This will be a short video. I wanted to get it out quickly because I am moving to a new apartment, and that’s going to slow me down for a few weeks with regard to the output of more videos. A good friend and fellow Christian has generously opened his home to me and provided me with a dedicated studio which will help me make better quality videos in less time. I’m very grateful to him.
First of all, I wanted to deal with matters of minor importance that many have been asking about.
As you may know from viewing previous videos, I was called into a judicial committee by the congregation I left four years ago. In the end, they disfellowshipped me after creating an atmosphere too caustic to permit me to actually defend myself. I appealed and was confronted by an even more inhospitable and adversarial environment, making any reasonable defense impossible to mount. Following the failure of the second hearing, the chairman of the original committee and the chairman of the appeal committee called me to inform me that the branch office had reviewed the written objections I had made and found them “without merit”. Thus, the original decision to disfellowship stands.
You may not realize this, but when someone is disfellowshipped, there is one final appeal process left open to them. This is something the elders won’t tell you about—just another breach in their warped system of justice. You can appeal to the Governing Body. I have chosen to do this. If you’d like to read it yourself, click here: Appeal Letter to Governing Body.
Thus, I can now say that I am not disfellowshipped, but rather, the decision to disfellowship is in abeyance until they rule on whether to grant the appeal or not.
Some are bound to ask why I am even bothering to do this. They know that I don’t care whether I’m disfellowshipped or not. It’s a meaningless gesture on their part. A mean, counterproductive action that just gave me the opportunity to expose their hypocrisy to the world, thank you very much.
But having done that, why bother with a letter to the Governing Body and a final appeal. Because they have to respond and in so doing, they will either redeem themselves or expose their hypocrisy further. Until they reply, I can safely say that my case is under appeal and I am not disfellowshipped. Since the threat of disfellowshipping is the only arrow in their quiver—and a pretty pathetic one it is—they have to take some action.
I don’t want those men to say that I never gave them a chance. That would not be Christian. So here is their chance to do the right thing. Let’s see how it turns out.
When they called me to inform me that I was disfellowshipped and failed to tell me about the option to appeal to the Governing Body, they did not forget to explain the procedure to seek reinstatement. It was all I could do not to laugh. Reinstatement is a wholly unscriptural form of punishment designed to humiliate any dissenter so as to make them compliant and subservient to the power of the elders. It is not from the Christ, but is demonic.
I was raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses from infancy. I knew no other faith. I eventually came to see that I was a slave to the organization, not to the Christ. The words of the Apostle Peter certainly apply to me, for I only truly came to know the Christ after leaving the Organization that has replaced him in the minds and hearts of Witnesses.
“Certainly if after escaping from the defilements of the world by an accurate knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they get involved again with these very things and are overcome, their final state has become worse for them than the first. It would have been better for them not to have accurately known the path of righteousness than after knowing it to turn away from the holy commandment they had received. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog has returned to its own vomit, and the sow that was bathed to rolling in the mire.”” (2 Pe 2:20-22)
That would certainly be the case for me, were I to seek reinstatement. I have found the freedom of the Christ. You can see why the thought of submitting to the reinstatement process would be so abhorrent to me.
For some, disfellowshipping is the worst trial they’ve ever experienced. Sadly, it has driven more than a few to suicide, and for that there will surely be an accounting when the Lord returns to judge. In my case, I have only a sister and some very close friends, all of whom have awoken with me. I had a number of other friends I thought were close and trustworthy, but their loyalty to men over the Lord Jesus has taught me that they were not the true friends I thought they were at all, and that I could never have counted on them in a real crisis; so far better to have learned this now, than when it might really have mattered.
I can attest to the truthfulness of these words:
“Jesus said: “Truly I say to you, no one has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for my sake and for the sake of the good news 30 who will not get 100 times more now in this period of time—houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the coming system of things, everlasting life.” (Mark 10:29)
Now that we have got the unimportant news out of the way, I wanted to say that I’m getting letters from sincere individuals asking for my understanding or opinion on a wide range of issues. Some of these questions concern matters which I already plan to address carefully and scripturally in upcoming videos. Others are of a more personal nature.
With regards to the latter, it is not my place to become some sort of spiritual guru, for our leader is one, the Christ. So, while I’m willing to give of my time to assist others to understand whichever Bible principles may be applicable to their situation, I would never want to take the place of their conscience by imposing my opinion or by making rules. That is the mistake which the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses has made, and in fact, it is the failing of every religion which puts men in the place of the Christ.
Many naysayers question my motivation in producing these videos. They can see no reason for what I’m doing other than personal gain or pride. They accuse me of trying to start a new religion, of gathering followers after myself, and of seeking financial gain. Such misgivings are understandable given the appalling actions of most religionists who exploit their knowledge of Scripture to garner wealth and fame.
I have said it many times before, and I will say it once again, I will not start a new religion. Why not? Because I’m not insane. It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. Everyone who starts a religion ends up in the same place, the place were Jehovah’s Witnesses now stand.
For centuries, sincere, godly men have tried to fix the problems of their former religion by starting a new one, but the result has sadly never varied. Each religion ends up with a human authority, an ecclesiastical hierarchy, that requires its adherents to submit to its rules and its interpretation of truth to obtain salvation. Eventually men replace the Christ, and the commands of men become doctrines from God. (Mt 15:9) In this one thing, J. F. Rutherford was right: “Religion is a snare and a racket.”
