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When Family members leave the JW Organization-Should they be Shunned?

“Although the Bible makes a clear distinction between true and false teachings, God allows each person the freedom to choose how he or she will respond. (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20) No one should be forced to worship in a way that he finds unacceptable or be made to choose between his beliefs and his family. Does study of the Bible lead to family breakup? No. In fact, the Bible encourages a husband and wife who practice different religions to remain together as a family.”—1 Cor. 7:12,13  (Awake 2007 pg 29)

“According to one estimate, there are more than 10,000 religions and sects in the world. In one country about 16 percent of the adult population have at some point switched from one religion to another. It is no wonder, then, that there are disagreements about religious beliefs among relatives and friends. Thus the question, How should Christians treat loved ones who do not share their faith?”

A Special Relationship: ” Consider, for instance what the Bible says about the special relationship between parents and their children. No time limit is implied in the command at Exodus 20:12 to “honor your father and your mother.”. In fact, in Jesus’ discussion of this command, recorded at Matthew 15:4-6, it is obvious that he was speaking of the honor that Adult children would render to their parents.”

“The Bible book of Proverbs cautions against showing disrespect toward one’s parents. Proverbs 23:22 advises that you should “not despise your mother just because she has grown old.” Pointedly, Proverbs 19:26 warns that one who “is maltreating a father [and] that chases a mother away is a son acting shamefully and disgracefully.”

“It is clear from the scriptures that we should not neglect our parents. The fact that our parents do not accept our religion does not cancel our relationship with them. These Bible principles apply similarly to other blood relationships and to one’s marriage mate. Clearly, Christians remain morally and scripturally obligated to love their relatives” (Awake 11/8/03)

“In most cases, however, Christians do not face severe opposition from their loved ones. Their relatives simply do not share the same understanding of Bible teachings. The Holy Scriptures encourage Christ’s followers to treat unbelievers “with mildness” and “deep respect.” (2 Timothy 2:25; 1 Peter 3:15) The Bible aptly counsels: “A slave of the Lord does not need to fight, but needs to be gentle toward all.” (2 Timothy 2;24) The apostle Paul also counseled Christians “to speak injuriously of no one, not to be belligerent, to be reasonable, exhibiting all mildness toward ALL men.” (bold added)- Titus 3:2.”

“Many who are not true Christians love their parents and other relatives and communicate regularly with them regardless of their religious affliation. Should Christians Witnesses do any less?” Many may live far away from their parents or loved ones. ” It may not be possible to visit as often as desired. But writing letters, calling on the telephone, or keeping in contact regularly in other ways will assure our loved ones of our affection.”

The unedited direct quotes and  references for all of the above are: Awake,  November 8, 2003;  Awake, September, 2007 page 29;   Watchtower, November 1, 2008.

So clearly if this is what is written in the Awake and Watchtower, it comes directly from the Governing Body, and applies to all. It is good sound reasoning from the scriptures.

Many family members have chosen to change their religion from a witness to the Bible Students. I have met  many at the conventions. There is no real conflict in teachings, for there is freedom and liberty in Christ to have differences in thought on scripture. That is why we encourage open discussions of the scripture without retaliation if one thought differs from another.

I recently called the education dept. at Patterson, New york. I explained the severe treatment many are receiving if they stop going to the Kingdom Hall. They sent me the articles by mail. I explained that one Mental Health professional says he has so many patients that are being treated so harshly with this shunning practice that it is creating emotional distress. So much so that one client suggested a class action to deal with this since it might be millions that have exited the organization of Jehovah Witnesses for various reasons.

Each individual has the right to choose not to associate with whomever they please. But, to blame God is wrong. To say this is what Jehovah and Jesus says to do is wrong.  And as you see the organization,  “in writing”, does not encourage it in the Awake or Watchtower. So where is this extreme attitude coming from if not from Jehovah, Jesus or the watchtower or awake magazines that are read by many?  Christians coming to this site are lovers of the Word of God. We are all Brothers in Christ.

As regards judging whether a person will die and go to Gehenna as some are saying; The Bible states “Stop judging and you will not be judged” Luke 6:37

For the judge of all is Jehovah and Jesus the Anointed. “Jesus is destined to judge the living and the dead by his manifestation in his kingdom”  2Tim. 4:1

Melchizedek, Priest and  King of Salem, was worshipping and approved by Jehovah at the same time that Abraham was chosen to produce the seed.( Gen. 14:18-20)

Elijah thought he was the only one worshipping Jehovah but at least 7,000 were approved and their worship was accepted by Jehovah during the same time period. (1 Kings 19:18)

The Acts of the Apostles have numerous instances of Holy Spirit leading different individuals in various ministries.  Paul was especially appointed by Jesus, and the Christians accepted him, although he was their persecutor.

