I don’t know much about them, so I’m tossing it out here to see if anyone can help me out. My father-in-law and his girlfriend are converting to JW. He hasn’t said anything to me about it, but he did make a comment to my wife in the form of “Catholics got it all wrong.” Anyway, my question is don’t JW practice shunning members of family who aren’t also JW? I’m asking because FIL lives on a working horse ranch and my 2 year old son loves going to visit, and I don’t want to have to be the one to disappoint him when Paw Paw won’t/can’t visit with him anymore.
To my limited knowledge the pratice of shunning applies only to family members who have fallen away from JW teachings. Or any other person that also has fallen away.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are essentially modern-day descendants of the Arian heretics in the early centuries of the Church.
They do practice shunning, as do the Mormons. They also view all other Christian religions as apostates, which is something all Restorationist groups have in common.
And pretty much anything even slightly ringing of “fun” is usually considered pagan. No birthdays, no Christmas, no nothing.
If you would like to refute them, simply mention all the failed prophecies, the fact that their own translation of the Bible is considered by virtually all scholars as horrifically inaccurate, etc. etc. Very easy to refute.
As I understand it they will only cut you out of their live if you do one of a few things:
A: Join the JW faith then leave. This will get you shunned real quick.
B: Challenge them on their beliefs. At first they will respond but after awhile, if you cause them to ask too many questions, they will shun you.
My aunt is a JW. She still visits and communicates with my mother (who is a Christian) but I think this is only because my mother has never challenged her on anything she believes.
Anyway, tread carefully. Share the truth but do so with grace and charity.
I have been told by my wife I am not to engage in debate with FIL unless he specifically says something to me regarding the Church, then it’s open season. My main concern is that they would begin shunning us because we’re not JW. It would crush my little guy.
For sure. I would be careful about visits though. They will try to fill your little guy’s head with their heresies. :\
It’s really sad that the JW’s practice shunning - it’s psychologically abusive and absolutely damaging to the emotional and social health of an individual.
JW’s who do this should be ashamed of themselves.
It is the fact that they practice shunning that says to me they are not a religion but a cult in the modern sense.
Well, he’s 2 now, so the only reason he’s so into them is because they have horses. I’ll be more concerned once he starts going to school because he’s going to go to Catholic School, but that’s a cross that bridge when we get to it kinda thing.
I will definitely keep your family in my prayers. Having a JW family member CAN be done.
I remember when I was 13 or 14 openly debating my aunt about the name of God. It was a good learning experience for me and I guess because it was coming from a kid she wasn’t willing to black mark me and cut me off?
Alright, I’ll just come out and say it - I, for one, am so very tired of always having to tip-toe around Jehovah’s Witnesses for fear of them shunning us, or throwing a snit over Christmas or for fear of offending them somehow by simply being who we are or by asking them questions about what they believe.
JW’s hold everyone is not a witness as practically doomed to annihilation by fire, but somehow we have to pander to their every whim in the practical, real-life, everyday world.
I am not in any way advocating some kind of intolerance for religious beliefs, but as far as other Christians go, we need to meet “Watchtowerism” itself (not its practitioners) as the heresy that it blatantly is, and the cult that it is too.
Shunning??? For pete’s sake. If this doesn’t scream CULT to anyone else, then I guess I’m crazy.
What did St. Athanasius do when confronted with the Arians??? And what do we do, now that we are confronted with this diluted modern-day Arianism.
Sorry but it’s just frustrating for me to read this, especially when a child is involved and at risk of being emotionally hurt like that and shunned or whatever. :mad:
We can’t ever show them truth if we aren’t careful and get ourselves shunned. Yes, they are using a form of emotional blackmail but unless we play on their terms they have no hope of hearing truth.
I don’t think any of the great fathers of the church ever did this - Athanasius was exiled for his standing up to the Arians.
I know what you’re saying, but it’s sad that we tip-toe so much nowadays whilst sects like these assault the Church on a continual basis. :shrug:
Search for the 2 pages of Stumpers for Jehovah’s Witnesses on Catholic.com Buy Jason Evert’s book on the JW’s in catholic.com library is excellent!! Search for David Reed’s articles - also has done excellent work. Arm yourself with info.
Is this person a fallen away Catholic? If so, Ask him how could he leave Jesus in the Eucharist?
They - don’t do Birthdays but… We celebrate Life!
They - don’t do Christmas but… We celebrate the Incarnation, birth of our Savior, God made Man.
They are not patriotic but… We honor the Beautiful Country God gave us to live
I have written much on this subject on previous threads so I will not bore the regular readers w/ more of the same. However I will applaud this post . :clapping:
I am not and never have been a JW therefore not shunned from my family. However once I learned my sister was going behind my back trying to convert my then 8 year old daughter and confuse her with “what she is or is not supposed to do’s” I knew I had to do something. No more JW family members will ever be alone with my daughter even when we were in desperate need of family help. You know, the things family’s do for each other like, picking her up after school because I have a Dr. appointment.
