THE ECLECTIC MARRIAGE

By: Gary Busselman


ABSTRACT:
Does the Governing Body (hereafter GB) of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Jehovah's Witnesses (hereafter WT) understand the dynamics of the institution of marriage and do they comprehend what is involved in maintaining a healthy and happy marriage? If they do understand both those factors, then is a diversion away from what they admit is needed for a successful marriage, a willful attempt on the part of the GB through the WT, to sabotage the marriage? It will be the purpose of this article to answer these questions and raise others. The following is a series of quotes from Watchtower publications:


Cultivating the New Personality in Marriage
Marriage is much more than the joining together of two bodies. It is the joining together of two personalities (The Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1993, p.18)


Facing the Stresses of Marriage
The husband may cease to 'dwell with his wife according to knowledge, assigning her honor as to a weaker vessel, the feminine one.' The wife may no longer respect her husband; her "quiet and mild spirit" is lost. The force actuating the mind has become physical instead of spiritual. A "fleshly frame of mind" has taken over. So, what can be done to keep that motivating force spiritual and positive? We must fortify our spirituality.-1 Peter 3:1-4, 7; Colossians 2:18. (The Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1993, p.19)


Strengthen the Force
"The motivating force is the mental inclination that comes into play when we have to make decisions and choices." (ibid. p.19)

"How can we further strengthen the force that actuates the mind? By appreciating spiritual activities and values. That means we must fulfill the need to study God's Word regularly and learn to delight in discussing together Jehovah's thoughts and counsel. Husbands and wives need to pray together. Often those prayers open the heart and lead to frank conversations that repair any breach." (ibid. p.20)


Keeping the Lines of Communication Open
For true communication, there must be a transmitting of thoughts, ideas and feelings from one mind to another. If love may be called the heart of happy family living, then communication could be called its lifeblood. Breakdowns in communication between marriage mates spell trouble; they are equally serious, if not more so, when they come between parents and children. (Making Your Family Life Happy WTBTS 1978 p.146)


COMMENT: The Governing Body has unquestionably acknowledged that they understand the dynamics involved in a marriage and what is required to maintain and repair the relationship by these articles. The marriage is maintained by intercourse on a spiritual level according to the WT, not physically in bed with the reproductive organs. In the following excerpts let's see if they encourage any behaviors that they know will sabotage the family relationships.

 

SPIRITUAL DIVORCE FRACTIONAL SHUNNING

Christians and Human Society Today

"Jehovah's Witnesses are accused by their enemies of breaking up families. True, there are cases of families that become divided when one or more members become Jehovah's Witnesses." Ó "If a mixed marriage breaks up, the initiative almost always comes from the non-Witness partner." (The Watchtower, July 1, 1993, p.15)
13 A difficult situation arises where the husband has been disfellowshiped from the Christian congregation and is still in a disfellowshiped state. While the wife is still subject to him as her husband, yet, in harmony with the Scriptures, she can have no spiritual fellowship with him. (Rom. 16:17) How might this affect the matter of prayer at mealtimes? If he insisted on praying at the meal table, the wife could not in any way acknowledge his prayer, either by a silent or an audible "Amen." She can offer her own prayer silently to Jehovah while he is praying or afterward as she feels is suitable. If the disfellowshiped husband asked his wife to pray for the family in his presence, she would have to refuse. However, she could pray silently for herself and for the children even though he were present, but not at his direction. (The Watchtower, April 1, 1964 p.203-4)


Discipline That Can Yield Peaceable Fruit
Cutting off from the Christian congregation does not involve immediate death, so family ties continue. Thus, a man who is disfellowshipped or who disassociates himself may still live at home with his Christian wife and faithful children. Respect for God's judgments and the congregation's action will move the wife and children to recognize that by his course, he altered the spiritual bond that existed between them. Yet, since his being disfellowshipped does not end their blood ties or marriage relationship, normal family affections and dealings can continue. 14 The situation is different if the disfellowshipped or disassociated one is a relative living outside the immediate family circle and home. It might be possible to have almost no contact at all with the relative. (The Watchtower, April 15, 1988 p.28) It is hoped that losing such association will touch the parents' hearts (ibid. p.30)


