Did you know that the word disfellowship does not grace the pages of the Dictionary or Bible?
Jehovah’s Witnesses use this word, quite a bit. And it would not surprise me if they made it up. However, for this blog, I am going to jump right into the matter, so let me tell you how it works: If you miss a meeting, don’t pick up your magazines, or are not feeling up to participating at the meetings, the elders are all over you or send the older women to your door. You most likely will be brought in for questioning. And if a good friend sees you doing something untoward, they will get in big trouble or even get disfellowshipped themselves for not informing the elders immediately.
I had been a JW for about four years, so I wasn’t new to the congregation, everyone knew me, however, on one occasion I did not pick up my magazines; *The Watchtower* and the *Awake*. Okay that was one strike against me. I missed two Sundays in a row for lack of sleep. This was because my newborn had colic and kept me up all night. She acquired the colic from thrush. I tried but I could not get her to sleep and her father needed to sleep in order to go to work that night. Frank was not a patient, loving father. He would come downstairs and kick the playpen and yell at her to shut up, which of course only made her scream louder. I would take her in my arms and try to rock her to sleep, and finally, oh God bless, she fell asleep. Then I laid down on the couch and snoozed.
However, not this time. The doorbell rang and it wakes, both my husband and my daughter. I open the door and there are two sisters standing there, there were the same older sisters who checked on you, and not for your welfare. They were at least twenty years older than me, so I had to be respectful. When they told me they wanted to know why I missed the Sunday meeting, I slammed the door in their face. So much for respectful.
When I was disfellowshipped, the only way back was to be shunned inside the Kingdom Hall. This was their idea of humiliation. There was such a lack of love. Today, if you are a member of a Church or just go to one regularly, you can backslide into drugs, etc. and not show your face for a year, the parishioners would welcome you back with immediate hugs and happiness. I know that now, but to my defense, I had never stepped foot in a Church to find out until now.
This *shunning* took about a year, they wanted to see if you were serious, ha! I would leave and never look back! Only the elders could speak to you. As a result, those who used to be your best friends would give you a wide berth. I watched throughout my fifteen years, and never liked or understood it. These lost sheep were *allowed* to sit in the very back, and they definitely had to attend all five meetings. Subsequently, you were not permitted to to speak to anyone.
Given that we were not allowed to talk to these humiliated JW’s, we did not know under what circumstances they were thrown out.I do know one thing, they were shown no love, as much as we wanted to reach to them. Because, as I said, the penalty was a disfellowshipping offense.
It is so insidious, only the devil could have come up with that one. Listen, you are disfellowshipped, and no one knows why. If anybody asked questions of the disfellowshiped one, they in turn, would be thrown out also.
But and this is a big *But*; the Bible teaches otherwise. You can find commands from Jesus to love one another. Understanding the examples Jesus gave in parables; *The Lost Sheep* in Luke 15:1-7 The one that most describes satan’s involvement is the* Prodigal Son* in Luke 15:11.
When I walked away from the *Kangaroo Court*, many friends who were disfellowshipped wanted to speak to me to share their story. One sister, who I had known for years called me and told me why she was disfellowshipped. Her Ministerial, (sort of like a Deacon), husband beat her all the time and the elders let it go, but she did not. She complained to the *Circuit Overseer* and his reply was because she was a black woman married to a white man. What?!?
Subsequently, when you are in the audience, usually on Sundays and it is announced *So & So is disfellowshipped*, at that very moment there is no speaking to that person and you speculate the worst. How would they know any different? Generally there is a talk on disfellowshipping and why we need to keep ourselves clean. However, this is sneaky and sinister in nature. This another sign of a cult.
Consequently, you did not want this to happen to you, so fear was keeping you in the cult, and that is the first sign.