Matthew 10:34. 'I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.'

The Watchtower has taught Jehovah's Witnesses that Jesus requires them to be 'loyal'. They must shun enemies and everyone who leaves their religion because Jesus requires it. Jesus said he did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Jesus said “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.' Matthew 10:21,22;

Because Jehovah's Witnesses believe Jesus came to cause 'divisions' and his teachings would break up of families, they are using a symbolic 'sword' to cut off relationships with parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, ... all loved ones, and friends who choose to leave the Watchtower religion. This has been going on since 1952.

Although shunning is extremely difficult for Jehovah's Witnesses, they believe it's a test of loyalty to Jesus, Jehovah, and Jehovah's organization (the Watchtower). They believe they will be rewarded with eternal life if they put God first ahead of family.

At first glance what the Watchtower teaches makes a lot of sense. But upon closer examination, you'll see that shunning goes against all the principles Jesus stood for. If the Watchtower is wrong, what did Jesus mean in Matthew 10?

This article examines the facts and why Jehovah's Witness have unwittingly been duped into believing exactly the opposite of what Jesus taught. The Bible clearly shows that JW's are not being loyal to God at all. They are rejecting the teachings of Jesus AND the Father (Jehovah).

What Does The Watchtower Say About Shunning?

The Watchtower has told Jehovah's Witnesses that it is 'God's command' to shun everyone who leaves the Watchtower religion, - even parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, and all close personal relationships. They advise absolutely no contact unless someone repents and returns to the organization. Those who leave are treated like they have been symbolically beheaded with a sword. They are treated as if they are literally dead. JW's do not even say a greeting. Those who leave the Watchtower are treated as if they don't exist. [14] [15]

What Does The Bible Say About Shunning?

One of the scriptures the Watchtower quotes to support shunning is Matthew chapter 10. In this chapter Jesus sends out his twelve disciples. He tells them what to expect and how to conduct themselves with 'the enemy', - i.e. those who were seeking silence Christians and literally put them to death by 'a sword' or other form of execution.

The message of Jesus divided families and friendships. Jesus said, “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it."

Why did the message of Jesus break up families? Because early Christians had many real enemies who wanted to see this new religion die. Followers of Jesus saw persecution and pressure from family members to leave the teachings of Jesus.

Using 'A Sword' To End Relationships.

The question is this. Did Jesus and early Christians use violence (i.e. a sword) to silence their enemies? Or was it the other way around?

Jesus didn't use a sword or threat of violence against his enemies. It was the enemies of Jesus who used violence against Christians. Enemies of Jesus caused the break up of families. Today it's the Jehovah's Witnesses who are choosing to use their religious swords to completely 'cutting off' association with apostates.

Jesus never endorsed physical or emotional violence. He didn't use a sword to control his enemies. Jesus never used a sword to cause divisions and end close relationships. He told his followers to love their enemies and do good because God is kind even to the ungrateful and wicked. In this way we become children of the Most High. Luke 6:35-37

In Matthew 10 the disciples were warned that close family members could become enemies and turn against them. Today that's not true. It's the Jehovah's Witnesses who are turning against, shunning, and not associating with family members who choose not to be Jehovah's Witnesses! [15]

Many who are being shunned are not even 'enemies'. Non believers are not plotting to kill Jehovah's Witnesses like enemies who were trying to kill Jesus. Most people are not wanting to cause trouble or even discuss religion. They simply want the freedom to choose what religion they're comfortable with and continue to have contact with people they love.

It was non believers who were using 'a sword' against early Christians. Jesus never recommended that Christians should use violence against enemies!!! His message was exactly the opposite. Do you see the difference?

Today the Watchtower is telling Jehovah's Witnesses that Jesus wants them to use the symbolic 'sword' against family members and friends to pressure them into returning to the organization. That's not what Jesus taught! That's not being loyal to Jesus! That's being loyal to the enemies of Jesus!!! It was the enemies of Jesus who pressured early Christians to stop following the message of love Jesus taught.

