Hello, my name is Eric Wilson.
One of the practices which has resulted in an enormous amount of criticism of Jehovah’s Witnesses is their practice of shunning anyone who leaves their religion or who is expelled by the elders for what is considered by them to be unchristian conduct. There is currently a case schedule to go before the court in Belgium in February of 2021 in which the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses is being accused of engaging in hate crimes, to a large degree due to their shunning policy.
Now, Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t mind this criticism. They wear it as a badge of honor. For them, it amounts to wicked persecution upon sincere Christians who are only doing what Jehovah God has told them they must do. They relish these attacks because they have been told the governments will attack them and that this was prophesied and is proof that they are God’s people and that the end is near. They have also been told that disfellowshipping, as they practice, it is done out of love, not hate.
Are they right?
In our previous video, we learned that an unrepentant sinner was to be treated as “a man of the nations and a tax collector”, or as the World English Bible puts it:
“If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembly. If he refuses to hear the assembly also, let him be to you as a Gentile or a tax collector.” (Matthew 18:17)
Now to understand the context, we must bear in mind that Jesus was talking to Jews when he gave them this command. Had he been talking with Romans or Greeks, his words about treating the sinner as a Gentile would have made little sense.
If we are going to bring this divine directive forward to our day and our particular culture, we must understand how Jesus’ Jewish disciples viewed non-Jews and tax collectors. Jews only associated with other Jews. Their dealings with Gentiles were restricted to conducting business and activities forced upon them by Roman rule. To a Jew, a Gentile was unclean, an idol worshipper. As for a tax collectors, these were fellow Jews who collected taxes for the Romans, and often padded their own pockets by extorting more than they were entitled to. So, Jews viewed gentile and tax collectors as sinners and would have nothing to do with them socially.
Thus, when the Pharisees tried to find fault with Jesus, they asked his disciples: “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (Matthew 9:11)
But wait a minute. Jesus told them to treat an unrepentant sinner as they would a tax collector, yet Jesus ate with tax collectors. He also performed miracles of healing for Gentiles (See Matthew 15:21-28; Luke 7:1-10). Was Jesus giving his disciples a mixed message?
I’ve said this before, and I’m sure I’ll be saying it many times more: If you want to understand the Bible’s message, it is best to keep the concept of family at the back of your mind. It’s all about family. It is not about God vindicating his sovereignty. (Those words don’t even appear in the Bible.) Yehovah God doesn’t have to justify himself. He doesn’t have to prove he has a right to rule. The Bible’s theme is about salvation; about restoring humanity back into the family of God.
Now, the disciples were Jesus’ family. He referred to them as both brothers and friends. He associated with them, he ate with them, he travelled with them. Any contact outside of that family circle was always to advance the kingdom, not for fellowship. So, if we are to understand how we are to treat unrepentant sinners who are our spiritual brothers and sisters, we should look to the first century congregation.
Turn with me to Acts 2:42 to see how they worshipped at the start.
“And they continued devoting themselves to the teaching of the apostles, to associating together, to the taking of meals, and to prayers.” (Acts 2:42)
There are 4 elements here:
- They studied together.
- They associated with one another.
- They ate together.
- They prayed together.
Do the churches of today do this?
These were small family-like groups, sitting round a table, eating together, talking spiritual things, encouraging one another, praying together.
Nowadays, do we see Christian denominations worshipping in this manner?
As a Jehovah’s Witness, I went to meetings where I sat in a row facing front while someone talked from the platform. You couldn’t question anything that was said. Then we sang a song and some brother chosen by the elders prayed. Maybe we chatted with friends for a few minutes after the meeting, but then we all went home, back to our lives. If a disfellowshipped person entered, I was taught not to acknowledge their existence with so much as a look or a word of greeting.
Is that what Jesus meant when he compared them to tax collectors and gentiles? Jesus communicated with gentiles. He even healed them. He also ate with tax collectors. Something is very wrong with the way Jehovah’s Witnesses interpret Jesus’ words.
