Hello, I have just been reading some of your articles, particularly the one on disfellowshipping and was moved to write to you. If I may be so bold, I would like to share my story with you. I was born into a large extended witness family: uncles, aunts, grandparents, cousins, we were the "model" witness family you could say: - Dad was the Presiding Overseer, mum a regular pioneer. And I went along with it, why wouldn't I? That was where all of my friends where and I wouldn't have dared question it. When I was 19, I met my husband.
Sign up Sign in. Is it alright for a Disfellowshipped Jehovah's Witness to Date? Live your life on your terms and you'll find yourself in a happier place.
Hello there. I hore you are well. Hope that helps. The Fall Guy "Birds of a feather flock together.
If you can accept their opinions without them causing rifts between you - especially when children enter your lives - then go for it. Love this! Fairlane cofty. If you cant, then by all means waste the rest of your life in a cult. And welcome to the forum. If a baptized Witness teaches contrary to Witness doctrines, it is considered apostasy and grounds for disfellowshipping.
A letter to overseers-reproduced in a book by former Governing Body member Raymond Franz -directed that a member who "persists in believing other doctrine", even without promoting such beliefs, may also be subject to disfellowshipping. Evidence for actions that can result in congregational discipline is obtained by voluntary confession to the elders or by witnesses of the violation. A minimum of two witnesses is required to establish guilt, based on their understanding of Deuteronomy and Matthewunless the person confesses voluntarily.
A congregation's body of elders considers confessions or credible allegations of serious sin, and decides whether a judicial committee will be formed to address the matter. The committee arranges a formal judicial hearing to determine the circumstances of the sin, whether the accused is repentant, and whether disciplinary actions will be taken.
In certain situations, a body of elders may handle a situation involving "serious sin" by a baptized Witness without a judicial committee:.
A person accused of a serious sin is informed of the allegations and invited to attend a judicial committee meeting. The individual is permitted to bring witnesses who can speak in their defense; observers are not allowed,  and the hearing is held privately even if the accused individual requests that it be heard openly so all may witness the evidence.
The committee takes the role of prosecutor, judge and jury when handling its cases. If there is no admission of guilt, the individual is informed of the source of the charges and witnesses are presented one at a time to give evidence. Witnesses do not remain present for the entire hearing. Once all the evidence is presented, the accused and all witnesses are dismissed and the committee reviews the evidence and the attitude of the accused. The committee may determine that there was no "serious sin", or that mitigating circumstances absolve the accused individual.
The committee may then proceed with discipline such as is described for 'non-judicial' situations. The committee then decides whether discipline will involve formal reproof or disfellowshipping. Reproof involves actions for which a person could be disfellowshipped, and is said to be an effort to 'reach the heart' and convince a person of the need to hate the sanctioned actions   and repent.
If the conduct is known only to the individual and the judicial committee, reproof is given privately. If the sin is known by a small number, they would be invited by the elders, and reproof would be given before the sinner and those with knowledge of the sin. If the action is known generally by the entire congregation or the wider community, an announcement is made that the person "has been reproved".
In all cases of reproof, restrictions are imposed,  typically prohibiting the individual from sharing in meeting parts, commenting during meetings, and giving group prayers. A reproved Witness cannot enroll as a pioneer or auxiliary pioneer for at least one year after reproof is given. All members are expected to abide by the beliefs and moral standards of Jehovah's Witnesses. A person who believes that a serious error in judgment has been made may appeal the decision.
Requests for appeal must be made in writing and within seven days of the decision of the judicial committee. Shunning is also practiced when a member formally resigns membership or is deemed to indicate by their actions-such as accepting a blood transfusion or association with another religion or military organization -that they do not wish to be known as a Witness.
Such individuals are said to have disassociate  and are described by the Watch Tower Society as "lawless" in a spiritual sense. When a person is disfellowshipped or is deemed to have disassociated, an announcement is made at the next midweek meeting that the named individual "is no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses".
Congregation members are not informed whether a person is being shunned due to "disfellowshipping" or "disassociation", or on what grounds. Shunning starts immediately after the announcement is made.
