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This entry provides a brief look at Biblical Research & Commentary International. For indepth information we refer you to our collection of research resources.
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Biblical Research & Commentary International (BRCI) "is a not-for-profit association of former Jehovah's Witnesses formed in 1983"
After 1980, increasing numbers
of persons were “disfellowshipped
” or expelled from association with the Watchtower Society because they questioned some of the interpretations and other religious views held by Jehovah’s Witnesses, also known as the Watchtower Society. An informal network was forming, but there was a need for support and help for others who were leaving the Watchtower organization. Newly-exiting persons could benefit from contact and conversations with other former Witnesses, who had been through the process and could understand their concerns and answer their questions. They needed a place where they could discuss their situation and receive trustworthy support to help them deal with problems unique to those leaving that association.
Former Witnesses have gathered together in more or less organized groups for a number of years now, but some of them put a relatively high emphasis on replacing Watchtower doctrines with “traditional” doctrines. BRCI differs in that we feel that the power of Christian teaching is seen not so much in specific interpretations of theological issues as it is with how a person’s attitudes and conduct are changed as they follow Jesus Christ, whom we all believe to be the Son of God. So our focus is more on behavior than theology. That is not to say that doctrine is unimportant, but it should grow naturally out of an understanding of, and personal relationship with, our Creator and His Son. We believe the Bible to be inspired by God and we believe that anyone who seeks God and reads it can understand its message. We are not primarily an “exit counseling” service. We are certainly not a religion. We are relatively unstructured, and our goal is to help others who can benefit from our experience. Our approach is based on our belief in the power of the risen Son of God working in the lives of individuals who trust and obey Him.
Homepage, last accessed Mar. 15, 2005
One way to view our work is that it is somewhat similar to the “underground railroad” that assisted former slaves to freedom during the US Civil War in the 1860's. The slaves who wanted freedom and those who helped them were willing to face great risks to life and limb to make it across dangerous territory.
We at BRCI perform a similar service for persons who contact us and tell us they are interested in leaving the Watchtower organization. Many people leave the Watchtower organization each year for various reasons. Some who leave for religious reasons, because they believe that Watchtower teachings are not in harmony with either the Bible or the spirit of Christianity, have a much more difficult time adjusting than those who leave for other reasons. They are deeply religious and want to please God, but they are confused because they had accepted the authority of a religious organization which teaches things they cannot reconcile with the Scriptures. These persons need to be able to discuss difficult questions openly.
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