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WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT DISFELLOWSHIP?

Should apostates and sinners be disfellowshipped from the congregation?

“Apostate” is a term used by the governing body and JW organization, but let’s look at the Bible list of unacceptable behavior.

SINS PREVENTING INHERITANCE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Various sins prevent people from inheriting the Kingdom of God.

Gal 5:19-21 says, “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication (4202 pornea – sexual immorality), uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (NKJ) (see also 1 Cor 6:9-11 & Eph 5:5)

Notice that this list includes such sins as idolatry, hatred, contentions, jealousies, selfish ambitions & envy.  Are we ever contentious, jealous or envious?  Do we commit any of these other sins? How easy it is to set Apostasy (heresies) up on a pedestal as if it is the most horrendous sin a New Creature can commit and then to happily go along with our own lives as if we have no sins of our own.

The governing body identifies what Apostasy is, but do you trust their conclusions?

Let’s remember Jesus’ words in Matt 7:4, “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? (NKJ)

Nevertheless, according to Gal 5:21, those who practice these types of sins and who do not repent, cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. They cannot inherit the office of kings and priests who will reign over and bless all mankind. (1 Cor 15:50 & Heb 6:12-20).

THE ADULTEROUS WOMAN

John 8:3-11 talks about the adulterous woman that the Pharisees brought before Jesus to test him. Although, some consider this passage to be spurious, such a conclusion is uncertain.

C.T. Russell had this to say about the passage in Watchtower Reprint 3434, “Our Lord “entered into sympathy with the meek… in all their weaknesses… Note the case of the woman taken in sin, and our Lord’s failure to make any pharisaical tirade against her.  Mark his reproof to those who stood by: ‘He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone.’ Mark how, when they were all thus convicted of imperfection in some particular themselves, our Lord said to the woman, “Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin not more.’ (John 8:3-11).”

WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THE SINNER?

We suggest our response to the sinner  should be an act of love. If we love our brother, we will not ignore a sin that places his relationship with Jesus as a New Creature in jeopardy.

Let’s take a look at in example from 1 Cor 5 of one in the Church who committed sexual immorality.

1 Cor 5:1-13

1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality [Strongs 4202 porneia] among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles– that a man has his father’s wife!

2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.

3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed.

4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. People [Strongs 4205 pornos]

10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.

11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner–not even to eat with such a person.

12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?

13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.” (NKJ)

Our expression of love for the adulterous brother involves a withdrawing of fellowship. We can not help the brother by continuing in full fellowship as always. To ignore the matter will be to his injury as well as to the injury of others in the Church who would thereby be encourage to lower their moral standards.

There are consequences to allowing sin in the congregation.

1 Cor 5:6-7 says, “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. (NKJ)

By not dealing with the matter, others will feel it is okay and more brethren will sin.

Jesus gave us the step by step procedures for dealing with sin in the Church. The sinner is not to be immediately embarrassed and exposed before all, but is to be given an opportunity to explain themselves and to repent if necessary.

In Matt 18:15-17, Jesus says, “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.  But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.  And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church.  But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. [Like anyone who walks into the congregation from off the street.] (NKJ)

C.T. Russell give the following advice in Watchtower Reprint 5954: “In any event they would seem to have no ground for forbidding attendance at meeting. The very most they might vote would be to withdraw fellowship and include in this a refusal to visit at their home or to invite them to the homes of the class – the class declining also to appoint the brother to any office, such as deacon or elder. As for refusing them the privilege of attending public meetings, that would be very inconsistent; for surely all kinds of people living in all kinds of sin come occasionally to meeting, and we hope that by coming they may be benefited and recovered.

REPENTANCE AND RESTORATION

Once a brother or sister becomes an adulterer, is there anyway to undo the sin or to correct the problem and bring them back to the heavenly father’s approval?  Let’s see what answers are provided by the Bible.

Gal 6:1 – “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” (NKJ)

James 5:19-20 – “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” (NKJ)

Jude 1:23 – “but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” (NKJ)

It is the brethren’s privilege to minister to the sinner in love, helping to bring him or her towards repentance and recovery.

Rom 15:1-3 – “Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL ON ME.” NASV

THE PUNISHMENT WENT TOO FAR!

The Corinthian brethren punished the sinner committing sexual immorality, but Paul tells us that they went to far.

2 Cor 2:6-11 say,

6 This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man,

7 so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow.

8 Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.

9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.