Going back to the model for congregation meetings followed in the first century, if you met in a private home, sat down at a meal, enjoyed conversation over dinner, engaged in group prayer in which anyone or even several could pray, would you feel comfortable doing all that together with an unrepentant sinner?
You see the difference?
An example of how this was applied in the 1st century congregation is found in the letter to the Thessalonians where Paul gives the following advice:
“Now we are giving you instructions, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to withdraw from every brother who is walking disorderly and not according to the tradition that you received from us. For we hear that some are walking disorderly among you, not working at all, but meddling with what does not concern them. For your part, brothers, do not give up in doing good. But if anyone is not obedient to our word through this letter, keep this one marked and stop associating with him, so that he may become ashamed. And yet do not consider him an enemy, but continue admonishing him as a brother.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6, 11, 13-15)
The Jehovah’s Witnesses like to categorize Paul’s words here as a policy of marking, not disfellowshipping. They need to make this distinction, because Paul is saying to “stop associating with him”, but he adds that we should still continue to admonish him as a brother. That doesn’t fit the JW disfellowshipping policy. So, they had to invent a middle ground. This wasn’t disfellowshipping; this was “marking”. With a “marking”, the elders are not allowed to name the person from the platform, which could lead to lawsuits. Instead, the elders are to give a “marking talk” in which the particular activity, like dating a non-Witness, is condemned, and everyone is supposed to know who is being referred to and act accordingly.
But think long and hard on Paul’s words. “Stop associating with him.” Would the first century Jewish Christians have associated with a tax collector or a gentile? No. Yet, Jesus’ actions show that a Christian would admonish a tax collector or a gentile with a view to saving him. What Paul means is to stop hanging out with this person as if he were a friend, a pal, a bosom buddy, but to still consider his spiritual welfare and try to save him.
Paul is describing a particular activity which one might not readily consider a sin, yet he is instructing the congregation members to act in the same way toward such a person as they would to one committing any easily recognized sin. Notice, too, that he is not talking to an elder body, but to each member of the congregation. This decision to associate or not was to be a personal one, not the result of a policy handed down by some ruling authority.
This is a very important distinction. In fact, the judicial system designed by Jehovah’s Witnesses to keep the congregation clean actually works to ensure the opposite. It actually ensures that the congregation will become corrupted. How is that possible?
Let’s analyze this. We’ll start by looking at some of the sins that come under the umbrella of Jesus’ words at Matthew 18:15-17. Paul warned the Galatians that “the works of the flesh are plainly seen, and they are sexual immorality, uncleanness, brazen conduct, idolatry, spiritism, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, dissensions, divisions, sects, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and things like these. I am forewarning you about these things, the same way I already warned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom.” (Galatians 5:19-21)
When he says, “and things like these”, he is including things like lying and cowardice which we know from Revelation 21:8; 22:15 are also things that keep you outside of the Kingdom.
Determining what is a work of the flesh is a simple binary choice. If you love God and neighbor, you will not practice works of the flesh. If you hate your neighbor and love yourself above all other things, you will naturally practice works of the flesh.
What does the Bible say on the subject?
If you don’t love your brother, you are the Devil’s child, Satan’s seed.
I was an elder for 40 years. But in all that time, I never knew of anyone disfellowshipped for lying, or hostility, or envy, or jealousy, or fits of anger. Smoke a cigarette or a joint and you’ll be out on your keister so fast your head will spin, but beat your wife, gossip maliciously, idolize men, backstab anyone you envy…that is a different matter. I knew many who did all that, yet they were and continue to be members in good standing. More than that, they tend to be prominent ones. That makes sense, does it not? If a fleshly man gets into a position of power, who is he likely to nominate as a colleague? When those in power are the only ones who appoint those who will come into power, you have a recipe for cronyism.
Do you see why we can say that the judicial system of Jehovah’s Witnesses, rather than keep the congregation clean, actually corrupts it?
Let me illustrate.
