Can you prove that WT policy of shunning is unscriptual? Will soon be discussing with somebody, give me all your ammo!
Nice write up NeonMadman, I enjoyed reading that.
No matter what interpretation you may place on the witnesses favourite texts, that deal with shunning and disfellowshipping, you are still faced with the problem that, at least, some Jewish cults and the newer Christian cults punished 'sinners.' often by isolating them, and on occasion with violence.
The fallacy of the shunning policy is no different than isolation and ostracism. In a way it is worse than isolation, it is public shaming which imposes much more guilt and shame on the supposed wrongdoer.
I've always wondered how Jesus could be so forgiving, so loving, so comforting, although he did say some things that were questionably mean (pearls before swine) and yet, Jehovah allowed rape, killing of children, and Paul would be unloving by isolating people from their own families which equates to mental anguish and abuse.
Paul had his own agenda, the same as the GB.....
If you are talking about the disfellowshipping policy ,here is an interesting tidbit from the Bible. The only record of a so-called disfellowshipping is found in 1st Corinthians and it involves a man that committed fornication with his step mother. The only record of a so-called reinstatement is found in 2nd Corinthians and it involves the same man spoken of in 1st Corinthians. Both books were written in 55 C.E. and so the man was disfellowshipped for less than a year, possibly only a few months for the sin of fornication or adultery depending on your viewpoint. You will find very few examples in the modern day Jehovah's Witness religion of anyone disfellowshipped for sexual sins being reinstated in such a short period of time. If anything, Jehovah's Witnesses policy of disfellowshipping is unscriptual in its harshness.
You are going to face a common challenge, getting JWs, the worst, most hubris-filled bible students on the face of the Earth, to understand the context of any given passage of the Bible.
The JWs have been trained from spiritual infancy to pick and choose snippets ( very few if you take the time to notice ) of ancient texts to support their current "beliefs." I say, "beliefs", because they have no beliefs, save the latest "shelved idea" of TOMO and Co.
As for the shunning issue, the context is clear. If any individual claimed to be an Xian, but blatantly practiced "pagan" behavior, the that person must be treated as a pagan. They would need to "repent" to enjoy intimate association with other Xians. This begs the question, "How did XIANS treat non-XIANS?
Can we really answer that? In my opinion, this comes back around to "God" failing to write anything clearly. There's so much room for interpretation that it's just ridiculous.
I would try to reason on why the WTBTS encourages shunning. Is it for unrepentant, serious "sin"? ( I'm using Bible-speak ) Or, is it for disagreement with human ideas, as shown by the Walsh Trials? It's pretty clear that the current WTBTS practice of extreme shunning is not loving.
Thanks, some great stuff so far!
Here’s some arguments you might encounter:
Human society has always shunned people that do not conform to the rules. If you commit a crime, you may be punished by being sent to jail and excluded from society until you 'repent' by changing your attitude. Who determines these rules? In many lands, adultery and homosexuality are still punishable by death or jail. It is up to each group of people to decide the rules and the consequences for breaking them.
However, Paul did not disfellowship those that criticized him, i.e., the so-called “superfine apostles.” Read 2 Cor. 13:10 to see what he had in mind. Interestingly, Paul asked whether some of them had started ruling prematurely (cf. 1 Cor. 4:8)? Secondly, the GB claims to be “the faithful and discreet slave.” Would “judgment” be part of the commission of “the faithful and discreet slave”? By the way, is God not the ultimate judge, and did he not defer judgement to the Son (Acts 17:31)?
Here’s a list the scriptures the GB of JWs apply to judge, condemn and disfellowship individuals. Judge for yourself whether these are applied correctly.
15 Moreover, if your brother commits a sin, go lay bare his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two more, in order that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every matter may be established.
17 If he does not listen to them, speak to the congregation. If he does not listen even to the congregation, let him be to you just as a man of the nations and as a tax collector. (Mat 18:15-17 NWT)
Comment: Jesus instructed his disciples to treat an unrepentant wrongdoer “as a man of the nations.” Would they have greeted a man of the nations? Surely it would be good manners to greet such a person (not with a Christian kiss though – Rom. 16:16; etc.).
9 In my letter I wrote YOU to quit mixing in company with fornicators,
10 not [meaning] entirely with the fornicators of this world or the greedy persons and extortioners or idolaters. Otherwise, YOU would actually have to get out of the world.
11 But now I am writing YOU to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man.
(1 Cor 5:9-11 NWT)
Comment: Naturally one would avoid such people, not socializing with them.
7 For many deceivers have gone forth into the world, persons not confessing Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.
8 Look out for yourselves, that YOU do not lose the things we have worked to produce, but that YOU may obtain a full reward.
9 Everyone that pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God. He that does remain in this teaching is the one that has both the Father and the Son.
10 If anyone comes to YOU and does not bring this teaching, never receive him into YOUR homes or say a greeting to him.
11 For he that says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works. (2 John 1:7-11 NWT)
2Jo 1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house and do not give him any greeting
32 sn Do not give him any greeting does not mean to insult the person. It means "do not greet the person as a fellow Christian" (which is impossible anyway since the opponents are not genuine believers in the author's opinion). See NET Bible footnote.
Christian greeting: Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:12; 1 Thes. 5:26; 1 Pet. 5:14.
Comment: Above scriptures apply to the antichrist. Very few qualify as such.
9 I wrote something to the congregation, but Diotrephes, who likes to have the first place among them, does not receive anything from us with respect.
10 That is why, if I come, I will call to remembrance his works which he goes on doing, chattering about us with wicked words. Also, not being content with these things, neither does he himself receive the brothers with respect, and those who are wanting to receive them he tries to hinder and to throw out of the congregation.
11 Beloved one, be an imitator, not of what is bad, but of what is good. He that does good originates with God. He that does bad has not seen God.
12 Demetrius has had witness borne to him by them all and by the truth itself. In fact, we, also, are bearing witness, and you know that the witness we give is true.
(3 John 1:9-12 NWT)
16 But shun empty speeches that violate what is holy; for they will advance to more and more ungodliness,
17 and their word will spread like gangrene. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of that number.
18 These very [men] have deviated from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already occurred; and they are subverting the faith of some.
(2Ti 2:16-18 NWT)
It was said on another thread that the comment about not receiving someone into your home was probably about house church and study groups . So anyone not preaching about Christ's death and resurrection was not to be included in religious gatherings .
I think that much of this goes back to not understanding the culture of the day . Paul gets blamed for a lot but if the time is taken to put his words into the context of the way society worked back then a different picture would probably emerge .
To treat people like tax collectors , well Jesus ate and drank with them , but if they did not recognise Him as Messiah then not much point in them being in the church .
No one was advocating the awful treatment that the WT encourages .