10 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ,

11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. (NKJ)

Withdrawing fellowship for a time served a purpose. It helped bring the sinning brother to repentance. . Upon full repentance, God will fully forgive, and so should we.  Notice that Paul speaks of this “punishment which was inflicted by the majority.” Paul does not advise that the majority split away from the minority who did not participate in this punishment (withdrawing of fellowship). Apparently then, this is not a matter for a congregation to divide over.

FULL REPENTANCE BRINGS FULL RECOVERY & RESTORATION

* Though God punished a repentant David, he forgave him his adultery and did not remove him as king. In accepting David’s repentance, God did not ask David to divorce Bathsheeba.

* In John 8, Jesus told the adulterous woman to “sin no more” and sent her away uncondemned.

* As Saul of Tarsus, the Apostle Paul murdered and imprisoned brethren, but later repented and became the greatest Apostle of all.

* In 1 Cor 6:11, Paul says of the sinners who will not inherit the Kingdom of God, “such were some of you.”

Click here to find out  WHO HAS THE AUTHORITY TO DISFELLOWSHIP?

74 comments to WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT DISFELLOWSHIP?

  • TedR Bible Stusent

    Another disgusting article in the Watchtower describing how “loving” the disfellowshipping is and how it is part of Jehovah’s arrangement. Today’s study article. And they make it sound so noble! They misapply scripture and blatantly add to what the scriptures actually say.. I am so glad I serve a loving God and know the truth.

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Ted R, they just cancel venue in Oregon to a smaller place. San diego stadium holds over 50,000 but only had 17,000. Henry will post A&E link for cult info show tonight and monday.
      Also Barbara Anderson is doing a huge TV thing station has already come to her house for taping.
      Leah Remini was asked by watchtower why a show on them since they aren’t a cult? She opened the flock secret elder book and proved her point. Finally the US will at least let them know they aren’t above the law of God or this nation. Everything is being revealed.
      Thanks for the heads up on today’s article. My family normally hiccups when these articles come out. I am just going to keep to myself away from stressful situations and no discussions. These men have hurt so many people. God is calling Babylon the Great sins up. They are patterned after the Great whore, the Catholic church.

      • Ted R. (Bible Student)

        But Sr Jacqueline, didn’t you know that all this is a sign Armageddon is near. JW’s are getting persecuted against. Also the closing of Kingdom Halls and constant pleas for money are sure indicators of the rapid expansion taking place! Its clear that Jehovah is blessing the organization. Sorry to sound sarcastic but we had the CO this week and his talk was on surviving Armageddon and then his closing talk on love and friendship gets to me.

        • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

          Ted yep it’s like I rob a bank and when they put me in jail it is persecution. They are getting what they deserve like religion that has gotten filthy rich and lived in shameless lusty while the people suffer. Today however with so much instant knowledge the flock bear some responsibility for being lead astray now except the children. They don’t have a choice. California brothers voted with the empty seats. Every seat filled says I love drinking this kool aid. I was too vocal during meeting if called on and my facial expressions and body language was obvious. So i just walked out one day never to return rather than disrupt their setvice with my disbelief at what they were saying. Some have so much to lose if they leave and have to suffer in silence. But like you Ted, we get an inside look into what is being said so we can respond when persons come on. So you take some tums or bicarbonate of soda to keep your stomach settled as you endure their dribble😌.
          Do they suspect you at all? I don’t have the self control you have. I betray myself with my expressions. So keep us posted. And take care of your emotional health, it can take a toll.

        • greg (Bible Student)

          Ted,

          I admire your qualities of strength, patience, endurance, and forgiveness, Br. Ted. I won’t say I couldn’t do what you do because I have done similar in the past. At the same time I well know the emotional toll is very, very heavy. I worry about you and I keep you in my prayers, my friend, my brother.

          Warm love,
          -greg

        • greg (Bible Student)

          Br. Ted,

          I’m curious: Would you be able and willing to explain when you said the CO’s closing talk on love and friendship gets to you, in what way does it impact you? What kinds of things were said? And how do you cope? How do you recover your inner peace?

