s-395 Adjustments-to-handling-serious-wrongdoing-in-the-congregation

by gavindlt 37 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • peacefulpete

    They df'd my wife for not shunning a df'd minor sibling and writing a letter to her mom saying she did not regret it. They called it apostasy. While she has no illusions about the church today, she has endured 20 years of needless and cruel separation from family. These changes do not seem begin to address the cultlike control over people's lives.

    I know some are pretty excited about this development and perhaps there will be some incremental improvement for those who been unable to conform to the WT's rules and still keep running back for reasons of their own.

  • Ron.W.

    Really sorry to hear that Pete - that sound like a very hard situation to deal with.



  • Biahi

    Slimboyfat, thank you for your very astute insights. Of course, they could change their teachings and just STOP BAPTIZING MINORS. Which would take care of the problem of disfellowshipping minors.

  • hoser

    This is a flip flop from “no need for elders to meet with disfellowshipped ones”

    Exactly how many years ago was that instruction made to the elders?

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze
    "If the individual is not an apostate or actively promoting wrongdoing...

    Here's what this means:

    If the individual is not saying that they have become a born again Christian or telling others that Jesus is the Mediator for all mankind...

    Then, heck yeah.... give them their families back after humiliating them for 3 months. What a loving provision!

  • TonusOH

    It sounds like they're trying to separate some sins from others, and allowing for the less-severe ones (in their eyes) to be dealt with more mildly. Apostasy will always be the big no-no for them, because for the WTS, apostasy is when you oppose the organization. And that is a hard line for them.

  • Earnest
    hoser : Exactly how many years ago was that instruction [no need for elders to meet with disfellowshipped ones] made to the elders?

    Shepherd the Flock of God, October 2023, Chapter 25 Paragraph 20

    There is no formal arrangement to visit disfellowshipped or disassociated individuals each year. Rather, elders should use good judgment in determining whether and how to make brief contact with such ones...Of course, contact should not be made with active apostates, with those who are trying to lead others into sin, or with those who have made it known that they want nothing to do with the Christian congregation.

  • StephaneLaliberte
    Can someone post bullet points or the cliff notes version of the new changes? There is no way my eyes can read all that small print, plus it's a long document.
    • Sisters can wear dress pants at the hall if not going on stage

    • Brothers don’t need to ware jacket and tie if not going on stage

      • In some areas, this might not even be needed depending on local culture

    • Disfellowshipped ones

      • Family and friends can reach out to disfellowshipped close ones to invite them back to the meetings

      • When attending a meeting, members of the congregation may great disfellowshipped folks without engaging lengthy conversation

      • After many years, if they come back, they will be offered a bible study to come to repentance

      • Disfellowshipped individuals can be reinstated as early as within 3 months. However, this would not apply to sins that puts the congregation at risks, such as pedophiles, apostates and those who break marriages.

    • Judicial

      • Judicial committee are no longer just one meeting. They can be more than one meeting

      • Appeal committee: If a wrongdoer demonstrates that he is repentant by the time he meets the appeal committee, he will not be disfellowshipped.

        • Appeal committee meets only once. (as before)

      • Kids under 18 do not have to undergo judicial committee if parents deem them repentant and have things under control.

  • careful

    Biahi hit the nail on the head.

    GB II has yet again created their own monster. Years ago they, likely motivated by dropping baptismal numbers and due to their own very limited thinking, decided, "Well, I was baptized at eight and I've done well. We should encourage parents to get their children baptized much earlier now."

    Like most temporary fixes, the plan "worked" for some years to help buoy up baptismal statistics, but then when a plethora of underage disfellowshippings naturally occurred as these baptized children moved into adolescence with all its complexities and difficulties, and its desire for discovering one's individual identity—especially in the high tech, interconnected world of today—large numbers of child disfellowshippings occurred. This in turn put significant pressure on Witness parents who now had 12-14-year-old disfellowshipped children. In fact, the GB decision created all sorts of household and congregational problems for the ever-obedient R&F.

    Now Caesar has gotten involved and the GB are desperate to make some sort of change—always, of course, without admitting that they made a bad decision in the first place. They just feel they can do no wrong, and even if they might admit among themselves that they erred, they would NEVER do so to the R&F.

    How different from the first-century Christians! As we can see from the Gospels, Acts and Galatians the leadership back then openly admitted their faults to the R&F, even portraying the apostles and other leaders as dull (Matt 15:16; Mark 6:49-52), power hungry (Mark 10:35-40), impetuous (Matt. 26:33-35), hot-tempered (Acts 15:37-39; Gal. 5:12), and just plain wrong (Acts 17.10 versus v. 22; John 21.23). They were even ready to criticize one another "before them all" and then send out a report of it (Gal. 2:11-14).

    The GB are so interested in their own image and retaining their own authority and perceived holiness that they refuse to openly admit their own humanity in any kind of specific way. The results can be sad, even tragic. If they followed the New Testament example and admitted their errors, it might just warm people's hearts toward them instead of continuing the status quo of viewing them as on an entirely different plateau, as "holier than us."

  • Ron.W.
    They just feel they can do no wrong, and even if they might admit among themselves that they erred, they would NEVER do so to the R&F.
    The GB are so interested in their own image and retaining their own authority and perceived holiness that they refuse to openly admit their own humanity in any kind of specific way.


    Very well put indeed - I totally agree.

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