Sunday, September 7, 2008

Is The Jehovah's Witness Practice of Shunning Scriptural?

I sometimes wonder how congregations would react if an announcement were made that shunning was no longer practiced. I'm sure some would feel a sense of relief but I think many other Jehovah's Witnesses who would be very unhappy if that happened. I think some people really need the sense of power and moral security that comes from shunning in order to feel special.
Several key scriptures form the basis for disfellowshipping. Jesus himself introduced the standard:
Matthew 18:15-17 : “Moreover, if your brother commits a sin, go lay bare his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two more, in order that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every matter may be established. 17 If he does not listen to them, speak to the congregation. If he does not listen even to the congregation, let him be to you just as a man of the nations and as a tax collector.”
Jesus did not say to never utter a word to an unrepentant wrong doer. Rather, he stated they should be treated as persons of the world. Though not considered close friends, Jesus himself spoke to and ate with tax collectors. (Matthew 9:11) The majority of information on how to treat wrongdoers within the congregation comes from Paul. Paul showed a balanced approach advising not to socialize with a wrongdoer but to still ‘admonish as a brother’. 2 Thessalonians is key to understanding that wrongdoers should be marked, not disfellowshipped.
2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15: “Now we are giving YOU orders, brothers, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to withdraw from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the tradition YOU received from us…. 14 But if anyone is not obedient to our word through this letter, keep this one marked, stop associating with him, that he may become ashamed. 15 And yet do not be considering him as an enemy, but continue admonishing him as a brother.”
Paul did not say to disfellowship such people, but rather instructed the congregation to ‘mark’ or ‘take note of’ such a person, yet “continue admonishing him as a brother”. Hence Paul did not indicate that marking was only for non-serious sin. The Society’s disfellowshipping policy has been formulated mainly from statements in 1 Corinthians 5:11 and 2 John 10. At 1 Corinthians Paul specifically outlined practices for which to cease ‘mixing’ with a brother. Yet this too is similar to the advice given when marking a brother.
1Corinthians 5:11: “But now I am writing YOU to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man. 12 For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Do YOU not judge those inside, 13 while God judges those outside? “Remove the wicked [man] from among yourselves.””
1 Corinthians does not say to totally shun a brother who is a wrong doer, rather it says to ‘quit mixing in company’ with such a person and ‘not eat with’ such a man. This statement does not state that this type of person must never be spoken to. By far the strictest advice on how to treat individuals denying Jesus was given by John. It is on the basis of this scripture that treatment of disfellowshipped ones is primarily based. However John was here referring to a specific type of person in a unique situation.
2 John 7-11: “7For many deceivers have gone forth into the world, persons not confessing Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Look out for yourselves, that YOU do not lose the things we have worked to produce, but that YOU may obtain a full reward. 9 Everyone that pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God. He that does remain in this teaching is the one that has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to YOU and does not bring this teaching, never receive him into YOUR homes or say a greeting to him. 11 For he that says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works.”
A far harder line appears to be given here than by either Jesus or Paul, as it is stated not to even greet such a person. Who is John referring to? The Antichrist. It is only in regard to the Antichrist that instruction was given not to even greet a person. John is not here referring to wrongdoers such as fornicators and greedy people. Nor does he mention those that reject the authority of an organization. He simply applies this to those that reject Jesus. The Watchtower Society uses this single scripture in 2 John to dictate that every disfellowshipped or disassociated person should not even be greeted.

24 comments:

Don said...

Hey what about the things you wrote about circuit overseers being discontinued and the pioneer hours going down to 50 from September?

Aren't they true after all? Where do you get your info from?

Ronde said...

Is the practice of putting people in prison proper?

See what such a focus does? It puts the focus in the wrong area. Rather than focus on the punishment as to whether it is proper, why not help people to not be disfellowshipped or disassociated by helping them build up faith.

and your statement:"The Watchtower Society uses this single scripture in 2 John to dictate that every disfellowshipped or disassociated person should not even be greeted."
is false.

IT is not the Watchtower Society that dictates, it is the fact that DFd and DAd ones do not want to be greeted.

