Funerals of Disfellowshipped ones.

by exwhyzee 7 Replies latest jw friends

  • exwhyzee

    Some time ago someone posted some information here from some of the WT literature (possibly questions from the readers) that shows it would be inappropriate for a JW to attend the funreal of a disfellowshipped person. When our Son was undergoing Cancer treatment while disfellowshipped we realized that if he didn't make it, we'd be on our own to bury him. Thankfully he survived but it was this realization and the way the family and friends abandoned us during our darkest hour that started our exit from the religion and eventually sent us packing for good. My Sister in Law claims that there is no such edict from the Society about this.

    Can anyone direct me to where I might find it. ?

    Thanks !

  • rip van winkle
    rip van winkle

    I can't exwhyzee- just want to say that I'm happy for you and your family that your son made it. To think when we need "friends" through our biggest hardest struggles and pain- and they're not there. I'm glad that you woke up. ( I know this s/h/b/ pm'd- I don't know how!)

  • DesirousOfChange

    I am with your sister-in-law on this one. I know of NO edict that prohibits attending the funeral of someone who was disfellowshipped at the time of their death. The Kingdom Hall cannot be used, but an Elder or JW brother in good standing can agree to perform the service under some circumstances.

    *** km 3/97 p. 7 Question Box ***
    What if the deceased was disfellowshipped? The congregation would generally not be involved. The Kingdom Hall would not be used. If the person had been giving evidence of repentance and manifesting a desire to be reinstated, a brother’s conscience might allow him to give a Bible talk at the funeral home or graveside, to give a witness to unbelievers and to comfort the relatives. Before making this decision, however, it would be wise for the brother to consult with the body of elders and give consideration to what they may recommend. In situations where it would not be wise for that brother to be involved, it may be appropriate for a brother who is a member of the deceased person’s family to give a talk to console the relatives.

    *** w81 9/15 p. 31 par. 26 If a Relative Is Disfellowshiped . . . ***
    Should he die while disfellowshiped, arrangements for his funeral may be a problem. His Christian relatives may like to have had a talk at the Kingdom Hall, if that is the local custom. But that would not be fitting for a person expelled from the congregation. If he had been giving evidence of repentance and wanting God’s forgiveness, such as by ceasing to practice sin and by attending Christian meetings, some brother’s conscience might allow him to give a Bible talk at the funeral home or grave site. Such Biblical comments about the condition of the dead provide a witness to unbelievers or comfort to the relatives. However, if the disfellowshiped person had still been advocating false teachings or ungodly conduct, even such a talk would not be appropriate.—2 John 9-11.