          -greg

          • Ted R. (Bible Student)

            The talk was primarily on being Jehovah’s friend by staying close and loyal to the organization. This talk was preceded by the talk that the only way to survive Armeggedon was to stay close to the organization and then the watchtower which talked about accepting the discipline and realizing that even disfellowshipping was a sign of Gods love. I have a tendency to tune things out. I learned a long time ago that sometimes it is best to be silent. I think I am being watched but they have left me alone to this point. My Parkinson s disease is in many ways a blessing because it gives me an excuse not to go in service, miss meetings, and not comment when I am there. I have grown a beard, which is a silent way of letting them know I don’t drink their cool-aid. A JW friend of mine found out that I attended the General And made me tell one of the elders. I just told him I was curious and he told me not to do it any more. This friend rents an apartment of of me and I know he is watching me. I have to be very careful what I say. I post a scripture and comment on my Facebook page, but I never say anything that directly goes against their teaching unless it is just quoting a scripture. I posted one a few weeks ago just quoting Romans 11. I never fail to meet my disfellowshipped son for coffee and currently study with a good friend who is disfellowshipped. He has been on the friends website a few times. The scriptures tell us to be cautious as serpents, and innocent as doves. At this point I have just placed everything in our Lords hands. When it is time to be revealed, I am ready. I don’t hide my feelings out of fear, but out of love and respect for my wife.

            • TedR Bible Student

              By the way, I won’t make the General this year because of my Parkinsons, but will be attending the ABSCO convention. I plan on inviting Steve to go with me.

            • greg (Bible Student)

              Thanks for sharing these expressions with me/us, Ted. I find myself encouraged by your example.

              Thanks sincerely,

              -greg

      • Ted R. (Bible Student)

        This coming Sundays Watchtower is even worse than last week. The article is: Listen to Discipline and Become Wise. The article state the example of a person with a disfellowshipped daughter: “Consider the example of a mother whose disfellowshipped daughter left home. The mother admits: “I looked for loopholes in our publications so that I could spend time with my daughter and my granddaughter.” ”But my husband kindly helped me to see that our child was now out of our hands and that we must not interfere.”[ii]
        The grandaughter was not disfellowshipped but the article is suggesting that it would be wrong for a grandmother to use the grandaughter as an “excuse” to see her daughter.
        This organization continues to go against scripture, breaking up families with their false and misleading council. It is heartbreaking.

        • Ted R. (Bible Student)

          Here is a statement from the FAQ section of JW.org: Official JW.org website under “About us/Frequently Asked Questions/Do Jehovah’s Witnesses shun former members of their religion?” There it says “What of a man who is disfellowshipped but whose wife and children are still Jehovah’s Witnesses? The religious ties he had with his family change, but blood ties remain. The marriage relationship and normal family affections and dealings continue.”
          Contrast this with the Gods Love book: God’s Love book (lv p 207-208 para 3) says regarding a disfellowshipped family member living at home: “Since his being disfellowshipped does not sever the family ties, normal day to day family activities and dealings may continue….So loyal family members can no longer have spiritual fellowship with him.” But with regard to those family members living away it is much harsher: “Although there might be a need for limited contact on some rare occasion to care for a necessary family matter, any contact should be kept to a minimum
          Yet many JW parents are counciled to remove the child from the house as soon as he or she is old enough to care for themselves, even if they have no place to go to!
          A parent cannot help the child regain spirituality, or a family head loses the ability to provide spiritually for his family. We cannot even pray for a disfellowshipped family member! This is “normal family relationships?”
          Jesus said of the Pharisees in Mathew 23:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

          • greg (Bible Student)

            Additionally, I like to remember these words of Jesus:

            “But on seeing this the Pharisees began to say to his disciples: “Why is it that YOUR teacher eats with tax collectors and sinners?” Hearing them, he said: “Persons in health do not need a physician, but the ailing do. Go, then, and learn what this means, ‘I want mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came to call, not righteous people, but sinners.”” (Matthew 9:11-13 NWT)

            It always seemed to me that the JW shunning policy was equivalent to sacrificing people to Molech, putting sons and daughters through the fire (of hate, ostracism, neglect, unnecessary ordeals of pain and trial) and treating them as dead thereafter. And then they call it loving mercy.

            It also seems to me that IF shunning was actually the loving and kind thing to do, people would do it naturally and you would be able to stop them. But to show love and mercy is far more natural, and Watchtower can’t seem to get them to stop doing what is truly proper. I believe that the Governing Body is trying to get people to do something wholly unnatural and that is why the Watchtower constantly devotes pages and pages and pages to trying SPIN ideas so as to convince people that hate and cruelty are loving, and love means cruelty and hating. It’s SO upside-down and twisted!!

            Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

            Does Watchtower even consider how much they are a part of the fulfillment of 2 Timothy 3:1-9?