Anyway, though I was not shunned, I myself felt, in the best interest of my immediate family, needed to keep my distance from all JW family members. BTW the above example is not the only reason for my separation from my family.
I can promise you this one thing – the “little guy” will become a target at some time.
I know that he’s going to become a target one day, and it’s a day I fear like no other. Without getting into too much family background, I can say my wife has an absolute need for her dad to be a part of her life. She’s still relatively new to Catholicism (confirmed in 2004) and doesn’t know much about the faith. I’m not really worried about him trying to convert her, she’s a fairly logical person and will listen to reason…sometimes (she is a woman, after all ;)). Anyway, I’m more worried about when or if FIL decides that if we’re not with him, we’re against him, and hacks us out of his life. I don’t know if I would be able to explain that to our son in a way that a child can understand it. I’m also worried that when he starts school, Catholic school, FIL is going to find ways to undermine the teaching and lessons he’s given. Is that part of the JW’s “mission”? I’ve read all the articles CA has, but not having had to really put any of that into practice, I don’ t know what protocol is…
It is difficult having a JW in your life without them trying to ‘convert you’. spreading their message is a fundamental part of the JW belief system so it will happen, and the way they do it(from my personal experience of having a close friend who recently became one) is that the best form of ‘conversion’ is to cause confusion(X is unbiblical etc.) then provide “harmonious” JW answers from prepared texts and that exceptionally poorly translated version of the scriptures that they use. First point of attack is usually either the Divinity of Jesus or the pagan nature of Christmas, the Cross etc. etc.
I don’t know what your FIL is like, but my friend’s reasoning is based more on emotion than logic. Catholicism doesn’t explain X properly(listen to what I say it makes perfect sense!), don’t you want an answer to X that makes sense? and the like.
Any help needed to show how they get it wrong in specific situations whether it be from an interpretational, translational or simply philosophical point of view, just let us know here, I for one am more than happy to help you out.
In addition I found the “Cathoicism on Trial Series” (especially trial 4&5) by Roger LeBlanc useful for explaining the nature of the trinity and the eternal nature of both father and son, to my friend. This is never a good situation to be in, but it may become an opportunity for both you and your family to grow in faith together, being able to politely explain what you believe and why is always good.
God bless you and your family at this difficult time.
I was a JW for years… if your FIL is a decent guy I don’t think you need to be overly concerned. With all things regarding your son, you need to set boundaries. When your son gets a little older, simply have a conversation with your FIL. Tell him you respect his religion, but it’s obviously not what you believe and you don’t want your son to become confused so please keep it to yourself.
I can’t imagine a grandfather wanting to cut his no doubt adorable grandson out of his life. JWs don’t shun because they want to… it’s actually very difficult to agree to never speak to someone whom you love. They do so because they are told to (cult) … and they are told to only when it’s a JW who has been disfellowshipped (leaving the organization, speaking out against it, or public (what we’d call) mortal sin) Since you aren’t a JW - you don’t really run the risk of him shunning you.
If you try to bombard him with anti-JW literature it will freak him out and he will avoid you -so don’t do that. Your relationship will be fine so long as religion isn’t discussed. Agree to disagree and leave it at that. But keep a watchful eye that he is NOT trying to brainwash your son. He would do so out of love for him, not malice… but everything… and I do mean everything he believes is twisted and so very wrong so you can’t allow that to happen.
Also pray for him. How sad to have so much zeal and devotion to something that isn’t true.
Hi yellowbird! Shannon, I too was a JW for 25 years (cradle). DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT ever leave your son alone with any family members that are JW if you wish your son to be strong in the faith and not confused by the JW rhetoric.
I take the approach that if the grandfather really loves the little guy, he’s going to want to make sure that he is not part of the “Whore of Babylon”, and therefore will plant seeds in his head. You have a tough decision ahead, but your son’s salvation is more important than anything. I would be very careful with your FIL, even if he agrees to not talk religion with him. I hate to say it, but JW’s in this kind of a situation are not be trusted simply because it is mandated of them to convert others.
Sad but true.
I think the little boy would ask his parents if it were something outlandish though… “Daddy… what’s a whore of babylon?” I think if the Mom/Dad really lay down the law, the grandpa will hopefully keep quiet. I’d give him the benefit of the doub until he broke my trust. I’d hate to see the grandpa/grandson lose out on their relationship just because of the Watchtower. You are so right - they are obligated to try to convert… perhaps I’m foolish to think the grandpa’s love for the little boy would trump that?