Both are kept until at least five years after reinstatement. Failure to adhere to the directions on shunning is itself considered a serious offense. Members who continue to speak to or associate with a disfellowshipped or disassociated person are said to be sharing in their "wicked works" and may themselves be disfellowshipped. Disfellowshipped individuals may be reinstated into the congregation if they are considered repentant of their previous actions and attitude.
If a disassociated or disfellowshipped individual requests reinstatement, a judicial committee, the committee originally involved, if available seeks to determine whether the person has repented. Attending meetings while being shunned is a requirement for eventual reinstatement. Elders are instructed to make an attempt each year to remind disfellowshipped individuals of the steps they can take to qualify for reinstatement. Congregational restrictions are imposed on reinstated individuals.
Participation at religious meetings, including commenting from the audience, is initially not permitted; such "privileges" may be gradually permitted over time if the individual is considered to have "progressed spiritually". In Junethe United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the Witnesses' right to shun those who fail to live by the group's standards and doctrines, upholding the ruling of a lower court.
The court concluded that, "Shunning is a practice engaged in by Jehovah's Witnesses pursuant to their interpretation of canonical text, and we are not free to reinterpret that text.
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We find the practice of shunning not to constitute a sufficient threat to the peace, safety, or morality of the community as to warrant state intervention. Courts generally do not scrutinize closely the relationship among members or former members of a church. Churches are afforded great latitude when they impose discipline on members or former members. The members of the Church Paul decided to abandon have concluded that they no longer want to associate with her.
Jehovah's Witnesses: Dating, Marriage \u0026 Unbelievers
We hold that they are free to make that choice. Although we recognize that the harms suffered by Janice Paul are real and not insubstantial, permitting her to recover for intangible or emotional injuries would unconstitutionally restrict the Jehovah's Witnesses free exercise of religion. The constitutional guarantee of the free exercise of religion requires that society tolerate the type of harms suffered by Paul as a price well worth paying to safeguard the right of religious difference that all citizens enjoy.
In a review of the case, the Washington University Law Quarterly remarked, "The Ninth Circuit's extension of the free exercise clause to include a privilege against tort liability is incorrect.
Aug 16, it is said that a dfed is handed over to satan and left alone in his or her gross unrepentant conduct. however, you'll agree with me that not all dfeds are living that way. the truth is that some have actually repented and stopped their bad conducts but have fallen victim to the legalistic and procedural expediences of the wbts which makes it very difficult for some to come back in the Reviews:
First, by distinguishing emotional harms from physical harms, the court downplayed the significance of an emotional injury, which is often times as great as physical harm.
In most of the free exercise cases decided by the Supreme Court the government has acted against the religious group, either by imposing criminal sanctions for religious conduct or denying members some benefit because of their religious beliefs. In Paul, however, the religious group acted as the aggressor, violating the plaintiff's right to emotional well-being.
By granting defendants an absolute privilege against tort liability, the court has allowed the Church to use the shield of the first amendment as a sword. The Paul decision is an unfortunate expansion of a doctrine intended to protect individual rights.
To turn the doctrine on its head and use it as a means to thwart another person's rights is an ironic twist that would undoubtedly displease the drafters of the first amendment. At best, Paul can be viewed as a slight detour from the correct interpretation of the free exercise clause and the proper balancing of interests performed by the Supreme Court and numerous lower courts. On May 31,the Supreme Court of Canda issued a decision saying courts have no jurisdiction to review membership questions of a religious organization.
An unbaptized individual who has previously been approved to share in Jehovah's Witnesses' formal ministry, but who subsequently behaves in a manner considered inappropriate may lose privileges, such as commenting at meetings, receiving assignments, or even accompanying the congregation in the public ministry. If an unbaptized individual is deemed unrepentant of actions for which baptized members might be disfellowshipped, an announcement would be made that the person "is no longer a publisher of the good news.
The elders might privately warn individuals in the congregation if the unbaptized person is considered to pose "an unusual threat". The only way to officially leave Jehovah's Witnesses is to disassociate or be disfellowshipped, and both entail the same set of prohibitions and penalties, with no provision for continued normal association. Jehovah's Witnesses state that disfellowshipping is a scripturally documented method to protect the congregation from the influence of those who practice serious wrongdoing.
