Melissa Andrea Glass
Religion

Finding Faith Through Apostates

Byline: Melissa A. Glass
Instructor: Barbara Presnell

Introducing, Ms. Melissa Glass

Honorable Mention for the category of “2014 Best Essay”
University of North Carolina Charlotte First-Year Writing Awards

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Religion

Apostate means to Turn Away from God, not The Watchtower

“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

“‘Jehovah’—because of people’s familiarity with it since the 14th century. Moreover, it preserves, equally with other forms, the four letters of the tetragrammaton JHVH.” — The Watchtower defends “shallow scholarship” in response to “Jehovah Not Correct as God’s Name”

YHWH = JHVH ?

If you meet a Jehovah’s Witness they’ll tell you God’s name is Jehovah, and they probably don’t even know that it’s not true.

They probably whole heartedly believe that what they were taught was “the truth” and that it is a life-saving message that they bring to you.

Go easy on them. I know how much it hurts to learn you’ve been lied to all your life.

So, please if you can, help in this campaign:

  • explain how the letter “J” came to be only recently, and
  • how “hovah” is a real word that’s actually in the scriptures, but it doesn’t mean what they have been told that it does:

Disaster [hovah] after disaster [hovah] will comeand there will be rumor after rumorThen they will seek a vision from a prophetbut instruction will perish from the priestsand counsel from the elders.”

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Religion

An Apology to My Mother

Mom, I know that I’m scaring you. And I’m sorry for that.

I don’t know how to explain with words what I’m going through.

I can however share with you what I’m fascinated by, and perhaps you can judge whether or not I’m “okay”.

I’ve been studying the Bible for months now, and I’ve perservered despite the fear that what I would learn might mean that I would separated from my family. I miss you guys so much. You seem nearly as a conceptual thing to me as “daddy” is. I understand what that relationship is supposed to mean, but it’s not something I’ve experienced. Likewise, I don’t really know how to be a sister or to be a daughter, it seems so long ago that I was a part of a family. I’m not sure I ever knew how to interact like I belonged.

Here’s a night in the most recent nights of Angela:

I’m an experience designer, so know that it’s an “experience”. I’m giving you my recipe as it were. I could send you the “Notability” file for instance which recorded me and the background (music in this case) while I studied the Watchtower. You can go along as I highlight and respond, and can hear the music that I was listening to and how I interacted in my study with God.

So. First, it starts with Faith. Continue reading

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State of Affairs

What’s been up lately? Work sucks. It’s been a literal nightmare for several months now. I won’t even address it, except to say that it’s causing me to have an ulcer.

My best friend has left his wife, and was removed as a servant on Tuesday. He decided that he doesn’t like being married and doesn’t want to be anymore… That he’s happier living a single life. His wife is devastated, and confused. I think back and wish I would have stopped the wedding… which the time seemed overly dramatic, though in hindsight seems fairly reasonable. I adore him, and hope for the best, but only fear the worst. He didn’t sound himself at all.

I talked to an old friend from back home, and she told me that pretty much everyone I grew up with is either disfellowshipped, sleeping with an elder’s wife, doing drugs or marrying a stripper or something. No, I’m not kidding. She studies for meetings, but rarely attends.

My sister and her husband don’t go to meetings at all. Haven’t for quite a while. My brother and his new wife are disfellowshipped, but I’m pretty sure they’re all right.

My little sister is terrorized by the small minded small town folk in their Kingdom Hall. She’s a pioneer who is shunned by the other pioneers in the congregation. Although she’s pioneer for a couple of years now this is the first time she’s old enough to go to Pioneer School. She was going to quit this year because she didn’t get her time (apparently the other pioneers in the congregation don’t really support her or go out with her in service) but I encouraged her to keep it up. I told her Pioneer School is supposed to come at the end of the first year for a reason… because you need it so bad. I told her how amazing it is she’s survived this long without getting to attend, and to keep it up and go. Apparently, she’s going!

My mom is flipping out. I guess she’s going of the list again. I don’t think she drinks any water, and I understand that she eats very little. I worry about her, and ave no idea what to do, or really what’s going on. It seems as though ever since I had problems with demons when I still lived at home that she’s never quite been the same. Since then it really seems as though all the trouble has just transferred to her. I don’t know what to do for her, I don’t know how to help. I feel helpless.

My newest friend here seems to be shunning me. He explained that he’s not sure whether I really want to be the pioneer I talk about doing or the party girl everyone thinks I am. Apparently I don’t fit into the spiritual progress he’s outlined for himself.

So everything is pretty much rough, but I’m alive, kicking and screaming.

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Angie & Brad Benson

Just thoughts…

It’s eleven o’clock, and I’m just thinking. I just watched a movie which in the end showed what true friendship is about. (Brokedown Palace) I can’t help but think about my friends, or the one’s I had. Life is so different now. So far from what it used to be. According to the rules I grew up by, I don’t deserve my friends, and I’ll never talk to them again, according to the way I live.

My parents don’t believe I’ll ever “make it back”. I guess I’ve just proved them right. The life I used to know is just gone. I don’t remember it. I don’t remember how it feels. I’m crying now. I guess because I know what it feels like to admit to it.

Driving home the other night I thought about how alone in this world I am. I put the one person I feel a connection with on a plane, and realized that was the one person. Funny thing is I can’t say that I’m lonely necessarily. I’m just here. I’m just living. I do what I have to do, day by day. Live how life is there to be lived. I find enough to wake up to the next morning.

It’s weird – Not remembering. Not being able to touch the past. I can’t long for it. I can’t look back and reminisce. It’s just gone. If anyone out there is listening, don’t be hurt. It’s like my dad. I miss him so dearly, although I never knew him.

Looking back, I can’t help but wonder what choices I could have made that would have so drastically altered my life. what if my dad had never died? What if I had never made the mistakes I did with my “first love”? What if I had never met or married Brad? What if I had never given up?

Maybe I don’t stop to cry because I refuse to believe the story I have to tell. How could I have ever had this happen, all the things in my life? What did I do to ever deserve this?

I was captured in a moment today when I heard “Still the One” on the radio. That was supposed to be Brad’s and my song, in a silly backwards way. What do I even say to that? What do I say to the past four years of my life? What do I say to sitting around and taking it, until my spirit and heart was crushed? Why did I ever believe I should be so strong? Why didn’t I give up in the right place?

I don’t wish for anything – I don’t have a vision in my head of the way I wish things were. I’m here, and I’m fine. I’m alive and that’s enough. I just have a story to tell that I wouldn’t even believe myself.

So how freely to I vent my soul to the world? To those who don’t know me, or the ones who know the most? Do I tell you all the stories, and hope that no one is listening? Do I find strength in coming to terms with the sadness some turn their eyes from?

So many do not feel it is their place to know what goes on inside a marriage. What went on is my only solace for where I am. With that here’s my words, a story from a night – July 29, 1999. Continue reading

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