            “…In the last days terrible times will come. For men will be… arrogant, abusive, … unloving, unforgiving, … brutal, without love of good, … having a form of godliness but denying its power. … They are the kind who worm their way into households and captivate vulnerable women who are weighed down with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth. They are depraved in mind and disqualified from the faith. But they will not advance much further. For just like Jannes and Jambres, their folly will be plain to everyone.” (BSB)

            -greg

            • greg (Bible Student)

              Just a few more words:

              I cannot bring myself to view the JW policy on Shunning as love, or mercy. It’s PUNISHMENT, plain and simple! In other words, it’s calculated revenge. It’s paying back evil for evil, injury for injury. I see it as the belief that by ADDING to the pain and suffering and misery in the world we can somehow make the world a better place. Practicing and perfecting hatred for those that are different never adds to the love in the world.

              In my mind, the JW policy of shunning demonstrates that they are not yet ready to conquer all things with love, nor to entirely abandon the belief that there needs to exist some form of HELLFIRE doctrine so as to control people.

              -greg

              • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

                Greg, maybe the A&E presentation tonight with Barbara Anderson and Vargas will knock some of the wind out of their sail. It airs 9pm CST, 10pm EST.
                There would also have to be something wrong with the adults in the audience if they can’t see something wrong with these 2 articles.
                I would have agreed with Traveler if he hadn’t used the word victims referring to the molestation. These adults are selfish and hardhearted if they don’t dismiss and disibey these men.
                I was in this relugion 62 years and many if us never did what they said and they never got this bad, to bombard your God given senses to destroy your child or parent.
                They can’t force these people to do any thing. These same congregants have the strong will power to stand up against governments etc. There is something wrong with many of the people within that organization, it attractives hardless people for some reason. That leaves the children to suffer and peripheral family that will lose everything if they leave.
                There is just something demonic about this that will take a Mighty God to take them down. It is very well organized to inflict maximum damage as everyone is saying, to the FAMILY!
                ONLY SATAN HATE FAMILIES THAT MUCH! Hard to fight the devil head on without help from Jesus and Jehovah.Hopefully the governments will act in Their behalf and with Their permission to let those flee that want to without the horrible consequences. Next Sunday will ne a sad day indeed.

        • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

          Ted, maybe the A&E presentation tonight with Barbara Anderson and Vargas will knock some of the wind out of their sail. It airs 9pm CST, 10pm EST.
          There would also have to be something wrong with the adults in the audience if they can’t see something wrong with these 2 articles.
          I would have agreed with Traveler if he hadn’t used the word victims referring to the molestation. These adults are selfish and hardhearted if they don’t dismiss and diobey these men.
          I was in this religion 62 years and many of us never did what they said but they never got this bad, to bombard your God given senses, to destroy your child or parent.
          They can’t force these people to do any thing. These same congregants have the strong will power to stand up against governments etc. There is something wrong with many of the people within that organization, it attractives hardless people for some reason. That leaves the children to suffer and peripheral family that will lose everything if they leave.
          There is just something demonic about this that will take a Mighty God to take them down. It is very well organized to inflict maximum damage as everyone is saying, to the FAMILY!
          ONLY SATAN HATES FAMILIES THAT MUCH! Hard to fight the devil head on without help from Jesus and Jehovah.Hopefully the governments will act in Their behalf and with Their permission to let those flee that want to without the horrible consequences. Next Sunday will be a sad day indeed.
          Thank you Ted for alerting us, I for one can prepare for the attitude from my children. How my children have slipped into slavery to theses men when both parents have left is beyond me. Our family fought slavery for so long and to see the men in my family submit willingly is disturbing. This is what this is becoming because it is about retaining and making money, it isn’t about religion, it’s bodies in the seats. God is watching.

  • Mimi

    I am not defending JWs. But this seems to me one major issue people have. And I truly think that most religions squint when it comes to dealing with people who do not want to abide to bible standards of how a Christian should lead life. Where is the sacrifice then? I personally feel that if you belong to any type of religion, if you are not willing to abide by gods word, you a worse than someone without faith. It’s called hipocrasy. Cannot pick and choose simply to lead the life you want and not the one god wants you to live. If you truly believe the Bible is his word and truth, you are sinning. Believe in god but also believe that the Bible has flaws and it was for the most part man made. Your religion as a BS, is on the same level as many. That’s truth. Maybe I’ll be destroyed in “Armageddon” for saying that but just my thoughts.

  • Mimi

    GREg and Zion herald, thank you for those scriptures. I think Jesus was referring to people who had not yet heard his word. Those who were still unbelievers. Of course it was while he was on earth performing miracles and showing mercy for random people is not in question. I was asking about those who commit sin and do not repent. It is not just to individuals who make mistakes, we sin everyday. I have that friend who was disfellowshiped and one of his buddies wasn’t. That other person truly repented and changed their ways was kept in. He in the other hand showed pride and wanted to keep living in sin. So wouldn’t 1 Cor. 5: 1-13 but ok for the purpose of using another scripture in regards to this lets say that the last thing would be to treat the person like Matt. 18: 17. You are reading from the American standard version. if you read into most, they do not use Gentile” but you’ll find = pagan, Heathen, unbeliever. Even “corrupt tax collector”. How would you treat those?