Let us say you have an elder in your congregation who regularly practices works of the flesh. Maybe he lies a lot, or engages in harmful gossip, or is jealous to a harmful degree. What should you do? Let’s take an example for real life. Let’s say the elder in question sexually abused your child. However, with your young child as the only witness, the body of elders will not act, and so the elder continues to serve. However, you know he is a child abuser, so you decide to treat him like a man of the nations and a tax collector. You don’t associate with him. If you go out in a field service group and he assigns you to his car group, your refuse to go. If you have a picnic, you do not invite him; and if he shows up, you ask him to leave. If he gets on the platform to give a talk, you and your family get up and leave. You are applying the third step from Matthew 18:17.
What do you think will happen? Without a doubt, the body of elders will accuse you of causing divisions, of engaging in loose conduct by challenging their authority. They consider the man to be in good standing, and you have to abide by their decision.
They won’t let you apply Jesus’ command at Matthew 18. That is only for them to apply. Instead, you have to be obedient to the commands of these men. They are trying to force you to associate with someone who is a sinner in violation of Jesus’ command. And if you refuse, they may very well disfellowship you. If you choose to leave the congregation, they will still disfellowship you, though they will call it disassociation. A distinction without a difference. Then they will take away everyone else’s freedom of choice by forcing all of them to shun you as well.
At this point, it might be wise for us to stop and clarify something. Disfellowshipping, as defined by the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, is a complete and total cutting off of all interaction between the disfellowshipped individual and all members of their worldwide congregation. It is also called shunning by the outside world, though Witnesses generally reject this word as applicable. It takes a judicial committee formed by the elders of a congregation to officially disfellowship any congregation member. All must obey the directive, even though they do not know the nature of the sin. No one can forgive and reinstate the sinner either. Only the original judicial committee can do that. There is no basis—no basis—in the Bible for this arrangement. It is unscriptural. It is also deeply hurtful and unloving, because it attempts to force compliance through fear of punishment not love of God.
It is theocratic extortion, obedience by blackmail. Either you obey the elders, or you will be punished. Proof of this is the abomination that is disassociation.
When Nathan Knorr and Fred Franz first instituted disfellowshipping back in 1952, they ran into a problem. What to do with someone who joined the military or voted in an election. They couldn’t disfellowship them without running into serious violations of American law. Franz came up with the solution of disassociation. “Oh, we don’t disfellowship anyone for doing that, but they have chosen to leave us of their own accord. They have disassociated themselves. We don’t shun them. They have shunned us.”
They are blaming their victims for the suffering they themselves are inflicting.
Shunning or disfellowshipping or disassociation as practiced by Jehovah’s Witnesses are all synonymous and this practice is against the law of the Christ, the law of love.
But let’s not go to the other extreme. Remember that love always seeks the best for others. Love does not enable harmful or damaging behavior. We do not want to become enablers, turning a blind eye to harmful activity. If we do nothing when we see someone practicing sin, how can we claim to truly love that person. Willful sin destroys our relationship with God. How can that be anything but harmful?
“For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” (Jude 4 NIV)
At Matthew 18:15-17 our only Sovereign and Lord laid down a clear procedure to follow when someone in our congregation unrepentantly practices sin. We are not to turn a blind eye. We are required to do something, if we want to please our King.
But what exactly are we supposed to do? If you’re expecting to find a one-size-fits-all rule, you’re going to be disappointed. We’ve already seen how badly that works with Jehovah’s Witnesses. They’ve taken two passages from Scripture which we’ll look at shortly—one about an incident in Corinth and another which is a command from the apostle John—and they’ve worked out a formula. It goes like this. “If you commit a sin based on a list we’ve compiled and do not repent in ashes and sackcloth then we’ll shun you.”
The Christian way is not black and white. It is not based on rules, but on principles. And these principles are not applied by someone in charge, but are applied on an individual basis. You can’t blame anyone but yourself if you get them wrong, and be assured that Jesus won’t take, “I was just following orders”, as a valid excuse for getting things wrong.
