When I married Darryl Glass I knew it wouldn’t be easy.
As a matter of fact, we married secretly in California just the two of us with close friends as witnesses and a minister to preside over our seaside midnight betrothal ceremony… we planned to have a wedding in North Carolina with the family, and I would join him at ‘home’.
It was important to me that he be able to remain living in Charlotte with his children while they had the last few years of being his children.
I quit Apple.
From midnight May 25th to two months and two days later was our time.
From then on it seems as though the concept is that a woman joins a man’s already-in-progress family … in this case, a moment’s context should suffice before we jump right in—we were all raised in a worldwide cult known as the Watchtower of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
It is the practice of Jehovah’s Witnesses to privately judge congregation members in elder forums called judicial committees, and then to execute judgment—from private counsel, to private or public reproof, and disfellowshipping.
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe everyone will die at a worldwide Armageddon, including all Christians, and do not believe in hell.
Do you think that I came to give peace on the earth?
No, I say to you, but rather division—
For from now there will be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three:
They will be divided father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”Luke 12:49-51
As long as you’re a Jehovah’s Witness, it’s life forever on paradise earth.
See: Finding Faith Through Apostates by Melissa Glass
So it was that Melissa ‘welcomed me’ “into the Glass family” with paper exposing me as an “apostate” of the Watchtower of Jehovah’s Witnesses, a move that typically would lead to the ‘witness’ being disfellowshipped.
I was sincerely disappointed, as she begins, “The Bible does not give a blatant description of apostasy or those that act upon it, apostates.” What?! I thought, “Isn’t apostasy as a concept defined originally by scripture?”
The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery states that “There are at least four distinct images in Scripture of the concept of apostasy. All connote an intentional defection from the faith.” These images are: Rebellion; Turning Away; Falling Away; Adultery.
A quick Google search tells us, “The term apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia (“ἀποστασία”) meaning defection, departure, revolt or rebellion. … “Apostasy is a theological category describing those who have voluntarily and consciously abandoned their faith in the God of the covenant, …” and you can find others are aware apostasy is specific to “faith in the God of the covenant” … and isn’t that the blatant recurring theme of scripture? Both the Old and New Testament?
Melissa concludes, “Is SpunkyGidget an Apostate? Yes and no. It depends on the context…” Fast forward to a few years, and Melissa has graduated with a degree with honors in English. I’m astonished.
“Is SpunkyGidget an Apostate? Yes and no. It depends on the context…”
Does it, really? Does it really depend?
This wasn’t an ignorant child—this is an honor student who was raised as one of the Jehovah’s Witness ‘studying the bible’ three times a week at the Kingdom Hall who seeks to judge* if another member of her professed congregation is worthy of the condemnation of apostasy. She openly acknowledges the consequences of said ‘ruin’ or ‘social collapse’ due to the Watchtower’s coercive practice of shunning…
No, this is a step-daughter against her step-mother.
The question remains, what is apostasy, and who is the apostate?
apostasy (n.)apostasy, etymonline.com
late 14c., “renunciation, abandonment or neglect of established religion,” from Late Latin apostasia, from later Greek apostasia for earlier apostasis “revolt, defection,” literally “a standing off,” from apostanai “to stand away” (see apostate (n.)).
apostate (n.)apostate, etymonline.com
mid-14c., “one who forsakes his religion or faith,” from Old French apostat and directly from Late Latin apostata (which form also was used in English), from Greek apostasia, apostasis“defection, desertion, rebellion,” from apostanai “to defect,” literally “to stand off,” from apo“off, away from” (see apo-) + stanai, aorist of histanai “to set, place,” literally “cause to stand,” from PIE root *sta- “to stand, make or be firm.”
As for her “Scriptural Backing to Define Apostasy”, Melissa compels you to believe,
“Although I’ve gathered my research from a multitude of sources, my main beliefs stem from the Bible. Apostasy is a religious concept, and the Bible is the most used religious text. Therefore, the concept of apostasy should be based on the Bible. There are three direct references to both terms of “apostasy” and “apostate.” I quoted the most blatant descriptive scripture of an apostate in my opening paragraph, where the Bible simply says that an apostate brings others “to ruin.”