    • greg (Bible Student)

      Hi Mimi,

      I thoroughly appreciate your cautious and questioning approach to things. I am so happy to know that you won’t just take my word, or someone else’s word for things. Every person must come to their own inwardly satisfying peace about their experiences and perceptions. What a refreshing joy to hear your questions and expressions! Thank you!

      I’d like to share with you some of my own struggles and questionings. I hope you can hear my struggles in the following words. Sadly, I’m not sure I present them in the light of my own personal inward struggle. Perhaps you can hear them behind my words though?

      I agree that certain people act in ways that I would consider “unhealthy”. To use a medical analogy, one might say their actions are both infectious and contagious. But are not they the ones that most need medical attention then? In order to demonstrate “hospitality” (as in hospital) towards someone with a highly infectious disease, I would want to limit my contact, my exposure, but I would not want to limit my caring. So I would probably suit up with latex gloves and a gown and a mask–as much for their safety as mine–before I would interact with them. I probably wouldn’t “eat with them” for similar obvious reasons, but I wouldn’t hate or condemn them. Instead I would see them as hurting and needing specialized care.

      So my struggle comes from finding a “third alternative,” something that lies somewhere between shunning and approving, somewhere between the safety of complete avoidance and the danger of reckless exposure.

      For many years now I have worked with men who have been sexually abused as children, and I see them in a very human light, a very compassionate light. Many of them do not lead lives I’d consider anywhere near worthy of imitation. Yet I’ve discovered that shame, blame, ostracization, fear, pain, and isolation do not make them better persons, do not encourage them to move forward, do not help them find ways to grow and learn the things that are truly worth learning. Only love, compassion, and patient caring heal them, help them grow towards leading better lives.

      So now, whenever I see someone behaving in a way I don’t like, I ask myself these questions:

      * What happened to them?
      * What is it that is preventing them from growing beyond behaviors that are obviously (obvious to me, at least) painful to themselves and others?
      * How can I show compassion towards them while still protecting myself and others from harm?
      * How can I attempt to address their ignorance in a way that they will appreciate?

      When I see someone behaving in a way that I consider “unhealthy”, I find that in almost every instance, there is some form of ignorance at the root of the issue. Whether that ignorance is about how that individual’s actions are painful to themselves, or how those actions are painful to others, or what that person could do instead, or about not knowing HOW to do something different while still dealing with all the pain or confusion they have inside, or whatever else. Ignorance can occur in so very many forms.

      I don’t believe that inflicting suffering on anyone cures ignorance any more than I believe that spanking a child is acceptable, ever, period! Adding to the hurt that others experience only fosters further confusion, distrust, fear, and inspires deeper ignorance. But many parents (who were raised by parents who spanked them,) don’t know healthier ways of addressing the ignorance in their own children and so they often point to an isolated instance where spanking SEEMED to work wonders. I would argue that just because spanking can occasionally seem to work doesn’t mean there aren’t better, healthier ways of educating children.

      Similarly, JW’s often point to an instance where someone WAS successfully shamed into repentance. Still, I like to ask myself, does that make it acceptable? Does that mean that another approach would not have worked? Whenever I find myself wanting to educate someone, I always like to ask myself this question:

      What do I want that person’s reason to be for doing something different?

      In other words, what precisely do I want them to be conscious of? What do I want them to be learning? Do I want them to learn that the reason I don’t want them to hit me is because I’ll hit them back even harder? Or do I want them to learn that they don’t enjoy how they feel INSIDE after discovering that they’ve hurt me? Am I content with having their reason be fear, or pain? Or would I rather their reason be that they see the painfulness to themselves and others AND NOW they have ALSO come to see a new and better way of meeting their needs without it being painful to themselves or others.

      See my struggle? How do I address ignorance without reinforcing the existing ignorance?

      While I don’t have the power to resurrect dead persons, God and Christ Jesus do. But I have found that I do have the power to resurrect the spirit of hope and growth and self-compassion in persons, and these are powerfully potent forces for change within a person. Whenever I can help them tap into that power within, they are usually reborn.

      The Bible tells us that we’re all sinners, all deserving of death, and yet God doesn’t shun us. The Bible tells us he makes lets the sun shine and the rain fall upon everyone regardless.

