Is this a bad thing to get into?(32 Posts)
I wasn't raised in any religion and sort of ended up feeling like something was missing. I started searching around various Christian denominations (as I felt a really strong call to Christianity) and spent a few months at a local Methodist church. It really wasn't what I expected. It just seemed like something people did on a Sunday (sat through a short sermon and then had a coffee and chat) without much emphasis on living by the Bible day to day.
Now I have been chatting to a Jehovah's Witness couple that came to the door and went to a Sunday meeting (just one) and it was so different to the church. The lady was telling me about they way they live and how it is all based on the Bible. She joined in her 30s and said she had to give up smoking as Jehovah's Witnesses don't smoke. I think they drink though.
Anyway! I am freaked out now as I have heard some bad things about them and even heard it described as a cult. You don't really see other Christian churches (Methodist etc.) described like that. So now I am really torn and worried that I might get into something I shouldn't. They all seemed so friendly but then my rational side is saying that they would always be nice to the new visitor. The Jehovah's Witness that invited me lives really close to me and was talking about getting me some books and said about a Bible study. It would be nice to have someone to talk to but at the same time I am worried that it wouldn't be real. I don't have many friends at all and none that are Christian church goers. So I feel kind of lonely.
I just don't trust my judgement!
You should look at Islam or Buddhism too. You don't want to choose the wrong religion for you. There are many Gods around and many cultures.
Or maybe the 'void in your life' is not religion at all?
darlingdaffodils how is it going?
If you can't find an Alpha course locally why not see what mainstream churches there are locally and if any are running any kind of seeker friendl courses out there. E.G.
'Glad you asked' or 'The Emmaus Course'.
Hope you find something useful.
Just to clarify an earlier statement about Mormons- they are Christians. The full name of the church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Jesus Christ and his divinity are at the centre of their doctrine and teachings.
If you are a practising member of the church it's no coffee or tea but birthdays are good to go.
Check out www.mormon.org- there are lots of us out there.
It's very controlling. Over time, you find that "your conscience" won't let you do a lot of stuff, like read fantasy books, because Jehovah won't like it. The shunning begins to seem quite reasonable as well, because you need to keep the congregation "clean" and avoid worldly influences.
The insularity of the whole thing really shapes your thinking. Because you aren't exposed to/avoid outside opinion or people, or anything really, and because you believe that the governing body are God's mouthpiece on Earth and in direct contact with him, it all makes a strange kind of sense.
It's really hard to break away and even after you leave, the thought processes and fear can stay with you for years and years.
trust your instincts. Find a group that doesn't dictate how you live your life.
The disowning thing is strange.
I can't imagine not being able to read all the books I want! I read LOADS!
I find the JW's very scary. My mum said she joined at a low time (she is jewish) and whilst in the Cult you werent allowed to read ANY books except church approved ones or make friends except church approved friends. Who else isolates you like that except a cult? Thank goodness she escaped.
This was long before I was born btw.
I have met some VERY rude JW, the fact that my friends mum disowned her for coming out of the religion is enough to put one of.
No need to apologize to me - I'm not a Witness. Just think that people need to be accurate in what they describe. I've had a long association with them and they've never talked about a special book (other than the bible) written by a prophet, nor have I ever seen such info in any of their (copious) publications. I'm personally a lot less inclined to use the term cult these days, as tbh, it could quite easily be used of many mainstream Christianity too.
Apologies KeyHarker, think the local JW's must have their wires crossed as thats what I was told when I questioned them on what they believe in town the other week!
Labro, whilst I can't speak to the experiences you relate, some of your facts about Witnesses are wrong - they do believe in one god, and they don't have a book full of special teachings written by a prophet. I think you may have your wires crossed with LDS.
Most churches will have some kind of 'statement of belief' which will give you a better idea of what it is they truly believe and stand for. I would warn against joining any group until you take a look their views on key issues ( you might be surprised by the Mormon / JW views about who Jesus is, for example) rather than comparative 'details' such as birthdays etc.
And of course you should pray for God to lead you in the right direction.
I hope you find a friendly, Bible-believing church soon OP
JW's are a cult. They draw people in by being friendly and welcoming and making you feel wanted. My neighbour ended up getting involved as she was a foriegner and felt very alone in the UK. She was married to a lapsed Muslim. They literally brainwashed her by coming to her house whenever her husband was away (she ended up hiding from them in my home) and became very unpleasant when she decided it wasn't for her.
Another elderly friend was convinced to sign all her money over to them and again they rejected her when her children intervened.
A work colleague was left with huge depression after 'breaking away' from them (she was married to a JW and lost the right to see her children as she didn't subscribe to their 'religion'
They are not a church, they do not believe in one god or the Trinity (father, son, holy spirit)
They worship a prophet who has laid down teachings in a special book.
As above they do not allow receiving of blood products even in a critical situation.
Quite simply they are not a group of friends meeting up for a coffee and a chat, they are a cult.
If you are lonely and want to explore christian religions then the Alpha course is an excellent starting point. If the only thing standing in your way is location, then contact the nearest one you have information for and they will put you in touch with a more local one or find a way of helping you with transport.
