Post # 1
Wow. Today has been intense.
I just got off the phone with my mum reviewing some readings for our wedding (which will take place in a Christian church) that she doesn’t think my brother will be coming. He’s recently become a Jehova Witness (this I already knew and support although I worry about how the rest of the family will accept) -apparently, he told my mother his religion forbids him to?
Can anyone shed some light onto this? I am trying to figure out if it really is against his new found religion or if he is just wanting to avoid the rest of the family. I am accepting of his new found religion because I believe that God speaks to each of us differently and we all have a different path to him -but the rest of my family is very conservative Christian and would REALLY not feel the same way.
Can anyone give some advice? I’d be interested in PM too.
Post # 3
I am not a JV but I’ve heard that they don’t celebrate anything, therefore I wouldn’t be surprised if he wouldn’t be able to attend your wedding. I know they don’t celebrate birthdays or any other holiday really. But I’m not sure about weddings.
Post # 4
@kermie: I don’t know if this helps or not, but I know on one episode of 4 weddings there was one bride who was a Jehovah’s Witness and she could not attend either of the weddings held in churches (she watched them on a tv instead).
Hopefully someone else can shed more light as to why.
Post # 5
They dont celebrate holidays but i know they are really big on wedding anniversaries, so i would be surprised if they didn’t believe in weddings. I no very little about JWs though, so i could be very very wrong!
Post # 6
@mrsbacon: I think it has to do with entering a religious building other than their own or attending a religious ceremony other than their own.
Post # 7
Yes that makes complete sense. I read your comment after i had posted my own.
Post # 8
I am really quite crushed by this…I mean he’s my brother.
I woudln’t expect him to participate in anything and I don’t want to ask him to do anything he shouldn’t, so I really want to understand.
Post # 9
From what I understand (my mother grew up jehovahs’ witnesses) They are a very close knit group and that even really being apart of anything connected to other religions is a BIG no-no… they even kick people out for things like that.
I know that my grandmothers long time bf is Catholic and he has not attended ANY weddings of his children or funerals of other loved ones b/c they were not in the Catholic Church.
In both of these instances they’ve been taught that IF they even attend or go into another church they’ll possibly loose their salvation… therefore they stay away.
It’s been pretty hard to watch knowing that one can miss such things in the lives of their loved ones but their convictions is generally very stong on the matter.
Sorry you’re dealing with this in your own family, I know that it’s been hard in our position to sit and watch. ((hugs))
Post # 10
I was raised as a JW for 19 years. I am no longer one since it’s hard to be one AND an atheist. 🙂 So, regarding coming to your church ceremony. This is not something clearly outlined in the belief system. MANY of them will not attend ceremonies in another religions’s place of worship though, because these places are places of false worship, from their perspective. All religions that are not “the truth” are indirectly worshipping Satan, so hopefully you can understand how serious this would be for someone with these beliefs. Again, it’s not a “rule” but more Like…. One of those unspoken principles that everyone is supposed to agree on and follow. I’m VERY sorry you have to deal with this. By The Way if you ever tell a JW that they don’t celebrate anything, far from the truth, they will often side step this and give you a vague answer of they do celebrate things, just not holidays. They do go to weddings, they do dance, many of them drink alcohol moderately.
Post # 11
I would call your brother and speak to him about this directly. My understanding is that this is a decision made by the individual, based on his/her own conscience and the specifics of the event. He wouldn’t be able to participate in your wedding, but he may or may not attend as a guest.
Post # 12
I think the best thing for me to do is see if I can contact my brother’s church(is it still a church?) and find out what their stance is. I guess I will have to honnour that.
I suppose he can wait outside and be present for pictures. Fortunately, aside from being an usher I was not going to have him any real role.
Post # 13
It’s not a church it is called Kingdom Hall. I would NOT, I REPEAT NOT contact his Kingdom Hall regarding this. You do not want him to be put on their radar. As a PP mentioned, JWs excommunicate members as they see fit and you do not want to innocently mention something that may cause your brother grief.
I have/had several JW family members. My uncle is still JW and very devout, HOWEVER, he absolutely attends weddings. I cannot immediately recall if he went to the church service but I know for sure he has attended my sister’s wedding reception, graduation parties and anniversary parties.
Post # 14
You could contact them. Most likely the will tell you that this is a choice he has to make for himself. I will say in the religion there are A LOT of… Unspoken rules. Like…. He wouldn’t get in trouble for going…but he may get some funny looks or worse depending on his area. The elders can’t tell someone what they can and can’t do… unless it’s one of those obvious things found right in the bible, BUT the can imply strongly what you can and can’t do. I hope that makes sense?
Oh and they don’t like being called a church. the group is a congregation and they meet in the kingdom hall. just in case you were going to make an effort to be extra PC. 🙂
Again, good luck. I’m sure he still loves you just as much as before, but you’re just SUCH a heathen! (a little joke to hopefully make you feel a little better and take the heaviness of this off your shoulders)
Post # 15
I really think it would be very inappropriate for you to contact his Kingdom Hall. You should talk directly to him rather than circumventing him by contacting someone at his Kingdom Hall.
It may be that since he has just converted to JW, that he feels it would be inconsistent with his new faith to attend a church ceremony at this time. It might be easier to stay focused on his new belief system and not be swayed by his former belief system if he distances himself from the old. Or it may be that the members of his particular KH are more strict than some others and actually does feel it’s wrong to enter another house of worship other than a KH.
No matter what the situation is, you should talk to him about it in a non-confrontational way. Just explain that you want to understand the reason why so you can be supportive of his choice without feeling hurt. Then I would ask him if there is any way you can include him that would not compromise his chosen religion.
As someone else mentioned, on Four Weddings, one of the brides was JW and she watched on a TV in the limo. She said it was against her religion, so maybe there are some that are more strict about it.
Post # 16
I guess I didn’t write exactly what I was thinking. I have no intention of going over his head. I’ve spoken to him about his and all he said is “I can’t come ok, just can’t” I asked him if we could speak with someone and figure out what he can and can’t do and he said “sure, but I don’t really know what I am asking” so that’s why I thought it might be best if I contacted them. I have no intentions of going over his head and speaking with someone -I just want us both to be on the same page.