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 Do you think it is ok to discipline children at the Kingdom Hall?

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James Thomas Rook Jr. -
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Guest Nicole

For example if  children are noisy during the meeting, parents may take them to the restroom or outside the Hall  and hit them with a belt or hand?

 

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No it is not to OK hit children, particularly with a belt.

If parents are unable to prevent their children' disturbing others for whatever reason in the auditorium, then they should remain outside the auditorium, with their children, until the children are able to behave in a manner that does not disturb others.

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A CO once told our congregation of a family whose children hated coming to the meetings.  Turned out that that was the only time the children were ever disciplined and so they actually feared the meetings.  I remember my mother could quell us with a look whenever we were out because of the training we had been accustomed to at home.  

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(Proverbs 23:13, 14) Do not hold back discipline from a boy. If you strike him with the rod, he will not die. 14 With the rod you should strike him, In order to save him from the Grave.

(Deut 6:7) 7 and you must inculcate them in your sons and speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up.

Some persons might feel that discipline can be done any place. Everyone will not think or act alike in everything. We just had that in the Book study. One brother understood what he had to do to be at peace with Jehovah and follow his Son (2 Peter 3:15) whereas others - even those taking the lead - were wondering and pondering. Eventually they realized what neutrality was.

My mother used to discipline my nieces when they were very small at the back of the Kingdom Hall. (It is a very common practice here in the Caribbean but it is beginning to die out here too.) They learned not to misbehave at the meetings - which they could not do at home. They are now both married in the truth and still love Jehovah. She never had to do it with us, she would just give us a "look".

Then you have to get over the fact that even some Witnesses do not believe the scripture above in Proverbs 23:13.14 should be followed, although millions in and out of the truth testify that the discipline they got from their parents is responsible for their success in life. They prefer to do what the governments say. They think it is child abuse. They try to be more righteous than Jehovah.

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Proverbs 23:13, 14 has always puzzled me.  I can't imagine what a child would have to do to deserve being struck by a literal rod. Isn't the latest explanation that the rod here could be a symbol of authority, discipline, not necessarily requiring an actual beating?  

 

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*** g79 5/8 pp. 27-28 Should Children Be Spanked? ***


But does loving discipline include a parent’s use of spanking? According to God’s Word, it definitely can, when the spanking is an expression of and in a manner consistent with love. Consider these verses from the inspired book of Proverbs:
“Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.” (22:15) “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.” (23:13, 14) “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” (13:24)—New International Version.
While such references to the “rod” could cover various forms of discipline from parents, physical chastisement is certainly included. Whether they do it with the hand, a wooden ruler or some other type of appropriate “rod,” parents are authorized by God to use spanking in lovingly disciplining their children.
The Bible, however, helps parents to avoid going to excesses by offering strong counsel against giving way to violent anger. (Prov. 16:32; 25:28; Col. 3:8) If a parent, ignoring this counsel about controlling anger, fiercely hit a child in an outburst of fury, that would be contrary to what God’s Word says about discipline being an expression of love. The Bible in no way endorses angry whippings or severe beatings that bruise and can even cripple a young child. That is child abuse, not loving discipline.
A wise parent recognizes that there are various ways to correct or punish a child. Sometimes just a firm word will do. In other cases a disobedient child may be briefly isolated. When a child spills or breaks something through childish carelessness or irresponsibility, often it is most effective to make the child clean it up or work to replace it, if feasible. Of course, flexibility is important, adapting the discipline to the situation and the child; what works with one may not work with another.
Yet, even as the Bible shows, spanking does have value as an occasional form of discipline, especially for young children. As they go along, most children will, time and again, challenge their parents’ authority, testing to see if they “really mean business” and deserve respect. Even nice children may say, “You shut up!” or “No, I won’t do it!” One doctor explained that it is as if the child knows where ‘a line has been drawn on the ground’ and yet crosses it to see what the parent will do. Can the child get away with it? Who is in control?
Particularly with very young children, such a challenge is not necessarily a time for an abundance of words. A spanking may be in order. No, not beating a child into submission, but a firm spanking sufficient to underscore who has authority.
As any tears subside, the parent can lovingly take the child into his or her arms. With quiet words, or just a warm embrace, the parent can say: “I love you too much for you to grow up without recognizing authority and the need for respect.” These are also choice moments to offer guidance that will touch the heart. After one father read in Science News the previously quoted view about avoiding spanking, he wrote to the magazine:
‘When my children were outright disobedient, my wife and I pointed out the reason for the violated rule and the child acknowledged the need for the penalty. Once, after the agreed-on number of smart spanks had been delivered with the paddle, my son (about 6) crept into my lap, hugged and kissed me and said, “Daddy, I guess I’ve learned my lesson.”’
All around us we see the sad consequences of excessive and misplaced permissiveness. So we should be able to appreciate the truthfulness of the Bible’s statement that “he who loves [his child] is careful to discipline him.” (Prov. 13:24, NIV) It is truly loving for parents, in a child’s early years, to commence helping the youngster to recognize authority and to realize that there must be reasonable limits to freedom. The brief pain of firm but not harsh spankings when a young child needs such is certainly better than the grief that comes if, in teen-age or later years, he has not learned those lessons.
It takes real effort for parents to spank wisely—to avoid letting misplaced affection cause them to refrain from spanking, and yet to control themselves so that they do not let spankings lead to brutality or child abuse. But the counsel from our Creator, and the good effects forthcoming, prove that this effort is worth while. As Today’s English Version renders Proverbs 23:13, 14: “Don’t hesitate to discipline a child. A good spanking won’t kill him. As a matter of fact, it may save his life.”
 

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4 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

But does loving discipline include a parent’s use of spanking?

Wikipedia reports that "As of July 2016, corporal punishment of children by parents (or other adults) is banned in 49 countries"

The term "spanking" does not seem to appear in Jehovah Witnesses literature since the mid 1980s. A search of jw.org does not return any reference to the term at all.

Have we modified our view on this matter? 

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Eoin:

OF COURSE IT HAS CHANGED.  

The scriptural admonition posted above is CRYSTAL CLEAR. I know for a fact that if my Father had not whipped me with belts and switches to cut the blood out of my legs (for which he openly wept ..) the day I turned 18 years old I would have been electrocuted in the Spring Street Prison in Richmond Virginia.

We are not in an era where strong people do the right things anymore ... even in the Truth we are governed by Snowflake inspired political correctness, participation awards, and instead of a love for mercy and righteousness ... all theocratic policy is now set by the Society's Lawyers and Accountants, and the rest is ignored or watered down.

But for the emasculated Fathers among the Brotherhood, there is HOPE!

GROWACET  600 B .jpg

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  • As the below article points out, discipline needs to be tailored to the child. (JTR, I guess you must have been a hellraiser.) Having raised four kids I found with each succeeding child I resorted less and less to corporal punishment as I learnt more effective ways of achieving the desired outcome.  I don't think - usually speaking - there's much mental-regulating going on during a spanking, just learnt fear and humiliation.  
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Imperfect people need discipline, and they need it from childhood onward. “The one holding back his rod is hating his son,” says the king of Israel, “but the one loving him is he that does look for him with discipline.”

    Hello guest!
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A rod is a symbol of authority. At 

    Hello guest!
, it refers to parental authority. In this context, employing the rod of discipline does not necessarily mean spanking a child. Rather, it represents the means of correction, whatever form it may take. In one case, a rebuke kindly given to a child may be sufficient to correct improper behavior. Another child may require a stronger reproof. “A rebuke works deeper in one having understanding than striking a stupid one a hundred times,” says 
    Hello guest!
.

Parental discipline should always be directed by love and wisdom for the benefit of children. A loving parent does not overlook his child’s faults. On the contrary, he looks for them so that they can be removed before they become too deeply rooted. Of course, a loving parent takes to heart Paul’s admonition: “Fathers, do not be irritating your children, but go on bringing them up in the discipline and mental-regulating of Jehovah.”

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.

 

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.

Yeah, when raising my three children I never had to beat them with a literal rod ... except for number 4, Amos (The Evil One), who we had to chain to the rafters in the attic, and occasionally discipline him by throwing a bucket of fish heads up the stairs at him.

Boy!, that kid could wail and moan and rattle chains like you wouldn't BELIEVE!

He was 32 years old before he died,  and he turned out nicely before the end.

We finally did train him to do useful, productive work, got him longer chains, and he ran  all during the nighttime on a giant hamster wheel hooked up to a generator for all our electricity, except the clothes dryer, which takes 240 volts.

I was there the night he died on the Hamster Wheel, while I was repairing  a smoking hot  bad wheel bearing, when he uttered his last words ...

"WATER!" "Water!

.... water ....

 

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On 6/24/2017 at 5:50 AM, SuzA said:

Having raised four kids I found with each succeeding child I resorted less and less to corporal punishment as I learnt more effective ways of achieving the desired outcome.

True.  But some people misinterpret this to mean that you have abandoned the standards you had before, especially the older children.  They think the younger ones get away with more than they did. They can't see that you have adjusted your methods of discipline due to more experience and discernemnt.

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Don't you think a child is better suited to learn at their own age level, instead of being expected to sit perfectly still for 2 hours listening to adult content? Or is that content made for children to understand And why punish a child for being a child?

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Matthew9969     It is not adult content.( We don't have Sunday School where the parents send their children and they stay at home. Everyone learns together.)  Read what Jehovah said about it.

(Deuteronomy 31:12, 13) 12 Congregate the people, the men and the women and the little ones and your alien resident who is within your gates, in order that they may listen and in order that they may learn, as they must fear Jehovah YOUR God and take care to carry out all the words of this law. 13 And their sons who have not known should listen, and they must learn to fear Jehovah YOUR God all the days that YOU are living upon the soil to which YOU are crossing the Jordan to take possession of it.”

Learn to trust Jehovah. Jehovah knows it is good for children to sit quietly and listen.   They learn discipline by what they see they parents do.  If the parents pay keen attention, the children imitate that. If the parents chew gum, get up every half hour, talk while the speaker is talking, etc, that is what the children learn.  Little people are capable of much more than we think.
 

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2 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

Jehovah knows it is good for children to sit quietly and listen.

It is also good for those speaking to consider who it was that encouraged children to be a part of their audience. Jesus invited children, despite the wishes of the disciples: "People now began bringing him young children for him to touch them, but the disciples reprimanded them. At seeing this, Jesus was indignant and said to them: “Let the young children come to me; do not try to stop them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such ones". Mark 10:13-14.

Then they should seek to also apply the words of Nehemiah 8:8: "And they continued reading aloud from the book, from the Law of the true God, clearly explaining it and putting meaning into it; so they helped the people to understand what was being read." . This includes children, surely?

