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How Common is Shunning?

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Is Shunning a Violation of Human Rights?
There is a quote routinely parroted by apostates accusing our organization of "violating" human rights when former members are shunned. Here is the quote they use from Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance." - Emphasis Ours.
Basically, they claim that somehow shunning violates their freedom of conscience, thought, and religion. Let us briefly examine why shunning in the way Jehovah's Witnesses practice it does not violate human rights, or Article 18.

Understanding Article 18
To understand if shunning is a violation of Article 18, ask yourself these questions if your association with Jehovah's Witnesses has ended:
"How is shunning preventing me from exercising my freedom of thought and conscience?" 
"How is shunning preventing me from joining another religion?" 
"How is shunning preventing me from expressing or manifesting my beliefs, religious or otherwise, in public or in private"? 
Answering these questions honestly should lead you to the proper conclusion.
Diversionary Propaganda
The only time shunning runs afoul of human rights is when a group uses it to have an effect outside of its own membership. For example, if a group uses it to inflict financial harm or harassment through isolation, calling their employer, blacklisting them with businesses, spreading false rumors, threatening lawsuits or calling the police on them with anonymous phone calls, then it can conflict with human rights. However, former Witnesses have the same freedoms and powers as non-members of civil society. They can join another religion, freely express their opposing views with the public at large, and retain or acquire employment. In fact, once they leave, we have no interest in or concern with them whatsoever. (Heb 6:4-6)

Another factor to consider is that if a person makes it officially known verbally or in writing that he or she no longer wants to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses, they are shunning us, rather than us shunning them. We are obligated to honor this official declaration. Since we did not initiate such action, we cannot be accused of violating their human rights. 

But opposers never present that side. Instead, they focus on the possible effects of shunning in an attempt to distract you from the facts and manipulate how others perceive us. They use emotive, non-neutral language such as: "it breaks up families", "separates children from parents", and "causes emotional torture". While that may happen on the rare, extreme end, those are unintended consequences. How does shunning one member break up an entire family? It does not unless that member is permitted to poison other members against each other. 

Thus if they stick to shunning, it actually prevents family break-ups, as only an apostate's divisiveness and disregard of the shunning arrangement can cause friction in a family. How does it separate children from parents? Former members try to make it look like we kick under-aged children out of our homes, but that is a lie. Since the 1950's, we have made it clear that parents must take care of their children until they are adults by the law of the land, regardless of shunning. (De 6:6, 7; Pr 19:18; 22:6 ;Eph 6:4) Thus only adults are shunned by their parents. Inversely, children of disfellowshipped parents are expected to remain in subjection to their parents until they come of legal age to leave, so long as they are not asked to violate God's word or endanger their lives or their salvation. (Acts 5;29; Col 3:20)

How does it cause emotional torture? It does not. "Torture" implies intent. The only intent to torture emotionally is by the shunned individual when they keep trying to contact their families, knowing the pain they are causing, not only to their families. but to themselves. If they left their families alone, there would be no torture.

Our beliefs and practices are shared with all members before they join. And just because one finds an experience traumatic, that is not necessarily a violation of human rights. For example, to some people, being kicked off a sports team is traumatic, but that does not mean their human rights have been violated. The team's coach has a right to choose who gets to be part of the team.

If you breach company policy and are fired from your job as a result, and you are no longer allowed onto the property, is that a violation of your human rights? Are you somehow being tortured? Just because it is painful does not make it torture.

A person can file a restraining order against a family member, does that mean the person is torturing the family member? Of course not. Just think about why the person needed to file the restraining order in the first place. It is because the family member was either physically dangerous or was harrassing them. We shun in order to keep ones from posing a spiritual danger and because those who leave often try to harass those who stay. It takes only a single internet search to verify this in the thousands of pages posted by our apostates.

The Courts Have Spoken
Though there is no clear violation of human rights, this did not stop Janice Paul from trying to sue us in the United States over the issue of shunning. In 1987, the US Court of Appeals for the 9th District upheld the Witnesses right to shun those who fail to live by the organization's standards and doctrines, upholding the ruling of the lower court. The court concluded:
 "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. . . . 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. . . . the defendants are entitled to the free exercise of their religious beliefs. . . 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" - Emphasis Ours.
We do not take the difficulties related to shunning lightly, and that is why we offer Witnesses who may be thinking of leaving, or those who break Bible principles, every opportunity to remain in the fold and offer them assistance in dealing with whatever issue they have. But at the end of the day, it is up to them to accept it.

As to the general accusation that Witnesses "break up families", the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) stated:
. . . that non-Witness family members often cause conflict by refusing “to accept and to respect their religious relative’s freedom to manifest and practise his or her religion.” - Emphasis ours.
Shunning is a free practice of our religious beliefs as well. As the ECHR stated, it is not so much about the belief itself, its more about respecting our rights to practice them, whether you agree with them or not.

Accept the Consequences
What this really amounts to is the disfellowshipped person's refusal to accept the consequences of their actions. Since they cannot openly dissent against the leadership and live their lives apart from Bible principles while maintaining active membership, they claim that removing them to protect the congregation from their influence is violating their conscience and freedom. However, before becoming a Witness, they agreed to live by the tenets of our beliefs and they agreed to accept the consequences of not doing so. We have the right to decide who can or cannot remain members. Neither the public at large nor former members have the right to tell us who can be members or whether we must communicate with them. That is our choice, not theirs.

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Hehe, Violations of Human Rights is when WT JWorg and their representatives forbid  JW members to exercise their Personal Human Rights and talk, or make social contacts on all levels or to sit and eat and drink if wish, or even say simple "hello" on the street to ex-member. This WT command are with the threat of excommunication, disfellowshiping. If that not be with such extreme consequences many JW members will communicate with ex members. And many of them doing that. I am ex member of JW church and on my glad surprise more JW members find that is all right to speak with me. They "disobey"  WT interpretation on canonic text  but obey their god given Natural conscience instead Artificial "bible learned conscience" that is imposed and runned by WT Corporation.

And as Court say, "their interpretation of canonical text, and we are not free to reinterpret that text. . . ."