Many of our Jehovah Witnesses relatives are doing what Moses did, he stepped in the place of Jehovah, by judging his people, as rebels. It is God’s place to judge and punish. We are all witnesses of Jesus to the glory of Jehovah.  He will judge all in Millenium, thru Christ.  (Num. 20:9-13)

In Jesus’ day, at Mark 9:38-40 We see a man preaching Jesus, but not traveling with them. Jesus said do not forbid him. If one recognizes Jesus and the value of his death, if one trusts in him for eternal life along with his King-Priest bride  and seek to follow in his steps, we are brothers. Many persons leaving the organization of Jehovah Witnesses do not denounce these teachings. Most object to worship of any but Jehovah and Jesus and wish to refrain from adding extra burdens not mentioned in scripture, ie, blood transfusion, condoning pedophiles etc. They simply have a conscience and must obey it. They don’t, however try to forbid witnesses from voting their conscience. Many like highly organized religion with set dogma. 1Sam. 8:19-22 The nation of Israel wanted a visible King. “No, but a king is what will come to be over us. And we must become, we also, like all the nations” ‘. A relative told me that to speak against the Governing Body is like speaking against the Catholic religion’s Pope. I looked at him  in disbelief, he saw his mistake immediately. But that was the truth. Jehovah still dealt with the nation of Israel when they rejected the freedom they had to deal directly with him. They however suffered under each of those kings. Each decade or so the Governing body changes policies also just like a new king or president. In the case of the blood issue some that died for refusal of certain parts of blood would live today, because now this regime says that taking certain parts of blood is okay. But like Israel, many of our brothers and sisters like having a visible governing body of men. It is between them and Jehovah, no need to shun them.

This is a  direct quote from  Awake mag. about Catholics and the no meat on Friday issue . Sort of like the blood issue  and organ transplants changing doctrine.
Changes that Disturb People.-“One of the reasons is that people are disturbed by what is happening in their churches. Yes, millions of persons have been shocked to learn that things they were taught as being vital for salvation are now considered by their church to be wrong. Have you, too, felt discouragement, or even despair, because of what is happening in your church?” Awake! April 22,1970, p8 Many former witnesses have and have chosen to study exactly what the Bible teaches without indoctrination from so many books, KM etc.

Healing and forgiveness  is needed in some households now.       1Peter 3:10-12 says For,”he that would love life and see good days, let him restrain his tongue from what is bad and his lips from speaking deception, 11  but let him turn away from what is bad and do what is good; LET HIM SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT.” Many family members have said a lot of ugly things to each other because someone told them they had to judge their brother. That loyalty to God is equilvalent to loyalty to an organization or to men.

Ephesians 4:32 says ” But become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate, freely forgiving one another just as God also by Christ freely forgave you.” This applies to all Christians, whether a Jehovah Witness or Bible Student or just a plain old Christian. (Acts 11:26) It would be better sometimes if some professed Christians didn’t take the name at all:( the way we treat each other.)  R5404:6  Forgiveness by all parties involved will make for a peaceful relationship. Stephen who asked that the sin not be charged against his stoners. (Acts7:60) A result he will see is that the chief stoner, Paul, became a Christian. Not forgiving, a person who shuns you, is unchristian, you should rather pray for them.( Jas.5:16) Paul also has the right attitude  in Philippians 3: 13 “Brothers, I do not yet consider myself as having laid hold on [it]; but there is one thing about it: Forgetting the things behind and stretching forward to the things ahead, 14 I am pursuing down toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God by means of Christ Jesus. 15 Let us, then as many of us as are mature, be of this mental attitude, and if YOU ARE MENTALLY INCLINED OTHERWISE IN ANY RESPECT,  God will reveal the above [attitude] to you ” (NWT).  Other Christians may differ on understanding of a scripture at times but that is not a reason to shun them. There is liberty and freedom in Christ, just as in the 1st  century congregations after the ascension of Christ.

Napoleon used the phrase divide and conquer. He divided the enemies against each other and won. It is a control tactic. They have to divide the family, so they shun ones that have left. If you let it determine your life then they have won. Your family can’t be replaced;  but put in some substitutes. A spiritual brother can be closer than a blood brother. There are many here that can act as your fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers. Remember, we all die, and go away. Think of your loved one as on a long faraway journey. You can at least send them a card or a letter. Do not treat them as they treat you. You will feel the peace of God in your heart.

