from their literature as source. I did some searching and was surprised that I couldn't find them referring to those who simply quit and/or speak their doubts as such.
who does the society consider as apostates?
anybody have any qoutes or such?
Wazza matta wif yo I?
Watchtower 2006 2/15
Questions From Readers
"What three dangers was Jesus warning against at Matthew 5:22 ?.....
What, then, did the expression “despicable fool” signify? The word used here sounded similar to a Hebrew term that means “rebellious,” or “mutinous.” It designates a person as morally worthless, an apostate and a rebel against God. So the person addressing his fellow as a “despicable fool” is as much as saying that his brother should receive a punishment fit for a rebel against God, everlasting destruction. From God’s standpoint, the one uttering such a condemnation against another could merit that severe sentence—everlasting destruction—himself.— Deuteronomy 19:17-19 .
Consequently, Jesus was setting a higher standard for his followers than that found in the principles behind the Mosaic Law. While people believed that a murderer would be “accountable to the court of justice,” Jesus went further. He taught that his followers should avoid even harboring animosity against their brothers.— Matthew 5:21 , 22 .”
So according to the Watchtower an apostate is a "rebel against God" and calling someone a "despicable fool" is equal to calling them an apostate." Apparently Jesus words at Matthew 5:22 doesn't apply to them!
True apostates, according to the Bible, are people that have followed Jesus Christ, then turned away from him, actively opposing him. That is not always the way the Society applies the term.
When Witness say 'apostate' the word is almost always loaded with a slanted meaning. It's applied to anyone that has stopped following the Watchtower, even for good reasons, and actively talks about it.
(It occurs to me that by such spin, the Society has effectively made itself the equivalent of Christ.)
Randy Watters' resignation letter has a line that shows there are two kinds of apostates in Watchtower thinking, and one of them is clearly not supported by the Bible.
(Referring to a talk given to the Bethel family) "[Albert Schroeder] then holds up the Branch Organization Procedure book and pointed out it's 1,177 rules and regulations, knowing full well what Romans 7:6 says about Christians following sets of 'spiritual rules'. Then he actually admits that the beliefs of those dismissed [Dunlap, Franz, et al] were not an apostasy from the Bible, but from the organization! There IS a difference, isn't there?"
(Watters' letter is here, and it's a good read. http://www.freeminds.org/life-stories/bethelites/randy-s-letter-of-resignation-to-the-governing-body.html )
I am struck by what a violation this is of the Bible's instruction to 'not go beyond what is written'. 1Cor 4:6
I don't think they ever get into details, and the current WT is no different.
How could they really?
5 years ago it was apostate to think that the term generation applied to the anointed only. Now it is official doctrine.
12 years ago it was apostate to say you could accept hemoglobin; now it is official doctrine.
The WT cannot afford to discuss official doctrine in the context of apostasy, they run the risk of being quoted later WHEN THEY CHANGE THE DOCTRINE.
The WT article just studied uses 'apostate' to generate fear and distrust of anyone who is not going to meetings anymore, IMHO.
Look it up in the Insight books and you'll find almost everybody that was ever baptized, then lost faith and left, is an apostate. Lack of faith in the GB, the truth, Jehovah, all that--they're all listed as grounds for apostasy.
*** it-1 p. 127 Apostasy ***
What characteristics identify apostates as distinct from true Christians?
An apostasy among professed Christians was foretold by the apostle Paul at 2 Thessalonians 2:3. He specifically mentioned certain apostates, such as Hymenaeus, Alexander, and Philetus. (1Ti 1:19, 20; 2Ti 2:16-19) Among the varied causes of apostasy set forth in apostolic warnings were: lack of faith (Heb 3:12), lack of endurance in the face of persecution (Heb 10:32-39), abandonment of right moral standards (2Pe 2:15-22), the heeding of the "counterfeit words" of false teachers and "misleading inspired utterances" (2Pe 2:1-3; 1Ti 4:1-3; 2Ti 2:16-19; compare Pr 11:9), and trying "to be declared righteous by means of law" (Ga 5:2-4). While still making profession of faith in God's Word, apostates may forsake his service by treating lightly the preaching and teaching work that he assigned to followers of Jesus Christ. (Lu 6:46; Mt 24:14; 28:19, 20) They may also claim to serve God but reject his representatives, his visible organization, and then turn to ‘beating' their former associates to hinder their work. (Jude 8, 11; Nu 16:19-21; Mt 24:45-51) Apostates often seek to make others their followers. (Ac 20:30; 2Pe 2:1, 3) Such ones willfully abandoning the Christian congregation thereby become part of the "antichrist." (1Jo 2:18, 19) As with the apostate Israelites, destruction is likewise foretold for apostates from the Christian congregation.-2Pe 2:1; Heb 6:4-8; see ASSOCIATION.
During the period of persecution that the early Christian congregation experienced at the hands of the Roman Empire, professed Christians were at times induced to deny their Christian discipleship, and those who did so were required to signify their apostasy by making an incense offering before some pagan god or by openly blaspheming the name of Christ.
It is evident that there is a distinction between a ‘falling' due to weakness and the ‘falling away' that constitutes apostasy. The latter implies a definite and willful withdrawal from the path of righteousness. (1Jo 3:4-8; 5:16, 17) Whatever its apparent basis, whether intellectual, moral, or spiritual, it constitutes a rebellion against God and a rejection of his Word of truth.-2Th 2:3, 4; see MAN OF LAWLESSNESS.
Can't be more ambiguous than that. I am looking for instances where they clearly state that one who leaves can be called or labelled an apostate. Not the "may" this or that as in the info above.