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4 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

Matthew9969     It is not adult content.( We don't have Sunday School where the parents send their children and they stay at home. Everyone learns together.)  Read what Jehovah said about it.

(Deuteronomy 31:12, 13) 12 Congregate the people, the men and the women and the little ones and your alien resident who is within your gates, in order that they may listen and in order that they may learn, as they must fear Jehovah YOUR God and take care to carry out all the words of this law. 13 And their sons who have not known should listen, and they must learn to fear Jehovah YOUR God all the days that YOU are living upon the soil to which YOU are crossing the Jordan to take possession of it.”

Learn to trust Jehovah. Jehovah knows it is good for children to sit quietly and listen.   They learn discipline by what they see they parents do.  If the parents pay keen attention, the children imitate that. If the parents chew gum, get up every half hour, talk while the speaker is talking, etc, that is what the children learn.  Little people are capable of much more than we think.
 

With respect, Sunday school....In the church that I am co-owner, not one single parent drops their kid off and goes home. And the responsibility of teaching their own children is on them as well. Where or are there parents who do this in other churches...yes, and those parents need to be counseled. And church just does not happen 1 or two days a week, church is a way of life. I grew up in Jehovah's witness congregations, and have attended various other denominations, so again with respect, you know very little of child biblical education and the family unit and the church. But you are right, children grow up imitating their parents actions. Little people are more capable than we think, they are also more fragile than we assume.

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We've  many  kiddies  in  our  congregation :)  All  are  SO  different  -  but  ALL  parents  work  it  with  words,  love  &  little  childlike  employments,  that  we  always  have  a  nice  meeting ❤  without  special  Bible Scriptures,  berate  or  anything.

In  exceptions,  or  by  little  Babies,  Mom  or  Dad,  or  a  Sister  is  going  with  it  in  another  room,  so  simple  we  handle  it.  School - children  mostly  still  or  giving  nice  comments...  really  wonderful !   I  never  saw  parents  beating  or  loud  to  their  childs,  NEVER !

❤ ❤ ❤ .•*¨`*•..¸♥☼♥¸.•*¨`*•.  ❤ ❤ ❤

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Where I live it was customary to send children to Sunday School and the parents stayed at home.   We even have an elder whose mother chose to send him to the Kingdom Hall and he never left when he got older.  He is still an elder and happy to serve Jehovah.  The mother came into the truth years later, but she sent him from a small boy.

 

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12 hours ago, Gone Fishing said:

It is also good for those speaking to consider who it was that encouraged children to be a part of their audience. Jesus invited children, despite the wishes of the disciples: "People now began bringing him young children for him to touch them, but the disciples reprimanded them. At seeing this, Jesus was indignant and said to them: “Let the young children come to me; do not try to stop them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such ones". Mark 10:13-14.

Then they should seek to also apply the words of Nehemiah 8:8: "And they continued reading aloud from the book, from the Law of the true God, clearly explaining it and putting meaning into it; so they helped the people to understand what was being read." . This includes children, surely?

Please consider the context of what I am saying. I am not saying to keep children from learning about Jesus. And clearly Mark is not conveying the message that children should sit perfectly still like adults in kingdom halls.

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      It was in the year 1952 that the Watchtower introduced disfellowshipping as now practiced.

      Russell discussed disfellowshipping and avoiding wrongdoers as early as 1893. However, this was not applied to Watchtower followers, but rather that Christians in general should avoid those who show themselves to be untrue to God.
      "To be separate does not mean to be friends and companions, or to be in fellowship on any grounds. It means that we are to make a clean-cut division between ourselves and all the unclean, the impure in heart, as manifested by their disloyalty to the truth, and thereby to God, its great Author: and that this separation is to be so marked that the disfellowshipped one will be sure to know it. and that none can mistake our obedience and loyalty to the lord and his truth. There is to be no trifling or half-way obedience in this matter: for we are not only to be separate in spirit from the enemies of the Lord, but we are not to touch the unclean. As the Apostle elsewhere says we are to avoid them-to have no part or lot with them." Watchtower 1893 Oct 15 p.1588 "We are not of those who disfellowship Christian brethren on account of some differences of opinion; but when it comes to the point of denying the very foundation of all christianity we must speak out and withstand all such to the face, for they become the enemies of the cross of Christ." Watchtower 1882 Dec p.423 Later, a procedure was implemented where a congregation as a whole discussed an individual's wrongdoing and if they came to a near unanimous decision to disfellowship, the unrepentant sinner was not shunned but treated as a heathen. It was primarily for a person that rejected the value of Christ's Ransom.
      "The administration of discipline is not the function of the elders only, but of the entire Church. Thus it is evident that the Elders were in no sense to be judges of the members-hearing and judgment were left to the local body, or Church. Indeed, even if the transgressor refuse to hear (obey) the decision of the entire Church, no punishment is to be inflicted or even attempted. What then? Merely the Church is to withdraw from him its fellowship and any and all signs or manifestations of brotherhood. Thenceforth the offender is to be treated "as a heathen man and a publican." Matt. 18:17" Studies Series VI - The New Creation (1904) pp.289, 290 "The Scriptural basis of fellowship and disfellowship is both a much broader and a much more simple one. It is simply of two parts: (1) An acceptance of Christ as the Redeemer, and (2) A full consecration to him. Whoever complies with this scriptural formula is entitled to the love, respect, sympathy and care of every other such one; for such, and such only, constitute the church which God recognizes - the church whose names are written in heaven." Watchtower 1905 p.3673 "According to this Scripture the very most that the church could do would be that, after having vainly endeavored to get the brother to repent and reform, it should withdraw special brotherly fellowship from him until such time as he would express willingness thereafter to do right. Then he should be received again into full fellowship. In the meantime the brother may merely be treated in the kindly, courteous way in which it would be proper for us to treat any publican or Gentile, withholding the special rights or privileges or greetings or voting opportunities that belong to the church as a class separate from the world." Watchtower 1919 Mar 1 p.69
      Russell and Rutherford were lenient towards doctrinal disagreements, advising that making all followers think alike on doctrine is what originally caused the great apostasy, a tactic of Satan and a method of control.
      "Rather, like the church of Rome their ["Religious leaders of today"] influence is exerted to restrain investigation within the sectarian limits. With the implied threat of disfellowship, they urge their ministers and students not to search continually for truth, but to accept the voice of their sect as infallible."Watchtower 1887 Apr p.923 "The great adversary is wily, and at all times is quick to appeal to passion. He persuades some that they must take a radical stand against some secular work or activity, and to proceed at once to disfellowship others who cannot conscientiously take this same stand. Somehow they seem to think that their radical stand entitles them in a very special sense to divine favour and blessing. his attitude leads them to violate principle in various ways: (1) By judging and condemning others who do not see as they do; (2) By refusing to fellowship those who still believe in the ransom, the restitution, the high calling." Watchtower1919 Feb 1 p.6385 "Satan's organization sails under the high-sounding name of "Christendom". It boasts of a membership of over 500,000,000 persons. Its members are in bondage to creeds, customs, rites and ceremonies; they dare not disown these or criticize or expose them. To do so would bring down on their heads taunts, reproaches, disfellowship and persecution. Many thousands of the Lords people are held in these denominations as prisoners, afraid to express their disapproval of the creeds, methods and customs of the organization. Watchtower 1930 Oct 1 p.301
      As late as 1947, the Awake described the practice of excommunication as an unscriptural, pagan practice, using Hebrews 10: 26-31 to show it should be left to God to judge individuals.