According to Raymond Franza letter dated September 1,from the Watch Tower Society to all circuit and district overseers advised that a member who "merely disagrees in thought with any of the Watch Tower Society's teachings is committing apostasy and is liable for disfellowshipping. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Jehovah's Witnesses and disfellowshipping. Beliefs Practices.
Salvation Eschatology. Hymns God's name. Blood Discipline. The Watchtower Awake!
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Kingdom Hall Gilead School. Conley C. Rutherford N. Franz M. William Miller Henry Grew. George Storrs N. John Nelson Darby. Raymond Franz Olin Moyle. Criticism Persecution. Rather than being done in private, in front of elders only, matters were held by Israelites at the city gates so a fair discussion with onlookers could be made, or in front of the Christian congregation.
This prevented the injustice that can take place before small closed bodies of elders.
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At MatthewJesus instructed that unresolved wrongdoing should be taken "to the congregation", not a select committee of congregation leaders. This is how misdemeanors were originally dealt with. As discussed above, the judicial committee arrangement was not inaugurated until by Knorr. When the person was disfellowshipped or publicly reproved the congregation was to know why. Paul openly told the congregation of the wrong conduct of Peter, Hymenaeus, Alexander and Diotrephes.
To avoid legal problems, the Society does not follow this Scriptural advice.
Apr 25, How to Get Disfellowshipped from Jehovah's Witnesses. There are many things to get you kicked out, or disfellowshipped from Jehovah's Witnesses. Here is a basic list of things. If you do them and aren't sorry and express sincere remorse, you will be counseled in a back room and voted on judicially by men in the congregation. Facts About Jehovah's Witnesses core scandal changes doctrine interesting quotes email When I was 19, I met my husband. I was young and so incredibly naive. Whilst I was dating my husband he hit me for the first time. I told my parents and they advised me to split up from him, which I did for about a week. Whilst I was disfellowshipped. When a person is disfellowshipped or is deemed to have disassociated, an announcement is made at the next midweek meeting that the named individual "is no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses". Congregation members are not informed whether a person is being shunned due to "disfellowshipping" or "disassociation", or on what grounds.
The extent of both the disfellowshipping and disassociating announcement is restricted to:. In the scriptures it makes no mention of a time limit over which the process must take place. It does indicate that quite some period of time may be involved.
To readjust a brother could take considerable time. If a person is addicted to certain practices or if they are having doubts about doctrine it could take months of effort to overcome these. Yet in many cases when a Jehovah's Witness confesses or another person reports their activities to the elders they are disfellowshipped within a few weeks. Furthermore, if the process is to readjust someone, it implies the person would not be disfellowshipped in the event the offender is readjusted and quits his ways, such as after taking blood or stopping an adulterous affair.
Yet the general practice in these cases is automatic disassociation or likely disfellowshipping. Shunning was to be used for readjustment or to protect the congregation. However it is regularly used as punishment. When a person confesses to a wrong practice committed and ceased many years ago they have often been disfellowshipped for a wrong attitude, which is clearly done for punishment. A review of Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 1 p.
Persons can be so traumatised by being disfellowshipped that many contemplate and carry out suicide.
It is common to suffer Post Traumatic Shock Disorder. The harsh stance of the Watchtower has a counter productive affect. Being Disfellowshipped has been the catalyst to cause many to doubt whether the Watchtower is the true religion. The trauma and effort involved in being reinstated that caused them to begin researching outside Watchtower publications and to come to the conclusion that the Watchtower it is not Gods chosen way. With many religions when a person no longer believes or is practicing sin they will tend to drift away from Church and associate with like minded individuals outside the congregation.
This is how it is with unbaptised Witness youths; they leave over time, generally in their teens. Most that do not follow Watchtower guidelines or that do not believe it is the Truth stop going to meetings. However disfellowshipping is a form of entrapment that forces baptised Witnesses, including myself to spend years going to meetings whilst not believing or adhering to Watchtower regulations.
