Did You Shun Someone?

by Country Girl 19 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • juni

    G'day iamfreenow!!

    I felt the same as you. It was part of what you were to do w/those who left Jehovah. It supposedly was suppose to help those see their wrong way and want to come back. Now that I DAed myself (I did not do anything to be DFed by their rules) and have experienced the shunning practice before I DAed and after, I have found that this practice does not encourage me to want to go back. That idea is nonsense.

    I always gave those who were DFed a little smile to let them know I cared about them. I had a hard time w/the whole shunning policy because it did not follow the illustration of the prodigal son. So I felt that Jehovah would not disapprove of me for giving them a little smile.


  • Bonnie_Clyde

    When my son was 5 years old he had a speech impediment. His school arranged for a speech therapist to work with him. One day she introduced me to her replacement, a disfellowshipped witness girl. We were in a closed room. It was very awkward and I refused to speak to her. The girl walked out and I never saw her again. The original therapist stayed to work with my son.

  • iamfreenow

    Hello Juni,

    I used to nod to people, and sometimes give them a little smile myself, if they were someone I'd been close to before they left the Witnesses. It's really hard to see totally blanking someone you might have been friends with for many years as an act of love. I haven't been personally shunned yet, but living where I do, with several JWs from my congregation living close by, I imagine it's only a matter of time before I am. The biggest hurt, I am sure, will be when I see my oldest son and his family and he carries out his threat to shun me. I don't know how I am going to take that yet, but I expect it will happen eventually.

    I just know I will speak to my grandchildren, how could I not? I just hope that they don't get punished in some way for speaking to me, as I'm sure they will.

  • blondie

    Remember when the WTS had its members shun unbaptized JWs just like baptized df'd JWs? Then they changed that policy.

    Organized to Accomplish Our Ministry (p. 148-9)(1983 edition) Unapproved Associates

    ...become involved in serious wrongdoing? They should be dealt with in a way similar to that of baptized Witnesses with the exception of not being recognized members of the congregation, they could not be formally expelled therefrom...if a nonbaptized wrongdoer is still unrepentant after a judicial committee has met with him and tried to help him, then it becomes necessary to inform the congregation. A brief announcement is made that the person is no longer recognized as an approved associate. (1 Cor. 15:33) The congregation will then view the wrongdoer as they would view one who has been disfellowshipped. No service reports would be accepted from such a person.

    Then in 1988, this 180 degree change or is it?


    w89 2/15 p. 29 Questions From Readers ***


    Does the material on being approved by God mean that Christians may speak to one who once was considered an "approved associate" but later, because of wrongdoing, was to be avoided?

    Yes, it does. The Watchtower of November 15, 1988, showed why it is Scriptural to adjust our view of an unbaptized person who shares in the public ministry with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Formerly, such a person was termed an "approved associate." If he thereafter unrepentantly broke God’s laws, the congregation was alerted, and the members would then avoid association and conversation with him.

    As the recent material showed, the Bible requires that such disciplinary action be taken in the case of baptized persons who are unrepentant wrongdoers. (1 Corinthians 5:11-13; 2 John 9-11) Yet, the accountability of an unbaptized person who pursues wrongdoing is not the same as that of one who is baptized. (Luke 12:48) He has not been baptized and thus has not become approved in God’s sight, so disfellowshipping is not appropriate in his case. Basically, he is now a worldly person and can be dealt with accordingly.

    What, then, of one who was formerly termed an "approved associate" but who is no longer qualified for the public ministry because of his wrong course? Since he is not disfellowshipped, he should be treated as the person of the world that he is. Of course, the November 15 Watchtower advised on page 19 that due caution must be exercised by loyal Christians. These realize that the unbaptized person may well have shared in wrongdoing despite his having knowledge of God’s requirements. Mature Christians must be careful about socializing with such an individual. If questions arise as to the extent of contact that may be had with him, most of these can be resolved by following godly counsel. We can reflect on counsel such as that found at 1 Corinthians 15:33 and Proverbs 13:20 and ask ourselves: ‘What association would I properly have with a person of the world who is not living by Christian standards?’ If the elders see that a worldly person of this sort poses any threat, they can privately offer warning counsel to those in the congregation who seem to be endangered.

    In time, an unbaptized person who had been an "approved associate" may give reasonable evidence of repentance, and he may desire to have a Bible study again. (Acts 26:20) He may speak to the elders of the congregation where he now attends, who, if it seems advisable, will arrange for him to have a Bible study. This will apply also if in the future someone is disqualified as an unbaptized publisher and later shows repentance. Usually, he ought to speak to the two elders who dealt with his wrongdoing or the two others whom the body of elders chose to review the matter if he requested that.

    Appropriately, The Watchtower explained that it is somewhat different in the case of parents caring for minor children in the home—those legally dependent minors for whom they are responsible to provide material support. (Ephesians 6:1-4) The Scriptures lay on the parents the obligation to instruct and guide their children. So the parents (or believing parent) may choose to conduct a private Bible study with the erring minor or to include him in the family’s program of Bible study and discussion.

    While the recent Watchtower material calls for adjustment in our thinking and dealings, it is done in line with the Scriptures that are beneficial "for disciplining in righteousness."—2 Timothy 3:16, 17.

  • Ironhead

    I hardly saw any ex-jws so the only time I had the opportunity to shun was at the meeting. When I used to be an attendant, when disfellowshipped ones used to come in the hall, I just smiled at them although I never spoke. After they were reinstated, they privately thanked me for it. That was the only big rule I broke.

  • greendawn

    I never had the opportunity though I doubt I would totally shun anyone especially for silly things like celebrating birthdays. There were a couple of DFed people around but I wouldn't have talked to them much anyway because they were not my age, I was around 20 they were in their fifties.

  • rosa

    When I meet someone DF'd I say: "Hi". If he/she wants, we can talk. My brother sometimes aids a poor DF'd in necessity. And when we do it, we fell VEEEEEERRRRRYYYY WELLLLL!!!!!

  • juni

    I don't know why my story w/this practice did not post. Thank you Blondie for this information.

    This happened to our son and the whole family was held "hostage" because of it.

    The policy changed due to lawsuits against the Society by these unbaptized ones. So whenever they say a change is made because of "new light" don't believe them. There is more to the story. The problem w/these lawsuits was discussed at the ministerial servants' and elders' mtgs. at the Circuit Assembly. They were told NOT to speak about it.

    I should have put my story on Word so it didn't get cancelled out. I don't feel like going through it again. It was an extremely heart wrenching time for our family. And I hate to "re-live it" by telling the whole story.


  • Crumpet

    I never shunned anyone as a JW but since I left I find myself doing it.

  • sandy

    CG, I think that disregard of df'ed people is so common in the org.

    I imagine that many people have to feel "nothing" and numbing themselves or pretending df
    ed people disappeared may be a way to cope or avoid feeling guilty for treating people in such a cold and cruel way.

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