      Quite remarkably, it was in the years surrounding the above article that Knorr was setting up the disfellowshipping arrangement followed to this day. In the Watchtower 1944 May 15 p.151, responsibility to judge an individual was moved from the congregation to judicial committees. The turning point came in 1952, where a Watchtower article dismissed Jesus remarks to refer a wrongdoer to the congregation, although with no explanation as why:
      "There is one more scripture quite pertinent here, at Matthew 18:15-17. ... This scripture here has nothing to do with disfellowshiping on a congregational basis. When it says go to the congregation, it means go to the elders or the mature ones in the congregation and discuss your own private difficulties. This scripture has to do with merely a personal disfellowshiping." Watchtower 1952 Mar. 1 p.147 This 1952 Watchtower was devoted to delivering clear guidelines on updated Watchtower disfellowship policy, clarifying what was to become an ever increasing list of offences. It denounced the disfellowshipped person in the strongest of terms.
      We might wonder, then, since this congregation which God is developing or bringing into existence is based on love, why anyone should ever want to talk about disfellowshipping or putting people out of this congregation. There certainly must be some reason. Well, the reason for disfellowshipping is that some persons get into this congregation of God that do not love Christ. Those who are acquainted with the situation in the congregation should never say Hello or Goodbye to him. He is not welcome in our midst, we avoid him. Such an individual has no place in the clean organization or congregation of God. He should go back to the wicked group that he once came from and die with that wicked group with Satans organization. Watchtower 1952 Mar 1 pp.131,134 This change was later justified as a result of worsening "moral corruption" following World War II.
      "Even as early as 1904, the first president of the Watch Tower Society, in his book The New Creation, outlined a Scriptural procedure for dealing with violators, even to the point of withdrawing from them the congregation’s “fellowship and any and all signs or manifestations of brotherhood.” But this extreme measure of excommunication or disfellowshiping was not widely practiced among the congregations and was not made a requirement on congregations until 1952. No longer could Christian conduct be viewed simply as a matter affecting only the individual or individuals involved." Watchtower 1967 Oct 1 p.596 "During the years following World War II the moral corruption of the world began to reach frightful proportions. The possibility existed that God’s clean organization could become contaminated by such corruptive influences. But Jehovah was interested in his people, just as in times past, so through his channel of communication he lovingly brought forward information to counteract the filth that could tarnish or cause his people to become unholy. (Matt. 24:45-47) Particularly from 1946, personal moral cleanness became a matter of much greater concern to the Lord’s people. (2 Cor. 7:1) Starting in 1952, the more formal Scriptural arrangement of disfellowshiping wrongdoers was instituted. Those who committed gross sins such as adultery and fornication were expelled from the congregation, if they did not repent. (1 Cor. 5:11-13) God’s organization would not tolerate persons who refused to keep unspotted, clean and pure in the sight of Jehovah." Watchtower 1976 Feb 15 p.122 In the Watchtower 1955 Oct 1 p.607, even to associate with a disfellowshipped person became a reason to be disfellowshipped:
      If a publisher refuses to do this and ignores the prohibition on associating with the disfellowshipped one, that publisher is rebelling against the congregation of Jehovah, and rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim. If after sufficient warning the publisher persists in associating with the disfellowshipped person instead of aligning himself with Jehovah's organization he also should be disfellowshipped. Shepherd the Flock of God (2011) shows that associating with a disfellowshipped nonrelative continues as a disfellowshipping offence by including such association under the categorization of brazen conduct.
      Willful, continued, unnecessary association with disfellowshipped nonrelatives despite repeated counsel." p.60 Members of the congregation are instructed to watch each other and alert the elders to any noticed indiscretions. With a degree of persuasiveness members are told that the Highest Level of authority demands they even break their countries law to report on their brothers.
      "This command from the Highest Level of authority in the universe put the responsibility upon each Israelite to report to the judges any serious wrongdoing that he observed so that the matter might be handled. While Christians are not strictly under the Mosaic Law, its principles still apply in the Christian congregation. Hence, there may be times when a Christian is obligated to bring a matter to the attention of the elders. True, it is illegal in many countries to disclose to unauthorized ones what is found in private records. But if a Christian feels, after prayerful consideration, that he is facing a situation where the law of God required him to report what he knew despite the demands of lesser authorities, then that is a responsibility he accepts before Jehovah. There are times when a Christian must obey God as ruler rather than men. Acts 5:29"Watchtower 1987 Sep 1 p.13 Since the introduction of disfellowshipping, there have been a number of changes in Watchtower doctrine and hence the reasons for being disfellowshipped have also changed back and forth. How can this occur if Jehovah directs an organization's rules? When a situation arises in a congregation that is not clearly specified in the Bible or a Watchtower publication and the elders and branch feel unable to deal with it this is referred to the Governing Body. How does the Governing Body arrive at a new principle for being disfellowshipped? Does the Holy Spirit guide them to examine scripture and arrive at a uniform consensus on what God's standard is? No, the vote does not have to be unanimous. New laws can be introduced with only a two-thirds majority vote.(6) For this reason both the regulation on organ transplants and oral sex was able to be changed back and forth within the space of little over a decade, with huge affect on member's lives.
      For instance, the practice of smoking did not become a disfellowshipping offence until 1973. Having an organ transplant was an offence worthy of being disfellowshipped for over a decade, but is no longer viewed as wrong.
      Oral or anal sex between married couples was classified as;
      a disfellowshipping offence - Watchtower 1974 Nov 15 p.704 no longer an offence - Watchtower 1978 Feb 15 pp.30-32 once again an offence - Watchtower 1983 Mar 15 p.31 One may have hoped that the draconian system of disfellowshipping may have eased over the years, yet the opposite is true. In 1974 there was a softening of the 1952 stance, with release of the following article, but this was short lived;
      "Congregational elders, as well as individual members of a congregation, therefore, ought to guard against developing an attitude approaching that which some Jewish rabbinical writers fomented toward Gentiles in viewing them as virtual enemies. It is right to hate the wrong committed by the disfellowshiped one, but it is not right to hate the person nor is it right to treat such ones in an inhumane way. We may note, too, that at 1 Corinthians 5:11 the apostle warns against mixing in company with one who "is" a fornicator or practicer of some other kind of serious wrongdoing. What, however, of the one who has been disfellowshiped for being that kind of person but who thereafter, either at an early point or at a later point in time, gives consistent evidence of discontinuing such wrong practice, stopping it? Can it be said that he or she still "is" a fornicator or whatever type of wrongdoer such a one was that caused him or her to be as "leaven" toward the congregation? For example, a young person disfellowshiped for fornication may thereafter marry, raise a family and live a respectable life. Or one who was disfellowshiped for drunkenness may abandon such practice and, if drinking at all, may do so in moderation only. By such changes these individuals may now regain the respect of the community. Such ones may not yet have come and formally sought reinstatement by the congregation. Is there, however, not an evident difference between these and others who continue right on in the wrongdoing that brought their disfellowshiping? Those giving up the wrong practice may still manifest some appreciation for Christian truth, perhaps even defending the true Christian congregation when someone speaks evil against it. Should not such circumstances be given due weight and have an effect on our attitude as a congregation toward such ones? Surely if the prodigal son of the parable had returned home in a drunken state, perhaps dragging along one of his harlot companions, the father's reaction would not have been the same. But the father had reason to believe that the son was approaching with a right motive and, rather than suspect the worst, the father hoped the best and went out to meet his errant son." Watchtower 1974 Aug 1 pp.467-469 This more reasonable stance reverted back to strict shunning in 1981, with a comprehensive discussion in the Watchtower Sep 15. The 2008 book Keep Yourself in God's Lovecontinues to refer to the 1981 Watchtower as the standard to be followed.

       
      Correction
      Non-judicial situations involve actions that are considered sinful or simply regrettable but are not considered to be of sufficient gravity to necessitate a  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and cannot result in disfellowshipping from the congregation; specific action by congregation  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. is not administered in such situations, but counsel (or correction) may be provided by a mature Witness in addition to self-discipline and family discipline.[1]  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. may also give recommendations or warnings to members in non-judicial situations.

      If an active baptized Witness is considered to have committed a "serious sin" for which the sinner must demonstrate formal repentance, correction (or, "discipline") is administered by the congregation’s body of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Such situations usually involve a "judicial committee" of three or more  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .[2]
       
      Discipline involving non-judicial situations
      At the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ' discretion, "non-judicial" situations may involve discipline of one or more of several types, presented here in escalating seriousness.
       
      Local needs
      At conventions and assemblies, and about once each month at a local Service Meeting, a short talk regarding "local needs" is presented.[3] An  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. addresses matters that are relevant to the local congregation, with instructions outlining the course of action considered appropriate. No specific individuals are identified during the talk, but the talk may relate to a matter for which a member has recently been "reproved". At times, some temporary policy may be announced that might be seen as disciplinary; for example, it may be that an additional attendant is assigned outside a  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  to discourage children from running on the sidewalk.[4]
       
      Shepherding calls
      Personal "shepherding visits" are intended to encourage members of the congregation, though may also include counsel and correction, then or on a subsequent visit.[5][6] Two  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. (or an  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and a ministerial servant) may schedule and perform a particular shepherding visit on their own or at the direction of the body of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .[7]
       
      Withheld recommendations or assignments
      The body of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. may withhold its recommendation for a member to serve in a new position of responsibility, though still permitting existing responsibilities.[8]

      For example, a ministerial servant who consistently seems insufficiently prepared for his meeting parts may have such assignments withheld for a time, even though he may continue serving as a ministerial servant or in some other "special privilege of service".[9]
       
      Loss of "special privileges"
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , ministerial servants, pioneers, or other appointed Witnesses can lose their "special privileges of service".[10][11] For example, an  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. may be removed or choose to step aside voluntarily from his position if members of his household are not in "good standing".[12] After resignation or removal from an appointed position, an announcement is made during the congregation's Service Meeting indicating that the person is "no longer serving", without elaboration.[13]
       
      Limited "privileges of service"
      An active  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  may have their congregational "privileges of service" limited even without having committed a serious sin. For example, the body of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. may feel that a member wronged others by some investment scheme which was not necessarily fraudulent.[14] While Witnesses sometimes refer to field ministry, after-meeting cleanup, and other responsibilities as "privileges", the term "privileges of service" often implies a specific range of assignments assisting  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and ministerial servants with meeting demonstrations and other responsibilities.[15] Such limitations are usually temporary.[16]
       
      Marking
      Members who persist in a course considered scripturally wrong after repeated counsel by  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ,[17] but who are not guilty of something for which they could be disfellowshipped,[17] can be "marked", based on  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ' interpretation of 2 Thessalonians 3:14. Though not shunned, "marked" individuals are looked upon as bad association and social interaction outside of formal worship settings is generally curtailed. This action is intended to "shame" the person into following a particular course of action.[17] "Marking" is indicated by means of a talk given at the Service Meeting outlining the shameful course, but without explicitly naming any particular individual. Members who know whose actions are being discussed may then consider the individual "marked".
       
      Discipline involving "serious sin"
      List of "serious sins"
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  consider many actions to be "serious sins", for which baptized Witnesses are subject to disfellowshipping or formal reproof. Actions for which a member can be disfellowshipped include: abortion,[18] adultery, apostasy,[19] bestiality, blood transfusions,[20] "brazen conduct" or "loose conduct",[21][22] drug abuse,[23] drunkenness, extortion,[24] fornication, fraud,[25] gambling,[24] greed,[24] homosexual activity, idolatry, incest, interfaith activity,[26] lying,[27] manslaughter, murder, "perverted sex relations",[28] polygamy,[29] pornography,[30] reviling, sexual abuse,[31] slander,[25] spiritism, theft, and use of tobacco.[23][32][33]
       
      Procedures
      Evidence for actions that can result in congregational discipline is obtained by voluntary confession to the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. or by witnesses of the violation. A minimum of two witnesses is required to establish guilt, based on their understanding of Deuteronomy 17:6 and Matthew 18:16, unless the person confesses voluntarily.[34] Members are instructed to report serious sins committed by others members.[35] Failure to report a serious sin of another member is viewed as sharing in the sins of others, a sin before God.[36] Witnesses are instructed that pledges of confidentiality may be broken to report what they believe to be transgressions.[37]

      A congregation's body of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. considers confessions or credible allegations of serious sin, and decides whether a judicial committee will be formed to address the matter.[38] A judicial committee, usually consisting of three  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , investigates the details of the alleged sin further. 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.[39][40][41]

      In certain situations, a body of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. may handle a situation involving "serious sin" by a baptized Witness without a judicial committee:
      Minor or newly baptized - A minor or newly baptized Witness might commit one or two acts of "serious sin" involving tobacco or overdrinking;[42][43] repercussions as for 'non-judicial' situations may still be imposed. Repentance - The body of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. may believe the sinner's repentance has been established and accepted. For example, if a member committed a "serious sin" several years ago, had formally repented in prayer, and the sin did not involve scheming.[44] Witnesses are strongly discouraged from waiting years to resolve such matters;[45] even if years have passed since the serious sin, it is typical for a judicial committee to be formed, and there may still be repercussions as for ‘non-judicial’ situations. Judicial abeyance -  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. may become aware of a "serious sin" committed by a baptized Witness who has been inactive for some time and is not perceived as a  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . If the alleged sinner is not associating with active Witnesses, the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. may indefinitely postpone a judicial committee and formal hearing unless and until the individual renews their association with the congregation.[46] 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,[47] and the hearing is held privately even if the accused individual requests that it be heard openly so all may witness the evidence.[48][49] Recording devices are not permitted at the hearing.[47] If the accused repeatedly fails to attend an arranged hearing, the committee will proceed but will not make a decision until evidence and testimony by witnesses are considered.[47]

      The committee takes the role of prosecutor, judge and jury when handling its cases.[50] After the hearing is opened with a prayer, the accused is invited to make a personal statement. 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.[47]

      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.[51] Alternatively, the committee may decide that a serious sin was committed, in which case, the committee gives verbal admonitions and gauges the individual's attitude and repentance. The committee then decides whether discipline will involve formal reproof or disfellowshipping.
       