Perhaps Court (because of wisdom, ahaha) do not want to involve themselves in endless reasoning about what some bible text mean and how is to be understand. But all other people who want to tell something are Free to tell and comment. :) 

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On 2017-10-06 at 3:59 PM, Kurt said:

Is Shunning a Violation of Human Rights?
There is a quote routinely parroted by apostates accusing our organization of "violating" human rights when former members are shunned. Here is the quote they use from Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance." - Emphasis Ours.
Basically, they claim that somehow shunning violates their freedom of conscience, thought, and religion. Let us briefly examine why shunning in the way Jehovah's Witnesses practice it does not violate human rights, or Article 18.

Understanding Article 18
To understand if shunning is a violation of Article 18, ask yourself these questions if your association with Jehovah's Witnesses has ended:
"How is shunning preventing me from exercising my freedom of thought and conscience?" 
"How is shunning preventing me from joining another religion?" 
"How is shunning preventing me from expressing or manifesting my beliefs, religious or otherwise, in public or in private"? 
Answering these questions honestly should lead you to the proper conclusion.
Diversionary Propaganda
The only time shunning runs afoul of human rights is when a group uses it to have an effect outside of its own membership. For example, if a group uses it to inflict financial harm or harassment through isolation, calling their employer, blacklisting them with businesses, spreading false rumors, threatening lawsuits or calling the police on them with anonymous phone calls, then it can conflict with human rights. However, former Witnesses have the same freedoms and powers as non-members of civil society. They can join another religion, freely express their opposing views with the public at large, and retain or acquire employment. In fact, once they leave, we have no interest in or concern with them whatsoever. (Heb 6:4-6)

Another factor to consider is that if a person makes it officially known verbally or in writing that he or she no longer wants to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses, they are shunning us, rather than us shunning them. We are obligated to honor this official declaration. Since we did not initiate such action, we cannot be accused of violating their human rights. 

But opposers never present that side. Instead, they focus on the possible effects of shunning in an attempt to distract you from the facts and manipulate how others perceive us. They use emotive, non-neutral language such as: "it breaks up families", "separates children from parents", and "causes emotional torture". While that may happen on the rare, extreme end, those are unintended consequences. How does shunning one member break up an entire family? It does not unless that member is permitted to poison other members against each other. 

Thus if they stick to shunning, it actually prevents family break-ups, as only an apostate's divisiveness and disregard of the shunning arrangement can cause friction in a family. How does it separate children from parents? Former members try to make it look like we kick under-aged children out of our homes, but that is a lie. Since the 1950's, we have made it clear that parents must take care of their children until they are adults by the law of the land, regardless of shunning. (De 6:6, 7; Pr 19:18; 22:6 ;Eph 6:4) Thus only adults are shunned by their parents. Inversely, children of disfellowshipped parents are expected to remain in subjection to their parents until they come of legal age to leave, so long as they are not asked to violate God's word or endanger their lives or their salvation. (Acts 5;29; Col 3:20)

How does it cause emotional torture? It does not. "Torture" implies intent. The only intent to torture emotionally is by the shunned individual when they keep trying to contact their families, knowing the pain they are causing, not only to their families. but to themselves. If they left their families alone, there would be no torture.

Our beliefs and practices are shared with all members before they join. And just because one finds an experience traumatic, that is not necessarily a violation of human rights. For example, to some people, being kicked off a sports team is traumatic, but that does not mean their human rights have been violated. The team's coach has a right to choose who gets to be part of the team.

If you breach company policy and are fired from your job as a result, and you are no longer allowed onto the property, is that a violation of your human rights? Are you somehow being tortured? Just because it is painful does not make it torture.

A person can file a restraining order against a family member, does that mean the person is torturing the family member? Of course not. Just think about why the person needed to file the restraining order in the first place. It is because the family member was either physically dangerous or was harrassing them. We shun in order to keep ones from posing a spiritual danger and because those who leave often try to harass those who stay. It takes only a single internet search to verify this in the thousands of pages posted by our apostates.

The Courts Have Spoken
Though there is no clear violation of human rights, this did not stop Janice Paul from trying to sue us in the United States over the issue of shunning. In 1987, the US Court of Appeals for the 9th District upheld the Witnesses right to shun those who fail to live by the organization's standards and doctrines, upholding the ruling of the lower court. The court concluded:
 "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. . . . 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. . . . the defendants are entitled to the free exercise of their religious beliefs. . . 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" - Emphasis Ours.
We do not take the difficulties related to shunning lightly, and that is why we offer Witnesses who may be thinking of leaving, or those who break Bible principles, every opportunity to remain in the fold and offer them assistance in dealing with whatever issue they have. But at the end of the day, it is up to them to accept it.

As to the general accusation that Witnesses "break up families", the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) stated:
. . . that non-Witness family members often cause conflict by refusing “to accept and to respect their religious relative’s freedom to manifest and practise his or her religion.” - Emphasis ours.
Shunning is a free practice of our religious beliefs as well. As the ECHR stated, it is not so much about the belief itself, its more about respecting our rights to practice them, whether you agree with them or not.

Accept the Consequences
What this really amounts to is the disfellowshipped person's refusal to accept the consequences of their actions. Since they cannot openly dissent against the leadership and live their lives apart from Bible principles while maintaining active membership, they claim that removing them to protect the congregation from their influence is violating their conscience and freedom. However, before becoming a Witness, they agreed to live by the tenets of our beliefs and they agreed to accept the consequences of not doing so. We have the right to decide who can or cannot remain members. Neither the public at large nor former members have the right to tell us who can be members or whether we must communicate with them. That is our choice, not theirs.

Anderson v. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., et al.

 

 

 

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On 10/6/2017 at 9:59 AM, Kurt said:

To understand if shunning is a violation of Article 18, ask yourself these questions if your association with Jehovah's Witnesses has ended:
"How is shunning preventing me from exercising my freedom of thought and conscience?" 
"How is shunning preventing me from joining another religion?" 
"How is shunning preventing me from expressing or manifesting my beliefs, religious or otherwise, in public or in private"? 

Of course it doesn't apply to the one whose association has ended. They can do what they like obviously since they are no longer bound by the rules of the congregation.

But rephrase it to say "....ask yourself these questions if you are an active member of Jehovah's Witnesses" and see whether the prospect of shunning has an impact on your answers.

