the Spirit Watch
Watchtower Disfellowshipping: A Biblical Perspective
Consider these actual situations:
A Jehovah's Witness pioneer with 23 years of loyal membership whose son leaves their organization decided to move to the state he lives in an attempt to draw him back into it. The elders of her congregation want her to stay to keep pioneering in her special ministry. She refuses and moves anyway. After several other "incidents," she is disfellowshipped. After study, a Witness of 20 years finds herself no longer able to accept the Watchtower's teaching that Jesus is Michael the archangel and tries to dialogue with her elders about it. She is disfellowshipped. A lifelong Witness couple are confronted with the prospect of the death of their infant daughter unless she receives a blood transfusion Their Witness friends and elders insist that she be kidnapped to prevent it, which would mean certain death for the child. When the couple cannot bring themselves to do it, they find themselves also summarily disfellowshipped.
What is disfellowshipping? It is the deliberate expulsion of a Jehovah's Witness by their leadership from their local congregation, and hence, from membership in the Watchtower Society's global following. It is supposedly based upon Biblical principles of church discipline mandated in the New Testament for leaders to follow. Witnesses who become prime candidates for such drastic action are those who are alleged to have committed some immoral act or rebellion against Biblical teachings as the Watchtower interprets and dictates them. The process of disfellowshipping is initiated to supposedly keep the local congregation spiritually and morally pure, and is usually done after a group of it's elders have convened a judicial committee to decide on whether or not to expel an errant member. The Watchtower reports that "each year, about 40,000 individuals are disfellowshipped from Jehovah's organization" (1).
Disfellowshipping is perhaps one of the greatest fears that a Jehovah's Witness must grapple with. It is an unsettling and terrifying prospect to be found guilty of an offense that could lead to their disfellowshipping from the Watchtower's organization, or "Mother" as many Jehovah's Witnesses like to call it. This is for several reasons:
The Watchtower relentlessly teaches that eternal salvation is found only through being associated with their organization and that to be permanently expelled from it is to be lost forever and cut off from eternal life and reunion with family in the resurrectioon.
Upon their disfellowshipping, a Witness' opportunity to prove their worthiness of entrance into the new Paradise Earth will be effectively suspended, with the threat of an iminent Armageddon hung perpetually over their lives.
The Society teaches that the disfellowshipped face the grim prospect of being consigned to a bleak existence outside of the organization, in a world that the organization has taught is filled with demons, evil and destruction.
All their Witness friends and family will be required to virtually shun them and to have as little to do with them as possible, to not even say hello to them if they were to meet them in public, and to treat them as evildoers, regardless of the former close ties they once had.
To lose one's entire social system on top of the threat of eternal destruction is a fearful prospect no rational individual can easily cope with. The threat of disfellowshipping is a punitive sanction that the Society has used well in keeping the rank and file Witness constituency around the world in line with the dictates of the organization, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. Other cults routinely use such measures to similarly control and manipulate their own constituencies.
The actual disciplinary process, from the perspective of the accused Witness involved, is extremely arduous and stressful. An elder or group of elders from their local congregation will notify them that they are to meet with them in regards to "conduct unbecoming a Christian," as they often like to phrase it. Judicial committees composed only of elders from the local congregation of the offender may meet thereafter several times over a period of time in closed session, to formally present to the accused charges of misconduct and to submit the accused to them to the most thorough examination of their personal life possible in an attempt to "get the facts." The most minute details of the accused's life, including their failings and shortcomings are often examined, with no opportunity for rebuttals or defending testimony from third parties, and the fact that several sessions may be used to obtain this information prolongs the emotional and psychological trauma that the offender suffers simply through being exposed. Imagine being a young teenage girl being forced by a group of older men to confess in excruciating detail her illicit sexual activity with a boy and you will get an idea of what actually has and does transpire in a Jehovah's Witness judicial committee meeting.
Should they be disfellowshipped, the accused's knowledge of how drastically overturned their world will become is hard to understate. They are aware that, in effect, Witnesses are to treat their disfellowshipped brethren as if they were dead or spurn them as evil. Many have been so thoroughly indoctrinated by the Watchtower on what to believe and how to live that they find being the threat of being expelled from the organization's control and guidance - however morally bankrupt - as ruinous as a death sentence. A lifetime of successes, relationships, and sincere effort is swept away in an instant as the announcement is made in public meetings of Jehovah's Witnesses that a local Witness has been disfellowshipped. From henceforth, an invisible mark as burning as Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter" is placed upon the disfellowshipped Witness that will forever isolate them from their former comrades within the Watchtower fold. It is quite literally one of the most soul-shattering experiences that a Witness can ever face - to be judged worthy of eternal destruction by a group of mere men in one or two meetings of judicial examination.
