mostly these days they dont even realise who i am and i guess that works two ways cos unless theyre trundling round the streets in marketing junk mail mode i dont tend to notice them either. ocassionally i get the 'alright?' or the nod, probably cos somewhere in the deepest depths they think i'm vaguely familiar so they must know me....they just dont remember when or why.
How do you deal with shunning ?
I FOR ONE REALLY DON'T BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST WOULD MISTREAT ANYONE BEING KIND,
HE DIED FOR US ALL, BELIEVERS AND NON BELIEVERS, IF IT WAS LEFT UP TO THE ORG THEY
WOULD ONLY DIE FOR BELIEVERS OF THEIR FAITH, JESUS DIDN'T WORK THAT WAY. ARE THEY
FOLLOWING THE CHRIST
I can't say there is no hurt but there is less if I smile and greet them. I don't play their game and hope it makes them uncomfortable enough to think twice about what they are doing.
I agree with Blondie's point. They think they remain in control by shunning you; allowing them to do that keeps the illusion of control intact. Be friendly and outgoing, even if you feel you don't want to. That way you've removed the illusion of control they think they have over you. Seeing that they are powerless over you puts you in control. They only have the control that you allow them to have.
I am neither DF'd or DA'd - just inactive. I can tell you that while I was active and an elder I would never ignore a DF/DA person I encountered, I would always enquire about their health, family, etc.
I was convinced the passage at 2 John 10 (often JW's mix the wording with 1 Cor 5:9-13) was more contextual to the fact that the fledgeling christian congregation used greetings as more paying respects or rejoicing with them that an actual verbalized "hello". Nataurally, the others were to be cautious - no different in their association with Jews, Romans, Greeks and other nationals found in the mid east of that time who did not share the "Way" as it was called. Its is also very interesting that Paul's comments on disfellowshipping are very, very close to those he made of marking.
There is nothing is John's 2nd letter, Paul's words to the Corinthians or even in the gospels to indicate being beligerent or uncaring when facing ones who had been DF'd or had DA themselves - to do so was uncaring and extremely unchristian. I honestly believed that by showing this genuine love for such ones I encountered was what was expected of me as a christian and an elder. After all, as I had a honourable motive, God would protect me from any potential harm if it existed.
I had numerous "discussions" with fellow elders who did not share my view. One elder repreatedly and deliberately mixed up 2 John 10 and 1 Cor 5:13 (just to piss me off I believe). However, I remember when the BOE recieved instructions to visit DF/DA at least once a year I enquired of the CO at the time of his visit - "so how do we apply 2 John 10 when we call them on the phone or go to their door? Do we make sure we do not say "hello", "Hi, how are you?". he replied to use our own judgement in such a matter.
It is sad that ones make a spectacle of themselves going out of their way to act in a way contrary to what the scrpitures state. An individual has the God given power of reason and freedom of choice to associate with whomever they want. It is not for me to judge such ones (part of my crisis was not wanting to be on JC's up to about two years before I left and a year before stepping aside as an elder) and it is certainly not for others to judge me if I choose to take a healthy, humane and sincere interest in the well being of those who are no longer a JW by choice or supposed action. Now it matters even less as I am no longer active or attending any meetings. I still enquire no differently of DF/DA, in fact there is a person who lives in the same building as me that was DF's 5 years ago. I treat him no differently now than then.
I've been out long enough that it doesn't phase me any more. My family and friends don't shun me...none are jws... so It really isn't part of my life any more.
When it does happen... I just feel sorry for them. I used to be just like them... so I can't judge them. I just hope that one day they will be free as well.
Well when I see them run away, I am tempted to stick out my tongue, stick my thumbs inmy ears wiggle my fingers and go booga booga. But I am too mature for that...lol
I have to laugh at their silliness because I am not Df'd or DA'd and they still run like I am the devil.
If you became a muderer or drug dealer they would still talk to you. Still be kind to them, and let their lack of love show who they really are. Notice how quick they turn from friends to enemies. Kind of creapy. They finally have a 'legal' reason to show their true hating selves. And to think I swollowed that swill for so many years. I think the Creator for opening my eyes. Best wishes to you and your wife. Things will get better as time goes on. Now when I see a JW, I asked them about the "Silent Lamps Campaign." They just stummer and stutter. Poor JWs, they just can't admit they are like all the other religions. "Having a form of Godly devotion, but proving false to it's power..."
I think if people in the congregation were to shun me, I would continue being the kind, loving person I am...the person they know...and not get upset or in a huff about it. I would still smile or wave, but probably wouldn't get into conversation with them. I'd be polite.
When it comes down to it, we're often victims of our own circumstance and if they had been good friends prior to DA/DF, then they would know only too well what we deal with on a daily basis. So for that reason, they shouldn't judge. Having said that, like Blondie said, witnesses like to judge. So it's up to us to grow a thick skin and try and ignore how it makes us upset and move on.
man in black
It's interesting that you say this:
If I had become a murderer, or drug dealer I could possibly understand them
In the last conversation I had with my father 18 months ago when I phoned him with my answer to his ultimatum to go back to JWs or my family would cut me off, I brought up this very issue.
My father is an elder (PO for last few years) and in his congregation there were two 'brothers' in jail, both for manslaughter. One got drunk and stabbed his father in law who died a couple of days later and the other for driving while drunk and killing a bicycle rider. (And this congregation is in a good middle class area where these incidents are not the norm by the way).
Anyway, my father in his role as an elder makes a point of visiting these guys in jail. One is in a prison 2 1/2 hours drive away from my fathers home. So in that last phone conversation, after my father tells me that talking to me is a waste of his valuable time and that as far as my family is concerned I am dead, I asked my father this question:
"Why is it that you will drive for hours to visit a person who has murdered someone and yet you would not drive for 20 minutes to see me and talk about this in person. And why is it that you are going to cut me off when I'm the family member who has done more to help you and the rest of the family when they needed it and has always been there for you no matter what (even after he had an affair years ago while the PO). I said I am living a good, clean life, looking after my family, caring for my elderly mother in law and trying to help others when I can, yet you would rather spend time with criminals."
He replied that the ones in jail had repented and wanted to stay Jehovah's Witnesses, that is the difference between them and me. (He wanted me to go to the elders and confess to apostacy and repent which I refused to do).
I asked why he shows love to these criminals and yet would not show love to me his own daughter (I was 49 at the time).
He said "We don't intend to show you love. We can't show you love the way you are".
And after that lovely, upbuilding, encouraging phone call (which was also full of insults and anger and abuse) from my 'loving' JW elder father I have never seen or heard from any of my family again.
So to answer your original question "How do you deal with shunning?" I'd say at the moment - with difficulty. The pain, injustice, unfairness etc is still quite raw.
It is getting easier though to deal with the shunning by those who I once considered good friends.
ps - I am not da'd or df'd just faded