 

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1 hour ago, Kurt said:

Accept the Consequences
What this really amounts to is the disfellowshipped person's refusal to accept the consequences of their actions. Since they cannot openly dissent against the leadership and live their lives apart from Bible principles while maintaining active membership, they claim that removing them to protect the congregation from their influence is violating their conscience and freedom. However, before becoming a Witness, they agreed to live by the tenets of our beliefs and they agreed to accept the consequences of not doing so. We have the right to decide who can or cannot remain members. Neither the public at large nor former members have the right to tell us who can be members or whether we must communicate with them. That is our choice, not theirs.

Very true. But what I find the problem is, is when someone no longer wishes to be a Witness after they have been dfd and after they are no longer practicing what they've been dfd for, so of course there is no chance of them being reinstated, which means they will be shunned forever with all it's implications (loved ones will not talk to them ever again)....

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16 minutes ago, Anna said:

Ask any parent whose child (adult or otherwise) is disfellowshipped.

I know some JW members (family) with very sad experience. Family with few children. Parents are divorced. One parent stayed   with 4 minor children. The oldest was baptized in age of 6 as i recall. Then with time all other children was baptized but also in young teenage age. First child was df about in time of high school. Stayed under same roof, but  rest of "faithful" members reduce very much contacts. Elders made pressure on family to throw df child out of home. And child was gone after some time. One by one rest of children was also left JWorg. In one moment while they was been member of cong. elders made pressure and rebuke all them because they (children) spend few days in summer time with their df father. After such emotional torture of elders one minor kid cut vein on hands and must be hospitalized. After that "last drop" for her young mind and emotions, all went down. She is "damaged". And no one of elders take responsibility for her "soul".      

Is that good material for Court? Is that violation of Human Rights that was made under/because of Church Rules and Policy? Is it possible to separate so called "religious, doctrinal interpretations of Bible text" with "rules and instructions made by JW Clergy, Priesthood" vs Natural Law vs Secular Law?  

WT JWorg are private Company in the very core, in essence. And as such been legalized in various country as Company, Charity Society or similar entities. As such is under some General Law and Acts. Every JW member became member, get status of membership at the moment of baptism. And by that act  Contract was made between minor children or adult person and WT Company.   

Court have no interest to made decisions is some religious teaching or doctrine right or wrong, true or false. But when belief system produce "emotional torture" and other sort of torture, intellectual, spiritual, psychological - then that can be material for secular authorities.  

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Though some might say it is a matter of semantics, I say the Christian congregation does not tell Witness families not to associate with df'd children. What they do is point out that the principle of not associating with a df'd person is not negated merely because that one is a family member.

49 minutes ago, Srecko Sostar said:

The oldest was baptized in age of 6 as i recall.

I doubt it. Not that you 'recalled' it that way, but that it was true.

 

50 minutes ago, Srecko Sostar said:

Elders made pressure on family to throw df child out of home.

I rather doubt this, too, if the child was the minor you imply he/she was. If I recall, when the subject of df'd family members was discussed in literature, it was a given that association would take place with a minor, but with an adult it might be possible to have almost no contact.

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24 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

but with an adult it might be possible to have almost no contact.

This kid was in adult age at that time and rest of family has been couraged  to maximally limit contacts with him and "counseled" how spiritual health of family would be better if df kid find another place for living. "Counsels" was in all kinds of instructions, Bible, examples from WT publications and informations that elders have on such matters.  As to my knowledge, this df kid feeled this emotional coldness and spiritual pressure that was puted on rest of family and because such conditions lived the house. How was looked all that in everyday real life i do not know, but it is possible to imagine all tensions, fears, tears, inside battles of mind and heart...   

You can not believe that such young children were baptised in JWorg ? :)))      

 

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28 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

I say the Christian congregation does not tell Witness families not to associate with df'd children. What they do is point out that the principle of not associating with a df'd person is not negated merely because that one is a family member.

Very true. But we all know what would happen if it was found out you went on vacation with your dfd daughter or son. (Not yours literally of course!) It's one of these frustrating hard to pin down situations. There is a supreme court case going on in Canada right now where the dfd ex- brother is suing. But that's not what I wanted to say, but what is interesting is that the WT appealing the case mentions this in defense: "Disfellowshipping is not “a mandatory church edict” that removes family love. Family members decide according to their conscience the extent to which they will continue family discourse".  Page 9, par 31

How can that be reconciled with what really happens?

To illustrate:  If it was a conscience matter, then if someones conscience said it was ok for them to spend time with their disfellowshipped relative, perhaps even go on vacation with them, then it shouldn't be a problem, and no one should judge that decision, just like if someone decided their conscience allowed them to take minor blood fractions. For that reason, because minor blood fractions really ARE a conscience matter, we don’t have articles giving us advice on how to avoid them, and videos showing us how someone successfully refused them etc. like we do with disfellowshipping.

So really, all the articles and videos are “biasing” us to shun, rather than truly leaving it up to our conscience. I am not saying this is right or wrong, I am just pointing out  that stating that it is a conscience matter is not correct, (actually it is dishonest) and could be used against us if proved.

Here is the case, but I know you probably won't bother to read it, and I don't blame you, you will just have to trust me that the quote I posted is really there :)

http://www.scc-csc.ca/WebDocuments-DocumentsWeb/37273/FM010_Appellant_Judicial-Committee-of-the-Highwood-Congregation-of-Jehovah's-Witnesses.pdf

 

 

 

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      Therefore, I watched the TV program three times, as I experimented with the settings to get a good screen copy to my hard drive..
      I could see both sides of the program viewpoints presented, and did not find us to be misrepresented in any way whatsoever ... but if there was EVER a clear example of the Law of Unintended Consequences, the horror the Governing Body has caused in disfellowshipping the way that it is currently done ... by ripping families apart, and creating  irreparable damage that can never be corrected with reinstatement, was chilling, and puts us in the same class as Scientologists ... which completely disregarding the horror and hardsip, and cruelty without any mercy whatsoever it creates locally, shames Jehovah's Name and Reputation over the whole planet.
      I don't believe there is anything a local Jehovah's Witness could do ... rob a bank ... have a harem ... have sex with horses ... etc., ad nauseum ... that would besmirch Jehovah's name and reputation globally as much as our current blatantly cruel public policies of destroying whole families for the sins of one person.
      I am very glad to have the education I have to know that the TRUTH is still the truth .... even though the 85% drivel has rotted and fermented into rotten sewage.
      Most JWs do NOT have this educational advantage ... so their lives are permanently destroyed.
      I don't expect much from people, and almost NOTHING from groups of people .... so for me, like getting one of those great salads at the Olive Garden Restaurant, and finding a big chunk of solid sewage in it ... I hold my nose, and eat around it.
      This TV Special is global news .... what could I possibly say to the average person that would clear the Name of God, that the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, NOT THE TELEVISION PROGRAM, has corrupted by its Pharisaic policies that have real world consequences?
      The exact same thing happened in ancient Israel, and a system that God blessed and supported for a thousand years and more was abandoned by God.
      The exact same thing.
       