The Human Cost of Disfellowshipping
If you are a Jehovah's Witness, you know that these vivid descriptions are not idle forms of anti-Witness rhetoric, but that are true. The teachings of the Society on disfellowshipping as stated can be found in Watchtower publications, but the practical and personal impact of these teachings can only be seen within the closely veiled inner culture of Witnessess in community. The testimonies of Witnesses we have personally known who were expelled from the organization bear witness as well as to just how devastating disfellowshipping is. Perhaps no greater pain is inflicted, however, than by the most tragic and heartbreaking way that whole families are affected. Children are cut off from parents, grandparents from grandchildren, husbands from wives, brothers from sisters. This helps set the stage for domestic violence in many affected households where the tensions and unresolved frustrations become unbearable and are released in bursts of rage, abusive language, and physical abuse. One lady we know who was disfellowshipped was forced to leave her dining room as her Witness family prayed over their meals. Imagine the home life of a man who has just been disfellowshipped from the Society and whose wife is now compelled to have as absolutely little to do with him as possible, and to consider remarrying a Witness in good standing. Think about the indescribable pain a disfellowshipped grandmother bears when she realizes that she has several grandchildren (of her loyal Witness children) who she has never seen.
Personal friendships between Witnesses are ended when disfellowshipping is enforced, and the social life within the organization that the Witness has been endlessly taught to seek and develop in an effort to keep separate from the contamination of the non-Witness world is suddenly ripped out from under them. The cultural shaking of the Witness who is compelled to leave the Watchtower is hard to underestimate as these brief testimonials show:
I find myself often muddled and confused, and always struggling. .. I will never be able to rid myself of all the gut fears and confusion that I now feel whenever I think about religion. I try to ignore the whole issue. I was never allowed to mingle socially or date. I am now unable to function socially in groups of more than four people. .. My life was oppressed from two forces which combined to narrow my options to just about nothing. The religion forbade all but necessary contact with the outside world. (2)
It is no wonder then that the trauma that disfellowshipping brings to a Witness has been so severe that some plunge into depression or nervous collapse. Many often become suicidal, bitter, angry and atheistic in their thinking. Their pain plunges them deeper into the sinful behavior that they may have committed in an attempt to ease their troubled mind with the consequential emergence of addictive behaviors such as drug abuse, alcoholism and sexual promiscuity. Numerous are the testimonies of Witnesses who have suffered complete mental breakdowns and even institutionalization over impending disfellowshipping proceedings. Tragically, not a few have followed through and committed suicide to escape their plight.
It is inconceivable that spiritual leaders in the Watchtower could deliberately commit errant brethren of their community to such an ordeal, but one can only stop and wonder at the mental state of those who emotionally and, in many cases, physically abandon their own flesh and blood in loyal obedience to a religious organization. What goes through the heart and mind of a parent who must walk, in public and private, unresponsively past their own child who has been found worthy of disfellowshipping? How can a Witness on one day intimately share with a friend, and then, the next day, literally have nothing to do with them?
It suggests one very tragic thing: the human cost of disfellowshipping is a two-edged sword that cuts both ways. Any Witness reading this knows this to be true. Anyone who has felt the weight of disfellowshipping settle upon their shoulders likely has experienced the unique pain of believing that they are truly are a wicked individual whom "Mother" has turned her back upon. And their friends and family who are "being loyal" to God by deliberately disowning their loved ones must daily reindoctrinate themselves with the notion that their disfellowshipped loved one is truly beneath the attention and love of Jehovah God. They must now engage on a lifelong course of self-deception and must assert that their loved one is someone who really is as cursed as Watchtower authority says they are. We know of one woman who nearly suffered a nervous breakdown as the day of her baptism approached, the day in which she would formally join the Jehovah's Witnesses. Why? Her daughter, who related this testimony to us, believed it was because of the pressure and anguish that she was suffering knowing that, upon her baptism, she was going to have to completely cut off all contact with her disfellowshipped Witness son and his family. The inner conflict between her desire to please "Jehovah" by obeying his "visible organization" and her deep felt maternal love and desire to continue her relationship with her son simply drove her almost over the edge. She is now a baptized Jehovah's Witness, but she secretly sees a therapist and takes prescription tranquilizers to dull her unique burden of sorrow. She does this enough so that she may continue to aggressively canvas door to door to preach "the Good News of the Kingdom."