Circumstances change. What might work in dealing with one type of sin, may not work in dealing with another. The sins Paul deals with when speaking to the Thessalonians could be dealt with by ceasing association while still admonishing in a brotherly fashion those who are offending. But what would happen if the sin was notorious? Let’s look at another account concerning something that happened in the city of Corinth.
“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?” (1 Corinthians 5:1, 2 NIV)
“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.”
“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:9-13 NIV)
Now we will fast-forward about half a year. In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote:
“If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” (2 Corinthians 2:5-11 NIV)
Now, the very first thing we need to understand is that the decision to break off association is a personal one. No one has the right to command you to do so. That is particularly clear here for two reasons. The first is that Paul’s letters were addressed to the congregations and not to individual bodies of elders. His counsel was to be read to all. The second is that he states that the punishment was inflicted by the majority. Not by all as would be the case in the congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses where all must obey the body of elders or be punished themselves, but by a majority. It would appear that some decided not to apply Paul’s counsel but it was sufficient that a majority did. That majority effected a positive result.
In this case Paul tells the congregation not even to eat with such a man. That may have been implied in the letter to Thessalonica, but here it is specifically stated. Why? We can only speculate. But here are the facts: the sin was known publicly and was considered scandalous even to pagans. Paul specifically tells the congregation not to stop associating with anyone who is sexually immoral as that would mean they have to get out of the world itself. However, things are different if the sexually immoral person is a brother. If a pagan were to see a Christian at a meal in a public place with another pagan, the Christian would not automatically be tainted by association. In all likelihood the pagan would think the Christian was trying to convert his fellow pagan. However, if that pagan were to see a Christian having a meal with another Christian who they knew to be engaged in scandalous sexual conduct, he would think the Christian approved of the conduct. The Christian would be tainted by association with the sinner.
The first century meeting arrangement is defined at Acts 2:42 which we’ve already considered. Would you want to sit in a family-like arrangement to have a meal together, to pray together, to study God’s word together, and to pass the bread and the wine that symbolize our salvation with someone who is engaged in scandalous sexual misconduct?
However, while Paul said not even to eat with such a man, he didn’t say “don’t even talk with him.” If we practice that, we would be going beyond what is written. There are people I wouldn’t want to share a meal with and I’m sure you feel the same about some people, but I’ll still talk to them. After all, how can I admonish someone as a brother if I won’t even speak to him?
Further, the fact that only months had passed before Paul recommends they welcome him back, indicates that the action taken by the majority produced good fruit. Now they were in danger of going in the other direction: from being too permissive to being hard-hearted and unforgiving. Either extreme is unloving.
Did you catch the significance of Paul’s final words at 1 Corinthians 2:11? Here they are rendered by other translations:
- “…so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes.” (New Living Translation)
- “…have done this to keep Satan from getting the better of us. We all know what goes on in his mind.” (Contemporary English Version)
- “…in order to keep Satan from getting the upper hand over us; for we know what his plans are.” (Good News Translation)
- “… so that we may not be exploited by Satan (for we are not ignorant of his schemes).” (NET Bible)
- He told them to forgive the man so that they would not be overreached or outwitted by Satan since they were aware of his schemes. In other words, by withholding forgiveness, they would play right into Satan’s hands, doing his work for him.
This is a lesson the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses has failed to learn. Through convention videos, elder schools, and the oral law handed down through the Circuit Overseer network, the organization imposes a de facto minimum period for forgiveness which must not be less than 12 months, and is often longer. They will not allow individuals to grant forgiveness on their own terms and will even punish those who attempt to do so. All are expected to do their part in what is a condescending and humiliating treatment of someone who is repentant. By not following the divine counsel given to the Corinthians, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been systematically exploited by Satan. They have given the Lord of Darkness the upper hand. It seems they are indeed ignorant of his schemes.
