WT development of Disfellowshiping. (part 12; 1992 to 2003)

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  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    Watchtower 1992


    Make wise use of your christian freedom

    14 Sometimes, in order to keep the congregation clean, elders have to disfellowship an unrepentant wrongdoer. (1 Corinthians 5:1-5) This protects the congregation. It may also help the wrongdoer. Often, such discipline has helped to bring a sinner to his senses. What, though, if the one disfellowshipped is a close friend or a relative? Suppose the individual is our father or mother or our son or daughter. Do we nevertheless respect the action taken by the elders? True, it may be difficult. But what an abuse of our freedom it would be to question the decision of the elders and continue to associate spiritually with one who has proved to be a corrupting influence in the congregation! (2 John 10, 11) Jehovah’s people as a whole are to be commended because of the way they cooperate in such matters. As a result, Jehovah’s organization remains undefiled in this unclean world.—James 1:27

    Watchtower 1999


    Appreciating the 'gifts in men'

    13 What about being submissive when it comes to judicial decisions? Granted, this may not be easy, especially if a decision is made to disfellowship someone we love—a relative or a close friend. Here again, it is best to yield to the judgment of the “gifts in men.” They are in a position to be more objective than we can be, and they may know more of the facts. These brothers often agonize over such decisions; it is a sobering responsibility to ‘judge for Jehovah.’ (2 Chronicles 19:6) They make every effort to be merciful, for they are mindful that God is “ready to forgive.” (Psalm 86:5) But they must also keep the congregation clean, and the Bible directs that they disfellowship unrepentant wrongdoers. (1 Corinthians 5:11-13) In many cases the wrongdoer himself accepts the decision. The discipline may be just what he needs to come to his senses. If we, his loved ones, are submissive when it comes to the decision, we may thereby be helping him to benefit from the discipline.—Hebrews 12:11

    Watchtower 2000

    10/15 Working in the ''Field'' - Before the harvest

    The Light Brightens

    Among such men at the turn of the 19th century was Henry Grew (1781-1862), from Birmingham, England. At the age of 13, he sailed with his family across the Atlantic to the United States, arriving on July 8, 1795. They settled in Providence, Rhode Island. His parents instilled in him a love for the Bible. In 1807, at age 25, Grew was invited to serve as pastor of the Baptist Church in Hartford, Connecticut.

    He took his teaching responsibilities seriously and tried to assist those in his care to live in harmony with the Scriptures. However, he believed in keeping the congregation clean from any person who willingly practiced sin. At times, he, along with other responsible men in the church, had to expel (disfellowship) those who committed fornication or engaged in other unclean practices.

    There were other problems in the church that disturbed him. They had men who were not church members handling the business affairs of the church and leading the singing at the services. These men could also vote on matters of concern to the congregation and thereby have some control of its affairs. Based on the principle of separateness from the world, Grew very strongly believed that only faithful men should perform these functions. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18; James 1:27) In his view, to have unbelievers sing songs of praise to God was blasphemy. Because of this stand, in 1811, Henry Grew was rejected by the church. Other members with like views separated from the church at the same time.

    .... I guess Henry was part of the WTs link to the past? (my comment)

    Watchtower 2003

    10/1 ''appreciating the purpose of discipline''

    At times, it is necessary to disfellowship unrepentant wrongdoers from the congregation. (1 Timothy 1:18-20) Even such drastic action should be considered discipline, not merely punishment. From time to time, elders endeavor to visit disfellowshipped individuals who are not actively engaged in wrongdoing. During such visits, elders act in harmony with the real purpose of discipline by outlining the steps needed for a person to return to the Christian congregation.

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