Topic #1 in my letter

by outsmartthesystem 14 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • outsmartthesystem


    The Bible only gives expressly, 7 things that a person may be disfellowshipped for. Found at 1 Corinthians 5:11, they are: anyone that is a fornicator, a greedy person, an idolater, a reviler, a drunkard or an extortioner. The other one is found in 2 John and this would be "the Antichrist". Revelation 21:8 and Galatians 5:19-21 do not necessarily relate to disfellowshipping and subsequent shunning but could be drawn in as well since it outlines those that will not be part of God’s Kingdom. They add adultery, men kept for unnatural purposes, men who lie with men, thieves, cowards, those without faith, those disgusting in their filth, murderers, spiritism and liars. I do not profess to be a Bible scholar but to the best of my knowledge, this should be the extent of what one may be disfellowshipped for. Yet it isn’t. The research I’ve done indicates that a person can be disfellowshipped for much more than that, including but not limited to, associating unnecessarily with a disfellowshipped person, accepting a blood transfusion (although technically, the person "disassociates" himself for this instead), employment that violates Christian principles, artificial insemination, gambling, willful sexual loose conduct (not pornea), involvement in politics, obscene speech, military service, worldly celebrations, non-support of family etc etc. Don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating any of these types of conduct. But I certainly do question where the Biblical authority is to disfellowship somebody for these activities. Disfellowshipping is a major, life changing event in our religion. It is followed by a demanded shunning of that person. If such drastic treatment is to be used, I think that the offense that led to it should be one expressly written in the bible, and not one subject to ideas and interpretations of men that can and have changed on a whim. If the Society creates disfellowshipping decrees beyond what the bible gives the authority for, does Jehovah really approve? Didn’t Jesus condemn the Pharisees for this? Whether you are literally writing more pages to the bible, or creating additional rules, what’s the difference?

    The main scriptures we turn to when we defend the treatment of a disfellowshipped one are 1 Corinthians 5:11 and the book of 2 nd John. In Paul’s letter to the Brothers in Thessalonica, he said "Now we are giving you orders, brothers, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to withdraw from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the tradition you received from us. …but if anyone is not obedient to our word through this letter, keep this one marked, stop associating with him that he may become ashamed. And yet do not be considering him as an enemy but continue admonishing him as a brother." (2 Thess 3:6, 14-15). To me, this shows a very good balance in the proper approach to wrongdoers. He advised not to associate, as bad associations do indeed spoil useful habits, yet these ones should still be admonished (although marked). Paul did not indicate that marking was only for non-serious sin as the word through his letter at 2 nd Thessalonians included those not glorifying the name of our Lord Jesus, those refusing to work for a living, and any who had been seduced by apostasy. Paul did not say to disfellowship and shun such ones, but rather, instructed to mark, or take note of such a person, limit your association, yet continue to admonish him. Romans 16:17 tells us to "keep an eye on ones that cause divisions or occasions for stumbling and avoid them". Titus 3:10 advises that "as for a man that promotes a sect, reject him after a first and second admonition, knowing that such a man has been turned out of the way and is sinning, he being self-condemned. ". Neither of these scriptures tells us to disfellowship and shun. At 1 st Corinthians 5:11, (which is one of the scriptures we like to focus on when defending how we treat disfellowshipped ones) Paul specifically outlined practices for which to "cease mixing in company" with a brother. Yet his admonition is similar to the advice he gave when marking a brother at 2 nd Thessalonians. He says "quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator or greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man. For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Do you not judge those inside, while God judges those outside? Remove the wicked man from among yourselves." This scripture does not say to totally shun the wrongdoer. Rather it says "quit mixing in company". This, at least to me, plainly appears to be in reference to socializing. We wouldn’t join him for a picnic, a movie or a cup of coffee…..but nowhere does it say to completely shun the person. There is a big difference between mixing in company with and being polite and cordial. I can recognize you as a human being and be friendly to you without mixing in company with you. As Paul mentioned at 2 Thessalonians, wouldn’t it be spiritually encouraging to admonish such a person… acknowledge that they exist?

