>"must ask you however - if you had a relative that Used To believe, but doesn't believe anymore, and chooses to abandon (i mean "leave", not "attack") the organization, would you still be allowed to be on terms with them? it is my understanding, or my misunderstanding, that you are then required to avoid them completely."
We are to avoid disfellowshipped people, even relatives who are not in the same household. This includes social and religious contact, but not necessarily business contact. An exception is minor children, who, of course, remain in the family while they are minors, (yet non-relatives would avoid them.). If a disfellowshipped adult is in the same household (more than just a relative), he, of course, remains part of the family and is treated as part of the family. That is my understanding of it anyway.
I have had several extended relatives disfellowshipped, but they have since been reinstated, and are once again Witnesses. We are very happy about reinstatements.
There are several reasons for disfellowshipping:
(2 John 9-11): "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. 10 If anyone comes to YOU and does not bring this teaching, never receive him into YOUR homes or say a greeting to him. 11 For he that says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works."
(1 Corinthians 5:11-13): "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. 12 For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Do YOU not judge those inside, 13 while God judges those outside? "Remove the wicked [man] from among yourselves.""
(1 Corinthians 15:33): "Do not be misled. Bad associations spoil useful habits."
(Proverbs 13:20): "He that is walking with wise persons will become wise, but he that is having dealings with the stupid ones will fare badly."
To protect the congregation, and its reputation:
(1 Peter 1:15-16): "but, in accord with the Holy One who called YOU, do YOU also become holy yourselves in all [YOUR] conduct, 16 because it is written: "YOU must be holy, because I am holy.""
(2 Peter 2:2): "Furthermore, many will follow their acts of loose conduct, and on account of these the way of the truth will be spoken of abusively."
Also, in the hope that he/she will come to his senses:
(Acts 3:19): ""Repent, therefore, and turn around so as to get YOUR sins blotted out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the person of Jehovah"
(Luke 15:17): ""When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many hired men of my father are abounding with bread, while I am perishing here from famine!"
As regards relationship with relatives who are simply unbelievers, we try to keep these pleasant. If a Witness were to be harsh or cruel, that would be wrong (and contrary to Bible principle). Occasionally, a Witness may unintentionnaly forget tact in his zeal to share what he has learned. This has caused problems in some cases.
Specific circumstances of course vary. I am not terribly familiar with the relationships of other specific families. I know that ussually, if there is conflict, it is because of religious oppostion from a non-believing relative.
|Response Title||Author and Date|
|dude, that's just... awful.||mennonite on Jun 3|
|ok||on Jun 3|
|of course, my stance is more like this... (i know! i know!...)||mennonite on Jun 3|
|that last bit was posted for my own sake. those that do wish to reply, feel free to.||mennonite on Jun 3|
|Re: "our sins lifted."||on Jun 3|
|It is very sad.||on Jun 3|
|*one who was a prostitute, but changed, is Rahab, who became an ancestress of Jesus. :)||on Jun 3|
|it's impressive that you know that.||mennonite on Jun 3|
|Thanks, and...||on Jun 4|
|oh, "AL 9000" was a cheap sci-fi joke||mennonite on Jun 4|
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