Prevented From Entering the Kingdom Hall

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This past Tues­day marked the most impor­tant night of the year for Jehovah’s Wit­ness­es as it was the aside for the Memo­r­i­al of Christ’s Death. The annu­al com­mem­o­ra­tion of Jesus’ death is the most wide­ly attend­ed Jehovah’s Wit­ness meet­ing of the year with spe­cial cam­paigns con­duct­ed to invite the pub­lic to join them at local King­dom Halls and rent­ed facil­i­ties. The audi­ence will typ­i­cal­ly be made up of local mem­bers of the con­gre­ga­tion and their friends and fam­i­ly. Inter­est­ed vis­i­tors con­tact­ed by Jehovah’s Wit­ness­es in the door to door min­istry will often join them. It is also not uncom­mon for dis­fel­low­shipped, for­mer Jehovah’s Wit­ness­es to attend.

The event itself fea­tures a talk geared toward explain­ing the basic Watch­tow­er the­ol­o­gy when it comes to the impor­tance of Christ’s death fol­lowed by the pass­ing of a gob­let of wine, rep­re­sent­ing his shed blood, and a plate of unleav­ened bread, rep­re­sent­ing his bro­ken body, among the audi­ence. A large part of the talk itself encour­ages the audi­ence not to per­son­al­ly par­take of the reli­gious emblems passed. Last year of 18,168,323 that attend­ed only 10,857 ate of the bread and drank from the cup, a fact that was specif­i­cal­ly not­ed in the talk that was pre­sent­ed at the event.

Now while Jehovah’s Wit­ness­es make great effort to get peo­ple to get peo­ple in the door for this spe­cial event it is iron­ic when they stop oth­ers at the thresh­old. It is report­ed that a dis­fel­low­shipped fam­i­ly in Cal­i­for­nia were blocked when they attempt­ed to gain entrance into a local King­dom Hall for the pur­pose of attend­ing this com­mem­o­ra­tion and par­tak­ing of the reli­gious emblems offered. When they went to enter the build­ing they were met at the door by a con­gre­ga­tion elder that informed them that they would have to wait out­side until the pro­gram began, at which time they would be escort­ed in. So for twen­ty-five min­utes they had to wait out­side in the cold while oth­ers, Jehovah’s Wit­ness­es and vis­i­tors alike, entered the build­ing with­out pro­hi­bi­tion. This is actu­al­ly a improve­ment from 2001 when they were total­ly barred from enter­ing the same build­ing under threats of police involve­ment. What was this family’s crime? It was sim­ply that they desired to peace­ful­ly tes­ti­fy to Christ by eat­ing of his bread and drink­ing of his cup, doing so out of obe­di­ence for Jesus’ com­mand and their per­son­al love and appre­ci­a­tion for him. (Luke 22:19–20; John 6:54)

Now while the con­gre­ga­tion elder’s actions were com­plete­ly unlov­ing and unciv­i­lized they were also ille­gal accord­ing to US Fed­er­al Law. The US Free­dom of Access to Clin­ics Entrances (FACE) Act pro­tects the civ­il lib­er­ties of indi­vid­u­als who wish to exer­cise their con­sti­tu­tion­al­ly guar­an­teed free­dom of reli­gion. The law states that it is a pro­hib­it­ed activ­i­ty to “by force or threat of force or by phys­i­cal obstruc­tion, inten­tion­al­ly injures, intim­i­dates or inter­feres with or attempts to injure, intim­i­date or inter­fere with any per­son law­ful­ly exer­cis­ing or seek­ing to exer­cise the First Amend­ment right of reli­gious free­dom at a place of reli­gious wor­ship” [18 U.S.C. § 248 (a) (2)] Accord­ing to the Act, “the term ‘inter­fere with’ means to restrict a person’s free­dom of move­ment.” [18 U.S.C. § 248 (e) (2)] By this def­i­n­i­tion the elder’s actions vio­lat­ed the Act as they sin­gu­lar­ly restrict­ed the family’s free­dom of move­ment into a place of reli­gious wor­ship, the local King­dom Hall. Unfor­tu­nate­ly this is not an iso­late case as I know per­son­al­ly of anoth­er dis­fel­low­shipped cou­ple who were sim­i­lar­ly pre­vent­ed from enter­ing a King­dom Hall by mem­bers of the local Body of Elders.

If you have been faced with this sit­u­a­tion or poten­tial­ly will it is impor­tant to be mind­ful of the rights grant­ed to you by US law to enter a reli­gious build­ing for the pur­pose of exer­cis­ing your con­sti­tu­tion­al right of free­dom of reli­gion. When faced with an elder at the door to the King­dom Hall block­ing your entrance it may be appro­pri­ate to kind­ly remind them of your legal rights in the mat­ter. (Com­pare Acts 22:25)

¶ Despatched on Sunday, April 4th, 2010 at 11:01 am and sorted in Blog. ¶ { ReTweet }

8 Responses

pockets1533April 6th, 2010 at 6:19 am

think ya should get a life,am diss‘d and have been for 5 years,but if thats all ya got to wor­ry about,is try­ing to get one over on the witnesses,then ya sad,you know the rea­sons behind the eat­ing and drinking,whether ya believe the rea­sons or not,your just try­ing to get mans law to over­rule gods law,which wont hap­pen.

