Friday, February 13, 2009

New Letter To The Body of Elders

Unfortunately I have no scanner. But I thought y'all might like a glance into the latest mind of "mother".
I won't type out the whole thing, but just select pertinent parts to quote:
"To all Bodies of Elders
"Re: Christian Parents permitting unbelieving relatives to live in fornication in their homes
"[Usual blather about 'works of flesh']...If Christian parents were to allow their unbelieving son or daughter to practice fornication in their home, they would thus be giving tacit approval to immoral conduct. This would also be true of Christians who allow a son or daughter or other relative to commit fornication while visiting their home. Such parents would surely not be exemplary Christians...
"When congregatoin elders come to know of such a situation, they sould patiently provide scriptural counsel. [Blather about the good effects if such counsel is applied]
"Perhaps the parents are genuinely concerned that what they hve been allowing may be a cause for stumbling. For certain reasons, however, they may feel they have no recourse at the present time. For example, elderly Witness parents may need the assistance of an unbelieving son or daughter. Under such circumstances, no judicial action would be taken, but the qualification of the parent to serve in an exemplary position would be reviewed by the body of elders.
"Suppose the parents, upon being approached by the elders, manifest a brazen attitude, not really caring if others are stumbled. Even though these parents do not encourage others to do what they themselves are doing, the elders may decide to arrange for a talk to be given that serves as a warning to the congregation [references to 'marking' from 7/15/99 WT]. On the other hand, if the baptized parents actively promote the practice of allowing individuals who are living in fornication to move into a Christian home, then the matter could be handled judicially on the grounds of condoning fornication, causing divisions, and, in effect, speaking against 'the teaching of the Christ."
[Standard conclusion].

1) Must be a growing problem if it elicits a Body Of Elders letter with such explicit examples and directions
2) Note the last sentence quoted above:
(a) "condoning fornication" is not a Disfellowshipping offense in the elder manual - they seem to be establishing a new precedent here.
(b) "Causing divisions" is a catchall reason, along with "loose conduct", for Disfellowshipping someone you don't like, but you don't have any valid grounds.
(c) "the teaching of the Christ", as contained in the gospels, mentions absolutely nothing about parents whose children are "living in fornication". But there's plenty of information in Watchtowers, Body of Elders letters, and other literature. Thus, the subtle connection is made - Watchtower literature is really "the teachings of Christ"

There's really nothing particularly surprising here, but it is interesting to note that the micromanagement and desire to control all aspects of members' loves continues unabated.