The Watchtower View Of Disfellowshipping Vs. The Biblical View of Discipline
The Watchtower Society takes the position that those who are disfellowshipped are individuals who "allow love of the world to entice them into serious wrongdoing" (3). It is asserted by the society that individual Witnesses who are disfellowshipped are Witnesses who abandoned the Watchtower's teachings for "loose living" or to follow "apostate doctrine" (4). These are two of the primary reasons that elders in local Witness congregations are compelled to "take appopriate action so as not to allow a demoralizing of the congregation" (5). A set of objectives for disfellowshipping as given in this book note that keeping the organization pure is the primary concern, and impress upon the wrongdoer the need for repentance so as to be reinstated. The organizational concern seems more aimed at keeping the corporate body politic "clean" (and hence a pristine public image), with the actual spiritual restoration of the fallen Witness almost appearing an afterthought. As we have noted, tens of thousands of Witnesses each year are confronted with this painful reality, and that it is handled primarily by elders in leadership among the local congregation who directly represent the Watchtower's interests and position. Even "prominent elders" have been included among this number, in keeping with the central concern that "Jehovah's Witnesses realize that maintaining a morally clean organization is vital in order to continue to have Jehovah's approval" (6). The Scriptures the Society use to justify disfellowshipping are taken from Matthew 18:15-17, 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, 1 Timothy 5:20, and 2 Thessalonians 3:14. The December 15, 1984 Watchtower adds that "counsel such as 2 John 9-11 .. 2 Timothy 3:5" instructs Witnesses to allow for "no room for associating with those who turn away from the truth. Nor do we purchase or read their writings." Such teaching as proscribed by the Watchtower Society well illustrates the harsh and authoritarian nature of disfellowshipping among Jehovah's Witnesses, revealing them to be practices that go far beyond mere correction of moral lapses but actually tend towards outright abusive manipulation of individual Witnesses who know no better than the tender mercies of the "Mother" organization. For an updated and more detailed examination on the Watchtower's disfellowshipping practices and teachings, click here.
Moral lapses are not the only reasons disfellowshipping is initiated. Individual Witnesses who have been found observing holiday celebrations like Christmas and birthdays (evil aspects of a sinful world, according to the Watchtower, that must be shunned), as well as those who simply object to some of the Society's more cavalier mandates for lifestyle choices have found themselves expelled from the organization without regard or mercy. This level of punitive pressure can be seen for what it is, a heavy handed attempt at establishing authoritarian legalism that has no bearing upon essentially Christian moral principles whatsoever. The Society-sanctioned definition of what constitutes immorality is effectively reinforced by the threat of disfellowshipping when it is extended to encompass these matters which should be instead left to the personal judgment of one's own conscience.
In a recent Internet e-mailing received by the author came word of a Vietnamese Witness who was a new convert and who was forced to watch his young wife slip into a coma and die as a result of hemorrhaging in childbirth. He had been compelled by Watchtower teaching to withhold a blood transfusion from her, and in the midst of his grief and anguish after her tragic death, he remarked to the media who had heard of the situation that he wasn't sure if the Witness religion was the truth or not, and that it possibly was a fantasy. A few days later, over the phone, the Vietnamese widow was accused by elders of his local congregation of being an "apostate" and was disfellowshipped without any procedure whatsoever. Doubting Watchtower teaching this unfortunate man discovered, is as evil a sin as adultery, and the congregation must not be "demoralized." Sadly, he is only one of the thousands who will be disfellowshipped this year (1996) through a draconian display of hard-line authority over matters of conscience. Despite recent Watchtower efforts to soften their hard line, the process by and large is still as traumatic as ever.