This is done to avoid being disfellowshipped, in order to prevent being shunned by family. By encouraging people to stay and lead double lives disfellowshipping possibly results in more people being influenced than if the wrongdoers are encouraged to drift away. Since the word disfellowship does not appear in the Scriptures, the New World Translation Reference Bible "Bible words indexed" directs the reader to the term "expelled".
The closest Scriptural example the Watchtower can find for the term disfellowship is that of the Pharisees. The direction given in the Watchtower goes strongly against Christian examples when demanding members hate an apostate. Jesus and Paul both said we should not hate but rather love our enemies.
This was to apply even when someone is attacking our faith and practice. When discussing a person seduced by apostasy Paul said at 2 Thessalonians And yet do not be considering him as an enemy, but continue admonishing him as a brother. When discussing that for everlasting life it is necessary to love your neighbor as yourself, Jesus used the illustration of the Good Samaritan to explain who ones neighbour is.
Luke The Jews regarded the Samaritans as apostates of the Jewish religion, yet Jesus says our love is to encompass these people as well.
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At baptism a person commits themselves to the Watchtower Organization, despite the word organization never appearing in the Bible. Few realise that they have committed their bedroom lives, work choices and life long relationship with family and friends to the Organization. Terms such as ecclesiastical government of Jehovah's Witnesses are never used in the Watchtower publications that are issued to the public, but are terms used within confidential letters to branches and the elders.
Would as many people be baptised if they realised it was not only to Jehovah, Jesus and the Holy Spirit that they were being baptised but to an ecclesiastical government that had the right to introduce any rule at any time?
When a person is baptised, very few have even an inkling of the true history of the religion. No person that gets baptised has any idea of the full list of things that they could be disfellowshipped for as this list is unattainable, and many of the reasons are not clearly specified in the Bible. Most of the reasons are scattered through various Watchtower publications, but a newly interested one is rarely shown all of these. Neither do the Watchtower publications contain a full list of reasons for being disfellowshipped.
Even people involved in the organization for years are generally unaware of all the reasons. In regards to disfellowshipping, Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock states on page that elders should be sure to proceed "in harmony with the most recent statements by the Society.
Ina ated Elder's book - "Shepherd the Flock of God" - was released. Seven of its twelve chapters are devoted to disfellowshipping. A Letter to EldersOct 7, shows how secretive this book is, when it says women are not allowed to bind the book, even under supervision:. Even elders do not get to know the guidelines for all situations, as more difficult scenarios are discussed in letters specifically to the Bethel Branches.
Most people are baptised with no knowledge that these books and letters even exist, let alone know what is contained in them. How much information did Jesus provide the Apostles that he forbade sharing with anyone else?
A religion that disfellowships and shuns should be transparent with providing full access to information regarding these rules prior to a persons involvement, rather than hiding it even from long term members. It is particularly disturbing that the Watchtower encourages children raised as Jehovah's Witnesses to be baptised as minors.
Even a pre-teenage child can get baptised and for the remainder of their life be subject to the principle of being disfellowshipped. Baptism as a Jehovah's Witness is a binding verbal contract with the Watchtower Society and as such baptising minors is wrong both legally and scripturally.
Never is the baptism of a minor mentioned in the Bible. Jesus was not baptised until he was 30 and Jews felt a person became an adult at When Cornelius and his family were baptised it does not state that any non adults were baptised and there is no scriptural evidence of any children or teenagers ever being baptised.
A childs knowledge and ideas change dramatically between the teens and twenties, and for this reason the law protects the rights of minors.
A minor is usually not permitted by law to enter contracts, drink, vote, join the army or marry. When a person baptised as a minor chooses they no longer wish to be known as a Jehovah's Witness they are regularly disfellowshipped.
Once this happens that teenager may not associate freely with family or friends for the remainder of their life!
Even a person that is still a child they can be disfellowshipped. The New Testament never specifically extends shunning to immediate family members.
Rather Paul stated at 1 Timothy. The following 17 minute recording was taken by a girl attempting to be reinstated, and highlights the procedure well.
It starts slowly, but is quite heartbreaking at the end. You will probably agree with the girl's comment regarding the elders lack of heart. If your browser does not support this audio element, download as a MP3 8. In the parable of the prodigal son Jesus outlined the type of love the Father has for us and that we should show each other.
