A post by Seanna at the Liberal Faith blog triggered me to consolidate some of my thoughts on this.
The practice of shunning is an accepted practice in the Jehovah's Witness religious world. It's kind of like excommunication, but they won't even hang out with you in this case.
Having witnessed an actual shunning on a JW chat page several years ago, I can't say I find it to be a very savory act.
Moreover, I don't see it as a very Jesus-inspired practice.
Among the more conservative, evangelical Christians, I've seen it in different ways.
See Amy Grant's experience. She released some songs which garnered crossover attention ("Baby Baby" for one) and she was decried as a sell-out. As far as I can tell, "Baby Baby" wasn't non-Christian or anti-Christian or even necessarily a-Christian. It just didn't spell it out.
Be exactly like us to be part of us. Otherwise you aren't really one of us.
Jesus welcomed everyone to follow him. To be a fisher of men does not seem to require perfect conformity.
To be fair, a Christian must somehow deal with this. (Matthew 5:48)
Even there, however one is to intepret "be" and "perfect" and "be perfect," I don't see Jesus saying "be perfect or get out."
Christian exclusiveness is Christian elitism and it is a contradiction in terms.
I'm scratching the surface here, I realize. There are many ways in which religions require some kind of strict adherence in order to take part.
How Jesusy is this, really?
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