    The scripture at 1 st Corinthians is also specific about whom to apply the words to. It says "anyone called a bother" who "is" a wrongdoer. Nowhere does it say to continue such treatment once the person is no longer recognized as a Jehovah’s Witness. Nor does it say to shun a person who has stopped in their course of wrongdoing. Granted, common sense would tell you that if a person is removed as a brother for a particular unrepentant sin and he continues in his way, you should not regularly associate with or mix in company with such a person, as he has plainly demonstrated that he is bad association. But what about a person that is disfellowshipped for fornication when they are 18 years old? 12 years later, this person is no longer practicing this sin but rather is married with children. He is well respected in his community, is a loving and moral person and leads a very good life. Unless he goes through the formality of reinstatement, he must be forever shunned by every Jehovah’s Witness, including his own family, even though, according to scripture, he is no longer considered a brother and he is no longer practicing the sin. Yet this man’s brother, who never got baptized, decides to slowly fade away from the congregation and live a quiet life of debauchery. While those in the congregation may or may not socialize with him regularly, they certainly talk to him when they see him and might even have a cup of coffee with him if they happened to be at the same restaurant. And why? Because he was never formally disfellowshipped. Somehow that technicality makes it ok to speak with him but not ok to speak with his brother who is a morally sound person that is living a good life. That seems completely unfair to me. Such reasoning seems to me to be the product of strict control from the Society and has no biblical basis.

    Another thing I also cannot understand is how we as Jehovah's Witnesses can spend enormous amounts of time assisting other people in our ministry --people that are often depressed, fighting addictions, language issues, living at times as we know very ungodly lives--, to do better and we ultimately give these ones the help and assistance needed so they can serve God in an acceptable manner. However, if one of our very OWN people or family members has been disfellowshipped, and happens to fall into a similar dangerous pattern (one that often begs for loving assistance now more than ever) we have minimal provisions at all to help these ones of our own to get back onto their feet. They in fact must be "cut off" and completely shunned by all except for the elders at a time when they actually need help the most. The elders only…on a limited basis..may help the person. Moreover, what about those who have and will outsmart the system? Anyone who has been disfellowshipped knows how painful it can be to have all association cut off. There is nothing in place that would keep a disfellowshipped person from going through the motions and answering all the Elders’ questions properly in order to get reinstated. Once reinstated…this person just more or less exists. I’ve seen it happen. He isn’t "reaching out" in the congregation. He doesn’t go to meetings. He may not even believe or agree with the teachings, but he is smart enough to know that if he wants a reasonably normal life, he needs to be reinstated so he can associate with the only friends and family he has ever had. That bothers me. A person can merely go through the motions to qualify for reinstatement but truly not have a changed heart condition…..have his name read from the stage, and immediately his old "friends" and family are flocking to him. Yet a person who truly did have a change in heart condition but doesn’t agree with Society teachings in a particular area, is destined to remain an outcast. That is not right. That strikes me as a matter of organization al control that lacks reasoning and above all else, love. Yes, you can say that person may have fooled the elders and tricked the "system"…but he is not fooling Jehovah. That may be true. But if the "system" can be manipulated like that…..that alone should tell you that something isn’t right. That it is broken. That is doesn't have God's approval.

    It is my opinion that in 1974, the Society got their counsel right in regard to disfellowshipped ones. An August 1, 1974 Watchtower article (p467-469) said "it is right to hate the wrong, but not the person….. nor is it right to treat them in an inhumane way….. and if a person has been disfellowshipped but later gives consistent evidence of discontinuing such wrong practice, can it be said that they are still a fornicator or whatever type of wrongdoer such a one was that caused him to be as "leaven" toward the whole congregation?...... By such changes these individuals may now regain the respect of the community. Such ones may not yet have come and formally sought reinstatement. But is there not an evident difference between these and others who continue right on in the wrongdoing that brought their disfellowshipping? Those giving up the practice may manifest some appreciation for Christian Truth, perhaps even defending the congregation when someone speaks evil about it. Should not such circumstances be given due weight and have an effect on our attitude as a congregation toward such ones?" This stance taken by the Society is much more reasonable. It does not tell the brothers to go hang out with such ones…..but it does tell them to treat disfellowshipped ones in a humane way. Certainly some words of encouragement and a friendly greeting might go a long way. Then came 1981 and a (re) changing of the guard back to the original stance. This is most likely due to the situation when Ray Franz resigned from the Governing Body and there was a big shakeup in New York regarding whether or not the truth is really being taught.

