"I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God." (Luke 12:8)
I spoke to my mom today back in Colorado. This was the last time I will ever be able to speak to her again. Ever. This goes for my dad and brother and nieces and a nephew and a hundred or so friends that once considered me their own brother. Ouch. This is hard to wrap your head around considering they view themselves to be devout Christians. Now I do not smoke or drink or do any type of drugs - I am celibate and consider myself in as much as I can be honest about it, without spot from this world. Most families, when learning of the kind of course I have taken, would be proud. I myself am answering a call in which I must abandon the flesh in order to be a vessel of honor that God can use to bring others to his own, and I must reflect his glory in my every step. The price I pay for telling them I cannot be recognized any longer as a Jehovah' Witness as a matter of conscience because of my love and my faith in Christ Jesus? Absolute silence.
Christ foretold that his own would have to make some pretty tough decisions to follow him, including division of families. (Luke 12:52) It was never meant to be easy, but it is the best way to live. I used to never understand what the terms "In Christ Jesus" and "Power of the Holy Spirit" ever meant. I read them many many times, but the real depth of how life-changing and transforming God's love as reflected through His Son could be was as foreign as the love one would find outside of a Kingdom Hall being a Jehovah's Witness most of my life. I had a choice here, and that is what I think my family and friends are most perplexed over. But in writing a formal letter stating that I wanted to be removed from the ranks officially - that is a game changer. My title now - Apostate. The worst of the worst. In the eyes of a religion that preaches themselves to be the only vehicle God is using for salvation, I am better off not to even have been born. I have no chance of redemption, and pretty much, its lights out for my future. Good thing they don't believe in hell I guess.. At least I just get to sleep for the next billion years in their eyes. Comforting.
Truth is, I love my mom more than pretty much anything - I always will and I will always want to. But there is a marked power that faith in Christ Jesus has over any religion, and that is this: cold hard truth. What are my choices? Deny the power of the Holy Spirit that has effected my life in ways I never thought possible? Live a lie so I can appease two masters? The answer for me was crystal clear the moment I knew that I was being called to use as a member of the body of Christ. Mention this to a Jehovah's Witness and get ready for a barrage of scriptures they have memorized that will attempt to convince you that and they are the only real truth in this world. Blinded. I was never allowed to take the bread and the wine. I was never allowed to be baptized in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit. I was never allowed to imagine that heaven was possible for me ever. I was never allowed to feel forgiven, good enough or sanctified in the blood of the Lamb. I was never allowed to express my utter abhorrence for their malicious abuse of power and scripture. And lastly, I was never allowed to profess that as for me, Jesus Christ was my savior, and not some religion that dictated who was going where and why they were going there and worst of all, when that was all going to happen.
My new family now - the body of Christ Jesus - His Church. My new love now - sanctifying his Name and living with the purpose that this life is no longer mine, but his. My new hope now - that I can be used by Him through God's Holy Spirit to bring others into his fold and reflect his love in any way I can, to everyone I can. Today I take comfort in knowing that the silence I hear from the religious behind me, will be filled by the voice of his comfort within me.