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The End of the Term "Disfellowshiped"


So the term "disfellowshipped" has now come to an end.


Last time we covered the end of the marking talks as a punitive mechanism into shaming erring individuals and today we consider another change from the August 2024 Watchtower Study Edition which is yet to be posted on jw.org. So this change comes from Article 35 "Help for "Disfellowshiped in the Congregation " and paragraphs 3-5 under the subtitle "Get away from the evil among you" and there under paragraph 4 in a Footnote we find this change :

 We will no longer refer to such ones as being disfellowshipped. In harmony with Paul’s words recorded at 1 Corinthians 5:13, we will now refer to them as being removed from the congregation.

So we go from the term "disfellowshipped " to the term "removed" and if you want my opinion why they effected this change I think there there are 2 primary reasons:

First because of its negative connotation the same way they had to rebrand from " Jehovah's Witnesses " to jw.org was because of the toxic nature of the name and everything that is being associated with. The same logic applies here, the term "disfellowshipped" is toxic and has been used for far too long to name call individuals that after decades have turned on the Wafchtower and also a term that has been used too often on courts to associate Jehovah's Witnesses with their toxic practice. That has to be changed now. The second reason is legal. You see the courts in different countries where jws have lost legal battles and with that funding and tax exemptions have accused the Watchtower for setting their own seperate legal system which in many cases is adversarial to that of the country's they live in and the word "disfellowshipped" is a religious legal term. Google the term "disfellowshipped " and that's what you get:

From Webster's dictionary the definition for "Disfellowship" is :

to exclude from fellowship, especially from religious communion

Also the Wikipedia under Jehovah's Witnesses has this to say :

Serious violations of these requirements can result in disfellowshipping (similar to excommunication) and subsequent shunning if not deemed repentant.[90][54] When a judicial committee decides that a baptized Witness has committed a serious sin and is unrepentant, the person is disfellowshipped.

So they want this stigmatizing word and any connections with it gone either online or in courts and the only way to do this is by walking away from it. It's like a run down restaurant changing its menu and renaming all their plates under new more fancy names. You know the food is disgusting but the name sounds more appetising now so you may as well have a go! You just can't make this stuff up!

There is alot more legal maneuvering going on here but for that you have to read the whole 3 paragraphs under this subtitle. We read in pagraph 3:

3 When a wrongdoer is unrepentant, the elders have no choice but to follow the direction found at 1 Corinthians 5:13: “Remove the wicked person from among yourselves.” In a sense, the wrongdoer has chosen that consequence; he is reaping what he has sown. (Gal. 6:7) Why can we say that? Because he has refused to respond to repeated attempts by the elders to lead him to repentance. (2 Ki. 17:12-15) His actions show that he has chosen not to abide by Jehovah’s standards.—Deut. 30:19, 20.

Did you notice the get out of jail legal card here. So far THEY used to do the disfellowshiping and for that they incurred the wrath of the courts for doing so, but now it's not them it's YOU that remove yourself from the congregation by "choosing to continue your bad deeds even though the elders repeatedly told you to repent". It's like being involved in a fist fight and want to make sure you absolve yourself from any wrongdoing. It wasn't ME that punched YOU in the face, it was YOU that drove your face into my fist. Do you see how that works now? I'm sure that is a well crafted paragraph seasoned and cooked by the legal department of the Watchtower.

Now next into paragraph 4:

4 When an unrepentant wrongdoer is removed from the congregation, an announcement is made to inform the congregation that he is no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The purpose ofthat announcement is not to humiliate the wrongdoer. Rather, it is made so that the congregation can follow the Scriptural admonition to “stop keeping company” with that person, “not even eating with” him. (1 Cor. 5:9-11) That direction is given for good reason. The apostle Paul wrote: “A little leaven ferments the whole batch of dough.” (1 Cor. 5:6) Unrepentant wrongdoers can weaken the determination ofthose who are trying to live by Jehovah’s righteous standards. —Prov. 13:20; 1 Cor. 15:33

This is a big change too, there were articles in the past that highlighted the fact that one of the reasons that the elders disfellowshipped someone was to shame him into repentance, do you remember these articles? Here is a paragraph 8 from a 2006 Watchtower on disfellowshiping that explains the real reasons behind the disfellowshiping practice (link in the description bellow);

Clearly, then, a sinner must be repentant if he is to receive mercy. However, neither shame nor fear of exposure is repentance. “To repent” means “to change one’s mind” with regard to bad conduct, because of regret. A repentant person has “a heart broken and crushed” and wants to ‘right the wrong’ if possible.​—Psalm 51:17; 2 Corinthians 7:11.

In other words indirectly they admitted that shame and exposure is what disfellowshiping practice is all about. Of course the courts will take you to task on that as it is a deliberate coercive practice that all governments associate with cults and that is why this reason has to be surgically removed from their publications. It was never about shame and control it was about informing the congregation. Unbelievable!

The last paragraph from this section of the August 2024 Watchtower has this to say:

5 How, then, should we view a fellow believer who is removed from the congregation? Although we do not socialize with him, we should view him as a lost sheep, not a lost cause. A sheep that has strayed from the fold may well return. Remember,that lost sheep dedicated himself to Jehovah. Sadly, he is not living up to that dedication at present, and that puts him in a dangerous position. (Ezek. 18:31) Nevertheless, as long as Jehovah’s mercy is available, there is hope thatthe person will return. How do the elders reflect that hope even toward a wrongdoer who has been removed from the congregation?

Of course with this last paragraph they covertly admit what they did for years and what they instruct families to do for years. They cut off disfellowshipped ones as there was no hope for them. But now they introduce this new idea "remember that he dedicated himself to Jehovah, he is just not living up to that commitment right now" which is a softer approach to the way the made their members think about disfellowshipped ones for years.

That brings me to the end of this section and next time I will consider how now the abolish the term "judicial committee". Listen all these changes are superficial and only for the benefit of governments where they can say "see we have changed out stance on disfellowshiping" The reality is that disfellowshiping is their core doctrine, their bread and butter, see how much time and energy they spend talking about because this is the big control mechanism to keep you in. I wish they spend as much time and energy considering other parts of the Bible that they don't do at all these days. With that in mind thanks for listening to me guys , you can find the article of this video in the description area and on jwupdates.com .If you like this channel like and subscribe and if you want to become a contributor please consider joining as a paid member below. Don't forget there is a livestream tomorrow 19:00 pm GMT time so if you want to hung around with me I go through all the videos I did the last few weeks and explain everything I didn't have to time to expand or if you any questions feel free to chime in. With that in mind thanks for listening to my guys and I'll be back on Friday with another video on this Watchtower.

Links:

file:///C:/Users/windows/Downloads/w_E_202408.pdf

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