If you are lonely and looking for social groups the Lions Club have a younger stream (can't think what they are called) as do the Rotary club which focus on social events and putting something back into the community.
Please stay away from the JW's
It is only a small group that meets up - mixed ages though. Couple of babies right up to elderly. They all seem to know each other and get along.
`I know folk who are JWs and they MOST CERTAINLY DONT ignore their non JW frs and fam(inc those who've left JWs) .....what springytoofs says is def nothing like them at all!! So maybe the OP's group are nice.....dont tar everyone with the same brush
Hmmmmm no courses close enough for me to get to.
I have been thinking about it a lot and decided to go to a meeting - seemed like less commitment than signing up for a study.
Everyone was nice - they all seemed to know each other as well. I am not good at meeting new people (shy) so that was a bit scary as most people walked over to chat to me.
I was thinking that it must be so hard to join up as an adult. I mean if you are sort of born into it then people know what to expect from you. But if you join as an adult there are all sorts of complications like work raffles and birthdays when you always used to celebrate them and suddenly don't.
Sorry darlingdaffodils 'go to' sounded bossy! I mean IF you go to.... you can.... I really thin Alpha is a fun way to find out more.
Mormons are not Christians either. They believe something different.
There are lots and lots of Christian churches, in fact in order to get to a JW or Mormon place you would probably need to walk or drive past a whole ton of churches unless you live next door to one of course!
you can do an Alpha course in almost any town in the UK and in all kinds of places all over the world. It started in the Anglican (C of E) church but now is in all kinds of churches. Go to
and put in your postcode.
Don't worry if you are going alone, you will make friends. If worried about going alone put postcode in and see which is closest and happening first and then contact them. See if the organiser or one of the team can chat you by phone or email before the course starts up and meet you at the door on the first night. (just my suggestion.)
After springytoofs terribly sad tale of what happens within JWs I hope you will see they are not a group that it is good to get mixed up with. All best wishes.
I would really love to be part of a group. A friend of mine is starting doing an Alpha course soon but she lives miles and miles away from me.
I can study the Bible on my own but just feel like I am missing out on the meeting with other believers thing like in Hebrews 10 : 24.
Another lady I met is a Mormon but, again, there isn't a local group. Plus you aren't allowed to drink coffee - not sure if they have birthdays though.
What do Jehovah's Witnesses do if they live with family that aren't Jehovah's Witnesses then? You can't ignore people that you live with!
What sort of direction are you looking for? Part of a group?
run for the hills! It is a cult. My extended family are crawling with JWs and once you're in you never get out. They ignore any family members who aren't in the JWs ie brother, sisters etc. My cousin was abused by her husband (both JWs) and she left him; she was excommunicated [this was done by calling her out to the front and publicly shaming her, then throwing her out] and her family wouldn't stay in the same room as her. For years she had no-one (whilst trying to come to terms with the trauma of the abusive marriage); meanwhile, her family had her abusive ex to dinner, parties etc and generally kept him loved-up - because he stayed in the fellowship.
anyway, that's just one story. They are a cult (I'm not even going to say imo). Please try a different church - there are many churches that are alive and lovely, loving and warm; where members take their faith seriously.
(sorry to beg btw lol)
Floppityflop Why would your * DH would think there was something wrong with me if I suddenly started going to a church or whatever (and he is confirmed in the CofE).*?? Either his faith is important to him or not, either way it should not meant you feel you cannot explore Christianity if you wish to. I am a fan of Alpha because it is enjoyable (for me) and a fun way of finding out about faith. I have also found the churches that run Alpha to be ones which are open and inviting.
You said I still feel very wary., what are you wary of? Good luck with whatever you do. It is too important a decision to leave to others.
darlingdaffodils I think at the end of the day you yourself will need to decide what you do.
There is nothing wrong with trying out different churches. Ask questions, ask about what they believe and check on their website for a statement of faith. Do you want women to have equal opportunities in leadership? Ask if they have women leaders or would be opposed to them. Just my thoughts. As I say, your call. But I think if you investigate it you will see they are different from mainstream Christian beliefs and as Armadale so eloquently puts it, "If you feel a really strong call to Christianity, follow that, don't let yourself be fobbed off with some half hearted lie that puts you back into having to earn Gods love."
I wasn't brought up in any religion because there were several (Christian) denominations in my family (we even had an RC nun and an Anglican monk though!). I often find myself thinking that it would be great to go to church and I would say I am quite a spiritual person. But, not having been brought up religious, I tend to view all forms of organised religion with some suspicion and I think my DH would think there was something wrong with me if I suddenly started going to a church or whatever (and he is confirmed in the CofE). Both the social and spiritual aspects appeal, but I still feel very wary. I also know a lot of religious people who are not particularly pleasant or respectful of others, so I am not sure it is doing a lot for them or society in general, apart from making others feel bad... Also I would feel a bit odd trying them for size! Quakerism is closest to my own personal world view, but how do I know that I am right?
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