“By his mouth the apostate brings his neighbor to ruin, but by knowledge the righteous are rescued,” said Bible writer Solomon (Prov. 11:9, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures).Melissa, Finding Faith
However, the New World Translation (NWT) published by the Watchtower of Jehovah’s Witnesses is the only translation on the planet to use the term apostate at Proverbs 11:9. It’s mistranslation and it is not even an instance of the word apostate. Compare Proverbs 11:9 NWT to “godless” in parallel versions.
This scripture is one of three in the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures Bible that specifically references the concept of “apostasy.”Melissa, Finding Faith
According to Wikipedia, “the Greek noun apostasia (rebellion, abandonment, state of apostasy, defection) is found only twice in the New Testament (Acts 21:21; 2 Thessalonians 2:3).
The Bible does not give a blatant description of apostasy or those that act upon it, apostates.”Melissa, Finding Faith
Actually, “the concept of apostasy is found throughout Scripture.” The related verb aphistēmi (go away, withdraw, depart, fall away) carries considerable theological significance in three passages (Luke 8:13; 1 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 3:12).
Here’s a quick word search for ‘apostate’ on a non-Watchtower website:
…that scripture in Proverbs seems to be very broad and vague. Upon reading it provided me with slight feelings of confusion and resentment.Melissa Glass on reading Proverbs 11:9 in the New World Translation
Proverbs 11:9 refers to someone who is chaneph (godless): profane, irreligious, hypocritical, hypocrite; spiritually soiled, or polluted.
In the story of apostasy—man choosing man over God—the word consistently used was naphal (apostate): to fall, lie; to fall, in a great variety of applications (intransitive or causative, literal or figurative) — be accepted, cast (down, self, (lots), out), cease, die, divide (by lot), (let) fail, (cause to, let, make, ready to) fall (away, down, -en, -ing), fell(-ing), fugitive, have (inheritance), inferior, be judged (by mistake for palal: to intervene, interpose), lay (along), (cause to) lie down, light (down), be lost, lying, overthrow, overwhelm, perish, present(-ed, -ing), (make to) rot, slay, smite out, surely, throw down.
Deserters, and Deserters Who Had Defected
Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, deported the rest of the people who were left in the city, the deserters who had defected to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the population.2 Kings 25:11, naphal
But when he was at the Benjamin Gate, an officer of the guard was there, whose name was Irijah son of Shelemiah, son of Hananiah, and he apprehended Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “You are deserting to the Chaldeans.”
“That’s a lie,” Jeremiah replied. “I am not deserting to the Chaldeans!” Irijah would not listen to him but apprehended Jeremiah and took him to the officials.Jeremiah 37:13-14, naphal
Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, deported the rest of the people to Babylon—those who had remained in the city and those deserters who had defected to him along with the rest of the people who had remained.Jeremiah 39:9, naphal
Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, deported some of the poorest of the people, as well as the rest of the people who were left in the city, the deserters who had defected to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the craftsmen.Jeremiah 52:15, naphal
So scripture clearly defines an apostate as someone deserting and defecting from God to the king of Babylon.
But, those aren’t Christians—those were apostates from the Hebrew first covenant, not the new covenant of the Christian Greek scriptures.
It’s the same when it comes to Proverbs 11:9…
It says the ungodly not apostates…
And it’s Proverbs, not the New Testament, therefore it does not follow, that the ungodly “brings his neighbor to ruin” by convincing him to turn away from Christ.
Coming to this understanding is paramount to understanding a critical trait of apostasy. Once I finally got it, I understood that these other scriptures must be read in terms of “turning away from the teachings of Jesus Christ.” In Proverbs 11:9, it means that an apostate “brings his neighbor to ruin” by convincing him to turn away from Christ. In Acts 20:30, the men that will “rise and speak twisted things” are bringing people away from Christ by creating false teachings. The vicious “wolves” spoken of in Acts 20:29 and Matthew 7:15 bring people to ruin and destruction by dragging them from the teachings of Christ (New World).Melissa Glass, Finding Faith
The way the Proverb reads, it is a warning:
You can be ruined by the talk of godless people…Proverbs 11:9, Good News Translation
Subject: Hypocrite (the godless who hasn’t ‘stood away’ from others)
Object: Neighbor (person gathering together with the hypocrite)
Scene: they go to ruin (literally to decay (primitive root) e.g. “spoil, pervert, corrupt, morally”)
Cross referenced is Proverbs 16:29, a story where a “man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good.”