Bud said...

"I sometimes wonder how congregations would react if an announcement were made that shunning was no longer practiced. I'm sure some would feel a sense of relief but I think many other Jehovah's Witnesses who would be very unhappy if that happened. I think some people really need the sense of power and moral security that comes from shunning in order to feel special."

We are hoping to hear just such an announcement one day soon. It will be too late for those who have lost hope and given up on being part of the cong. Most people who are disfellowshipped are not practicing sin but were at one time sinners. They are DF’ed because of a deep seated desire to punish on the part of men who are given power.
This shunning arrangement brings out the worst in some JW’s – they feel justified in being unkind and rude to DF’ed ones. Not the ‘fruit’ you would expect to see in God’s people.

Ronde said...

Bud said:
"We are hoping to hear just such an announcement one day soon."

Why? How would unrepentant sinners be dealt with then or under yours system?


" It will be too late for those who have lost hope and given up on being part of the cong. Most people who are disfellowshipped are not practicing sin but were at one time sinners. "

Then they can change and come back.


"They are DF’ed because of a deep seated desire to punish on the part of men who are given power."

Well, whom Jehovah loves, he disciplines.

"This shunning arrangement brings out the worst in some JW’s – they feel justified in being unkind and rude to DF’ed ones. Not the ‘fruit’ you would expect to see in God’s people. "

Why not? Why do ones choose to be disfellowshipped if they complain as you do? It is by their choice.

Shawn said...

ronde,

There is a huge difference between someone who is guilty of murder and someone who decides to smoke a cigar! What a straw-man argument. This is an important issue to focus on because the practice of disfellowshipping was not practiced by first century Christians.

Also, to say that a DF'd person doesn't want to be greeted by JWs in good standing is not only a falsehood, it's ludicrous! Do you actually think that a DF'd person doesn't want to speak with their friends or family? I'll get back to this subject later on.

In fact, I think this post didn't investigate this issue thoroughly enough. The primary scripture given as support for disfellowshipping is 1 Corinthians 5:11;

"But now I am writing YOU to quit mixing in company with anyone called a
brother that is a fornicator or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler
or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man."

It's pretty clear who Christians should not mix company with...

1) Someone called a brother, that is, someone who claims to be part of the
Christian congregation and...
2) Someone who is a fornicator, greedy person, an idolater, reviler
(insulting), a drunkard or an extortioner.

The WTS does not disfellowship greedy people.

They don't DF people who are 'hard-core' sports fans, something they claim
to be idolatry.

*** re chap. 9 p. 44 par. 12 Holding Fast to Jesus’ Name ***
Jesus also reprimands the Christians in Pergamum for ‘eating things
sacrificed to idols.’ What would this involve? In view of Paul’s words to
the Corinthians, perhaps some were abusing their Christian freedom and
deliberately offending the consciences of others. More likely, though, they
were taking part somehow in actual idol ceremonies. (1 Corinthians 8:4-13;
10:25-30) Faithful Christians today must show unselfish love in their
exercise of Christian freedom, being careful not to stumble others.
Certainly, they must avoid modern forms of idolatry, such as worshiping
stars of TV, the movies, and sports, or making a god out of money, or even
out of their own belly!—Matthew 6:24; Philippians 1:9, 10; 3:17-19.

When was the last time you heard of a person who was rude and insulting
getting DF'd?

What do JWs get DF'd for?
1)No longer claiming to be called a brother/sister.

2)Independent study and discussion of the Bible that brings Watchtower
doctrine into question.

3) Possession of literature written by former members.

4) Having lunch with a former member, even if the former member professes to
be a Christian and was not disfellowshipped for fornication, greed,
idolatry, reviling, drunkenness, or extortion.

5) Attending a service of any other church or religious organization.

6) Authorizing a blood transfusion, even to save the life of a child.

7) Numerous other actions not mentioned in scripture, but deemed by the
congregation elders to be "unclean conduct," or "conduct unbecoming" of a
Jehovah's Witness.