      Reproof
      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[52][53] and repent.[54] Reproof is considered sufficient if the individual is deemed repentant.[55][56] Reproof is given before all who are aware of the transgression. 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  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , 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".[57] A related local needs talk may be given, separately to the announcement, without naming anyone.[58]

      In all cases of reproof, restrictions are imposed,[59] 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.[60][61]
       
      Disfellowshipping
      All members are expected to abide by the beliefs and moral standards of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and serious violations of these requirements can result in disfellowshipping if not deemed repentant; the term is used in reference to both the act of congregational expulsion (similar to excommunication) and subsequent shunning.[62] When a judicial committee decides that a baptized Witness has committed a serious sin and is unrepentant, the person is disfellowshipped. A person can appeal if they believe that a serious error in judgment has been made. Requests for appeal must be made in writing and within seven days of the decision of the judicial committee. If the decision is not appealed, an announcement is made at the Service Meeting that the named individual "is no longer one of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ", without any further explanation. Shunning starts immediately after the announcement is made.[63]

      If a baptized Witness teaches contrary to Witness doctrines, it is considered apostasy and grounds for disfellowshipping. A 1981 letter to overseers—reproduced in a book by former  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  member  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. —directed that a member who "persists in believing other doctrine", even without promoting such beliefs, may also be subject to disfellowshipping.[64]  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. usually try to reason with the individual before such action is taken.[65] If a person believes that a teaching should be adjusted or changed, he is encouraged "to be patient and wait on Jehovah for change".[66]

      All members are encouraged to have a detailed understanding of what is expected and the consequences of wrongdoing.[67] The stated purpose of congregation discipline is to help erring ones be restored to spiritual health, to help uphold the organization's reputation, and to keep the congregation clean from wrong conduct.[68]
       
      Shunning
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  shun disfellowshipped individuals, a process Watch Tower Society publications describe as "withholding fellowship".[69] Their shunning policy is based on their interpretation of scriptures such as 1 Corinthians 5:11-13; Matthew 18:15-17; and 2 John 9-11.[70][71]

      Witnesses state that avoiding interaction with disfellowshipped former adherents helps to:
      avoid reproach on God's name and organization by indicating that violations of the Bible's standards in their ranks are not tolerated; keep the congregation free of possible corrosive influences;[72] and convince the disfellowshipped individual to re-evaluate their course of action, repent and rejoin the religion.[73]
      Shunning is also practiced when a member formally resigns membership or is deemed to indicate, by their actions, a statement, or their association with another religion, that they do not wish to be known as a Witness. Such individuals are said to have disassociated,[74][75] and are described by the Watch Tower Society as "lawless" in a spiritual sense.[76] In either case ("disfellowshipping" or "disassociating"), an announcement is made at the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  that "[full name] is no longer one of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ." This announcement is made at the congregation the person attends.[77] Congregation members are not informed whether a person is being shunned due to "disfellowshipping" or "disassociation", nor on what grounds. The Watchtower states that "apostates are “mentally diseased,” and they seek to infect others with their disloyal teachings. (1 Timothy 6:3, 4 [NWT]).";[78][79] some have stated that this applies to all individuals who leave the organization.[80][81]

      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"[82] and may themselves be punished by disfellowshipping.[83] Exceptions are made in some cases such as business relations and immediate family household situations.[69] If a disfellowshipped person is living in the same home with other baptized family members, religious matters are not discussed, with the exception of minors, for whose training parents are still responsible.[84][85] Disfellowshipped family members outside the home are shunned.[86]

      The Watchtower 2013 Jan 1 p.16 even denies family communication by email, stating; "Do not look for excuses to associate with a disfellowshipped family member, for example, through e-mail." Interestingly, whilst the translation into most languages is the same, the Spanish edition extends this to "email, phone or text messaging."

      Disfellowshipped individuals can continue attending meetings held at the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , though they are shunned by the congregation. Attending meetings while being shunned is a requirement for eventual reinstatement.[87]

      If a person dies in a disfellowshipped state they still are not to be associated with, so Witnesses are persuaded from attending their funeral.
      "In "Questions from Readers" (The Watchtower, 1961, p. 544) the position was taken that a funeral for a disfellowshiped person was improper. The comment was made: "We never want to give the impression to outsiders that a disfellowshiped person was acceptable in the congregation when in truth and in fact he was not acceptable but had been disfellowshiped from it." A Christian congregation would not want its good name besmirched by having it associated with any to whom 2 John 9, 10 applied, even in their death." Watchtower 1977 Jun 1 p.347
      Under certain circumstances even a parent can be disfellowshipped for associating with their own disfellowshipped children.
      "Normally, a close relative would not be disfellowshipped for associating with a disfellowshipped person unless there is spiritual association or an effort made to justify or excuse the wrongful course." Pay Attention to Yourselves and all the Flock p.103
      The latest elder's book, Shepherd the Flock of God (2010) reconfirms this, explaining that association with a relative can result in losing congregation privileges and even being disfellowshipped.
      Assist those having undue association with disfellowshipped or disassociated relatives. ... If members of the congregation are known to have undue association with disfellowshipped or disassociated relatives who are not in the household, elders should counsel and reason with those members of the congregation from the Scriptures. ... If it is clear that a Christian is violating the spirit of the disfellowshipping decree in this regard and does not respond to counsel, it may be that he would not qualify for congregation privileges, which require one to be exemplary. He would not be dealt with judicially unless there is persistent spiritual association or he openly criticizes the disfellowshipping decision. pp.114-116
      Watchtower has publicly announced to the authorities in Finland a change to the above instructions
       
      Reinstatement
      Disfellowshipped individuals may be reinstated into the congregation if they are considered repentant of their previous actions and attitude. When a disassociated or disfellowshipped individual requests reinstatement, a judicial committee, (the committee originally involved, if available) seeks to determine whether the person has repented.[88] Such individuals must demonstrate that they no longer practice the conduct for which they were expelled from the congregation, as well as submission to the religion's regulations.[89][90][91] Individuals disfellowshipped for actions no longer considered serious sins, such as organ transplants, are not automatically reinstated. Meeting attendance while being shunned is considered by the organization as an important step toward eventual reinstatement.[92] Once a decision is made to reinstate, a brief announcement is made to the congregation that the disfellowshipped member is once again one of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. are instructed to make an attempt each year to remind disfellowshipped ones of the steps they can take to qualify for reinstatement.[69][93] No specific period of time is prescribed before this can happen, however the Watch Tower Society suggests a period of "perhaps many months, a year, or longer."[94] In 1974, the Watch Tower Society stated that about one third of those disfellowshipped eventually return to the group, based on figures gathered from 1963 to 1973.[95]
       

      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.


       
       
      Legality
      In June 1987, the 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, finding that "shunning is a practice engaged in by  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  pursuant to their interpretation of canonical text, and we are not free to reinterpret that text … The defendants are entitled to the free exercise of their religious beliefs … The members of the Church [she] decided to abandon have concluded that they no longer want to associate with her. We hold that they are free to make that choice."[96][97]
       
      Unbaptized publishers
      An unbaptized individual who has previously been approved to share in  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ' formal ministry or participate in their Theocratic Ministry School, 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.[98]

      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."[99] Such individuals were previously shunned, but formal restrictions are no longer imposed on unbaptized individuals, though association is generally curtailed. The  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. might privately warn individuals in the congregation if the unbaptized person is considered to pose "an unusual threat".[100]
      Critical view
      The only way to officially leave  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  is to disassociate or be disfellowshipped, and both entail the same set of prohibitions and penalties, with no provision for continued normal association. Sociologist Andrew Holden has claimed that fear of family break-up or loss causes people who might otherwise freely leave the religion to remain members.[101]  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  state that disfellowshipping is a scripturally documented method to protect the congregation from the influence of those who practice serious wrongdoing.[102] Critics contend that the judicial process itself, due to its private and nearly autonomous nature, directly contradicts the precedent found in the Bible and the organization's own teachings and can be used in an arbitrary manner if there is consensus among just a few to abuse their authority.[103]

      According to  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , a letter dated September 1, 1980, 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."[104] The letter states that one does not have to "promote" different doctrines to be an apostate, adding that  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. need to "discern between one who is a trouble-making apostate and a Christian who becomes weak in the faith and has doubts."[104]  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  indicate that some type of action is required for a member to be disfellowshipped, rather than a 'disagreement in thought'.[105]
       
      Scriptural basis 
      Though there is Scriptural precedence to limit association with brothers practicing wrongdoing, critics of the Watchtower application of disfellowshipping state that it seriously deviates from Bible guidelines in a number of ways;
      The word "disfellowship" does not appear in the Bible
      2 John 10 says not to greet the Antichrist. The Watchtower uses this single scripture to support not saying hello to a disfellowshipped person. At Scriptures such as 1 Corinthians 5, Paul outlined limiting association with Christians that practice wrongdoing, not strict shunning. The Watchtower disfellowships for practices never discussed in the Bible such as smoking, gambling and having a blood transfusion. Disfellowshipping is extended to prevent immediate family members associating with their disfellowshipped relatives. The punishment applies forever, or until the Watchtower Society formally reinstates the person. It is considered irrelevant whether the person no longer practices the wrongdoing they were disfellowshipped for.

      Bible discussion of shunning in 1 Corinthian's 15 and 2 John is limited to just the following areas; Fornication, Greed, idolatry, Revilers, Practicing Drunkenness, Extortion and One who does not remain in the teaching of the Christ.

      This list should be the full extent of reasons for which to be disfellowshipped. In fact, Diotrephes was reprimanded for attempting to throw people out of the congregation unnecessarily.
       
      3 John 9,10 "I wrote something to the congregation, but Diotrephes, who likes to have the first place among them, does not receive anything from us with respect. That is why, if I come, I will call to remembrance his works which he goes on doing, chattering about us with wicked words. Also, not being content with these things, neither does he himself receive the brothers with respect, and those who are wanting to receive them he tries to hinder and to throw out of the congregation."
      Following is the vast list of offences the Watchtower has created for which a Jehovah's Witness can be disfellowshipped or disassociated.

