Elders as volunteers/ Shunning instructions

by Gladring 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • Gladring

    Was just checking the jw-media.org website and found this:


    How we are organized

    Following the model of first-century Christianity, Jehovah’s Witnesses have no clergy-laity division. All baptized members are ordained ministers and share in the preaching and teaching work. Witnesses are organized into congregations of up to 200 members. Spiritually mature men in each congregation serve as elders. A body of elders supervises each congregation. About 20 congregations form a circuit, and about 10 circuits are grouped into a district. Congregations receive periodic visits from traveling elders. Guidance and instructions are provided by a multinational governing body made up of longtime Witnesses who currently serve at the international offices of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Brooklyn, New York.— Acts 15:23-29 ; 1 Timothy 3:1-7 .

    This international brotherhood of people of all races is made up of about 7.3 million practicing members organized into more than 105,000 congregations in more than 230 lands.


    Do you shun former members?

    Those who become inactive in the congregation, perhaps even drifting away from association with fellow believers, are not shunned. In fact, special effort is made to reach out to them and rekindle their spiritual interest. If, however, someone unrepentantly practices serious sins, such as drunkenness, stealing or adultery, he will be disfellowshipped and such an individual is avoided by former fellow worshippers. Every effort is made to help wrongdoers. But if they are unrepentant, the congregation needs to be protected from their influence. The Bible clearly states: “Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.” ( 1 Corinthians 5:13 ) Those who formally say they do not want to be part of the organization anymore are also avoided. What of a man who is disfellowshipped but whose wife and children are still Jehovah’s Witnesses? The spiritual ties he had with his family change, but blood ties remain. The marriage relationship and normal family affections and dealings can continue. As for disfellowshipped relatives not living in the same household, we apply the Bible’s counsel: “Quit mixing” with them. ( 1 Corinthians 5:11 ) Disfellowshipped individuals may continue to attend religious services and, if they wish, they may receive spiritual counsel from the elders with a view to their being restored. They are always welcome to return to the faith if they reject the improper course of conduct for which they were disfellowshipped.

    It would seem that the claims that elders are not volunteers for the org, and that shunning is a personal decision are both contradicted by the information on the jw-media website.

  • Gladring

    The word "disfellowshipped" in the above article is a hyperlink. It points to this article on watchtower.org http://www.watchtower.org/e/19880415/article_01.htm about disfellowshipping. This particular article includes the gem that " It might be possible to have almost no contact at all with the relative [who has been disfellowshipped]."

    And that article further references The Watchtower of September 15, 1981, pages 26-31.

    All of these show that it is the WTBTS current policy to shun former members, making a complete arse of Mr. Fenton's response to the Independent article -

    Rick Fenton, a spokesperson for the Watchtower Society, insisted last night that ostracisation was "a personal matter for each individual to decide for himself". "Any one of Jehovah's Witnesses is free to express their feelings and to ask questions," he said. "If a person changes their mind about Bible-based teachings they once held dear, we recognise their right to leave."

  • MrMonroe

    We recognise their right to leave. Then we will shun them and call them mentally diseased.

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    Notice how they did not make any mention of those who may cease to believe the teachings though?

    Nor that they will go after those who 'drift away' in order to disfellowship them not for adultery, drunkenness or stealing but for having a xmas tree...


    ps... hope the independant does a followup with that little gem at jw media.

  • wobble

    I wrote to the Independent pointing out that Fenton was lying by telling a half truth, and I quoted the latest "Flock" book instruction on forming a Judicial committee if JW's persited in not shunning those who have been DF'd.

    A "personal decision" freely made,to shun or not ? Hardly.

    Dubs know all this and enforce and practice shunning out of fear , not out of belief or loyalty, but fear that they will be DF'd too if they don't.

    In all of this , Fenton ignored the main issue, the use of language to foment hatred, he didn't comment on the main point of the article,the "mentally diseased " phrase, trying to bury it in a discussion on DFing which he felt able to defend.

  • therevealer

    what about this Aussie Oz - Those who formally say they do not want to be part of the organization anymore are also avoided. And notice how they change from "shun" to "avoid". Cultish all the way.

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