"Conduct" in this case covers a broad range of actions not clearly defined
by the Society, leaving discernment about what is not acceptable to the
discretion of the congregation's elders. As a result, standards by which
people may be disfellowshipped are inconsistent throughout this religion
which claims "unity" to be one of their identifying characteristics.

None of those things that JWs get DF'd for are in the scripture in 1 Corinthians. So, when it comes to disfellowshipping, the WTS has gone way beyond the things written. The next logical question would be why has the WTS ignored some things in 1 Corinthians and added others?

What disfellowshipping really boils down to is control.

1) Information Control

The WTS does not want it's members to find out the truth about 'the truth'. They have printed many articles warning it's adherents of the dangers of 'apostates'. Disfellowshipping provides a way for the WTS to separate JWs from people who disagree with WTS doctrine. The scripture in 2 John specifically mentions people who do not bring the teachings of the Christ as someone to avoid, not someone who disagrees with the WTS. Be careful of any organization that tries to prevent it's members from reading material that is critical of that organization. The truth, the actual truth, will stand up to any criticism.

2) Thought Control

Because the umbrella of 'independent thought' includes anything that is critical of the WTS.

*** w06 7/15 p. 22 pars. 14-16 Focus on the Goodness of Jehovah’s Organization ***

14 In modern times, a very small number among God’s people have become disgruntled with some aspect of Christian teaching and have murmured against the earthly part of Jehovah’s organization. Why does this happen? Such murmuring is often caused by a lack of understanding of God’s way of doing things. The Creator progressively reveals the truth to his people. Hence, our understanding of the Scriptures is bound to be refined from time to time. The vast majority of Jehovah’s people rejoice over such refinements. A few become “righteous overmuch” and resent the changes. (Ecclesiastes 7:16) Pride may play a role, and some fall into the trap of independent thinking. Whatever the reason, such murmuring is hazardous, since it can draw us back into the world and its ways.

15 Emanuel, for instance, was a Witness who found fault with some things he read in publications of “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Matthew 24:45) He stopped reading our Christian literature and eventually told the elders of the local congregation that he no longer wished to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Within a short time, however, Emanuel came to realize that the teachings of Jehovah’s organization were correct after all. He contacted the Witnesses, admitted his mistake, and was reinstated as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. As a result, he again became a happy man.

16 What if we are tempted to murmur because of having doubts about certain teachings that Jehovah’s people hold in common? Then let us not be impatient. The ‘faithful slave’ may eventually publish something that answers our questions and clears up our doubts. It is wise to seek the help of Christian elders. (Jude 22, 23) Prayer, personal study, and association with spiritually-minded fellow believers can also help to remove doubts and can deepen our appreciation for the faith-strengthening Bible truths we have learned through Jehovah’s channel of communication.

Notice the emphasis on "the faithful and discreet slave" and "Jehovah's channel of communication" - both are the WTS. The message is clear, if you have doubts or issues with WTS doctrine, do not talk about it to anyone who isn't an elder and pray that you stop thinking independently.


3) Relationship control

The WTS maintains control of it's members by controlling the relationships of it's members. JWs in good standing are not allowed to speak with friends and family of DF'd members. Taking away a person's social circle and support network is a powerful way to maintain control of a person. Often, people who disagree with the WTS will work hard to get reinstated simply because they want to be able to see their friends and family. A DF'd person who is trying to 'play by the book' leads a isolated life. A DF'd person is not supposed to associate with non-JWs and can't associate with JWs so they are effectively in a social solitary confinement for a period of months or years as determined by the body of elders.

4) Fear and Intimidation

The practice of disfellowshipping includes a 'judicial hearing' which could otherwise be described as a kangaroo court or a breaking session. The elders on the committee are the prosecution, the judge and jury. These judicial hearings can last for hours on end and frequently result in the accused breaking down and crying uncontrollably. Why, because these men have the authority from the WTS to take away the accused person's whole social network. This is all done with the facade of 'loving concern' for the accused. However, no JW can honestly say that they are not fearful at the thought of being summoned to a judicial hearing.

