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Switch to Forum Live View marrying a non-Witness, disfellowshipping, ect.
6 years ago  ::  Dec 28, 2008 - 8:07PM #11
anotherpaul
Posts: 2,702
[QUOTE=anonpls;981637]How old are you? Are you still an elder?



I am in my 60's and was appointed an elder in the 1st year elders were appointed. Prior to that I was a "servant" in the congregation and was going to be the Ministerial School Servant and then they brought the elder arrangement in and I had to wait for appointment as an elder 6 months later. I was baptized in 1961. I no longer serve as an elder for a variety of reasons starting with health issues and problems stemming from am accident at work.. 

I am asking because it seems in recent years the elders are not as quick to disfellowship as they used to be.  Maybe there is a new editiion of the elder's book out or something,  I don't know and don't take that as sarcasm.



I was never quick to DF someone. I wanted to know the problem, the reason, the help that had been offered prior to the sin, the attitude and even if they had yet prayed to Jehovah for forgiveness. In the case of adultery even the mate should have some input in this. The decision to DF someone is very serious and should be made based on THEIR actions and responses, not on any personal feelings or for any other reason.

I guess whether someone is disfellowshipped or not could depend on what committee handles the case because as of the most recent information I have been given by the elders it does not matter if you murder 20 people as long as you are repentant.  In fact, my ex-husband committed adultery multiple times up until the night before his committee meeting and because of his show of repentance the elders actually told me although they thought they would have to disfellowship him they didn't because they did not see a "wicked man"  but instead a weak one.



And that was not a good reason. The "show" of repentance must be very strong and verifiable where possible, especially in a case of multiple actions. The committee, hopefully went on more than  just wicked VS weak, as that is only a small part of the whole issue. It must be based solely on repentance, unless extenuating curcumstances exist, such as prior abuse. I sat on one committee where, with the CO involved, we did NOT DF an adulterous sister even though she was not fully repentant, because of abuse by her husband.

He was privately reproved.  Unfortunately, he committed adultery again the next day.  Needless to say at his next meeting with them he was disfellowhipped.



Two errors then. One he was not truly repentant, and two he should not have been privately reproved, with multiple acts involved.  Not handling something properly hurts victims and even the guilty as they do not get the needed discipline to drive home their error. The congregation is not protected and Jehovah's name is further hurt as knowledge of the sins spread. This is part of why I was so clear in my original post. The truth of the matter must be plain so a real and valuable decision can be made by all.

Don't think I am bitter about it, I loved my husband and still do.  If he had wanted to stay married I would have, I never wanted to divorce him.  I have talked to many elders since then.  One just basically  told me some committees are too "harsh" and some committees are to " lenient."  Our circuit overseer just gave a talk on the importance of not dwelling on past errors, espicially if we were disfellowshipped at one time.  He, in his own words, said "perhaps we were repentant but the elders didn't think we were."



Yes unfortunately some committees handle things wrong. If too harsh there is an appeal procedure to protect the one harshly handled. Unfortunately when to lenient, there is no recourse until they sin again. If they would simply listen to the direction of the Slave things would go a lot better for everyone.

We all know no one is perfect, but I have learned enough over the past couple of years to realize that it absolutely does come down to "weakness or wickedness" as to why one should be disfellowshipped and I know actions speak louder than words.



Not as to being DF'd, entirely. Yes if the evidence shows it was weakness, and genuine repentance is shown, then reproof is proper. However even a weak person can not be repentant and if they are not, then they need to be DF'd, as discipline. I sat on a case like that. This was the third time the individual was before a committee, for the same act. This time we DF'd him. At THAT meeting he thanked us, saying it was what he needed. About 1 year later he was reinstated and to the best of my knowledge has not gone back to the wrong acts.

A truly wicked person will not repent or will try to fake it and fool others. That needs to be watched for very carefully or they can do great harm. That is why in the case of multiple acts of sin more than one meeting may well be necessary, to see what is true and what is false.  Real evidence besides tears , etc is absolutely needed.

The fact that she feels bad is apparent.  Do you know anything about bipolar?  It is a terrible disease.  Thank goodness in the end no "human being" will determine our individual fate.[/QUOTE]

I do believe she feels bad and I am quite familiar with Bipolar issues as a friend was bipolar. I hope she does make the right choices. Bipolar issues may well make it harder, but not impossible, especially with Jehovah's help.

The case above that took three committee meetings for three offenses was with an individual who felt bad. BUT he did not feel bad enough to change his 'weak" course. It was the discipline that finally got through to him.

I too want her to do well and leave sin behind. I want her to KNOW clearly what her acts can and will lead to, if she does not quickly change course and come back to Jehovah. I want her back and pray she will come back.

Maybe in posts my feelings do not come through and I hope you will know that I do not want to be harsh to, or ever denigrate, someone who is hurting. I have however seen what happens when some are too emotional and even hopeful, for the sinning individuals own good. I do not want that to happen to this person.

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6 years ago  ::  Dec 28, 2008 - 8:08PM #12
anotherpaul
Posts: 2,702
[QUOTE=Nomi69;982738]I think maybe you concluded a wrong  impression of AP a little too fast. AP is a very understanding, and nice person. He always tries to be one to see thru a situation and come to a "best" conclusion. I know AP from us being here for a fairly long while now. AND I hate for you to mistake him as being "harsh". I never see him intentionally hurting anyone. Always polite, and he is always a very kind, and considerate person...so I hope this helps you to see him a bit differently......Regards....:)[/QUOTE]

Thank you.

Now I am blushing furiously.