The Biblical Pattern Of Christian Discipline In Community
In the sharpest contrast to the Watchtower position on disfellowshipping, the Biblical view of church discipline is intended to compassionately, and yet firmly correct errant Christians. It is not unreasonable nor "unchristian" to expect and demand from the Christian Church the same sort of accountability that would firmly discipline its own. The Scriptures cited above do indeed mandate the Christian congregations to move decisively to confront those who have fallen into openly sinful lifestyles. But the Biblical mandate for restoration of the fallen Christian through sound church discipline is vastly more even-handed, civil and humane than that suffered by Jehovah's Witnesses. For example, entire Witness congregations, at the direction of elders after due process has run its course, will obediently turn their backs upon their struggling brethren. They justify this social isolation by claiming to be following the instruction of 2 Timothy 3:5 - "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof, from such, turn away" (KJV) and 2 Thessalonians 3:14: "if anyone is not obedient to our word through this letter, keep this one marked, stop associating with him that he may become ashamed" (NWT).
And yet, in keeping with their well-established practice, the Watchtower fails to take entire portion of 2 Thessalonians 3 in it's proper context. It does not quote the fifteenth verse where it reads: "and yet, do not be considering him as an enemy, but continue admonishing him as a brother"(NWT). This verse clearly shows that the Watchtower's teaching that the faithful should completely cut themselves off from the disfellowshipped is not only a shocking example of Biblical misinterpretation, but organizationally sanctioned spiritual abuse having no biblical basis whatsoever. It assumes that all candidates for disfellowshipping are totally depraved reprobates who either blaspheme and/or wallow in sinful practice. Such a position makes it easy for the Society to demonize it's "troublemakers" and to place a powerful form of manipulative pressure upon them, the shock and trauma of shattered, if not destroyed relationships.
As we have already seen in our study of 2 Thessalonians 3:14 -15, occasional (if not frequent) interpersonal contact by Christians to admonish the errant believer is a Biblical mandate that is used to bring them to their senses, and ultimately, to repent of their sins and to turn again to holy living. This is how compassionate, responsible, and legitimate care for the spiritual and moral being of a fellow believer is to be exercised. The passage introduces us to a sound principle of church discipline: all rebuke and correction must be executed and adminstered within the context of godly familial relationships. In the same chapter that the Society draws it's truncated view of open rebuke of sinful believers, 1 Timothy 5, Paul commands that church leaders to "intreat" elder men and women as fathers and mothers, and younger ones as brothers and sisters "with all purity" (v. 2, KJV). Rather than viewing them as vile blasphemers - as the Watchtower implies in it's usage of 2 John 9-11 (7), erring Christians, as members of the family of God, are to be treated as brothers and sisters who must be admonished lovingly, yet firmly. This principle must be firmly held to throughout the entire process of discipline, especially when the mandate of Matthew 18 is used. The example of the father of the prodigal son as related in Jesus' parable of Luke 15:11-32 is a perfect illustration of the quality of deeply passionate and heartfelt compassion that a family member would have for another who fell on bad times. Christians who would see the sinful members of any fellowship properly admonished, disciplined and restored would do well to remember this passage. It is ironic that the example of the elder son of the prodigal's family more clearly mirrors the mean-spirited sentiments of those elders and congregations of Witnesses who choose to harden their hearts against their struggling brethren.
Another principle of church discipline being demonstrated here is that genuine love for the truth and purity of the faith will also temper the punitive sanctions that may be resorted to in defense of those ideals. Open rebuke and admonition of sinful Christians among the body of Christ is tragically almost an alien practice among the church. Initiating the practice as stated in 1 Timothy 5:20 seems, to carnal Christian attitudes of the modern age almost barbaric (and certainly grounds for lawsuits initiated by litigious Christians). While there is indeed dire need for communities of Christian faith to exercise discipline among themselves, and while errant believers must be admonished or rebuked from time to time, it is clear from Scripture that all discipline will be done out of loving concern for the Christian individually: the good image and "morale" of the congregation are actually secondary issues. The sinful brother of 1 Corinthians 5 is seen again in 2 Corinthians 2:6-8, apparently sorrowful over the disciplinary process that Paul had exhorted the church to pursue with him. The context suggests, but does not conclusively demonstrate, that this individual had repented of his wrongdoing. Apparently all we know of this individual is that he was all but overcome by a deep sorrow (v. 7) brought upon him through the punitive process that Paul proscribed in 1 Corinthians 5. He could have been struggling with either godly sorrow, which leads to true repentance, or "worldly" sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:9-11) The point is that Paul's counsel was for the church to forgive and to comfort him. He intreated the Corinthian congregation to reach out to him and to demonstrate their care for this man, who may have not repented for his sin, but who desperately needed a visitation of Godly love and care for him through the church - after a season of enforced excommunication.