      No, for me, shunning and hating is easy. Love, compassion, caring, supporting, and fostering are hard. That means not everyone has yet developed the skill needed to help “sick” ones. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work at developing the necessary skill. Even so, I do have to keep myself “safe” and free from infection when working with ailing, contagious persons.

      I’ve said more words than I’d have liked. Sigh. I never find it easy when I try to be both brief and clear. (Yet another one of my struggles.) 🙂

      warmly,
      -greg

  • Just Stay Sweet And Good

    Notice Galatians 5:19 to 21 mentions nothing about taking blood to save your life when in dire circumstance would keep one out of the Kingdòm.
    Also, 2 John 10 says not even saying a greeting to one who totaly renounced the Ranson for All, namely that Jesus came in the flesh. See verse 7
    That he was just a perfect man, NOT GOD AlMIGHTY, because only a perfect MAN could ransom back Adam. This would be someone who was enlightened about the ransom for ALL and then walked away from their savior.

    Antiloytron ….. the exact equelivent 1 Tim 2:6 corresponding ransom

  • Mimi

    By they way, this must be an important part of Christianity since it is mentioned more then once in the Bible. Thank you for pointing me to 2 the 3. I have read the text in 3 versions which reaffirm what I am saying. You see by simply making this an unimportant issue, a lot of people don’t see the importance of living a truly clean life. “Only god can judge me” is very true and he will. But while that happens, there has to be order and true guidance, that is why Paul wrote this in detail. So I ask you. Why even belong to any time of religion? Why do you call yourself a BS? Why not just believe in God and his word the Bible. Why the need to be associated with a certain religion? Just curious.

    • Lee Anthony (Brandon)

      Hi,
      A comment just for myself, I call myself a bible student as I am a student of scripture. I feel only the need to associate with those who are attempting to live according to the bible as this is most helpful to stay on the right path. As for religion, church’s, congregation etc. I do not attend outside of a convention here and there. My church is myself and my family. We share common beliefs with bible students more than others so we choose them as friends. The Jws turned their backs on us when we disagreed with some of their doctrine (and yes they would have kicked us out and fired me just because we disagreed with something they say is truth), so we left to save trouble. This site is actually considered apostate and being on here is itself grounds for disfellowshipping according the the elders book. (Not a gross sin)
      I am curious about you, you seem according to all you have spoken to love God and his word, sound like a Jw but seem to imply you are not, very interesting to me. Do you not associate others of a like mind spiritually?
      Lee

      • Mimi

        I can say, one thing is knowing the Bible and believing in God but saying I love him is different lol. I’ll say I do just for you, but As far as the name “Jehovah” well, I don’t think we can fully say that’s his name I mean that’s another’s man based mentality. They added vowels and such. Anyway,I love certain parts of the Bible but there’s much that I cannot agree even with god. If the Bible truly is inspired by him. I have questions, the Bible in its entirety is made up of contradictions. It’s somewhat of a mess. But I feel
        Like if you’re going to call yourself or identify yourself with a religion you should follow through. Not choose only the portions that work for you. I don’t think he would approve. So anyone of any religion that leaves it I question the motives. If you were to one day disagree with being a BS I’d question it too. But I knew little about you guys, seems like it’s a easy breezy one, I couldn’t say you’re a unit.. So yes the JWs are probably the most strict I’ve yet to find. (Christianity) there’s other religions I just plainly wouldnt even attempt to understand lol. Anyway guess I’m just searching? And not to say I have not grilled JWs either 😉

        • Lee Anthony (Brandon)

          I agree, one should follow through. I had searched for years for the “true religion” only to find none. It isnt really about religion I dont think. I think God does not approve of organized religion as all that are have essentially in one way or another dragged his name through the mud. Bible students share the same thought on things like the ransom and trinity, hellfire etc. Yet each group is autonomous. There is no headquarters or set of rules one must follow outside of scripture of course, and each one who makes that dedication makes it between themselves and God, yet living up to it daily takes help from others who have done the same, hence the need to fellowship and study something the bible states we are not to neglect completely. Bs’s dont all agree on everything, scripture is not always clear on somethings yet where it is we do have unity of thought. Friends and family that show love unconditionally can be a “unit” my family unit are not all the same, yet we function as such no matter our differences as we have love between us. It helps to view people simply as people and not race, religion, etc. Barriers such as this are tore down with love, forgiveness, understanding…. I think the Bs’s have this from what I have experienced yet they are still imperfect. As for it being a breeze, living daily to bible standards is never a breeze no matter your religion, especially for mormons and Jw’s who have extra things to weigh them down daily. Keep searching, I think we all do daily no matter what for something.
          Lee

      • Mimi

        As far as association. I associate with good hearted people. Wether or not they believe what I believe. I actually know JWs, Jews, Catholics, Muslims and seventh day adventists. All good people.