    *** w77 6/1 pp. 347-348 Mourning and Funerals—For Whom? ***
    However, suppose the deceased is a disfellowshiped person, someone who has been expelled from the Christian congregation for one reason or another. In “Questions from Readers” (The Watchtower, 1961, p. 544) the position was taken that a funeral for a disfellowshiped person was improper. The comment was made: “We never want to give the impression to outsiders that a disfellowshiped person was acceptable in the congregation when in truth and in fact he was not acceptable but had been disfellowshiped from it.” Are there no exceptions, in arranging a funeral for a disfellowshiped person?
    Before answering that question it would be well briefly to review the matter of disfellowshiping. That it has a Scriptural basis can be seen from First Corinthians chapter 5, in which the apostle Paul commands the disfellowshiping of an immoral man. However, it was not until 1952 that Jehovah’s people of modern times acted on the growing urgency along this line. With strong zeal for righteousness and a hatred for what is wicked, they set guidelines for those taking the lead so as to keep congregations spiritually, doctrinally and morally clean.
    Through the years Jehovah’s people have come to see the matter of disfellowshiping ever more clearly. Not only were details spelled out, but more and more it was seen that wisdom and love, as well as justice, have come into play. They saw the need of showing mercy to truly repentant erring ones, and of considering extenuating circumstances and any evidence of sincere sorrow. In quite recent years it was also pointed out that there is a difference between the way Christians should conduct themselves toward a notorious sinner or an aggressive apostate and toward one who is viewed as “a man of the nations”—to whom the common courtesy of a greeting may be extended.—Matt. 18:17; 2 John 9, 10.
    It would seem that this distinction could even be observed in connection with the funeral of a disfellowshiped person. A Christian congregation would not want its good name besmirched by having it associated with any to whom 2 John 9, 10 applied, even in their death. But suppose a disfellowshiped person had been giving some evidence of genuine repentance and had been coming to the meetings and manifesting a desire to be reinstated in the congregation. Then, if the elders felt that it would not disturb the peace and harmony of the congregation nor bring reproach upon God’s people, there would be no objection to an elder’s giving a talk. How are they to know whether Jehovah has already forgiven him or not, since there is some evidence of repentance? Properly, the elders may have been waiting, wanting to make sure that his seeming repentance was sincere. Obviously, each case being different, it would need to be judged on its own merits. Of course, if a funeral talk is given, care would need to be taken not to dwell on personal matters nor to make any positive statements about whether he will be resurrected. But a fine Scriptural presentation and witness could certainly be given.
    Moreover, we should not overlook two of the cardinal reasons for disfellowshiping a wrongdoer. One is to jolt him to his senses if possible. The other is to protect the congregation from his bad influence. Neither of these would apply now, since the disfellowshiped person is deceased. Even where a disfellowshiped person has continued as a mere “man of the nations,” so to speak, a Scriptural funeral talk can serve more than one good purpose, even as previously noted: It can provide comfort for the bereaved and a witness to outsiders. The very fact that a fine witness is given can be a comfort and consolation to the bereaved ones regardless of the circumstances.

    Hope this helps.


  • blondie

    The BOE calls the shots...rarely though do I see them in a KH but in a neutral location. The last one, one of the elders gave the talk and that can't happen without repercussions unless his BOE approves it. This person was not only df'd but had committed suicide. Over 100 people came.

  • sabastious

    If someone goes through a patch in their life where they make bad decisions they are showing a need for outside support. This needed support is not only absent within the JW religion it's replaced with the ghoulish policy of disfellowshipping. Disfellowshipping is meant to be a psychological test for a Watchtower member who is showing signs of resistance to the programming. The Society is fully aware that many people do not make it through this psychological rigor and end up committing suicide. Almost every ex Jehovah's Witness has endured suicidal ideations and many have made failed attempts. When a member dies while going through this test they are considered cast out from Jehovah's favor and especially if they commit suicide. This is because of how the policy is designed to work as an example for the other congregation members. When a dead DF'ed member is disgraced by not being allowed a proper JW funeral it serves as a strong incentive to NOT get disfellowshipped. This creates obedient drones as well as rampant double lives. A culture of fear and corruption.

    I had a cousin that was DF'ed when she was a young adult and she said every time there was a thunderstorm she would be afraid of Armageddon. DF'ed ones are told that if Armageddon comes when you are DF'ed then you have no hope. The same goes for if you die when you are DF'ed. You are not fit to be remembered in a Kingdom Hall because you failed the psychological test simply by dying, especially if it was death by suicide. Regardless of the cause of death your memory is largely disgraced by the people who are your alleged spiritual brothers and sisters. However if you were making steps to get reindocrinated, which is showing a good example to the congregation, then the Society will throw you a bone with a talk at your non KH funeral, but with the stipulation that anyone at your funeral is to be proselytized to.

    I wonder what people will think about this stuff 100 years from now? I think they will pity us like we pity the people who lived 100 years ago.


  • exwhyzee

    Thanks Guys....I was almost positive there was a questions from the readers that said it would be inappropriate to attend a funeral of someone who was DF'd. I'm guessing if Blondie didn't find it, it probably doesn't exist.

    Thanks again !

  • Cagefighter

    I am not DF'd. I just faded years ago. I have it in writing absolutely no JW funeral. My parents and I reached a truce a decade ago. They know nothing of my current religious affiliations. We just gonna burn that bridge whenever I die or get married. Whichever comes first. Hopefully they will be long gone before me.

  • QueenWitch

    I don't want my mother at my funeral. If you can't talk to me now, don't see me off to the afterlife.

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