Pay Attention to Yourselves and the Flock 1991 p92/96 [Secret Book]
A degree of guilt could result from careless driving, careless maintenance of one's automobile, or other careless or thoughtless action that causes injury or death . (Compare Deuteronomy 22 :8 .) Being a professional boxer may be viewed in a similar way. (w81 7/1 pp. 30-1) Attempted suicide may be the result of deep despair or major depression ; deal carefully and compassionately with such a person . In most cases a judicial hearing is not required . (Ps . 88:3, 17, 18 ; Prov. 15 :13 ; Eccl. 7 :7 ; g90 9/8 pp. 22-3 ; w90 3/15 pp . 26-30 ; w90 3/1 pp . 5-9 ; w83 8/1 pp . 3-11)
Sexual misconduct, including adultery, fornication, and other forms of `por.nei'a. "
Uncleanness includes an intentional momentary touching of sexual parts or caressing of breasts . (1 Thess . 4:7, 8 ; 1 Tim. 5 :1, 2 ) 9 2 “Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock " Such minor uncleanness can be handled at the discretion of an elder or two ; it does not require a judicial hearing . There is a need for strong counsel, admonition, and assistance to help the individual to maintain chaste conduct in the future . If not corrected, such conduct may escalate in gravity and by frequent repetition become loose conduct . Loose conduct is a shocking, flagrant disregard for Jehovah's moral standards . (Gal. 5 :19 ; w83 3/15 p . 31 ; w73 9/15 pp . 574-6) It may include the willful practice of heavy petting or the fondling of breasts . The nature, circumstances, and actual extent of what has occurred may indicate loose conduct, which would require judicial action . Such practices can easily lead to por.nei'a . "Por.nei'a" involves immoral use of the genitals of at least one human (whether in a natural or a perverted way), and there must have been another party to the immorality - a human of either sex or a beast ; willing participation incurs guilt and requires judicial action . It is not a casual touching of the sex organs between persons but involves the manipulation of the genitals . (w83 6/1 pp . 23-6 ; w83 3/15 pp . 30-1)
It includes oral and anal sex or mutual masturbation between persons not married to each other, homosexuality, lesbianism, fornication, adultery, incest, and bestiality. (Lev. 20 :10, 13, 15, 16 ; Rom. 1 :24, 26, 27, 32 ; 1 Cor . 6 :9, 10)
Also included are sexual abuse of children, including practices involving a catamite (a boy kept for purposes of sexual perversion) . (Deut . 23 :17, 18, Ref. Bi ., ftns. ) Victims of sexual abuse need to be treated with extreme thoughtfulness and kindness . Elders should always do what they reasonably can to protect children from further abuse ; follow the Society's directives on such matters . (g85 1/22 p . 8 )
Self-abuse, or masturbation, is not `por.nei'a, " nor would one who was raped be guilty of porn ei'a . (w83 3/15 p . 30 ; w74 3/1 p . 160 ; it-1 pp . 862-4 ; tp p . 144)
The term por.nei'a lays emphasis on both the lewd nature and the intent of the person's -conduct, and it embraces all illicit sexual activity characteristic of that found in a house of prostitution. Copulation (as in penetration) is not necessary to constitute por.nei'a, and neither is sexual climax . In borderline cases, it is the responsibility of the judicial committee to weigh carefully the Scriptures and the particular facts in the case to determine whether por.nei'a was involved . This responsibility should not be taken lightly, especially when Scriptural freedom to remarry is involved . (Mal . 2 :16a)
Apostasy is a standing away from, a falling away, defection, rebellion, abandonment ; it involves teaching false doctrines, supporting or promoting false religion and its holidays or interfaith activities. (Deut . 13 :13, 15 ; Josh. 22 :22, ftn . ; Acts 21 :21, ftn. ; 2 Cor. 6 :14, 15, 17, 18 ; 2 John 7, 9, 10 ; Rev . 18 :4) Those with sincere doubts should be helped, dealt with mercifully . (Jude 22, 23 ; w82 9/1 pp . 20-1 ; w80 8/1 pp . 21-2)
Apostasy includes action taken against true worship of Jehovah or his established order among his dedicated people . (Jer . 17 :13 ; 23 :15 ; 28 :15, 16 ; 2 Thess. 2 :9, 10) Persons who deliberately spread (stubbornly hold to and speak about) teachings contrary to Bible truth as taught by Jehovah's Witnesses are apostates .
