Need clarification from someone who speaks JW: What is an "apostate" ...or... an "apostate website?"
I've never been a JW & never even been inside a Kingdom Hall, but having learnt enough over the years of reading this forum to have successfully debated with a JW elder at my door for 30 mins & have him admit he didn't have answers to my questions, I feel proud to call myself an 'honorary apostate'.
The Shepherd Book says the following ( chapter 5 pp65-66
16. Apostasy: Apostasy is a standing away from true worship, a falling away, defection, rebellion, abandonment. It includes the following:
• Celebrating false religious holidays: (Ex. 32:4-6; Jer. 7:16-19) Not all holidays directly involve false religion and require judicial action.
• Participation in inter faith activities: (2 Cor. 6:14, 15,17,18) Apostate acts include bowing before altars and images and sharing in false religious songs and prayers.—Rev. 18:2, 4.
• Deliberately spreading teachings contrary to Bible truth as taught by Jehovah's Witnesses: (Acts 21:21, ftn.; 2 John 7, 9, 10) Any with sincere doubts should be helped. Firm, loving counsel should be given. (2 Tim. 2:16-19, 23-26; Jude 22, 23) If one obstinately is speaking about or deliberately spreading false teachings, this may be or may lead to apostasy. If there is no response after a first and a second admonition, a judicial committee should be formed. -Titus 3:10, 11; w89 10/1 p. 19; w86 4/1 pp. 30,31 ;w86 3/15 p. 15.
Strictly speaking you cannot be DF'ed for having doubts. Of course it's not unknown. The problem comes if you start talking about those doubts as even minor conversations can be used against you.
Note the catch all "deliberately spreading teachings contrary to Bible truth as taught by Jehovah's Witnesses". This means that whatever the current view as dispensed by the GB is forms the "truth". If there is a change one day to the next then you better step into line. If you express reservations on a subject then you can be accused of apostasy.
The label is used to demonise and control people. Being a wife beater is less reprehensible than being thrown out just because you can't get your head around some teaching. Criticising the organisation is an absolute no-no and counts as much as apostasy as disagreeing with doctrine.
The attitude is optimised on JWTalk. Anyone who expresses a liberal or cautious view on a matter risks being flamed, knocked down or banned. Comments of even moderate criticism are swiftly jumped on. Many on here who have tried to make comment on matters have been quickly banned.
"Apostate" is anything or anyone who stands in opposition to anything currently taught as Truth(c) by the WT hierarchy. Christendom is "apostate", so is any news source daring to publish any news negative of the WT/JW 0rganization.
You are correct that the word apostate, (which is not even found in the bible btw),
The word "apostate" appears in numerous verses and in numerous versions of the Bible:
(I should know. After all my middle name is "Oppostate" (well actually just my forum nick' =)
In the most simple terms, an 'apostate' is someone who voices any disagreement with whatever current interpretation of doctrine made by the Governing Body or publicly denounces wrongdoing amongst the JW's.
You don't have to be a disfellowshipped or dissociated JW to be labelled an 'apostate'. I know, because that is happening with me at the moment.
Unfavorable media reports about the Jehovah's Witnesses, even if they are of independent origin, are considered 'apostate'. The reasoning behind it is that Satan, the original apostate, is instigating those reports.
If you stick to the Watchtower publications and the Bible alone to point out inconsistencies or perceived errors and doctrinal flip-flops in JW doctrine, your motivations for doing so will be questioned, and you'll likely be labelled an apostate.
If you harbor doubts or disagree or simply can't wrap your head around a JW teaching or change in doctrine, that's OK, as long as you keep 'listening and obeying' the leadership and 'wait on Jehovah' to have your doubts enlightened. But if you share those doubts with others in the congregation other than Elders, and if you insist on not keeping your mouth shut, you risk being accused of 'causing divisions' or 'attempting to create a sect' and you'll be labelled an apostate, and dealt judicially with.
So you have quite a thorough mix of info to go through. It is all accurate in one way or another.
But you are windering why a CNN article that is written about something negative regarding JW's is being called "apostate". Its because the pejorative meaning for the rank and file is that if its negative in the media, it has been put there by Satan no dobt possibly using human apostates.
Of course, the response in this case is that no way would brother Jackson allow himself to be questioned by apostates, and he publicly states he believes in the work they are doing. So how is that apostate?
Wait and enjoy the crickets.
I am still amazed, at the way people can be controlled by peer pressure.
My own parents, who helped me learn to think for myself, now believe that it is more important to serve an organization, than to show love to their own grandchildren.
My mother once told me (while we were still studying), "Jehovah's Witnesses divide families."
Now, whenever I get a chance to talk to her, she always says, "I need to get out in service more." She is so confused, and I can tell she feels this conflict in her own mind when she is with me. She doesn't know which personality to use. She can't answer my questions, and she admits that she can't ask them either.
While talking with her, I've heard her mutter "apostate" under her breath. I had the sinking feeling that this was involuntary. The things she says sometimes leave me speechless, and I wonder (hope) if there is still a part of her brain that is awake, and realizing that she has been duped.
It is so sad to see her getting older, and becoming more and more convinced that her only solution is to keep on studying and repeating things that don't make sense. Simply saying, "We are the happiest people on earth," does not make it true... but you will believe it, if you hear it enough times.
And, she hears it twice a week at meetings, from others when she goes in field service and any time she is on JW.org.
It's gaslighting, really. Not many JWs are happy, but the constant repeat of "we're the happiest people on earth" denies their reality.
It's like the organization is the personification of Narcissist Personality disorder. They are always right, all transgressions are justfied, everyone exists to serve their needs and they'll gaslight you in a minute to make you doubt your feelings or recollections.
I'm so sorry you have to watch your mother fall for this and suffer in her old age.
Pretty sure I read somewhere that even if a JW privately has doubts / thinks certain aspects of WT doctrine and/or GB members are wrong - and isn't even talking about it to anyone - and the elders somehow learn about it, question him, and he won't "recant", he can be DFed for "apostasy" - once again, even if he isn't talking about it to anyone.