      Bible discussion of shunning in 1 Corinthian's 15 and 2 John is limited to just the following areas; Fornication, Greed, idolatry, Revilers, Practicing Drunkenness, Extortion and One who does not remain in the teaching of the Christ.
      This list should be the full extent of reasons for which to be disfellowshipped. In fact, Diotrephes was reprimanded for attempting to throw people out of the congregation unnecessarily.
      3 John 9,10 "I wrote something to the congregation, but Diotrephes, who likes to have the first place among them, does not receive anything from us with respect. That is why, if I come, I will call to remembrance his works which he goes on doing, chattering about us with wicked words. Also, not being content with these things, neither does he himself receive the brothers with respect, and those who are wanting to receive them he tries to hinder and to throw out of the congregation." Following is the vast list of offences the Watchtower has created for which a Jehovah's Witness can be disfellowshipped or disassociated.
      The abbreviations refer to the following publications: 

      Adultery (sexual intercourse with a person other than your marriage mate), includes; Abandoning wife and eloping with another woman - w79 11/15 31-2, w76 p.728 Planned adultery to break Scriptural marriage ties - w83 3/15 p.29 Remarriage without Scriptural permission - w56 10/1 p.597 Polygamy - jv 176 Dating a person not legally divorced - ks91-E p.135 Apostasy - w83 4/1 pp.22-4, km 8/80 pp.1, 4. includes; Rebellion against Jehovah's organization - w63 7/1 Promoting sects - it-2 886 Associating with disfellowshipped people including; Friends - ks91-E p.103, w81 9/15 pp.25-6, w55 10/1 p.607 Family - ks91-E p.103 Blood and blood transfusions - w61 1/15 ks91-E p.95, jv p.183-4 Drug use - ks91-E p.96 Drunkenness - ks91-E p.95, it-1 656 Dishonest business practices - w63 7/1, w86 11/15 14 Employment violating Christian principles - km 9/76 p.6, km 2/74 Working for any religious organization - ks91-E p.95 Working in a gambling institution - ks91-E p.136 Selling tobacco - ks91-E p.96 Contract work at a military establishment False worship. Includes; Attending another church ks91-E p.94 Following mourning customs that involve false worship - w85 4/15 p.25 Fornication it-1 863 Bestiality - w83 6/1 p.25 Incestuous marriage - w78 3/15 p.26 Artificial insemination and surrogate motherhood. "True Christians, therefore, avoid surrogate motherhood as well as any procedures that involve the use of donated sperm, eggs, or embryos" g04 9/22; "Artificial insemination of a married woman by a donor other than her husband makes her guilty of adultery" g74 8/8 p.28 sexual abuse of children - g93 10/8 p.10Reviling - ks91-E p.94, w96 7/15 pp.17-18; it-1 p.991; it-2 p.802 Fraud - ks91-E p.94, om pp.142-3 Gambling or related employment - w80 9/1, ks91-E p.136 Gluttony - w86 5/1 Greediness, this in used to include; gambling ks91-E p.95 extortion ks91-E p.95, w89 1/15 22, it-1 p.789 greed in relation to bride-price: w98 9/15 p.25 Homosexuality - w83 6/1 pp.24-6 Idolatry - w52 3/1 p.138 Loose conduct - ks91-E pp.93, 96, w83 3/15 p.31, w73 9/15 p.574, it-2 p.264, ks91-E p.93, w83 3/15 p.31, w73 9/15 pp.574-6, w97 9/1 p.14, it-2 p.246. Sexual perversion Disregard for Jehovah's moral standards Disrespect, disregard or even contempt for standards, laws and authority,
      Rather than restricted to the usual definition of sexual perversion, the Watchtower defines "loose conduct" as including "disrespect to elders". This enables this term to be used to disfellowship for a wide range of offences not elsewhere covered, and as such is used to cover all manner of sins, such as refusal to cease fellowship with disfellowshipped people, or even being contemptuous in a judicial meeting where no other sin can be proven.
      Lying - ks91-E p.94, g00 2/8 p.21 Non neutral activities (involvement in politics and the military) - ks91-E p.96 Military service and non military service including working casual work (certain civilian work has recently been made a conscience matter w96 5/1 p.20) - ks91-E p.96 Obscene speech - ks91-E p.95 Parents condoning immorality - w56 p.566 Political involvement, including voting or holding a political card in Malawi - ks91-E p.96 (w99 11/1 p.28 made voting a conscience matter) Porneia. Includes oral and anal sex between married couples, mutual masturbation between persons not married to each other, homosexuality, lesbianism, fornication, adultery, incest, and bestiality. - ks91-E p.93 Slander - ks91-E p.94, w63 7/1, w89 10/15 p.14, om p.142 Smoking or selling tobacco - km 2/74, ks91-E p.96 Spiritism (includes yoga w02 8/1 p.22) - w55 10/1 p.607 Stealing, thievery - om pp.142-5, ks91-E p.94 Subversive activity - w95 10/1 p.31 Uncleanness Sexually perverse practices within marriage, such as oral and anal sex - w83 3/15 p.31 Heavy petting and breast fondling - ks91-E p.92 Touching of sexual parts - ks91-E p.91 Practice of viewing abhorrent Pornography - w2012 3/15 p.31 Violation of secular law if flagrant attitude - w86 10/1 p.31 Violence, extreme physical abuse, fits of anger - ks91-E p.96, w75 p.287, g01 11/8 p.12 Includes Boxing w81 7/1 pp.30-1, ks91-E p.142 Wilful non support of family, endangerment of mates spirituality - w88 11/1 pp.22-3, km 9/73 p.8, ks91-E p.95 Worldly celebrations such as Christmas - ks91-E p.95 (It appears celebrating birthdays is not a reason to be disfellowshipped)
       
      Bible guidelines on disfellowshipping
      Examining the Scriptures used to justify disfellowshipping, it becomes apparent that Christian writers prescribed marking a Christian wrongdoer but did not provide for the Watchtower practice of disfellowshipping and strict shunning.
      Jesus Advice
      Jesus commanded that we not judge but love all, particularly those we consider our enemies.
      Luke 6:27-37 "But I say to YOU who are listening, Continue to love YOUR enemies, to do good to those hating YOU, to bless those cursing YOU, to pray for those who are insulting YOU. To him that strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also; and from him that takes away your outer garment, do not withhold even the undergarment.Give to everyone asking you, and from the one taking your things away do not ask [them] back. Also, just as YOU want men to do to YOU, do the same way to them. And if YOU love those loving YOU, of what credit is it to YOU? For even the sinners love those loving them.And if YOU do good to those doing good to YOU, really of what credit is it to YOU? Even the sinners do the same.Also, if YOU lend [without interest] to those from whom YOU hope to receive, of what credit is it to YOU? Even sinners lend [without interest] to sinners that they may get back as much. To the contrary, continue to love YOUR enemies and to do good and to lend [without interest], not hoping for anything back; and YOUR reward will be great, and YOU will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind toward the unthankful and wicked. Continue becoming merciful, just as YOUR Father is merciful. Moreover, stop judging, and YOU will by no means be judged; and stop condemning, and YOU will by no means be condemned." Jesus introduced the standard on how Christian wrongdoers should be treated, saying at Matthew 18:15-17:
      "Moreover, if your brother commits a sin, go lay bare his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two more, in order that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every matter may be established. If he does not listen to them, speak to the congregation. If he does not listen even to the congregation, let him be to you just as a man of the nations and as a tax collector." Jesus did not say to never utter a word to an unrepentant wrong doer but to treat them as a tax collector. He himself spoke to and ate with tax collectors. (Matthew 9:11).
      1 Corinthians 5:11
      The majority of information on how to treat wrongdoers within the congregation comes from Paul and the main support the Watchtower uses to enforce shunning is from 1 Corinthians 5.
      Paul showed a balanced approach to wrongdoers, advising not to socialise with such ones, but to still admonish [them] as a brother. 2 Thessalonians is key to understanding that wrongdoers should be marked, not disfellowshipped.
      2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15 Now we are giving YOU orders, brothers, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to withdraw from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the tradition YOU received from us . 14 But if anyone is not obedient to our word through this letter, keep this one marked, stop associating with him, that he may become ashamed. 15 And yet do not be considering him as an enemy, but continue admonishing him as a brother. Paul did not indicate that marking was only for non-serious sin as the word through this letter at 2 Thessalonians included those not glorifying the name of our Lord Jesus, those refusing to work for a living, and any who had been seduced by apostasy. Paul did not say to disfellowship and shun such people, but rather instructed the congregation to mark or take note of such a person, yet continue admonishing him as a brother. In similar vein the following scriptures do not instruct complete shunning of the person, but rather to take note so as not to be influenced by their wrong ways.
      Romans 16:17 "Now I exhort YOU, brothers, to keep your eye on (the word 'mark' is used in many translations) those who cause divisions and occasions for stumbling contrary to the teaching that YOU have learned, and avoid them. " Titus 3:10 "As for a man that promotes a sect, reject him after a first and a second admonition; knowing that such a man has been turned out of the way and is sinning, he being self-condemned." At 1 Corinthians 5 Paul specifically outlined practices for which to cease mixing with a brother, yet this too is similar to the advice given when marking a brother.
      1 Corinthians 5:11 "But now I am writing YOU to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man. For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Do YOU not judge those inside, while God judges those outside? Remove the wicked [man] from among yourselves." 1 Corinthians does not say to totally shun a brother who is a wrong doer, rather it says to quit mixing in company with such a person and not eat with such a man and hence refers to socialising. As the Watchtower has explained, this refers to socialising as friends.
      "God's Word states that we should 'not even eat with such a man.' (1 Cor. 5:11) Hence, we also avoid social fellowship with an expelled person. This would rule out joining him in a picnic, party, ball game, or trip to the mall or theater or sitting down to a meal with him either in the home or at a restaurant." Kingdom Ministry 2002 Aug p.3 This does not state that this type of person must never be spoken to. As Paul explained at 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 (quoted earlier), if they are at a meeting it would be reasonable to encourage them. Most certainly a polite greeting is acceptable.
      1 Corinthians is also specific as to who these words apply to. This advice is in regards to a person"called a brother" who "is" a wrongdoer. No indication is given that they should be avoided when they are no longer recognised as a Jehovah's Witness brother. Nor does it say to shun a person who has stopped their wrongdoing. It is regularly the case that a teenage Witness is disfellowshipped for smoking or fornication. Years later they no longer practice what they were disfellowshipped for and are no longer known in the community as a brother, and so their continued shunning is unjustified.
      It can also be noted that Paul did not insist that everyone participate in the shunning. Later he wrote that the "majority" participate in the rebuke, showing that some in the congregation may choose not to show rebuke to the person.
      2 Corinthians 2:5-6 "Now if anyone has caused sadnessM, he has saddened, not me, but all of YOU to an extent-not to be too harsh in what I say. This rebuke given by the majority is sufficient for such a man, …" The New World Translation reference M shows Paul was here referring to the situation discussed at 1 Corinthians 5, (as do Christian scholars).
      Paul gave similar advice on a number of occasions to 'mark' and 'avoid' wrongdoers. This does not mean that the person must be totally ignored, never uttered a greeting, avoiding eye contact, crossing the street to get away from, all common experiences of disfellowshipped Jehovah's Witnesses.
      2 John 10
      Watchtower extreme treatment of not even saying "hello" to a disfellowshipped Witnesses is not based on the above scriptures, but rather on a single statement at 2 John 7-11:
      For many deceivers have gone forth into the world, persons not confessing Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Look out for yourselves, that YOU do not lose the things we have worked to produce, but that YOU may obtain a full reward. Everyone that pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God. He that does remain in this teaching is the one that has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to YOU and does not bring this teaching, never receive him into YOUR homes or say a greeting to him. For he that says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works. 2 John is referring to the antichrist and should not be applied across the board to all forms of sin, as done by the Watchtower Society.
      In order to justify their stance, the Watchtower describes those that stop being Witnesses as apostate and of the Antichrist, saying that "the word apostasy comes from a Greek word that literally means a standing away from but has the sense of desertion, abandonment or rebellion ... [and included] abandonment of right moral standards ... willfully abandoning the Christian congregation thereby become part of the 'antichrist." Watchtower 1985 Jul 15 p.31 In reality, many who stop being Witnesses continue to follow Jesus and Bible morals, but have come to believe that the Watchtower Society is not directed by Jesus.
      Interestingly, Johns advice here was not limited to former Christians. It included anyone denying Christ. This included Jews that rejected Jesus and people of the nations worshipping other Gods. Yet the Watchtower stance is to apply this only to Jehovah's Witnesses.
      The meaning of the phrase never receive him into YOUR homes should be understood in the context of the hospitality of first century Jerusalem. Since Christians held congregation meetings in their homes John possibly felt that inviting a denier of Christ into a home could be viewed as sharing worship with non-Christians.
      Likewise the term to never "say a greeting" needs to be understood in light of first century practice. In the following article, the Watchtower incorrectly claims that John used the term "greeting" to indicate a simple hello.
      "John here used khairo, which was a greeting like good day or hello. (Acts 15:23; Matthew 28:9) He did not use aspazomai (as in verse 13), which means to enfold in the arms, thus to greet, to welcome and may have implied a very warm greeting, even with an embrace. (Luke 10:4; 11:43; Acts 20:1, 37; 1 Thessalonians 5:26) So the direction at 2 John 11 could well mean not to say even hello to such ones." Watchtower 1988 Apr 15 p.27 This article claims the word khairo is used to forbid a simple greeting, instead of aspazomai which means a more affectionate embrace, enfolding in the arms, kiss, greeting or welcome. This is incorrect, and the opposite is true. Strong's Concordance states;
      5463 chairo {khah'-ee-ro} 1) to rejoice, be glad 2) to rejoice exceedingly 3) to be well, thrive 4) in salutations, hail! 5) at the beginning of letters: to give one greeting, salute 783 aspasmos {as-pas-mos} 1) a salutation, either oral or written 2 John does not indicate a polite greeting is wrong. John here shows that a person is a sharer in the Antichrist's wicked works if he shows acceptance and agreement with the evildoers cause or teachings, or wishes them favour and success.
      The Watchtower Society uses this single Scripture in 2 John to dictate that every disfellowshipped or disassociated person should not even be politely greeted. This is applied regardless of what the person was disfellowshipped for, including a long list of Society originated rules such as gambling, smoking, or authorising a blood transfusion. Every single one of a disfellowshipped persons Witness friends is told to never greet them again, unless they repent and are formally reinstated by the Watchtower Society. I am aware of friends whose own mothers or their own children have not spoken to them for upwards of 20 years. Yet such shunning is only ever discussed once, was only to apply to the Antichrist, and as such is being misused to its extremity.

