Are JW's allowed to have close non JW friends?
I am a non-participating Christian who is fully respectful of but never had anything to do with JW.
I have a JW friend who seems to closely follow his JW belief's. I have met most of his family and friends who all are also JW's. He says I am his only non-JW good friend.
He is getting married this year to his long time GF and with our recent growing more guarded and distant friendship, I am wondering what is going on?
Am I being what JW's call, ex-communicated? Can JW's have good friendships with non-JW's?
It is not encouraged. If you have non JW friends, you keep it to yourself but if someone sees you hanging around with them you WILL get a talking to about bad association.
I have non JW friends. They are better friends then ANY JW friend. They don't dump you when you no longer believe what they believe. Even though you are the same person. They like you for who you are. I had lunch with 2 of them today. No judgement, just a really nice lunch with 2 people who like ME.
It can be a big problem. If you got friends in the so called "world", you don't follow the rules. So, he won't not be disfellowshipped for it, but it's possible to lost your stand.
For examble: I travel this time with an "wordly" friend, if somebody discover it, I maybe lost priveleges (losing my stand in the cong). And if you grow up as a JW, you trained to think, "worldy" peoply not real, true friends, only bad influence. But, as Toesup says, it's the opposide.
So, do you know anythink about the GF? Did he mention that she preach a lot, her father is an elder or so? Than this could also be a reason.
It is unusual for a JW to become a close friend with a 'worldly' person. And that is how every person outside the religion is referred to. Perhaps you expressed an interest in his beliefs in the past? That is the main motive I can think of for him drawing close to you.
The JW movement is often described as totalizing, they believe they and they alone serve God and that everyone outside the religion is influenced by Satan and will shortly be killed by God at Armageddon. Hence the world to a JW is a dark and dangerous place and they are not to make friends with 'worldly people'.
Thanks for all the insight. Much appreciated. I think my friend and his soon to be wife are pretty cool about my worldly status but as they move closer to marriage, I expect its more complicated to mesh together JW and my outsider role in his life.
Just trying to gain insight to the challenge and pressures he is likely facing at this time and how I can be supportive. Or maybe its a lost cause, I don't know.
"if someone sees you hanging out with them..."
How they can be 100% sure that tha person you are hanging out with is a non-believer"?
John Free: No expressed interest or mindful discussion in beliefs in the 5+ years of friendship and 100's of interactions. I only know from his active participation level in many things JW, its a big part of his life, upbringing and makeup as a person.
Crazy F L: So, do you know anythink about the GF?
I feel comfortable around her where others including JW, often do not. I know nothing about her family other than she lives with her parents and of course, they're JW.
ToesUp: If you have non JW friends, you keep it to yourself
That's the confusing part. I know and regularly interact with his JW family and friends.
Totalitarian organizations as above stated believe that ''only they are God's people and everyone outside is riff raff'', but only to be preached at.
Totalitarian organizations have their believers understand ''it's us vs. them'' mentality. ''Worldly association'' is just that ''worldly'' to them, not of God's people.
Totalitarian organizations stick to themselves. The only time ''worldly association'' is merited is by the preaching work.
Totalitarian organizations restrict ALL socializing to within their group. Even discouraging relationships/ or friendships with relatives who are not of their same ''understanding..
In a nutshell, No ''Worldly'' association or association of that who is not of the Totalitarian Group!!!
Your friend won't be able to get married in the kingdom hall if he has any "worldly" people in the wedding, in fact a lot of elders (priests) won't perform the ceremony if a "worldly" person is in the wedding party. Maybe he's distancing himself to keep from hurting you about your lack of involvement in the wedding.
Maybe his fiance is also encouraging him to get stronger "in the truth" so he can be a ministerial servant (priest assistant). Having "worldly" friend or friends would make being a ministerial servant less likely.
It's not unheard of for a witness to have a "worldly" friend. It's just not encouraged. If you don't present a spiritual problem (i.e. lack of what Witnesses consider morality) then they won't have a big problem with you. But, as he progresses spiritually, or if you say anything even remotely anti-JW your friendship will begin to wither away.
Witnesses are encouraged "not to become unevenly yoked with unbelievers". Everyone not a JW is an unbeliever to them, regardless of their beliefs. Lots of friendships have been ended over the religion. Heck, lots of families have been destroyed because of it.