Will Watchtower target the inactive?

by ToesUp 34 Replies latest jw friends

  • honest

    Yes and they are getting more active about it. Last year they actively encouraged to report inactive ones for " sinning"

  • Island Man
    Island Man

    Yes, I think it's possible that they will target inactive ones. But they won't use the word disfellowship. They will want to make it seem like it's all the doing of the inactive one. They will more likely say that such ones have disassociated themselves by virtue of their extended, willful inactivity. Maybe they'll institute a new policy that says an inactive one disassociates himself if he remains inactive for more than x years.

    This will serve to plug the hole to leaving through fading. And they can say that they don't punish anyone for being inactive, nor do they force anyone to continue attending meetings and field service, but that they respect person's' right to choose to be inactive or to choose to disassociate by extended inactivity.

    I think they will use it as a tactic to force fading JWs into returning. When the faded JW's time is coming close to the period where he will be classified as disassociated, the elders will call him and inform him that his non-attendance means his disassociation from the organization - along with all the negative implications - is imminent. They will ask him if this is what he wants or if he wants their help to be reactivated so that he can continue to have association with his JW family.

  • blondie

    Some comments by the WTS about inactive jws and people raised in jw families but never baptized

    w14 12/15 pp. 11-15 Do You “Grasp the Meaning”?

    10 Why did Jesus tell this illustration? The symbolic separating of fish does not refer to the final judgment during the great tribulation. Rather, it highlights what would happen during the last days of this wicked system. Jesus showed that not all those attracted to the truth will take a stand for Jehovah. Many have associated with us at our meetings. Others have been willing to study the Bible with us but are not willing to make a commitment. (1 Ki. 18:21) Still others are no longer associating with the Christian congregation. Some youths have been raised by Christian parents and yet have not developed a love for Jehovah’s standards. No matter what the situation, Jesus emphasized that everyone needs to make a personal decision. Those who do are viewed by him as “the precious,” or “desirable,” things “of all the nations.”—Hag. 2:7; ftn.

    11, 12. (a) How can we benefit from the illustration of the dragnet? (b) What does this teach us about Jehovah and Jesus?

    11 How can we benefit from the illustration of the dragnet? Understanding the lesson of this illustration helps us to avoid being overly distraught or disappointed if a Bible student or one of our children does not make the truth his own. This may happen despite all our best efforts. Agreeing to have a Bible study or being raised around the truth does not automatically mean that a person will develop a strong personal relationship with Jehovah. Those unwilling to submit to Jehovah’s rulership will eventually be separated from God’s people.

    12 Does this mean that those who have left the truth will never be allowed to return to the congregation? Or if someone fails to dedicate his life to Jehovah, will he be forever classified as someone “unsuitable”? No. There is still a window of opportunity for such ones before the outbreak of the great tribulation. It is as if Jehovah calls out to them: “Return to me, and I will return to you.” (Mal. 3:7) This fact is emphasized by another illustration given by Jesus, that of the prodigal son.—Read Luke 15:11-32.


    13. What is the meaning of the illustration of the prodigal son?

    13 What is the meaning of Jesus’ illustration of the prodigal son? The compassionate father in this illustration pictures our loving heavenly Father, Jehovah. The son who asks for his inheritance and then squanders it represents those who have strayed from the congregation. By leaving, it is as if they travel to “a distant country,” Satan’s world, which is alienated from Jehovah. (Eph. 4:18; Col. 1:21) Some later come to their senses, however, and make the challenging journey back to Jehovah’s organization. These humble, repentant ones are eagerly welcomed back by our forgiving Father.—Isa. 44:22; 1 Pet. 2:25.

    14. Why did Jesus tell the illustration of the prodigal son?

    14 Why did Jesus tell this illustration? In a very appealing way, Jesus illustrated that Jehovah wants straying ones to return to Him. The father in the illustration never stopped hoping that his son would return. When he caught sight of his son returning, even though “he was still a long way off,” the father acted quickly to welcome him back. What a strong incentive for those who have left the truth to return to Jehovah without delay! They may be spiritually exhausted, and the way back may seem to be embarrassing and difficult. But it is worth the effort—even the heavens will rejoice when they return.—Luke 15:7.