5) Reporting Structure

The practice of disfellowshipping creates a reporting structure where members are obliged to inform the elder body of any 'wrongdoing' or risk being disfellowshipped themselves.

Everyone is encouraged to watch out for "struggling" brothers and sisters and report what they see to the elders. Often information given in deepest confidence is automatically reported to the elders.

Members will also hide their true thoughts and feelings, and instead wear a mask which presents them as as an upstanding member. This mask is a defense against being reported to the elders and being punished for not measuring up (JWs often never feel like they measure up to the WTS ideals, and yet often believe the other members around them do, when in reality the others feel the same as them). Hence JWs are trained not only to deceive outsiders, but also to deceive their fellow JWs. Nothing is allowed that can be more powerful than the JW's allegiance to the group.

Anonymous said...

Pioneer hour change is legit. Letters are being mailed out soon to all congregations for announcement in early October right before the tract campaign starts.


Elimination of Circuit Overseers
• Implementation date 2011 service year
• Many District Overseer’s and some “Circuit Overseers” are getting along in years and slowing down. There is a need for several more suitable replacements.
• There is a need to prepare additional brothers to serve as “overseers” in case of persecution and isolation.
• Presiding Overseers will be trained for additional responsibilities at Patterson “Elders School”.
• After all Presiding Overseer’s have been trained and before this is implemented there will be a Kingdom Ministry school for all Elder’s.
• Various Presiding Overseers from around each circuit will visit the various congregations in the circuit.
• The visit of the “Overseer” will begin Thursday evening. Another meeting will be held Saturday evening and the public meeting will be on Sunday.
• The “Overseer” will share in service Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with the congregation.
• Additionally the “Overseer” will have a meeting with the local elders and pioneers.
• Congregations will receive three visits per year instead of just two.
• Circuit Overseers can be reassigned as “District Overseers” to fill the need of replacements.
• Other Circuit Overseers may be reassigned as “Special Pioneers” to assist in the field.
• Since there will be ample “Circuit Overseers” to replace the needed “District Overseers” the size of the district will be lowered from about 13-15 circuits to around 10 per district. This will enable the “District Overseer” to spend more time with the circuits.
• There will be more brothers trained to shoulder the responsibility of oversight when persecution breaks out.
• Instead of having one “Circuit Overseer” assigned to 20 congregations various brothers will be familiar with the needs of different congregations, in order to care for these congregations during the above mentioned difficult times.
• If a select few congregations became isolated for one reason or another, brothers who are already familiar with overseeing the needs of entire congregations would already be available to assist.
• If one “Overseer” was persecuted, arrested, etc. there would already be other qualified brothers to take the lead.
Expansion at Patterson
• Will start some time after upcoming Wallkill project is finished.
• Substantial plans have already been filed with Putnam County and Patterson City to obtain needed permits, and the okay has been given to start the project.
• Several additional office and residence buildings are to be built. The plan is to build as high as the government will allow; likely 5 or 6 floor buildings.
• Plan is to have HIS, Treasurer’s Office, Convention Office, and other smaller departments move there first.
• One new office building will be exclusively used by Governing Body, United States Branch Committee, Service, Publishing (Legal), and Writing Departments.
• Teaching Department will be in new building with Audio Video services with largely expanded studio from what they have right now.

Expansion at Wallkill
• Likely will start in 2009.
• After completion plan to have the wood, machine, furniture, etc. shops and electrical, plumbing, and other mechanical training will move to Wallkill.
• Departments that coordinate RBC’s, KH building and other expansion projects will move to Wallkill.
• http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071129/NEWS/711290360


Brooklyn News
• Dumbo project in Brooklyn on Jay St has been scrapped.
• Buildings will continue to be sold. Residents will be moved to the larger buildings.
• Plan for eventually selling all buildings in Brooklyn between 2015 – 2020.

Anonymous said...

Great post Shawn.

Anonymous said...

Ronde: "IT is not the Watchtower Society that dictates, it is the fact that DFd and DAd ones do not want to be greeted."

