WT development of Disfellowshiping. (part 8; 1952 to 1959 inc one on blood)

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  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    Watchtower 1952 ( a big year for subject in the CD)

    3/1 Keeping the organization clean

    11 But there are also spiritual grounds for removing persons from God’s organization. Backbiting, bringing forth false doctrines, causing divisions; just as Paul wrote to the Romans: “Now I exhort you, brothers, to keep your eye on those who create divisions and causes for stumbling contrary to the teaching which you have learned, and avoid them.” (Rom. 16:17, NW) It is very plain. The true Word of God was taught to them by Paul. Now if anyone comes into the congregation to try to upset adherence to that true Word of God and causes stumbling or a division in the congregation, it is necessary to avoid that one. The best way to avoid him is to disfellowship that person, set him aside, get him out of the congregation, so that the whole congregation may remain clean.

    First mention from 1879 on actual AVOID the disfellowshipped.(My personal observation)



    5 There is a proper procedure to follow in this regard. It must be an official act. Someone in authority must make the decision, and then the person is removed. At 1 Timothy 1:19, 20 (NW) is an example of the authority used by Paul, for he said: “Holding faith and a good conscience, which some have thrust aside and have experienced shipwreck concerning their faith. Hymenaeus and Alexander belong to these, and IhavehandedthemovertoSatan that they may be taught by discipline not to blaspheme.” They were put out of the congregation by an authorized servant. Paul did the same in the case recorded in 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, when he got rid of that professed Christian that had intercourse with his father’s wife. Paul took the action there because the ones in charge of the congregation had failed. He had the authority. A servant of Jehovah acted. In our present day we have congregations or companies of Jehovah’s witnesses and we have servants in our companies. These servants must discharge the responsibility that goes with the servant’s position to keep the congregation clean and must take the action. They are to be good shepherds and shepherd the flock.

    6 So first of all a charge must be made, by someone in the congregation or by some interested mature brother, about a person that has gone wrong. But just because a charge is made does not mean that we can disfellowship him. The Scriptures show that witnesses must be brought forth. No charge can be accepted unless there are two or three witnesses to establish the fact. That means an investigation. The company servant, the assistant company servant, the Bible study servant, and maybe some other mature brothers in the company should be called together to have a hearing, and those who are charged and the witnesses must be brought in and the matter be discussed. They cannot come to a conclusion that this person should be put out of the congregation on mere rumor or gossip. There must be two or three eyewitnesses that know such and such a thing occurred or was said. A decision cannot be made on guesswork. It may be that by a feeling or a sense that we have we believe the person is not good, but we may not be able to prove it. As long as we cannot prove it out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, that person cannot rightly be rejected. Otherwise you may be doing that individual a great harm.

    7 So then when we have our witnesses, we have our meeting with these persons who are obstreperous or going wrong or not living according to the law of God. We give them a fair hearing, we discuss the matter, we try to help them. But proof must be there of uncleanness, morally or spiritually, before anything can be done to them in the way of putting them out of the congregation. The servants certainly should be mature brothers and be willing to take the full responsibility in making their decision. Then their decision is presented to the company. Not for the company to vote on. No, but the company servant, the assistant company servant and the Bible study servant have to take all the responsibility for the course of action that is to be taken. If they are thoroughly convinced in their minds that that individual is wrong and should be put out of the company and the person has not made any steps toward repentance, then they tell the company, in the form of a resolution, of what they have done. They do not ask the company to vote on that resolution and say, “We approve your action.” No, the servants in the company are charged with the responsibility of shepherding the flock and of keeping the congregation clean. So the servants tell the company what action has been taken and that the offensive individual is no longer a member of this congregation. Then the congregation should co-operate to the fullest extent with the advice given by those who are looking after their interests, the servants in the organization....

    10 At 1 Corinthians 5:11 (NW) Paul told the Christian congregation: “But now I am writing you to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man.” No communion at all with these persons that are disfellowshiped or put out of the congregation. Why? Because this congregation of God must remain clean, undefiled, preserved for pure worship of the Most High. Consequently when that action of disfellowshiping is taken it really removes a person. He is out. Therefore all the congregation, all those who have dedicated their lives to God, should abide by the recommendation or the resolution on the part of the servants. They must support them....


    13 Now some persons think they can stay in the truth, but they do not want to work according to God’s standards. So they keep going out in the field service, they go from door to door, they distribute books, they have Bible studies, still they are disfellowshiped from the congregation. Even after they are disfellowshiped, sometimes they put in many more hours than they did when they were with the congregation. What is the congregation going to do now with such an individual? We must keep in mind that this person has been disfellowshiped and is not a member of our company. We want to avoid him, we want nothing to do with him.

