Disfelowshipping / Expelling

by freein2004 14 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • freein2004

    The insight book Volume 1 page 788 uses Matthew 5:22 and Acts 10:28 as biblical support for dfing and shunning.


    Hopefully someone upload the insight book page here. I don't have the means.

    I should have said that basically the top paragraph in the insight book is supporting shunning because the Israelites shunned the man of the nations and tax collectors? Huh????

  • eyefell4it2

    They always twist scripture to fit their agenda. For Bible thumpers, they sure do follow man (the GB) and try to prophesy in Jehober's name an awful lot. Also they say to abstain from blood except for certain portions and cow blood (can't seem to find that scripture which oks said practice in my bible but ok) and also manage to ignore other commands (including caring for the poor, widows and fatherless children) but whatevs. They will ALWAYS find some obscure scripture and devote tons of absurd meaning to it while ignoring the scriptures with clear, blatant advice/commands. Go figure. Who would've thought a cult would do such a thing? SMDH

    Ps-I am suprised (not really) they have a grand 2 scriptures to support that practice but ignore whole accounts of Jesus and others interacting with sinners.

    Also, they left these parts out in their sorted interpretation:

    Acts 10:28-But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. (NIV)

    Matt 5:22-whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; (NSV)

    Just my observations.

  • Crazyguy
    end of matt 5 jesus says if you only greet your brother your just and bad as a tax collector..
  • freein2004

    Those were my observations about the scripture too. I should have quoted them here. Thanks for doing it.

    Dubs will say that Jesus account of forgiveness does not apply to disfellowshipped ones. At least my father said that. But the FDS used part of the scripture to support dfing and shunning.

    Is there any wt pubs where I can point to this? Where they say or imply Jesus talking about forgiving your brother doesn't apply to dfing? They are certainly trying to use it here in the insight book.


    Well, if you lived in the first century as an Xian, you would be careful about who you associated with. If a person claimed to be Xian, yet lived an immoral life, then you didn't hang with them. It's that simple.

    We all make judgments. I hate country music and drunken rednecks, so I don't hang out with people like that. If I'm out somewhere and a redneck party breaks out, I'm leaving. I also don't like smokey bars.

    We all make judgment calls, but we don't have to "judge" the people. The WTBTS like to take an example of people from the first century and twist it. Those Xians believed the "END" was coming "SOON", so they weren't going to squander the limited time they had left. They were shooting for Sainthood, so they couldn't risk losing out.

    Still, that is a far cry from the WTBTS's interpretation. They like to judge anyone who disagrees with them ( The one true religion ) as bird food during the Big A. DF'ing is a tool to control the flock, as opposed to what it was in the first century, a means of trying to protect the flock.

    LOL!!!! Yeah!! That sounds great!!! LOL!!!


  • Mary
    I did a project several years ago about the problems with many of their doctrines and disfellowshipping was one of them. I'll paraphrase some of what was in my project below:

    "The practice of disfellowshipping members and not speaking to them might appear to have support from the scriptures, one needs to take a look at both the culture and religious practices in Judaism and in the early Christian congregation to fully understand what the scriptures are saying.

    The primary scripture the Society uses for justification in this doctrine is found in 1 Corinthians 5:11 which says:

    “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.” [1]

    The scripture cited above in 1 Corinthians is clear that a person with whom the congregation should not mix company is one who is:

    1) "called a brother" (that is, one who professes to be a member of the congregation); and those who:

    2) practicing fornication, greed, idiolatry, reviling (insulting), habitual drunkenness, and/or extortion (theft).

    Here we need to know what the customs of fellowship and worship were practiced by first-century Jews and Christians (keeping in mind that Jesus and his apostles were Jews.) They lived according to the Jewish lifestyle and customs of their day. Jesus taught in the synagogues, kept the Jewish holidays and lived the life of a Jew; He was also called "Rabbi." Matt.26:25; 26:49; Mark 9:5; 11:21; 14:25; John 1:38, 49; 3:2, 26; 4:31; 6:25; 9:2; 11:8

    There were two kinds of association for religious worship amongst first century Jews:

    1) The public meetings, such as those at the temple and in the synagogues which anyone was allowed to attend.

