[From ws3/18 p. 8 – May 07 – May 13]
“Why are you delaying? Rise, get baptized.” Acts 22:16
[Mentions of Jehovah:18, Jesus:4]
In earlier reviews, we recently dealt with this troubling aspect of current organization teaching in which children of current witnesses are pushed to get baptized at earlier and earlier ages. (Please see Young Ones – Keep Working Out Your Own Salvation and Parents, Help Your Children Become Wise for Salvation.)
The theme sounds innocent enough. Any true Christian would want to help their children to progress in their understanding of the Bible and faith in Jesus Christ to the point that, when they are an adult, they have the desire to serve God and Christ. However, that is not the aim of this article. Its aim is to get children baptized as soon as possible. This builds better year-end statistics and ties the young ones to the organization, since leaving after baptism is automatic shunning. The first paragraph makes this clear when it says “Today, Christian parents have a similar interest in helping their children make wise decisions” after referring to the experience recounted of the decision of a child to get baptized in 1934.
As previously discussed with scriptural proof, in the first century there is no record of any children being baptized. It was mature adults (by definition, youths are immature) who made the decision.
Just to make sure parents get the point the organization wants to make, the first paragraph then brings in James 4:17 as the proof for its claim that “postponing baptism or delaying it needlessly could invite spiritual problems.” This scripture is taken out of context (as are so many). It says “Therefore, if one knows how to do what is right and yet does not do it, it is a sin for him.” What had James been talking about in the previous verses? Baptism? No.
- Fights among them;
- Cravings for sensual pleasure;
- Coveting what others had;
- Murdering others (perhaps not literally, but likely character assassination);
- Praying for things, but not receiving it because they were asking for a wrong purpose;
- Being haughty instead of humble;
- Ignoring God’s will in their day-to-day plans;
- Pride in self-assuming brags.
He was speaking to baptized Christians who knew what was right, and how to do what was right, but they were not doing it, they were doing the opposite. Hence it was a sin for them.
James was not speaking to immature youths about baptism, the very large majority of whom even as late as 18 years of age don’t know what job they want to do in life. They also rarely know what kind of personality in a marriage mate they would like. Both of these are life affecting decisions, yet parents are told to ”be sure that before their children get baptized, they are ready to shoulder the responsibility of Christian discipleship.” If children cannot choose a marriage mate and a career wisely, how can they choose to shoulder the responsibility of Christian discipleship at such a young age? If they don’t know what is right, let alone being capable of doing what is right because “foolishness is tied up with the heart of a boy”, how can they “know how to do what is right”? (Proverbs 22:15).
Romans 7:21-25 gives us food for thought. If an adult like the Apostle Paul struggled to do what is right even when he wanted to, how can a youth who doesn’t know what is right, and sometimes doesn’t want to do right (being foolish) be ready for baptism?
The second paragraph continues in this theme attempting to set the standard for the age one should get baptized by mentioning the circuit overseers were concerned because there were some in their late teens and early twenties who had grown up in the organization but were not yet baptized. In stating this, additional pressure is put on parents and young ones in the organization so that they will get baptized before they reach their late teens. All this is based on the personal opinions of some circuit overseers.
The rest of the article is then used to attempt to destroy any reservations parents may have in helping (pushing) their child to get baptized.
Statements such as the following are made:
|Heading: Is my child old enough?||No child is old enough until they are an adult as per previous baptism article reviews.|
|“Granted, an infant would not qualify for baptism.”||An infant is a child up to 1 or 2 years old depending on the culture. All this statement does is make the minimum age for baptism as say 2 years old.|
|“However, the Bible shows that even relatively young children can grasp and appreciate Bible truths.”||So this statement will likely be taken by witness parents as open season for baptism on children ages 2 to 12 (13 to 19 = teenager). Why do we say this? Because there are plenty of super-righteous parents who will want to try and get kudos by having their child as the youngest baptized in the congregation, the circuit, etc., as they blindly follow every word the Governing Body publishes instead of using common sense.