    14 Now meetings that are open to the public he can attend as long as he behaves himself and acts orderly. If that individual comes into a public meeting, say, a public lecture in a public auditorium, or Kingdom Hall, or city park, or a Watchtower study or a service meeting, it is public, the doors are open, and he may be admitted. If he comes into that meeting and sits down, as long as he is orderly, minds his business, we have nothing to say to him. Those who are acquainted with the situation in the congregation should never say “Hello” or “Good-by” to him. He is not welcome in our midst, we avoid him. If this one should be sitting in the Watchtower study and raise his hand, the chairman should never recognize him or allow him to make a comment. He is not one of us. He is not a recognized member in God’s congregation. Those who are informed and know the individual certainly should avoid him, have nothing to say to him. He has no privileges of service in the congregation whatsoever. He could go over to the book counter and get literature at the regular public rates, but the company should never give him books or magazines at company rates, because he is not one of us. What we would do for the public, for those in the Devil’s organization, we may do for that one.

    15 If this one goes out in the field service, maybe getting the books at the counter at the regular rates instead of company rates or pioneer rates, and goes out from door to door, we cannot stop him. He has just as much right to go from house to house as anyone else if he wants to, but this congregation will not give him any territory. They will not accept his reports. When they come in he will not be one of those listed as a publisher in this company. He might put his report in the report box, but we tear it up and we throw it away. He is not one of us. He is a representative of the Devil’s organization trying to corrupt, disturb. He is not clean, and until that individual repents and changes his course of action he can never come back and be one of the Lord’s people.

    16 So then the company is careful about him. It removes his card from the file of recognized Kingdom publishers. He is never given any of the monthly printed Informant. He may retain his Counsel booklet if he wishes, because this, if he reads it, might show him the course of action he should take. If he reads TheWatchtower, if he reads the books of the Society, they show him the course that he should take; but as long as he does not take that course he is not welcome in the congregation.

    17 If this individual becomes noisy or obstreperous he should be kept out of the Kingdom Hall and public meetings. That is the company’s perfect right. Otherwise, it may be that, if he comes into the public meetings and quietly hears the admonition and the counsel given in the studies, he will wake up, become ashamed, and repent.

    18 Now how about private home meetings? Under no circumstances should he be welcomed or allowed to enter a private home, because the Scriptures are very definite on that point. So then in our home Bible studies, or what we call “area studies”, the person of the house, being one of God’s congregation, should keep him out. For 2 John 9, 10 (NW) states: “Everyone that pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God. He that does remain in this teaching is the one that has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, never receive him into your homes or say farewell to him.” So then in your private homes you would never open the door and allow that one to come in. You would never extend your hand in fellowship to such an individual. Remember, that individual at one time left the Devil’s organization. He was washed clean by the blood of Christ, he dedicated himself to God and God consecrated him for service. He was a minister. Now he has gone corrupt because he chooses to do so. He is sinning against the holy spirit. He is fighting against God. We cannot have anything to do with him. God is the one that is judging him, and he is using his servants in the earth to point that one out for the protection of the rest of the congregation.


    Questions From Readers

    In the case of where afather or mother or son or daughter is disfellowshiped, how should such person be treated by members of the family in their family relationship?—P.C.,Ontario,Canada.

    We are not living today among theocratic nations where such members of our fleshly family relationship could be exterminated for apostasy from God and his theocratic organization, as was possible and was ordered in the nation of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai and in the land of Palestine. “Thou shalt surely kill him; thy hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him to death with stones, because he hath sought to draw thee away from Jehovah thy God, . . . And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is in the midst of thee.”—Deut. 13:6-11, AS.

    Being limited by the laws of the worldly nation in which we live and also by the laws of God through Jesus Christ, we can take action against apostates only to a certain extent, that is, consistent with both sets of laws. The law of the land and God’s law through Christ forbid us to kill apostates, even though they be members of our own flesh-and-blood family relationship. However, God’s law requires us to recognize their being disfellowshiped from his congregation, and this despite the fact that the law of the land in which we live requires us under some natural obligation to live with and have dealings with such apostates under the same roof.

    God’s law does not allow a marriage partner to dismiss his mate because his mate becomes disfellowshiped or apostatizes. Neither will the law of the land in most cases allow a divorce to be granted on such grounds. The faithful believer and the apostate or disfellowshiped mate must legally continue to live together and render proper marriage dues one to the other. A father may not legally dismiss his minor child from his household because of apostasy or disfellowshiping, and a minor child or children may not abandon their father or their mother just because he becomes unfaithful to God and his theocratic organization. The parent must by laws of God and of man fulfill his parental obligations to the child or children as long as they are dependent minors, and the child or children must render filial submission to the parent as long as legally underage or as long as being without parental consent to depart from the home. Of course, if the children are of age, then there can be a departing and breaking of family ties in a physical way, because the spiritual ties have already snapped.

    If children are of age and continue to associate with a disfellowshiped parent because of receiving material support from him or her, then they must consider how far their spiritual interests are being endangered by continuing under this unequal arrangement, and whether they can arrange to support themselves, living apart from the fallen-away parent. Their continuing to receive material support should not make them compromise so as to ignore the disfellowshiped state of the parent. If, because of acting according to the disfellowship order of the company of God’s people, they become threatened with a withdrawal of the parental support, then they must be willing to take such consequences.

    Satan’s influence through the disfellowshiped member of the family will be to cause the other member or members of the family who are in the truth to join the disfellowshiped member in his course or in his position toward God’s organization. To do this would be disastrous, and so the faithful family member must recognize and conform to the disfellowship order. How would or could this be done while living under the same roof or in personal, physical contact daily with the disfellowshiped? In this way: By refusing to have religious relationship with the disfellowshiped.