AnthonyApril 6th, 2010 at 7:17 am

@pocket1533 Thank you for tak­ing the time to com­ment and your con­cern. I do have a life and one more full than I could ever have thought pos­si­ble, praise God. My con­cern is more my “fam­i­ly” at the King­dom Hall that they might have the same. In as much as dis­fel­low­shipped peo­ple wish to return to the King­dom Hall in peace and for right­eous rea­sons — may God bless them!

You also said that I was “just try­ing to get mans law to over­rule gods law”. Here is some­thing that I recent­ly learned to appre­ci­ate, God’s law is love and there is no law against love. Going to the King­dom Hall out of love for oth­ers vio­lates no law, either from God or man. When the elders do not act in love they do vio­late God’s law and in this case man’s law as well.

Over the years Jehovah’s Wit­ness­es have been very active in ensur­ing their reli­gious free­doms and civ­il lib­er­ties, even peti­tion­ing the courts to change man’s law for their sake. Sad­ly they do not give their own peo­ple the same civ­il lib­er­ties. In this way the Orga­ni­za­tion shows itself to be hypr­o­crit­i­cal — which also is not of God.

Again thanks for vis­it­ing and com­ment­ing. May Jah’s peace be upon you.

Pastor DavidSeptember 3rd, 2010 at 1:32 am

Per­son­al­ly after endur­ing the Satan­ic cel­e­bra­tion known by Watch­tow­er Adher­ents as the ‘Memo­r­i­al of Christ’s death’ for 50 years, I nev­er wish to sit through one again.

This cel­e­bra­tion start­ed out well, way back in Rus­sells day, but when Ruther­fraud took over and divid­ed the sheep with his lies and decep­tion he cre­at­ed a Satan­ic cel­e­bra­tion which is also car­ried out by Witch­es covens.

The whole pur­pose is to look upon the Bread & Wine and then to refuse it. Yeshua com­mand­ed his fol­low­ers to par­take of his body and blood.

The Witch­es also ignore the emblems and pro­fane the Sav­iours won­der­ful name.

The WT ignore the plain sim­ple facts that we are SAVED BY GRACE and that we are remind­ed of this every time we par­take of him.

I would nev­er want to sit through a Satan­ic ver­sion of this Holy ordi­nance in any Cul­tic build­ing.

I feel that some­times we just want to make a point.….……but why? Mil­lions of Chris­tians are also being decieved every day, by false teach­ers that are more New Age than many New Agers.

Keep on the watch that we are not decieved and that we can stay close to our Lord and King and LISTEN TO HIS VOICE.

Be blessed

Pas­tor David

chrisJanuary 24th, 2011 at 2:04 am

Please get your facts right about dis­fel­low­shipped mem­bers. They can­not be part of the open­ing and clos­ing prayers of any meet­ing con­duct­ed by JWs.That fam­i­ly which was barred should have known that. You are just mak­ing a fuss out of this issue

AnthonyFebruary 28th, 2011 at 10:08 am

Chris. I was a JW for thir­ty years and I have not wit­nessed this. Dis­fel­low­shipped indi­vid­u­als were often present dur­ing con­gre­ga­tion­al prayers at the King­dom Hall. I only know of a cou­ple of instances where they were barred from enter­ing the King­dom Hall.

AnthonyMay 13th, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Wow some peo­ple are ridicu­lous. They deserved to not be allowed as their pur­pose is to mock the beliefs of Jehovah’s Wit­ness­es. As peo­ple who are dis­fel­low­shipped they clear­ly know what the emblems rep­re­sent and who par­takes of them. Yet, they go real­ly to cause a scene and prove a point by attend­ing and want­i­ng to par­tic­i­pate. That is dis­re­spect­ful. Get on with your life. You wouldn’t go and pull down a US flag and stomp on it, would you? Or write on mon­ey to prove a point? Some peo­ple have no respect or a life. get one.

d wilsonApril 22nd, 2014 at 9:55 am

Jeho­vah loves us all. God does not want dis­con­tent and hatred among any­one. Jeho­vah is lov­ing and peace­ful. All should be a chan­nel of peace, love, etc.striving to imi­tate Jesus Christ.

hope 1914January 4th, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Every­one calm down. Please pray to.Jehovah thur his son Jesus ask for insight and then con­tact your local King­dom Hall via phone or jw.org site. We help you learn the cor­rect Truth.

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