Even if some young children can grasp and appreciate certain Bible truths, that hardly means they are capable of putting faith in Jehovah and Jesus Christ so that they can get baptized.
|“Timothy was a disciple who made the truth his own at a young age.”||How does one define young age? In the context in which it is used it could mean anything between Age 2 and Age 12. This is total conjecture and totally unsupported or even suggested by scripture. (Also see next comment below.)|
|“By the time he was in his late teens or early 20’s, Timothy was a Christian disciple who could be considered for special privileges in the congregation. Acts 16:1-3.”||This is likely accurate. Roman men (at least the rich) tended to be considered ‘men’, or ‘adults’ (for different tasks) at age 17 for the Army, and early 20’s for other things. According to Acts 16:1-3 Timothy was a ‘man’ when Paul first got to know him, not a teenager or a child.|
|“Some have a good measure of mental and emotional maturity at a young age and express a desire to get baptized”||Here I would ask our readers, in your experience has any youngster ever expressed a desire to get baptized unprompted by parents or elders? (1 Corinthians 13:11) Do Acts 2:37-41, Acts 8:12-17, Acts 8:35-38, Acts 9:17-20, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 16:13-15, Acts 16:27-33, Acts 18:7-8, Acts 19:1-5 give any suggestion that any other than adults got baptized? Either someone is mature or immature. If immature in any amount then how can they take a mature decision? It is twisting the English language to say otherwise.|
|Heading: Does my Child have adequate Knowledge?||Last week’s Watchtower Study article talked about accurate knowledge, not adequate knowledge, being a pre-requisite for baptism. Which one is it?|
|“Does my child have sufficient knowledge to make a dedication to God and get baptized?”||The question should be ‘Does my child have sufficient knowledge and understanding to get baptized? For example, a police detective may have all the clues to solve a crime, but unless he understands how to link the clues and understands how it occurred and how to prove who committed the crime, he can do very little with the information.|
|Heading: Is my child being educated for success?||The real question should be: Is my child being educated properly for its future needs, both spiritually and secularly? Success both spiritually and secularly depends on many things, and many times is affected by events out of our control.|
|“Some parents have concluded that it would be best for their son or daughter to delay baptism in order first to obtain some advanced education and become secure in a career. Such reasoning may be well-intentioned, but will it help their child to achieve genuine success? More important, is it in harmony with the Scriptures? What course does Jehovah’s Word encourage?—Read Ecclesiastes 12:1”||Here again we have interference by others, in this case parents restraining their nearly adult children. The problem is that the focus is on the result rather than the underlying cause of the problem.
As the organization has laid heavy unscriptural burdens on those baptised in the organization so parents have sought to minimise or avoid them for their offspring. We highlighted some of the unnecessary burdens placed on one’s desiring to get baptized last week. The burden only increases after baptism. Yet Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30 that his yoke was kindly (didn’t chafe) and his load was light. Is it a heavy burden working on and displaying Christian qualities of the spirit? It may take some hard work but we get much joy with the result. Contrast that with the treadmill of life under the organization.
Finally what does serving God in your youth have to do with advanced education and a career? The writer King Solomon had a career and advanced education and served God in his youth. His problem came later in life.