I am disfellowshipped. It is NOT true that we do not want to be greeted. It would be so nice to be recognized as a human being instead of ignored as if I was less than dirt. It is very much in fact what the WTS dictates. Jesus treated everyone lovingly, it would be nice if Jehovah's Witnesses would too.

Ronde said...

Shawn said:
"There is a huge difference between someone who is guilty of murder and someone who decides to smoke a cigar! "

Oh really>? How so? Both are guilty of disregarding God's value of life.

"This is an important issue to focus on because the practice of disfellowshipping was not practiced by first century Christians."

Does it matter? The practice of complaining about it was not practiced by first century Christians either.

"Also, to say that a DF'd person doesn't want to be greeted by JWs in good standing is not only a falsehood, it's ludicrous! Do you actually think that a DF'd person doesn't want to speak with their friends or family?"

Yes, or they would be associating with their family rather than being on the course that caused their hearts to be hardened. If they wanted to associate with them, then why did they choose to not associate and be DF'd. Many are DFd for immorality. If they were associating with their family, they would not have been committing immorality.

"The WTS does not disfellowship greedy people."

The WTS does not disfellowship anyone. It is not their job as they are a printing company, not a congregation.

And greedy is ambiguous.

"They don't DF people who are 'hard-core' sports fans, something they claim to be idolatry.'

And that is not the purpose of disfellowshipping. People will carry their own load and reap what they sow.

"When was the last time you heard of a person who was rude and insulting getting DF'd?"

Well, you are rude and insulting so you are DF'd. But otherwise normally, that is not the purpose of it.

"What do JWs get DF'd for?
1)No longer claiming to be called a brother/sister."

Right, they choose not to associate.

"2)Independent study and discussion of the Bible that brings Watchtower
doctrine into question."

Not true. It is only the case if they cause problems.

"3) Possession of literature written by former members."

Not true.

"4) Having lunch with a former member, even if the former member professes to
be a Christian and was not disfellowshipped for fornication, greed,
idolatry, reviling, drunkenness, or extortion."

Former members can not be Christians or they would not be former.

"5) Attending a service of any other church or religious organization."

Right, because that is voluntarily removing from the congregation.

"6) Authorizing a blood transfusion, even to save the life of a child."

Not true. Only if one voluntarily accepts blood, and tells others of it. Unbaptized ones like children can not accept blood, because they are voluntarily doing it.

"7) Numerous other actions not mentioned in scripture, but deemed by the congregation elders to be "unclean conduct," or "conduct unbecoming" of a Jehovah's Witness."

Not true.

Ronde said...

Shawn, you are an worshipper of the WTS so you are idolatry there.JWs are not like that.

Ronde said...

Anon said:"I am disfellowshipped. It is NOT true that we do not want to be greeted. It would be so nice to be recognized as a human being instead of ignored as if I was less than dirt. It is very much in fact what the WTS dictates. Jesus treated everyone lovingly, it would be nice if Jehovah's Witnesses would too. "

How was the wTS involved in your disfellowshipping? Were they there? I don't think so.

If you had associated with the Witnesses rather than doing your own thing, you would not be df'd. Thus you chose to not associate and that lead to bad results as the Bible says. Bad associations.

JoePublish said...

That was a great post Shawn! - Thank you.

Bud said...

Thanks Shawn for spelling this out. Many sisters are disfellowshipped or publicly reproved after being raped or in an abusive situation. If they won't accept the blame, they need discipline and the kangaroo court is just the place to get it.

Anonymous said...

Joe

Im so glad you ignored all that BS in the posts above you.

JoePublish said...

Let's try again...

Ronde, I say "up", you say (it begins with D, not Y.)

You seem to be having a hard time with this easy exercise of, let's say the "opposite" of whatever anyone else says.

Okay, fill in the blank (again it begins with "D") D___

berty said...

I believe it would be better just to not read nor response to ronda. He, eventually would , I hope, stop posting.

Let´s shun him. Maybe he will think twice what he writes and what he believes.

Ronde said...

So you are shunning me.

You hypocrites.