      When a Pharisee expressed surprise that Jesus did not do ritual washing before dinner, Jesus' rebuke was particularly harsh.
      Luke 11:42 "'But woe to YOU Pharisees, because YOU give the tenth of the mint and the rue and of every [other] vegetable, but YOU pass by the justice and the love of God!" (see also Matthew 12:1-10) Matthew 12:7 "However, if YOU had understood what this means, I want mercy, and not sacrifice, YOU would not have condemned the guiltless ones."   Behind Closed Doors
      In determining if a person should be disfellowshipped the elders form a "judicial committee" to meet with the wrongdoer. This is done in private, and the wrongdoer is not allowed an onlooker, lawyer or recording device.
      "Hear only those witnesses who have relevant testimony regarding the alleged wrongdoing. Those who intend to testify only about the character of the accused should not be allowed do so. The witnesses should not hear details and testimony of other witnesses. Observers should not present for moral support. Recording should not be allowed." Shepherd the Flock of God p.90 This star-chamber setting opens the procedure to abuse.
      "I cannot tell you how humiliating and degrading it is as a woman to sit before 3 men (1 that I had known my whole life) and have to describe in graphic detail what I had done sexually that was sinful." - Email from reader
      The word "judicial committee" does not appear in the Bible and goes against Bible guidelines. Both the Israelites and early Christian congregations kept matters open to ordinary persons. 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.
      "The Bible regulations and accounts indicate that cases of wrongdoing came before the city elders at the gates primarily when controversies were involved, as in cases where an offender would not acknowledge having wronged another, and also when the community as a whole was seriously affected or endangered by the wrongdoing." Watchtower 1976 Dec 1 p.732 "Since the local court was situated at the city gates, there was no question about the trial being public! (Deut. 16:18-20) No doubt the public trials helped influence the judges toward carefulness and justice, qualities that sometimes vanish in secret star-chamber hearings." Watchtower 1981 Jan 1 p.17 At Matthew 18:17, Jesus 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 1944 by Knorr.
      Reasons hidden
      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. The extent of both the disfellowshipping and disassociating announcement is restricted to:
      "[Name of person] is no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses." Organised to do Jehovah's Will (2005) p.154 Speed of process
      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;
      Galatians 6:1 Brothers, even though a man takes some false step before he is aware of it, YOU who have spiritual qualifications try to readjust such a man in a spirit of mildness, as you each keep an eye on yourself, for fear you also may be tempted. 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.
      Punishment
      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.
      Overly Harsh
      A review of Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 1 p.788 Expelling shows that many scriptures that relate to disfellowshipping discuss assisting or reproving the person.
      2 Corinthians 2:5-8 "Now if anyone has caused sadness, he has saddened, not me, but all of YOU to an extentnot to be too harsh in what I say. This rebuke given by the majority is sufficient for such a man, so that, on the contrary now, YOU should kindly forgive and comfort [him], that somehow such a man may not be swallowed up by his being overly sad. Therefore I exhort YOU to confirm YOUR love for him." 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.
      Pharisaic
      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".
      "DISFELLOWSHIP(PED). See EXPEL, EXPELLED" Rbi8 p.1507 Under Expelled the Scriptures are
      "EXPELLED,  Joh 9:22 e. from synagogue  Joh 12:42 not to be e. from synagogue" Rbi8 p.1510 Both references are regarding the Pharisees practice of expelling from the Synagogue.
      John 9:22 "His parents said these things because they were in fear of the Jews, for the Jews had already come to an agreement that, if anyone confessed him as Christ, he should get expelled from the synagogue." The closest Scriptural example the Watchtower can find for the term disfellowship is that of the Pharisees.
      Hatred
      The direction given in the Watchtower goes strongly against Christian examples when demanding members hate an apostate.
      "The obligation to hate lawlessness also applies to all activity by apostates. Our attitude toward apostates should be that of David, who declared: Do I not hate those who are intensely hating you" Watchtower 1992 Jul 15 pp.12-13 Christ Hated Lawlessness Do You? "Apostasy is, in reality, a rebellion against Jehovah. Some apostates profess to know and serve God, but they reject teachings or requirements set out in his Word. Others claim to believe the Bible, but they reject Jehovah's organization and actively try to hinder its work. When they deliberately choose such badness after knowing what is right, when the bad becomes so ingrained that it is an inseparable part of their makeup, then a Christian must hate (in the Biblical sense of the word) those who have inseparably attached themselves to the badness. True Christians share Jehovah's feelings toward such apostates; they are not curious about apostate ideas. On the contrary, they "feel a loathing" toward those who have made themselves God's enemies, but they leave it to Jehovah to execute vengeance."Watchtower 1993 Oct 1 p.19 "Haters of God and his people are to be hated, but this does not mean that we will take any opportunity of bringing physical hurt to them in a spirit of malice or spite, for both malice and spite belong to the Devil, whereas pure hatred does not. We must hate in the truest sense, which is to regard with extreme and active aversion, to consider as loathsome, odious, filthy, to detest. Surely any haters of God are not fit to live on his beautiful earth. The earth will be rid of the wicked and we shall not need to lift a finger to cause physical harm to come to them, for God will attend to that, but we must have a proper perspective of these enemies. His name signifies recompense to the enemies." Watchtower 1952 Oct 1 p.599 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.
      Matthew 5:44-45 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust," Romans 12:17-21 17 Return evil for evil to no one. Provide fine things in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, as far as it depends upon YOU, be peaceable with all men. 19 Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath; for it is written: Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says Jehovah. 20 But, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing this you will heap fiery coals upon his head. 21 Do not let yourself be conquered by the evil, but keep conquering the evil with the good. When discussing a person seduced by apostasy Paul said at 2 Thessalonians 3:15 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 10:25-37) The Jews regarded the Samaritans as apostates of the Jewish religion, yet Jesus says our love is to encompass these people as well.
      References
      "Speak What "Is Good for Building Up"",  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , page 142-143 "Maintaining the Peace and Cleanness of the Congregation",  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , page 151 Our Kingdom Ministry, Service meeting schedule, 1992-2009 "Question Box", Our Kingdom Ministry, March 1972, page 4 "Do You Accept Jehovah’s Help?", The Watchtower, December 15, 2004, page 21 "Charisma—Praise to Man or Glory to God?", The Watchtower, February 15, 1998, page 27 "How Christian Shepherds Serve You", The Watchtower, March 15, 1996, page 27 "Announcements", Our Kingdom Ministry, June 2005, page 3 "Guidelines for School Overseers",  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , ©2001 Watch Tower, page 284, subheading "Making Assignments" Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  use the term "special privileges of service" for positions requiring formal appointment or approval, such as  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , ministerial servant, pioneer, Bethel (branch) service, and schools such as Gilead and Ministerial Training School; "Make Room for It", Our Kingdom Ministry, April 2003, page 1 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  chap. 26 pp. 268-269 par. 22 The Watchtower 10/15/96 p. 21 par. 7 Father and Elder—Fulfilling Both Roles "Announcements", Our Kingdom Ministry, February 1991, page 7 "Let Discernment Safeguard You", The Watchtower, March 15, 1997, page 19 "Let Your Advancement Be Manifest", Theocratic Ministry School Guidebook, page 191 "Are You Reaching Out?", The Watchtower, September 1, 1990, page 23 The Watchtower 4/15/85 p. 31 Questions From Readers "Questions From Readers". The Watchtower: 12. 15 April 2009. "Understanding that timeless truth has helped millions of Christians to repudiate the practice of abortion, seeing it as a serious sin against God." "Apostasy" includes publicly challenging the religion's teachings Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . pp. 182–184. "Consistent with that understanding of matters, beginning in 1961 any who ignored the divine requirement, accepted blood transfusions, and manifested an unrepentant attitude were disfellowshipped from the congregations of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ." Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , pages 60, "Rather than relating to bad conduct of a somewhat petty or minor nature, "brazen conduct" describes acts that reflect an attitude that betrays disrespect, disregard, or even contempt for divine standards, laws, and authority." "Questions from Readers: What does the expression 'loose conduct' as found at Galatians 5:19 mean?". (September 15, 1973). The Watchtower, p. 574, "It is not limited to acts of sexual immorality. And, rather than relating to bad conduct of a somewhat petty or minor nature, it apparently describes acts that reflect a brazen attitude, one that betrays disrespect, disregard or even contempt for standards, laws and authority. The ‘looseness' of the conduct, therefore, is not due principally to weakness but results from an attitude of disrespect, insolence or shamelessness." "You Must Be Holy Because Jehovah Is Holy". The Watchtower: 123. 15 February 1976. "Jehovah has brought to the attention of his “holy” people the need to disfellowship those dedicated, baptized Christians who refuse to break and give up the drug and tobacco habits." Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , page 69 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , p. 67-68 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , page 65 The Watchtower, June 15, 2009, p. 18, "Speak Truth With Your Neighbor". "Honor Godly Marriage!", The Watchtower, March 15, 1983, p. 31 "Adjust the Bible to Polygamy?". The Watchtower: 10. 1 July 1985. "polygamy is not to be condoned for any Christian regardless of nationality or circumstance. ... This leaves no room for polygamy among true Christians." Watchtower 7/15/06 p. 31 Questions From Readers; "But not all viewing of pornography calls for a hearing before a judicial committee. … However, suppose a Christian has secretly viewed abhorrent, sexually degrading pornography for years and has done everything possible to conceal this sin. Such pornography might feature gang rape, bondage, sadistic torture, the brutalizing of women, or even child pornography. When others become aware of his conduct, he is deeply ashamed. He has not been brazen, but the elders may determine that he has ‘given himself over’ to this filthy habit and has practiced ‘uncleanness with greediness,’ that is, gross uncleanness. A judicial committee would be formed because gross uncleanness is involved. The wrongdoer would be disfellowshipped if he did not display godly repentance" "Prevention in the Home". Awake!: 10. 8 October 1993. "Similarly the Christian congregation today enforces strong laws against all forms of sexual abuse. Anyone who sexually abuses a child risks being disfellowshipped, put out of the congregation." "Personally Benefiting from the Bible’s Laws and Principles". The Watchtower: 404–405. 1 July 1970. "In the Christian congregation there are definite laws against adultery, incest, homosexuality, bestiality, murder, stealing and other things, any of which, when committed by a Christian, would bring reproach from the world against the congregation. These things the Bible has put under the authority of the congregation, that is, it is required to take some action." Insight on the Scriptures 1. p. 788. "Some of the offenses that could merit disfellowshipping from the Christian congregation are fornication, adultery, homosexuality, greed, extortion, thievery, lying, drunkenness, reviling, spiritism, murder, idolatry, apostasy, and the causing of divisions in the congregation." Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , p. 111 August 15, 1997 Watchtower, p. 27 Insight in the Scriptures, Volume 2, p. 969. "A Time to Speak--When?" Watchtower, September 1, 1987, pp. 12-15 "New Arrangements for Congregation Organization", Our Kingdom Ministry, September 1977, pages 5-6 ""Gifts in Men" to Care for Jehovah’s Sheep", The Watchtower, June 1, 1999, page 14 "Elders, Judge With Righteousness", The Watchtower, July 1, 1992, page 16 "Disfellowshipping—A Loving Provision?", The Watchtower, July 15, 1995, page 25 "Jehovah’s Sheep Need Tender Care", The Watchtower, January 15, 1996, page 18 "Questions From Readers", The Watchtower, July 15, 2006, pages 30-31" "Question Box", Our Kingdom Ministry, October 1972, page 8 "Make Wise Use of Your Christian Freedom", June 1, 1992, page 19 ""A Time to Speak"—When?", The Watchtower, September 1, 1987, page 14 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1991, page 110-120. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , In Search of Christian Freedom, Commentary Press, 2007, page 321. It is unclear whether accused individuals have always had the option to call witnesses. The judicial committee hearing accusations that resulted in the disfellowshipping of Canadian Witness James Penton in February 1981 refused Penton's request to have a lawyer present and to call witnesses. See James A. Beverley, Crisis of Allegiance (Welch Publishing, 1986, page 71). M. James Penton, Apocalypse Delayed, University of Toronto Press, 1997, page 89. "New Arrangements for Congregation Organization", Our Kingdom Ministry, September 1977, page 6 The Watchtower 12/1/76 p. 723 par. 15 How Wise Reprovers Aid Erring Ones The Watchtower 9/1/81 p. 23 par. 9 Repentance Leading Back to God "Imitate Jehovah—Exercise Justice and Righteousness", The Watchtower, August 1, 1998, page 17 The Watchtower 9/15/87 p. 13 par. 13 The Watchtower 9/1/81 p. 26 par. 23 Repentance Leading Back to God The Watchtower 12/1/76 p. 733 par. 14 Giving Reproof "Before All Onlookers" '"Maintaining the Peace and Cleanness of the Congregation",  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , ©2005 Watch Tower, page 151, "Elders will use reasonableness and discernment in determining whether a particular situation is sufficiently serious and disturbing to require a warning talk. This talk will not name the disorderly one. However, those who are aware of the situation described in the talk will take heed" Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  2005, p. 152. Our Kingdom Ministry March 1983, p. 3. "Always Accept Jehovah’s Discipline", The Watchtower, November 15, 2006, page 30, "During the time that an individual who has been judicially reproved is healing spiritually, ...it would be beneficial for the repentant one to listen rather than comment at meetings. The elders may arrange for someone to have a Bible study with him to strengthen him where he is weak so that he may again become “healthy in faith.” (Titus 2:2) All of this is done in love and is not intended to punish the wrongdoer." "Disfellowshiping—How to View It", The Watchtower, September 15, 1981, page 22, "Thus "disfellowshiping" is what  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  appropriately call the expelling and subsequent shunning of such an unrepentant wrongdoer. [emphasis added]" Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . 1991. pp. 121–122. To All Circuit and District Overseers, September 1, 1980, "Keep in mind that to be disfellowshipped, an apostate does not have to be a promoter of apostate views. ... if a baptized Christian abandons the teachings of Jehovah, as presented by the faithful and discreet slave, and persists in believing other doctrine despite Scriptural reproof, then he is apostatizing. ... [If] he continues to believe the apostate ideas and rejects what he has been provided through the 'slave class,' then appropriate judicial action should be taken. ... [If] something reasonably substantial comes to the attention of the elders along this line, it would be appropriate to make a kindly, discreet inquiry so as to protect the flock." Letter reproduced in Crisis of Conscience,  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , 1983, chapter 11. The Watchtower 6/1/98 p. 19 par. 17 "Put Up a Hard Fight for the Faith"! "Show a Waiting Attitude!" The Watchtower September 1, 2000 page 11. Retrieved on 2013-02-02. How Baptism Can Save Us The Watchtower Jan 15, 1989, p. 17. The Watchtower 11/15/06 p. 27 par. 6 Always Accept Jehovah’s Discipline "Beliefs—Frequently Asked Questions", Authorized Site of the Office of Public Information of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , As Retrieved 2009-08-28, "Do you shun former members? ... If, however, someone unrepentantly practices serious sins, such as drunkenness, stealing or adultery, he will be disfellowshipped and such an individual is avoided by former fellow-worshipers. ... The marriage relationship and normal family affections and dealings can continue. ... Disfellowshipped individuals may continue to attend religious services and, if they wish, they may receive spiritual counsel from the elders with a view to their being restored. They are always welcome to return to the faith [emphasis retained from source]" Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , page 35. "You May Gain Your Brother", The Watchtower, October 15, 1999, page 22. Jealous for the Pure Worship of Jehovah, The Watchtower September 15, 1995, p. 11. The Bible's Viewpoint - Why Disfellowshipping Is a Loving Arrangement Awake! September 8, 1996, p. 26-27. Questions from readers, The Watchtower, October 15, 1986, page 31. "Disfellowshiping—How to View It", The Watchtower, September 15, 1981, page 23. "Do You Hate Lawlessness?", The Watchtower, February 15, 2011, page 31, "Do we share Jesus’ view of those who have become set in their lawless course? We need to give thought to these questions: ‘Would I choose to associate regularly with someone who has been disfellowshipped or who has disassociated himself from the Christian congregation? What if that one is a close relative who no longer lives at home?’ Such a situation can be a real test of our loyalty to God." Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , p. 104. "Will You Heed Jehovah's Clear Warnings?", The Watchtower, July 15, 2011, pages 15 and Holden, Andrew (2002). Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement. Routledge. p. 163. ISBN 0-415-26609-2. Taylor, Jerome (27 September 2011). "War of words breaks out among Jehovah's Witnesses". The Independent. "Jehovah's Witnesses church likens defectors to 'contagious, deadly disease'", Sunday Herald Sun, page 39, October 2, 2011. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Unit 5(a) p. 103. The section cites 2 John 11 ("For he that says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works.") Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984), The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses, University of Toronto Press, p. 91, ISBN 0-8020-6545-7 "How to Treat a Disfellowshipped Person",  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , ©2008 Watch Tower, page 207-208, "We do not have spiritual or social fellowship with disfellowshipped ones. ...In some instances, the disfellowshipped family member may still be living in the same home as part of the immediate household. Since his being disfellowshipped does not sever the family ties, normal day-to-day family activities and dealings may continue. Yet, by his course, the individual has chosen to break the spiritual bond between him and his believing family. So loyal family members can no longer have spiritual fellowship with him." "How Can You Help a 'Prodigal' Child?". Watchtower: 16–17. October 1, 2001. "Disfellowshiping—How to View It". Watchtower: 26. September 15, 1981. "It might be possible to have almost no contact at all with the relative. Even if there were some family matters requiring contact, this certainly would be kept to a minimum" "Safeguard Your Heart". Awake!: 28. 8 July 1970. "And if he seeks reinstatement, he must show his sincerity by attending congregation meetings with no one speaking to him, all the while giving evidence of repentance." The Watchtower 4/15/91 p. 21 par. 6 The Watchtower 8/1/98 p. 16 par. 16 Imitate Jehovah—Exercise Justice and Righteousness The Watchtower 5/1/98 p. 15 par. 10 " True repentance comes from the heart, from the depths of our being" The Watchtower 11/15/06 p. 27 par. 9 Always Accept Jehovah’s Discipline The Watchtower 8/15/92 p. 31 A Step on the Way Back The Watchtower 8/15/82 p. 31 A Step on the Way Back Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Watch Tower Society. p. 119. Divine Mercy Points the Way Back for Erring Ones The Watchtower Aug 1, 1974, p. 466 par. 24. "Discipline That Can Yield Peaceable Fruit", The Watchtower April 15, 1988, pages 26-30, Online "Religion: The Right To Shun", Time magazine, June 29, 1987, Online, "The Constitution's guarantee of "free exercise," said the appeals panel, applies even to unpopular groups and practices" The Watchtower 11/15/88 p. 18 par. 14 Helping Others to Worship God The Watchtower 11/15/88 p. 19 par. 17 Helping Others to Worship God The Watchtower 11/15/88 p. 19 par. 19 Helping Others to Worship God Holden, Andrew (2002). Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement. Routledge. pp. 150, 156–157. ISBN 0-415-26609-2. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  chap. 15 p. 232 "Development of the Organization Structure" Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , In Search Of Christian Freedom, pp.374–390.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  claims the Watch Tower organization ignores the "clear principle of openness in the conduct of judicial proceedings" and cites the Watch Tower Society publication, Insight on the Scriptures, Vol 1, p. 518, which states that "publicity that would be afforded any trial at the gate would tend to influence the judges toward care and justice in the trial proceedings and in their decisions". Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Crisis of Conscience. 4th ed. Atlanta: Commentary Press, 2004. pp. 341-2. ISBN 0-914675-24-9. The Watchtower March 15, 1986 p.15 paragraph 17 "Do Not Be Quickly Shaken From Your Reason"; The Watchtower October 15, 1986 p. 31 Questions From Readers; The Watchtower October 1, 1989 p. 19 paragraph 14 Maintain Your Faith and Spiritual Health;  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  p. 94-95; The Watchtower May 1, 2000 p.12 par. 19 Firmly Uphold Godly Teaching; The Watchtower September 1, 2000 p. 13 par. 10 Show a Waiting Attitude!; The Watchtower April 1, 1986 pp. 30-31 Questions From Readers.  
    • By Bible Speaks
      Children Bring Praise to Jehovah! Lessons From the Bible Teach Us How to Raise Responsible Children Today! -
      (Psalm 34:11) . . .Come, listen to me; The fear of Jehovah is what I shall teach YOU."
      (Zechariah 8:5) . . .And the public squares of the city themselves will be filled with boys and girls playing in her public squares.’” Young children in Israel knew the joy of relaxation and amusements, sometimes playing in the marketplace, imitating things they had observed while watching grown-ups.—Mt 11:16, 17; Zec 8:5
      The parents were the ones responsible for the education and training of their children, they themselves being the instructors and guides, both by word and by example. 
      The educational program was as follows:
      (1) Fear of Jehovah was taught. (Ps 34:11; Pr 9:10)
      (2) The child was admonished to honor his father and mother. (Ex 20:12; Le 19:3; De 27:16)
      (3)Discipline or instruction in the Law, its commandments and teachings, and education in the activities and revealed truths of Jehovah were diligently inculcated in the impressionable minds of the young offspring.
      (De 4:5, 9; 6:7-21; Ps 78:5)
      (4) Respect for older persons was stressed. (Le 19:32)
      (5) The importance of obedience was indelibly stamped on the youngster’s mind. (Pr 4:1; 19:20; 23:22-25)
      (6) Stress was put on practical training for adult living, such as teaching girls to do things around the home, or teaching boys the trade of the father or some other trade.
      (7) Education in reading and    writing was given.