Juxtaposed with the hypocrite is one standing apart, who is saved:
…through knowledge the righteous are rescued.Proverbs 11:9, Berean Study Bible
Subject: Righteous (just in cause, conduct, or character; innocent, blameless)
Object: Knowledge (discernment, understanding, wisdom; yada: to know)
Scene: Rescue (to draw off or out, withdrawn; be delivered; compare harpazó in new covenant text: to seize, catch up, snatch away)
apostasia: defection, revolt
Original Word: ἀποστασία, ας, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Phonetic Spelling: (ap-os-tas-ee’-ah)
Definition: defection, revolt
Usage: defection, apostasy, revolt.
According to the Holman Christian Dictionary, “associated ideas include the concept of religious unfaithfulness: “rebellion” (Joshua 22:22 ); “cast away” (2 Chronicles 29:19); “trespass” (2 Chronicles 33:19 ); and “backslidings” (Jeremiah 2:19; Jeremiah 8:5 ). NAS uses “apostasy” in Jeremiah 8:5 and Hosea 14:4 with the plural in Jeremiah 2:19; Jeremiah 5:6; Jeremiah 14:7.”
the Gentiles to forsake Moses — Acts 21:21
not until the apostasy shall have come first — 2 Thessalonians 2:3
Strongs 646 apostasía (from 868 /aphístēmi, “leave, depart,” which is derived from 575 /apó, “away from” and 2476 /histémi, “stand”) – properly, departure (implying desertion); apostasy – literally, “a leaving, from a previous standing.”
apoluó: to set free, release
Original Word: ἀπολύω
Part of Speech: Verb
Phonetic Spelling: (ap-ol-oo’-o)
Definition: to set free, release
Usage: I release, let go, send away, divorce, am rid; mid: I depart.
630 apolýō (from 575 /apó, “away from” and 3089 /lýō, “to loose, release”) – properly, to let go; release (discharge), dismiss. This term implies the release (annulment) of an existing bond. /apolýō (“to release”) is specifically used of divorcing a marital partner (Mt 1:19, 5:31,32, 19:7-9 – parallels at Mk 10:2-12; Lk 16:18).
Read the first sentence carefully as you continue, “going (or coming, as it is typically referred to) into the faith” is not normally considered apostasy.
“After reading what apostasy meant to Christians going out of the faith, I wanted to know what it meant for ones going into the faith. During my search, I found many search results for apostasy in the Islamic culture. Kathryn Kraft, a professor at the University of East London who specializes in the School of Law and Social Sciences, wrote an article for the scholarly journal, Transformation: An International Journal of Holistic Mission Studies. It’s called “‘Coming Out’ as a Faith Changer: Experiences of Faith Declaration for Arabs of a Muslim Background Who Choose to Follow a Christian Faith,” and it goes in depth on the concept of apostasy and its effects in the Islamic culture. As I dug, I found that Arab Muslims do not have any kind of direct concept of apostasy. However, Kraft states that “declaring that one has left Islam and chosen another faith” is seen as an act of “rebellion” to the Islamic community (96). I noticed the word “rebellion” again, relating it to that literal sense of the Greek term a·po·sta·sia.”Melissa Glass, Finding Faith Through “Apostates”
Okay? I’m beginning to worry the meaning of language is lost… it’s a Greek word with a Hebrew definition referring to a future time, with all the nuanced meaning implied by the etymology of the word.
This is The Great Divorce.