    15, 16. (a) What lessons do we learn from Jesus’ illustration of the prodigal son? Give some examples. (b) What does this teach us about Jehovah and Jesus?

    15 How can we benefit from the illustration of the prodigal son? We should imitate Jehovah’s example. Never would we want to be so “overly righteous” that we refuse to welcome repentant sinners back. This would result only in spiritual “ruin.” (Eccl. 7:16) We can learn another lesson from this. Someone who leaves the congregation should be viewed as “a lost sheep,” not a lost cause. (Ps. 119:176) If we meet a person who has strayed from the congregation, will we offer loving and practical help to assist him to return? Will we promptly inform the elders so that they can offer appropriate help? We will if we wisely apply the lesson we learn from Jesus’ illustration of the prodigal son.

    • w13 11/15 pp. 10-14 How Can We Maintain “a Waiting Attitude”?


      15. Why has Jehovah not acted hastily?

      15 Despite the reproach people heap on his name, Jehovah has waited patiently for the right time to act. Jehovah does not want any honesthearted people to be destroyed. (2 Pet. 3:9, 10) Do we feel the same way? Before Jehovah’s day comes, we can express our appreciation for his patience in the following ways.

      16, 17. (a) Why should we want to help those who have become inactive? (b) Why is it urgent that inactive ones return to Jehovah?

      16 Help those who have become inactive. Jesus said that there is joy in heaven when just one lost sheep is found. (Matt. 18:14; Luke 15:3-7) Obviously, Jehovah cares deeply about all those who have expressed love for his name, even if they are not actively serving him at present. When we help such ones return to the congregation, we contribute to making Jehovah and the angels rejoice.

      17 Are you among those who are not now actively serving God? Perhaps someone in the congregation hurt you and as a result you stopped associating with Jehovah’s organization. Since some time may have passed, ask yourself: ‘Is my life now more meaningful, and am I happier? Was it Jehovah who offended me, or was it an imperfect human? Has Jehovah God ever done anything to harm me?’ Really, he has always done good toward us. Even if we are not living up to our dedication to him, he allows us to enjoy the good things he provides. (Jas. 1:16, 17) Soon, Jehovah’s day will come. Now is the time to return to our heavenly Father’s loving arms and to the congregation—the only safe haven in these last days.—Deut. 33:27; Heb. 10:24, 25.

      *** w08 11/15 p. 16 par. 17 Help Them Return Without Delay! ***

      Why did the brother become inactive? He admits: “I started giving more attention to worldly matters than to spiritual things. Then I stopped studying, engaging in the ministry, and attending meetings. The next thing I knew, I was no longer a part of the Christian congregation

      *** w08 11/15 p. 8 par. 2 Help Those Who Stray From the Flock ***

      Sadly, some who seemed to appreciate Jesus’ sacrifice and made a dedication to God no longer associate with the Christian congregation. Discouragement, health problems, or other factors may have weakened their zeal and caused them to become inactive. However, only as part of God’s flock can they enjoy the serenity and happiness that David spoke of in the 23rd Psalm.

      *** w05 4/15 p. 20 par. 22 Let God’s Word Light Your Roadway ***

      The psalmist wanted to keep living and praising Jehovah, but in some undisclosed way, he had ‘wandered like a lost sheep.’ (Psalm 119:175, 176) Some who have wandered away from the Christian congregation may still love God and may want to praise him. Let us therefore do all we can to help them so that they may again find spiritual security and experience the joy of praising Jehovah with his people.—Hebrews 13:15; 1 Peter 5:6, 7.

      *** w05 12/15 p. 27 par. 12 Now Is the Time for Decisive Action ***

      Sadly, some baptized Christians have become irregular or inactive in their worship. (Hebrews 10:23-25; 13:15, 16) Some have lost their zeal because of fear of persecution, the anxieties of making a living, efforts to get rich, or the pursuit of selfish pleasures. Jesus warned that these very things would stumble, choke, and ensnare some of his followers. (Matthew 10:28-33; 13:20-22; Luke 12:22-31; 21:34-36) Instead of ‘limping on two opinions,’ as it were, such ones should “be zealous and repent” by taking decisive action to carry out their dedication to God.—Revelation 3:15-19.

