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Disfellowshipping

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The Current Teaching Of The Watchtower Society:

Jehovah's Witnesses use I Corinthians 5:11-13, II John 9-11 and I Timothy 5:20 to forbid their followers to speak to anyone who has left their organization, on the grounds that they are apostate.

What the Bible Says about DISFELLOWSHIPPING:

1. The Bible Teaches an Apostate is...
One who has left the doctrine of Christ 2Jo 9-11
False anointed ones, teaching an invisible secret presence of Jesus Christ Mat 24:23-27
One coming on the basis of Jesus' name, saying I am the Christ Mat 24:5, 24
Ones teaching that the day of Jehovah and the presence of Christ were already here 2Th 2:1, 2
Teaching that the resurrection had already occurred 2Ti 2:16-18
2. The Bible Does NOT Teach Disfellowshipping For Sin Alone:
  • The issue in question when we examine what the Bible says about "disfellowshipping" is the PURPOSE of the activity. The clear purpose is to remove (from contact with the fellowship of believers) those individuals who are not only sinning but who are in some active way recruiting others to join with them in their sin. In other words, it is to put at a distance between true believers and those apostate who have begun to teach that sin - whatever that sin may be - is acceptable.
  • The form of that sin is usually related to disrespect for the humanity or the deity of Christ. It is probable that such people are not nor never were true believers. [See II John 7-11] In contract to the Society's position on the subject, the Bible teaches the "disfellowshipping" was never designed to deal with sinners. Sinners are to be dealt with in a way clearly outlined in the following passages...
Accept the one who is weak Rom 14:1-4
Restore a fallen one with gentleness Gal 6:1-5
Beware of those who deliver you up to councils Mat 10:17
Step by step believers are to confront the sinner with goal of rescuing him* Mat 18:15-20
The Bible says not to receive anyone into the home that has left the doctrine of Christ. (Leaving the Watchtower Society does not qualify someone for this type of discipline) 2Jo 9-11
* NOTE: An individual who has become hardened and unrepentant with regard to sin, and does not respond to personal or corporate discipline, is to be treated as an unbeliever - not as an apostate. An unbeliever needs the Gospel and our prayers. An apostate is dangerous to himself and to believers and should be avoided.


CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.