“What unrighteousness have your fathers found in me, that they have gone far from me, and have walked after worthless vanity, and have become worthless? They didn’t say, ‘Where is Yehowah יהוה who brought us up…
“Therefore I will yet contend with you,” says Yehowah יהוה,“and I will contend with your children’s children:
Has a nation changed its gods, which really are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which doesn’t profit. “Be astonished, you heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid.Be very desolate,” says Yehowah יהוה. “For my people have committed two evils:they have forsaken me, the spring of living waters, and cut out cisterns for themselves: broken cisterns that can’t hold water.
“Haven’t you brought this on yourself, in that you have forsaken Yehowah יהוה your God, when he led you by the way?
The righteousness of the upright delivers them,Proverbs 11:6
but the faithless are trapped by their own desires.
“Your own apostasies will correct you, and your backsliding will rebuke you. KNOW therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing, that you have forsaken Yehowah יהוה your God, and that my fear is not in you,” says the Lord, Yehowah יהוה of Armies.”
20 “For long ago I broke off your yoke, and burst your bonds.You said, ‘I will not serve;’for on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed yourself, playing the prostitute. 21 Yet I had planted you a noble vine, a pure and faithful seed. How then have you turned into the degenerate branches of a foreign vine to me? 22 For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before me,” says the Lord Yehowah יהוה.23 “How can you say, ‘I am not defiled. I have not gone after the Baals’? See your way in the valley. Know what you have done. You are a swift dromedary traversing her ways; 24 a wild donkey used to the wilderness, that sniffs the wind in her craving. When she is in heat, who can turn her away? All those who seek her will not weary themselves. In her month, they will find her. 25 “Keep your feet from being bare, and your throat from thirst.But you said, ‘It is in vain. No, for I have loved strangers, and I will go after them.’ 26 As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so the house of Israel is ashamed: they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets; 27 who tell wood, ‘You are my father;’ and a stone, ‘You have given birth to me:’ for they have turned their back to me, and not their face; but in the time of their trouble they will say, ‘Arise, and save us.’
Faulty Understanding of Conversion, or on Creating a Hall of Mirrors…
Melissa continued (emphasis mine),
“Both of these experiences show that deciding to convert from a faith, or committing apostasy, stems from life experiences and human desires. It comes from the need for independence. Converts emerge from not understanding or agreeing with the information they are receiving from the church. The book Finding Faith, Losing Faith: Stories of Conversion and Apostasy aptly calls it “intellectual incoherence.” The spirituality that they once knew, the spirit and morality that constructed and guided their lives, is lost. The faith that directed and nourished their livelihood “simply no longer makes sense” and must be “reconstructed from the bottom up” (15). However, it is the intellectual incoherence that finds them freedom. They leave this nonsensical entity and gain greater understanding. They quest for intellectual coherence and a resolution to their crisis, eventually finding “personal autonomy, freedom, and intellectual stability” (46).”
Is it just me, or did she just call faith a nonsensical entity she needs independence from?
1580s, “apostate,” probably (with change of suffix) from Spanish renegado, originally “Christian turned Muslim,” from Medieval Latin renegatus, noun use of past participle of renegare “deny” (see renege). General sense of “turncoat” is from 1660s. The form renegate, directly from Medieval Latin, is attested in English from late 14c.
mid-14c., “one who forsakes his religion or faith,” from Old French apostat and directly from Late Latin apostata (which form also was used in English), from Greek apostasia, apostasis “defection, desertion, rebellion,” from apostanai “to defect,” literally “to stand off,” from apo “off, away from” (see apo-) + stanai, aorist of histanai “to set, place,” literally “cause to stand,” from PIE root *sta- “to stand, make or be firm.”
Used from mid-14c. in non-religious situations, “one who has forsaken the party, opinion, etc., to which he previously adhered.”
“unfaithful to a religious creed or to a principle,” late 14c., see apostate (n.).
I am not a Jehovah’s Witness. I acknowledge that I stand off, one apart, from the Watchtower of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
I am oneapart.com—but that doesn’t make me an apostate… that means I’m no longer religious, nor a cult member, but a Christian.
