Hi all, thanks for opening this thread. I have heard this is THE place to post for bona fide JW related discussion, so I have a challenge for all of you who are interested. I am looking at sending an email to my mom who has been shunning me. She recently sent me a letter asking if I would like to correspond by email with her. I have been struggling with some deep emotions the past week or two, too many to even describe, and I am still "in process". Anyway, last night something occured to me. While I know my mom has been shunning me because of her religious beliefs (eg she was told to shun me), I know her heart feels love for me and that to shun me has been hard on her. She and my family have totally missed out on me and my daughter in their lives. I feel as if her letter to me was her acting from her heart, her real feelings, as nothing has changed, and she should still be shunning me according to the WT. My challenge is this. I would like to send her an email encouraging her to continue to listen to her heart, that it can be trusted and is not "treacherous" for wanting to love her child and grandchild. I would like a scripture or two to go along with this, as I think it would have more impact that way. If anyone can think of some scriptures which would be useful in this situation, where the reader of the scripture is encouraged to use/listen to their heart etc, i would be very grateful. many thanks.
Needing help with some scriptures
Welcome to the forum, I hope we are able to help you. I look forward to hearing more about you and your story.
There is an extensive article that shows disfellowshipping is not Christian at http://www.jwfacts.com/index_files/disfellowship.htm
The bible never states to shun family and a scripture that you can show her is at 1 Timothy 5:8; ”Certainly if anyone does not provide for those who are his own, and especially for those who are members of his household, he has disowned the faith and is worse than a person without faith.”
Also one of Jesus’ greatest commands was to show love to one’s brother and to one’s neighbour
(Luke 10:25-28) . . ."Teacher, by doing what shall I inherit everlasting life?" 26He said to him: "What is written in the Law? How do you read?" 27 In answer he said: "‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole strength and with your whole mind,’ and, ‘your neighbor as yourself.’" 28 He said to him: "You answered correctly; ‘keep on doing this and you will get life.’"
Is shunning family showing such love, paticularly if you have made clear that you are not ever going to come back to the WTS.
Likewise with the Good Samaritan. (Luke 10:33) Jews considered Samaritans to be Apostates, yet in this illustration Jesus showed religious beliefs should be no barrier to showing love and kindness.
It may also be worth discussing the two scriptures used for disfellowshipping with her.
1 Corinthians 5:11 “But now I am writing YOU to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner , not even eating with such a man. 12 For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Do YOU not judge those inside, 13 while God judges those outside? “Remove the wicked [man] from among yourselves.””
If you are no longer called a brother than this does not apply to you.
2 John 7-11“ 7 For many deceivers have gone forth into the world, persons not confessing Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Look out for yourselves, that YOU do not lose the things we have worked to produce, but that YOU may obtain a full reward. 9 Everyone that pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God. He that does remain in this teaching is the one that has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to YOU and does not bring this teaching, never receive him into YOUR homes or say a greeting to him. 11 For he that says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works.“
2 John is aimed at the Antichrist. I don't know what you were disfellowshipped for, but if your mother does not consider you the antichrist than the hard line insisted by the Watchtower in not giving you a greeting is not appropriate.
I would suggest you buy Raymond Franz's book 'In Search Of Christian Freedom'...It has a section on shunning!
Welcome to the board BTW!
Jesus greeted, ate, and associated with sinners. Shouldn't he be our model?
If your analysis is correct (and I think it is), namely that it's her heart speaking in spite of her religion, I would suggest not quoting scriptures or mentioning anything religious. If you quote the Bible you will probably set her back on the religious, i.e. defensive mode. Express your feelings. If she engages in religious talk answer as naturally and personally as possible. The power of love is that we trust it for what it is, not because it is written somewhere that we can or must do so.
I know my mom has been shunning me because of her religious beliefs (eg she was told to shun me),
Hi and welcome ppunk.
I am curious about one thing. Were you ever a jw? The reason I ask is because your post left me with the impression that you are looking for info about "her" religion. And if that is the case then why have they asked her to shun you?
Narkissos If you quote the Bible you will probably set her back on the religious, i.e. defensive mode.
