“Your Word Is Truth”
Is a Change of Religion Too Difficult?
ARE you one of multitudes who have become disillusioned with their religion? Have you perhaps found that it is not so solidly founded on Bible truth as you had been led to believe? Despite your new viewpoint, do you find it difficult to make a change in your religion? If this is the case, do not lose courage. Love for God can give the spiritual strength needed to make such a change. God wants those worshiping him to worship with spirit and with truth. (John 4:23) So it is important to associate with those whose religion is founded on Bible truth.
Perhaps you have spent time studying the Bible with one of Jehovah’s witnesses. In a brief space of time you have learned basic Bible truths that you did not learn in all your years with your present religion. You have discovered that the Bible is filled with information that can lead persons to everlasting life in happiness. So why now hesitate to cut all ties with a religion that you know fails to preach the whole truth about God’s purposes?
Could it be that your relatives have persuaded you not to make a complete break from false religion? Do they argue that if the old religion was good enough for grandfather and his parents it ought to be good enough for you? But now, if your grandparents were alive today, what course would they follow? Were they alert, thinking persons? Then do you believe that they would observe all the changes that have taken place in the world and the churches without making any move?
Suppose your grandfather could witness the trend toward downgrading the Bible by clergy and laity of today. If he could observe the rapid deterioration of morals among “church” people and the rebellion of priests and people against church policy, would he be content to sit pat? And if he could gain the accurate knowledge of Bible teaching you have gained, what do you think he would do? Would he permit relatives and family members to prevent him from taking a course he knew was right?
It may be that your parents are content to see all these drastic changes without making any move, and expect you to adopt the same attitude. You have learned that children should be ‘obedient to their parents.’ (Col. 3:20) But what does that include? What if your parents required you to do something that is contrary to what God requires? What would you do? If you truly love God, you will put his will first. This is the right thing to do. (Matt. 10:37) And it is God’s will that honest-hearted persons get out of the Babylonish world empire of false religion—make a clean break from it.—Rev. 18:4.
Perhaps it is not relatives who are holding you back. It may be fear that you will lose your friends. You may feel that you are not strong enough to go against the popular tide of opinion. You may fear what they might say about your change of religion. But surely, as against fear of displeasing the true God, fear of mere humans should be of little account. That is why the Bible tells us: “Trembling at men is what lays a snare, but he that is trusting in Jehovah will be protected.” (Prov. 29:25) If you depend on Jehovah for his promised protection, the views and opinions of your former associates need not cause you to worry.
Besides, in the association of true worshipers of Jehovah at the Kingdom Hall you will find satisfying, genuine friends who will be by your side in good times and bad. Only in such association will you find the truth of the inspired scripture: “A true companion is loving all the time, and is a brother that is born for when there is distress.”—Prov. 17:17.
Then, it may be that long-standing traditions in your community make it difficult to break away. These traditions may hold you in membership of some false religion out of fear that you will not get a proper burial. Such a fear is groundless, for those who have attended funerals conducted by Jehovah’s witnesses can testify that it is always an upbuilding experience. The hope of the resurrection, so convincingly presented, offers real comfort to the survivors, and what is more, the funerals are conducted without charge.
Perhaps you say to yourself, “I’m too old to change my religion.” But are you too old to go to a doctor when you are ill? If you value life, then it is not too late to make the change. Think of Suba Sesay, of Port Loko, Sierra Leone. He changed his religion when he was 107 years of age! And do you know what he said? “If it pleases Jehovah God to overlook my past life and accept me, why should I feel too old to change?”
A change to true religion does require some adjustments in one’s way of life, that is true. People who have bad habits and practices may hesitate to give them up in order to make the change. Customs, such as polygamy, that are contrary to God’s will are permitted in most religions. But they are not allowed among Jehovah’s worshipers. If you see that these customs and practices are wrong, then God holds you responsible. Remember the warning words of Jesus Christ: “This is the basis for judgment, that the light has come into the world but men have loved the darkness rather than the light, [why?] for their works were wicked. For he that practices vile things hates the light and does not come to the light, in order that his works may not be reproved.”—John 3:19, 20.
Consider this illustration: A bridled horse or a loaded donkey must perform the will of its master. It is useless for the animal to balk or kick against the spurs or goad, for it is inevitable that the will of the master shall be done. Thus, when Saul the Pharisee kept persecuting Christians, the Lord Jesus told him: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? To keep kicking against the goads makes it hard for you.” (Acts 26:14) Anyone who balks at taking the course clearly marked out for true worshipers of God only makes more difficulty for himself, and risks loss of life.
Much less difficult it is to make the change to right religion, even as did Abraham, who grew up among worshipers of the moon god, Rahab the harlot, Ruth the Moabitess, Mary the Jewish mother of Jesus and a host of others. Would you not rather follow the lead of such God-fearing men and women and be classified with them than with the cowardly ones who will never share the blessings of God’s kingdom? (Rev. 21:8) By seeking God’s help through prayer and then resolutely moving forward to carry out his will for you, you can prove for yourself and others that a change to the right religion is not too difficult.