    The other scripture we like to use is 2 nd John 10. Very briefly it says "never receive him in your homes or say a greeting to him". But if you look at the entire book, it is easy to see that this counsel is regarding the antichrist. Antichrist is defined as an opponent of Christ or a disbeliever in Christ. 2 John is referring only to the antichrist and I feel should not be applied across the board to all forms of sin as has been done by the Society. The Society tries to defend their position by saying that those that stop being Witnesses are as apostates and of the antichrist…saying "the word apostasy comes from a Greek word that literally means ‘a standing away from’ but has the sense of desertion, abandonment or rebellion….abandonment of right moral standards…willfully abandoning the Christian Congregation….thereby becoming part of the antichrist." And I certainly don’t mean this in an insulting way, but what kind of reasoning is that? That is a stretch beyond all imagination. That is like the U.S. Department of Homeland Security asking for voluntary additional donations from taxpayers because those funds are used to help fight terrorism. Anyone NOT donating is showing that they don’t care about safety….and they don’t care about their neighbors…thereby proving that they approve of terrorist activities. Does that sound ridiculous? Just because someone doesn’t donate…doesn’t mean they approve of terrorism. Likewise, just because a person is no longer a Jehovah’s Witness doesn’t mean that person has denied Christ and lost all moral values. What the society wrote above is nothing more than a rhetorical fallacy. In fact is a specific type of fallacy known as a "slippery slope". Later on in this letter, I will discuss the many different types (and give examples) of fallacies I have found in our own material. But for this topic.....defined....a slippery slope is an argument thta takes to the extreme the concept that one course of action will result in a worse course of action. For instance, "if we legalize boxing then we will have to legalize bar fighting". That statement is simply untrue and purely assumptive. And so is the statement that anyone that is a former witness is also a denier of the Christ. The problem here is that John’s words were not limited to former Christians. It included anyone denying Christ. This includes Jews that rejected Jesus and gentiles that worshipped pagan gods. Yet it seems to me that the Society chooses to mis-apply this counsel to apply solely to Jehovah’s Witnesses that are no longer part of the Congregation.

    Moreover, the Society has somehow stretched the definition of antichrist to include apostates. The two do not go hand in hand UNLESS the apostate denies the Christ. Has an apostate "stood away from"? Sure. Has an apostate "deserted?" Sure. Is an apostate "rebellious"? Perhaps. Has an apostate abandoned right moral standards? Maybe, maybe not. Has an apostate abandoned the congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses? Yes. But even if the answers to all of those questions were "yes"….that still does not make the person an antichrist…..unless he denies the Christ. So the Society somehow says that leaving the Congregation equates to denying Christ. But that’s not what the true definitions say and that’s not what the bible says. The Society makes up their own definition to fit their own rules. (this is not uncommon. Whether it is theocratic warfare, or our definition of what a lie truly is, we have our own way of doing things. If the true definition of something is at odds with a particular way the organization says we should think or believe then we re-define it so that it does fit) If you believe in Christ and have faith in his ransom sacrifice, you have not denied him. Yet, through what appears to be twisted reasoning and stretched definitions, the society has managed to put the two on the same platform. I have heard some say that by leaving our religion….such a person is in essence leaving, opposing…or denying the Christ. But that is a sweeping generalization that is not in tune with either the correct definition of an apostate or an antichrist. If that is the case then I ask…..are all people that are not baptized witnesses guaranteed destruction at Armagaeddon? Can anyone guarantee that this person, who is no longer a Witness, will absolutely, positively not make it? Though it took them well over 100 years…the Society will now comment that they are not the judges and are wise not to speculate. (although it is no secret….we believe that witnesses will make it and others may or may not….but probably not) So if you can’t guarantee that this former witness positively will NOT make it, then what business does anyone have comparing him with someone that is a denier or opposer of Christ unless he has actually done just so? (I think we would agree that any and all that are true deniers/opposers of Christ will not be looked upon favorably come judgment day.......whenever or however it may come)

