Ex-Jehovah’s Witness criticize the policy of shunning

 

I just finished reading “The Reluctant Apostate: Leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses Comes at a Price” by Lloyd Evans. It provides a detailed look at the history of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and how Evans’ mother ended up joining the faith after a series of failed relationships. Most Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) are born into the faith and find it very difficult to leave the faith even if they want to.

Why? Lloyd Evans explains his reluctance to leave the JWs in his book and much of it is due to the JW policy of “shunning.” Once a member of JWs are disfellowshipped or disassociated, no one within JW is allowed to speak to the former member, not even immediate family members. In the case of Lloyd Evans, once Lloyd left the JWs and was disassociated, his father disowned him immediately and, thus, never met Lloyd’s newborn daughter.

Many ex-JWs describe intense feelings of guilt once they leave JWs for having shunned family members who left before they did. For example, one ex-JW mentions that even though he now has a good relationship with his brother, who is also an ex-JW, he feels awful for having shunned his brother for the ten years prior to when he left the faith and had a chance to restart his relationship with his brother.

Here is another ex-JW explaining why she left the faith.

She never felt as though she fit in with the rigid doctrines of JW. She always felt more artistic and creative than JW would allow and eventually left. She also criticizes the policy of shunning, believing this causes tremendous psychological damage that can last a lifetime.

ADDED: Here is Lloyd Evans (formerly known as John Cedars when he was trying to keep his identity secret from Jehovah’s Witnesses) interviewing Imtiaz Shams. Imtiaz Shams is an ex-Muslim who runs a group that assists ex-Muslims and exiles from other religions. Lloyd Evans is an ex-Jehovah Witness activist.

I think you’ll enjoy this interview.

Published in Religion & Philosophy
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There are 68 comments.

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  1. Member

    Thanks for sharing this.

    I’m curious, what made you read that book? Do you have JWs in your family or were you one yourself?

    • #1
    • March 14, 2019, at 3:43 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  2. Thatcher

    Christ did not shun sinners, but walked, talked, and ate with them. The act of shunning is as anti Christ-like as one can get. 

    This is a very cultish practice. 

    • #2
    • March 14, 2019, at 4:42 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  3. Member

    I just finished a book titled, “Shipshewana” about the Old Order Amish in NE Indiana. They don’t shun to punish the individual. They shun to protect the community from that individual’s influence. Their order of priority is God, Community, Family. When there is a conflict between community and family, community wins. A family member can be very influential to another family member if given a chance. They believe that have to eliminate that chance to keep the family in the religion and so the family can go to heaven.

    • #3
    • March 14, 2019, at 5:31 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. Member

    I think shunning by the different faiths are evil. One of my daughters married a JW young man who had left the faith, and her life was miserable, with the parents living next door. The parents refused to attended their wedding, never invited into their home for a meal, never came to her home for a meal. Her husband was even required to build an 8′ wall around their portion of the property so the parents could not see them or their children. After their 2nd child died of a heart condition, the parents couldn’t even try to console their son and D-I-L. My daughter finally packed and left, taking the children with her. The mother finally told her some of the restrictions had been lifted and she was allowed to invite them to have a meal in their house. I won’t repeat what my daughter told her MIL. This evil destroyed a marriage. After 6 years of living in isolation behind a wall my daughter left.

    My friend Bev, recently burned out of Paradise CA, lost everything. She too had left the faith many years ago. Unfortunately, she had raised her children JW. 2 0r 3 of them are still deep into the faith. Bev was rescued by her landlord, in her jammies, no slippers or robe, only her oxygen tanks. Her cat was left behind. Minutes later her house burst into flames. Not one of her JW children, even today have contacted her as to her well being. Just evil. And they call themselves Christians.

    I have no respect for these people

    • #4
    • March 14, 2019, at 6:16 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  5. Coolidge

    Pony Convertible (View Comment):

    I just finished a book titled, “Shipshewana” about the Old Order Amish in NE Indiana. They don’t shun to punish the individual. They shun to protect the community from that individual’s influence. Their order of priority is God, Community, Family. When there is a conflict between community and family, community wins. A family member can be very influential to another family member if given a chance. They believe that have to eliminate that chance to keep the family in the religion and so the family can go to heaven.

