Treasures from God’s Word and Digging for Spiritual Gems – “Pick up your Torture Stake and Keep following me” (Mark 7-8)
Prepare your Children to follow Christ
This is a short meeting item to try and emphasise the message contained in the Watchtower study articles for the previous week and this week on getting our children to get baptized. We are pointed to the publication ‘Organized to do Jehovah’s will’ p 165-166.
Among the things it suggests for a child progressing to baptism are:
- “He will also demonstrate an interest in learning Bible truths (Luke 2:46)”
- How many children do you know that truly demonstrate an interest (unprompted) in learning from the Bible? Many witness adults don’t, let alone most children.
- “Does your child want to attend meetings and participate? (Psalm 122:1)”
- Many children only go to meetings because they have to go with their parents, and they sit there obviously bored. As for participation, even those that partly enjoy the meetings (though likely for the socializing with their friends afterward), rarely want to participate. Again, participation is difficult for many adults, so all the more so for children, whether it be a lack of desire or nerves.
- “Does he have an appetite for regular Bible reading and personal study? (Matthew 4:4)”
- Even if a child or adult loves God or learning about things in the Bible, that is quite a different matter to regular Bible reading and personal study. Even when an adult desires to do those things, they often find it difficult due to circumstances. A child in general has other priorities whether it be school homework or playing games or with toys.
- “A child progressing toward baptism… is mindful of his responsibility as an unbaptized publisher and demonstrates initiative to go in the field service and talk at the doors.”
- This sounds like it was written by a brother who has never had children and has only seen them from a distance. Someone I know well expressed their feelings about this statement this way:
- “I went in field service with my parent(s) from a very young age. I often used to enjoy offering and placing magazines. I knew all witnesses were required to go in the field service, but did I ever demonstrate initiative to go in field service? Not as I remember. Did I demonstrate initiative to talk at the doors? Rarely. I always wanted one of my parents to talk at the first few doors at least. Was I mindful of my responsibility as an unbaptized publisher? Never. I was a child and therefore thought as a child. But did I ever think of leaving what I then believed to be the truth? No, but neither did I always want to participate at meetings. I certainly did not have an appetite for regular Bible reading and personal study and when I developed an appetite for them in adulthood, I did not have the time to satisfy that appetite. Also as a child I was not mindful of having any responsibility except that to preach, for which I relied on my parents to arrange for me and take me. Did I get baptized as a child? No.”
- Most of us including myself can probably identify with most if not all of those feelings.
- “He will also strive to remain morally clean by avoiding bad associations. (Proverbs 13:20, 1 Corinthians 15:33)
- How many children can decide for themselves regarding music, movies, TV programs, video games and the use of the internet? Now, true, some children may be allowed to decide these things for themselves, but that is always because of a lack of direction from the parent(s), not because the children are capable of doing it for themselves. Children need guidance from their parents, because the children are incapable of doing these things for themselves. They need the parental help and training and guidance to gain experience and maturity. Children usually cannot discern these thing for themselves unless it is obvious. Even children in their late teens would struggle in this area, but according to the organization, children or youths can do this and therefore qualify for baptism. This publication was likely written by someone who was never a parent as the requirements given for children are the same as for adults and are even worded in an adult way. Many, if not all children of an age being shown in the Watchtower as getting baptized would surely struggle to truly understand most of these quoted requirements, both in language terms and in the real meaning of the statements.
How many of those children baptized can honestly answer yes to all the above points? There will undoubtedly be a few somewhere, but they will be the rare exception, not the rule.
Yes, we would want to prepare our children to follow the Christ, but not to follow the dictates and requirements of a man-made organization which show scant regard for the reality of life amongst most of its adherents.
Jesus, The Way (jy Chapter 19 para 10-16) –Teaching a Samaritan Woman
Nothing of Note