Has the org changed their position on associating with non-JW family?

by Wild_Thing 12 Replies latest jw friends

  • Wild_Thing

    It would take too long to explain how this conversation came about, but my JW sister recently told me that the organization now teaches that you can (she even suggested that you "should") have a relationship with family members who are not JW. She didn't specify whether they meant family who were never JWs to begin with, or what, but in the context of the conversation we were talking about family members raised as JWs but then left (not disfellowshipped or formally disassociated ... just left).

    She said they even had a talk about it at the convention this summer, and had an experience of someone who reconnected with family after 10 years. She said they said you should have a relationship with them, even if they never become witnesses.

    To be honest, this totally blew me out of the water. I was baptized when I was ten, and quietly left as a an adult, and my relationship with her and my JW family has been quite compliated over the years, but has been quite good for the past 2 or 3 years. I just always thought they finally came their senses about violating that unspoken rule of shunning non-JW family.

    Does anybody have any insight on this? Did anyone here anything about this happening at conventions in your area?

  • Cagefighter

    I think you might be right. I've noticed a lightening up in my family and my story is similar to yours. I beat my family down with guilty and exposing all the contradictions long ago so we called a truce about 10 years ago... LOL.

  • elderelite

    No. There has been official change. However there has been a "softening" on it, in the sense that it has not been a drum beat in quite a while. The natural tendency would be to gravitate toward family if there is nothing pulling you away. it may be a change in that sense. I also believe that it is a bit self serving in that you cant witness to family that you aint talking to. just my personal thought on that, but no there has been no official change.

  • cantleave

    Non-Baptised are potential converts. DF'd DA'd are dangerous. You can have a relationship with the first group but not the second.

  • zoiks

    Was the convention part a softening of the stance, or was it a hardening of it? The title of the talk seems to suggest the latter, but I'd really like to hear from someone who was there.

  • Designer Stubble
    Designer Stubble

    My understanding is that the talk at the DC this year advised to minimize contact with non-witness family.

  • pirata

    I did not get the impression that there is any change in position. Last year's talk at the DC "Do not forget your relatives" (or something like that) referred to those who had never been in the truth. This year at the district conventino they had a whole symposium part dedicated to shunning disfellowshipped family members: "Allow Nothing to Distance You from Jehovah: Family". Here are some notes from the part:

    We should not associate with disfellowshipped or disassociated. (Isaiah 49:15) Family ties instilled in us by Jehovah. We may have to cope with pround grief when family member leaves Jehovah

    1) Do not blame yourself

    Especially Parents. It's natural to want to protect your family members. Don't agonize over past events and mistakes. The disfellowshipped family member has free will and makes that decision themselves. (Gal. 6:5; Ezekiel 18:20)

    2) Do not blame others

    (1 Peter 5:8) Take stand against Satan. How do we react when shepherds disfellowship our family members? Are we taking a stand against the devil? Purpose of discipline is to correct family member; we don't want to impede that.

    3) Maintain our own spirituality

    (1 Peter 5:9) (Prov 18:1) Don't isolate ourselves. Be absorbed in Christian activities.

    Don't look for excuses to have dealings with disfellowshipped family member. That is not the course of a loyal christian. Love by not losing hope. Best thing we can do to help them is stay close to Jehovah so that we're their to welcome them back.

  • flipper

    Obviously the WT society is having a " problem " with JW's associating on a regular basis with DFed family members- or they wouldn't have had these talks. That being said - there is no rule stating they can't associate with INACTIVE JW family members. In fact- last year they had a WT article telling them to not give up on inactive family members and to show caring towards them.

    But many of us who are inactive, not DFed, get shunned by some JW family members ANYWAY. Because of fanatic views

  • Pistoff

    I have a hard time thinking they will ease up on association with nonJW family.

    Every person a JW respects or loves that is nto a JW is a threat to them; after al, uncle Joe is smart and kind, why is he not a witness?

    That is a threat to a JW, and the org, since they cannot seem to instill a desire to be a witness without threats and character asassination.

  • pirata

    I should make a correction:

    Last year's talk at the DC "Do not forget your relatives" (or something like that) referred to those who had never been in the truth

    Should have said:

    Last year's talk at the DC "Do not forget your relatives" (or something like that) referred to those who are not disfellowshipped or disassociated.

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