       
       
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      from 2016 the year that they started the return to Jehovah brochure.
    • By Jack Ryan
      a heartbreaking video has emerged online showing how far reaching and deeply ingrained this shunning policy is; a video showing JehovahÂ’s Witnesses clapping in applause as a little girl announces she is shunning her own sister.
      Little Melody, and the sister she doesnÂ’t have.
      The incident appears to take place at one of this years Watchtower conventions. The video was posted on youtube by the girls parents, apprently eager to share with the world how they had trained one of their children to pretend her sister didnÂ’t exist purely on the basis of religious dogma.
      The video was comment-protected once viewers began expressing concern and displeasure at what they saw, but at the time of writing the video itself is still live and can be viewed below on the family’s youtube page. (EDIT 11/09/2017 – The video has been removed, but we have linked to an alternate site which has a copy)

      t shows a little girl called Melody. She is ten years old, and was apparently baptised when she was 9. This means that Melody is now committed to the religion for life, and will be shunned if she ever leaves, or “unrepentantly” breaks any of its vast array of detailed rules.
      During the interview, Melody explains that she has a sister who was “disfellowshipped,” which is the Witness term for one who is excommunicated; someone who was thrown out of the faith rather than leaving of their own accord. We are not told the reason for the disfellowshipping, but one can be subjected to it for a wide range of reasons such as pre-marital sex, celebrating Christmas or birthdays, voting, taking a blood transfusion, joining the military, or simply questioning any of the doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      Melody states that her sister was trying to contact her, and asking her to stay in contact despite Watchtower decreeing that she be shunned. Remember, MelodyÂ’s sister has probably lost all her family and friends at this point; everyone she ever knew and loved.
      Melody admits that she misses and loves her sister, but states that she was afraid that if she didnÂ’t cut her sister off completely, she might be tempted to keep some form of relationship going. Thus, she has decided to shun her completely, as Watchtower demands. She claims that this was to protect her relationship with Jehovah.
      The audience of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses watching this announcement applaud.
      Source
    • By Jack Ryan
      This comes from the final talk at the Birmingham, AL Convention. Herd talks kind of low and there is some background noise, so here is a transcript starting at about 1:25.
      I thought this was interesting because it doesn't appear to be in the talk outline. Admittedly, I just skimmed through the outline quickly, so it might be in there. Either way, there is something twisted about comparing the shunning of children to casting out demons from heaven.
      Edit: For those wondering, this talk is from August 5. The part before when the transcript starts is Herd talking about King Asa removing his grandmother from her position.
    • By Jack Ryan
      Mike MartindaleUpdated 6:11 p.m. ET Feb. 16, 2018 Keego Harbor Â— A quiet residential street became a horrific crime scene Friday with news that four people — a couple and their adult children — died in what police are describing as a triple murder-suicide.

      By late afternoon, some yellow police crime scene tape remained around the two-story wood frame bungalow in the 2300 block of Cass Lake Road where police were sent about 8:10 a.m. on a welfare check after a relative became worried about the family, Keego Harbor Police Chief John Fitzgerald said.
      One of four bodies is removed from the home of the 2300 block of Cass Lake Road. (Photo: Clarence Tabb Jr., The Detroit News)
      “A relative had concerns and asked us to look into it,” said Fitzgerald. “It’s tragic and our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”
      Inside the house officers found four bodies who neighbors identified as Daniel Stuart, 47, his wife, Lauren, 45, and their children, Bethany, 24, and Steven, 27.
      Fitzgerald said the “perpetrator” was among the dead but would not provide details other than to stress “we think we know what happened here and there is no danger to neighbors.”
      Fitzgerald said police have recovered what is believed to be the murder weapon but would not elaborate. He said all the deaths remain under investigation.
      Keego Harbor Police Chief John Fitzgerald briefs the media on the murder-suicide. (Photo: Clarence Tabb Jr., The Detroit News)
      Neighbors John and Jackie Tristani said they awoke Friday to learn police were outside the victimsÂ’ home.
      “My son said police were repeatedly calling out ‘Lauren, come outside,’ " said John Tristani. “When she didn’t respond they (police) went inside. A few minutes later, they came back outside, shaking their heads.”
      Tristani said he had been watching television late Thursday night and never heard anything from the Stuarts' home.
      Sources close to the investigation said the family pet, a dog, was also slain by the killer. Investigators also found a note which may help explain what led up to the deaths. They would not discuss its contents.
      The deaths puzzle the Tristanis, who knew Lauren Stuart as a “hard-working” neighbor who could often be seen working in her yard and remodeled the house largely on her own.
      “She would often come over and borrow tools – a saw, a pickaxe – whatever,” said Tristani. “She was always doing something.”
      The Tristanis said in one of their first meetings with Lauren Stuart a few years ago she attempted to “recruit” them into the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      “I said we were Catholics and weren’t interested,” he said. “She accepted the answer and it was the end of that.”
      Lauren Stuart worked at an area gym, he said, and her husband was involved in some form of medical business in the Ann Arbor area.
      Darlene and Dennis Buck, who live a block away on Cass Lake Road, said they were enroute home from a trip to northern Michigan when they learned of the murder-suicide.
      “We have lived here since ’74 and nothing like this has ever happened in our neighborhood — not even close,” said Darlene Buck.
      Jackie Tristani said she found it all “scary” – not just the deaths but that something might have been going on in a neighbor’s home without her knowledge. She had tried to get Bethany a job at her workplace and her son knew both Bethany and Steven. There was never any mention or indication of trouble inside the home, she said.
      “I would hope that if there was a problem inside there someone would have reached out, we would have tried to help,” she said, her voice quaking. “Maybe we could have done something.
      “But you never really know everything there is about your neighbors, do you?”
      http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/oakland-county/2018/02/16/4-dead-keego-harbor-murder-suicide/345756002/
    • By Witness
      “JehovahÂ’s Witness kids grow up knowing that if they ever mess up, their parents will leave them — and thatÂ’s scary,” Sawyer, now 38, said in a recent interview from her home in Pascagoula, Miss. “The shunning is supposed to make us miss them so much that weÂ’ll come back. Â… It didnÂ’t work.”
      Sawyer and many others like her are now denouncing the church's shunning practices in the wake of a recent murder-suicide in Keego Harbor that killed a family of four ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses who were ostracized after leaving the faith. The deaths sparked outrage among scores of ex-JWs nationwide who took to Facebook, online forums, blogs and YouTube, arguing the tragedy highlights a pervasive yet rarely-publicized problem within the church: Shunning is pushing the most vulnerable people over the edge, they say, and tearing families apart.
      In the Michigan case, a distraught mother shot and killed her husband, her two grown children and herself in their Keego Harbor home, shocking the small and quiet Oakland County community.
      The shooter was Lauren Stuart, a part-time model and personal trainer who struggled with depression and spent much of her time working on her house, her friends say. She and her husband, Daniel Stuart, 47, left the JW faith more than a decade ago over doctrinal and social issues. Among them was their desire to send their kids to college, which many ex-JWs say is frowned upon by the church and viewed as spiritually dangerous.
      “University and college campuses are notorious for bad behavior — drug and alcohol abuse, immorality, cheating, hazing, and the list goes on,” a 2005 article in the Watchtower, the church's official publication, stated.
      But the Stuarts sent both their kids to college: Steven, 27, excelled in computers, just like his father, who was a data solutions architect for the University of Michigan Medical School. Bethany, 24, thrived in art and graphic design.  After the parents left the faith, the Stuarts were ostracized by the Kingdom Hall — the churches where Jehovah's Witnesses worship — community in Union Lake and their families, friends said.
      Lauren Stuart, whose mother died of cancer when she was 12, struggled with mental illness that went untreated; isolation and fears that the end was near, said friends and officials familiar with the case. One friend who requested anonymity said she believes the killing was the result of depression, not religion.
      "This is a tragedy that has to do with a disease. Depression is so prevalent, and when it goes untreated this is what happens," the friend said. "She needed medical help."
      Longtime family friend Joyce Taylor believes depression, shunning and religion-based doomsday fears all played a role. She said that about six weeks before the killings, Lauren started getting religiously preoccupied and telling her "'It's the end times, I know it is.'"

