Should shunning be practiced in Religion?


New Member
Shunning can be broken down into behaviours and practices that seek to accomplish either or both of two primary goals.<br />
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To modify the behaviour of a member. This approach seeks to influence, encourage, or coerce normative behaviours from members, and may seek to dissuade, provide disincentives for, or to compel avoidance of certain behaviours. Shunning may include disassociating the member by other members of the community who are in good standing. It may include more antagonistic psychological behaviours (described below). This approach may be seen as either corrective or punitive (or both) by the group membership or leadership, and may also be intended as a deterrent. <br />
To remove or limit the influence of a member (or former member) over other members in a community. This approach may seek to isolate, to discredit, or otherwise dis-empower such a member, often in the context of actions or positions advocated by that member. For groups with defined membership criteria, especially based on key behaviours or ideological precepts, this approach may be seen as limiting damage to the community or its leadership. This is often paired with some form of excommunication. <br />
Some less often practiced variants may seek to<br />
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Remove a specific member from general external influence to provide an ideological or psychological buffer against external views or behaviour. The amount can vary from severing ties to opponents of the group up to and including severing all non-group-affiliated intercourse. <br />
Shunning is usually approved of (if sometimes with regret) by the group engaging in the shunning, and usually highly disapproved of by the target of the shunning, resulting in a polarization of views. Those subject to the practice respond differently, usually depending both on the circumstances of the event, and the nature of the practices being applied. Extreme forms of shunning have damaged some individuals' psychological and relational health. Extreme responses to the practice have developed, mostly around anti-shunning advocacy; such advocates highlight the detrimental effects of many of such behaviors, and seek to limit the practice through pressure or law. Such groups often operate supportive organizations or institutions to help victims of shunning to recover from damaging effects, and sometimes to attack the organizations practicing shunning, as a part of their advocacy.<br />
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In many civil societies, kinds of shunning are practiced de-facto or de-jure, to coerce or avert behaviours or associations deemed unhealthy. This can include<br />
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restraining orders or peace bonds (to avoid abusive relationships) <br />
court injunctions to disassociate (to avoid criminal association or temptation) <br />
medical or psychological instructing to avoid associating (to avoid hazardous relations, i.e. alcoholics being instructed to avoid friendship with non-recovering alcoholics, or asthmatics being medically instructed to keep to smoke-free environs) <br />
using background checks to avoid hiring people who have criminal records (to avoid association with felons, even when the crimes have nothing to do with the job description) <br />
These effects are seen as positive by society, though often not by the affected parties.<br />
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[edit] Effects<br />
Shunning is often used as a pejorative term to describe any organizationally mandated disassociation, and has acquired a connotation of abuse and relational aggression. This is due to the sometimes extreme damage caused by its disruption to normal relationships between individuals, such as friendships and family relations. Disruption of established relationships certainly causes pain, which is at least an unintended consequence of the practices described here, though it may also in many cases be an intended, coercive consequence. This pain, especially when seen as unjustly inflicted, can have secondary general psychological effects on self-worth and self-confidence, trust and trustworthiness, and can, as with other types of trauma, impair psychological function.<br />
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Shunning often involves implicit or explicit shame for a member who commits acts seen as wrong by the group or its leadership. Such shame may not be psychologically damaging if the membership is voluntary and the rules of behaviour clear before the person joined. However, if the rules are arbitrary, the group membership seen as essential for personal security, safety, or health, or if the application of the rules are inconsistent, such shame can be highly destructive. This can be especially damaging if perceptions are attacked or controlled, or various tools of psychological pressure applied. Extremes of this cross over the line into psychological torture and can be permanently scarring.<br />
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A key detrimental effect of some of the practices associated with shunning relate to their effect on relationships, especially family relationships. At its extremes, the practices may destroy marriages, break up families, and separate children and their parents. The effect of shunning can be very dramatic or even devastating on the shunned, as it can damage or destroy the shunned member's closest familial, spousal, social, emotional, and economic bonds.<br />
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Shunning contains aspects of what is known as relational aggression in psychological literature. When used by church members and member-spouse parents against excommunicant parents it contains elements of what psychologists call parental alienation. Extreme shunning may cause traumas to the shunned (and to their dependents) similar to what is studied in the psychology of torture.<br />
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I understand that boundaries to protect ones spiritual life are at risk, however should those shunning be done in such a drastic manner? that it causes the person who is experiencing it to become more downcast in spirit that they become like one who is abused?<br />
Does not the bible say that the rebuke of the majority is sufficient for such one? In the book of acts.<br />
who is the Majority and then who is the Minority?<br />
Sorry emet I don't totally agree unless I am miss understanding you.<br />
I can see those who know of the wrong doing being the ones to guarding against the wrongdoing However to all at as judge and go to the extremes of not treating that person as an individual with the right to the same decent treatment you would give a stranger on the street or a unbeliever is wrong.<br />


New Member
I fail to see how you would stop the practice without interfering with people's right to choose.
It depends on the crime the person who is shunned has committed and I don't think it's limited to religion.