    Indeed. Societies throughout history used shunning to minimize the damage done by anti-social personalities. We (western society) used to at least partially shun those publicly engaging in immoral/antisocial behavior. And we had a lot less immoral and antisocial behavior. The Catholic church has an explicit form of shunning: excommunication. It is very rarely used–not for apostasy–but it exists to protect the church from bad actors within.

    I can’t condemn JWs for using this form of discipline. I have to concede that I disagree with JW doctrine — the tool they use to enforce it is secondary.

    • #5
    • March 14, 2019, at 6:19 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Member

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    I think shunning by the different faiths are evil. One of my daughters married a JW young man who had left the faith, and her life was miserable, with the parents living next door. The parents refused to attended their wedding, never invited into their home for a meal, never came to her home for a meal. Her husband was even required to build an 8′ wall around their portion of the property so the parents could not see them or their children. After their 2nd child died of a heart condition, the parents couldn’t even try to console their son and D-I-L. My daughter finally packed and left, taking the children with her. The mother finally told her some of the restrictions had been lifted and she was allowed to invite them to have a meal in their house. I won’t repeat what my daughter told her MIL. This evil destroyed a marriage. After 6 years of living in isolation behind a wall my daughter left.

    My friend Bev, recently burned out of Paradise CA, lost everything. She too had left the faith many years ago. Unfortunately, she had raised her children JW. 2 0r 3 of them are still deep into the faith. Bev was rescued by her landlord, in her jammies, no slippers or robe, only her oxygen tanks. Her cat was left behind. Minutes later her house burst into flames. Not one of her JW children, even today have contacted her as to her well being. Just evil. And they call themselves Christians.

    I have no respect for these people

    Wow! Terrible – and so wrong – glad she made it out ok.

    • #6
    • March 14, 2019, at 6:50 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. Contributor

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):
    I can’t condemn JWs for using this form of discipline. I have to concede that I disagree with JW doctrine — the tool they use to enforce it is secondary.

    I agree with this, and with the rest of your comment. I think the Amish shun apostates as well. I always thought it evidence of a fearful quality that I’d rather not see in a Christian denomination.

    In general, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for people who want to change the doctrine of denominations other than their own, regardless of what I think of the denomination. (And there’s a lot not to like about Jehovah’s Witness doctrine.) On the other hand, trying to call others out of a denomination one has already left strikes me as perfectly okay.

    • #7
    • March 14, 2019, at 7:02 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Christ did not shun sinners, but walked, talked, and ate with them. The act of shunning is as anti Christ-like as one can get.

    This is a very cultish practice.

    JW’s are not Christian’s. They believe that Jesus was St. Michael the Archangel.

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the Incarnation. According to them, Jesus isn’t God, so there’s no question about God taking flesh. But they also deny it in a second sense. In the Incarnation, the Son’s divine nature became united with a human nature, so his two natures co-existed. But the Witnesses say that even after Jesus’ appearance on Earth there was only one nature—the human.

    This is how they see it: In heaven, Jesus was the Son of God, a creature, and was known as Michael the archangel, a pure spirit. Upon coming to Earth he ceased to be a spirit at all. His spirit-ness entirely disappeared. On Earth the Son of God was purely human. This man Jesus was killed at Calvary. At his resurrection, his human body was not resuscitated. It remained in the tomb and God disintegrated it. There was no real, physical resurrection in the traditional Christian sense. Instead, what was resurrected was Michael’s angelic spirit-body.

    Keep in mind the sequence. In heaven: angel only. On Earth: human only. Back in heaven: angel only, again. There is no continuity here. The creature called Michael entirely ceased to exist! The creature called Jesus (while here on Earth) began to exist, then, at death, he ceased to exist also. Then a creature identical to the original Michael began to exist again. (Witnesses believe that at death a person ceases to exist altogether, and that the resurrection consists of God re-creating an exact copy of that person from his memory.

    • #8
    • March 14, 2019, at 7:16 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. Coolidge

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):
    The Catholic church has an explicit form of shunning: excommunication. It is very rarely used–not for apostasy–but it exists to protect the church from bad actors within.