    The meaning of the term "never receive him into your homes" needs to be understood in the light of 1 st century Christianity, in my opinion. Meetings were held in peoples’ homes. I think John was implying that inviting a denier of the Christ into your home could easily be viewed as sharing worship (perhaps even pagan) with that person. Likewise, the term "never say a greeting" needs to be viewed in light of 1 st century practice. The Watchtower of 1988, April 15 edition (p27) says in regard to 2 nd John, "John here used khai’ro, which was a greeting like ‘good day, or hello’. He did not use aspa’zomai, which means to enfold in the arms, thus to greet, to welcome, and may have implied a very warm greeting even with an embrace. So the direction at 2 nd John 11 could well mean not to say even hello to such ones." My first problem with this article is that is says "COULD well mean not to say even hello to such ones". If it is not 100% evident that that is what John meant, then why apply it as such and demand it of the rank and file witnesses? Shouldn’t they err on the side of caution…..on the side of love? The article mentions Acts 15:23 and Matthew 28:9 as being verses where "khairo" is used in regard to a simple greeting. Regarding the verse in Acts, this appears to be correct as "khairo" was used as a greeting in a letter. Regarding the verse in Matthew, it refers to Jesus saying "greetings" to others that hurriedly clasped his feet and did obeisance to Him. The situation presents itself as a situation in which there may have been substantial rejoicing and embracing, but the Society didn’t explain that. Regardless, the word khairo was definitely used. The article also mentions Luke 10:4, Luke 11: 3, Acts 20: 1, Acts 20:37 and 1 Thessalonians 5:26 as being verses where "aspasmos" (form of aspazomai) was used. The situations surrounding the accounts at Luke 11:43, Acts 20:37 and 1 Thess 5:26 certainly indicate that the word "aspasmos" was used with rejoicing or embracing. (the other two scriptures are questionable).

    So at this point, the Society’s argument seems to be gaining steam. Until I actually looked up the two words, khairo and aspasmos. According to Strong’s Concordance, khairo (chairo) actually means to rejoice, be glad….but is also used as a salutation. According to Strong’s Concordance, aspasmos actually means "to greet, salute, pay respects to, welcome" but can also mean "to enfold in one’s arms". So, depending on what argument you want to make, the definitions of the two words "khairo and aspasmos" can be the opposite of what the writer in the Watchtower article says. Furthering this idea, you can look at 2 nd Corinthians 7:16, 2 nd Corinthians 7:9 and Philippians 2:17. In all cases, the word "khairo" was used and in all cases, the text refers to rejoicing…not saying "hello". Echairen, echairon, echare, echaremen, echaren, echaresan, echarete, chaire, chairei, chairein, chairete, chaire, chairomen, chairontes, chaironton, chairousin, chairo, chairomen, chairon, charenai, charesetai, charesomai, charesontai, and charete are all forms of the word "khairo". These words are used in one form or another in at least 74 other instances in the Greek Scriptures. Not one of those instances indicates that the situation is an informal greeting. They are all used in connection with being glad or rejoicing. Conversely, 1 st Corinthians 16:21 literally says "the salutation of me, Paul". Clearly this was a case of a salutation or greeting…not a rejoicing. The word "aspasmos" was used in this text. And 3 John 14 says "Peace be to you. The friends greet you." Clearly this was a formal greeting to be verbally extended. Not an embracing. The word "aspasmos" was used again. So at this point, we have an overwhelming amount of scriptures that show rejoicing attached to the word "khairos" and salutation attached to the word "aspasmos". Yet we also have a few scriptures showing the opposite. What else do we have? Strong’s Concordance verifying that the primary definitions of khairos and aspasmos are the opposite of what the Watchtower indicated. At the very least….we have ambiguous results of when and how the words khairos and aspasmos have been used in the Bible. How can the Society, knowing what was just discussed, adamantly say that it is wrong to even say a greeting to a disfellowshipped person? (Furthermore, why even print that article when the Society had to have known the above facts?)

    First and foremost, the scripture at 2 nd John applies to the antichrist and the antichrist only. The article tries to stretch it and say that those who are willingly no par t of the congregation anymore also qualify, but I truly don’t believe that should be the case. That is another case of the Society making up their own definition. The scripture only applies to the antichrist. A person who disassociates himself or is disfellowshipped may be an anti-Jehovah’s Witness, but that (according to the TRUE definition) does not make him an antichrist. As just mentioned, the article tries to include those that willingly leave the Congregation in with the definition of antichrist. Forgetting for a moment the argument of who qualifies as the antichrist and the argument of how he should be treated……what about those that have been disfellowshipped, were repentant, but were disfellowshipped anyway? That does happen. We treat them the exact same way we would treat a true antichrist. They are treated NO different from one another. We are commanded to shun them both. I just cannot believe that’s what Jehovah wants. He truly views someone that committed a regrettable sinful act the same way as someone that hates the Christ? Moreover, how can the Society write an article showing that by the Greek words used, Jehovah intended for us to shun such ones……when they had to have known that the words used (aspasmos and khairo) carried primary definitions that were opposite of what was printed? Or at the very least, they had to have known that the majority of biblical examples of the words "khairos" and "aspasmos" carry the exact opposite textual meanings of what the Society portrayed in that article. That is why I am so lost. I am not angry. I am not stumbled per se. But why would the Society seemingly pick and choose what fits their argument and ignore passages or evidence that do not? That seems very dishonest to me. If the Society was purposely being dishonest then shame on them. My question for you would be "did Jehovah direct that?". And if the society truly had not idea and printed that article in good faith yet gross ignorance then the same question applies. Did Jehovah direct that?

