JW "rules" and ex fellow shipping somebody..

by Canadian Sunshine 7 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Canadian Sunshine
    Canadian Sunshine

    I searched up JW rules, and things that can get them into trouble with the congregation. If I remember correctly there is 100 rules. I already assume these rules are taught regularly or "preached" and stating why they are against GOD therefore followers obey, or try to obey.
    However, does the congregation still ex fellowship people if they are "caught" celebrating Christmas with family such as Christmas dinner, perhaps a JW brings a gift for grand children to open- but not in a Christmas bag or colors. Also this would go for celebrating a families birthday. Is there exception to certain rules if the JW has no family members that are in the congregation therefore leaving them the ONLY JW member in their family or the JW converting after their already married and children have grown.

    secondly, JW engaging with Christians from other churches. Apparently this is "forbidden" or is there a exception to the rule now. I understand JW will try to convert the Christian, but if they are unable to convert them are they still able to be friends with them. Are they allowed to accept a Christian Music CD? I gave a JW member a Christian CD, and they accepted it which I was surprised. They told me they would listen to it and appeared to be cheerful about it.

    Thirdly, How is a JW suppose to respond if they have family members or their own children, who have never been apart of the JW organization and are atheist or practicing paganism such as psychics, mediums, terra cards, idol praising of statues, "spirit animals" and referring to "Jahovah" as the "Creator" or knowingly having a child wearing shirts that go against GOD (Jahovah) and wearing sweatshirts or shirts of things that appear to look demonic like (demands)? How is a JW suppose to respond to this.

  • carla

    I'll take a stab at this one! first off, welcome! I was never a jw, do not go to a kh but am married to a person who converted later in life. I am what would be called a ubm (unbelieving mate). He is the only jw on either side of the family. None of us even know any other jw's. Yes, they can be quite obnoxious trying to convert family members. Family will have to lay it out in no uncertain terms that they are not interested in joining the cult. (tip of the day- do not call it a cult to a jw, it does not go over well to say the least and they will probably never discuss anything with you in the future)

    As for 100 rules, hmm, seems like more but they are ever changing depending on what the latest issue of the wt is. The governing body (gb) decides what is allowed or not. These rules change from year to year but sometimes a certain kh will also have unspoken rules that the elders seem to make up as they go. An example is only white shirts for men from the platform. That is not really a rule from NY but rather over zealous elders.

    Christmas and birthdays are forbidden. They will not give gifts but are supposed to graciously accept a gift if given as long as they give the spiel about jw's not celebrating because jah would not like it blah, blah, blah......That being said many jw's will give a gift (not wrapped) on day other than the actual holiday in question. Many jw mothers will toss a bag of new clothes on a child's bed for example before Christmas vacation is over so the child has something 'new' to wear to school. A jw may say they 'buy and give gifts all year long!" which is a lie. Many ex jw's can attest to this depending upon the zealousness of the parents.

    Odd that they can do anniversaries but cannot do birthdays isn't it? Birth of a marriage but not the birth of a child.

    A relative who is into paganism or supernatural events?! yikes! a jw would freak out about that! If the person is a recent convert they may not have gotten the memo on all the rules and such and won't freak out until another jw tells them the horror stories about such witchcraft and being destroyed at the big A (Armageddon) for even being associated with such a person. They may slowly have less and less to do with the person in general, like slow back away, because they will be taught to fear such a person.

    Engaging with Christians? like an interfaith thing? or even praying with a non jw? nope, can't do it even if it is a prayer with your child or spouse.

    Some rules or even unspoken rules that my jw did not believe were true but slowly adopted as he became indoctrinated- in no particular order-

    no pants for women no matter how cold or snowy it is (during meetings or field service (fs)

    you must go into fs (field service) for so many hours per month and report it on your time slip

    hair on men must not go to about 1/4 inch of top of ear

    no beards

    no blood unless it is taken all apart into fractions first and then certain fractions are allowed and some aren't (research to see current thinking on that)

    no reading apostate literature or websites

    no R movies (certain books would be included in this)

    no movies with pagan influence

    can't say the Lords Prayer

    no sex before marriage and if heavy petting or sex occurs you must report yourself to the elders and possibly be df'd (disfellowshipped) or 'marked'. A judicial meeting will occur where you must tell 3 elders a play by play description of the event right down to the color of underwear and if you liked it etc..... you get the idea. Verbal porn for the elders in other words.

    If a man has to give a ride to a woman who is not his wife she must sit in the back, even that is frowned upon without a 3rd person present.

    If member of the opposite sex has to spend the night at your place for any reason it will be assumed that you had sex.

    no birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, Easter, 4th of July and any other holiday. One exception is Thanksgiving where they will have a turkey, pie, and all the fixings, family and friends over but then say how great it is that they are not like worldly people who are celebrating Thanksgiving, and, no, I'm not kidding.

    no hard rock or suggestive music

    no standing for the flag or saying the pledge

    sex life between married couples is also controlled by the wt (watchtower -jw's)

    women are pretty much second class citizens

    some jw's will not step foot in a church for any reason be it a wedding or funeral. I remember a story of a wedding where a jw wanted to stand outside of the church and have the doors left open so they could still see the wedding.

    if your child is molested or raped by a jw you should go to the elders first to see how it should be handled (lots going on with the jw's and sexual abuses in many countries right now)

    do not sue a 'brother' even if they ripped you off or stole from you, it will give a bad name to jah's organization

    ladies may be called into the backroom if someone thinks they are wearing inappropriate underwear or if their nipples show through 3 sets of clothing. Yes, I remember an ex jw who had this issue and an elder told her she should tape 2 band-aids over them in an x to resolve the issue. Toe cleavage is actually a thing in jw land as well! who knew toes could be so sexy?