No one can claim they are the only one on earth that God is using at any given time. There is no scriptural support for this teaching. While the Bible may mention one group it does not say there are not other worshippers of Jehovah in a different place. Many were not aware of the large group of Romania brothers, but that didn’t mean Jehovah wasn’t aware and accepting them. We simply can’t tie God’s hands, he is the Creator and his Son has been assigned to Judge. Our loyalty is only to Jehovah, Jesus and the Bible’s counsel. 
There are persons that may be dangerous to one’s spiritual well-being. A person might make a decision to protect himself, but wholesale shunning because a person decides to leave the organization of  the watchtower is not scriptural.
The Governing body requires individuals to suppress their inner sense of morality to accept the will of the group (in the name of God), engaging in “group think” practices which only reinforces the power of the group: “practice makes perfect”, so with each subsequent individual they shun, it only makes it easier the next time, and eventually shunning becomes an unthinking knee-jerk response that makes questioning the action increasingly immune from cognitive challenge (it shifts into the territory of habit, just the way it’s always been done).
The segregation movement of the south was exactly like this, moral people followed the crowd. The governing body uses prejudice the same way as the segregationist of the south and most watchtower witnesses humbly submit, even when they are aware of the pain they are inflicting. That their relatives are human and no threat to them in any way.
A child or parent can actually be in the hospital dying and some witnesses have refused to go see them.
The practice of blindly following the commands of a leader or authority figure was studied by social psychologist Stanley Milgram in his famous study at Yale in 1961. The following video depicts a recreation of Dr. Milgram’s study: simply replace the ‘authority of science’ with ‘authority of the elders and members of the congregation’ (adding the element of peer pressure into the mix), ‘delivering electrical shocks as punishment’ with ‘delivering emotional shocks of shunning as punishment’, and ‘subjects administering electrical shocks’ with ‘JWs who shun’, and you’ve got the exact same paradigm in action.

We cannot escape our history. Only forgiveness can release us from our Past.  Thank you for reading. Jacqueline

53 comments to When Family members leave the JW Organization-Should they be Shunned?

  • Anonymous

    Is the great crowd that survived great tribulation are in heaven or earth

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      For the answer completely to your question you will need to read these articles and go directly to your Bible to check it and see if it matches the Bible.
      Acts 17:11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

      Go here: http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/category/great-crowd/

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Anonymous in your quest for truth I wanted to get you started. The site is full of the deep answers you seek. I think you and I have many friends in common on facebook so we are friends and it is in that spirit that I approach you my dear brother. The site is made with the article on the left. Click on each subject and you will see different phrases of that subject.
      When you feel you have to stop and ask a question do not hesitate my friend, someone will be there to answer. Take your time, armageddon is no threat to you. The doomsday message that the witnesses are pushing to scare you are not from the Bible. Be no one’s slave, be a slave of Christ to the glory of our God and father Jehovah.

    • Richard Tazzyman

      Dear Bro,Greetings in the name of JEHOVAH,The most High.I have read some of your comments on line.I was a JW for nearly as long as our dear Sis Jackie.I was taken to the kingdom hall by my parents in the mid 1950s when I was about 8 OR 9yrs; I was baptised in 1965.From the time I left school till i married I was a pioneer.I Left the JWs of my own free will in the late 1980s or very early in 1990s.I have never been disfellowship,& my oldest daughter is still a witness as is my Brother.I found the bible Students in 2010 & have never looked back.They have the true Love the Christ spoke about!We have many of our bro & sisers in various parts of Africa.One of my closet friends & brothers in the truth that sets us free is from Nigeria.I live in australia,& If you would like to discuss the Bible with me or any of our Bretheren feel free to contact me on Friends of JWs site or e/mail me on this .: rtazzyman@dodo.com.au.May Jehova bless you!

  • Anonymous

    Since the creation,, we read in bible that God have hiS People on earth,,,Who are organized,,,, and known well,,,, so how about today

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Hello anonymous now I see you have found how to reply to us now. Welcome my friend. Please give scriptures to support your statement.
      Please read the info I posted to you on this thread and it is what the organization itself says. It says it is the way and not JESUS CHRIST. I accept Jesus as the way and truth. We don’t need an organization according to the scriptures. Please read and reply to points one at a time so this stays on point.

  • (Anonymous) by Jacqueline (Bible Student)

    Anonymous, you wrote on Messenger:Please can you bê kind, and share me atleast five reasons why i should not bê (a Jehovah witness added by jacqueline to complete the thought.)