    Overall, the Society uses two scriptures (2 nd John and 1 st Corinthians) to dictate that every disfellowshipped or disassociated person should be completely shunned. This is applied regardless of what the person was removed for (including what I would define as a list of man made rules not found in the bible), regardless of whether or not they were repentant and regardless of how they are currently living their lives. Both scriptures used by the Society to fortify their position seem like they’ve been misused for the purpose of agreeing with pre-determined doctrine. I think the Society definitely has the right idea in trying to keep the congregation clean. Yet I also believe the disfellowshipping arrangement is at least in part a major control mechanism. And I believe that control is getting tighter throughout the years. I think an article in the February 15, 2011 (p28) Watchtower shows this. Regarding a woman that had a disfellowshipped son who had "unrepentantly chose to practice lawlessness"….the article spoke of an elder that tried to comfort her….telling her to imagine how Jehovah felt when his angels rebelled and became demons. It went on to say "She took the reminders to heart and loyally upheld the disfellowshipping arrangement. Such loyalty makes Jehovah’s heart glad. If you face a similar situation, please remember that Jehovah sympathizes with you. By cutting off contact with the disfellowshipped or disassociated one, you are showing that you hate the attitudes and actions that led to that outcome. However, you are also showing that you love the wrong-doer enough to do what is best for him or her. Your loyalty to Jehovah may increase the likelihood that the disciplined one will repent and return to Jehovah." First and foremost, the writer planted the analogy of the unrepentant sinner to be the equivalent of being a demon. If that was done on purpose then …..that’s just wrong. But one may argue that it was not done on purpose. That the intent was not to compare a sinner with a demon….rather to compare how Jehovah felt with how the woman felt. That may be true but keep in mind that the writers at Bethel don’t really write expository stories. They are persuasive. They are meant to get the reader to act. If you are using a simile or metaphor or any other analogy for comparative purposes then you have to be careful what you compare and how you compare it. You cannot expect the reader to compare Jehovah’s feelings with the woman’s feelings without also comparing the sinner to the demons. You may say that’s nitpicking…and I don’t mean to….but to me that is Writing 101. That is an absolute basic.

    The article goes on to tighten the grip of loyalty to the organization by admonishing us to act as the woman did by following the "disfellowshipping arrangement". Then obedience to the Society is further ingrained by saying that loyalty to their instructions makes God happy. Emphasis is put on the act of shunning by stating again that you must cut off contact. I just don’t understand why the only way to show your disapproval of the way somebody is acting is to pretend that they don’t exist. Finally, the writer dangles a carrot at the end. A notion is instilled to the reader that if they listen completely to what the Society says (implicitly obeying their directive on shunning is equal to being loyal to Jehovah), it will increase the chance of a person coming back to the organization. But once again….what is the motive? Is the person going through the reinstatement process because he or she truly believes everything? Or is that person simply going through the motions because the emotional scarring of their friends and family completely ignoring them is just too much to bear? Honestly I believe that of those that come back, the majority do fully believe everything and do fully trust the organization. But I certainly know that some manipulate the system as well. If anything, I believe that our disfellowshipping arrangement, as it stands now, serves to hinder as much as it helps. I think a lot of witnesses that have doubts……. and a brain are very leery of expressing such doubts. That included me.

