Are we pro-shunning or against it?

by Simon 55 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Simon
    Laws haven't bothered Watchtower when it wants to practice something. Watchtower just does what it wants under a banner of freedom of religion and asserts it as a theological position untouchable by courts in lands that embrace religious freedom as an inalienable right.

    They use 'religion' to excuse their actions when they can but if it's "Bob the Elder" getting up on a local platform and saying "Dodgy Dave touches kids" and he doesn't then no amount of religion is going to help you in court - they are guilty.

    Your examples show that they do in fact fear the law and that is precisely my point - they don't tell people the real reasons. They hint at it with a "local needs talk" about something before announcing something later in the meeting but they are careful to avoid any direct accusation or labelling that can be used to hold them to account.

    Why? Because they do fear the laws that they cannot win.

    But this suits their purposes as they have discovered that it enabled them to silence anyone and throw their body down the hole with no one bothering to question "erm ... why?"

  • little_Socrates
    Wow Simone you have been on a roll lately! Great thread!
  • 3rdgen

    Jws already have the solution in place to protect the congregation if they wanted to "reform". It is marking. The congregation is informed that caution should be used regarding So and So. The decision as to how much association to have with the person (if any) in question is left where it belongs, to the others in the congregation. In extreme cases like child abuse the "Marking Talk" would warn parents to avoid leaving their children in his/her care.

  • Giordano

    There are multiple problems with the JW use of shunning. One is you can be shunned for a number of things that were never mentioned in the NT like smoking for example, or taking blood which even in the OT was not punishable by shunning or stoning.

    Another is one of semantics."Joe Blow is no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses". Has in many respects become a slanderous statement because some one who no longer believes in the WTBTS is lumped into a group of people who may have committed a wide range of serious crimes including child abuse etc. People are left to speculate.

    The punishment for not shunning a person is to be disfellowshiped in turn and then to be shunned. So if it wouldn't be your choice to shun a person you are forced against your will to do so. That's called coercion "the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats."


    Here are things that I've written on Jwn about my cousin (who was disfellowhipped over 15 years ago ) and the things he's been through the years with the death of his mom and grandfather.


    * made to leave the house when his mother died because Witness relatives were coming over to the house to visit the family.

    * had to stay on the side of the funeral room at the wake by himself while the rest of the family sat in the front chairs.

    * Elders refused to greet him in the line. They walked right past him.

    *He was told not to attend the luncheon after the funeral. He left alone and went home because some members would not attend the lunch if he was there.


    My cousin( who was disfellowshipped many years ago) told me that he cannot speak to or come over to his grandfather's any longer.

    He would stop by every month or so just to see his grandfather and grandmother. They are both in their 80's and not in the best of health.

    My uncle who is still serving as an Elder would talk to his grandson only when his grandson would visit his house. Well,someone found out and snitched on my uncle. Now,he's being warned that if he continues to talk or meet his grandson he will loose his position as Elder.

    My cousin said that the next time he sees his grandfather will be at his funeral.


    My disfellowshipped cousin,his girlfriend and immediate family are all in the hospital room with his grandfather( who is heavily medicated but seems to recognize everyone.) I'm in the lounge area with other family members taking turns visiting. The elevators open and three Elders from his congregation come to visit and spend the remaining moments with my uncle.

    The Elders walk in the hospital room and see that my disfellowshipped cousin is in the room and decide not to greet him. They talk to my uncle and the immediate family in the room for over twenty minutes and decide to offer a prayer.

    They tell my cousin to please leave the room. His girlfriend says to the Elders,"Why should he leave the room? That's his grandfather." They tell her that this is a ''spiritual matter'' and that he has to leave the room. My cousin walks out and proceeds to tell me what just happened.

    I believe any religion has a right to throw you out of church for bad conduct. They own the building and have the right to not allow any member who's conduct is unbecoming of the congregation.

    They don't have any rights out in the streets, funeral homes,hospitals,wedding banquet halls and any other meeting place. The only reason they shun members is to scare the rest of the members (that you will be in the same predicament if you do the same).

  • DesirousOfChange

    They tell my cousin to please leave the room. His girlfriend says to the Elders,"Why should he leave the room? That's his grandfather." They tell her that this is a ''spiritual matter'' and that he has to leave the room. My cousin walks out and proceeds to tell me what just happened.

    His "mistake" was not telling them to FUCK OFF and that they have no control over him.


  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    @ DesirousOfChange: "His "mistake" was not telling them to FUCK OFF and that they have no control over him."

    What DesirousOfChange said.

    I myself have been in issues where I did not stand up to others in matters that affected me. I am an introvert by nature and I tend to avoid events that could lead to conflict but I regret not having stood up in those moments of truth.

    If I were in his shoes I would have challenged the elders and told them to try throwing him out and if they did he would call the cops.

  • TerryWalstrom

    FORCED shunning is the issue.

    If you are threatened with spiritual death (disfellowship) if you make a personal choice of association, it is a crime against humanity. If there was such a thing as Christian Conscience permitted by the WT, it would be far more bearable.

  • Rufus T. Firefly
    Rufus T. Firefly

    You raise some good points, Simon.

    First, one must discern the distinction between Christian dis-fellowshipping (1 Cor. 5:11) and shunning (2 John 9-11). To understand what Christian dis-fellowshipping is, one must understand what Christian fellowshipping is: A sharing of spiritual association. To discontinue spiritual association with a "brother" who is an unrepentant evildoer (defined at 1 Cor. 5:11) does not require refusing to greet such ones in normal social situations. Paul said to "keep this one marked, stop associating with him...yet do not be considering him as an enemy, but continue admonishing him as a brother." The only persons Christians are warned about greeting are former Christians who have rejected "the teaching of the Christ." (2 John 9-11)

    I feel that dis-fellowshipping and/or shunning should be a strictly personal decision, and should not be mandated by any organization.

    Some JWs feel it is proper to shun inactive family members they encounter at family funerals.

  • Coded Logic
    Coded Logic

    There's a huge difference between one individual choosing not to associate with another individual vs. a whole group of people being forced not to associate with that individual.

    There's a huge difference between not hanging out with someone because you don't want to vs. not hanging out with someone because you're afraid of being shunned too.

    There's a huge difference between being genuinely offended by a persons actions committed against you or your family and choosing not to speak to that person vs. not knowing a person's motives or actions and being told to shun them anyway.

    There's a difference between avoiding someone out of legitimate safety concerns vs. blackballing someone for imagined or arbitrary crimes.

    Shunning by itself isn't "good" or "bad". It's the motives behind the action and how that action affects well-being/unnecessary-harm that determines if shunning is good or bad.

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