Hello, I found this info interesting from a Spanish XJW site and thought it may be of interest to you too? I used Bing language translator. I assume when the post below refers to commissions judicatives, they may be referring to JC?
WTS Loses Money By Disfellowshipping Info.
THe Watchtower is losing members, and thinks that most of the members are lost due to fornication (i.e. a sin) (as opposed to pure apostacy). And, losing the people is causing harm to the Watchtower's pocketbook. So, rather then outcast the members (and their wallets), get rid of disfellowshipping and consider them still "in." This helps with the overall count of Jehovah's Witness and attrition rate amongst the youth (probably more likely to commit fornication and internet browsing to find apostate information).
What's mind boggeling is that this is what the Catholics and other "False Religions" do, isn't it? Keep the sinners in the group! How many times have I heard JWs proudly say, "We treat sin very seriously. We live by Bible standards very clearly. We disfellowship those who sin. We don't allow them to go on inside the congregation without repurcussions. We're not like the Catholics and othef "False Religions. Faith without works is dead." . . . .
Now, how many families have been torn apart? Years missed of relationships? All because of the shunning policy? Now, it's suddenly reversed. And the JWs "should be" thankful.
Rememer, Brazil is where those billboards were that exposed Watchtower shunning and breaking apart of families.
What the WTS would need to figure out is if the DFing penalty is keeping more people in than its losing. The above is working on the assumption that everyone who is DF'ed believes in the organization and just made a sinful mistake.
How many JWs are there that only stay in because of family, work or social ties? Or come back just for the same? I understand the cost/benefit analysis that the above poster is explaining but if leadership doesn't realize the issues that are present among the rank & file, then this would be an even bigger mistake than going to voluntary contributions (which I think may have been the biggest blunder they've ever made).
I guess they don't realize that the apathetic attitude towards FS, lack of contributions, and lack of men that wish to move into local leadership positions are all symptoms of a growing level of disappointment that the end hasn't come yet and an erosion of faith in the org. Look at the growth and even the passion of JWs now compared with the run-up to 1975 (which I'm a little too young to really remember other than being scared out of my mind) or even the 80s and early 90s. It's a shell of its former self, at least in the Western world (and Japan).
Look at how many people are angry in countries where branches have been closed like Spain. Take away the threat of DF'ing and I could see splinter groups rising quickly. They're already supposed to not DF people who are repentant. Maybe they could redefine repentant to the point that many believers who commit some sort of "sin" would qualify and keep it for apostacy and other things. But, many JWs look at the harsh DF'ing policy as a source of pride and taking that away would further erode confidence.
I posted this on the GB incorporating changes thread:
Skeeter I think that is a valid point regarding Disfellowshipping and losing money. When I was an elder almost every situation that came before the BOE was treated from the standpoint of disciplining instead of pastoral/really trying to help someone. The harsh treatment was one of the things that made me start questioning everything.
In one congregation the BOE privately reproved a sister who was one of the bigger donors. She was later DF and never came back...goodbye $$$.
So to the point of the topic; I can see an adjustment in handling "wrongdoing" & judicial procedures. That would take a day to discuss with the elders and couldn't be handled through a BOE letter. The WTS loves to have demos and pose questions and make sure everyone leaves with the same understanding...hence the need for face-to-face time. Conducting the training in a week across the globe ensures that the new policies are implemented at the same time.
I think there will be an adjustment to handling judicial cases, DF, DA, reproof, shepherding; not any other policy or doctrine. I think some of the elders at HQ might care a little bit about the flock, but the bottom line is that the WTs is losing too many members (i.e. money) out the back door and not getting enough through the front door. That is the motivation.
I believe DF keeps more in than contributes to those kicked out, but I don't think the HQ sees it that way. I don't think they understand the apathy, disappointment, lost hope, etc. the congregation members are experiencing. The CO reports to WTS aren't useful because the BOE spin things during the visit. I don't think the circuit reports matter either as long as a circuit is profitable.
I'm not sure what they're thinking at this point, but I think they might be trying to soften up a bit for the sake of their bottome line. Perhaps softening up isn't the best term, maybe they're trying to make things easier. Talks and meeting parts are easier to give, presentations and smaller mags are easier to deliver.
Old school JWs sat in week long conventions, went in FS for 20 hours and used the Bible, and were overall fairly "hardcore". Those JWs are getting older and dying. Today's JWs coming in new and the born-ins aren't about to do all that. The WTS has to make things shorter, simpler, easier because that old school approach won't work anymore. The only people that will be shocked by any coming changes are longtimers.
"but the bottom line is that the WTs is losing too many members (i.e. money) out the back door and not getting enough through the front door. That is the motivation."
A fear of losing $$$ is EXACTLY the same concern shared by all the other false religions, when deciding the seriousness of a sin. If the punishment is effected by such concerns, then how just is Gods justice, or is it determined on a sliding scale, where YHWH's palm can be greased? And what happened to "YHWH will provide all things"? Are some elders admitting that this may not be the case, and that God cannot actually afford the justice that he demands?
Of course, we all know (or SHOULD know) the Catholics are no strangers to the issue, as they sold forgiveness; a worshipper could even buy penitence for others, eg for relatives who were thought to be trapped in purgatory, hence buying their ticket into heaven for them. The practice still lives on in various forms in many religions (but rarely so blatant!).
Obviously these issues raise questions of how God-inspired such judicial committee decisions truly are, vs inspired by the bean-counter in the congregation....
As George Carlin put it .... "God needs money! .... Lots of it"
Why the all knowing and all powerful has difficulty managing his money is beyond me; however c'mon guys and gals ... lets help the guy out.
New policy right around the corner. If you don't contribute money, then you get disfellowshiped.
If you contribute lots of money, you can sleep with whoever you want and still be in good standing.
if watchtower gets rid of DFing/shunning, they will suffer the biggest mass exodus of its entire history. while minor adjustments are possible, there is no way you can run a cult without shunning. now, as the posters pointed out, perhaps they dont think about it like that and think people will just stay. and that would be hilarious to see them make the mistake of getting rid of DFing, and watch people exit in mass ammounts. i mean, what would they lose off the bat? 30%? lol
Adjustments/tweaking to the policy are possible...but not in the way of softening the stance of shunning of those out. Perhaps they will make it easier/shorter time frame to return...but as far as the hardline stance of those out, it is here to stay. it is an effective control method, makes many return, instills fear in those considering leaving..
" If you contribute lots of money, you can sleep with whoever you want and still be in good standing."
Well, it's not like that wouldn't be in keeping with OT thinking: slave owners could buy as many women slaves as they could afford. However, those pesky civil laws would block that kind of tactic nowadays.... I know, what a shame when the flawed laws of imperfect men block practices of the morally-superior Bible!
JWs will never get rid of shunning, even if the membership rolls drops to only 2. It's the interpersonal nuclear threat they use, the most power they can exert on someone without actually physically assaulting or killing them (again, those pesky civil laws block that).