Looks funny at my age.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 28, 2008 - 11:51PM #13
lifeseeker84
Posts: 202
AP,
   Just a quick question: how exactly do elders perceive if someone is truly repentant ?, its something that ive often thought about (since ive not experienced being DF'd), i mean, one person may burst into tears, but another may be totally stoic, we are all different and handle things differently, so how does an elder learn to recognise whether someone id truly repentant ?
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 28, 2008 - 11:54PM #14
anonpls
Posts: 9
OK, I get your point.  There are a lot of different factors.  I guess that is why it is important to remember Jehovah won't destroy anyone that is righteous.  I guess I will ask you since you are the "resident" elder on this board, is the committee suppossed to tell you what they are recommending when you request reinstatement if you were disfellowshipped by another committee at another kingdom hall or are you only allowed to know that they wrote "a recommendation" to the original committee?
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 29, 2008 - 12:02AM #15
anonpls
Posts: 9
I think that may be where mistakes are sometimes made.  I guess that is an effective tool of Satan and it sure separates "the men from the boys" so to speak if you were treated unfairly.  I mean it shows that you really love Jehovah when you are humble and never leave him regardless of how someone in the organization treats you.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 29, 2008 - 1:11AM #16
anotherpaul
Posts: 2,702
[QUOTE=lifeseeker84;983321]AP,
   Just a quick question: how exactly do elders perceive if someone is truly repentant ?, its something that ive often thought about (since ive not experienced being DF'd), i mean, one person may burst into tears, but another may be totally stoic, we are all different and handle things differently, so how does an elder learn to recognise whether someone id truly repentant ?[/QUOTE]

Hi,

It is a variety of things. Not all apply to each case.

Conduct prior to the committee meeting, length of time since the sin, number of times involved in it and who with, any previous counsel, any previous committee meetings ending in reproof, attitude at the committee meeting(s), did they come forth voluntarily or were they exposed by another, how complete a confession was made, any attempt to minimize the action, blame others, What were the circumstances leading up to it, any indication of it stemming from other bad acts, what type of associates involved, the list can get quite long.

The intent is to restore the person, so when someone is DF'd it is based on their attitude, actions and words. In effect, they basically DF themselves, while the elders try to help them avoid it.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 29, 2008 - 1:14AM #17
anotherpaul
Posts: 2,702
[QUOTE=anonpls;983329]OK, I get your point.  There are a lot of different factors.  I guess that is why it is important to remember Jehovah won't destroy anyone that is righteous.  I guess I will ask you since you are the "resident" elder on this board, is the committee suppossed to tell you what they are recommending when you request reinstatement if you were disfellowshipped by another committee at another kingdom hall or are you only allowed to know that they wrote "a recommendation" to the original committee?[/QUOTE]

Usually they will not tell you they wrote at all. They will wait until they hear back. I know of no rule that says they can't tell you, but if the original committee says no, it can make things a bit harder on the person if they had their hopes built up.

In some cases they will say they are writing, but it is just for information about the original case. at least as much as they need to know. The original committee  may have questions they want answered or things confirmed. It also depends on how long someone has been gone from the original congregation. If for quite a while, the original congregation normally will be guided by the new committee's recommendations.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 29, 2008 - 1:16AM #18
anotherpaul
Posts: 2,702
[QUOTE=anonpls;983346]I think that may be where mistakes are sometimes made.  I guess that is an effective tool of Satan and it sure separates "the men from the boys" so to speak if you were treated unfairly.  I mean it shows that you really love Jehovah when you are humble and never leave him regardless of how someone in the organization treats you.[/QUOTE]

That is correct. Remember how David was treated by Saul?

He waited on Jehovah to straighten it out.

I have known of a couple of cases that were mishandled. Eventually they were corrected and if the elders were really acting badly and knew it, they will not only be removed but never again can serve as an elder. That just happened in my area.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 29, 2008 - 7:50AM #19
lifeseeker84
Posts: 202
[QUOTE=anotherpaul;983427]Hi,

It is a variety of things. Not all apply to each case.

Conduct prior to the committee meeting, length of time since the sin, number of times involved in it and who with, any previous counsel, any previous committee meetings ending in reproof, attitude at the committee meeting(s), did they come forth voluntarily or were they exposed by another, how complete a confession was made, any attempt to minimize the action, blame others, What were the circumstances leading up to it, any indication of it stemming from other bad acts, what type of associates involved, the list can get quite long.

The intent is to restore the person, so when someone is DF'd it is based on their attitude, actions and words. In effect, they basically DF themselves, while the elders try to help them avoid it.[/QUOTE]

Thank you for shedding some light on this for me, i understand the process alot better now :)
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5 years ago  ::  Jul 27, 2009 - 6:53AM #20
Bunnyone
Posts: 3

Hi Begtodiffer,


 


I just wanted to know if you are ok, how did things work out?


I got myself into a pickle as well a few years ago. I lived with a man and nearly got disfellowshipped. We got married quickly and I have to say he has been a wonderful husband and helps me attend some meetings when I struggle as I have a number of illnesses; depression being one and social phobia.


One thing I will say is though, now the tribulation is on our doorstep I feel a terrible fear for my husband and that is an extra burden of marrying out of the truth. He is a loving and loyal mate who is happy to come to the odd meeting and is happy for me to serve Jehovah, but I have never stopped feeling guilty that I didn't follow Jehovah's direction for marrying out of the truth. It always comes at a price when we just do what we want. But I allowed my heart to rule my head; I was madly in love.


My heart goes out to you, I hope things have worked out well. If you ever need to chat, please contact me.


Sisterly love


Debs

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