Why is disfellowshipping wrong?

Recently I wrote an article addressing the question “Is disfellowshipping scriptural?“. That article ended up being over 5,000 words! So, I decided to try to boil the topic down into 4 core topics explaining why disfellowshipping is wrong.

Why is disfellowshipping wrong?

  1. The process of disfellowshipping implies that a person’s salvation is based on a human decision.
  2. Disfellowshipping has no scriptural basis and is not supported by the Bible.
  3. Disfellowshipping is a pagan practice.
  4. The practice of disfellowshipping has severe consequences on a person’s mental health.

1. Disfellowshipping implies that a person’s salvation is based on a human decision

“and if one should remain in this disfellowshipped condition till he died, it would mean his everlasting destruction as a person who is rejected by God.“

Watchtower 1965 Dec 15 p.751 para.15

According to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a person’s salvation depends on the decision of 3 elders at a judicial hearing. Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that if that person dies while being in a disfellowshipped state, they will lose their salvation forever.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that the practice of disfellowshipping is supported by the Bible, but what do Jehovah’s Witnesses make of the following bible verses?

“Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, who cannot bring salvation.”

Psalms 146:3
“Jesus said to him: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6

According to the Bible, salvation only comes through a personal relationship with Jesus. There is no provision for human mediators between man and Jesus.

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus,”

1 Timothy 2:5

In order to earn back their salvation, a disfellowshipped Jehovah’s Witness must prove to the judicial committee that they have displayed adequate signs of repentance. If this committee of elders feel that the person is not sufficiently repentant, they will not reinstate the disfellowshipped person.

2. Disfellowshipping has no scriptural basis

In an Awake Article published on the 8th January 1947, Jehovah’s Witnesses actually said the practice of ex-communication (a mirror image of disfellowshipping) is “Altogether foreign to Bible teachings”. However, the organization implemented the very same practice around five years later.

So, what does the bible actually say about this matter?

The only disciplinary direction given by Jesus was at Matthew 18:15-17.

“Moreover, if your brother commits a sin, go and reveal his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two more, so that on the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter may be established. 17 If he does not listen to them, speak to the congregation. If he does not listen even to the congregation, let him be to you just as a man of the nations and as a tax collector.

Matthew 18:15-17

If a person stops the wrongdoing, there is no further action is needed. If the person unrepentantly carries on in their wrongdoing, then one must take a personal stand against the actions of that person based on their own conscience, not on an institutionalized decision to disfellowship and shun the person.

3. Disfellowshipping is a pagan practice

According to an article published in the 1947 Awake magazine on the 8th of January, titled “Are You Also Excommunicated?” the Catholic Church was criticized for its practice of ex-communication, and had the following to say.

  • People who were excommunicated were looked upon with contempt, being cursed and damned by the Devil.
  • That ex-communication is a punishment that has no biblical support and is altogether foreign to Bible teachings
  • That ex-communication has a pagan influence and that the clergy used this weapon to attain power.

It is interesting to note that the practice of disfellowshipping is a near mirror image of the Catholic ex-communication. So much so, that the Jehovah’s Witnesses cite the exact same scriptures as the Catholics did, in an attempt to justify the practice of disfellowshipping and shunning.

4. The practice of disfellowshipping has severe consequences on a person’s mental health.

In fact, Dr. Savin Bapir, a Counselling Psychologist recently described in an article published online, that shunning is a form of social humiliation and abuse, and a practice often used by cults as a punishment for those who do not share the groups’ beliefs.

Many of Jehovahs’s Witnesses who are disfellowshipped and consequently shunned are at high risk of falling into depression, which often results in self-abuse, suicide, and recently, even murder-suicide!


The Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that disfellowshipping is a loving provision, but there is nothing loving about shunning a mother, father, son daughter, or brother. Disfellowshipping and its consequent shunning have been the cause of severe mental health problems, and for many, leading to self-abuse and suicide. In more extreme cases, even murder-suicide.