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    • By TrueTomHarley
      "Most of the field service presentations she learned growing up will not work in their new territory, Brittany told me. They are considered rude. You can’t just launch into what you’ve come to talk about. First you must inquire about their family, and tell about yours. You have to tell about your children, for family is very important. When she tells them she doesn’t have children, they are concerned. Of course, part of hospitality is to find out why. They smile. ‘You married late in life;’ that is the reason. When they find that it is not, they realize you are on your second marriage. When that conclusion, too, proves false, they are very saddened: you lost your children in some tragic accident. Then they grow very still when you tell them you did not. They have finally discerned the true reason, but it is almost too delicate to bring up, though they do anyway - something is wrong with your equipment. Brittany’s student has drawn her a chart to help her understand how many children she should have at her age."
      From chapter 18 of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . 30% Free Preview
    • By Bible Speaks
      "Every man must be swift about hearing, slow about speaking, slow about wrath.”
      (James 1:19)
      Generally, children love their parents, and parents love their children. This is especially true among God’s people. 
      Some families agree to spend less time watching television or using the computer. 
      Others decide to eat at least one meal together each day. 
      Family worship is a wonderful opportunity for parents and children to get to know one another better as they study the Bible together. 
      The Bible says: “A person’s thoughts are like water in a deep well, but someone with insight can draw them out.” (Proverbs 20:5, Today’s English Version) 
      When anyone is replying to a matter before he hears it, that is foolishness on his part and a humiliation.” (Proverbs 18:13)
      If you stay calm and listen, you may be able to understand the reason for your child’s “wild talk.” (Job 6:1-3) 
      You can help your child only if you understand the whole situation. As loving parents, listen to your children and try to understand them so that you can say something that really helps them. 4 No greater joy do I have than this: that I should hear that my children go on walking in the truth." (3 John 4)
      We will make mistakes. So be quick to say “I’m sorry.” Forgive freely. “Be harmoniously joined together in love.” (Colossians 2:2) 
      Love has power. It helps us to be patient and kind. Love helps us to stay calm and to forgive. “It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) 
      If you keep showing love, communication in your family will get better and better. This will make you happy and will honor Jehovah.

