How many of you were baptised at a young age?

by lepermessiah 70 Replies latest jw friends

  • lepermessiah

    One thing this site has made me reflect on the baptism practice in JW land.

    Many of us were raised in the religion, thus you were given the pressure early on to shoot for baptism as a goal.

    I remember feeling bad because I waited until the ripe old age of 14 to take the plunge.

    Looking back, I realize that when I was 14, I didnt even know what my favorite color was, let alone have enough knowledge to make a life altering decision. Yet, growing up in that climate, I would say anyone who waited past their early teens to get baptised was viewed with great suspicion and was likely to be viewed as "bad association". Kids who took the dip at 8-9 years of age were viewed as "wise beyond their years" and the like.

    How old were some of you when you were baptised, and what are your feelings on the matter?

    The problem with it to me is that you are basically signing a contract saying "If you get older and gain more knowledge, and you find that this faith isnt for you anymore - tough. Get ready to be ostracized, cut-off, and viewed with disdain!!"

    To me, there is no way at a young age that you realize the gravity of your decision.

  • journey-on

    I was 12! I don't feel bad about it, though, because I was baptized when you actually dedicated yourself to God and were immersed in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    I didn't have to make the vow to an organization of men like they do today when they make you say your baptism is in recognition you are one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

  • cantleave

    18 for me.

  • dssynergy

    I was baptized at 16 under duress.

  • minimus

    I was 9 before I was FINALLY accepted for baptism.

  • Paralipomenon

    I was 9 when my oldest brother took the baptism questions. I told my parents I wanted to take the test too and to humor me they got me to do the first set which I did with ease. To their credit, the elders in my hall talked to my parents and they agreed that I was smart enough to pass the test but not old enough to understand what I was doing and I wasn't allowed to take the rest of the questions.

    I took them at 14 and passed and took the plunge.

  • Iwonder17

    i have a HUGE issue with this.

    I was tricked ( baptised ) at 13-14. At that time, I thought that I knew what I was doing, but obviously I didn't. The real issue that I have with this is, you cannot do the following in the USA until you are mature:

    Drink - Usually 21 years old

    Join the millitary- 18 years old

    Sign a contract ( credit card for example - 18 years old.

    If the government even understands that children are not mature enough to commit to a binding contract, why doesn't this religion? I view being baptised the same was I do as joining the millitary. You should be willing to give your life for your country if you join th millitary, and in the JW's you are expected to give your live by not excepting blood.

    This makes me VERY ANGRY!!!!! Ok, I need tocalm down now

  • sd-7

    I was baptized at the age of 12. I did it, quite simply, because I knew of no other alternative. I'd been told there was no alternative. I wanted to please my mother, and I knew I would be 'in trouble' if I did not get baptized sooner rather than later. I probably didn't have to imagine that I would be thrown out at 18 if I didn't get baptized, though I didn't think that far ahead. I thought it was the right thing to do. I wanted to serve God fully, so I did it.

    Of course I didn't know what I was getting into! Who would, at that age? There's no opportunity to do a thorough evaluation, much less a critical one. If you even tried, there'd be plenty of fear served up on the table every day and night. (File under "the beatings will continue until morale improves.")

    I did actually read the Proclaimers book in my teenage years. Some of it did trouble me, struck me as odd--particularly the transition to Rutherford. It seemed more like this guy had run over everybody to take control, like a businessman rather than sorting things out as a Christian would.

    But going through the heart of puberty and trying to be perfect--it nearly drove me insane. The price of making such a commitment is full-on fear, guilt, and shame through one of the most turbulent periods of life--the teenage years. Not a good time to have so much weighing so heavily on one's soul. In hindsight, I suppose it really isn't all that different from child baptism. It's just as easy for a young one to do as he or she is told as it is for an infant to get its head dipped.

    Jesus' example of being baptized at 30 would be scoffed at by any of Jehovah's Witnesses today. I find that to be very revealing.


  • KSevek

    I was baptized when I was 13. Like you, I was raised a JW, I was under pressure. My Dad was Presiding Overseer (don't know if they still call them that) and my freinds who just became JW's were taking the plunge. I will not be out done... I'm doin' it!

    Geez what a mistake that was! Now I go to my family reunions and my Mom, Dad, Brothers and sisters don't say a word to me. They will sit and laugh and have a good time with one of my cousins who got away from it all though. If you take the plunge and leave that religion, you are treated totally different than those who didn't take the plunge and left. Oh well... it turns out to be their loss, not mine.

  • minimus

    and Jesus knew he wasn't going to be on this earth for a long time.

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