It is a form of humilation, and bullying. A way of using fear to make people comply.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that this is a teaching from the Bible, but there is very little support for these claims. In fact, in 1947, they published an article stating that this policy has “has no biblical support and is altogether foreign to Bible teachings”.

Not only is this teaching not in the Bible, but it also is not compatible with the Christian faith because a person’s salvation is dependant on the decision of a committee of men, which is the complete opposite of what is taught in the Christian Bible.

5 Replies to “Why is disfellowshipping wrong?”

  1. Ive been on the receiving end say 19 yrs ago. My wife was running around (a witness) and the children and her decided to reverse the accusation and stick me with it….eventually WBTS had to reverse it a year later as ” inaccurate and unsupported”. The DF Committee,never had her there.Or let me sit with her (we were married). But ever since tho “reinstated” people circulate rumors disgruntled elders in kingston and ellenville NY started. People no longer said hello. The quickly left super market. and if you saw them at the maul…they were speechless. It think what is missed is the good samaritan thinking. tho different than Jesus,the important thin was human kindness…and the militaristic view of using DF to crush anyone who sheds light on mis deeds (and all religions have them) is a silecing tool.

    1. Hi David,

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I am sorry to hear that you have been a victim of this policy. It truly is “weaponized silent treatment”. It is no doubt a form of emotional abuse, and manipulation.

      People are getting disfellowshipped for reasons that have no scriptural support. And people are getting disfellowshipped years after having stopped any wrongdoing, which is in direct opposition to the bible (Read Matthew 18:15-17)

      I could go on and on with reasons that this sick practice has no scriptural, moral, or ethical basis. More on that here: https://jwanswers.com/is-disfellowshipping-scriptural/

      Sure all religions have systems in place to cover up wrongdoing, but the Jehovah’s Witnesses are most certainly among the extreme.

  2. I was a third gen born in JW. Baptized at 18,woke up at 63. The ARC and the NGO membership with the UN did it for me. Then I did a ton of research. Wow – how did I ever believe all the unscriptural absurd doctrines? Now I am a born again Christian. I am in weekly contact via zoom with other ex JWs and Christians who never were in WT. I am very happy – I know my true destiny and hope. My research and Bible study and prayer had me come to a conclusion about WT. The Watchtower Org is SATANIC! The JWs are NOT saved Christians, unless they put their trust and belief in Christ they will die in their sins. You have an excellent site here. I would like to start a you tube channel to help JWs who wake up to keep their faith. So many wake up but are so traumatized they become atheists or agnostics. So here is my point : Can I have permission to publish your website as a referral for more information on my YT channel? Thank you

  3. Salvation to a Jehovah’s Witness totally involves their governing body and their organization. They don’t look to Jesus for salavation at all even though they make the claim that they do.

    This religion is a very evil, satanic religion that is built not on Christ, but the rules and policies of men and men alone. You can actually prove that they’re not Christians by how they view the Bible itself. They say that you can’t read the Bible alone because if you do, you will return to what you were taught before becoming a Jehovah’s Witness. That is why they want you to instead, read the Watchtower and awake magazines because that is their spiritual food. They don’t rely upon the Bible alone for God’s guidance and support. They only rely upon their governing body and their organization.

    More often than not they keep asking the question, “Do you trust the faithful and discrete slave?” The reason why they ask that is because what they’re really asking is this; Do you worship the faithful and discrete slave? When they speak of trust here, what they’re really wanting is total and complete devotion to the governing body.

    That is; you are to believe everything that they tell you, you are to follow every single rule they come up with and you better not question them or you will be disfellowshipped. But yet, these eight men in New York aren’t perfect, nor are they infalible. They’re just sinful men like all the rest of us with just a little power under their belts.