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    • By Bible Speaks
      ALWAYS REMEMBER THE P.A.S.S.W.O.R.D. ? ?
      P - Prayer (Matt.6:9,10)   (Prov.27:11)
      A - Association (Rom.1:11,12) (Hebrews 10:24,25)
      S - Study (personal) (Prov.2:1-5)
      S - Service (Field Ministry) (Matt.28:19,20)
      W - Word (Read the Bible Daily)  (Ps.1:1-5.)
      O - Organization ( Deut.4:6)
      R - Reminders (Ps. 119:46,52)
      D - Directions (Ps.119:105) Discipline (Prov.6;23)
      jw.org 
       

    • By Anna
      For anyone who is interested in reading the final report from the Australian Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse

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    • By Bible Speaks
      Our ability to discipline ourselves to set clear goals, and then work toward them every day will do more to guarantee our success than any other factor....
      13 "Hold on to discipline; do not   let it go. Safeguard it, for it means your life."
      (Proverbs 4:13)

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Children enjoying the convention in San Diego, California, USA
      by @Mva_Micky
       
       

    • Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      This girl came up to the cart and was offered "My Book of Bible Stories",  an hour later she was still reading avidly. 
       

    • By Susan Ramirez
      Hello All,
      I was just wondering if anyone knows what the demographics of Jehovah's Witnesses nationwide and worldwide are? Not how many JW's there are compared to non JW's. We have that on the website. I was thinking more like what is the ratio of adults to teenagers/children. Here in our Circuit in Southern California, we see very few children and/or teenagers at our assemblies and conventions. It seems that the average age of most of the brothers and sisters that we see is between 50 and 70. Is that true in other places in the US or in the world? I would think that the GB has all this information, but I doubt they would release it. I'm just curious to see if young people are still accepting the truth at the same rate as before or if the pull of this wicked world is causing fewer and fewer to make the truth their own. All comments welcome!
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      A new use for Google Glass: Helping children with autism  Thursday, 22 Sep 2016 | 11:00 AM ET | 02:52
      One in 68 children in the U.S. has autism spectrum disorder and it is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
      Early intervention and behavioral therapy are key, but the number of therapists is not keeping up with the increase in diagnosis, so many parents are waiting months for much needed help for their children.
      This is what motivated a team at Stanford University to create a therapy device for children with autism that could be used at home. The technology, called the Autism Glass Project, uses facial recognition software and runs on Google Glass. It can read facial expressions and gives the user cues as to what emotion they are seeing. 
      Catalin Voss, founder of the Autism Glass Project, said that typical behavioral therapy teaches children emotions by using flashcards. 
      "But that doesn't always translate to real-life situations," he said. "Our idea was to try to build a more holistic aid that enables the user to recognize social cues when they actually need to receive those cues right then and there."

      Ronny Yang says the Autism Glass Project has helped her son understand emotions.
       
      Google donated 35 Google Glass headsets to Stanford for the project, but because it has discontinued production of the hardware, it is not clear if the company will continue to support the project. Voss said the software could work on any augmented reality hardware. 
      The project has been in development for two years, and has been tested on more than 100 children with autism. The group recently gave the device to 24 families for in-home trials.
      Ronny Yang from Saratoga, California, said she saw drastic improvements in her 16-year-old autistic son, Justin, after two months of practicing with the device.
      Justin would wear the device each day for short sessions where he would interact with family members face to face — talking and playing games. The program runs on a smartphone, which records the sessions.
      When the device's camera detects an emotion such as happiness or sadness, Justin sees a color or a corresponding emoji flash on the glass display indicating which emotion he is seeing.

      Jeniece Pettitt | CNBC
      16-year-old Justin Yang is able to easily recognize happiness with the help of the Autism Glass Project.
      Yang said she watched Justin improve each day of the trial and he now makes more eye contact than ever before. Justin has also gotten better at verbalizing what emotion he is feeling, whereas in the past, he would often just have a tantrum. 
      At the moment, the device needs to be programmed to read a specific person's face, but the team at Stanford is working toward broadening the technology so it can translate everyone's facial expressions.
      Yang said she would like to see the technology improve so Justin could wear the device out in public as that is where he is often most confused by the others around him.
      The Autism Glass team's goal is to release the technology as a reimbursable medical product as early as next year. 
      "The goal is to make something that can reach families at large in areas where wait times for behavioral therapists are 36 months," Voss said.
      The next step for the team is to continue clinical trials to prove that the technology works. A randomized control trial of 50 participants will begin this fall. Voss said the feedback from the families who have used the device so far has been very promising.

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    • By Bible Speaks
      “Look! Sons are an inheritance from Jehovah; the fruitage 
      of the belly is a reward.” (Psalm 127:3.)
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
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