    2) The intimate private gatherings of the different sects (in Judaism for example, there were the Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots and Essenes). Christians and Jews participated in both. Since the Christians at that time did not have a public meeting place that they could call their own, they used both the Synagogues and also met in private homes, usually over a special meal with prayer.

    Christians were instructed to "greet" one another with a kiss. (Rom.16:16; 1.Cor.16:20; 2Cor.13:12; Ti.3:15; 1Pet.5:14) When Paul sent his "greetings" in a letter to the Christians in Thessalonica, he asked that the brothers be greeted with a "holy kiss" on his behalf. (1Thess.5:26) This was a custom both amongst the Jews and Christians of the first century, it had a special significance of close companionship amongst those who were related either by blood or by their faith.

    Clearly, Paul did instruct Christians to expel from the congregation fellowship those who were purposely practicing willful sin. The expulsion would naturally exclude them from being greeted by the identifying "holy kiss," as well as not being allowed to share in meetings and the meals for Christian worship and prayer.

    However, Paul's instruction did not prohibit normal conversation or witnessing to former members. Nor were the guilty party barred from attending worship in the temple or the synagogues. Jesus, the apostles and Paul, along with the rest of the Jews, worshiped God both publicly in the temple and synagogues, and privately with small groups in various homes. (Acts 5:42) It was from the private Christian fellowship for worship that sinners were excluded.

    What of the scripture that says: “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, never receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him. For he that says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works.” The above scripture is not talking about those who had been expelled from the Christian congregation. If you read verse 10 it is clear that it is talking about someone who does not “acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.”

    This included Jews that rejected Jesus and people of the nations worshipping other Gods. Yet the Watchtower stance is to apply this only to Jehovah's Witnesses. The meaning of the phrase “never receive him into YOUR homes” should be understood in the context of the hospitality of first century Jerusalem. Since Christians held congregation meetings in their homes John possibly felt that inviting a denier of Christ into a home could be viewed as sharing worship with non-Christians. Likewise the term to never “say a greeting” to him needs to be understood in light of first century practice. The Organization claims that even saying “hello” to someone who had been disfellow­shipped was prohibited:

    “John here used khai´ro, which was a greeting like “good day” or “hello.” (Acts 15:23; Matthew 28:9) He did not use Aspa´zo Amai (as in verse 13), which means “to enfold in the arms, thus to greet, to welcome” and may have implied a very warm greeting, even with an embrace. (Luke 10:4; 11:43; Acts 20:1, 37; 1 Thessalonians 5:26) So the direction at 2 John 11 could well mean not to say even “hello” to such ones.”

    This article claims the word khai’ro is used to forbid a simple greeting, instead of aspa’zo mai which means a more affectionate embrace, enfolding in the arms, kiss, greeting or welcome. Of course, the average Witness is going to take this at face value, which is unfortunate because Strong’s Concordance defines the two words as just the opposite of what this Watchtower is claiming:

    5463 chairo {khah'-ee-ro} 1) to rejoice, be glad 2) to rejoice exceedingly 3) to be well, thrive 4) in salutations, hail! 5) at the beginning of letters: to give one greeting, salute

    783 aspasmos {as-pas-mos’} 1) a salutation, either oral or written

    By applying the word khai’ro to the quote at 2 John 11, it is clear that the early Christian congregation did not completely ignore such ones. While they would not have ‘greeted them with a holy kiss’ or display an overly zealous greeting, it is obvious that they would have greeted the person in a courteous manner.

    If the scripture at 2 John 10 were observed literally by Jehovah's Witnesses, they would be obliged to never to speak to anyone other than another Witness in good standing. Yet Witnesses work with people with various backgrounds including Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists.....none of whom believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Why are they allowed to speak with these people, yet are obliged to shun life long friends and even family members when they get disfellowshipped?

    How did Jesus say one expelled from congregation should be treated? Far from cutting the person off completely, Jesus encouraged kindness:

    “Moreover, if your brother commits a sin, go lay bare his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two more, in order that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every matter may be established. If he does not listen to them, speak to the congregation. If he does not listen even to the congregation, let him be to you just as a man of the nations ['Gentile' in some translations] and as a tax collector.”