      Weeks later, Taylor saw her friend again. Lauren had a vacant look in her eyes. She was emotionally distressed.
      A week later, with her home decorated for Valentine's Day, Lauren Stuart killed her family. She left behind a suicide note.
      "She said in the suicide note that she felt that by killing them it was the only way to save them," recalled Taylor, who said police let her read the letter. "She said she's sorry that she has to do this, but it was the only way to save them all." 
      Taylor, a former Jehovah's Witness herself who left the faith in 1986, explained: "Jehovah's Witnesses believe that if you die on this side of Armageddon, you'll be resurrected in paradise."
      In Lauren Stuart's case, Taylor believes her friend never deprogrammed after leaving the church — a state she describes as  "physically out, but mentally in." She believes that Lauren's indoctrinated doomsday fears never left her, and that the shunning helped push her over the edge.
      Had she not been excommunicated by her tight-knit community that was once her entire support system — left with no one to share her fears with — Lauren Stuart may not have done what she did, Taylor believes.
      "People do things when they are desperate," Taylor said. "And that was an extreme, desperate act."
      Shunning "can lead to great trauma among people because the Jehovah's Witnesses are a very tight-knit community," said Mathew Schmalz, a religious studies associate professor at the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.
      "If you're separated out, you're really left to your own devices in ways that are very challenging and very painful," Schmalz said. "Once you leave a group that's been your whole life — letting that go is a kind of death."
      Police have not yet disclosed details about the death of the Stuart family besides calling it a murder-suicide.
      The tragedy has emboldened many once-quiet ex-JWs to speak up. Many say they suffered quietly on their own for years until they discovered an online community full of isolated, ostracized people like themselves — people who had lost someone to suicide or attempted suicide themselves because their families, friends and church community had written them off for making mistakes, for being human. 
      The church calls it being "disfellowshipped." Members can return if they repent, change the behavior and prove themselves worthy of being reinstated. But unless or until that happens, members are encouraged to avoid the sinners, especially those who leave the faith.
      Mothers go years, even decades, without talking to their children. Siblings write off siblings. Friends shun friends.
      An estimated 70,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses are disfellowshipped every year — roughly 1% of the church’s total population, according to data published by the Watchtower. Their names are published at local Kingdom Halls. Of those, two-thirds never return.
      Within a faith representing 8.4 million people worldwide, however, many members believe the religion is pure, good and loving. Those who are speaking against it, current members argue, are disgruntled and angry people who have an ax to grind because they were disfellowshipped. Or, they are lost souls who have misinterpreted the meaning and love behind the faith. Members say they believe the shunning accusations are exaggerated and that the suicides are often more about mental illness than ostracism.
      The departed disagree.  
      In the world of ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses, they maintain, the shunned are considered dead to their families, just like the suicide victims. 
      These are their stories:
      ‘A dangerous cult’
      It was a difficult conversation to wrap her 8-year-old brain around.
      “‘You know your sister was being bad, right?’“ Sawyer recalled her mother telling her after her sister's suicide.
      “ ‘And what she did was stupid, right?’ … To take your own life is very wrong,' " the mother continued.
      “I didn’t understand what was going on … and I said, ‘Oh. OK,,’ “ recalled Sawyer. “In my 8-year-old brain I was thinking, ‘When I mess up, my mom’s going to hate me.’ "
      And so began her painful journey with the Jehovah’s Witness faith, the religion she was born into and grew up in in Pascagoula, Miss., where her fears of abandonment took hold at the age of 8. 
      Sawyer believes the shunning drove her sister to suicide. After the church disfellowshipped her for getting engaged to a non-JW, the fiancé left her sister, who was thrown into depression. Her sister tried turning to her mother for consolation, but her mom would read scripture and tell her, "until you start acting right, you’re going to have these bad things happen to you.“
      Bad things happened to Sawyer, too. At 30, she sought a divorce from her husband because he was abusive and cheating on her, she said. But the church elders and family pressured her to save her marriage.
      “I showed them the holes in my walls,” Sawyer said, referring to the damage her ex-husband did to the home during fights. “They told me to pray more … and sent me back home to him.”
      Sawyer took up smoking to handle the stress, which got her disfellowshipped because smoking is not allowed. She also went through with the divorce. She ended up losing her home to foreclosure and turned to her mother for help as she had two children to raise.