To defend the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ practice of not saying so much as a single “Hello” to a disfellowshipped one, some will point to 2 John 7-11 which reads:
“For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those not acknowledging Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Look out for yourselves, so that you do not lose the things we have worked to produce, but that you may obtain a full reward. Everyone who pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God. The one who does remain in this teaching is the one who has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him. For the one who says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works.” (2 John 7-11 NWT)
Again, this is not a one-size-fix-all rule. We have to consider the context. To commit a sin of human weakness is not the same as to engage in sin willfully and with harmful intent. When I sin, I can pray to God for forgiveness on the basis of my baptism through which I recognize Jesus as my savior. This baptism grants me a clean conscience before God, because it is a recognition of the sin atoning sacrifice God gave us through his son who came in the flesh to redeem us all. (1 Peter 3:21)
John is here speaking about an individual who is an antichrist, a deceiver, one who denies that Christ came in the flesh and one who has not remained in the teaching of the Christ. More than that, this individual is trying to persuade others to follow him in his rebellious course. This is a true apostate. And yet, even here, John does not tell us not to listen to such a one because someone else tells us to do so. No, he expects us to listen and evaluate for ourselves because he says “if anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching….“ It is therefore up to each of us to listen and evaluate every teaching that we hear before taking any action.
Scholars generally agree that John was targeting the Gnostics who were a growing and corrupting influence in the first century congregation.
John’s counsel deals with handling cases of true apostasy. To take that and apply it to any type of sin, is again to make a one-size-fits-all rule. We miss the mark. We fail to apply the principle of love and instead go for a rule which doesn’t require us to think nor to make a responsible choice.
Why does Paul say not even to say a greeting to an apostate?
Let’s not get carried away by a Western understanding of what “giving a greeting” means. Instead, let us consider how other translations render this verse:
- “Anyone who welcomes them…” (New International Version)
- “Anyone who encourages such people…” (New Living Translation)
- “For the one telling him to rejoice…” (Berean Study Bible)
- “For he that biddith him Godspeed…” (King James Bible)
- “For anyone who wishes them peace…” (Good News Translation)
- Would you welcome, encourage, or rejoice with someone who was actively opposing the Christ? Would you wish him Godspeed, or depart with a farewell and God bless you?
To do so would be to imply that you approve of him and therefore become a participant with them in his sin.
In Summary: As we move forward out of false religion and into true worship, we want to follow only the Christ, not men. Jesus gave us the means to deal with unrepentant sinners within the congregation at Matthew 18:15-17. Paul helped us see how to apply that counsel in a practical way using situations that prevailed in Thessalonica and Corinth. As the first century was coming to its end and the congregation was facing a challenge from the rising tide of Gnostisim which threatened the very foundation of Christianity, the apostle John gave us some clear direction on how to apply Jesus’ instructions. But it is up to each of us to apply that divine direction personally. No man nor group of men has the authority to tell us who we will associate with. We have all the guidance we need from the Bible. Jesus’ words and the holy spirit will direct us to the best course of action. Rather than hard and fast rules, we will let love for God and love for our fellow man be what guides us to find the best course of action for all concerned.
Before we go, there is one more item I would like to discuss. There are bound to be those watching this who will want to defend the judicial system of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and who will likely claim we are being unnecessarily critical and that we need to understand that Jehovah God is using the Governing Body as his channel. Therefore, while the system of three-man committees, and the policies regarding disfellowshipping, disassociation, and reinstatement may not be expressly defined in Scripture, it is Jehovah’s appointed channel that is declaring these as valid and Scriptural in our current day and age.
Very well, let’s see what this channel has to say about disfellowshipping? Will they end up condemning their own actions?
Speaking about the Catholic Church, the January 8, 1947 issue of Awake! had this to say on page 27 under the Title, “Are You Also Excommunicated?”