    The marriage partner would render the marriage dues according to the law of the land and in due payment for all material benefits bestowed and accepted. But to have religious communion with the disfellowshiped person—no, there would be none of that! The faithful marriage partner would not discuss religion with the apostate or disfellowshiped and would not accompany that one to his (or her) place of religious association and participate in the meetings with that one. As Jesus said: “If he does not listen even to the congregation [which was obliged to disfellowship him], let him be to you just as a man of the nations and as a tax collector [to Jehovah’s sanctified nation].” (Matt. 18:17, NW) Hurt to such one would not be authorized, but there would be no spiritual or religious fellowshiping.

    The same rule would apply to those who are in the relation of parent and child or of child and parent. What natural obligation falls upon them according to man’s law and God’s law the faithful parent or the faithful child will comply with. But as for rendering more than that and having religious fellowship with such one in violation of the congregation’s disfellowship order—no, none of that for the faithful one! If the faithful suffers in some material or other way for the faithful adherence to theocratic law, then he must accept this as suffering for righteousness’ sake.

    The purpose of observing the disfellowship order is to make the disfellowshiped one realize the error of his way and to shame him, if possible, so that he may be recovered, and also to safeguard your own salvation to life in the new world in vindication of God. (2 Thess. 3:14, 15; Titus 2:8) Because of being in close, indissoluble natural family ties and being of the same household under the one roof you may have to eat material food and live physically with that one at home, in which case 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 and 2 John 10 could not apply; but do not defeat the purpose of the congregation’s disfellowship order by eating spiritual or religious food with such one or receiving such one favorably in a religious way and bidding him farewell with a wish for his prosperity in his apostate course.

    Disturbing to see the indirect suggestion to children 'of age' to move out!

    Watchtower 1953

    3/1 keeping the flock clean

    the Scriptures contain many examples and much instruction showing the obligation of Jehovah’s organization, specifically the mature brothers in each congregation who supervise its activity, to take action by dismissing such a one from their midst. If guilt is established at the mouth of two or three witnesses and there is no spirit of repentance shown, these have no alternative but to disfellowship such a one, by advising the congregation of the facts and instructing them not to have anything to do with the offender. All the congregation should then cooperate so that if possible the willful transgressor may see the error of his way.—Rom. 16:17, 18; 1 Cor. 5:1-5; 1 Tim. 1:20, NW

    Watchtower 1958

    7/15 Question from readers

    Questions From Readers

    One of Jehovah’s witnesses who claims to be of the anointed remnant recently went to the hospital and took a blood transfusion, voluntarily. Should she be allowed to partake o f the emblems of bread and wine at Memorial time?—R.J.,UnitedStates.

    We, of course, regret with you that this sister who professes to be one of the anointed remnant took a blood transfusion voluntarily during her stay in the hospital. We believe that she did the wrong thing contrary to the will of God. However, congregations have never been instructed to disfellowship those who voluntarily take blood transfusions or approve them. We let the judgment of such violators of God’s law concerning the sacredness of blood remain with Jehovah, the Supreme Judge. The only thing that can be done in the cases of individuals like this is to view them as immature and therefore not capable of taking on certain responsibilities, hence refusing to make certain assignments of service to such ones.

    Since an individual is not disfellowshiped because of having voluntarily taken a blood transfusion or having approved of a dear one’s accepting a blood transfusion, you have no right to bar this sister from the celebration of the Lord’s Evening Meal. As an anointed member of Christ’s body she is under orders and command by Christ Jesus to partake. Whether she is unfaithful as to what she professes to be by virtue of taking the emblems of the Lord’s Evening Meal is something for Jehovah God to determine himself. His judgment begins at the house of God. It is not for you or anyone serving the Memorial emblems to act as the judge, but to allow the emblems to go to anyone in the audience as these are passed along in the normal manner of letting each one have the opportunity to partake.

    Watchtower 1959

    3/15 Helpers toward walking wisely

    14 Congregation service committees have a fearful power in their possessing the commission to disfellowship the unruly and disorderly from the congregation. They need to use this power with caution, not only to avoid getting into legal difficulties with the law courts of the land, but also to avoid sinning with this disfellowshiping power through a misuse or an abuse of it. Never should it be used to vent a spite on a congregation member or to get rid of someone who is not liked personally by one or all of the service committee or who is a cause of irritation or of envy and so thought best to have out of the way. To guard against wrong motives, it is well for a Christian to remember Jesus’ warning: “Stop judging, that you may not be judged; for with what judgment you are judging, you will be judged, and with the measure that you are measuring out they will measure out to you.”—Matt. 7:1, 2.


    15 Even barring any wrong motives on its part, a congregation service committee may act in all sincerity and yet bring itself under judgment for not making a proper application of Bible principles to a case where the committee decides to disfellowship. This may be in a case that involves something other than adultery or fornication. Take, for example, the matter of gossiping. A committee might fail to make a distinction between gossip and slander.

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