|“For a parent to place high priority on secular pursuits could confuse a child and jeopardize his best interests.”||Again this sounds reasonable, but what it should say is ‘For a parent to place a higher priority on secular pursuits rather than developing spiritual qualities could confuse a child and jeopardise his best interests, remembering Jesus words at Matthew 5:3.|
|Heading: What if my child were to sin?||This is guaranteed as we are all imperfect. However, what they really mean is ‘What if my child were to commit serious sin?’|
|“Explaining her reasons for discouraging her daughter from getting baptized, one Christian mother stated, “I am ashamed to say that the major reason was the disfellowshipping arrangement.”||She shouldn’t be ashamed. The disfellowshipping arrangement as practiced by the organization is unscriptural, unchristian and against basic human rights as acknowledged by ‘worldly governments’. As for the current state of practice in particular with regarding for strict shunning this did not start until 1952. Up till then there were strongly worded articles against other religions who practiced shunning and the like.|
|“Accountability to Jehovah is not founded on the act of getting baptized. Rather, a child is accountable to God when the child knows what is right and what is wrong in Jehovah’s eyes. (Read James 4:17.)”||We are all accountable for our actions before God and Christ regardless of whether we are baptized or not. As in the first paragraph discussed above, James 4:17 is appealed to as backing for the inference that a child is accountable once it knows what is right and wrong in Jehovah’s eyes.|
|Use of James 4:17||The Watchtower article writer either has a misunderstanding of the meaning of “knows” used here (or is deliberately misusing “knows”). The Greek word for “knows” means “to know how, to be skilled in” (Thayers Lexicon II, 2c) This word therefore carries the thought of having had much practice and being an expert. Children can rarely be called skilled at anything. Calling children skilled at knowing and doing what is right is amusing.|
|Heading: Others can help||To help we need to be setting the right example ourselves in teaching and practicing truth.|
|“Paragraph 14 cites an experience of Bro Russell taking 15 minutes to talk to a youngster about spiritual goals.”||Why use an example of Bro Russell? According to current teachings by the organization, Bro Russell did not know how to do what is right. He taught all would go to heaven, he celebrated Christmas and Easter, used the Cross, Pyramids, Ancient Egyptian symbol of the winged sun disk on the publications, taught 1874 as the beginning of Jesus invisible presence, and so forth. Or could it be because the present Governing Body have never done this?|
|Heading: Help your child to Baptism||To baptize in the name of whom? Jehovah and the organization or as Matthew 28:19 says “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the holy spirit”?|
|“After all, it is each individual’s dedication, baptism, and faithful service to God that will bring him in line for being marked for salvation during the coming great tribulation.—Matt. 24:13”||As discussed before, dedication is not a scriptural requirement. Baptism in itself means nothing unless accompanied by faith in God, Jesus and his ransom sacrifice. Faithful service can be done without one’s heart being in it. Also the faithful service being referred to is the organizations definition which is at variance with the scriptural definition. The scripture cited Matthew 24:13 referred to the tribulation experienced in the 1st Century with the destruction of Judea and Jerusalem. There is no scriptural basis for an anti-typical fulfilment.|
|“From the day of their child’s birth, parents should have the intent to make a disciple, assisting their child to become a dedicated, baptized servant of Jehovah”||Disciples of whom? In John 13:35 amongst other scriptures Jesus says “By this all will know that you are my disciples …”. (Acts 9:1, Acts 11:26) As well as being disciples of Christ we are also slaves (servants) of Christ, yet as usual he is barely mentioned. (see heading)|
|“May you parents experience the joy and satisfaction that result from seeing your children become dedicated, baptized servant of Jehovah”||For the final paragraph they return to the experience of a young girl called Blossom getting baptised. This experience does not have the maths adding up correctly. If Blossom got baptised in 1935, then today if age 5 at baptism she would currently be 88 years old. This year (2018) is 83 years later than the baptism date, yet paragraph 17 says “more than 60 years later”, when it should be “more than 80 years later”. The only other explanation is that they are quoting from an experience given at least 20 years ago or more. If this is so then they should indicated that. Do they not have a more recent experience, or do they just not take the care to check things, despite their claims to do so thoroughly in a recent monthly broadcast?|
Note, however, what this quote from w14 12/15 12-13 par. 6-8 says:
”What can we learn from this illustration? First of all, we have to admit that we have no control over the spiritual growth of a Bible student. Modesty on our part will help us to avoid the temptation to pressure or force a student to get baptized. We do all we can to assist and support the person, but we humbly admit that ultimately the decision to make a dedication belongs to that person. Dedication is something that must spring from a willing heart motivated by love for God. Anything less would not be acceptable to Jehovah.—Psalms 51:12; Psalms 54:6; Psalms 110:3.”
How do these sentiments fit in with the overt and subtle pressure contained in this week’s article? We will let you the reader decide.
In summary, a very confusing article in its presentation. Open to misunderstanding by the super-righteous, it is a real mix of truth and misleading statements.