“The authority for excommunication, they claim, is based on the teachings of Christ and the apostles, as found in the following scriptures: Matthew 18:15-18; 1 Corinthians 5:3-5; Galatians 1:8,9; 1 Timothy 1:20; Titus 3:10. But the Hierarchy’s excommunication, as a punishment and “medicinal” remedy (Catholic Encyclopedia), finds no support in these scriptures. In fact, it is altogether foreign to Bible teachings.—Hebrews 10:26-31. … Thereafter, as the pretensions of the Hierarchy increased, the weapon of excommunication became the instrument by which the clergy attained a combination of ecclesiastical power and secular tyranny that finds no parallel in history. Princes and potentates that opposed the dictates of the Vatican were speedily impaled on the tines of excommunication and hung over persecution fires.” (g47 1/8 p. 27)
Does that sound familiar? Fascinating that just five years later, in 1952, the modern Witness practice of disfellowshipping was born. It’s just excommunication by another name. With time, it has been expanded until it has become a virtual carbon copy of the “weapon of excommunication” they so roundly condemned in 1947. Consider this letter to circuit overseers dated September 1, 1980:
“Keep in mind that to be disfellowshipped, an apostate does not have to be a promoter of apostate views. As mentioned in paragraph two, page 17 of the August 1, 1980, Watchtower, “The word ‘apostasy’ comes from a Greek term that means ‘a standing away from,’ ‘a falling away, defection,’ ‘rebellion, abandonment. Therefore, if a baptized Christian abandons the teachings of Jehovah, as presented by the faithful and discreet slave [now known as the Governing Body] and persists in believing other doctrine despite Scriptural reproof, then he is apostatizing. Extended, kindly efforts should be put forth to readjust his thinking. However, if, after such extended efforts have been put forth to readjust his thinking, he continues to believe the apostate ideas and rejects what he has been provided through the ‘slave class, the appropriate judicial action should be taken.”
Is there anything remotely Christian about such a policy? If you don’t agree with them, it is not enough to be silent, to keep your mouth shut. If you simply disagree with their teachings in your heart, you must be removed and cut off from all your family and friends. Don’t think this was a one-time policy that has since been corrected. Nothing has changed since 1980. In fact, it is worse.
At the 2012 District Convention, in a part titled “Avoid Testing Jehovah in Your Heart”, Witnesses were told that thinking that the Governing Body had made a mistake was equivalent to thinking Jehovah had handed them a serpent rather than a fish. Even if a Witness kept silent and just believed in his or her own heart that something they were being taught was wrong, they were like the rebellious Israelites who were “testing Jehovah in their heart”.
Then, in the circuit assembly program of that year, during a part titled “How Can We Display Oneness of Mind?”, they declared that “to ‘think in agreement,’ we cannot harbor ideas contrary to God’s Word or our publications. (1 Co 4:6)”
A great many people are concerned about freeness of speech these days, but the Governing Body not only wants to control what you say, but even what you think, and if your thinking is wrong, they are more than willing to punish you with the greatest severity for your “wrong thinking”.
I’ve heard people claim that Witnesses are in a mind-control cult. Others disagree. I say, consider the evidence. They will disfellowship you—cut you off from your social support system which for some has been so great a loss that they have taken their own life rather than endure it—and why? Because you think differently from them, because you hold a contrary opinion. Even if you don’t talk with others about your belief, if they come to know about it—thank goodness they can’t read minds—then they will disfellowship you. Truly, this has become a weapon of darkness which is now being used to control the mind. And don’t think they are not vigilant to try to discern your thoughts. They expect you to act a certain way and speak a certain way. Any variance from that norm will be noticed. Try speaking too much about the Christ, even without varying from anything written in the publications, or try praying or carrying on a conversation without mentioning Jehovah’s name, and their antennae start to buzz. Soon they will call you into the back room and pepper you with probing questions.
Again, where is the love of the Christ in any of this?
They condemned the Catholic church for a policy which only five years later they embraced. This is a textbook case of ecclesiastical hypocrisy.
As to how we should view the judicial practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I leave you with these words to ponder from our Lord Jesus Christ:
“Isaiah aptly prophesied about YOU hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honor me with [their] lips, but their hearts are far removed from me. It is in vain that they keep worshiping me, because they teach as doctrines commands of men.’ Letting go the commandment of God, YOU hold fast the tradition of men.”” (Mark 7:6-8 NWT)
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