Having established close relationships in a fellowship of believers and to have them drastically curtailed in Christian chastisment is not meant to be pleasant, but it gets the job done by a necessary social emphasis that a breach in fellowship with God also affects human relationships. This excommunication, however, is never employed to disrupt and mute family relationships to the point of non-existence, or worst of all, pseudo-existence. Not one single verse in the Scriptures anywhere implies that Christian discipline demands that families be divided, grandparents isolated from grandchildren, and husbands from wives. And yet this is what the practice of disfellowshipping demands of all loyal Witnesses who may be unfortunate enough to have loved ones subjected to it. Countless testimonies of families whose relationship circles have been literally destroyed exist and are on file. The examples cited in the beginning of this article are only a few of the well-documented many. Surely the very notion of parents being compelled by religious teaching to completely ignore their own children, at face value, will strike any objective observer as inconceivably cruel. We heartily agree, but the Watchtower Society, believing itself to be the only true religion on the earth today, continues to demand just such a price from hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
To The Disfellowshipped Or Their Loved Ones
Many former Jehovah's Witnesses, after months, even years of disfellowshipped life outside the Society, are never the same after somehow finding relative personal stability from the blow they've suffered from it. Although the Society may have physically cast them out, they never quite spiritually leave the Society altogether. The trauma of having to reconstruct an entirely new worldview is that devastating. Most of these retreat into lives of bitterness and emptiness, with an eventual progression into unresolved anger, grief, and depression which often lead into destructive choices in lifestyle. Some manage to put their lives back together through meaningful vocations or careers. Not a few become atheistic or agnostic, either out of bitter scorn or an exercise of unbelief motivated by the cruelty they have beheld. Many others do eventually come to terms with matters of faith and adopt a form of spirituality they find non-threatening and comfortable, if not entirely fulfilling - some even turn to Christianity or some other world religion.
It is striking to realize that many of these individuals, many find themselves vigorous boosters for the Watchtower when they find it under attack. Startling as it may seem, at each annual observance called the "Memorial" which is held world wide in Witness Kingdom Halls, many disfellowshipped Jehovah's Witnesses will be found dutifully attending them. As former Witness Randy Watters relates, it often comes as "a surprise for many who encounter a person who defends the Jehovah's Witnesses both in belief and practice, only to find out that they were disfellowshipped and no longer associate with the Witnesses" (8). He goes on to describe three of the many factors that many disfellowshipped Witnesses labor under which keep them bound to a blind loyalty to the very organization that brought upon them such woe. These factors are guilt, fear, and "the love affair."
Disfellowshipped Witnesses live in a state of guilt, since redemption from their wrongdoings can only be received from the Watchtower - thus self-condemnation is a never-ending scourge in their lives. Fear of further wrongdoing, of impending judgment by Jehovah, and being found in further rebellions against the Society (like speaking out against it's injustices inflicted upon them, or reading material critical of the Watchtower) amplifies their guilt, as well as drives them into frenzied defense of the Society when it is criticized by others. The disfellowshipped Witness often has a strong yearning for the comradeship and brotherhood aspects of life in the organization, along with the sense of security by abiding in a well-ordered world where how to think and live is dictated to them by "Jehovah's Clean Organization." Not unlike a codependent woman mentally and emotionally shackled to an abusive boyfriend, disfellowshipped Jehovah's Witnesses suffers from a traumatic bondage to the spiritually abusive example of the Watchtower that is hard to overstate.
We'd like to interject a word or two for those who have felt the iron fist of Watchtower authority and have been disfellowshipped. Despite what elders, congregational servants, or anyone else around you may say or think about you, and even despite what you may have done, we'd think you'd like to know that Jehovah is a God of love as well as that of justice. You have been led down a path of understanding that didn't reveal the true God that the ancient peoples of God knew. The picture of Him as depicted by the Society is a warped, distorted and empty shell that cannot compare to the actual greatness of His undeserved kindness, His grace, and the desire that he would extend to you today. The Scriptures reveal Him as always seeking to demonstrate His desire to care for you, to bring healing and new life to you (1 John 1:9)! That is what grace is really supposed to do.
