It was November 1965 when, while still in my early twenties, I walked out of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses as a disfellowshipped person.
Because I had come to disagree – quite strongly, in fact – with many of the teachings of the Watch Tower Society, I was summoned before a judicial committee to give an explanation for myself. They probed and questioned, and questioned me again. Surely this was all just to cover up some other wrong-doing, some immorality? No, it was not. It was simply what I said it was – my disagreement with Watch Tower teaching.
John serves on TCP's Board of Directors, as Chair of the Communications Committee, and as a member of the Screening Committee.
Early in the summer of 1982 prior to my beginning seminary in the fall, I was appointed as a licensed local pastor to a part time pastorate in a small town congregation. My first year of seminary completely stripped away my naïve faith and provided nothing to take its place except skepticism and doubt. I didn’t become an atheist at that point, but I did reject much of Christianity. I came to believe that the divine incarnation and resurrection of Jesus were crass fabrications. I could no longer fool myself into believing in anything supernatural. While cognitive dissonance prevented me from pushing the envelope too far and fully working out in detail what I did and did not believe, whatever was left of my belief in God was pretty far away from a traditional position. I gravitated toward Joseph Campbell’s writings on myth and a sort of a Jungian, metaphorical understanding of God.