Why isn't demon possession a DF offense?
- I think they see the demon possessed as being victims rather than sinners. There are too many gospel accounts of Jesus curing demon possessed people, for them to dare treat the demon possessed any harsher than Jesus did. Or maybe I'm giving them too much credit.
- They have medication now that cures "demon possession". Most JW's see a doctor before it gets to the point of being disfellowshipped.
My studies did include a brief visit to two separate homes undergoing the research stage for "strange" phenomena, one a family home with a so-called poltergeist and another with a so-called ghost.
I use the expression "so-called" because most people automatically think of spirits of the dead or a belief in the occult or demons, and I am only speaking of witnessing phenomenon under investigation.
I can say from experience that whatever such phenomenon consists of, it is unsettling to say the least. The home of the poltergeist involved having heavy billiard balls from a pool table tossed at us, a collection of records from a hall closet tossed out of a,closed closet and smashed against the wall, hanging light fixtures sent in a swinging frenzy, and window blinds slowly open and shut. The events took place over a period of two hours.
The other home consisted of landline phones being removed from their hook (for those who remember those old phones) and televisions being constantly switched when you left the room to a channel with nothing but static (again before digital TV). That was a four-week visit that also consisted of an apparition sighting that, I swear, looked like a flesh and blood teenage male, around 14, who wore a white button-down shirt, dark slacks, tennis shoes, and walked across a dining room entering from one wall and walking out through another at around 10:15 am one Sunday morning. The sun from the windows even shone on the figure like it did on any other person.
I don't think I was scared as much as amazed and very curious. I remember doing the oddest thing afterwards, touching the wall he walked out of the room through to just make sure it was solid.
I was creeped out at the first house but more disturbed by the home owners of the second home who viewed their "ghost" as nothing but mere fun. An exorcism was suggested by myself and a Catholic priest after the investigation, but the family decided it was unnecessary. I am not sure why they reported it to Catholic channels in the first place as that was their attitude.
But neither experience led to me believing in ghosts or spirits of the dead. So just because you experience "things that go bump in the night" doesn't mean that you have to accept fairy tales. Ghosts have been reported since the dawn of recorded history by all cultures. Just because something startles you or looks amazing doesn't mean that the world will end by being trampled by the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.
Some scientists theorize that there are various dimensions to each reality. Maybe they cross. Since we can record audio and video by merely reorganizing iron oxide, perhaps something like this happens in nature that record scenes from the past that just play back as "ghosts."
But if our convictions are such that they could change like the swinging of a door with every unexpected breeze, then maybe our convictions are not as firm or solid as we believe. Seeing an apparition doesn't mean you've seen the ghost of a dead person or that Catholic exorcism is real. It just means you've seen an apparition.
Most JWs I knew growing up were more scared of demon-possessed objects than they were of demon-possessed people.
And, needless to say, the only suspected "demonized" people they warned you about also happened to be non-JWs. If any Witnesses had a "paranormal" experience, it was chalked up to being "tormented" by demons as opposed to full-on possession (which, in retrospect, was probably a manifestation of the medical condition known as "sleep paralysis").
Being possessed by a demon cannot be classed as a wilful sin. You can only get df'd if you're unrepentant lol
I know you're having a laugh rebel
Love Kate xx
re. Marvin Shilmer's link...
...this bit made me laugh:
"...I was as completely under demonical control as was Mrs. Eddy* when she wrote 'Science and Health'..."
* Mary Baker Eddy, founder of "Christian Science"
I actually knew of someone who was disfellowshipped for that. I was pretty sure he was schizophrenic, because he heard voices, but of course the elders thought he was demon possessed. They had to do something because he would go out street witnessing on his own, talking to the voices in his head the whole time.
Probably the best thing for him, but it seemed cruel at the time.
Great OP and thread title, Rebel8.
Some scourges are way more acceptable than others for the category of disfellowhippable offences. I guess so-called "demon possession" is seen as more of an "outcome" than the actual "act" that you could be disfellowshipped for. For example, you'd have more chance of being kicked out for unrepentantly consorting with a ouja board or a spirit medium than being "afflicted" by demons (the presumed outcome).
It could be analagous to sexual "immorality" - you get the boot for the specific acts not the outcome which could include STDs. Same with the topic you raise - you would face the judicial committee more for the "trappings" than actually becoming demon possessed.
Then again, Biblical references to "possession" have all but been explained away by science, neuropsychiatry and - ahem - education. Perhaps even the higher ups in JW organization realize the silliness of trying to differentiate possession from the so-called psychtotic mental health disorders? It would be akin to kicking Freda or Jimmy out because they've got diagnoses of intractable schizophrenia. Perhaps even a cold-hearted JW would find that a punishing step too far.
Lastly, on the topic of 'Why isn't something a disfellowshippable offence?', gluttony seldom, if ever, results in the boot. Why not though? It's listed in Corinthians as something that will exclude someone from the kingdom. Imagine if gluttony was in vogue as a disfellowshipping offence. Yikes! All those JWs who super love their food would be looking over their shoulders even more than they do now. By contrast, drunkeness has cost many a JW their position in the congregation. Hmmm, very puzzling distinctions ndeed.
steve2 - "...on the topic of Why isn't something a disfellowshippable offence, gluttony seldom, if ever, results in the boot. Why not though?"
Have you seen the guys on the GB? :smirk:
- Maybe because it's mental illness and not demon possession.