My mother and I both studied with the JW for over two years and attended their Kingdom Hall Services for over 6 months.
As many things bothered us about certain conduct within the congregation, we continued to attend because of the amount of truth we knew they taught and because we didn't think there was anywhere else we could go.
We wanted to make friends, so we inquired about inviting the members (especially those with kids) to a playdate at the park so that my kids and their kids could get to know each other and not feel so alone at school with their beliefs. The idea was considered to be sweet, but warned that it would not be a successful mission due to the fact that we were not baptized JW.
We appreciated the warning, but went ahead with the handmade invitations anyway. Well, our study conductor was right because no one came :(. The invitation even said that we'd be at the park EVERY SUNDAY after kingdom hall, but NO ONE even expressed an interest nor did anyone even invite us to anything, even though they knew how lonely we were.
We felt abandoned from both our family and from the JW at the same time! We didn't fit in anywhere! :(
We showed our humility and repentence by changing many of our past worldly ways that we used to adore very much, such as the family gatherings during the holidays, decorating during the holidays, and we even started wearing dresses/skirts that made me feel EXTREMELY unattractive which in turn made me feel really self concious and bad about myself.
The time came when we stumbled upon a scripture:
2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
This scripture confused my mother and I because the JW were teaching us that praying or giving any kind of worship to God's Son would be taking away from the Almighty Jehovah. So....we humbly and sincerely asked how we would be able to follow the instructions of 1Corinthians 1:2 without displeasing Jehovah.
"How would we call on the name of Jesus?" we asked... the resonse was, "Oh, we don't call on Jesus."
This answer was not acceptable as we just showed them what scripture had CLEARLY said. We then sincerely asked if they could justify why they don't considering the scripture we just showed them. They said they would get back to us.
They came by days later with some printed handouts, but...there was nowhere that answered our questions. It almost seemed like a distraction. We let them know as such, but it was not taken care of any further. We figured we would just shrug it off and understand that later when we matured. However, if we were supposed to call on Jesus' name and JW did not do that, it started to make all the sense in the world as to why we never felt the spirit of God flowing through that church.
The JW taught my mother and I to incorporate all of christendom as a part of Babylon the Great and that we'd be at risk for falling if we attended any other type of church other than theirs. Well, since we felt convicted by scripture that they weren't doing something that the scripture clearly told them to do, we then didn't feel right about attending THEIR church any longer.
It wasn't JUST that scripture...it was everything built up and put together. We had and I still do (my mother layed to rest July 2009) respect the JW very much...we just couldn't agree with a coupld of other things that the Bible said. Like when and how Jesus returns, the communion and who it's for, and the watchtower which is supposedly the faithful and discreet slave. Despite our disagreenemnts in these areas, my mother and I were willing to accept them and still bible study with them so that we could keep learning other truths with them. We told them as such. We assured them that it wasn't a waste of their time to keep studying with us because we enjoyed the study habits and motivation to reading our Bible. But alas, we never heard from them again :(.
My mother and I were never going to be Baptized JW because we didn't agree with 100% of the WATCHTOWER's teachings/interpretations. The idea of being shunned and mistreated because of that fact was both unbearable and unbiblical.
My mother and I did not sin to which we needed to repent or be ashamed of. We were doing our best to understand and read the Bible. We did not reject Christ and his teachings.
To this day, I do believe that JW have a lot of truth and are indeed very intelligent. I also love their literature from Watchtower and Awake Magazine because they're loaded with scriptures AND beautiful illustrations. More than any other christian literature that I've studied :).
However, I believe that the men within Watchtower are simply just a group of spiritually mature and intelligent men (capable of error as the rest of us) who put together excellent articles and do a great job in the organization and the distribution of all of it.
If you are a JW friend that took the time in reading this, I thank you very much. That tells me that you really do care. :)