  • Mimi

    Lee Anthony Brandon, hi again :). So I do get where you’re coming from but At least I have know who have been disfellowshiped due to an unclean lifestyle (I know out of their own mouths) have had the chance to repent. They do not just kick people out. If you do not repent you are removed. As far as family, they still talk to their parents and such, just won’t get invited to the gatherings. They from time to time get a call from their elders. So I do believe that most that are angered by it are those who for the most part do not want to change their ways are disfellowshiped and are angry. But again let’s look at what the Bible says. In regards to having different opinions I agree that that should not be a reason for shunning. Other that that particular issue, in this I have to say the JWs are keeping with bible moral standards. They do not act as if the person dissapeared lol. I myself would not be comfortable being around a drunkard or idolater etc. But if that person is repentant I also have no problem keeping him within. Isn’t Jehovah a god of order? How else can someone keep order among his people if anyone can decide what when and where? So I agree balance is key. BS and JWs offer none.

    • Lee Anthony (Brandon)

      Hi,
      I guess it depends on the family. I have seen those who are treated as if they did not exist and were no longer living in sin, they simply chose not to return after repenting. Many are angry, others not so much. I never was disfellowshipped, just stopped going. Boss threatened to fire me if I was so I dont let them. This is wrong, yet others are suprised when they here a “brother” would do such a thing. It seems to depend on the elders and the amount of love that truly exists in the hall i guess. Most have a conditional love, some have real unconditional love. These are those It seems that you are speaking of, am glad to hear they are out there. As for the ability to follow the bible fully, not a group exists who can do this. We would be perfect like Jesus if we could☺.
      Lee

    • ZionsHerald

      Hi Mimi,

      Your comment, suggesting a “look at what the Bible says” and that “the JWs are keeping with bible moral standards” caught my interest.

      I appreciate your comment and am in complete agreement with your question, “Why not just believe in God and his word the Bible.”

      I believe the JWs are indeed attempting to follow the Scripture, just like the Jews of Jesus day did, but unfortunately the Scribes and Pharisees got caught up going way beyond the limits that Scripture set up for them. This is why Jesus consistently pointed out to them their lack of mercy and compassion in dealing with the publicans and sinners.

      The question I pose to you is — Are the Jehovah’s Witnesses following the guidelines which are clearly outlined Yahweh’s word, the Bible? Are they in any way going beyond the limits Scripture sets for this subject?

      In another post you said that “the JWs have but certainly have some type of shunning like they did back in the day.”

      Since the JWs have suggested they follow the Bible in their disfellowship/shunning, lets look at the main Scripture on this subect and see how it suggests a person should or should not be disfellowshipped and how it should be accomplished.

      Matthew 18:15-20

      STEP#1
      15 “And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.

      STEP#2
      16 “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.

      STEP#3
      17 “And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-gatherer. 18 “Truly I say to you, whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. 20 “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst.” NAS

      Jesus suggestion here is that for Step#1 we should first go directly to the individual. If he doesn’t hear us out, then Jesus says Step#2 is that we take two or three witnesses. Finally Jesus Step#3 suggests that if he still refuses to listen then the entire congregation is to hear to case.

      This is scripture principle #1 that the Jehovah’s Witnesses no longer follow. Step#3 never happens in the current Jehovah’s Witnesses policy of disfellowshipping. The current proceedure has been to stop at Step#2 and then a new Step#2a is invoked to have the elders inquisition. Step#2a is steps outside of the Scriptural formula. The Witnesses have gone too far outside of Jesus’ outline.

      The interesting thing here in Matthew 18 is the point of Jesus words. The point is that if the person doesn’t repent they would lose their privileges within the congregation. This was meant to restore the individual back to those privileges. How are you going to restore an individual to repentance of sin if you shun them? Jesus words here clearly do not suggest shunning the individual and avoiding any contact with them whatsoever.

      The Apostle Paul even criticized the Corinthian Church for shunning by telling them specifically that the punishment they inflicted on someone who committed sexual immoralty went too far.

