Are we pro-shunning or against it?

by Simon 55 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • OnTheWayOut

    I truly believe in personal freedoms. If a person chooses to shun someone for their own reasons, I would not say that it is outright wrong. I might feel that way, but I wouldn't decide for someone else. And I think the problem with JW shunning is that "someone else" makes that decision. Watchtower makes blanket rules that apply to your teen who research Jehovah's Witnesses but was baptized as a preteen and the rules apply equally as well to a former member that raped your daughter.

    As for me, if my own family member was an unrepentant murderer, I might still visit him in prison and make sure he gets the proper legal counsel and mental healthcare he needs. That doesn't mean I approve of what he did or thinks.

    Is shunning 100% wrong? For me it is. It is 100% wrong for an organization to insist upon it.

  • BluesBrother

    Much has been said already , but I add my 2p worth.

    Disfellowshipping is rooted in Scripture , bur how are we to understand the correct way to do it?.....The expulsion from a group for wrongdoing, be it a religion, a political party, or a football club (as has been widely in the tabloid media in U K this week) is not a contested issue. But should that extend to close family ties and social occasions?

    My reading of the verses in N T are far from clear and it is evident that the WTS has "gone beyond the things written"

    To have parents refuse natural family dealings with adult children who have left home , or even tell them to leave home in some cases, is just plain wrong . This places a massive strain on all parties , not least the believing parents - but they do it out of loyalty and because they are told that such "discipline" is likely to bring them back to the fold... I often questioned the value of such reinstatements. I have seen so many cases where the returnee is a shadow of their former self, and often fades again having obtained the freedom to visit home and enjoy the family.

    I also note that 2 John refers to the reaction towards a person who denies the very basics of Christianity and who "comes to you" vs 10...Not one who contests the teachings of the WTS and who has to sought out by elders rather than him making waves in the congregation

  • Oubliette

    Yes, I believe institutionalized shunning is wrong.

    It demands absolute compliance of all individuals in the group in that they must blindly and without question accept the decision of the leaders, usually without even knowing why.

    It obviates free choice. It destroys relationships and ruins families. It is wrong.

  • Oubliette

    R&R: 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.


    R&R: 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).


    Ultimately, with cults such as JWs, the practice of institutionalized shunning is really about control, not morals.

  • Oubliette

    BTW, who are the "we" in the thread title?

  • Fisherman

    If I am not mistaken, almost every group practices some form of punishment for rule breakers. The mildest is that they kick you out of the group. Jews, Catholics, Islamism, Mormons are some examples. It is probably better to be shunned than executed in most cases.

    Even most secular entities practice a form of shunning called locking you up and putting you in jail which results in separating you from society and your family if you break the rules. Sometimes they even kill you or torture you. On the other hand, everyone can just do anything that they want without any consequences for their actions, but why have a group then? And who are you to dictate to the jews or catholics or a sovereign nation how to run their group?

  • Giordano

    Let's not forget the Amish and the Church of Scientology.

    The JW's sure have strange bedfellows

  • Fisherman

    I forgot to mention that the gods of many religions also practice a form of shunning by throwing a person into the blazes of hell or eternal death. This also results is separating people from everyone else.The God of the bible, shunned Adam and Eve and Satan and others. You say strange bedfellows ?

    Does it not seem that "shunning is more or less mainstream and not a cult thing?

  • sir82

    If I am not mistaken, almost every group practices some form of punishment for rule breakers.

    No one is contradicting that.

    If you had been paying attention, you'd see that the complaint is the particular method that JWs use: Enforced shunning of others, under threat of shunning oneself. I.e., "if you don't shun your in-laws, then we will coerce all of your friends and relatives to shun you".

    Also the degree of shunning as practiced by JWs is at issue: It's one thing to be "kicked out of the group", it is quite another to be willfully and utterly shunned, treated as if non-existent, by even close family members. That is an assault on the humanity of the shunnee.

  • Fisherman
    sir, you need to read my entire post and not just respond to part of it. I believe that it gives attention to your remark.

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