I've had to shun a member of the family, and it wasn't because of religious reasons. It was because this person is a sociopath who ruins the lives of everyone she touches.
To the person above me who stated "no", the ones who know G-d can.... And to answer your question which is easilly answered because it is written "sin is the transgression of the law and by transgressing it you are held liable to be rebuked or perhaps much worse depending on the level of transgression you have commited.

Yes,...... there must be shunning, it is just part of growth and should be exempt from selfish ambitions, it should {in my view} only be done for the sake of the majority of the populous, but my question from me to you is, where are you quoting these illustration from, it isn't really of any particular reason that I'm asking you it's just that your interpretation seems to be placed very eloquently {not that you cannot be so eloquent} but if you're quoting from a particular book I would like to know.

However,.....eventhough how shrewd it might seem to shun someone it must be done for conscience sake, and for the other party or parties at stake by the example the person or persons in error are committing, this question of yours {if it is directed as a religous obligation} has always been performed, and wether it is a mild form of excommunication or an extreme form, the purpose is always the same "TO MAINTAIN ORDER" and this is just one way it can be acheived.

Now.....if you're asking this in any rhetorical or in any abstract way meaning can a follower of the messiah have the right to portray these characteristics the answer is absolutley YES it is only one aspect of our faith and it's in place to uphold it meaning "TO UPHOLD THE FAITH" which is the following of or the path of the Rightouse One.

Yes.... even to the point that it causes someone to be broken hearted or of a broken spirit this is the goal to show him/her the error of his/her ways so they may weep to the L-rd, there are plenty of quotes in scripture that tells us "not to let {your eye} spare him/her, speaking about the punishment they must undergo, one is not to show any sense of pity to the person being punished or why punish at all, either you go through with it or you don't and if you don't are you on the side of error or truth?

Additional questions

So you think that it is wrong to apose wrong, well....I just illustrated there are mild forms of excommunications and also extreme ones, you don't treat everyone in the same manner some you have more consideration then others this is due to the "level" of their folly.

1st.--- example Was it wrong for Paul to shun Peter for leading people into hypocricy? Don't you remember that in the story Paul "rebukes"=shunning Peter for sitting with non-jews but sitting up and going after those who were jews showing prefferance to them? Was it wrong for Paul?

2nd ---example Was Paul wrong to revile one who smote him while he was speaking to the men at the sanhedrin? He was wrong to do so for only one matter, and that is that the one who smote him was an undercover high preist I say undercover because normally a high priest is known by it's outer-wear and this high preist was not demonstrating himself to be one nevertheless Paul retracted only because of that.

Apperently shunning=rebuking=executing judgment to what's wrong is NOT wrong, what is wrong is doing nothing about it when you should have done so for the praise being directed to G-d, or do you think Paul was bringing dishonor to G-d by shuning error?

The moral of my message is that one must have a balanced judgment and know what to say and do when the time comes to do so, and this is known only to people who know the Torah and are followers of ha-"Emet"= {the truth}.=Yeshua hamoshiach.


Sillygirl-----oh please you sillyrabbit did you come up with that all by yourself?

You are even acknowledging yourself to be an ex-jw? What kind of sillines is that? Do you even know the implication of what you're saying, what it means is that you would have nothing to do with the nation of Israel or their G-d meaning you have decided to divorce yourself from the nation and their G-d that's what your teaching says, and eventhough it's disguised as an attempt to "look pious" it is still a noticable and very erronuos doctrinal teaching, because you have mingled it with expressions to declare that you know G-d and by doing so you are not only demonstrating you don't know G-d but cause others to be persuaded to believe a lie which makes it more detramental.

So what kind of herecy did you come to adopt, it's certainly not the teaching of neither Yeshua nor his emeseries nor found in Torah you are filled with many contridictions in your statements, meanning you are teaching or have been taught a lie no suprise at all to anyone who does know torah though.


New Member
Absolutely NOT!
This puts people in a position where they can judge someone and look down on someone AND treat them accordingly....a very UNGodly approach to getting one to repent out of shame! It does nothing but harm!
It causes emotional pain for that shunned individual as well as the family members that are misguided into doing the shunning!
I'm glad that you mentioned that shunning causes trauma to the shunned as well as their DEPENDANTS! My parents are JW's and my children have suffered tremendously with their lack of interest in them as they are pre-occupied with their 'spiritual family'!
Shunning used as punishment is a fear tactic that they use to keep members from straying NOT keeping the 'congregation clean' as everyone sins and anyone involved with something so terribly unclean would have no interest in God in the first place....if they were really in need of spiritual help...why wouldn't they do just THAT and try to help someone rather than taking away the love and support of family and friends?
It very hard to get thru to any JW without being preached to because they think they are doing the right thing AND they also have the chance of losing their place in the congregation should they chose to associate with a df'd person. I continue to pray for all ex-JWs and others who are shunned.


New Member
It causes emotional pain for that shunned individual as well as the family members that are misguided into doing the shunning!