November WT: new policy for inactive ones?
OK, I just finished listening to the audio files of the two study articles, and all I can say is it's a false alarm: the studies do deal with how to help the inactive ones but nowhere they mention anything about disciplinary measures for those who are not receptive to the "loving assistance".
Only once (2nd study article, paragraphs 12-13) the word "discipline" is mentioned, and it is in connection with inactive ones that, in the process of being helped back to activity, confess that they left for fear of disfellowshipping after committing a serious sin. In that case, the article says that "loving discipline" may be in order, adding that if the individual recognizes his mistake, has abandoned the wrong conduct and is sincerely repented, then the elders will help him back into the flock.
Nothing new, then. Inactive ones may expect a call or a visit from the elders who will follow these articles up (by the way, they will be studied in the congregation during the first half of January 2009) but, other than that, I don't see any change of policy, so sorry for raising this storm in a teacup ... unless along with the articles comes a letter to the elders' bodies with further details untold in the articles. But I personally think this is unlikely.
Help Them Return Without Delay
Is a lot more hardline. A lot stricter view.. almost a total switch of tone from the earlier article.
Seems a lot emphasis on reminding inactive ones they have abandoned jesus/jehovah/
Touches on sins etc... that if a brother / sister finds out they are sinning that they should tell elder etc..
TO be honest nothing unusual, just seems to be the normal line. On one hand it likens inactive ones to lost sheep and then next as the to disciples who denied jesus.
It does seem to accuse the inactive ones, seems quite negative...
But nothing new.
This is to help those still in the 'cong' to realise that people only leave because they're weak/bad/atheist.
They can disfellowship me all they want, but they had better not even think of recapturing me. If they do that, I am going to do all I can to ruin the congregation.
Bottom line: It seems we can expect an "encouraging" phone call sometime next year. If we politely blow them off and don't confess any "sins", we can crawl back under our rock and be ok.
I don't have access to my WT-CD right now, but I can assure you that the WTS has no "scriptural" grounds to df or consider inactive jws as having da'd themselves. Every year before the memorial there are articles telling the elders and other jws to visit or contact inactive jws inviting the to the memorial. I have know of jws who did not attend meetings but "turned in time" which as recorded and sent into headquarters, all without having attended one meeting. I am interested in seeing the scan of that KM before I jump to any conclusions. I was also told that there was a new df policy in one of the new books, and all it is is a repeat and a stern reminder of the existing policy. It shows that some jws have little knowledge of the policy history.
Last night I had a dream that an old elder was trying to force me to recant leaving. After I repeatedly told him I wasn't coming back, he issued me a letter that said I was viewed as [some letter that started with an A (not apostate)]. Anyways, the letters do not actually exist, it was just a really weird dream. I have this dream because this guy is so overly in-your-face and sure that no one leaves unless they're wicked, that I would fear discussing the issue of my leaving (don't believe the doctrine), without outting myself.
When the proof of their falsehoods are in your possession, it is a difficult task not to expose them, especially when confronted and told that you probably left for some reason that you didn't. Ah, the pain and irritation of fading, but it has advantages as well.
I have only noticed recently that references to "service" have become less about love and appreciation to Jehovah and more about "responsibility".
I recently had an elder read out one months inactive numbers to the next because 2 more didnt report (i think I didnt put in a fake report that month!) and then said why arent these taking their responsibility seriously?
Then there is the KM with the assembly themes and talks. Much about the importance of service relating to fighting satan. Doesnt sound much about love does it? More about proving Satan a liar.... and we all know this has always been put on JW's as a responsibility.