    Anonymous you wrote in reply to discuss armageddon:

    The traditional viewpoint interprets this Bible prophecy to be symbolic of the progression of the world toward the “great day of God, the Almighty” in which the great looming mountain of God’s just and holy wrath is poured out against unrepentant sinners, led by Satan, in a literal end-of-the-world final confrontation. Armageddon is the symbolic name given to this event based on scripture references regarding divine obliteration of God’s enemies. The hermeneutical method supports this position by referencing Judges 4 and 5 where God miraculously destroys the enemy of His elect, Israel, at Megiddo, also called the Valley of Josaphat . [ citation needed ]
    Christian scholar William Hendriksen says:
    For this cause, Har Magedon is the symbol of every battle in which, when the need is greatest and believers are oppressed, the Lord suddenly reveals His power in the interest of His distressed people and defeats the enemy. When Sennacherib’s 185,000 are slain by the Angel of Jehovah, that is a shadow of the final Har-Magedon. When God grants a little handful of Maccabees a glorious victory over an enemy which far outnumbers it, that is a type of Har-Magedon. But the real, the great, the final Har Magedon coincides with the time of Satan’s little season. Then the world, under the leadership of Satan, anti-Christian government, and anti-Christian religion – the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet – is gathered against the Church for the final battle, and the need is greatest; when God’s children, oppressed on every side, cry for help; then suddenly, dramatically, Christ will appear on the clouds of glory to deliver his people; that is Har-Magedon.

    I WROTE to you; Let’s go to the site so I can post links, Messenger is not a great format to discuss these things. So you can start to reply here on this thread but fill out the form with the title anonymous of whatever you like.
    Meanwhile I will supply this link for you to read and we can read your comment and reply. Thank you Jacqueline

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Anonymous I believe everyone has to make their own decision on their relationship with God. But I will say why if I was not born in it I wouldn’t join the organization of Jehovah witnesses. It may or may not affect you but is my reason. The bible clearly says who we should follow to get to God.

      John 14:6 says: “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
      Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

      The witnesses say:
      (1) Watchtower April 1, 1920, pp.100, 101
      We would not refuse to treat one as a brother because he did not believe the Society is the Lord’s channel. If others see it in a different way, that is their privilege. There should be full liberty of conscience.
      *** w67 10/1 587 Finding Freedom with Jehovah’s Visible Organization ***Thus the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible. For this reason the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah’s visible organization in mind.
      (2) *** w57 5/1 274 Show Respect for Jehovah’s Organization ***The world is full of Bibles, which Book contains the commandments of God. Why, then, do the people not know which way to go? Because they do not also have the teaching or law of the mother, which is light. Jehovah God has provided his holy written Word for all mankind and it contains all the information that is needed for men in taking a course leading to life. But God has not arranged for that Word to speak independently or to shine forth life-giving truths by itself. His Word says: “Light is sown for the righteous.” (Ps. 97:11) It is through his organization that God provides this light that the proverb says is the teaching or law of the mother. If we are to walk in the light of truth we must recognize not only Jehovah God as our Father but his organization as our mother
      (3) *** w81 12/1 27 The Path of the Righteous Does Keep Getting Brighter ***But Jehovah God has also provided his visible organization, his “faithful and discreet slave,” made up of spirit-anointed ones, to help Christians in all nations to understand and apply properly the Bible in their lives. Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do.—Compare Acts 8:30-40.
      (4) You asked about abuse read this. (2) http://www.silentlambs.org/murderjwfathers.htm https://jwleaks.wordpress.com/ a site for everything!

      (5) 1. The bible states that baptism should be in the name of the Father , Son and Holy spirit. But at a person’s baptism since 1985 its stated by the Jehovah’s Witness conducting this question. “Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?”
      2. Jehovah’s Witnesses commonly baptize young children . Some as young as 6 have been mentioned in their literature (WATCHTOWER 1992 3/1 p.27) (Jehovah’s Witnesses Year Book 2011 p.58 ) . Yet nowhere in the bible is any child ever baptized. In fact the only age known in the bible was Jesus who was 30 .

      NOW FOR LINKS ON ARMAGEDDON IN REPLY TO YOU: Go here http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/2014/01/02/the-battle-of-armageddon/

      I have tried to give you enough to go thru first and tried to answer you with the own words of the watchtower society. Please read first and reply. Thank you

  • Jacqueline (Bible Student)


    This is an article on shunning. My heart goes out to those that are new at being shunned. After 10 years it hardly matters anymore and “This too shall pass.”
    Hopefully the brothers featured here will make new friends among their neighbors.

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