Baptism questions

by praiseband 6 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • praiseband

    Sorry, I know the questions asked at baptism have been posted here previously, but the search engine isn't working at this time. Could someone help me out please? Also, my DIL is planning to be baptized in JW organization in a few weeks and is currently studying these questions. Any advice as to how I (a "traditional" Christian) can discuss this with her. Please keep in mind I am the MIL and whatever she ultimately decides, I want a good, and full of respect for each other, relationship with her. Thanks. Praiseband

  • blondie

    The baptism questions she discusses with the elders before the convention/assembly are listed here.

    Starts with page 180 to 219.

    Welcome, Blondie

  • praiseband

    Thank you Blondie for your reply. I have learned a lot from reading your posts. Praiseband

  • Honesty

    Hello praiseband!!!

    AuldSoul has come up with some interesting results regarding the Watchtower's Baptism requirements as outlined in their book, "What Does the Bible Really Teach". You may ask her to consider what he has written because if she thinks about it and really believes God's Word she will run from the Watchtower like a lot of us did after years of being deceived.


    In Chapter 18 of the book "What Does the Bible Really Teach", we find several steps leading to JW baptism. These are not recommendations, but are requirements."4 Water baptism is a requirement for all who want to have a relationship with Jehovah God. Baptism publicly indicates your desire to serve God. It shows that you are delighted to do Jehovah’s will.(Psalm 40:7, 8) To qualify for baptism, however, you must take definite steps."

    Scriptural baptism does not indicate a desire to serve God, that is not the purpose of baptism, nor its effect, as far as the Scriptures are concerned. Psalm 40:7, 8 applies to Jesus and doesn't mention baptism at all. The paragraph concludes with:"To qualify for baptism, however, you must take definite steps."

    What are these steps?(1) An extensive period of study lasting months. There is no Scriptural support for calling this a prerequisite for baptism.(Acts 16:25-34)(2) Ceasing habits that would reflect negatively on Jehovah's Witnesses or Jehovah himself. This is not a Scripturally supported requirement prior to baptism.(1 Corinthians 6:9-11)(3) Regularly attending congregation meetings. There is no Scriptural support for requiring this prior to baptism.(Acts 2:37-42; 8:26-40; 10:34-48; 16:11-15, 25-34) Hebrews 10:19-25 applies only to those who are sharers in Christ's blood and who have way of entry into the holy place. This could not apply to unbaptized persons.(4) Become an "unbaptized publisher" which means demonstrating basic Bible knowledge to congregation elders, confirming freedom from disqualifying habits (see point #2), and then becoming a regular detailed reporter of activity in the ministry. There is no Scriptural indication that preaching prior to baptism is required, or even acceptable.(Acts 2:37-42; 8:26-40; 10:34-48; 16:11-15, 25-34)(5) Repentance and conversion, the only requirement so far which has direct and/or indirect Scriptural basis.(6) Specific personal prayer of dedication to God. Nothing in the Bible supports this as a requirement prior to baptism. There is no instance recorded of baptism where this was a requirement. While any Christian must disown him or herself, there is no Scriptural need to formally do so in prayer. Since the Bible does not require this, God does not require this. If God does not require this and the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses does require this, for whom is this dedication actually made? They do not bother to attempt to support this requirement of specific dedication with a Scriptural EXAMPLE, because no Scriptural example exists.(7) Baptism in symbol of dedication to God. Nothing in the Scriptures remotely indicates that baptism is a symbol of dedication to God. No baptism is ever recorded as having been performed in the name of Jehovah, while many are recorded as having been performed in the name of Jesus. Persons who are baptized are not baptized into a relationship with Jehovah, but are baptized into Christ.

    Then, under the heading "What the Bible Teaches" the following questions are asked of the student, at the end of Chapter 18:— Christian baptism involves complete immersion in water, not just sprinkling.—Matthew 3:16.— Steps leading to baptism begin with taking in knowledge and showing faith followed by repentance, conversion, and the dedicating of oneself to God.—John 17:3; Acts 3:19; 18:8.— To make a dedication to Jehovah, you must disown yourself, even as people disowned themselves to follow Jesus.—Mark 8:34.— Baptism symbolizes dying to one’s former way of life and becoming alive to do God’s will.—1 Peter 4:2.

    Are these really examples of "What the Bible Teaches," or of what the Governing Body teaches?

    If the Governing Body calls their own personally developed doctrines and traditions "What the Bible Teaches" even on foundational doctrines, can they be trusted to honestly represent the Bible in other areas?

    I really would like a JW's Scriptural defense for the book's incorrect statements about what the Bible teaches at the end of Chapter 18:— Steps leading to baptism begin with taking in knowledge and showing faith followed by repentance, conversion, and the dedicating of oneself to God.—John 17:3; Acts 3:19; 18:8

    — To make a dedication to Jehovah, you must disown yourself, even as people disowned themselves to follow Jesus.—Mark 8:34

    I cannot find a Scripture that says someone MUST take in knowledge of basic Bible doctrines prior to baptism, but I CAN find examples where this DID NOT happen.

    I cannot find Scriptures to support the statement that someone MUST make a vow of dedication to God prior to baptism, but I can find examples where this wasn't required.

    The same goes for meeting attendance prior to baptism, preaching prior to baptism, and answering a host of questions regarding dogma prior to baptism.

    If the Bible DOESN'T teach these pre-baptismal requirements, why are they cited as requirements in a book entitled "What Does the Bible Really Teach?"

  • AuldSoul


    The formatting on that wasn't at all what was intended. But thank you for posting that. Isn't it nice to be Setfree?


    You can keep it very simple. I recommend asking your daughter to demonstrate the Scriptural reason behind her belief that unbaptized people should preach, in fact, MUST preach in order to qualify for baptism. Just use that one thing.

    But if you prefer to dig into why they are doing a question and answer session, you may want to keep your questions centered around the idea that if repentance and conversion is all the Bible requires for Christian baptism, why would a religion that claims to be Christian require more than that? I don't recommend confrontation. I recommend concern. You might explain that the reason you are worried is that you know after she gets baptized it will be much more difficult for her to freely research whatever she wants to research, and you just want to know she has thought it through completely and can Scripturally explain why these are requirements.

    And please, let us know how it goes.


  • praiseband

    Thank you AuldSoul and Honesty. I do want her to know that I am concerned about her and don't want us to be in conflict. We will disagree, but I want us to come out of this loving and caring about each other. Praiseband

  • jgnat

    Here are some notes I put together on the JW baptism, from the perspective of the uninitiated. I fear your SIL is well on her way to baptism, and there is likely little you can do to stop it. Do go to the baptism if you can, even if only to signal to your SIL that you will continue to be interested and involved in her life, even if her decisions cause you heartache.

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