    Yes, but my understanding is that excommunication basically means the person isn’t allowed to receive communion. The person may still attend Church, and the person’s friends and family will not be encouraged to stop speaking to him; his parents will not be encouraged to disown him.

    Not sure if excommunication can really be called shunning; even if it can, it is nothing like what happens to people in groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    • #9
    • March 14, 2019, at 7:20 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  10. Contributor

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Christ did not shun sinners, but walked, talked, and ate with them. The act of shunning is as anti Christ-like as one can get.

    This is a very cultish practice.

    They feel free to shun those who aren’t among the elect – JWs are the ones who are going to heaven, after all, so mucking about with these other apostates and sinners is unnecessary temptation and could lead you down the road to hell.

    • #10
    • March 14, 2019, at 8:29 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. Member

    A Jewish family where my mom grew up, “buried” their son when he married a Gentile.

    • #11
    • March 14, 2019, at 8:46 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Coolidge

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):
    The Catholic church has an explicit form of shunning: excommunication. It is very rarely used–not for apostasy–but it exists to protect the church from bad actors within.

    Yes, but my understanding is that excommunication basically means the person isn’t allowed to receive communion. The person may still attend Church, and the person’s friends and family will not be encouraged to stop speaking to him; his parents will not be encouraged to disown him.

    In practice today, little application there has been, yes. But formally, Catholic clergy are commanded to shun them. This might help:

    http://www.boston-catholic-journal.com/formula-of-excommunication-from-roman-pontifical-1952.htm

    Historically, all Catholics were to shun the excommuncated, or be excommunicated themselves.

    Not sure if excommunication can really be called shunning; even if it can, it is nothing like what happens to people in groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    That was part of my point.

    • #12
    • March 14, 2019, at 9:04 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Member

    Ralphie (View Comment):

    A Jewish family where my mom grew up, “buried” their son when he married a Gentile.

    This would be a super, super orthodox group. Very few do this any more. My MIL refused to accept my baby at birth, but changed her heart, and had accept the baby long before I converted. Different attitudes among the different Jewish groups.

    • #13
    • March 14, 2019, at 9:05 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  14. Contributor

    One of our family’s favorite musicals is Fiddler on the Roof. There’s that painful scene (spoilers) where the father shuns the daughter who marries outside of their Jewish faith. And there’s the touching moment at the very end when he breaks down and restores the connection. I love that moment: I’m a father, first and foremost, and I can’t imagine shunning a child.

    But I’m also a conservative, and the heart of the story of Fiddler on the Roof is a progression of compromise, as a man of faith, torn between tradition — a tradition he loves and values — and modernity has to decide what he’s willing to surrender to uphold the old ways. I respect his desire to adhere to tradition; I sympathize with his desire to keep his family happy and intact.

    Shunning doesn’t resonate with me, but a staunch upholding of tradition, even at potentially great cost, does. I can’t judge too harshly in this context.

    • #14
    • March 14, 2019, at 10:18 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  15. Member

    Another experience with JW. A neighbor in my apt complex called out to me one day, Kay, aren’t you a Jew? Indeed I am, I replied.

    Well, I want to let you know why people hate Jews and why you will go to hell, said she.

    Do tell me, I said sarcastically.

    Because the Jews killed Jesus, she explained.

    And, I asked her to tell me where she had heard this, “Oh, at the JW meeting house.”

    This was approximately 10 years ago, so they are still peddling that story.

     

    • #15
    • March 14, 2019, at 10:57 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. Thatcher

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Christ did not shun sinners, but walked, talked, and ate with them. The act of shunning is as anti Christ-like as one can get.

    This is a very cultish practice.

    JW’s are not Christian’s. They believe that Jesus was St. Michael the Archangel.

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the Incarnation. According to them, Jesus isn’t God, so there’s no question about God taking flesh. But they also deny it in a second sense. In the Incarnation, the Son’s divine nature became united with a human nature, so his two natures co-existed. But the Witnesses say that even after Jesus’ appearance on Earth there was only one nature—the human.

    This is how they see it: In heaven, Jesus was the Son of God, a creature, and was known as Michael the archangel, a pure spirit. Upon coming to Earth he ceased to be a spirit at all. His spirit-ness entirely disappeared. On Earth the Son of God was purely human. This man Jesus was killed at Calvary. At his resurrection, his human body was not resuscitated. It remained in the tomb and God disintegrated it. There was no real, physical resurrection in the traditional Christian sense. Instead, what was resurrected was Michael’s angelic spirit-body.

