How can we understand the words of Jesus when he said, Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” Luke 12 51-53
The message of Jesus was controversial in his day. Jesus challenged the Mosaic Law and the people who taught it! He was loving but he was also a rebel! Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and religious leaders on numerous occasions. Many sought to kill Jesus and quickly succeeded.
Jesus exposed the hypocrisy of powerful people who taught God's law. He exposed they're lack of love and humiliated the Pharisees in public. Yes. Jesus brought divisions. Many would not associate with him and his followers. But Jesus was never the one did the rejecting! Jesus associated with everyone, - tax collectors, sinners, prostitutes, and even the Pharisees.
Likewise today, some people hate Christians, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Muslims. Jesus knew that most people are on the 'broad and spacious path'. They take the easy route. They hate people they don't like and don't associate with them.
It's everyone's choice, - but it's not Christian. Followers of Jesus are on the narrow path leading to eternal life. Jesus told us not to judge and to love our enemies. In doing so we become 'Sons of the Most High'. Luke 6:37
In the case of Jehovah's Witnesses, they believe they 'love' family members and friends who leave the Watchtower organization. They believe God wants them to pressure people into returning to the Watchtower religion. They believe shunning is 'tough love' because their religion has become a symbol of salvation just like 'the ark' in Noah's day. They believe that only members in good standing with the Watchtower will survive armageddon. Everyone else will die a terrible death with no hope of a resurrection. See Watchtower Sept 1989
In 1981, the Watchtower made it a serious sin to leave their organization. Since then anyone who leaves for any reason is labeled a 'wrong doer' who must be shunned. Here's what the 1981 Watchtower says.
'14 One who has been a true Christian might renounce the way of the truth, stating that he no longer considers himself to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses or wants to be known as one. When this rare event occurs, the person is renouncing his standing as a Christian, deliberately disassociating himself from the congregation. The apostle John wrote: “They went out from us, but they were not of our sort; for if they had been of our sort, they would have remained with us.”—1 John 2:19.
15 Or, a person might renounce his place in the Christian congregation by his actions, such as by becoming part of an organization whose objective is contrary to the Bible, and, hence, is under judgment by Jehovah God. (Compare Revelation 19:17-21; Isaiah 2:4.) So if one who was a Christian chose to join those who are disapproved of God, it would be fitting for the congregation to acknowledge by a brief announcement that he had disassociated himself and is no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
16 Persons who make themselves “not of our sort” by deliberately rejecting the faith and beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses should appropriately be viewed and treated as are those who have been disfellowshipped for wrongdoing.' Watchtower magazine, Sept 15, 1981, p 23, par 14-16 [highlighting added]
Double Standards. The Watchtower fights for freedom of religion so they can spread their unpopular beliefs. At the same time they shun members who resign or join a different religion. See Freedom of Thought, Conscience, and Beliefs
Religious Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses who leave the Watchtower
2013 Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses talk Shun Your Family
The name Jehovah was invented by the Christian scholars in the 13th century and used extensively in the NWT translation of Jehovah's Witnesses. At the same time Jehovah's Witnesses blast Christendom for "hiding the name of God" by replacing the name "Jehovah" in the Bible with "the Lord".
Disfellowshipping and shunning began in 1952. Since then millions of families have been torn apart by the Watchtower's shunning requirement.
The secret Watchtower rule book, Shepherd the Flock of God, confirms the punishments for violating the Watchtower's shunning requirement.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe it's appropriate for the Watchtower to tell the world what God's commands are and to enforce them on behalf of God. They believe the Watchtower is God's 'messenger' and 'prophet'. However they are mistaken. The Watchtower's predictions from 1889 to 2008 have failed, proving that they are not in communication with God.
Since the historical record of the Watchtower proves they are a modern day 'false prophet', the use of God's name when referring to their own 'commandments' or 'rules', deceives millions of currently active Jehovah's Witnesses and interested persons who are totally unaware of the Watchtower's track record. Hiding the truth from young and new Jehovah's Witnesses fits in nicely with their 'Theocratic War' doctrine. Read Watchtower Theocratic Warfare Quotes about why it's ok to mislead people to protect 'God's organization'. As you read what the Watchtower says, ask yourself if they have any integrity, conscience, or compassion. Millions of Jehovah's Witnesses are working hard for the Watchtower at their own expense because they believe they are working for God. Thanks to loyal Jehovah's Witnesses, the Watchtower continues to accumulate cash, real estate, and financial assets.
Although Jehovah's Witnesses believe the Watchtower is God's prophet and messenger, on rare occasions the Watchtower has disclaimed having any divine inspiration.
Why do Jehovah's Witnesses obey the Watchtower when the truth is readily available? See Mind Control
The Watchtower's shunning policy appears to be an outright rejection of the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 5:46,47 where he said, 'If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?'
Religion is doing what you're told regardless of what is right. It divides people. Morality is doing what is right regardless of what you are told.
Apostasy began immediately as soon as Jesus died. In 2 Thessalonians 3, the Apostle Paul admonishes early Christians to 'obey' him and other leaders in the church. He also 'commands' them twice not to associate Christians who are 'idle' (lazy) and 'disruptive', so that they might become ashamed. This is interesting because in Acts 5:29, 'Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than human beings!' Read more about 2 Thessalonians 3