Now we implore you, brothers, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto Him, for you not quickly to be shaken in mind, nor to be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as if by us, as that day of the Lord is present. No one should deceive you in any way, because it is not until the apostasy shall have come first, and the man of lawlessness shall have been revealed—the son of destruction, the one opposing and exalting himself above every so-called god or object of worship—so as for him to sit down in the temple of God, setting forth that he himself is God. Do you not remember that, being yet with you, I was saying these things to you?“He explained to me that Jesus had been present since 1914, invisible to man. This was the most thrilling news I had ever heard.” — Trusting in Jehovah Brings Happiness, by Jack Halliday Nathan
— 2 Thessalonians 2
Melissa believes herself to be a feminist, but we’re still working through that education… for example, crop-top form-fitting hitting just at the navel isn’t empowering for you or other women, and neither is referring to any woman as shit, holy, beautiful, or otherwise…
Holy Shit, You’re Beautiful 💩
••• Melissa Mantras: A reminder that you are beautiful, you are worthy, you are needed. You are brilliant, powerful, and loved. You might be a little broken, and a bit scarred, but your light still shines through as brightly as the relentless rising sun out of that impossibly dark night. You made it. You did it. And you are better because of it. You. are. beautiful.
Hey You, Yes You, Hi 😧
••• Melissa: 👐🏼Humans make things so much more difficult than they need to be 🤦🏼♀️ we’re all crammed together on this tiny planet, yet so out of touch with each other. But to connect with someone, sometimes all it takes is a simple hi. Or, that’s what it starts with. That’s why I created this design, as a “conversation starter” 🍻 making friends, building bridges, and keeping it all together doesn’t have to be hard. Just say hi to that stranger at the bar, send a quick text to that friend you thought about yesterday but haven’t spoken to in months or years, give a compliment to that gas station employee who works such a thankless job. Send some positive vibes out into the world, and I promise you’ll get some back 🧡 drop a 👋🏼 in the comments below and let’s connect so that we can feel a little less alone in this world 🙋♀️🙋♂️
••• Melissa: Repeat after me: I am alive. I am a living, breathing, laughing human, and I am happy with who I am. My heart beats in my chest and blood flows through my veins and air fills my lungs and my skin is soft and my legs are strong. I am beautiful, brilliant, and powerful, and kind, compassionate, and empathetic. I give when I can. I love fiercely. I feel deeply. I stand firmly in my beliefs. I think with an open mind and an understanding heart. I am a living, breathing, beautiful soul that walks this earth with my head held high. All that I need is right here inside me.
••• Melissa: Say it. Say it again. Say it one more time. Say it as many times as you need to until you profoundly understand it. Say it until it becomes engrained into your being. Say it like your life depends on it, because it just might.
••• Melissa: Positive affirmations are so, incredibly powerful. They were an inspiration for this shirt design, so that we can build one another up and empower our fellow badass women. This one and more designs are now available on my website 🌿 https://www.melissabusybee.com/shop
#women #feminism #shop #feminist #woman #ladies #womensfashion #equality #lady #boutique #store #shoponline #online #theauthenticwoman #femaleempowerment #beautiful #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #youarebeautiful #youareabadass #girlboss #love #beautiful #me #lgbt #lgbtq #lgbtpride #feminismisforeverybody #womensupportingwomen #bodypositivity
Dressed for Disneyland?
Lol i don’t normally respond to this kind of thing Angela, but considering you’ve decided to include other family members and show them pictures of my ass, this is more so a comment to them. You’re the one that took the picture and then took the time to edit it. You found my personal body a thing of fascination, and then decided to share it online without my permission. Idk about you all, but don’t you think that’s a little weird? Inappropriate doesn’t even begin to describe it or the things you have said and are continuing to say. But that doesn’t matter to you, and none of this will even mean anything to you – but, like I said, this is more so for the other people you included in this conversation. I am proud of myself, and my body, and what I have accomplished. I’m sorry you can’t see that right now in the mental state that you are in, and that you can’t see how wrong all of this harrassment is. YOU are the one making a fool of yoursef. Not any of us. I hope you come down from this mania soon. That’s all I’m going to say for now. Love you family ❤️Melissa Glass, @melissabusybee October 2, 2018 8:59PM
*Melissa (Greek), Deborah (Hebrew), meaning bee, Deborah, Hebrew judge