What would be the standing of a born-in who were always there (field work and all) but never baptized?

by dgp 21 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • dgp


    I suppose there may be only a few, very rare cases, of people who have a reason not to leave but also don't find a reason to baptize.

    I did meet someone who was in what we would call "a limbo". He was not a born-in, but a man in his late sixties who was being courted into the Watchtower (he was even offered a wife). This man found it difficult to go on field service, because of his poor health, so he was always going to the Kingdom Hall but was also always refusing to do field service. Witnesses in full standing would visit him, "eat" with him, et cetera, but he never became a "brother".

    This case I can understand to be that of someone who is being lured, and therefore his vacillations are tolerated because they don't want to scare him away. But I wondered what could happen to someone who had been born in and refused to baptize. In this sense, they wouldn't want to scare this person away either, because he or she is part of the JW world in a way this other gentleman - for example - just couldn't have been.

    From Blondie's post:

    Since the Spanish and Portuguese word ministro is usually understood to refer to a Protestant or Evangelical preacher, its use may prejudice Catholic persons against the Kingdom proclaimer who uses it.

    This is simply not true.

    Many thanks to all who took the time to post, Blondie in particular.

  • TheSilence

    So when I was forced to do field service as a child I became an unbaptised publisher and I was considered approved association for other jw youth. When I stopped doing field service and it became apparent that I was not working towards baptism I was no longer approved association for the other jw youth so parents wouldn't let their kids even associate with me after meetings. Of course this wasn't announced from the platform, that I am aware of, it was spread more word of mouth... but then I was intentionally sleeping throgh a lot of meetings at that point so perhaps I just missed it. ;)

  • moshe

    They might be left alone , as along as the followed the WT moral codes and avoided bad worldly associations that could indirectly tarnish their JW family. You know what is sad?--all the unbelieving husbands I saw over the years who were figuratively emasculated by the elders. They couldn't directly challenge the KH's control over their wife and had just bite their lip. I have seen good men who were prisoners for life to WT domination of their families. They could have expressed their negative opinions of the WT religion, but in so doing have found out the back side of the elder's hand they shake can also be used to destroy their marriage and family. All those Saturdays with the family they lost to the KH- a whole week every summer- given to the WT, and they had to go with the flow or risk retaliation. After I quit the Wt religion and became known as an apostate, I was even shunned by these unbelieving husbands, who were too afraid to even be seen talking to me in Walmart.

  • earthfire

    This is exactly where I fit in when I was a witness. The older you get, the more people seem to think you might be bad association even if you are doing anything wrong. You also aren't allowed to be in your own family members weddings.

  • TheSilence

    Yes, I wasn't allowed to be in my sister's wedding, either. It was very hurtful and I am so sorry you are feeling that pain, earthfire.

  • dgp


    I believe your post is the best reason you can give a worldly man NOT to get married into the Watchtower. An unbelieving mate may not be part of the Watchtower, but is a prisoner all the same; and maybe even worse, because the unbeliever is "a worldly".

    The Silence:

    I suppose the moment comes when they realize that you may never get baptized and then you become more a liability than a potential asset. You become living example that it is indeed possible to remain "associated" without fully belonging to the Watchtower. It's not the same situation as the worldly man I described, who can get away with not joining because he is being lured; but in the case of a born-in, he is "in" already, and only needs to comply with the formality.

    I suppose you can think of this as a continuum -and only in the case of born-ins. They wait for you a few years, so they can claim you made the decision yourself; but if you show you won't get baptized, well, off you go.

  • bats in the belfry
    bats in the belfry

    Baptism is just the ritual for joining the club. Afterward you are allowed to be participant in an extended list of privileges.

    No baptism, no privileges.

    Excerpt from the Menlo Park Congregation Trial:

    The WTBTS is surpassing Jesus in extending privileges to followers superabundantly, as can be seen by the WT-Library CD. Even their Bible is moderate in using the word "privileges".

    Really, how privileged we are to have learned the truth! - The Watchtower 2002, 8/1 p. 19 par. 19

    What about us? Jehovah has seen fit to teach us the truth, and he may have granted us special privileges of service through his organization, or he may have used us in some way to carry out his will. - The Watchtower 2004, 8/1 p. 9 par. 6

    Their doctrinal mouthpieces The Watchtower and Our Kingdom Ministry just thrives
    on the word combinations of privilege / privileges / privileged.

    The Watchtower: 5.848 counts
    Our Kingdom Ministry: 780 counts
    The NW Translation: 10 counts (incl. appendix)

    The WTBTS gives the people what they want: Privileges

  • earthfire

    Thanks Silence. I'm sorry for your loss too. My two blood related brothers got married and I was invited to the weddings and wasn't allowed to go to one of their receptions. Then my step sister was married and I wasn't invited at all. I could almost understand if I was really an immoral person or someone who caused a lot of disruption but as a mild mannered, kind person it basically just makes you angry and hurt.

    At my younger brothers wedding my mom, step dad and I went together and we were only allowed at the wedding and then for a personal photo shoot while everyone else waited really far away from us. My mom had been disfellowshipped over twenty years ago and she never went back so she's still bad of course. But anyway, the elder who married my brother and his wife was her father. I don't really know him but you could tell that he's a very strict person. After we took the pictures I saw him standing far away but I made a split decision to go and introduce myself. As I cut across the grass to where he was I could see him tense up, lol, my mom followed right behind me too! He shook our hands and then nearly ran away as quick as he could, he was so rude, but I did like seeing him squirm a bit. If they want to make you feel like the lowest being on the planet then I say stick it in their faces rather than give them the satisfaction of being morally superior.

  • konceptual99

    In principle their standing, assuming they maintained meeting association, field service etc. would be as an unbaptised publisher. The reality is that over time increasing levels of pressure would be placed on them to get baptised to the point where something would give.

    In my experience if a young person is not baptised by 18 then there is very little chance of them ever doing so. I know no one who from the age of 16-17 remained as an unbaptised publisher for 2 or 3 years before they either got dunked or drifted away.

    One interesting side point on this is that if a baptised young person dates an unbaptised publisher, even if they are in good standing, there is a strong chance that the local BoE will take a dim view of this - an elder or MS father may lose their privilages or the baptised witness could be marked. If they married an unbaptised publisher then the BoE is very likely to take the view they are marrying an unbeliever and if the father attends the wedding then it's an instant loss of privilages.

  • Leolaia

    I was never baptized and had the status of "approved associate" or "unbaptized publisher". As I got older I participated in the field ministry less and less. I had some pressure to get baptized but it was never too intense. Everyone knew I was really into the Bible, and commented enthusiastically at the meetings (giving comments that always added to what was presented), and so maybe it was assumed that I might eventually get baptized? The real pressure I had was against going to college, but even there it was something I just shrugged at. I had a lot of leeway I think because my dad was an unbelieving mate. If he insisted that I apply for college, well, they can't object too much to that. If he wanted me to spend Saturday mornings with him for "family time", well they didn't press too hard on that. There were other girls I knew in the cong who were elder's daughters, and they were so different from me -- always pioneering, baptized very young, devoid of individuality at least in what they would publically display. I always felt bad for them. I had many friends at school who were not JWs. But I didn't exactly "live a double life" either since I was pretty much a goody-two shoes. There were other people I knew who were baptized and were reproved and disfellowshipped right and left....I never experienced even reproof, I guess, since I toed the line and was never baptized. Then I went to college and after a while, when I stopped going to meetings, then they got concerned and once asked me if I was leaning towards apostasy. But that was the only time that happened. Then I just walked away and never went back.

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