    Keep in mind the sequence. In heaven: angel only. On Earth: human only. Back in heaven: angel only, again. There is no continuity here. The creature called Michael entirely ceased to exist! The creature called Jesus (while here on Earth) began to exist, then, at death, he ceased to exist also. Then a creature identical to the original Michael began to exist again. (Witnesses believe that at death a person ceases to exist altogether, and that the resurrection consists of God re-creating an exact copy of that person from his memory.

    I was speaking as a Christian about my beliefs. No theirs. 

    • #16
    • March 14, 2019, at 12:06 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Coolidge
    HeavyWater Post author

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Thanks for sharing this.

    I’m curious, what made you read that book? Do you have JWs in your family or were you one yourself?

    I guess I have always been fascinated by what can loosely be called “worldview changes” or “paradigm shifts.” I was a Leftist when I was in high school, but a few months after I graduated from high school, in 1984, I “converted” to a William F. Buckley (who was Catholic) and Milton Friedman (who was an agnostic Jew) brand of conservatism. I enjoyed David Horowitz’s book, “Radical Son,” very much because he “came out” as a conservative in 1984 after decades of being a Leftist.

    But in more recent times I have been fascinated by religious conversions. I enjoyed reading about Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her renunciation of Islam. I have donated money to Ex-Muslims of North America, a group that assists people who want to leave the Muslim faith but face family/social pressure, even the threat of violence, to stay in the religion.

    About two years ago, I become a bit more convinced of my agnostic-atheism, after leaving a left of center Presbyterian church that my wife and I had attended for about 4 years.

    So, I am addicted to reading books such as “The Atheist Muslim: A Journey From Religion to Reason,” by Ali Rizvi, a Canadian physician who immigrated from Pakistani.

    Now, my politics are right of center. So, quite often when I read books like these, I enjoy about 80 percent of the content, if they include their political views and atheists tend to be left of center (but there are many libertarian-atheists too).

    So, after that long-winded warm up, the answer to your question is:

    No. I have no connection with Jehovah’s Witnesses, except occasionally they knocked on my door when I lived in California.

    • #17
    • March 14, 2019, at 12:47 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Coolidge
    HeavyWater Post author

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    Another experience with JW. A neighbor in my apt complex called out to me one day, Kay, aren’t you a Jew? Indeed I am, I replied.

    Well, I want to let you know why people hate Jews and why you will go to hell, said she.

    Do tell me, I said sarcastically.

    Because the Jews killed Jesus, she explained.

    And, I asked her to tell me where she had heard this, “Oh, at the JW meeting house.”

    This was approximately 10 years ago, so they are still peddling that story.

    I remember when I was going to college and my best friend was a fundamentalist Christian (I was secular, non-religious). At one point, somehow, we ended up talking about religion, salvation, Christians, and Jews.

    We ended up talking about the Holocaust. My friend said, “The Holocaust was a trial of the Jews for what they did to Jesus.” I cringed and didn’t know how to respond.

    The one reason why I have never been able to accept Christianity is because I don’t want to worship a immoral God who would punish Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and the rest of the human population.

    I understand the counter-arguments. I just don’t buy it. I’d rather burn in hell than worship an awful, miserable God described by that friend of mine.

     

     

    • #18
    • March 14, 2019, at 12:52 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. Coolidge

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    The one reason why I have never been able to accept Christianity is because I don’t want to worship a immoral God who would punish Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and the rest of the human population.

    I understand the counter-arguments. I just don’t buy it. I’d rather burn in hell than worship an awful, miserable God described by that friend of mine.

    I am not a scholar of Christianity; I consider myself a Christian, although I am not affiliated with any Church. I can only attest to my own beliefs. I do not and have never believed that non Christians are destined to burn in hell.

