"And I am a previously disfellowshipped person, and yes, the intention of DF is loving. Not short term, make you comfortable, but long term, save your life loving."
Just a little history in the AWAKE! of JW disfellowshipping. You will be surprised to learn what JW,s used to think about it. New light perhaps?
So between 1947 when this article was written by the then GB, and 1952 when disfellowshipping was started by JW`s, what changed the GB`s mind? Was it god, or was god wrong in the first place?
The wt has now changed Jesus definition of neighboor
Awake! 2009 July p.29 (p.28) "No one should be forced to worship in a way that he finds unacceptable or be made to choose between his beliefs and his family."
"What if we have a relative or a close friend who is disfellowshipped? Now our loyalty is on the line, not to that person, but to God. Jehovah is watching us to see whether we will abide by his command not to have contact with anyone who is disfellowshipped.—Read 1 Corinthians 5:11-13.
Consider just one example of the good that can come when a family loyally upholds Jehovah’s decree not to associate with disfellowshipped relatives. A young man had been disfellowshipped for over ten years, during which time his father, mother, and four brothers “quit mixing in company” with him. At times, he tried to involve himself in their activities, but to their credit, each member of the family was steadfast in not having any contact with him. After he was reinstated, he said that he always missed the association with his family, especially at night when he was alone. But, he admitted, had the family associated with him even a little, that small dose would have satisfied him. However, because he did not receive even the slightest communication from any of his family, the burning desire to be with them became one motivating factor in his restoring his relationship with Jehovah." Watchtower 2012 Apr 15 p.12
"I was fuming during that meeting yesterday."
Solution: Stop going.
Yup - working on that one.
Regardless of any argument over the what the actual scope of "neighbour" is, the article reflects the age old position of the WTS that passes off the ministry as the only charitable works with any real worth.
I know that there are many cases of individuals helping out their literal neighbours and strangers in practical ways. I know the WTS sends relief packages and personnel into disaster zones. I would even concede that for some, implementing the moral values in the Bible may help them become better citizens than they have been in the past.
What cannot be denied however is that very few Witnesses give up any time regularly in practical charitable works or in regular fund raising. The WTS itself does not operate any ongoing aid and support missions in war torn or poverty stricken areas. Their aid is concerned with believers first and foremost. There are well documented cases of them applying pressure to those they have helped to contribute insurance payments to the organisation.
If left to the WTS there would be no doctors and nurses looking after victims of war in Syria, no ongoing programmes in Africa to provide clean water supplies, no initiatives to improve sanitation in poverty stricken areas around the world, no homes for battered women and children, no soup kitchens for the homeless in cities across the world and so on.
I spent years agreeing with the WT position on this, justifying and defending the view that all of the above is just sticking plaster. As I woke up to the lies the WTS have been peddling for generations then I was also forced to examine my attitude to charity and working for the benefit of others. The more and more I considered it then the more I have come to have nothing but utter contempt for the attitude of the WTS.
Articles like Sunday's are nothing but hypocritical and disingenuous. The WTS refuse to engage with the wider charitable community. The WTS refuse to promote even some middle ground of a ministry coupled with unilateral charitable works. The WTS only acknowledge hours peddling literature as works worthy of a Christian. Simple works of humanity are not given anywhere near the same import nor are members encouraged to spend time engaged in them.
You can argue semantics about the meaning of neighbour in the magazine from Sunday but don't even start to tell me that the drones I see regularly standing for hours in central London holding out WT & Awake magazines in front of impotent carts to ZERO response are somehow doing the most important charitable work in the whole fecking universe.
What would the world be like if everyone applied the words of the lesson, Jesus' counsel to love one's neighbor?
It would be great lana! A utopia of love and understanding.
But the W tower, although preaching it (in their own twisted way) definitely dont practise it.
They would rather you lose a loved one and never speak to them again over a basic human right such as practising the religion of your choice.
Is disfellowshipping and shunning what Jesus wants you to do Lana? Didnt he say to love our enemies? Go after the one stray sheep etc?
Please be honest with yourself. You sound like a thinker!
I had not read the new interpretation either.
I have little doubt that individual members of the WT&BTS are willing to treat anyone as their neighbor in the same context as the parable in Luke - and I know of some- but I have had both instruction and been on this forum long enough to detect a doctrinal problem on this matter. I remember the topics where brother and neighbor had to be explained, I have heard hundreds of anecdotes.
When instructors ( usually an elder and a brother or two) would come to my house to provide instruction, I remember their response to the earthquake in Haiti. It was merely another sign of how close we were to the End. Yes, but aren't you and the congregation going to participate in raising any aid? No answer and very uncomfortable. Later, when there was an earthquake in Japan of enormous intensity, I happened to locate a WatchTower service on line which like a continuously rolling scroll; it listed the status of all JWs in affected areas as fast as the KHs could report and operated for several days thereafter. A complete census, as it were, of believers. And along with the household pets, there was some mention of mixed marriage spouses.
I got the picture.
But it's heartening to know that the central offices have finally offered clarification on this matter.
Post script for the story in Luke; another reading. The man walks by seeing the injured man on the road and just assumes that the final cataclysm, the Apocalypse has already occurred.
As a jw what bothered me, were the self righteousness & time counting thoughts that occurred when helping a neighbor down the block or some poor woman who has fallen on the sidewalk.
Before I was mixed up in this cult, I wouldn't give it a second thought to help someone .......it just happened 'naturally'!
Mind control again!
Lana, I would love to hear your answer to Konceptual99, on page 3. And to hear you explain what it means when Jesus says to "love your neighbour".
Las a JW, I believed that when Jesus spoke about feeding the hungry, clothing the needy, providing refreshment for those who were thirsty, it meant all this is a "spiritual" fulfillment. Yet the man in the parable provided literal comfort and care.
If a JW practiced what the WT really means by acts of kindness and charity, he would be stepping over the injured man laying on the road, but carefully placing a tract or some literature beside him, before carrying on their way.
I volunteered at a soup kitchen. A 'zealous' JW told me, "It isn't food they want, they need the watchtower!"