    Give them a little power and they will milk it for all that it is worth and beyond. They run that organization just like North Korea. A matter of fact, they’re very similar to North Korea in many ways. For starters, they tell you what you can and can’t read, they tell you who you can and can’t see, they tell you what type of work you can and can’t have, they tell you how to act in your own bedroom with your spouse, they tell you how to dress, how to talk, what to belive and on and on. They get you to stay in the organization by holding fear of Armageddon over your head, and they also get you to stay in the organization by telling you that there is nothing out in the world except for evil and that everybody out there who isn’t a Jehovah’s Witness is bad association and that you should avoid them.

    Yeah, you’re not even allowed to have non-Jehovah’s Witness friends at all. And, if parts of your family aren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses, then you are to shun them as well, or at least not have any association with them. So yes, this is an extremely satanic evil religion that imprison people through fear and their false doctrines, rules and regulations. They follow the BITE model to a T! Oh, not sure what the BITE model is? It stands for Behavior, Informational, Thought and Emotional control.

    If you’re disfellowshipped, then be glad because you then know that they’re not really following Christ because Christ didn’t condemn anyone while he was here on Earth. He never kicked someone out of the synagogues, and he never ever disfellowshipped anyone including the woman caught in adultry. But yet, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are very quick to condemn someone for wrong doing. They love their little judicial comittee meetings. However, have you noticed when someone is disfellowshipped that when the announcement is made that it is stated that they’re no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses? They don’t say that they’re no longer a Christian or that they have lost their salvation. They just claim that the individual is no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    That says a lot because they know that they can’t really take away your salvation. All they can do is to say that you’re no longer a part of the human organization known as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Of course that results in nobody talking, calling, texting, or even visiting you and yet they claim that they’re just like Christ, or that they’re just like the first century church bla bla bla. Well I hate to burst their little bubble here, but they’re in no way even remotely similar to the first century church or congregation.

    Oh, and their claim of being the true religion? Well that’s another thing. They’re not the only ones making that claim. The Catholics do that, the Seventh Day Adventists do that, and so do the Mormans and any other religious organization not mentioned here does that. So what makes them the true religion then if all those others are making the same claim? Well let me give you the answer.

    You see, what they’re claiming is that their religion is the only true religion. All the other religions mentioned above also do this. So if they all make that claim, then which one of them is the real truth? The answer is of course; none of them. That’s because it isn’t about any particular religion, it is about a relationship with Christ and Christ alone. It isn’t about any particular religion.

    Jesus himself said that he was the truth and the life and that you can’t come to the father except through him. That means that Jesus is above and beyond all religions. We don’t need any religion to get to God. That would be a form of new age teaching because if you claim that you’re religion is the only way to God, then that means that you’re putting your religion in place of Christ and that my friend, is not good at all.

    There isn’t a single religion on Earth that God has claimed that he is working through, no not one. The Jehovah’s Witnesses just claim that along with all those other religions mentioned above. It is just something that they believe in their heads and say. They have no hard proof or evidence that God is backing them alone. They can’t even really claim that Jesus started ruling in 1914. There is no proof of that at all. It is just something that some men had come up with to make it sound true and such. It is made up. Jesus has always ruled because Jesus is God himself and none other. He isn’t Michael the Arc angel. Clearly the Bible teaches that he physically rose from the dead, but the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that he rose spiritually just like they claim that he returned invisibly to begin ruling.

    And now because of the Internet, all their lies, deceptions and yes even their history are exposed for what it is. They can’t escape that fact, and they know it. People are leaving the religion in droves because they’re finding out all about their lies, false promises, failed prophecies, and more.

  4. This is a trrrible punishment for both young and old Oné……the worst part is you cant even speak to your own children or parientes ….. this is such a aweful mindblowing situación ….. then whats worst they Kept saying the person was not repentant ….. how in this world these imperfect men Can say you are not repentant when Jehovah is the one who reads the heart …….. this wicked act should be considered by the Justice system as a crimminal act against humanity ……. I dearly love Jehovah ….but my love for this organización is fading …..am so tires of thair control ….. if Jehovah give us all free will …. Why should i be punish if i make a personal choice ..

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