Luke The youngest child of a rich family spent years squandering his inheritance living a life involved in numerous contemptible sins. Jesus showed that despite this, on seeing his son return home the aged father ran to his child with open arms. He did not wait to question the sons current actions, did not attempt to determine his sons motives and repentance, nor give him a period of lower status as punishment. Nowhere in the Bible does it discuss a detailed process for reinstatement, nor give a timeframe in regards to how long before reinstatement can take place.
Paul simply stated that a person who is a wrongdoer should be avoided. When they are no longer practicing the wrongdoing there is no reason to keep shunning them. The Watchtower however requires a formal reinstatement process through the body of elders. The Watchtower specifies a period of time to pass, even though acknowledging the Christian example allows for shorter periods.
Though the scriptures give no legalistic approach to determine when a wrongdoer is to be associated with, the Watchtower Society has developed a formalistic procedure for determining if a person is worthy of having their disfellowshipped status removed. They must attend meetings regularly for several months whilst being shunned before an application for reinstatement will be considered.
After this they must be examined by the elders to determine if they have ceased the wrongdoing and have a repentant attitude. Once this is determined, a public announcement is made. Only after this procedure and announcement are family members and others within the congregation free to talk to that person.
Take the fairly common example of an engaged couple that commit fornication in the weeks prior to their wedding.
If discovered they may be disfellowshipped. Once married they are not immediately reinstated as time is made to pass before their request for reinstatement will be considered.
They then are forced to go through the formal process of being deemed repentant. Yet on the day of their marriage they are no longer fornicators as they are scripturally married.
There is no scriptural reason they should no longer be associated with. That they are not automatically and immediately reinstated indicates that the Witness practice is based on punishment. This punishment extends for some months after their reinstatement until the elders determine they are worthy to once more participate at meetings. Likewise, many are disfellowshipped as teenagers for drunkenness, smoking or immorality. Over the years they stop this behaviour, possibly marrying and having children.
Scriptural principles show that since they are no longer practicing wrongdoing and are not known in the community as a brother it is acceptable for them to be spoken to. On the other hand, Watchtower legislation dictates they must not be spoken to until they resume meeting attendance, apply for reinstatement, are approved and then had a public announcement made. For a high percentage of those raised as Jehovah's Witnesses there is no desire to return to the Watchtower Organization and so this process is never initiated, meaning their family relationship is damaged for the remainder of their lives.
Once reinstated more rules have been created to outline what activities they may participate in. Over time they will be allowed to resume field service, then answering at meetings, then giving talks.
It will be several years before they finally are in line for privileges such as pioneering or being considered a Ministerial Servant. The Bible writers gave no such rules. Sharing in the field service is restored when the individual is reinstated. Other privileges, such as commenting at meetings, handling parts on the program, and offering prayer at meetings, can be restored progressively when it is determined that the individual has progressed spiritually to the point that he is qualified and when it is judged by the elders that the extending of such privileges will not be offensive to the congregation.
Disfellowshipped people are tracked until they die, with records being kept by their congregation and the Branch Office, as outlined in a Elder's letter. Hundreds of thousands of Witnesses are currently disfellowshipped and estranged from their families and friends. This has a dramatic effect on a person, often at a time when they most need help from others.
Not all Jehovah's Witnesses strictly follow the Watchtower guidelines, but those that continue contact with disfellowshipped family or friends conceal such association for fear of being disfellowshipped themselves. Watchtower recognises that shunning a person is used to retaliate and manipulate. It highlighted this when discussing marriage partners that give each other the silent treatment. It is equally the case that disfellowshipping and shunning religious members is used as a form of punishment and control.
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Watchtower claims love is one of its distinguishing factors and that Jehovah's Witnesses are a loving brotherhood. One of Jesus' greatest commands was to show love to one's brother and to one's neighbour Luke The doctrine on disfellowshipping puts serious question marks over any claim of love that Jehovah's Witnesses attempt to make. Total alienation from this brotherhood and being cast into the world builds fear of removal. Comparison between Bible guidelines for association with former members and Watchtower policy on disfellowshipping and shunning shows the Organization has gone beyond the Scriptures as a means of control.