      *** w93 7/15 p. 27 Tenderly Shepherding Jehovah’s Precious Sheep ***

      Inactivity in the ministry or in attending Christian meetings does not mean that the sheep is no longer part of the flock. He remains part of “all the flock” for whom the elders must “render an account” to Jehovah.

      *** w82 4/15 pp. 23-24 par. 10 Enduring Joyfully Despite Persecution ***

      Hence, when our activity is banned, it is generally our preaching and our meetings that are prohibited. “You can be Jehovah’s Witnesses,” we are often told, “but you may not preach or hold any meetings.” Yet if we did not preach or hold meetings, we would not be witnesses of Jehovah God or Christ Jesus, since a witness who does not say anything is really not a witness at all. (Isaiah 43:10, 12; Acts 1:8)

      *** km 9/82 p. 3 par. 1 Are You Having a Share in Assisting Inactive Ones? ***

      “Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost.” (Luke 15:6) This feeling of rejoicing is being experienced by many brothers and sisters in congregations where inactive ones are returning to the flock.

      *** km 2/82 p. 7 par. 4 Can They Be Helped? ***

      For example, a sister who had been away many years felt that Jehovah and the congregation no longer cared for her. A sister called on this ‘lost sheep’ and read selected paragraphs to her from The Watchtower. Learning that Jehovah did still care, the inactive sister began to weep. She had stopped associating due to many family problems and discouragement, wrongly assuming she had been disfellowshipped because of her long absence.

      *** w68 2/15 p. 118 par. 10 Working What Is Good Toward Those in the Faith ***

      A sister, inactive for three years, related to the overseer that ‘it is going to be difficult to come back into the truth. I have been away so long. How can I even think of going out in the service or to the meetings?’ She had been caring for her critically ill mother for so long until her death that she, herself, had become spiritually weak and inactive. She was encouraged to feel that she had never really been out of the truth but fulfilling a feature of her ministry so vital to good Christian conduct and love, and that Jehovah had not forgotten her works of love. She was told that brothers in prison could not share in meetings or field service but they weren’t out of the truth. This view of matters helped her tremendously. She is now regular in service and attends meetings. Other enjoyable experiences such as this encourage us to continue showing kindness to our brothers.”

      *** w55 1/1 p. 14 par. 14 Holding Fast the Public Declaration of Our Hope ***

      Under that wholesome counsel by Paul it is very necessary for each one of us to look after himself. It is not just a matter of saying, ‘I am one of Jehovah’s witnesses,’ or one’s coming to a meeting and there sitting quietly. It really is a matter of inspecting yourself, testing or proving yourself by answering questions in public, voluntarily or when called upon. How can anyone say he is one of Jehovah’s witnesses if he does not attend and participate in the meetings of true worshipers of Jehovah? (John 4:23) How can he say, even to himself, that he believes the truth of God’s Word if he never expresses that truth to his brothers? One might be born a Catholic and be baptized into that religious cult when he is but a few days old and be called a Catholic for the rest of his life. Or he may be born of Protestant parents or Moslem parents or Jewish parents, and the name of his parents’ religion will go with him the rest of his life unless he personally decides to progress. But as for Jehovah’s witnesses, each must make a decision for himself. It is not for any parent to decide for his child to make a dedication to Jehovah God through Jesus Christ. Each must personally prove that he is one of Jehovah’s witnesses through public expression of his faith and hope in Jehovah’s new world before the congregation of Jehovah’s people. It is your active belief that will incite others to greater activity; therefore the knowledge you have gained should be expressed aloud before the congregation for the benefit of all.—1 John 4:17, NW.

      *** w56 4/15 p. 246 par. 22 Activity and Life versus Inactivity and Death ***

      Inactivity means we are as good as dead. Quit training and quit the race and we are dead in God’s sight. Do not be dead in the sin of inactivity. Be active now and live tomorrow, brothers!