CONDUCT TOWARD UNBELIEVING HUSBAND

But, you may ask, how can a woman have deep respect for a husband who takes a hateful course toward the truth and toward his wife's worship of Jehovah? Certainly you cannot respect a man's views when they are anti-God. (The Watchtower, April 1, 1964 p.203-4)


Give Christian Counsel Skillfully
The question method can be used to determine if a Bible principle has been ignored. Has the Christian wife fully recognized the family headship of the unbelieving husband? Is she forgetting to show deep respect, and instead treating him as though he were a disfellowshiped person? (The Watchtower, March 1, 1963 p.151)

COMMENT: The above remark implies that the Witness spouse would indeed be expected by the Governing Body to NOT show "deep respect" for a disfellowshiped mate. Also stating that "you cannot respect a man's views" when they are anti-God or rather, anti-Watchtower Society. For the disfellowshiped marriage mate the congregation's action altered the spiritual bond that existed between them. It was done on purpose deliberately to fracture the relationship and retain one partner as a group member at the expense of the marriage / family. The same principles apply to children who are likewise spiritually divorced from the family by the Governing Body. This is best stated by the Governing Body in their following statement.

Questions From Readers
Satan's influence through the disfellowshiped member of the family will be to cause the other member or members of the family who are in the truth to join the disfellowshiped member in his course or in his position toward God's organization. To do this would be disastrous, and so the faithful family member must recognize and conform to the disfellowship order. How would or could this be done while living under the same roof or in personal, physical contact daily with the disfellowshiped? In this way: By refusing to have religious relationship with the disfellowshiped. (The Watchtower, Nov. 15, 1952 p.703-4)

SUMMARY: The Governing Body has stated they are aware that to have a successful marriage "we must fulfill the need to study God's Word regularly and learn to delight in discussing together Jehovah's thoughts and counsel. ÓHusbands and wives need to pray together. Often those prayers open the heart and lead to frank conversations that repair any breach." And "We must fortify our spirituality." In addition they say "If love may be called the heart of happy family living, then communication could be called its lifeblood.

Breakdowns in communication between marriage mates spell trouble; they are equally serious, if not more so, when they come between parents and children." Now after acknowledging that a successful marriage and family must have spiritual communication and fellowship the Governing Body requires that "the faithful family member must recognize and conform to the disfellowship order." And states, "she can have no spiritual fellowship with him." This is clearly designed to sabotage the marriage / family and isolate the remaining group member(s). The effect is that a wall is constructed between family members by the Watchtower Society's disfellowshiping order and the loneliness and stress ensuing from the fractional shunning results in the failure of the unit to function as a marriage or family. A dysfunction, or bad function, is deliberately caused.

The outcome usually is a breakdown of the unit. The family as it was, ceases to function. Often one or more family members leave the home after being intimidated by the arrogant behavior of the Jehovah's Witness approved group member practicing shunning on family members. Often the family ceases to exist. Consider again the following statement from the Governing Body: "Jehovah's Witnesses are accused by their enemies of breaking up families. True, there are cases of families that become divided when one or more members become Jehovah's Witnesses." Ó "If a mixed marriage breaks up, the initiative almost always comes from the non-Witness partner." (The Watchtower, July 1, 1993, p.15) The importance seems to be which member initiated the break up. Placing blame is more meaningful to the Watchtower writers than keeping families together. That families are being broken up, as they do acknowledge, seems not important to the Governing Body. The issue to them appears to be the loyalty of the approved group members to the Organization. The stress this "disfellowship order" causes in a family is incredible and it seems a wonder that any of these families survive at all.

Is it any wonder that divorce, suicide, mental breakdowns, alcoholism, prescription drug addiction, street drug addiction, and violent behavior is so destructive in this group of Jehovah's Witnesses fractured families? Consider this last quote from Jehovah's Channel: "It is all right for the faithful members of the family to ride with the disfellowshiped one in a car bound for the Kingdom Hall, but upon arrival the faithful ones should not sit with or associate with the disfellowshiped one at the hall, but rejoin him only when departing for home. (The Watchtower, April 1, 1953 p.223)

May 25, 1996

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