    I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools. I never said so at the time, but at the time, the whole concept of Jesus made no sense to me. None of it made any sense to me, but it seemed to me that if God was as good as everyone was saying He was, then He would help me even if I had no idea what to believe about Him. So, when I was about 8 or 9 years old, I started praying in earnest, and I believe that I received answers to my prayers on many occasions. On many occasions, the answer was “No”, but be that as it may, my prayers were usually answered. Not always in the way I wanted, but answered.

    I didn’t come to really believe in Jesus until I was in my mid twenties, at the earliest. I believe that God was answering my prayers and speaking to me for decades before that. I believe that God will help anyone who asks Him for help, and He meets people where they are.

    The story of the Good Samaritan comes to mind. Jesus seems to be saying with that story that having the correct religious beliefs is not the be and end all. “Faith, Hope, and Love, and the Greatest of these is Love” seems to send the same message: the Bible says that love is more important than faith. Different denominations believe different things, but I am pretty sure that there are plenty of Christians who would agree with me on this. We don’t all think that people who don’t believe in Jesus are doomed :)

    • #19
    • March 14, 2019, at 1:20 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  20. Coolidge
    HeavyWater Post author

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    The one reason why I have never been able to accept Christianity is because I don’t want to worship a immoral God who would punish Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and the rest of the human population.

    I understand the counter-arguments. I just don’t buy it. I’d rather burn in hell than worship an awful, miserable God described by that friend of mine.

    I am not a scholar of Christianity; I consider myself a Christian, although I am not affiliated with any Church. I can only attest to my own beliefs. I do not and have never believed that non Christians are destined to burn in hell.

    I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools. I never said so at the time, the at the time, the whole concept of Jesus made no sense to me. None of it made any sense to me, but it seemed to me that if God was as good as everyone was saying He was, then He would help me even if I had no idea what to believe about Him. So, when I was about 8 or 9 years old, I started praying in earnest, and I believe that I received answers to my prayers on many occasions.

    I didn’t come to really believe in Jesus until I was in my mid twenties, at the earliest. I believe that God was answering my prayers and speaking to me for decades before that. I believe that God will help anyone who asks Him for help, and He meets people where they are.

    The story of the Good Samaritan comes to mind. Jesus seems to be saying with that story that having the correct religious beliefs is not the be and end all. “Faith, Hope, and Love, and the Greatest of these is Love” seems to send the same message: the Bible says that love is more important than faith. Different denominations believe different things, but I am pretty sure that there are plenty of Christians who would agree with me on this. We don’t all think that people who don’t believe in Jesus are doomed :)

    Yes. My wife is a self-described Christian who believes that Jesus/God is a God of love, not of judgement. She’s not too fond of the Old Testament or the book of Revelation.

    And I get the larger point you are making, that many (perhaps most) Christians don’t take an exclusivist view of soteriology (salvation theory).

     

    • #20
    • March 14, 2019, at 1:24 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. Member

    I converted to Judaism after 5 years of study with a Reformed Rabbi, in 1980, tho I think in his heart he was a conservative. I have been back to that synagogue several times since that Rabbi retired, and I don’t recognize the place nor the services. I cannot abide the Rabbi up here in Northern Montana. We have many Jews on Ricochet, and they do an excellent job of informing us what the word of G-d means. We also don’t believe there is a “hell” for us to be burned forever. What a terrible concept. I am actually looking forward to my next transition, and I absolutely refuse to be reincarnated. I have had enough of this planet.

    • #21
    • March 14, 2019, at 1:29 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  22. Coolidge

    HeavyWater (View Comment):
    My wife is a self-described Christian who believes that Jesus/God is a God of love, not of judgement.

    Oh, I believe that God judges people. I believe that I will be judged one day. I just don’t believe that I will be judged on my sincerely held but incorrect theological beliefs. I don’t know for sure, but it seems very possible to me that hell does exist, I just don’t think anyone goes there because they failed a theology exam. :)

    This just illustrates, though, how many different interpretations of Christianity there are.

    • #22
    • March 14, 2019, at 1:30 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  23. Coolidge
    HeavyWater Post author

    Here is a bonus video. Lloyd Evans, the author of “The Reluctant Apostate: Leaving Jehovah’s Witness Comes at a Price,” interviews Imtiaz Shams, an ex-Muslim who actively works to assist people attempting to leave the Muslim faith.

    It’s a good interview.