      *** w57 2/15 p. 114 par. 4 How Jehovah’s Witnesses View Their Ministry ***

      Being one of Jehovah’s witnesses means more than saying, ‘I am one of Jehovah’s witnesses.’ Are you witnessing? Regularly? All physically able have the responsibility to preach publicly and from house to house, as did Jesus, and in addition take advantage of all opportunities to witness to friends, neighbors, etc., while the physically infirm are privileged to witness to visitors, write letters, make telephone calls, and in other ways share in giving the mighty witness. Without exception each witness of Jehovah is aware of his obligations in this regard, as set out in Ezekiel 3:17-21. If one does not witness, he is not one of Jehovah’s witnesses. To call ourselves witnesses of Jehovah and then to refrain from witnessing, which is ministering, would be taking Jehovah’s name in a vain or worthless way. Never may that happen, and it will not so long as a proper view of the ministry is maintained.

      *** w58 12/15 pp. 757-758 par. 28 The Crucial Time for Staying Awake ***

      So the rendering of the unfaithful ministerial guard naked is a punishment for his failure. To sheeplike men and to angels it shows that he has not been active in Jehovah’s service and has not been fulfilling his Christian commission and his obligations under that commission. He has not been fulfilling the purpose of being a Christian, that of being one of Jehovah’s witnesses and ministers. Only in name has he been a Christian, having a mere form of godly devotion but really proving false to its power. (2 Tim. 3:5) He is unfaithful, lazy, loving ease, careless, not taking his duties seriously in a theocratic spirit. He does not prize the things of Jehovah God and try to preserve them and keep them clean. He is not watching out for the increase of the earthly interests of God’s kingdom or for preserving and expanding the spiritual paradise of Jehovah’s faithful witnesses on earth.

      *** w59 12/1 p. 722 par. 8 “Prove Yourselves My Disciples” ***

      All who are counted as Jehovah’s witnesses are active preachers of the good news meeting the Biblical standard of morals, since an inactive Christian or one not meeting the standard is not a Christian at all. He is not a witness for Jehovah. Of course, the same Biblical standard must be met in every country of the world.

  • LongHairGal
    TOES UP:

    I am inclined to think No, but it depends. If the "inactive" person is somebody they can get things out of or exploit materially then maybe. These users probably know they'd never get anything from me.

    Another poster mentioned they may be afraid of people who have been out a long time since they might sue, etc. I also think they might be afraid of current Witnesses getting an earful from somebody out many years who knows the ugly truth about everything. The religion might suspect that this could "stumble" some active Witnesses who might be borderline.

    If they look me up they are going to hear things they won't like!

  • ToesUp

    Thank you all for your input on this. We truly appreciate it.

    Thank you Blondie!

  • lancegalahadx

    Seeing as I had nothing to lose socially, I don't care. Like I said on other forums, I moved my card to another cong, went to one mid-week meeting for 30 minutes, realized I couldn't stand it anymore, and quit cold turkey. Got a call from an elder after 7 MONTHS. Was pretty generic. The CO probably told him to reach out to me.

    I hope the info about not bugging DF DA or inactive ones is true. This way I won't have to listen to any BS. Also, even before I quit and was active, I would have JWs see me out in public and just outright look at me as if I wasn't there. The people in this org are weird indeed.

  • What Now?
    What Now?

    I don't think so. Nothing impresses Jehovah's Witnesses like "good numbers", and a rapid drop in membership from mass disfellowshipping wouldn't look good.

  • vienne

    What N,

    They do not count inactive in their yearbook reports, only total number of evangelists reporting time in the ministry and number attending the memorial.

    I would hesitate to predict what they will do. Officially, elders are supposed to reach out to the inactive. In practice a significant number of elders are just as happy the inactive are gone.

  • slimboyfat

    This happened already, no? In the convention or WT where it said no to associate with inactive people if their "lifestyle was objectionable", or something like that. Some JWs and elders interpreted that pretty broadly as an excuse to label all inactive JWs bad association and avoid them. As so often, because the instruction was vague, there was room for liberal or conservative interpretations.

  • sparrowdown

    Vienne - the numbers of hours is reported amd counted just like meeting attendance.

    Inactive = less overall hours reported, less meeting attendance figures, less RVs.

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