If it is learned that a person has taken up association with another religious organization, the matter should be investigated, and if verified, a committee should be formed . If it is clearly established that the person has joined another religion and intends to remain with it, the 9 4 "Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock" elders would make a brief announcement to the congregation that such one has disassociated himself. (w86 10/15 p . 31) Working secularly for a false religious organization could put one in a position similar to that of one preaching false doctrine . (2 Cor. 6 :14-16)
Celebrating a false religious holiday would be similar to performing any other act of false worship . (Jer . 7 :16-19)
The Bible condemns the following :
Causing divisions and promoting sects . This would be deliberate action disrupting the unity of the congregation or undermining the confidence of the brothers in Jehovah's arrangement . It may involve or lead to apostasy . (Rom. 16 : 17, 18 ; Titus 3 :10, 11) The practice of spiritism . (Deut . 18 :9-13 ; 1 Cor . 10 : 21, 22 ; Gal . 5 :20)
Idolatry . (1 Cor. 6 :9, 10 : 10 :14)
Idolatry includes the possession and use of images and pictures that are employed in false religion .
Drunkenness . (1 Cor. 5 :11 ; 6 :9, 10; it-1 p . 656)
Stealing, thievery, fraud . (Lev. 6 :2, 4 ; 1 Cor. 6 :9, 10 ; Eph. 4 :28 ; it-1 p . 870)
Deliberate, malicious lying; bearing false witness . (Prov . 6 : 16, 19; Col . 3 :9 ; Rev. 22 :15 ; it-2 pp . 244-5)
Reviling, slander . (Lev . 19 :16; 1 Cor. 6 :10; it-1 pp . 989-91 ; it-2 pp . 801-2)
Obscene speech . (Eph . 5 :3-5 ; Col . 3 :8)
Failure to abstain from blood . (Gen . 9 :4 ; Acts 15 :20, 28,29)
Greed-gambling, extortion . (1 Cor. 5 :10, 11 ; 6 :10 ; 1 Tim. 3 :8 ; it-1 pp . 1005-6)
Adamant refusal to provide materially for one's own family- leaving wife and children destitute when having the means to provide . (1 Tim . 5 :8; w88 11/1 pp. 22-3; km 9/73 p. 8 )
Nonneutral activities . (Isa . 2 :4 ; John 6 :15 ; 17 :16)
Fits of anger, violence . (Prov . 22:24, 25 ; Mal. 2 :16; Gal. 5 :20)
Misuse of tobacco or addictive drugs . (2 Cor . 7 : 1 ; Mark 15 :23 ; Rev . 21 :8, Int . ; 22 :15, Int.)
Loose conduct . Term not restricted to sexual immorality . (Gal. 5 :19, Ref. Bi., ftn. ; 2 Pet. 2 :7, Ref. Bi., ftn . ; w83 3/15 p. 31 ; w73 9/15 pp. 574-6 ; it-2 p . 264)
SUMMARY: There are varying degrees of wrongdoing . At times there may have been an overlapping of sins, and this must be discerned in order to determine the proper Scriptural view of a person's conduct . In all cases, elders should carefully weigh each situation or circumstance. They need to find out what actually occurred, the extent and nature of misconduct, intent and motive, frequency or practice, and so forth, Good judgment, reasonableness, and balance are necessary as elders assess conduct in the light of the Scriptures .