Hi Johnsc11 “He taught all would go to heaven” I was trying to be brief in the table. Yes, when referring to ‘all’ I did mean Russell was meaning all true Christians, and in context meaning in particular the Bible students of that time. It could have been more carefully worded. “Pyramids” Zechariah’s tomb is not justification for Bro Russell to use the Great Pyramid. The tomb itself is understood to be a 1st century monument not the original tomb of Zechariah. Even if it was his tomb that does not give justification for use of a Pyramid, a burial… Read more »
Just some incorrect information that will probably not make the blog. “He taught all would go to heaven” – No he taught all true consecrated Christians not all, would go to heaven. “Pyramids” – He used the GREAT PYRAMID not pyramids in general. Please study the Great Pyramid before you write it off. Look up Zeceriah’s Tomb.It has a pyramid on it. “Ancient Egyptian symbol of the winged sun disk on the publications” This was also used used on the emblems of this becasue of it was written in Malachi 4:2 “But unto you that fear my name shall the… Read more »
Para 4 discusses the scripture at Matt 28:19,20, speaking of making disciples, and applies it as a basis to how we can understand the standards and other prerequisites before baptism. The study however does not continue by looking at the life example of Jesus, the one who uttered those words and the one we are supposed to follow in words and deeds, who on this matter got baptized at around 30 years of age. This point is never ever discussed in any of the baptism discussions. I thought paragraph 6 was a loaded paragraph too. Reading this there would not… Read more »
I agree with all of this. The organization uses binary options as a mechanism to guilt the flock into feeling obligated to make the Jehovah-choice (or the org-choice – which is really what it boils down to) instead of the personal choice. It’s presented as Disneyland or Warwick Tour? Only one makes God happy. They never once allow that these Christians they’re laying a guilt trip on remain Christians wherever they go, whatever they do. Imagine doing this to your spouse? Asking them to always make a choice between serving the marriage or serving their own selfish desires? Never once… Read more »
Here’s a good one I heard about baptizing. A preacher was down at the river baptizing some members of his congregation and lo and behold a homeless man comes walking by and the preacher felt sorry for him and wanted to save a sinner so he invited the man to come in the water and get baptized. So the man accepted and went in the water. Now the preacher knew that it was gonna take a lot of holy spirit to save this man so he dunked him in the water for about 30 seconds and brought him back up… Read more »
Funny. I needed that today. Thanks.
You’re very welcome Robert, it always warms my heart when I can make someone smile. Thank you for the thumbs up neighbor.
That is an interesting choice of words, to suggest that adjacent replies in a BP blog would make people “neighbors”. I personally wouldn’t have had that reaction or made that connection. It’s a nice thought.
Good material Psalmbee. Me and Mrs. Warp are cracking up …..
Just to answer the questions raised about Blossom Brandt: She was baptized in 1934 at the age of eleven. Her life story was in the 10/1/93 WT. This is where the sixty year figure came from as the article came out approx. sixty years after her baptism. She died in 2012 at the age of 89. (link to her obituary: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/blossom-brandt-obituary?pid=159987805&view=guestbook)
Thank you for that research. That confirms my comments. Why use an experience reported 25 years ago? Also a failure of research by the writer to Either amend the years or state the experience was written 25 years ago, with a reference to the article.
What do you think they really mean when they say “faithful service to God”?
A) Help us build our religion.
B) Loyalty to the GB.
C) Be a pioneer.
D) Don’t ask no questions.
E) All of the above.
No, you can only ask the host (UK viewers will get this)
And your 50/50 choice is
(E) All of the above
(B) loyalty to the GB
Choice between a rock and a hard place comes to mind!!!
If you add a “t” to the end of your friend’s name then yes you can.
He’s standing by 24/7 365 and a 1/4
To funny but true. Good one!
I just had a depressing thought; forgive me for sharing it … I was thinking of how the subject of child abuse and sexual assault in general is coming to the forefront. Not just within WT but the whole world is focusing on how women and children are abused by men in positions of power, authority and oversight. Some suppress their memories of the wrongs done to them, until they can’t bear to be silent any more. Now, think about all the people that were coerced into being baptized as a JW, then coping with abusive and unkind JW leadership,… Read more »
Tadua, just wanted to thank you for your great work. I don’t comment often, but I read all your articles and they are very much appreciated.
