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When coreligionists criticize
When Michael Joseph Jackson was one of Jehovah's Witnesses he received severe criticism from some fellow Witnesses. Sadly, such unwarranted disparagement hurt him deeply. (Compare Ro 14:4) Michael's relatives who were also associated with the Witnesses likewise had to endure what was sometimes scathing censure. Well, given my history with the Jacksons, it should not be surprising that sharp criticism would continue in my direction. No, the Witnesses don't believe that someone, something, or some event can be "jinxed." However, non-Witnesses may certainly call what happened next "The Jackson Jinx." On April 14, at 5:02 p.m. I received the following Facebook message from a Tina Chudilowsky, whose existence I was completely unaware of.
"Mr. Carr, I am a Jehovh's [sic] witness in Wyoming. I want to ask you a question. If you don't want to answer that's ok. My Question, Are you an apostate? How long have you been one? Thank you, Tina Chudilowsky (Nick Chudilowsky Jr's wife)." Frankly, while I certainly know the name, I don't really know one Chudilowsky from another. Truth be told, they were all part of dozens of people who years ago I had passing acquaintances with. Anyway, though there were some telltale signs, the letter seemed innocuous enough. So, here's how I responded on Friday, April 15, at 3:08 a.m. "Hello Tina Chudilowsky: I don't usual respond to inquiries like yours, but for some reason, I've decided to answer you. The July 15, 2011, Watchtower (page 15, paragraph 4) states the following regarding apostates:
"'To elders of the Ephesus congregation, Paul said: "From among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things." Addressing fellow Christians, Peter wrote: "There will also be false teachers among you." So from where do false teachers come? They may arise from within the congregation. Such ones are apostates. What do they want? They are not content just to leave the organization that they perhaps once loved. Their aim, Paul explained, is "to draw away the disciples after themselves." Note the definite article in the expression "the disciples." Rather than going out and making their own disciples, apostates seek to take Christ's disciples with them. Like "ravenous wolves," false teachers are out to devour trusting members of the congregation, destroying their faith and leading them away from the truth.--Matt. 7:15; 2 Tim. 2:18.'
"Since I did not voluntarily 'leave Jehovah's organization that I still love,' and have not attempted in any way 'to draw away the disciples after' myself, the answer to your question is no, I am not an apostate. I consider myself a faithful servant of Jehovah who is content to allow him to correct matters. In the meantime, I direct interest to the organization as I go about informal witnessing to all who will listen to me. Jehovah's blessings, Firpo Carr." Here's Tina's response on Tax Day, Friday, April 15, at 9:04 a.m.:
"I am sorry for you Mr. Carr. You blend together your religious ideas with your love of the world. The two cannot be combined. Do you not see what you are doing? Yes, Jehovah is correcting matters that are why you are where you are today. And you know in your heart where you will stand when he corrects all matters in the future. A man cannot just claim to love Jehovah; he must prove so by his actions. I am sad for you because Satan has blinded your eyes to what is right. You are like an agent of Satan because you are being led by the nose to do his will NOT Jehovah's. You have become Satan's fool. Also, my husband Nick, who is still in disbelief that he used to be your friend, say's you are a twisted, disgusting person and you are willingly following Satan. Nick say's your arrogance is only eclipsed by your stupidity. I also think the same. You are proving yourself by your actions. Please do not respond to me because I believe my talking to you would be the same as talking to demons. Thank you for answering my question."
I don't think Nick and Tina like me.
One can only imagine what poor Michael, his family, and other famous Witnesses have endured from coreligionists whose passing acquaintanceships were erroneously recast into meaningful relationships. Happily, a good number of Witnesses, as well as responsible leaders among them, do not sanction the dissemination of what may well be described as "hate mail." Peace and blessings to all (even the Chudilowskys). Amen.