    I could go on but this should give you a start. Check out jwfacts.com and some of the other great websites about jw's.

  • scary21

    Hey Carta, for not being a JW you got it down pat. The only thing that is different in my experience is, I was allowed to stand for the pledge but not say it. Now the national anthem, you could not stand, but if you were already standing, you were not to sit down. I always made sure I was already standing . At least I tried...lol

    The lords prayer, I don't think they have a problem with it . They never say it thou.

    Now just something to add....No large gatherings When I was young they were ok but now It's pretty much a new rule

    Oh, and welcome Sunshine..

  • OnTheWayOut

    If enough people give enough detaled answers, this could get confusing. Much depends on the local congregation and how they decide to uphold the "rules."

    First off, people get called to a judicial committee for some violation of the rules. It is usually only for serious accusations of violations, not for getting a tattoo or telling another member to BLANK off. But some congregations will go after a member for any small rules violations too. There is only one thing you can be "disfellowshipped" for- being unrepentant when they decide your guilt. They can decide that you are only sorry because you were caught or that multiple violations before the committee meets are clear signs that your repentance is not genuine. So typically, you have to kiss their asses and only confess to a one-time violation if that is all they know about.

    Gotta run now. I will give more thoughts on your "interfaith" questions later.

  • Incognito

    Disfellowshipping is the extreme punishment. There are other lesser punishments including being 'Marked', 'Private Reproof', 'Public Reproof', loss of 'privileges' and being interrogated by two or more elders in the back room.

    To clarify any confusion with regard to the national anthem, a JW may stand in respect if part of the observance involves everyone singing along whereas if everyone is only asked to stand, then a JW is expected to remain sitting. If a JW is already standing, for example when entering a sporting venue when the anthem is being played, the JW may then remain standing respectfully in one location until the anthem concludes.

    While attending a sporting event is not forbidden, JWs are told not to favour any particular team as that is considered a form of nationalism.

    Although Jesus gave the Lords Prayer as an example of how to pray, JWs typically do not recite the LP or join in when the Lords Prayer is being recited by a group. Reciting the LP in a group is often done by other religions and so a JW would not want to suggest they are supporting or agreeing with any other religion.

  • ttdtt

    FWI - Basically the only reason for getting DFed is suposed to be NON REPENTANCE, or actions that display NON REPENTANCE.

  • OnTheWayOut
    While attending a sporting event is not forbidden, JWs are told not to favour any particular team as that is considered a form of nationalism.

    Well, see how you will get varying answers. I never heard of "not favour[ing] any particular team."
    GO CUBS!!!

    As far as "celebrating" Christmas or birthdays with family, it all depends on what you did and who knows what you did and what you say about it. JW's are against anything that is considered "interfaith" which includes stepping inside any church/temple and certainly includes putting up any holiday decorations on your home. But if you went on a tour that included the Vatican and weren't there for services, most JW elders would not care. I regularly went to family funerals and some weddings at churches, but did not mention it to other elders. I doubt they would have a big problem with that if they knew, but I figured I would not take that chance. I went to some birthday gatherings of family with the excuse of "time with family" but again did not tell others. But if a member was accused of "stumbling" another member by their attending or participating in any "interfaith" stuff, they could be brought before a judicial committee. And some local congregations could do this just from the very knowledge that a member attended, regardless of the fact that no other JW's were even aware of it, let alone crying that they were stumbled.

    Pagan and magic stuff, mediums and psychics- absolute wrongs according to the rules. Any knowledge of any involvement for any reason would get a member investigated and probably in front of a judicial committee. If a member participated to any degree even as small as curiosity for fun, they better keep it to themselves.

    Christian music- I suppose it all depends. JINGLE BELLS has absolutely nothing Christian or even Santa Claus related. It's about winter. But playing it in the car with a bunch of JW's will get you in hot water. Many Christian songs say nothing wrong, so maybe not so much of a problem as anything that people relate to Christmas. But certainly, JW's will get in trouble for sharing religion-laden songs with other JW's. I find that most people (myself included) would not recognize "Christian rock" if it was not obvious, and JW's could probably listen to it among others and nobody would care.

  • Incognito
    Well, see how you will get varying answers. I never heard of "not favour[ing] any particular team."
    GO CUBS!!!

    Yes OTWO. In addition to nationalism, favouring a team was also considered a form of idolatry. That was taught from the platform a few decades ago - at least in this area. Of course, since JW beliefs are professed to be consistent and united everywhere across the globe, we that were given that info then thought, that was the common teaching everywhere.

    They had also proclaimed 'True Christians' are not to get a tattoo or have their ears pierced as that is body mutilation and shows lack of appreciation and respect for God's gift of the body we are each given.

    It seems those talks are no longer given as parents of born-in female children commonly have the child's ears pierced while the child is very young. There doesn't seem to be an issue made.

    Viewing the FB pages of active JW teens, often reveal tattoos which I suspect, are kept hidden from elders in the congregations they attend. As OTWO implied, some things remain: 'Don't ask, Don't tell'.

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