Dfing and love......
Disfellowshipping is more about keeping the congregation free from contaminating influences that might interfere with the operation of the flow of Jehovahs Holy Spirit than about love. There are alot of biblical references concerning the hurting of Jehovahs spirit due to sin and the need to keep the cong. clean.
Remember Jehovah cannot associate with sinners. Likewise his people must be holy because he is holy.
He has really high standards for the good of the universe I guess.
Anyway, in ancient Israel when a person sinned I guess he was taken before the elders, much like the Christian cong. today. They probably tried to discern if the sinner was repentant. Sacrifice was made to atone for the sin and presented to the priest.
If the sinner was unrepented Jehovahs orders were to stone the sinner to death.
This was the early disfellowshipping procedure. It kept the early Israelite nation clean of sin and ultimately the sinner, if forgiven, might be ressurrected by the Messiah during his later revealed thousand year reign. That was the only "love" about it then, the hope of a resurrection.
Today though, as in Jesus day (when the Romans had control over the govt.) Jeh's people, the Christian cong of witnesses deal with sin in a little bit different way. The sinner is encouraged by elders in meetings to correct his thinking and pray and not to sin. Even serious sin is overlooked if the person is sorry and repentant. But if the person shows an unrepentant attitude or the serious sin is discovered to have been over a period of time and committed many times, sometimes the brothers have no recourse but to disfellowship the sinner. The consequences are that the sinner may continue to attend the meetings, but no brother or sister may communicate anything to him or her outside of the most basic family business matters.
I guess in one respect it is "love" on Gods part to provide his people with a clean people to associate with. (Pedophiles and wife beaters being tolerated nullifies this cleanliness and safety)
Some witnesses take the shunning to the extreme and add sneers and pain with it.
Others are compassionate and explore the loving edges of it and email encouragement or offer magazines or sneek smiles and waves or hand squeezes.
After my dfing I returned to my hall for awhile. It wasnt so bad. No one threw tomatoes at me. No one gave me dirty looks. One lunatic sister (needs meds) screamed and ran from me in the parking lot.
But that was an unusual case. Most were very compassionate and appreciative of my efforts.
But I was not willing to stop sinning at that time. I knew my efforts were futile so I stopped going and moved from that town.
I tried to forget all about Jehovah and the Witnesses for 4 years.
Then I found a magazine (yes, at a laundromat!) and found this site. It started me thinking.
I went to the hall here in the new town. I knew no one. That was in Sept.
The P.O. was very kind and gave me a song book and helped me to a seat in front of him.
He gave me his telephone number and told me if there was anything I needed or just wanted to talk he was there for me. I thought that was very kind.
My experience with both dfing and the processs of return and reinstatement has been very interesting and insightful. I have been treated very well each week and no one has so far interfered with my coming and going. On the contrary many do not know I am dfd and wave, smile and hold doors, and say hi and goodbye.
I dutifully inform everyone necessary that I am dfd and in the process of reinstatement.
I am to meet with the elders this sunday about my request for reinstatement.
I am at peace about it all despite what I read here and what I know.
I feel for everyone who has been hurt by the experience of being a witness.
But that has not been my experience. I have only known spiritual happiness there.
But I also admit I have a very different listening at the hall now.
I am not as prone to suggestion and guilt like before.
I am much more centered on what is good for me, not what is best for others or the world.
After what I've been through I must protect my self.