Why do elders talk to me and smile, and ordinary JW's shun me?

by JH 21 Replies latest jw friends

  • blondie

    Mostly because the elders know your status, that you are not DF'd. The rank and file don't know if they missed the meeting where you were announced or if you were announced in another congregation. To play it safe they treat you as DF'd. Also, the elders are considered stronger "spiritually" so are safe from any contamination with a "weak" person. Too bad the rank and file don't know that they could probably "count their time" talking to an inactive person.


  • wednesday

    This exact situation came up recently . I had a relative who was bascally refusing to speak to me and i asked the elder (a friend) for advice as to how to talk with them He told me that it was a conscience decision for a person to consider an inactive person as having DA 'd himself. I was stunned. he said that they had that option, if you don't attend meetings, they can view you as having DA yourself.

    new rules every day.

  • blondie

    wednesday, I think that elder was using "weasel" words. This is the still official WTS policy on inactive JWs...that they are not to be shunned. He is using a time honored WTS tactic, making it your fault they are not talking to you.


    w82 1/15 p. 31 Questions From Readers ***


    My son, who was baptized as a teenager, is now married and has a family. Because of the pressure of earning a living he has cooled off spiritually and does not associate with the congregation. Should he be viewed as a "disassociated" person?

    There is nothing in your description that would require such a viewpoint. The question may have arisen because of misunderstanding what it means to be viewed as "disassociated."


    Watchtower of September 15, 1981, page 23, showed that there is a difference between (a) a Christian who becomes spiritually weak and inactive, and (b) a person who clearly renounces his being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, leading the congregation elders to announce that he has "disassociated" himself. It seems that your son fits the first description.


    Watchtower mentioned that some Christians become weak in faith and spirituality. This occurred also in the first century. (Romans 14:1, 2; 1 Corinthians 11:30) It does not mean that they have ceased to be Christians. Even if they become so weak that they no longer share the "good news" with others and stop attending meetings, and they are not bringing reproach on the Christian congregation, they are still to be regarded as our spiritual brothers and sisters. We should want to help them lovingly, following the apostle Paul’s counsel: "We exhort you, brothers, admonish the disorderly, speak consolingly to the depressed souls, support the weak, be long-suffering toward all." While the elders often take the lead in this, it is to be noted that this counsel was directed to all "the congregation of the Thessalonians." (1 Thessalonians 1:1; 5:14) So the elders and others might offer loving help and encouragement, having in mind the advice: "Straighten up the hands that hang down and the enfeebled knees, and keep making straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather that it may be healed."—Hebrews 12:12, 13; Revelation 3:1-3.

    As can be appreciated, the spiritually weak and inactive son about whom the question was asked has not become a "disassociated" person in either of these two senses and no such announcement has been made in the congregation. So it still may be possible to aid him in the spirit of Romans 15:1: "We, though, who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those not strong."—See also Isaiah 35:3.


    w81 9/15 p. 23 par. 13 Disfellowshiping—How to View It ***

    A Christian might grow spiritually weak, perhaps because of not studying God’s Word regularly, having personal problems or experiencing persecution. (1 Cor. 11:30; Rom. 14:1) Such a one might cease to attend Christian meetings. What is to be done? Recall that the apostles abandoned Jesus on the night of his arrest. Yet Christ had urged Peter, "When once you have returned, strengthen your brothers [who also abandoned Jesus]." (Luke 22:32) Hence, out of love Christian elders and others might visit and help the one who has grown weak and inactive. (1 Thess. 5:14; Rom. 15:1; Heb. 12:12, 13)

    So we see that JWs are not told to avoid inactive JWs but to befriend them. Of course, there are written rules and the unwritten rules too.

    *** w04 5/1 p. 21 par. 13 Strengthen One Another ***

    At times, the pressures of life or other difficulties can cause some to slow down or become inactive in the field service. (Mark 4:18, 19) We may not see inactive ones at congregation meetings. Yet, they likely still have a love of God in their heart. What can be done to strengthen their faith? The elders can offer kind assistance by visiting them. (Acts 20:35) Other congregation members may be asked to assist too. Such loving visits can be just the right medicine, as it were, to revive those weak in faith.


    w04 5/1 p. 21 par. 15 Strengthen One Another ***

    How did the once inactive sister feel about visits by congregation members? She now says: "What helped us to become active again was that neither the brothers who visited us nor the sisters who accompanied them ever showed a judgmental or critical attitude toward us.

  • bronzefist

    Unless the non-elders are true friends they will be cautious, because that's the lecture they get from the platform. Most elders have the mind-set that their armour is of a better quility and strength then the common rank and file. One part at a recent assembly encouraged everyone to warmly welcome back those that have been inactive. I guess those in your area were all sick that day and missed that talk. Oh, wait it wasn't a drama so that made it forgettable.

  • wednesday


    thanks so much. i'm taking note of that , and going to discuss it with the elder. He definitely told me that it was up to individual jws to decide if an inactive person had DA himself. so my relative coud feel that way, or anyonwe could feel that way. I ask him if he felt that way, and he said no, he woud try to help someone as long as they are not DF

    wessal he is , indeed.

  • jgnat

    I've seen the very same behavior, JH. Very observant of you.

  • blondie

    wednesday, whenever an elder says something like that, a warning bell goes off and I say, "Brother, could you show that to me in the publications." He probably says he will, but won't get back to you.

    As to the relative, we both know that there is nothing in the Bible that allows them to be that way. So consider the source.

    Before I left and was a good dubbie, some of my JW relatives would not talk to me...........



  • greendawn

    As the FDS tells them the elders are made of stronger stuff and can better resist any dark force that may operate through you in order to pull them away from their jehovah's organisation.

  • MidwichCuckoo
    geevee you probably have it right..TIME is everything!

    I never thought about how much emphasis there is on putting in an FS Report. God doesn't need (false) hours written down. What's the real reason - Propoganda or to justify a 'Charity' Status?

  • stapler99

    That is interesting; maybe it is because the elders don't fear that others will look down on them for being "un-spritual" for talking to you as they have strong credentials in that area already . Besides, being rude to you isn't much fun so unless they are very self-righteous they may decide it isn't worth it.

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