The members of the Governing Body are guilty of serious wrongdoing before Jehovah because they have ruined the lives of thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses:
- They have twisted the Greek word aselgeia and without any linguistic basis have applied the meaning “brazen conduct” to this word.
- They have claimed without any biblical basis that the Greek word aselgeia indicates serious violations of God’s laws.
- They have without any biblical basis claimed that the actions represented by the word represent disfellowshipping actions.
- They have invented modern actions as disfellowshipping offenses and without any logical reason subsumed these under aselgeia (“brazen conduct”).
- On the basis of the points above, thousands of Witnesses have been disfellowshipped because the judicial committee has found them guilty of brazen conduct and their lives have been ruined.
The book “Shepherd The flock of God” 12:16 defines “brazen conduct” in the following way:
Brazen Conduct: (2 Cor. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 4:19: lvs p. 249) The Greek word translated “brazen conduct” is a sel’gei a. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible uses very forceful terms to define it: “licentiousness…filth[iness], lasciviousness, wantonness.” The New Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament adds to the list “unbridled lust, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence.” Another lexicon defines a sel’gei a as conduct that “violates all bounds of what is socially acceptable.” Rather than relating to bad conduct of a somewhat petty or minor nature, “brazen conduct” describes acts that reflect an attitude that betrays disrespect, disregard, or even contempt for divine standards, laws and authority. Therefore, two elements are involved in brazen conduct: (1) The conduct itself is a serious violation of Jehovah’s laws, and (2) the attitude of the wrongdoer toward God’s laws is disrespectful, insolent.—w06 7/15 p. 30.
The Watchtower of July 15, 2006, page 30, says:
As the foregoing definitions show, “loose conduct” involves two elements: (1) The conduct itself is a serious violation of God’s laws, and (2) the attitude of the wrongdoer is disrespectful, insolent.
Therefore, “loose conduct” [asēlgeia] does not refer to bad conduct of a minor nature. It pertains to acts that are serious violations of God’s laws and that reflect a brazen or boldly contemptuous attitude—a spirit that betrays disrespect or even contempt for authority, laws, and standards. Paul links loose conduct with illicit intercourse. (Romans 13:13, 14) Since Galatians 5:19–21 lists loose conduct among a number of sinful practices that would disqualify one from inheriting God’s Kingdom, loose conduct is grounds for reproof and possible disfellowshipping from the Christian congregation.
From a linguistic view, the definitions in the Shepherd book and The Watchtower of 2006 are made by dilettantes. These person neither have any knowledge of linguistics nor of the Greek language. This is seen by the fact that all the basic rules of lexical semantics are violated, and I will show this in what follows.
First, Greek-English lexicons include meanings and references of words both from Classical Greek and from New Testament Greek. without distinguishing between these meanings. The meanings and references of a word are often different in the Christian Greek Scriptures compared with Classical Greek. Therefore, we cannot just pick one or two meanings that fit our agenda from a Greek-English lexicon, as the writers of the Shepherd book and The Watchtower have done.
Second, the only way to find the meaning and references of a Greek word in the Christian Greek Scriptures is to study the contexts where the word occurs. This has not been done.
Third, the basic question to ask in connection with a Greek word is whether the word is abstract or concrete. This question has not been asked.
Fourth, the word aselgeia occurs ten times in the Christian Greek Scriptures, and it never refers to clearly identifiable actions. This means that it is impossible to know the exact meaning and references of aselgeia.
Fifth, I make a detailed analysis of aselgeia in my book My Beloved Religion — And The Governing Body, third edition, pages 224-236. My conclusion is that the word is abstract and includes a strong desire with sexual connotations. On this basis, I translate the word as “unrestrained lust” which is close to the rendering “unbridled lust” in The New Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament that is quoted in the Shepherd book.
I will now take a closer look at the application of aselgeia in the Watchtower literature, and my conclusion is that all the basic claims in the Shepherd book and The Watchtower of 2006 are wrong.
Claim 1: The word “pertains to serious violations of God’s laws.” When it is impossible to connect certain actions with this word in the Christian Greek Scriptures, the claim that the word refers to serious violations of God’s law simply is ridiculous.
Claim 2: The word “reflects a brazen or boldly contemptuous attitude.” This claim is again taken out of thin air. None of the three lexicons referred to in the Shepherd book, or other Greek-English lexicons list a meaning that justifies the rendering “brazen conduct” in NWT13. There is nothing in the contexts where aselgeia occurs in the Christian Greek Scriptures that even hints at the idea of something that is brazen.