Many thanks for your kind comments and all those from others over recent weeks and months. It’s truly appreciated and it makes it all the more worthwhile continuing, knowing we are being able to help and encourage others which is our aim.
I feel you Brain. Any organization you join as policies and procedures that you have to follow or disciplinary action is taken. I worked in Human Resources for years and that how it is. This organization is no different follow their rules or be punished. So it is best to not join. I do like the comment from Samisaac, that if they spelled out what would happen it would be much more transparent and then many probably would not get baptized. Not exactly his words 🙂
Thanks, I feel honored that you brought up what I said, I’m not used to it
Yeah I also thought there was a big disclaimer ”this is the truth but it is always a chance we could be wrong, we need to be humble” nowadays it’s almost as if we’re supposed remove that disclaimer entirely
I agree that every organisation uses some discipline. If you upset your boss, you might get the sack. but if your brother works in the same company, he does not tell him not to talk to you again, or sack him if he does talk to you.
By the way Tadua, superb analysis.
Thanks Tadua, your a chef of high quality, cutting through these articles as you do. Heb 4:12. I wholeheartedly agree. What is most interesting in regard to newly interested ones is they are encouraged and even trained to do public door-to-door / informal / cart witnessing and have a share in the ministry with a minimal (q and a) by the elders. Usually it’s the nod by their study conducter that gets the ball rolling. This individual is called upon to publicly identify himself as a practicing Jehovah’s Witness while not yet qualifying to be baptised by the organization he… Read more »
I remember quite well a 12-year-old boy who got baptized. He was being raised by his grandmother who was a very devote Witness. Through the years, this young man rose through the ranks and became a ministerial servant at the young age of 23. Then something happened! We found out that this young man had attempted suicide. Why? He’d been struggling with a dark secret for most of his teen years; he was gay. He recovered from his suicide attempt, all privileges in the congregation had been revoked, his grandmother was heartbroken. After about a month, this young man’s name… Read more »
Good story LaRonda, an illustration often used in the publications is that of forcing a flower bud to open when it is not ready.The results are not the same as waiting patiently for nature to take its course. More often than not, this is used with regard to activities that a young person may choose to engage in prematurely or unwisely.Forcing the bud to open prematurely will cause the bud to wither and die. Placing the responsibilities described above on an under developed individual are not only age inappropriate but hinders their personal development in other important areas. In today’s… Read more »
I haven’t welcomed you either.
I enjoyed your experience so much and your comments. I feel the elders are so ill-equipped to handle the problems of this system. I think they should send them to some classes on human behavior if they are going to sit in judgement of others.
I haven’t welcomed you to the site. I been reading but not commenting lately. I always enjoy your comments as I do all the others.
My daughters will not get baptized until they are adults and have made that decision for themselves. But here is something that has always fascinated me. According to the GB all of those baptized in the first century had the heavenly hope. My first question to anyone is do you really believe Jesus would have encouraged children to be baptized so as to rule as kings and Priest? I think we all know the answer to that question. So if children were not baptized then, why would Jesus expect children to be baptized today?
If anyone wants to get baptized that’s fine, it’s just a public display of your dedication to God. However one should not get baptized just to show his/her dedication to an Organization, especially not the Watchtower. (It’s nothing more than a symbolic gesture). No contract needed!!
So if any child – let’s even argue 16, 17 years old – went to their Witness parents and told them they were getting baptized in the Mormon church I wonder what their answer would be? Because I’m thinking “you’re old enough to make your own decisions concerning baptism” isn’t one of them.
Well at least the direction is consistent with a few of the other ill informed conclusions where age is considered in the equation. Ministerial servants in their teens, Elders in their early twenties, no problem. And if indeed baptism is a symbol of dedicating ones life to Jehovah, then I would like to suggest, to begin with, one should have a life sufficiently under their own control to dedicate. Being able to make intelligent, informed and autonomous self determinations. I do not think this is possible until someone is standing on their own two feet in every way. For most,… Read more »
As a father of 2, one 14 and the other 12 I can tell you that they will not be baptized until they have made that decision for themselves. No amount of pressure by an organization to misapply scripture will make it any different. Why? Because of my own research, my own experience and also because of the ones here that write, that comment, that have woken up from the false teaching that we are force fed and have decided to speak up. You all here are appreciated and I so look forward to reading here, to sharing here and… Read more »
Legally, the ‘contract’ with the Watchtower Society is not binding on minors under 18.