You complain about shunning when it is you and your family, but you shun others you don't like.

you hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

I'm with JoePublish. Ronde reminds me of a few JWs I grew up around. Much like partisan Republicans and Democrats, Ronde is a partisan Witness, where anything the Society teaches is straight from God and should not be challenged in any way. And those who offer logical, contrary reasoning are dismissed and insulted out of hand.

As I said before, I have hope for those like Ronde. They are sincere but blind. I know Jehovah loves them and will someday help them see the light (minus WT filters).

Ronde said...

You and Joepub are so blind:

"Ronde is a partisan Witness, where anything the Society teaches is straight from God and should not be challenged in any way"

I am most definitely non-partisan.

I am not a follower of the Society, I am a supporter of JW's as a religion.

Shawn said...

Actually, it's really good that ronde is so vocal. We can see the WTS control devices in action!

First, notice his inability to recognize the difference between a murderer and someone who smokes a cigar. Because JWs can be DF'd for either, it's essentially the same offense in his mind.

When I pointed out that disfellowshipping was not practiced by the first century Christians, his only response was that I was complaining about the practice. The WTS repeats the message over and over that a 'true Christian' never 'murmurs' about the leadership of the WTS.

Next onto my rejection of his claim that DF'd people don't want to talk to their friends or family.

"Yes, or they would be associating with their family rather than being on the course that caused their hearts to be hardened. If they wanted to associate with them, then why did they choose to not associate and be DF'd. Many are DFd for immorality. If they were associating with their family, they would not have been committing immorality."

Notice the loaded language here - "the course that caused their hearts to be hardened". This is a form of character assassination that makes it possible for JWs in good standing to treat DF'd members like dirt. Blaming the victim is a common tactic in this type of organization. Not only does it remove any twinges of conscience that any members in good standing might feel about treating another human being like an animal, but is heaps guilt on the DF'd person in an attempt to break their spirit... and when they are broken and ready to be obedient to the WTS, guess what? The elder body is right there to console them. See how this mechanism works?

As a side note I have to agree with you when you say that those associating with their family don't get disfellowshipped... because the WTS covers up child molesters. However, it does not mean that they haven't committed immorality.

Next we see a beautiful example of the Orwellian double-speak that the WTS has set up for its adherents...

"The WTS does not disfellowship anyone. It is not their job as they are a printing company, not a congregation.

And greedy is ambiguous."

As it turns out, Steve ( I've crossed blogs with you before ), the WTS does indeed do the disfellowshipping. The elders on the judicial committee send their findings and recommendations to the WTS, who then approves of rejects the motion to disfellowship a member. According to the WTS publications, they in face are God's sole channel of communication and God's visible organization. They do not say that they are merely a printing company.

It's also true that the term 'greedy' is ambiguous, but it is in the scripture. Why is it that the scriptures warn us to avoid greedy people but the WTS doesn't disfellowship greedy people? Was the term 'greedy' strictly defined in the first century or... was it that this scripture wasn't referring to anything even remotely similar to the practice of disfellowshipping? It's certainly the later. It would be sound advice for a Christian to avoid associating with greedy persons, but it is merely advice about choosing one's associations, not a recipe for social solitary confinement.

What do JWs get DF'd for?
1)No longer claiming to be called a brother/sister.

"Right, they choose not to associate."

Here's another example of blaming the victim. You see, in civilized society, when a person leaves an organization, the remaining members do not launch a character assassination and forbid the remaining member from speaking to the person who made the decision to leave.



2)Independent study and discussion of the Bible that brings Watchtower
doctrine into question.

"Not true. It is only the case if they cause problems."

From 'Pay Attention to the Flock'...
"Persons who deliberately spread (stubbornly hold to and
speak about) teachings contrary to Bible truth as taught
by Jehovah's Witnesses are apostate."

Notice that an apostate is not someone who holds to a teaching contrary to the Bible, but someone who holds to a teaching contrary to what Jehovah's Witnesses teach. If a member of the congregation dissents in any way from the doctrine of the WTS, that person is an apostate and will be disfellowshipped.

So yes, people who study the Bible in a way that brings the WTS doctrine into question is in line for disfellowshipping.