Yet some ask, “How can one worship God without joining some religion?” A good question and one which I will answer in a future video.
What about the question of money?
Pretty much any worthwhile endeavor incurs costs. Funding is needed. Our goal is to preach the good news and unmask falsehoods. Recently, I added a link for those who wish to make donations to this ministry. Why? Simply put, we cannot afford to fund the work all by ourselves. (I say “we” because even though I’m the most visible face for this work, others contribute according to the gifts God has given them.)
The fact of the matter is that I make enough secularly to support myself. I don’t draw on donations for income. However, I also don’t make enough to support this work all by myself. As our reach expands, so do our costs.
There are the monthly rental costs for the web server we use to support the web sites; the monthly cost for the video processing software subscription; the monthly subscription for our podcasting service.
Looking forward, we have plans to produce books which I hope will be of benefit to this ministry, since a book is more convenient for research than a video, and it is a great way to get information into the hands of family and friends who are resistant to change and still enslaved by false religion.
For instance, I would like to produce a book that contains an analysis of all the doctrines that are unique to Jehovah’s Witnesses. Every last one of them.
Then there’s the very important topic of the salvation of humanity. Over the past few years I’ve come to see that every religion has gotten it wrong to a greater or lesser degree. They have to twist it to some degree so that they become an indispensable part of your salvation, otherwise, they would lose their hold on you. Tracing the story of our salvation from Adam and Eve to the end of the Kingdom of the Christ is a thrilling journey and needs to be told.
I want to ensure that whatever we do keeps to the highest possible standard as it represents our love for the Christ. I wouldn’t want any interested ones to dismiss our work because of poor or amateurish presentation. Unfortunately, doing it right costs. Very little is free in this system of things. So, if you’d like to help us out, either with financial donations or by volunteering your skills, please do so. My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The last point has to do with the path we are following.
As I said, I am not going to start a new religion. However, I do believe that we should worship God. How to do that without joining some new religious denomination? The Jews thought that to worship God, one had to go to the temple in Jerusalem. The Samaritans worshiped in the holy mountain. But Jesus revealed something new. Worship was no longer tied to a geographic location nor a house of worship.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:21-24 ESV)
The spirit of God will guide us to the truth, but we need to understand how to study the Bible. We carry a lot of baggage from our previous religions and we have to throw that away.
I might compare it to getting directions from someone versus reading a map. My late wife had real trouble reading maps. It has to be learned. But the advantage over following the directions of someone is that when those directions contain errors, without the map, you are lost, but with the map you can still find your way. Our map is the Word of God.
In the videos and publications that, Lord willing, we will produce, we will always attempt to show how the Bible is all we need to understand truth.
Here are some of the topics we hope to produce in the coming weeks and months.
- Should I get re-baptized and how can I get baptised?
- What is the role of women in the congregation?
- Did Jesus Christ exist prior to his birth as a man?
- Is the Trinity doctrine true? Is Jesus divine?
- How should sin be dealt with in the congregation?
- Did the Organization lie about 607 B.C.E.?
- Did Jesus die on a cross or a stake?
- Who are the 144,000 and the great crowd?
- When are the dead resurrected?
- Should we keep the Sabbath?
- What about birthdays and Christmas and other holidays?
- Who really is the faithful and discreet slave?
- Was there a worldwide flood?
- Are blood transfusions wrong?
- How do we explain God’s love in light of the genocide of Canaan?
- Should we worship Jesus Christ?
This is not an exhaustive list. There are other topics not listed here that I will deal with, God willing. While I intend to do videos on all of these topics, you can well imagine that it takes time to research them properly. I do not wish to speak off-the-cuff, but rather ensure that everything I say can be well backed up by Scripture. I speak much about exegesis and I believe in this technique. The Bible should interpret itself and the interpretation of Scripture should be clear to anyone reading it. You should be able to arrive at the same conclusions I do using only the Bible. You should never have to depend on the opinion of a man or a woman.
So please be patient. I’ll do my best to produce these videos as quickly as possible because I know many are anxious to understand these things. Of course, I’m not the only source of information, and so I do not discourage anyone from going on the Internet to research, but remember that ultimately the Bible is the only source of truth that we can depend on.
One final word on commenting guidelines. On the websites, beroeans.net, beroeans.study, meletivivlon.com, we enforce fairly strict commenting guidelines. This is because we want to create a peaceful environment were Christians can discuss Bible truth without fear of harassment and intimidation.
I have not imposed those same guidelines on the YouTube videos. Thus, you will see a wide range of opinions and attitudes. There are limits of course. Bullying and hate speech will not be tolerated, but it’s sometimes difficult to know where to draw the line. I have left many of the critical comments up because I think that shrewd independent thinkers will recognize these for what they truly are, the desperate attempts of people who know they are wrong but have no ammunition except slander with which to defend themselves.
It is my goal to produce at least one video a week. I have yet to attain that goal because of the amount of time it takes to prepare the transcript, shoot the video, edit it, and manage the subtitles. Remember that I am actually producing two videos at once, one in Spanish and one in English. Nevertheless, with the Lord’s help I shall be able to speed up the work.
That’s all I wanted to say for now. Thanks for watching and I hope to have something out in the first week of August.