    If that person does express such doubts and the elders try to "adjust" his thinking, and afterwards….he still has doubts….he is subject to disfellowshipping. (at least that’s what a couple of Watchtower articles have said. You don’t necessarily have to be spreading different beliefs in order to be considered apostate). For someone whose entire family is in the religion…..if he wants a relatively normal life….disfellowshipping is not an option. Think about it. Your "friends" won’t talk to you anymore. Your childrens’ friends can never come to your house to play. If your child is having a dance recital or a graduation party….you cannot attend. If you do attend…there is a good chance that other witness friends and family will not. If you child gets married…..he or she has to decide whether having you there is worth having everybody else not show up. You and your spouse really can’t have friendships with anyone because Witnesses won’t associate with you because….well….you’re disfellowshipped. And your spouse doesn’t want to hang out with "worldly" people because they are bad association, or at the very least they don’t "love Jehovah" so you’re life is pretty screwed up. I feel like the "arrangement" is counter-productive. Those that have everything to lose are forced to keep their true feelings and opinions inside or perhaps even worse… a double life….thus providing "bad association" for others within the congregation. Unfortunately it strikes me that the disfellowshipping arrangement is just as much a mechanism of behavioral control and emotional manipulation as it is a provision to keep the congregation clean. And as much as the arrangement may help by removing those that are a poison for the congregation, it also hinders by keeping those same ones in that have a lot to lose by being disfellowshipped. So here I am. I’ve put myself out there with feelings that differ from how the Society says I should feel…with beliefs that differ from what the Society says I am allowed to believe. I am not trying to be rebellious. Nor am I trying to be obstinate. But I made a decision (in telling you my doubts) that could potentially haunt me for the rest of my life if I don’t shape up and see things from the Society’s point of view only. The only thing I can do at this point is hope for the best.

  • No Room For George
  • flipper

    OUTSMARTTHESYSTEM- Very honestly written. It is healing to get that load off your chest. Do you plan on sending this to the WT society or Bethel ? Be prepared to not get much of a response except for them giving you scriptures to look up to support THEIR views and diss your views. If you think the WT society is ever going to admit mistakes or correct THEIR policies - don't hold your breath. But if it helps you to send the letter and makes you feel better, by all means send it. Take care

  • Essan

    Brilliant. Have you sent this to the Society already? Anonymously, or not?

    The only suggestion I would have made would be to highlight more clearly the fact that 'apostates' often don't willingly leave the congregation, nor do they "spread" their views, they are often just JW's who feel unable to accept every last thing the Society says and one day made the mistake of revealing this to someone, a friend, a family member or perhaps even an elder. If this become known and they refused to accept Society ideas or teachings which they feel are unscriptural or contradictory, then they will be disfellowshipped for not "recanting" their sincere belief (or inability to believe).

    Therefore, it's not right to speak of these people as "leaving" or "abandoning" the congregation. They were thrown out for not being able to sincerely believe every single teaching of the Society, sometimes on just a single issue. Whereas, your section discussing those labeled as "Apostates' seems to mostly present them as leaving because they disageed. This sometimes happens, but just as often it doesn't and they don't want to leave. They are hounded out.

  • outsmartthesystem

    Good point Essan. I will insert some of that wording

    Flipper - You've already responded in my other thread. This was one of the topics I was planning to present to my wife (at her urging.....because she wonders why I've lost all spirituality)

  • flipper

    OUTSMARTTHESYSTEM- I responded to this thread first, before I even READ your other thread. Was unaware you were writing this for your wife. My bad

  • ChunkyMonkey

    Hi! I'm new here, but wanted to say thanks for sharing your letter and the info you've gathered. I really enjoyed reading it and seeing all these logical points together in one spot. Hopefully your wife can see reason. Good luck!

  • Mickey mouse
    Mickey mouse

    Welcome to JWN ChunkyMonkey!

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep
    This is most likely due to the situation when Ray Franz resigned from the Governing Body

    Are you sure about that? I thought he was pushed.

    Be careful of making statements to JWs that you can't immediately prove if challenged. That proof should come from a source they trust or have quoted themselves. Don't make any mistakes. They will use them against you. In my experience, the only times they are ever really listening to you is when you slip up.

    Rather than giving your opinion on a WT article, ask them to read it and give you their opinion. If they use a double standard, don't tell them. Instead, point out a similar behaviour in another church that they have slagged off to you or a HH and ask them to explain how the same standard doesn't apply to them.

    Sometimes a wall of text will be less effective than a single simple question. Too easy to turn off like they do at a meeting E.g. Which scriptures support Elders meeting in secret to judge the guilt, innocence, or repentance, of a member of the congregation? Make them do the research and the thinking.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    ... and welcome to the forum ChunkyMonkey

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