As was predicted in this post, Jehovah’s Witnesses have recently amped up their demands that members shun any who have been ousted from the religion or who have left on their own, even family. In that column linked above, the question was whether or not this would outright include those who are inactive, or those who have simply faded from the religion. According to one individual who attended this year’s regional convention and who made a video of the discourse in question, Jehovah’s Witnesses are being taught to take into account anything questionable done by an inactive person, report their activity back to congregation elders, and to cut that person off until the elders take official action.
If you skip ahead about three minutes, you can hear the experience of a man who found out that his mother, inactive from the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, was doing something they consider sinful. He of course reported it to congregation elders and then, while waiting for them to act, decided to limit his association with his mother.
As is usual, the speaker twists scripture to justify their behavior and commands. Here he reads 1 Corinthians 5:11-13, where it says to stop keeping company with “anyone called a brother” who is immoral, greedy, and so on. However, if a person stops associating with the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, they’re not technically called a brother any longer, are they? As I’ve brought out in previous posts, this also completely negates any scriptural counsel to “honor your father and your mother,” and the scriptural counsel that says a person who does not provide for his household has disowned the faith. (1 Timothy 5:8)
It’s also interesting how Jehovah’s Witnesses outright say that, when it comes to accusation of child molestation, they will leave things “in Jehovah’s hands” if they don’t have two witnesses or a confession:
However, if an adult is supposedly doing something else considered sinful, even if they’re not an active member of a congregation, other congregants are to spy on them and report their behavior back to elders, and then cut that person off even without the matter being absolutely established.
To Jehovah’s Witnesses
If you’re an active Jehovah’s Witness, you might want to consider this information carefully, as I’ve brought out before. Are you ready to shun your family based on misinterpreted scripture and scripture that is also ignored? Do you feel it’s your duty to report to elders the business of those who aren’t even members of the congregation any longer, including your own parent?
This discourse uses the term “loyalty” many times over, equating the organization with god himself, saying that you need to cut off your own family to be loyal to god. Do you agree? How many times does the organization need to fail in their predictions before you realize they’re wrong in what they say and teach, and that they don’t have any special magic holy spirit from god? When will you be willing to do your own research on how they have called themselves prophets and, yes, they did predict the end in 1975 and also before the end of this century, thereby making them false prophets? When will you be willing to read the scripture that talks about not fearing the one who makes false prophecies, and that these are not from Jehovah? (Deuteronomy 18:22) If the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been proven to be false prophets, and your own bible says to not fear false prophets, whom are you going to obey, god or man?
While shunning and threats of shunning are a very effective way to keep people in a religion, cult, family, and the like, this information especially may very well backfire on Jehovah’s Witnesses, and in a big way. How so?
For one thing, this may not cause anyone to return to the religion, and may have more members question the religion’s control over them. If I were to sit and hear a talk about “cutting off” family, and an experience that included such an obscenely disrespectful child who decided to forsake his mother just because she made different choices than him, I wouldn’t think this would be a good, righteous, loving organization. Being shunned by family in the religion might make those former members, and people they know in their everyday life, also realize that the religion is not loving, it doesn’t build strong families, and it’s just hurtful and hateful all around. Why even think of going back to such a group?
Also, many former Jehovah’s Witnesses have left the religion through fading because they don’t want to lose contact with their family. These ones would gladly speak up and speak out against the religion, but they stay quiet because of being afraid of revealing their true identities and missing out on what family ties they are able to keep. If this threat were taken away by forcing the hands of their families, making them shun these ones simply because they’re inactive, there’s no need for them to be quiet any longer. I personally started using a fake name and have been hiding my real identity for many months because of this reason, but that ship sailed some time ago. I realized my family was cutting me off no matter how much I hid, so no more. I’ve stepped up my activism through various projects, and as soon as I can figure out how, I’ll be getting my butt on YouTube to take it even one step further. Not literally because my butt is gross and that would be illegal, but you get the point.
Like me, many other former Jehovah’s Witnesses may see no more reason to stay in the shadows and, rather than causing them to return to “the fold,” this stringent mandate might simply see them also becoming more visible and more vocal. This could be outright devastating for the Watchtower, or so I hope.
Many thanks, as usual, to the Facebook group “Resources for Exposing Watchtower and Jehovah’s Witnesses” for finding the images above.
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