    • #23
    • March 14, 2019, at 1:36 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. Member

    Funny this post should be here, I just finished watching the episode of Leah Remini’s Scientology show interviewing former Witnesses. 

    • #24
    • March 14, 2019, at 2:56 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  25. Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Christ did not shun sinners, but walked, talked, and ate with them. The act of shunning is as anti Christ-like as one can get.

    This is a very cultish practice.

    Even so, Christians, Muslims and Jews all engage in it. 

    • #25
    • March 15, 2019, at 10:04 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  26. Thatcher

    HeavyWater: Once a member of JWs are disfellowshipped or disassociated, no one within JW is allowed to speak to the former member, not even immediate family members.

    Makes me wonder what would happen if the shunned person became a police officer and pulled over one of his former friends for a traffic violation.

    • #26
    • March 15, 2019, at 10:04 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Member

    Herbert defender of the Realm,… (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Christ did not shun sinners, but walked, talked, and ate with them. The act of shunning is as anti Christ-like as one can get.

    This is a very cultish practice.

    Even so, Christians, Muslims and Jews all engage in it.

    And Republicans and Democrats. Every group has something they’d shun someone else for. 

    • #27
    • March 15, 2019, at 11:30 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Coolidge
    HeavyWater Post author

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Herbert defender of the Realm,… (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Christ did not shun sinners, but walked, talked, and ate with them. The act of shunning is as anti Christ-like as one can get.

    This is a very cultish practice.

    Even so, Christians, Muslims and Jews all engage in it.

    And Republicans and Democrats. Every group has something they’d shun someone else for.

    I see your point. But my wife and I do not have identical political views. Yet, most of the time, we do not shun each other.

    I think there are lots of families in which there are people with differing religious and/or political views and these people can get along fine with each other.

    • #28
    • March 15, 2019, at 11:33 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Herbert defender of the Realm,… (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Christ did not shun sinners, but walked, talked, and ate with them. The act of shunning is as anti Christ-like as one can get.

    This is a very cultish practice.

    Even so, Christians, Muslims and Jews all engage in it.

    And Republicans and Democrats. Every group has something they’d shun someone else for.

    Example?

    • #29
    • March 15, 2019, at 11:51 AM PDT
    • Like
  30. Member

    I have had a lot of contact with a local JW congregation over the last couple of years. I had done some bible study with a few members. My interest was not in joining. I left the Catholic Church more than 60 years ago, and do not have any interest in becoming part of any religious organization, however, I was interested in the idea of bible study, and my friends offered the opportunity.

    I have never heard anything about shunning from any one. I will ask about it, though. As far as the assertion that Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t Christian, I find that to be prejudicial and uninformed. My experience in the study that I have done with them is that they are probably more orthodox Christian than any other Protestant sect I have known. The entire structure of their local organizations is based on the manner in which early Christians at the time of Christ and thereafter followed their religion. Their extensive literature, and there is a vast amount, contains nothing that I believe any believing Christian would have a problem with. The prople I have met within the organization are all very decent, hard working, and productive. They actively participate in rescues following natural disasters, rebuild people’s homes, and give willingly of the time and money. Their Kingdom Halls, the name they give their churches, are simple and unadorned. Those I know with children are definitely looking forward their kids going to college. Like that point, there were several other places in the first video that I felt the presenter was not being totally honest.

    I left the Church as a young man. I had a lot of negative feelings about it. Most “apostates” do not leave their religions with good feelings. The tendency to exaggerate the failings or, at least, the importance of those things seems to me to be pretty common. Afterall, it is much easier to justify doing what you did if you can paint an ugly picture of what it was you left. I am not a Jehovah’s Witness. I am not likely to become one. However, I find them to be good people. You don’t take on the obligations of a religion like JW unless you really believe in its teachings, and those teachings, as far as I am have been able to discern, are not in any way incongruent with the teachings of Jesus. The presenter in the first video was not a believer. She left. That is fine. The shunning part seems a bit of a stretch, but I do know that among many religions, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and many cultures, shunning is a thing that people do when someone leaves the tribe or breaks its rules. Before anyone judges the efficacy of the practice, they should walk for a mile in the appropriate shoes of that culture.

    • #30
    • March 15, 2019, at 1:29 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
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