doing this?” Andrea was upset.
“I just want you to listen to the doctrines. Andee. I believe this with my whole heart. I just want you to listen,” Cynthia begged.
“Because I love my sister so much, I felt like I had to give her the opportunity to just listen. We grew up together. We’re a year and a half apart. We shared everything our whole lives, and I felt like I had to give her that opportunity to the point where, if this was the wrong path, at least I would have a chance to change her mind. “
Andrea sat down. She listened and protected her faith and the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses until her beliefs could no longer defend her.
Struggling with the questions Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot answer
Brother Eddie San Gabriel challenged Andrea’s beliefs, and in the process she learned two powerful things that peeled her away from remaining a Jehovah’s Witness.
1. Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught to welcome doctrinal changes.
“The minister who was teaching my Bible lessons (in the Church Of Christ) mentioned the “Let God Be True” book in my studies, and he asked me if I knew that the doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses had changed over the years. In the book, they [JW] taught that Jesus Christ is a Mighty God. And at one time their teaching was that Jesus was like God or was a God.”
But why should doctrines change? Feeling deceived by the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, she confronted her grandmother.
“It’s old and we don’t use it anymore. The ‘Let God Be True’ book was written by imperfect men, and imperfect men make mistakes, and it was a mistake”
Right away, Andrea recognized that there was nothing Biblical about her grandmother’s answer. The truth is, Jehovah’s witnesses are taught to welcome doctrinal changes as adjustments or “new light,” and they have a long list of beliefs and doctrines that have changed since the church was established.
And so after learning from the Bible that God commissions or sends people to communicate the truth, Andrea came to the conclusion that those who wrote the “Let God be True” book could not have been commissioned by God.
“If the Jehovah’s Witnesses were the true religion, sanctioned by God, there would be no room for error and no mistakes!”
Her grandmother had no response.
As she started to lose trust in the unsteady teachings of JW, Andrea turned to the Church Of Christ for doctrinal stability because, in the Church Of Christ, everything that they follow is written in the Bible.
Nothing is added, subtracted, or changed to conform to society’s standards because, in the Church Of Christ, the Bible is the basis of their faith
2. The establishment of Jehovah’s Witnesses is not in the Bible.
When Andrea learned that the re-emergence of the Church Of Christ is clearly found in the Bible, she looked into the origins of JW and found that there was no Biblical proof to support JW’s establishment.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses originated as a branch of the Bible Student movement, which was founded by Charles Taz Russell, a Christian Restorationist minister. They adopted the name Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1931.
“The fact that the [Church Of Christ minister] can go to the Bible and prove when, where, and how the Church was established in these last days is the reason I am a member of the Church Of Christ! No other religion can do that. Included with this the commissioning of the Last Messenger! These doctrines made perfect sense to me!”
The more the doctrines made sense, the more she wanted to keep learning.
“He [the minister] handed me the Bible, and he told me, ‘From now on, when we look up a scripture, I want you to look it up, and I want you to read it.’ And that was the biggest help for me in reaffirming me that what he was telling me was the truth. I had to see it, I had to look it up, and I had to read myself. “
And the more she embraced the truth, the more her family tried to stop her.
“I remember I was getting ready to leave [for worship service in the Church Of Christ], it was early in the morning and it was on a Saturday. And he [my dad] told me that, ‘If you go to that Church, don’t come back. You have no place in this house.’ He told me to pack my things and go.”
It was important for Andrea to have a relationship with God, and to worship Him the right way. She learned she couldn’t get that from being a Jehovah’s Witness.
“And then from that day, I never looked back. I never once doubted the decision that I made on that day to leave my family and to become a member of the Church Of Christ.”
Finally leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses
After completing her Bible studies, Andrea was baptized into the Church Of Christ in 1981. She has never found a discrepancy between what is written in the Bible and the teachings taught in the Church Of Christ.
“To this day I search, I study, and I read. I have never been able to find anything more true than what is taught by the Church Of Christ. “
Andrea is thankful for the new life God has blessed her with.
“You know I couldn’t see my life any other way. I have two beautiful children that I adore, that God blessed me with, and are very active in the Church. I have a loving husband that I adore. I have my duty. I’m a Choir Member.
And even though it was a challenging journey, she doesn’t regret it.
“When you’re a convert, you know what it’s like to be in the world. You know what it’s like to have no hope. To have no faith. You know what it’s like to not have the spiritual substance that you can grab on to. And you have no promise. And when you’re a member of the Church Of Christ, the peace that you have in knowing that the promise that God has made to you will be fulfilled is everything. We have hope, and we have a promise that no one else on this Earth has. They may think they do, but we have seen, we have seen the proof that our God is real. That our faith is true. “