No one can credibly deny that the disfellowshipping offense “Immoral conversations over the telephone or the Internet” is a human commandment that has no basis in the Bible. As with so many other commandments made by the Governing Body, this one is also ambiguous. The view of what constitutes an immoral conversation is different from elder to elder and between different young persons. Disfellowshipping Witnesses for “immoral conversations” simply is not Christian! This is so because, 1) immoral conversations are not mentioned in the Bible as disfellowshipping offenses, and 2) the definition of “immoral conversations” is ambiguous and unclear. Different elders have different viewpoints as to what “immoral conversations” mean.
One of the six different actions that are subsumed under the unscriptural umbrella term “Gross uncleanness” and “Uncleanness with greediness” is “Immoral conversations over the telephone or the Internet.” The book “Shepherd The Flock Of God” 12.15 (2), says:
Immoral Conversations Over the Telephone or the Internet: A practice of engaging in immoral conversations over the telephone or the Internet, including “sexting,” can involve obscene speech or gross uncleanness, either of which can be a basis for judicial action. lf such conduct occurred on a few isolated occasions, judicial action may not be necessary. Counsel from two elders may be sufficient to handle such minor uncleanness. The elders should inform the coordinator of the body of elders of the situation. However, such conduct may escalate in gravity and by frequent repetition become gross uncleanness with greediness requiring judicial action, especially if the individual had been previously counseled. The elders must use good judgment in determining whether the wrongdoing has escalated to a point warranting judicial action.—w06 7/15 pp. 30-31.
The word “sexting” is defined in the following way: “the sending of sexually explicit digital images, videos, text messages, or emails, usually by cell phone.”
It is clear that the aforementioned actions, whether they are done one or a few times, or many times, are not becoming for Christians. But because these actions were unknown when the Christian Greek Scriptures were written, and because there are no scripturally equivalent sins sanctioned for judicial action, these are not disfellowshipping offenses according to the Bible.
However, someone may say that “obscene speech” is mentioned in the Christian Greek Scriptures. so would not the aforementioned actions fall under the category of obscene speech? To be sure, some aspects of these actions may be viewed as obscene speech, but contrary to the view of the Governing Body, obscene speech is not a disfellowshipping offense according to the Scriptures. This will be discussed in the article “Obscene speech” in the Category “Different actions.”
We have the same situation in connection with immoral conversations as we have in so many other disfellowshipping offenses that are not based on the Bible: there are no clear definitions. For example, what exactly is an immoral conversation? Having a conversation requires two persons. If the conversation occurs via email, the contents can be known. But not so if the conversation occurs by cellphone. Is it possible that each participant in a cellphone conversation can remember exactly what was said? And what if one participant considered the conversation to be immoral, but the other does not agree with that? And then we have the different viewpoints of the elders; some are hardliners and others are more balanced. Different elders will view similar situations differently. Disfellowshipping persons on the basis of ambiguous laws made by the subjective opinions of humans simply is not Christian!
We need not say much more in connection with the actions mentioned in the heading, except that they are not mentioned in the Christian Greek Scriptures and therefore are not disfellowshipping offenses.