Disfellowshipping, what else can they do in a case like this one? .....

by HappyGuy 19 Replies latest jw friends

  • HappyGuy

    Okay, the disfellowshipping doctrine is inhumane, usually. I think we all get that.

    But, I remember a "brother" in Jacksonville, Florida, can't remember his name, I was 17 at the time, I think he was 18. This scumbag claimed to be a Jehovah's Witness. We went to the same school. We didn't sociaize in the same circles but I knew him (he was in my congregatin) and had strong reason to believe that this scumbag was:

    1) a drug dealer,

    2) preyed on younger girls sexually

    3) an armed robber

    4) had assaulted numerous smaller, younger, weaker people

    5) was a pathological liar

    well, the list could go on.

    He was found out eventually and disfellowshipped, and good riddance, he was found out by being arrested for drug dealing on school property (he was convicted).

    The guy was dangerous because he came across as this sweet, good natured, zealous, spritual Christain (JW) but once he got young people off away from their friends, family,and peers he tried (usually successfully) to bring them into his world.

    So, here is my question.

    In a case where you have a person who is incorrigible and purposely hides his true nature in order to be accepted by spiritual people when his motivation is to corrupt those who are not worldly wise, what should the congregation do about it? If you say that disfellowshipping is unacceptable, then what do they do in a case like this?

    I am purposely contrasting this scumbag with normal young people who are just being normal kids. I wouldn't want to see disfellowshipping in cases where a person made a mistake or is just being human, but this scumbag was EVIL. The congregation would have to do SOMTHING to protect themselves from this person. So, if not disfellowshipping, what?

    So, what say you?

  • besty

    parents should warn their kids to steer clear

  • Farkel

    :If you say that disfellowshipping is unacceptable, then what do they do in a case like this?

    Make him an elder. You wouldn't do much worse than what they have for elders, anyway.


  • sir82

    How about calling the police? If he was involved in all that stuff, he'd be arrested and sent to the hoosegow for a number of years.

  • JeffT

    If he was 18 he's an adult and responsible for his own behavior. In such a case as you describe I think that disfellowshipping is a protection for those around him. That still leaves 1199 or so reasons that they use to justify disfellowshipping that are unacceptable.

  • dissed

    And Farkel, if he began to have people killed, then he might even qualify to be a future GB member.

  • AudeSapere
    The congregation would have to do SOMTHING to protect themselves from this person.

    Why is this a congregation issue. Seems that the individuals could know for themselves to keep a distance.

    If there were legal considerations, it's a legal problem and best referred to the police for 'corrective' action.


  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    In the case of a person like you talk about, disfellowshipping is a must. And so should calling the police.

    At risk of being shot down, i will state my thoughts on disfellowshipping.

    Here goes...

    I have no problem with the practice in itself. Maybe i see it wrong but please here me out. I will use the example of a club for a particular brand of motor vehicle.

    Neville buys a corvette and off he goes and also joins the local corvette club. The rules of the club state that to be a member, you must own at least one corvette. Some time later, Neville sells his corvette and buys a datsun. When it is found out, the club terminates his membership. No real problem though. His friends who have corvettes still talk to him and invite him to dinner, although they do tease him a bit about the car and hope he will buy another corvette one day...Neville just might.

    The problem is the labelling and shunning. Now, lets assume the corvette club people will no longer even talk to Neville, some even cross the street to avoid him. Worse, he is labelled an Japotate for buying the Datsun. No longer can he have dinners with his friends, nor the company of his brother, a rabid corvette owner. The club and his brother hope that by shunning him, he will see the error in his choice of car and buy another corvette. Unfortunatley, neville is broke and could never afford to buy another corvette. Heartbroken he hangs himself.

    Disfellowshipping can and should be used i feel by a religion for those who break the rules. You are OUT. No longer a member of the 'club'. Some times it is to remove an evil person. Sometimes to delete membership of somebody who no longer wants 'in'. The problem is in the shunning. Should the ex JW be treated just the same as any other person or loved one, disfellowshipping would be seen as a no big dead for most. "Oh, yeah, cousin Frank does not believe anymore, big deal, thats his choice, he's a great guy, we see him often and just dont talk religion because we never can agree!" or in the case of the scumbag, people would be justified in avoiding him and calling the police etc

    Tell me nicely if you think i am wrong! Again, i see the shunning, labelling and underlying information control as the problem rather than the actual being removed, disfellowshipped, from the congregation.


  • Balsam

    If there was someone like that going to a so called worldly church what would the people do. They would call the police and turn the guy and and forbid their kids any association or hanging out with this kid. There would be no disfellowshipping and troublesome teen would be in jail off and on wouldn't he.

    What does disfellowshipping accomplish? Much less that it does in the general public.

  • OnTheWayOut

    There are criminals that are members of various religions. Disfellowshipping itself is not the evil thing. He clearly doesn't fit in with the beliefs of the group. The inhuman or inhumane thing is to tell people, especially his family, that if they talk to him they are displeasing Jehovah and may be disfellowshipped themselves, if not destroyed at Armageddon.

    Even in this case, I see no reason why family should not write and visit him in prison. Sure, many people should avoid him while he continues to be a threat. But warn about the threat if you can. Let family still be family. While I still disagree with shunning in this situation, my biggest concerns are for those who were baptized as children or teens then left the religion and are shunned for their change of lifestyle and second, for anyone who leaves the JW's for any reason whatsoever and then are shunned as if they are dead to their loved ones.

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