Bad news, folks!
My teenage son approached my husband and me yesterday to inform us that he wants to get baptized at the summer convention. UGH!
He hasn't shown an interest in witness things for several months until a cousin from up north came to visit and took him out in service all day. Where did we go wrong?
Actually, he's back out in service with another cousin this morning and plans on going to every meeting. What is wrong with these young people today? Whatever happened to sex, drugs, and rock & roll...just kidding!
We had a long talk with him and told him that he was too young to get baptized, but if he wants to go to meetings and out in service, that is up to him.
"I must stand up in search of the truth, if I don't I only roll with the flow of the lie and make it stronger.
Uuuuhhhhhh, WHO pays the bills at your house?
That has to be a hard situation. I think you were right in saying you would let him go to meetings. You have to let him see for himself the corruption in the organization. You could guide him in this and tell him things you have learned, but ultimately he has to make that decision. How old is your son? I mean if he is a teen, he could just be wanting to fit in with his cousins. Encourage him to have friends at school, so he has other places to fit in. I wish you luck. I am sure you are in a tough situation.
Last summer a friend's daughter went through the questions and was determined to get baptized. Her dad showed her the two questions currently being asked of baptismal candidates and the two questions asked prior to the new OM questions. These days a person is baptized and dedicated to Jehovah and the WTBTS. When I was baptized (early 70s) the dedication was to Jehovah and Christ. She mentioned these differences to the brother going over the questions with her. Her dad was disfellowshipped over this matter. So she decided not to go through with baptism. I don't think their discussions were terribly emotional. Our friend was rather matter of fact in pointing the information out to her. Don't know if this helps at all.
Don’t feel to bad, the Watch Tower's message is a very powerful message, a false message to be sure, but an exceedingly desirable message nonetheless. The camaraderie of field service with a peer is also a powerful inducement. I think the way you handled it is both very mature and fair. Reason with your teen; if baptism is such an important step, why should one rush into it without much reflection? You can always point to the example of Jesus, he was 30 before he was baptized. Also the scripture indicates “men and women” were to be baptized, not boys and girls.
What an excellent suggestion!! Im sure going to keep that in mind in further discussions!
While going to meetings and service, your son is being indoctrinated, no question about it. If you're going to allow it (is he 13 or 19?), then how do you think it can be counteracted?
Viewpoint questions are always great thinking tools. E.g., why is there violence in nature? Why were the dinasaurs so violent if Adam's sin was the cause? What does the Awake in the late 80s/early 90s say about humans existing at the same time as dinasaurs? (It says they did not.) How does Gen. 1:30 fit in? (About all creation eating vegetation--NOT!)
There is an abundance more that can be gleaned from all the excellent info here and on the links, depending on your area of interest, and his.
You are still his protectors and, as MA correctly stated, 'who pays the bills?'
It seems a red alert is warranted here!
"It's easier to put on slippers than to carpet the world." (from "Stuart Saves His Family")
Why not challenge him? Tell him it's ok to get babtized if he makes 200 posts on this board first (and this particular assembly is probably too soon). After hanging around that long he should have plenty of doubts to work with. If you just deny it outright they will eventually get him. They will teach him to lie to you. This way it looks like you are giving the ok but ...........
hey freeman - how come your points never occured to me before ? - surely Jehovah couldn't have given a more direct example of the most appropriate age to be baptised ... does this mean my baptism at 23 was unscriptural then ?
As others have said, you need to be very careful here. A blanket, "you can't go to meetings" would in all probability do the opposite of what you want. However, your husband can excercise his prerogative as spiritual head of the household and prohibit your son from being baptized until he's 18. A good illustration would be marriage. Explain that getting married is extremely important, and question him whether he thought getting married too young would be a good idea. Then explain that baptism, in the JW scheme of things, is more important than marriage and therefore a decision to make that step should only be made by an adult.
Mrs. Rocky2's suggestion about going over the baptismal questions in detail is excellent. Most people, when faced with the actual language of the 2nd vow, which requires accepting everything that the Watchtower organization teaches now or will ever teach, is a usurpation of God's authority.
I totally agree with Alan and Mrs. Rocky.
Our second son got baptized at age 14, in 1980, after we continually tried to make him wait. We were completely JW's then too, but thought he was going on emotion. He is an emotional person, and we wanted him to wait. He waited two years, and since he had become a teenager, felt he should be able to do it. So we relented. When he was 16, he no longer wanted to be a witness.
I suggest you get him to wait until he is through puberty. Our son was a late bloomer, and by the time those hormones were raging, his brain had kicked in, and not the emotions so much, although he was still an emotional person. He was disfellowshipped at 17, for smoking. Got reinstated at 19, and was out again at 21 for sex. He got reinstated eventually, just to be with the family, but never went to another meeting after being reinstated. He is 35 now, married, a father, and FRRRREEEEEE!!!!
Also, some friends of ours, made their sons wait until they were 20. The father was an elder too. When they were 20, they did get baptized and are still dubs to this day, in their mid 30's, but they made them wait until they felt they were mature enough to make that decision.
Marilyn (a.k.a. Mulan)
"No one can take advantage of you, without your permission." Ann Landers