I have to totally agree with that, from lots of experience. If you have been dfpd or reproved then anything you try to prove using scriptures will probably be viewed as demonic influence and if you have never been a jw then you will be viewed as simply ignorant about scripture interpretation. plm
100% agree with narkissos. Don't tread on land mines. Avoid use of the Bible, it will likley only result in her programming being relit. Tell her you love her and are always there for her. Let her know you have a full life and wish you could share it with her. Don't argue interpretation or doctrine, don't use words like "the Society" or "Truth" in your dialog. If the conversation turns to the subject of religion describe the JWs as a "church", this seems to have a shocking affect, (hey, the JWs are just a church not the universe). You should be the one to end the conversation while on positive note, keep it brief.
ppunk, Narkissos and PeacefulPete may be right. But since you asked the question--and you may at some point find her willing to discuss such things, here is an especially helpful passage from "In Search of Christian Freedom" by Raymond Franz (pages 342 & 343).
"Even if the charge of apostasy were true, which in most cases it is not, this is still an artificial excuse, a pretext that similarly has no Scriptural support. The first chapter of the book of Job depicts Jehovah as speaking with and engaging in a controversial discussion with Satan, the first and greatest of apostates. The Watch Tower publications discussing this say that Jehovah accepted the challenge made by Satan and that this acceptance ultimately produced beneficial results, though for a time bringing much suffering to Job. (See You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, pages 105 to 111, also the Watchtower, November 1, 1986, page 31.) Yet they themselves refuse to meet any challenge resulting from evidence that confronts their claims and which would call for no more than simple, open discussion, not intense suffering. Jehovah sent his prophets persistently to those He himself described as an "apostate nation," "renegade sons." (Isaiah 10:6; Jeremiah 3:12-14) He did not condone their wrongdoing, minimize their sins, but He was willing to "set matters straight" with them, "contend" with them, even "enter into controversy" with them, to make plain their wrong and accomplish their redemption. (Isaiah 1:18; Jeremiah 2:9, 35; compare Isaiah 50:7, 8)
God's Son did not hesitate to answer Satan, the great apostate, even quoting Scripture in refuting his temptations. (Matthew 4:1-11) He described the religious leaders of Jehovah's covenant people in his day as sons of Gehenna, a brood of vipers, murderers of God's messengers, and offspring of the Devil, yet he continually addressed them, responded to their questions and exposed their claims and arguments. (Matthew 23:15, 33; John 8:44) His apostles followed his example, not only with this class of men but with persons who professed Christianity and who advanced false teachings or sought to lead other Christians astray. One has but to read the apostolic letters to see that they do not seek to evade answering arguments from such sources but frankly confront them and refute them."
Thank you all so much for your thoughtful responses to my query. It is very kind of you all to respond. Narkissos, PP, thank you for your thoughts, I hadn't considered 'relighting her programming' by using scriptures, I am sure you are probably correct. I am quite frightened of even talking to her as I have watched plain normal conversations degenerate into heated vitriolic spats when mine and her interpretations of the bible come into it, especially as JWs don't even acknowledge that there are other possible interpretations of scritpture. plm, yes, I was brought up a JW, baptised at 17, I left at 23, finally got around to DAing myself at age 25-26. I have successfully weeded out most of the JW thinking and scriptures, with much effort, which is why I seek advice from those who willingly keep a foot in their camp to help people like me. Personally, my brain doesnt cope well with thinking in their patterns and I end up with my brain twisted like a pretzel if I try to do it. lol. The ironic part of my situation is that after I hadn't had any contact with my family for 2+ years, I contacted them when I fell pregnant (not married), I then moved in and had my daughter while living there, with my mom and one of my brothers present at the birth (both active JWs). She continued to have the book study held at the house, even though it was obvious that I was "in sin" by my pregnant belly and lack of wedding ring or husband (or even boyfriend). However, after some time and many things happened, she moved interstate and I gradually got up the courage to discuss my sexuality with her, (thinking, hoping, believing that her love for me and my daughter would be enough to overcome the programmed response). I told her I was gay, and she was fine with that, but when she found out i was seeing someone, she shunned me. Another double twist is that at the time she decided to shun me, she was disfellowshipped herself for stealing a worldly man's husband and breaking up his marriage in order to be with him. (A giant in the land of hypocrites). Anyway, that is some of my story. Confession, thanks for the exerpt from ISOCF, I have read CoC by Ray Franz, it was very good. I think he is an excellent writer for people who have been heavily involved with JWs. one more point: Narkissos, yes, your analysis is correct. I wish to try to inspire her to start to listen to her heart and use it and it alone as her guide. I think the advise to avoid using any scriptures and your reasoning is spot on. many thanks to you all. ppunk.
Sorry, I did actually include paragraph breaks in my posts but they come out as one block of text, if anyone knows how to avoid this can they say please? thanks.