Claim 3: The members of the Governing Body say that because aelgeia is listed among the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21, it represents disfellowshipping offenses. This is a silly argument because if it were true, all the works of the flesh must be disfellowshipping offenses. And the members of the Governing Body do not claim that.
Claim 4: “Unnecessary association with disfellowshipped and disassociated persons” can be defined as “brazen conduct” (aselgeia), and the same is true with “dating though not free to remarry.” The claim is nonsensical because the exact meaning of aselgeia is unknown and neither of the two actions are disfellowshipping offenses according to the Bible. Moreover, it is also nonsensical to claim that modern actions that were unknown in the first century CE can be expressions for Greek words found in the Bible.
|The described situation deserves the designation “crazy.” The members of the Governing Body have constructed an artificial situation leading to disfellowshipping — a situation that has nothing to do with the Bible.
They have taken the Greek word aselgeia, whose exact meaning is unknown, and ascribed the meaning “brazen conduct” to it. Then they have invented two modern disfellowshipping offenses that are not based on the Bible, claiming that these two offenses are expressions of “brazen conduct.” And then they are disfellowshipping Witnesses whom they say violate their manmade disfellowshipping offenses.
This represents serious wrongdoing on the part of the members of the Governing Body.
There are three articles in the category “brazen conduct”
UNNECESSARY ASSOCIATION WITH DISFELLOWSHIPPED AND DISASSOCIATED INDIVIDUALS
The article shows that shunning disfellowshipped persons contradicts the Bible. The word synanamignymi (“mixing together”) means “fraternizing with,” and “not synanamignymi” means “not fraternizing with” and not “shunning.” This is clearly seen in 2 Thessalonians 3:14, 15 where we learn that congregation members who would not be fraternizing with a person would greet him and speak with him while they would be admonishing him. The words of 2 Corinthians 2:5-7 show that a great number of congregation members had rebuked a disfellowshipped person, something that would require that they greeted him and spoke with him. Shunning disfellowshipped persons, therefore, is a manmade invention that contradicts the Bible.
An article in The Watchtower from 1974 expressing a more softened view of disfellowshipped persons than was expressed earlier, including disfellowshipped relatives, has been discussed. I show that the Governing Body opposed this new view, which was not implemented. An article in The Watchtower from 1981 evidently was written to contradict the article from 1974.
The members of the Governing Body today demand that the congregation members have no association with disfellowshipped persons except what is absolutely necessary given the circumstances. As I have shown, this is a manmade demand contrary to the Bible. This means that any member of the congregation can associate with disfellowshipped persons while they are not fraternizing with these persons. Thus, the very basis for “unnecessary association” disfellowshipping offense is nonexistent.
DATING THOUGH NOT FREE TO REMARRY
If one of the marriage mates commits adultery, the innocent mate can demand that the marriage be dissolved. When the innocent mate does this, the marriage is dissolved in the eyes of God. However, in order to make the marriage legally dissolved, the authorities of the land must also grant a divorce.
In some countries, such a legal divorce may take a long time, and the Governing Body has decided that regardless of how long time the legal divorce takes, the innocent mate is not free to date another person before the legal divorce. If the innocent mate does this and will not stop at the order of the elders, he or she will be disfellowshipped because of “brazen conduct” (aselgeia).
I argue that there is no passage in the Bible showing that an innocent mate whose marriage is dissolved in God’s eyes commits a disfellowshipping offense by dating another person. This is not a disfellowshipping offense according to the Bible, and it is ridiculous to say that such an action is an expression of brazen conduct.
BRAZEN CONDUCT — DIFFERENT SITUATIONS
The book for elders, “Shepherd The Flock Of God”, point 12.17, says regarding the two actions mentioned above that “this is not an exhaustive list.” The shepherd book mentions two situations that can lead to disfellowshipping for “brazen conduct.” One situation is “Momentary Touching of Intimate Body Parts or Caressing of Breasts,” and the other situation is when someone is invited to look at pornography. The problem with these situations is that “brazen conduct” is an ambiguous concept, and therefore, the gut feeling of the elders in a judicial committee will be the basis for their decision. One committee will disfellowship a Witness and another committee will not disfellowship the Witness for exactly the same situation. A great number of the 37 disfellowshipping offenses that are made up by the Governing Body are ambiguous, and this shows that ordinary Witnesses have no protection by the law in the society of Jehovah’s Witnesses.