    The instruction was to bring up the matter of sin first between the two individuals alone. If the sinner repented, there was no need to carry the matter further. If the sinner was not repentant, then one or two others should be sought for witnesses. If the sinner remained unrepentant, only then, as a last resort, should it be brought before the entire congregation (not privately with the "elders"). If, after all that, the person still would not listen, he should then be treated the same as Gentiles and tax collectors. In other words, Christians were to treat former members just like anyone else who was not a member of the congregation. To be treated like a "man of the nations" (which is to say, a Gentile or foreigner) was far from being shunned. Jewish people worked with, associated with, transacted business with, and preached to Gentiles. As for "tax collectors," Jesus ate and associated with them. Matthew was a tax collector. Tax collectors were not popular, but they were not shunned.

    The ironic thing about the Organizations’ view of disfellowshipping, is that they do not ‘practice what they preach’. For example, Jehovah's Witnesses do not disfellowship greedy persons. They often do not disfellowship people who regularly get drunk unless their conduct becomes so outrageous and publicly-known as to bring reproach upon Jehovah's Witnesses.

    They do not disfellowship people for many of the things which they themselves class as "idolatry" (for example: materialism, worshipping an organization, etc.).

    On the other hand, Jehovah's Witnesses do disfellowship and shun people for:

    Celebrating a birthday, Christmas, Easter, or other secular holidays (even though the founder of the religion, Charles Russell saw no problem with celebrating such days); discussing personal views of the scriptures with anyone if your viewpoint differs from with the Governing Body says is ‘truth’, Independent study and discussion of the Bible that brings Watchtower doctrine into question (even though the scriptures specifically tell Christians to “make sure of all things, possession of literature written by former members, going public with evidence that the Organization has covered up acts of pedophilia over the years (as in the case of Barbara Anderson) attending a service of any other church or religious organization, authorizing a blood transfusion, even to save the life of a child.

    It should also be noted that nowhere in the scriptures does it indicate that either Jesus or his disciples were ‘disfellowshipped’ by the Pharisees from Jewish fellowship, for promoting ideas that differed from what the Pharisees taught. They were hated by many for sure, but they were never shunned.

    Ironically, the Organization likes to use the example of Diotrephes as:

    “A man mentioned by the apostle John in his letter to Gaius. In addition to being ambitious, proud, disrespectful of apostolic authority, rebellious, and inhospitable, Diotrephes tried to hinder those desiring to show hospitality to the brothers and to expel these from the congregation”

    In actuality, Diotrephes was being reprimanded for attempting to disfellowship “those desiring to show hospitality to the brothers” by expelling them “from the congregation”.

    Both Brother Russell and Judge Rutherford were more lenient towards doctrinal disagreements, as they realized that trying to force all believers to think alike on doctrine is what originally caused the “great apostasy” in the first place:

    “Satans organization sails under the high-sounding name of "Christendom". It boasts of a membership of over 500,000,000 persons. Its members are in bondage to creeds, customs, rites and ceremonies; they dare not disown these or criticize or expose them. To do so would bring down on their heads taunts, reproaches, disfellowship and persecution. Many thousands of the Lords people are held in these denominations as prisoners, afraid to express their disapproval of the creeds, methods and customs of the organization.” [1]


    [1] Watchtower 1930 October 1 p.301

  • Quarterback

    Data Dog, and Mary bring up some good solid points about the inconsistent practice of DF'ing with JW's today.

    I agree that the GB is abusing this practice in order to control people. How sad it is that family members are cut off by their miss use of that scriptural passage. I know of some who no longer practice what got them DF'd in the first place, They have restored their reputation, are married, and have become responsible members of Society. But, because they don't go back to the KH, and face that committee and beg forgiveness, they are still considered DF'd. I have seen literally as much as 15 years fly by where the grandchildren didn't have a normal relationship because of this wrong application.

  • label licker
    label licker

    Love reading your posts, Mary. Thank you

  • clarity

    Many thanks Mary this is a keeper for sure! So nice to hear from you...your posts always amazed me since I first came on here 5 yrs ago.

    Many on here have said they miss your presence and keen thinking, as I do too. Wishing you all the best this life has to offer.


  • berrygerry


    Do you have that posted online somewhere?

Share this