Sadly, what many zealous and sincere people who approach groups like the Watchtower quickly discover is a religious system that metes out it's "divine love" (often cited among themselves as "proof" of their divine favor) based upon conformity to a code of conduct. Such legalistic worldviews that demand performance inevitably compel an individual to rely upon their good works for approval from God, an approval easily provided by men who claim to speak for God and uphold "the truth." (Colossians 2:8, 20-22,). The deep frustration, anger, resentment and fear that many come away with from their involvement with the organization is then quite understandable. Who could not feel tempted to yield to despair, bitterness, rage and even hatred after having been prodded onto an organizational treadmill demanding your absolute loyalty, trust, and obedience. Who can find themselves willing to continue to follow the dictates of an organization led by a driving taskmaster diety demanding one's performance of lifestyle perfection? No wonder they have little reason to trust in such a god!
Could we share a word of encouragement to you, along with something to think about? If you have your Bible, turn to Isaiah 49:15 and consider the truth made clear here:
Can a wife forget her suckling so that she should not pity the son of her belly? (NWT)
As hard as it is to believe, mothers can and do forget their children, even to the extent of hardening their hearts against them. The sad examples of abusive mothers are always around us. But the wonderful promise of the Scriptures here tell us of the love of God for those who have been rejected and left defenseless and helpless in a strange and unfriendly world.
Even these women can forget yet I myself shall not forget you. (NWT)
Over and over in the Scriptures of the Old Testament, we find fallen Israel, a nation filled with the deepest depravity, being continually offered the divine love and forgiveness that Jehovah God always held out to them. No matter how "beyond hope" they seemed to be, He made it clear that His greater depths of gracious mercy and lovingkindness were extended to them. Just as the evil of the nation's very priests and kings turned them away from the care and guidance of their people, so would there be women who would ignore their infant children who relied upon them for life. In the midst of such a calamity, Jehovah arises to serve notice upon Israel through this moving word of prophetic illumination that He will not allow them to be cast away, forgotten, in sin to never again receive of His care.
God even commanded the godly aged prophet Hosea to marry a wild-living prostitute to serve as an open witness of His unfailing love for Israel as it turned from true worship and godly leadership into depraved idolatry and political intrigue. Hosea's faithful love and provision for his adulterous and immoral wife was meant to serve as a powerful and living witness to the nation that "O Israel, thou has destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help" (Hosea 13:9) (KJV).
He could say to Israel in Jeremiah 29:11:
I myself well know the thoughts that I am thinking towards you .. thoughts of peace, and not of calamity, to give you a future and a hope (NWT)
Again, God is speaking to a nation of people who had suffered as a result of their wilful rejection of him, and he again takes the initiative to reach out to the vile and the sinful. Many more examples from Scripture can be cited, but the point is clear: God loves, and He loves thoroughly. John 3:16 points out that he "so loved the world" enough to send His Son to die redemptively for you and all men. The same world that would hate the Christ and destroy his disciples in the years to come was loved thoroughly by His Father. Isn't that something to consider when you begin to brood over how worthless you are? He knew what we would all individually fall to, what depths of ungodly evil all of us are capable of doing, and still He loved the world!
Jesus Christ, the Son of God told his disciples "I am the way, the truth and the life: no man can come to the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth, ye know him, and have seen him. .. He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:6-7, 9b, KJV). After establishing his central role as the only One who provides salvation and mediatory access to the Father for all mankind, Jesus explained to their troubled minds that to know him meant that one could know his Father as well. To know the love of God, one must know the love of Jesus. To know the Father intimately would be to know the Son intimately as well. Instead of hoping to some day fit back into the "good graces" of the Watchtower Society's capricious and callous machinery, wouldn't it be much easier to turn to Jesus for the way back to the Father, to the one in whom we have beheld the "express image" and glory of God's graceful love for mankind (Hebrews 1:1-3, John 1:14) - including the disfellowshipped Jehovah's Witness or two? We must recall, in closing our report, the invitation this wonderful Savior, the Truth, extends to all who have been rejected by religious organizations as reprobates - words scarcely believable, but which thousands of disfellowshipped people have found to indeed to be true:
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
(1) The Watchtower, April 1, 1994, p.16
(2) Barbara Grizzutti Harrison, Visions Of Glory, p. 153
(3) Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers Of God's Kingdom, p. 186
(3) ibid, p. 187
(4) ibid, p. 186
(5) ibid, p. 186
(6) ibid, p. 187
(7) Aid To Bible Understanding, p. 31
(8) Free Minds Journal, Jan/Feb 1990, p. 12