In the days of Jesus, non believers were causing 'divisions' with Christian family members and pressuring them to stop following Christ. Today it is the JW's who are causing 'divisions', persecuting loved ones, and pressuring them to return to 'true Christianity' (the Watchtower religion).

The message of Jesus divided families because enemies took action against Christians and pressured them to reject Jesus. Today Christians ( i.e. the Jehovah's Witnesses ) are taking action against 'apostates' and pressuring them to return to the Watchtower. [14]

Jehovah's Witnesses are doing exactly the opposite of what Jesus instructed his followers to do. [17]

If you're a Jehovah's Witness, can you see how the Watchtower has deceived you? Do you see how they have twisted the words of Jesus and betrayed your trust? If you do, how can you be loyal to God and your religion at the same time? How can they be 'God's organization'? How many more lies have they told you? Read our articles

Disobeying Jehovah.

It's important to note that in rejecting the instructions of Jesus not to judge and to be kind to the 'ungrateful' and 'the wicked'. Luke 6:35; Jehovah's Witnesses have unwittingly rejected 'the Father' as well.

In Matthew 5:44-47 Jesus says, 'I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 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?'

Today the Watchtower warns Jehovah's Witnesses not to greet former members (apostates). Failure to obey is 'brazen conduct' and grounds for disfellowshipping. See the secret rule book for Elders only Shepherd the Flock of God

The Bible says 'Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.' 2 John 1:9

Jesus said, 'No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.' 1 John 2:23;

If your God becomes angry when you greet people who leave your religion, then maybe it's time to choose a new God or a new religion,

Related Information.

  1. 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

  2. Religious Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses who leave the Watchtower

  3. 2013 Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses talk Shun Your Family

  4. 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".

  5. Disfellowshipping and shunning began in 1952. Since then millions of families have been torn apart by the Watchtower's shunning requirement.

  6. The secret Watchtower rule book, Shepherd the Flock of God, confirms the punishments for violating the Watchtower's shunning requirement.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Although Jehovah's Witnesses believe the Watchtower is God's prophet and messenger, on rare occasions the Watchtower has disclaimed having any divine inspiration.

  10. Why do Jehovah's Witnesses obey the Watchtower when the truth is readily available? See Mind Control

  11. 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?'

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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. '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. par 14, '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. par 15, '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] par 16

  15. 'What if we have a relative or a close friend who is disfellowshipped? Now our loyalty is on the line, not to that person, but to God. Jehovah is watching us to see whether we will abide by his command not to have contact with anyone who is disfellowshipped. ... Consider just one example of the good that can come when a family loyally upholds Jehovah’s decree not to associate with disfellowshipped relatives. A young man had been disfellowshipped for over ten years, during which time his father, mother, and four brothers “quit mixing in company” with him. At times, he tried to involve himself in their activities, but to their credit, each member of the family was steadfast in not having any contact with him. After he was reinstated, he said that he always missed the association with his family, especially at night when he was alone. But, he admitted, had the family associated with him even a little, that small dose would have satisfied him. However, because he did not receive even the slightest communication from any of his family, the burning desire to be with them became one motivating factor in his restoring his relationship with Jehovah. Think of that if you are ever tempted to violate God’s command not to associate with your disfellowshipped relatives.' Watchtower magazine, April 15, 2012, Article: 'Betrayal—An Ominous Sign of the Times!', par 16, 17 [highlighting added]

  16. Even though many rejected Jesus and his followers, the Bible tells us that Jesus did not reject anyone including his 'enemies'. Jesus and his disciples associated with sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes, and even the Pharisees that he humiliated in public many times.

  17. Critics say shunning is a form of emotional violence or blackmail. It's using the symbolic 'sword' against parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, - all loved ones and the most important people in your life. This goes contrary to everything Jesus taught.

  18. Many who leave the Watchtower are not immoral. They simply resign from the Watchtower. These people are treated the same as disfellowshipped persons who have committed 'gross sins'! There is no honorable way to leave as friends! See references [14] [17]