Watchtower has established its own legal system, however, its own Sharia law.
There is no contract with the Watchtower Society. But there are consequences despite lack of a contract. The only contract is with Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, nothing more. The only enforcement that elders can carry out is on Jesus behalf, and that means this must involve things clearly written in the Bible.
Unfortunately, there is in fact a “contract”. The existence of this “contract” is made apparent if you tried to take legal action or sue WT. If you did, they would claim that since you agreed at the time of baptism that you became a JW in association with an organization, that obligated you to obey its rules. That creates for WT a legal firewall, preventing you from holding them legally accountable. The WT baptism is their means of having you “sign away your legal rights”.
Contract. A voluntary, deliberate and legally binding agreement between two or more competent parties. There must be a limit as to what one is contracted to, or the terms must be clearly explained at the time of entering into the contract. The Organisation book states that affirmative answers to the two questions constitute a public declaration by the baptism candidate that they have put faith in the ransom and have unreservedly dedicated themselves to Jehovah. Much as question 2 refers to the organisation, I do not believe there is an enforceable contract. Mind you, Robert, I have no idea what… Read more »
The “force” aspect comes from the DF threat. Related to that, some JWs have tried to sue WT because they thought they had been DF’d unfairly or had been mistreated or humiliated by the experience. They have no legal recourse because of the baptism questions. WT will say that because someone colunteered to be baptized as a JW they agreed to all procrdures and policies of WT whether they like it or not. This is very much like the covenant between Israel and God, and make no mistake, WT sees itself in the role God. Israel had a contract with… Read more »
I am aware of Randy Wall’s case and misleading statements made by WT legal rep David Gnam. Hope he has a clear conscience over that as I am sure he now knows the truth. Reminds me of the special resolutions at conventions, which they will probably also say we all signed up for. Still do not think it is a contract, but that is probably me just being pedantic.
Maybe it’s a straightjacket.
Back to the sunshine.
I know from personal experience that you have absolutely no legal rights concerning membership in the organization. The law views it like a private club – a private club can dismiss anyone it so chooses to. You don’t have to belong to it.
While the Organization can legally dismiss any member, the shunning policy goes beyond its legal right. At least, that is the challenge mounted by the Randy Wall case. In a country like Canada, human rights abuses are treated very seriously. The government in a controversial case, just compensated an individual who is considered by many to be a terrorist supporter, because it violated his human rights. So I have to wonder what the supreme court will do in the Organization’s appeal of the Wall case. Revoking membership is one thing, but forcing all of one’s family and friends to utterly… Read more »
Unfortunately the blame falls on the family members and friends for shunning you. It’s a cop-out for the Org, but ultimately the parishioners are the people limiting their association with the disfellowshipped person – and ultimately they will be held accountable for this behavior. As they should be. And most of these without encouragement from brass. And I’m sure they feel that this is their human right to practice their religion in this way. I don’t agree with any of it.
It is one thing to practice their religion on this way (shunning) by they free choice and another with treat to be disfellowship only becouse have contact and relationship with disfellowship person.
Remember, regular contact with disfellowship person is “crime” in WT organization and that is clearly heavy burden for rank & file JW.
For me this stance of WT is violation of human rights.
There is the case of Ray Franz. He was DF’d for the supposed reason that he had dinner with a DA’d man. But, Ray’s wife, a JW, also had dinner with that man and she was NOT DF’d. WT used this as an excuse to railroad him out, because they viewed him as a threat. His wife was not a threat, so they didn’t care. This showed WT’s dishonesty, hypocrasy and bad motives.
