- There’s No Honorable Way to Leave the Watchtower - Our examination of Watchtower legalism begins with the observation that the Watchtower organization doesn’t recognize any honorable way for someone to leave the Jehovah’s Witness religion. This is in stark contrast to the way it views other people leaving their religion in order to become a Jehovah’s Witness.
- The Extent of Watchtower Shunning - Last time, I documented the Watchtower’s position that Jehovah’s Witnesses must not have any unnecessary contact with friends or family members who voluntarily left the Jehovah’s Witness religion. I noted that they treat the same as they treat a former Jehovah’s Witness who has been disfellowshipped (excommunicated) for gross sin. How far do they take this?
- Watchtower Bedroom Intrusion - In 1972, the Watchtower’s Governing Body decreed that even for consenting, married Jehovah’s Witnesses anything other than “the natural way for a married couple to have sexual relations” was a disfellowshipping offense.
- Turn Yourself In to Watchtower Elders - In the previous post, I documented the Watchtower’s intrusive regulation of the intimate sexual conduct of married Jehovah’s Witness couples. This marital micromanagement became a major problem for the organization. But how did the organization find out what married Witness couples were or weren’t doing in the privacy of their own bedrooms? The Witnesses told them! Why would they disclose such intimate information? Because of the Watchtower culture which requires Witnesses to report their own wrongdoing to the elders.
- Watchtower Intrusion Aftermath - After nearly six years of threatening married Jehovah’s Witnesses with disfellowshipping if they engaged in “repugnant” and “unnatural” sexual practices, the Watchtower relented—sort of…
- Inform on Others to Watchtower Elders - Not surprisingly, given the legalistic environment of the Watchtower, a Jehovah’s Witness who becomes aware of “serious wrongdoing” on the part of another Witness is supposed to make sure that the congregation elders are or become aware of it.
- Watchtower Elders Determine Freedom to Remarry After Divorce - In Matthew 5:32, Jesus said, “I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Rather than teaching this scripture and then leaving the matter of divorce and remarriage to the consciences of the Witnesses involved, Watchtower elders follow a complex set of rules to determine whether a divorced Jehovah’s Witness is “scripturally free to remarry.”
- Watchtower Control Over Door-to-Door Witnessing - It makes sense that the Watchtower would keep track of which homes have been visited in the door-to-door witnessing efforts, what the responses were, and the like. But it also keeps detailed records on the number of hours individual Witnesses put in each month in the field service. They are expected to hand in written monthly reports. Why? It’s a control mechanism.