      2 Cor 2:6-11 says,

      6 This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man,
      7 so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow.
      8 Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.
      9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.
      10 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ,
      11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. (NKJ)

      Note Paul’s point here, that in going too far in disfellowshipping, that Satan can take advantage of us. Paul’s point isn’t that Satan took advantage of the person who committed the immorality, but that Satan will take every opportunity to take advantage to go after those who are trying to protect the flock by pushing them to go too far in their treatment of the offender. Certainly this has been the case with the current Jehovah’s Witness policy of shunning and their treatment of those they consider apostate.

      As in the case of Matthew 18, certainly we should treat the individual as a “gentile and a tax-gatherer.” Again, with the current Jehovah’s Witness policy, the offender is treated worse than the gentiles and tax-gatherers we bump into every day on the street. This is why Paul warned that Satan could take advantage of the situation and push the ones that are trying to help beyond the limits of Scripture and actually end up pushing the person out and away, rather than the restorative purpose that Scripture suggests.

      Zionsherald

    • greg (Bible Student)

      Mimi,

      I’d only like to add to Zions Herald’s comment by mentioning that it had become the custom in Jesus day to actually throw stones at lepers just to keep them away. Yet Jesus approached, spoke compassionately to, and even TOUCHED lepers so as to heal them because he WANTED to. And that was EVEN BEFORE the said leper had been pronounced clean by the priests. Mathew 8:1-4

      We can either sacrifice people to a God of destruction, or we can have mercy on them. Personally, I choose mercy so that God might also judge me with mercy.

      Citations Follow:

      Matthew 6:14 ==> For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (NRSV)

      Matthew 7:1 ==> “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. (NRSV)

      Matthew 9:13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” (NRSV)

      Matthew 8:1-4 When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; and there was a leper who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” (NRSV)

      Warmly,
      -greg

  • Mimi

    Ok I understand. I guess since in the Bible it shows a guideline. It seemed like back then the person who was unrepented was removed from the congregation. That it is something that should be followed today. Perhaps not have a body of elders like the JWs have but certainly have some type of shunning like they did back in the day. And are we not supposed to follow in those footsteps? Let’s forget about the JWs and the judicial committee, which I don’t agree with either. But let’s really contemplate what the Bible says on verse 11 of 1cor 5. So if it is telling me not to even eat with such a person it means to cut this person from my life, does it not? Wether we like it or not there’s things in the Bible that kind of are clear cut. And I understand as imperfect humans we might take certain things and make them unimportant to fit out lifestyle as to not put much sacrifice into our lives. But it just seems to me that both of your religions concerning this particular topic go to extremes you guys are very left on it and JWs are very right wing on it. Makes sense? Even Pastor Russell gave guidelines to follow. Not to the degree the JWs take it but definitely not something the should be left for the sinner to decide on, and when. Just my 2 cents.

    • Lee Anthony (Brandon)

      Consider also (2 Thes. 3:14-15) Not “hanging out with” someone and keeping company with even to the point of sharing a meal is one thing, yet not even acknowledging ones existence is a bit extreme. If they can be helped, having some spiritual time with them will help us to see this and maybe see how we can help, yet if one has not even this who knows what it is they have even done? Most who are treated this way as Jws have done nothing against Jehovah but against the organization and this is not revealed to others so they are then treated as gross sinners without an understanding of what was even done. Very extreme on both ends in some cases, yet I think there is a balance.
      Lee

  • Mimi

    So I am confused. So we all read 1cor. 1-13. I supposed that’s why JWs disfellowship. It’s people who don’t repent. I know that even as disfellowshipped they are not turn away from entering a Kingdom Hall. But like I read on your other article they so the same as to not associate with the person spiritually or at gathering with the fellow brothers and sister. So what ecactly do you guys believe in?

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Mimi we don’t have an organization of rules dealing with disfellowshipping. We follow the Bible, first a christian would want to confess their sins to God and ask forgiveness on the basis of Jesus dying to make it so we could at last get to God thru his name.
      A christian should have faith in God’s forgiveness and stop the sin. Go here to get scriptural understanding of the different facets of repentance and forgiveness.
      http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/category/character-development/forgiveness-and-repentence/
      We do not shunn. Most christians know when they are practicing sin and will often refrain from giving the appearance of holiness because it is a personal relationship between them and God.
      We don’t have an organization who’s reputation is at stake or a governingbody to make rules nor do we have judicial committees as that is a legal term and none of us are judges. Only God and Jesus can forgive sins and they are ready too if we just ask them in faith that it is done.
      The articles to the left of this site when clicked on will bring up different sides to the subjects, like this section: http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/category/character-development/forgiveness-and-repentence/
      We all make mistakes and if a person confesses they shouldn’t be punished but helped in their struggle with this problem. Jacqueline

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