WT development of Disfellowshiping. (part 4; 1894 to 1919)

by Aussie Oz 4 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    Watchtower 1894

    September 1, page 1699

    ......., the Apostle’s language indicates that his case was not a hopeless one, as it would have been had the sinner transgressed

    against full light and knowledge, wilfully. For the same Apostle declares that such cannot be renewed unto repentance.-

    Heb. 6:4-6. Compare 1 John 5 : 16.

    The Apostle would show the church the importance of prompt and decisive action to correct such an error. The wrong-doer should not be temporized with, nor coaxed and advised, nor remonstrated against, but should be promptly disfellowshipped by all the pure-minded. refused all recognition and all privileges of fellowship, no matter what his professions or knowledge or talents: thus left to the world and the devil for fellowship, he would be the more likely to see his condition and reform. That in the case mentioned the man did not have

    a bad spirit, but still had some love for God and his people and a desire for spiritual things, is shown by the Apostle’s words, “That the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” If his spirit had been bad. the Apostle would not suggest its being saved-all that is evil must be destroyed. This man’s spirit was good-his will was to do God’s will, but from some cause he did not allow the exceeding great and precious promises of God’s Word work in him to do right. The purity of the church demanded that he be dealt with rigorously -; and his own future depended upon whether or not-the animal nature which was ruling him should be mortified - put to death.-Rom. 8: 13; Col. 375.

    Watchtower 1905

    page 3673

    The Scriptural basis of fellowship and disfellowship is both a much broader and a much more simple one. It is simply of

    two parts: (1) An acceptance of Christ as the Redeemer, and (2) A full consecration to him. Whoever complies with this

    scriptural formula is entitled to the love, respect, sympathy and care of every other such one; for such, and such only, constitute

    the church which God recognizes-the church “whose names are written in heaven.”

    article on Christian fellowship continues:

    Let us assure ourselves, from a study of God’s Word, that it is as much a part of our duty to disfellowship (as Christians)

    those who, either directly or indirectly, deny that Christ gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price] for all, and who,

    hence, are the worst enemies of the cross of Christ, as it is our duty to fellowship any who confess him thus as their Saviour ;

    and who, hence, are our “Brethren” in him. We are to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but should

    rather reprove them.”

    Oh how they have abandoned Russells views in that first paragraph!

    Watchtower 1919

    page 6385

    The great adversary is wily, and at all times is quick to appeal to passion. He persuades some that they must take a radical stand against some secular work or activity, and to proceed at once to disfellowship others who cannot conscientiously take this same stand. Somehow they seem to think that their radical stand entitles them in a very special sense to divine favour and blessing.

    What i feel is displayed so far is that they know they need to disfellowship but are trying to not be to strict in just what will make it happen, other than the matter of the ransom.

  • FreeAtLast1914

    So far I've loved your laying out the development/evolution of the policy. Can't wait for the 1940s-1950s segment when they really pull an about-face.

    Great posts, Oz!

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    Studies in the Scriptures VI takes a hands off approach in the early part. Basically says leave it to the Father, the Husbandman, who prunes every branch ...

    Later in the same volume it talks about excommunication for fornication etc., but not for disagreeing with doctrine.

  • pirata

    @Black Sheep, do you have a page number for your references in Studies in the Scriptures VI?

    @Aussie Oz, thanks again for creating these threads.. They are a great comprehensive resource.

  • Dogpatch

    looking forward to the whole masterpiece. :-))


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