3) Possession of literature written by former members.

"Not true."

*** w83 4/1 p. 24 par. 19 Reject Apostasy, Cling to the Truth! ***

Some who once served as Jehovah’s Witnesses have rejected various Scriptural views based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and his apostles. ... In no way do loyal witnesses of Jehovah want to be accomplices in the “wicked deeds” of such unfaithful persons by supporting their ungodly words and activities in any manner.

*** w86 3/15 p. 13 par. 10 ‘Do Not Be Quickly Shaken From Your Reason’ ***

If, out of curiosity, we were to read the literature of a known apostate, would that not be the same as inviting this enemy of true worship right into our home to sit down with us and relate his apostate ideas?

*** w83 4/1 p. 24 par. 18 Reject Apostasy, Cling to the Truth! ***

Moreover, if a dedicated servant of Jehovah were to entertain such a deceptive teacher in his home, he would become “an accomplice” in the “wicked deeds” of that person. (The New English Bible) Therefore, no loyal modern-day witness of Jehovah would greet a disfellowshipped or disassociated apostate or allow that one to use his Christian home as a place from which to spread doctrinal error. Surely, there would be grave accountability before God if a believer extended hospitality to an apostate and this resulted in the spiritual death of a fellow worshiper of Jehovah.—Compare Romans 16:17, 18; 2 Timothy 3:6, 7.

***

So according to the Watchtower, possessing literature from former members is the same as inviting them into one's home... and anyone who invites a former member who has written something critical of the WTS into their home is an accomplice in the 'wicked deeds' of the writer... and is in line for disfellowshipping.

4) Having lunch with a former member, even if the former member professes to be a Christian and was not disfellowshipped for fornication, greed, idolatry, reviling, drunkenness, or extortion.

"Former members can not be Christians or they would not be former."

This answer highlights the control device known as exclusivism. The position that a person could not be a Christian without being one of Jehovah's Witnesses claims that WTS is the only way to God. A normal religious organization would not have any trouble with you moving to another similar organization as long as you stayed in that same religion. Because it is the belief system that matters, not membership in an organization. For example if you were a Christian then you could move from one church to another and still be a Christian.

However an organization which tries to maintain control over its members will tell you can only be "saved" (or can only be successful) in their organization alone. No other organization has the truth, all others miss the mark. So it is not the belief system that decides your future, but it the belief system AND your membership with that particular group.

The controlling organization needs to make you believe that there is no where else you can go and still be saved, and if you ever leave the "one true church" then you are going to be destroyed or tormented forever. This is a fear based control mechanism designed to keep you in the organization. It also gives the organization leaders tremendous power over you. If you really believe that leaving the group equals leaving God (or means you are leaving your only chance to succeed in life), then you will obey the organization leaders even when you disagree with them instead of risking being kicked out of the group. Exclusivism is used as a threat, it controls your behavior through fear.

Be very suspicious of any group that claims to be better than all the others. A religious group may say that other groups following the same religion are OK, but they are the ones who have a better grasp of the truth and they are superior to the rest. This is often just a subtle version of exclusivism.

This is one of the practices that controlling organizations are often very deceptive about. For example, first off they may give you the impression that they think you are a true Christian, Buddhist or Muslim and it's not until later that their true position is revealed.

5) Attending a service of any other church or religious organization.

"Right, because that is voluntarily removing from the congregation."

More exclusivism in action. Attending the service of another does not make one an adherent of the religion any more than a JW bible study who goes to the Sunday meeting and Watchtower study for the first time is one of JWs.

6) Authorizing a blood transfusion, even to save the life of a child.

"Not true. Only if one voluntarily accepts blood, and tells others of it. Unbaptized ones like children can not accept blood, because they are voluntarily doing it."

*** w70 4/15 p. 249 Questions That People Ask About Jehovah’s Witnesses ***

But suppose one’s wife or child were near death. Giving blood, no matter who the loved one might be, would still constitute a violation of God’s law. Just because one is near death, this does not give one liberty to break God’s commands. When one is near death is no time to tamper with or violate the law of God, but a time to draw as near as possible to God by remaining faithful. Everlasting life is the reward for faithfulness. How foolish it would be to gamble away the prospect of life eternal for the very uncertain promise of a cure by blood transfusion!—Rev. 2:10.