        Her mother took her in temporarily, but when the church elders found out, they threatened to disfellowship Sawyer’s mother — who let the grandkids stay, but not the daughter. 
      Sawyer ended up homeless for six months, living out of her car in a community college parking lot. She landed on her feet with the help of a student loan. She got an apartment, a job as a hospice nurse and her children — now 10 and 18 — back. She found herself, but lost her family along the way.
      Her mother doesnÂ’t speak to her; she said she canÂ’t recall the last time they spoke.
      Her sister in Alabama hasnÂ’t spoken to her since Sawyer got divorced in 2010.
      “She was on my porch, with my parents … My sister looked at me and said, ‘You’re abandoning me just like Donna did’ And left. And that's the last thing she ever said to me."
      Sawyer has kept silent about her pain for decades.
      “This is a dangerous cult,” she said of her former religion. “It’s important for people to realize —  this is serious.” 
      Read the rest of the story here:
      https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/03/18/jehovahs-witnesses-murder-suicide-keego-harbor/409695002/
    • By Srecko Sostar
      Quotations from JWorg. It can be on other issue also, but this is also interesting: my comments are in red color.
      "While the Bible disapproves of homosexual acts, it does not condone hatred of homosexuals or homophobia. Instead, Christians are directed to “respect everyone.”—1 Peter 2:17, Good News Translation.
      Question: How JW show respect to everyone if are not willing to say even hello on street to person who is: everyday sinner, in process of cleaning from sin, in the state of repentance and not doing sin, in a process of fighting against own bad desires with more or less success?  
      Can a person be born homosexual?
      The Bible doesn’t comment directly on the biology of homosexual desires, though it acknowledges that we are all born with a tendency to go against what God commands. (Romans 7:21-25) Rather than focus on the cause of homosexual desires, however, the Bible prohibits homosexual acts.
      the Bible speaks of “those who are sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who submit to homosexual acts,” and then it adds: “That is what some of you were.”—1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
      In saying “that is what some of you were,” does the Bible mean that those who stopped engaging in homosexual acts never again experienced any homosexual desires? That could hardly be the case, because the Bible also exhorts: “Keep walking by spirit and you will carry out no fleshly desire.”—Galatians 5:16.
      As to my knowledge from JWorg publications, person who is homosexual is allowed to be baptized and to become member of JW cong as long as he/she not practicing such behavior. In other words, Bro John Doe is a gay, but because he is passive gay or pedophile or ...  (he can have desire, and he have desire) because he have good self control and not practicing sinful desire, he can be invite for lunch in some family with ...minor kids.!?   
      Note that the Bible does not say that a Christian will never experience an improper desire. Rather, it says that he or she will choose not to carry out that desire. Christians learn to bring such desires under control, not dwelling on them to the point of acting on them.—James 1:14, 15. [6]
      The Bible thus makes a distinction between inclinations and practices. (Romans 7:16-25) A person who has homosexual leanings can control what he allows his mind to dwell on, just as he would control any other wrong desire, including leanings toward anger, adultery, and greed.—1 Corinthians 9:27; 2 Peter 2:14, 15.
      While Jehovah’s Witnesses uphold the moral code set forth in the Bible, they do not force their views on others. Nor do they try to reverse laws that protect the human rights of those whose lifestyle differs from theirs. The message that Jehovah’s Witnesses bear is a positive one, and they eagerly share it with all who will listen.—Acts 20:20.
      But Jesus said, someone who have sinful thoughts, desires he already made a sin. No matter did he engaging in act or not. So, this is somehow in opposition to explanation we read before in text by JWorg. So, did someone who have just desire and never done nothing to realized it (he is made sin in mind and heart, and by Jesus words, he is wrongdoer) braking the unwritten law said by Jesus.                 Mat 5:27,28  "You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." 
      Does JW members take a stand about this (statement from Jesus) according to Bible or they need to reconsider rules about this matter? 
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      Melody's Interview at 2017 "Don't Give Up" Regional Convention". 
      Last year my wife and I attended an Assembly in Orangeburg, SC, where a brother in an interview on stage was proud that he had not said a single word to his disfellowshipped father in over 20 years.   We were sitting up close and could see his face in person, and on the large monitors. His declaration of cruelty was followed by intense applause from the audience. 
      We were stunned and horrified.
      This video was originally posted on YOUTUBE by the mother of Melody, at a Regional 2017 Convention where she is proud of having shunned her sister, who is disfellowshipped, but many adverse comments on YOUTUBE made her ashamed .....  and she took the posting down.  
      I got this video copy from the  Russian equivalent of YOUTUBE web site,  RUTUBE.COM.
      After she details her cruelty to her sister, the audience reaction is vigorous applause.
      THIS IS WHY the Russian government and most of the people HATE Jehovah's Witnesses.
      Oblivious, clueless, extreme cruelty, in the name of righteousness.
      Melody's interview @ the Regional Convention 2017 _Don't Give Up_.mp4
      .
      .
       
    • By Outta Here
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40704990
      Even the highly regarded BBC cannot resist the  temptation to indulge in gutter-press standard reporting when it comes to Jehovah's Witnesses.
      This report on the Jehovah's Witnesses disfellowshipping process is rather misleading. It associates the disfellowshipping action with totally unrelated experiences and leaves the impression that this action is taken: 
      1. when a person leaves an abusive relationship 
      2: when a person does not attend the annual memorial celebration of Christ's death.
      Nothing could be further from the truth. Even the most inexperienced researcher could easily find out the circumstances leading to this serious and scriptural measure by looking at https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/shunning/.
      It is unlikely that the interviewees would reveal the real reason for their disfellowshipping which would probably cause personal embarrassment, and there is no way that the official organisation would comment or reveal the details of an individual case.
       
