Prevented From Entering the Kingdom Hall

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Elder holding up stop hand gesture.

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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