***

No where does it say that you have to tell others about it for it to be a violation of God's law. By the way the position that it is only wrong if others know about it is a wonderful example of the 'Reporting Structure' technique I mentioned in my previous post!

*** From my previous post***
Members will also hide their true thoughts and feelings, and instead wear a mask which presents them as as an upstanding member. This mask is a defense against being reported to the elders and being punished for not measuring up (JWs often never feel like they measure up to the WTS ideals, and yet often believe the other members around them do, when in reality the others feel the same as them). Hence JWs are trained not only to deceive outsiders, but also to deceive their fellow JWs.
****************************

7) Numerous other actions not mentioned in scripture, but deemed by the congregation elders to be "unclean conduct," or "conduct unbecoming" of a Jehovah's Witness.

"Not true."

From 'Pay Attention to the Flock'...
Loose conduct . Term not restricted to sexual immorality .
(Gal. 5 :19, Ref . Bi., ftn. ; 2 Pet. 2 :7, Ref. Bi., ftn . ; w83
3/15 p. 31 ; w73 9/15 pp. 574-6 ; it-2 p . 264)
SUMMARY: There are varying degrees of wrongdoing .
At times there may have been an overlapping of sins, and
this must be discerned in order to determine the proper
Scriptural view of a person's conduct . In all cases, elders
should carefully weigh each situation or circumstance.
They need to find out what actually occurred, the extent
and nature of misconduct, intent and motive, frequency
or practice, and so forth, Good judgment, reasonableness,
and balance are necessary as elders assess conduct in the
light of the Scriptures .
***

So it looks like "Good judgment" by the elders in the judicial committee who "assess conduct" are really all that is required. If the elders can find something in the scriptures that satisfies them that you should be disfellowshipped, they can send the note to the WTS for approval... BTW, they're almost always approved.

You see "ronde", You can't just declare something false without offering evidence that it is indeed false.


...and your last note to me...
"Shawn, you are an worshiper of the WTS so you are idolatry there.JWs are not like that."

Yet another fluorescent example of character assassination (Ad Hominem attack) from a WTS trained mind. All of the facts are there... from the WTS publications. Cognitive dissonance is powerful and can cause an otherwise reasonable person do, say and believe unreasonable things. Blogs like this one are critical to exposing the conflicts in the WTS and hopefully help people caught in this controlling, invasive organization to realize that the WTS is not the organization it claims to be.

Shawn said...

Just posting this to get email updates.

JoePublish said...

Thank you [again!] Shawn, for totally destroying the illogical, non-scriptural and [very] weak responses from Ronda - ooops, I mean Ronde. (I wish he choose a non-girlish name. LOL)

I too hold out hope for Ronde - he's much to much of a rebel of JW to last.

He'll come back one of these days with an apology - one of these days.

Unfortunately it could take a couple of decades - right now, he thinks he's Rocky, standing up for all JW's on this blog-site. Wait, I can here the inspirational Rock theme music starting now!. LOL

Bud said...

Shawn, I like how well thought out and thorough you are in your comments. Using logic and actual references is more appealing to me than the comments with name calling and other childish styles of conversation.
I agree with your observation about the JW technique of either discrediting or blaming the victim. They certainly didn't learn that from Jesus.

JoePublish said...

Which is why Ronde's comment that I and others are "so blind" is so ironic.

When I read Shawn's logical replies (and supporting WTS documentation) and then see Ronde's comment about everyone else being so blind... well, if that isn't the pot calling itself black, I don't know what is.

Of course, if you have read Ronda's comments on this web-blog before, you'll know he doesn't follow the WTS literature.

So, I can only conclude he is so shocked at what it states, he simply denies the WTS quotes by saying, "I don't follow the WTS."

He's the master of cirular logic - he doesn't realize that "thinking" people know what he's up to.