what do jws have to say when getting baptised ? do they dedicate to god and jesus or the watchtower ?
I've found that I don't believe that baptisms of any sort are valid or invalid.
I think they are just a big nothing.
I got baptized in '86 as a JW, then baptized in '07 in the AG Church in order to formally cancel out my JW baptism.
I Needed a clean break from the WT.
It was a psychological need.
Other than that, it was a nothing.
I know when I got baptise around 1992 we dedicated it to Jah and Jesus...I think anyway. They then changed it to being bapatised into gods' organisation. It was so slight and it wasn't brought to the rank and file attention so many don't even realise this.
Not a day goes by, now that I've left, that I'm so amazingly happy (even on the shittest day ever)
What they don't say says more than what they do:
- Do you reject Satan?
- And all his works?
- And all his empty promises?
- Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
- Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
- Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
So which Baptism do you prefer: turning away from evil and to God, or enlisting in a door to door sales force?
I was just thirteen years old when I qualified for baptism. It seems very young looking back, but at the time I was aware that to be fully accepted and to be sure of surviving Armageddon, it was a step I had to make. Failing this I would have had to rely on my parent’s baptism to count for me. Baptism only takes place at the twice-yearly assemblies or larger annual assemblies. The candidates for baptism sit at the front of the audience and listen to a short lecture, and are then asked to stand and collectively answer two questions, which are read out loud to them. Prayer is then offered and they then depart to the baptism pool. Sometimes this is in the same venue, in which case the whole audience of perhaps a thousand people will witness this event. Should it be an international assembly in a sports stadium then many tens of thousands will watch.
In my own case, the baptism, which was a happy occasion, took place in a specially constructed small baptism pool built into the floor of one of the Kingdom Halls, near where the assembly was taking place. The water was warm and the people present were kind and happy for me. The event brought great joy to the brothers and sisters who knew me. I was warmly congratulated and experienced a feeling of well-being and deep satisfaction, that I was pleasing those I loved and dedicating my life to God. It is interesting to note the change that has taken place in the vows taken just prior to baptism. The two questions that I was expected to give an affirmative to are shown here,
“Have you repented of your sins and turned around, recognising yourself before Jehovah God as a condemned sinner who needs salvation, and have you acknowledged to him that this salvation proceeds from him, the Father, through his son Jesus Christ?”
“On the basis of this faith in God and his provision for salvation, have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to do his will henceforth as he reveals it to you through Jesus Christ and through the Bible under the enlightening holy spirit?”
These questions, or vows, were changed in 1985 to alter the emphasis place on Jesus and in favour of the organization:
“On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?”
“Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?
The above changes are rather significant. The lines that I have highlighted change the basis of the dedication. The new vows bind the candidate to the Watchtower Society. Also there is no longer any mention of the revealing of God’s will through Jesus Christ or the Bible by means of Holy Spirit.
There is a legal significance to this. Should a member who has been excommunicated for apostasy try to sue the Society on the basis that their vows were to serve God through Jesus Christ and claim that they are still doing this, the Society could respond by saying that their vows specified that they remain a Witness, under the direction of the Society. This further illustrates the way that the Watchtower Society has slowly moved itself into the position that many other Christians have reserved for Jesus.
Having been baptised, I was now expected to earn my salvation, in order to be saved, paying by instalments. If I failed at any point, or disagreed with any new teachings the Society introduced, I thought I would lose all the credit I had built up and either lose my salvation or knuckle down and start again. The Society’s publication “ Babylon the Great has Fallen” 1963 explains:
“The person now righteous in God’s sight should keep on practising righteousness. The one who is holy as a slave of God should continue being made holy. Otherwise they will lose all the credit they have built up by their previous righteousness and holiness. But if they keep on in righteousness and holiness, they will at last have an accumulated credit with God and be richly rewarded for this. What a warning and an encouragement!” Page 672
This is in contrast to the Bible passages shown below:
“For it is by his grace you are saved, through trusting in him; it is not your own doing. It is God’s gift, not a reward for work done.” Ephesians 2:8
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and it is as a free gift that they are being declared righteous by his undeserved kindness through the release by the ransom (paid) by Jesus Christ.” Romans 3: 22-24 The New English Bible
The Bible indicates that there is a standard for Christians but states that being declared righteous is a free gift and not the result of accumulated credit. Nevertheless a trained Witness may persuade you otherwise and encourage you to join and earn your salvation. Working hard to please Jehovah God, as directed by the Watchtower Society, is the essence of being a good member.
Thanks for that explanation