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Did Christians in the 1st century disfellowship / shun wrongdoers?
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      What were Jesus’ instructions regarding shunning wrongdoers (disfellowshipping)?
    • By Jack Ryan
      "Why is it necessary, when someone feels that they can no longer abide the organisation and has to disassociate - why is it necessary to shun them? Why can't they keep having social contact
      with those people who happen to remain in the organisation?"
      - Australian Royal Commission to Jehovah's Witnesses 
    • By INTREPID TRAVELLER
      On the 10th of this month, the Australia Royal Commission held Case 54 which was a review of the responses of Jehovah’s Witnesses to the Commission’s findings.  The representatives from the Australia branch swore on the Bible “to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”.  Did they comply with this solemn oath before God?  You be the judge after watching this video:
       
    • By TrueTomHarley
      There are quite a few of them out there – some shunned, some not. Some go online. They’re not necessarily wrong as they relate their experiences and viewpoints. Some have had run-ins with Tom Pearlsnswine, who never met a fly he didn’t counsel. Some caught the consumer mentality of religion and could “no more imagine a church disciplining them than they could a store that sells goods disciplining them. It is not the place of the seller to discipline the consumer.” Others lost their balance as standards of child-rearing veered more sharply than ever before. ‘If you kids don’t stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about!’ my non-Witness Dad would holler, a phrase that was no idle threat – every child knew that phrase, as they did “I’ll kill you for that!” It was a commonplace ‘threat’ bestowed almost lovingly on a mischievous child – I can’t tell you how many times my mother said it to me - but the deed itself was rare. Today the deed is commonplace but you’ll have to explain your words before the judge. Lightning-like shifts in morals and mores caught youngsters and parents alike flatfooted. Besides – let’s face it – a lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses are nuts. Probably in no greater proportion than the world in general and certainly without the baggage of violence that can so easily attach itself to non-Witness nuts, but that doesn’t mean they’re not nuts. Sometimes your best option is to hit the reset button.
      From: 'Tom Irregardless and Me'
    • By The Librarian
      Shun your inactive family members and report them if you suspect they are sinning 
       
       
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      I was reading this week's study article on remaining loyal to Jah. Found an interesting contradiction on shunning. They cite two experiences. In one a JW shuns her mom and her example is posted as a positive one of someone doing the right thing. The second example however of a JW being shunned by his non-JW family is labeled as an injustice. Here's first one:

      So, the example above demonstrates the supposed loyal faith of a daughter that refused to talk to the woman that gave birth to her, raised her and surely sacrificed so much for her. This, the Watchtower claims, is an example of love and loyalty. Now let's see the second example cited in the same article in a latter paragraph:

      In this example, the non-JW family members were cruel, because they "opposed his association" and "forbid him to visit them for years". Yet, isn't this exactly what the JW daughter from the first experience was doing to her mother? only in reverse?
      - Sanchy
    • By Jack Ryan
      - jw.org
      When I compare that official quote with the following official headline:
      http://www.jw-archive.org/post/117601618528/disfellowshipping-arrangement-has-changed
       
      I get the idea that JW.org will soon stop the practice of shunning former believers into compliance.
      How much time until this new light comes out..... I'm not sure.
       
       
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      The following link is to a PDF file found on the Penn Law Legal Scholarship Repository website.
      " The Penn Law Legal Scholarship Repository is the institutional repository of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Its purpose is to collect and preserve the scholarly output of Penn Law. "
      http://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/
      Please share any thoughts you have on the reasoning used in this document.

      Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't: Religious Shunning and the free exercise clause
      If you don't trust my link, which would be fair enough, simply Google the following search term as I write it:
      'religious shunning tax exempt'
      It should be the very first page that comes up.
    • By Γιαννης Διαμαντιδης
      Because my question became argument for out of topic subjects I would like to refine this question: why someone who disfellowshipped for a reason that no longer exist must come back to the congregation ask for forgiveness and wait some time to be reinstated? I will give you the reason of the offense, because I am sure you will not understand me otherwise. There is this brother called Kotsos a Greek brother (and later immigrant in Germany because he lost his job here) who needed kidney transplant around 1975 and in 1978 had been disfellowshiped for making the kidney transplant. Around 1985 he came back to the congregation and the elders did not accept him without some kind of punishment ( by punishment I mean to come for some time in the congregation nobody to talk to him so he will show remorse for his action). There are also other examples too. In the Greek Watchtower of 1970 page 766 we read about a homosexual brother who disfellowshipped for 3 years in advance. So in that 3 years he had no right to repent !!!
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    • Agreed.  What they want is a government which will outlaw the bible and Jesus (I think of Matt 24 where it indicates that those having faith in jesus' randsom sacrifice will be persecuted). California recently tabled a law which would have basically outlawed the bible - but it did not pass...... but how long before it does?  We cannot take sides because some political party is 'perceived'  as loving God a little more than the other side and fights infantacide...... when they are in fact - the beast.  The racial hatred and injustice in USA has tripled in the past few years because of official statements made,  perceptions created and the outrageous reaction of the opposing press......it is like a cold civil war going on. On the other side of the beast is the secular, humanist, feminist, LGBTQ, materialist goals and this side has a stated hate for the God of the bible and its white supremacist leaders... (again a generalization:  but its members belong to a party who loves Islam and shuns the bible's values - even if they go to church.)  For us as JWs - there is no choice between the two...... because both are playing their part to lead us to Armageddon..... the one a little faster than the other. Human government sucks and it gets clearer and clearer every day.  We should keep focussed on Jehovahs government.... watch just enough news to know where things are going..... and keep focussed on preaching and building each other up.
    • There are dozens. When I mentioned going back 300 years I was thinking that a lot of people start with Matthew Henry's from the 1700's. https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/mhc/Dan/Dan_004.cfm?a=854001 But there are many more modern ones these days that might appear too long, but that's partly because they also reprint the entire Bible text, split up into sections. https://wernerbiblecommentary.org/?q=node/732 https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/jfb/Dan/Dan_004.cfm?a=854001 https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/smith_chuck/c2000_Dan/Dan_001.cfm?a=854001 The Chapter 4 portion of this one, above, includes the following supposition: The seven times are probably a year and three quarters. Referring to the summer, fall, winter, spring, rather than seven years. And so for a year and three quarters, king Nebuchadnezzar was to be insane. He was to live with the ox and out in the field. He was to eat grass like a wild animal. This was to continue until he realize that the God in heaven is the One who rules over the earth as far as establishing kingdoms and setting in power those whom He will. God still rules in the overall sense. And sometimes God puts evil men into power in order to bring judgment upon the people. But God rules over all. So after Daniel interprets, he said, "Now look, king, straighten up, man. Live right. You know, it may be that you can increase the days of your peace because you know this is going to come on you. But maybe by living right you can forestall it a bit." [Others have guessed 7 "time periods" were 7 months. But the point is, that we don't know for sure] https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/guzik_david/StudyGuide2017-Dan/Dan-4.cfm?a=854001 That one, above, includes the idea that if there is any further prophetic significance to the dream, that it could mean this: Some find prophetic significance in this account. Since Babylon is used in the Scriptures as a figure of the world system in general, we can say: · Nebuchadnezzar’s madness foreshadows the madness of Gentile nations in their rejection of God. · Nebuchadnezzar’s fall typifies Jesus’ judgment of the nations. · Nebuchadnezzar’s restoration foreshadows the restoring of some of these nations in the millennial kingdom.  
    • This is so typical.....loved this experience !  People are people, and their ideas on neutrality are not the same - even after the lessons have been repeated over and over  in the watchtower.  Keeping neutral .... but not understanding what true neutrality is.   Neutrality does not mean you are not supposed to know what is happening around you or that someone has to be silenced when they mention something ... But I reckon.... this is where true humility comes into play and for the sake of peace,  refrain from having  your say.  It can also come back to bite you. There is a time to keep silent. Neutrality is making a choice every time an issue comes up.  Granted, it us hard not to take sides when you have an idea about who is lying in a particular situation....!  But deceit and lying is all part of the political game. These politicians gave up something to be where they are.  Truth and sincerity are replaced by ambition and lies and many hidden deals.  I am astounded at the open nepotism tolerated everywhere in Washington- on both sides of the isle! People have truly lost their moral compass!   And the staggering amounts of money to be made ....... poor politicians become multi-millionaires pretty quickly .... and so do their children make tons of money and extend their influence in other countries!   These days, no politician  can fight a clean fight and expect to win..... too much spying,  false leaks in the news, misinformation and outright acrimony.  I do watch world news and events to see fulfillment of bible prophecy.  No matter who wins the next election - USA is on a downward spiral and the spectators will be agast when they realise the plane is totally out of control.  The speed of the decent depends on who is next elected....... the speed of the decent may be fast or slow.  The self-deceit of the public is amazing and helped by the press who mostly tell the public what they want to hear.   America will still exist when the end comes but it will have handed over it power willingly to the eighth king....... So, if a certain party - which is very willing to hand over its autonomy, wins - then I will gauge that the decent will be faster than i anticipated......  The "clay and iron" has reached a point of  irreconcileability......and this same scenario is playing out in Europe, Australia, Canada etc.  (Bible so accurate in its predictions) . In the meantime Russia, China and all their allies are extending their economic influence and territories. It is really now just a matter of time then things will truly become ugly and we will know that we have arrived at the time we were waiting for!  We will see jehovah in action! 
    • That's already been done. Just read nearly any Bible commentary on Daniel 4 written during the last 300 years or so.
    • Yes That immediately crossed my mind too! And also when talking about the pyramids, he quoted Rutherford who said "Jehovah doesn't need a stone monument built by pagans to accomplish his purpose" it made me think why would he use pagan Nebuchadnezzar to illustrate Christ's rulership?
    • Do you mean go first to explain 1914 as a true possibility in a simpler way? Or do you mean go first to explain Daniel 4 in a simpler way (with or without 1914)? The funny thing is that Brother Splane without realizing it, I think, already gave a very appropriate analogy for what's wrong with the 1914 doctrine when he decided to point out some particularly ridiculous "typologies" that did things like try to make something out of the number of fish caught by the disciples after Jesus was resurrected, namely, 153. Then he went on to show the ridiculousness of trying to read too much into the story of Jacob and Esau and the bowl of stew. Brother Splane said: One scholar made much of Jacob’s purchase of Esau’s birthright with a bowl of red stew. Very significant that the stew was red. To him, the red stew pictured the red blood of Christ. The inheritance pictured the heavenly inheritance. It’s all… By that reasoning, Jacob pictures Jesus, Esau’s birthright pictures the heavenly inheritance, and the red stew pictures Jesus’ precious blood. Now on the surface that might sound plausible to some, until you think about it. When you think about it you see three problems. First of all, Jehovah didn’t design the type. Jehovah did not tell Esau to sell his birthright. Selling his birthright was wrong, and Jehovah never tells us to do something that’s wrong. Second, who ate the stew? Esau did. So are we to conclude that, by giving up his inheritance, Esau put himself in line for the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ? That doesn’t make any sense. And most importantly, nowhere in Scripture do we read that the event was a type. The temptation to go for chronological numerology over 153 fish should remind us of how we take 7 times and turn them into 7x360 to get the number of Jewish prophetic days using a 360 day year, and then turning each of those 2,520 days into solar years of 365.25 days apiece so that we can get 2,520 solar years, to reach from the fall of Jerusalem down to modern times. And then we must readjust the archaeological dates by about 20 years to make them reach 1914 instead of 1934.  But the biggest problem is the same as the sentences about Esau above, which we can correlate with a similar problem with Nebuchadnezzar: Second, who ate the stew? Esau did. So are we to conclude that, by giving up his inheritance, Esau put himself in line for the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ? That doesn’t make any sense. And most importantly, nowhere in Scripture do we read that the event was a type. Now we can have the same situation regarding Nebuchadnezzar in Splane English Second, who was forced to lose his kingdom and then became insane? Nebuchadnezzar did. So are we to conclude that, by giving up his kingdom and acting insane for a time, that Nebuchadnezzar put himself in line to represent the Messianic kingdom of Jesus Christ? That doesn't make any sense. And most importantly, nowhere in Scripture do we read that this event was a type.
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