And yet tomorrow if every practicing Jehovah’s Witness stopped shunning family members and friends, (as the website claims is the standard) and started inviting them to join them at meals, the institution of shunning would vanish by the weekend. The Organization places a heavy burden on the flock by instituting this program of excommunication, mostly by oral law, but we are the actual enforcers of this policy. All eight million of us. And we will ultimately be held accountable to God for doing so. Shunning is important to this religion, not because it protects the flock from the infection of… Read more »
Anton, I believe that 100%. Now if I see someone who is DF’d, I will speak. Recently I saw a sister that is DF’d at the place we go to get our hair done. She was shocked when I spoke to her and gave her a big hug. I was just told that a sister went to the elders because a sister was venting to me. The sister that went to the elders was not even in or no where near the conversation that took place. The elders did try and call me but I was going to respond to… Read more »
My friend was disfellowshipped a few years ago. We had a hanging hall, and he was just the first of many more as the new judge in the congregation liked the rope more than the reprimand. Anyway, I made sure to include him in many activities. We went out a lot together that year, and I really believe it kept him sane during that time. He too was a sexual abuse survivor. The organization has no program or even basic understanding of the lifelong effects of sexual abuse, and when these poor people act out, they’re kicked out so that… Read more »
That’s not entirely true Robert, it doesn’t mean they can automatically
dismiss you from filing a court case against them, it would still be up to the courts to make final judgement in a matter.
This is an issue which made my blood boil even while I was still a believing JW. All three of my children got baptized in their teens against my expressed wishes. We were taught that baptism is merely a symbol of one’s dedication to God. While a perfect man already dedicated to God, Jesus set the pattern for Christian baptism by getting baptized at age 30. JWs claim to be patterned after first century Christians. The following quote caught my attention when it was published in the Watchtower: “Regarding first-century Christians, historian Augustus Neander states in his book General History… Read more »
A child may possibly be old enough to dedicate his life to Jehovah and Jesus, but not when he takes into account that “terms and conditions apply”. What he will not realise is that the “terms and conditions” are not in the Bible, they may be anywhere in the Watchtower or other publication, and may well spring up in the future too, when they will still apply.
And even Jw articles state that ”we’re not baptized in the name of any human organisation but dedicated to God, christ and the truth of the Bible.” Don’t remember exact quote and can’t find it. Maybe they removed it? I always said to myself ”at least my baptism doesn’t mean I have to obey everything from the org. But maybe it does? Noone said so at that time. And I was 19 and still got fooled. Younger teens and children probably will too.
And I was 28 and also got fooled.
Samisaac, I think in recent decades the Org has been consistent in its claims that the JW baptism is into the Org. You might be referring to this: “Remember that you are not dedicated to a human, an organization, or a work. You have dedicated your life to Jehovah.” From: What Can the Bible Teach Us, Chapter 18, Par.24 https://www.jw.org/en/publications/books/bible-study/what-is-baptism/ I don’t know any more quotes that go as close to defining what the JW pre-baptism dedication is and what it is not. However, this is about the dedication, not baptism, and the Org has consistently said that candidates must… Read more »
Thanks tyhik that’s the quote. On the contrary, some have said to me ”you have promised Jehovah to be loyal to the org” but I never remember doing that. Well the house always wins I guess
It seems to me that the Org is very careful in maintaining that the (un-biblical) dedication vow is to Jehovah, and not to the Org. The dedication vow concerns the yet unbaptised. Dedicating to Jehovah looks much more attractive and justified to many only half-way indoctrinated, who just want to serve God in the first place. Though while talking about the dedication vow, the WT literature keeps Jehovah and the Org separate, in many other areas the distinction is blurred. Jehovah’s orders, Jehovah’s arrangements, new light from Jehovah etc. By the time the baptised JW is fully indoctrinated, he sees… Read more »
The dangerous part is, I think, that it’s perfectly possible for people to get baptized and like me 12 yrs later realize what it actually means. They should state outright ”if you later should sin and be disfellowshipped, or dissasociate yourself, even over teachings that you’re consience cant’t approve of, you will lose your whole family and friends through shunning. Are you comfortable with knowing this? You’re also required to obey the elders and the Governing body and not doubt that their teachings are Biblical, even without proof.” At least everything would feel mote honest then
Chance of that happening. One big fat zero.