Sunday, February 22, 2009

Shunning maintaining connectedness

Terrific little YouTube video by a woman who left the Jehova's Witnesses explaining calmly and rationally how shunning (a ban on social intercourse) creates an ongoing connectedness. "The Jehovah's witnesses have essentially kidnapped my family". Many of the people who argue for discipline would assert this is the point. Discipline is supposed to prevent people from not being confronted. But of course by creating this life long negative relationship churches are going to come for criticism. They prevent people from moving on in their lives. This is a short video but I think this woman is extremely articulate and authentic in presenting her case for why she is involved in the anti Jehovah's Witnesses movement. And while she sees her problems as specific to the church it would really apply to any church with community that was closed, has a strong tradition of discipline and enforced the ban on casual social intercourse between members and the excommunicated.

11 comments:

thedude said...

The problems with this.

She says that if one leaves the faith or sins or turns apostate that one is disfellowshipped and shunned.

She focuses on the punishment or discipline as being bad rather than the cause of it, the fact that the person did not want to associate with the congregation.

If a person is choosing to associate with the Witness family, the person would not do things to get disfellowshipped.

And it is not the Watchtower's fault. They are not to blame.

She made her choice, made her bed and does not want to lay in it. Figuratively or literally.

These exjws need to stop complaining and realize that they are responsible for what happened to them. They need to accept Jesus and come back to the congregation. Then everything will be great.

CD-Host said...

Thedude --

Welcome to the blog. The argument is over whether the policy is being followed, it is. The question is whether one agrees that the policy is a good one to have. That is to say the the Jehovah's Witnesses policy be that a person who chooses to leave their denomination also loses their family? Your are correct the Watchtower offers repentance as a solution, but the question remains should they force the choice in the first place?

I would assume your answer is "yes", so would you care to present your reasons?

thedude said...

I was not commenting on policy, I was commenting on her video and how it is so hypocritical.

If the person wants to be with the family, then be with the family in all things, including worship.

Anonymous said...

If, as you say, "she is involved in the anti Jehovah's Witnesses movement", what does she expect? No one 'kidnapped her relatives", she simply abandoned them, along with God's standards. She is the only one complaining. Articulate and reasonable are not the same thing!

CD-Host said...

Anonymoous and theDude --

Interesting. One more follow up to see if this in reverse. Lets assume that Allison is raised Mormon and comes to believe that the Mormon church is incorrect in their understanding of God and decides to become a Jehovah's witnesses. After she leaves the church the Mormon church excommunicates her, and her family severs contact. She remains a Jehovah's Witnesses but feels distressed that her family is cut off from her.

1) Is the separation entirely Allison's fault or should we examine the policies of the Church of Later Day Saints?

2) Does she have the right to inform people that one of the consequences of associating with the Mormon church is that it might tear apart your family in cases of theologically differences? Or rather is it fair to say that Allison abandoned her family?

3) Is the solution for Allison's emotional pain to abandon her true beliefs, pretend and return to the Mormon church?

Peace Dog said...

thedude said: "If the person wants to be with the family, then be with the family on all things, including worship."

What a perfect example of black and white thinking as extolled by the Watchtower Society and Jehovah's Witnesses.

My family has many interests that I do not share. They watch TV shows that I do not like; they eat at restaurants I do not like; they have friends I do not like. Using your logic, if I choose not to "be with the family on these things", then I forfeit my right to be with my family at any other time. They are free to shun me, and it's my fault, not theirs.

How absurd! Thank God my family does not follow such cult thinking!

thedude said...

Peacedog,

You miss the point.

They want to associate with the family, whether they are JWs or not, baptized or not, but they want to live like they want to also, bad association or not.

If a person was a JW and repudiates the faith, why would a familymember even care to associate with that one?

The person repudiated the most high God.

But some would say that leaving JWs is not leaving God. That is rationalizing it. If you have reasons then specify them. But the fact is that your reasons mean nothing.

Rather than complaining get to know Jehovah God and it works better to do so with his people.

Life is better for everyone.

thedude said...

CDhost,

That happens when people leave another religion and become JWs, their family speaks bad of them and kicks them out of the house.

But in that case they get a bigger and better family in the Christian congregation.

1)" Is the separation entirely Allison's fault or should we examine the policies of the Church of Later Day Saints?"

Jesus said that he came to bring division and that he did.


2) "Does she have the right to inform people that one of the consequences of associating with the Mormon church is that it might tear apart your family in cases of theologically differences? Or rather is it fair to say that Allison abandoned her family?"

But if she became a JW, she would not speak against the Mormon church. People who become JWs do not speak against their prior religions, they speak for God's kingdom and the true religion.


3) "Is the solution for Allison's emotional pain to abandon her true beliefs, pretend and return to the Mormon church?"

When she becomes a JW she does not concern herself about the past family other than preaching the good news to them. Thus there is no emotional pain.

But when people leave the JWs, they do not go to anything better, anything with Christ.

CD-Host said...

thedude --

Thank you for answering these questions so straightforwardly. You took a strong stand and stood by it. Now one final question, do your consider your opinion regarding family relations to be mainstream within the Watchtower society?

Peace Dog said...

thedude said: "You miss the point."

Actually I was responding to your statement that "if the person wants to be with the family, then be with the family on all things, including worship". It's not a logical statement. I don't have to be with my family on all things in order to be with them in some things.

thedude said: "If a person was a JW and repudiates the faith, why would a familymember even care to associate with that one?"

And why would they not? As I already pointed out, I disagree with my family members on various points. Thank God they don't choose to act like Jehovah's Witnesses and shut me out of all aspects of their lives just because we don't agree on all points.

Such black-and-white, all-or-nothing, for-or-against thinking is a trademark of all cults.

thedude said: "The person repudiated the most high God. But some would say that leaving JWs is not leaving God. That is rationalizing it."

False because your entire assertion is based on your unproven assumption that leaving the JWs means leaving God. I suspect that you don't even recognize this..

thedude said: "If you have reasons then specify them. But the fact is that your reasons mean nothing."

Wow. So before you've even heard my reasons, they mean nothing? You JWs are quite the bunch.

thedude said: "Rather than complaining get to know Jehovah God and it works better to do so with his people."

False. Once again, your statement is based on an unproven assumption that the JW religion is "God's people."

thedude said: "Life is better for everyone."

You mean life is better for YOU. Not everyone. Please don't speak for me.

Peace.

thedude said...

CD-Host, I'm not within the Watchtower Society.

I do what I feel is right and don't worry what others think, they need to grow up.