Are teenagers old enought to get baptised?

by sleepy 32 Replies latest jw friends

  • BluesBrother

    I was baptised at age thirteen. No family pressure, I really wanted to do it and felt that I should dedicate my life to "The Truth".

    Of course I did not really know what I was doing. How can you make decisions for a lifetime when you are not yet grown up ?

    If the WT were really following Bible precedent then they would stick to ADULT baptism.

    Reborn is right, the article positively urges children to be baptised. At least it looks good in the figures.

  • Simon

    Interestingly, a woman in Scotland just won a court anulment of an arranged marriage because she was pressured into it when she was 16.

    This is not a great deal different from being pressured into baptism is it?

  • MarchOn

    I was baptised at age 15. The pressure had been on for a long time before I "finaly" took the plunge. And it is so funny how they put down others for baptising babies, if you ask me 15 is a baby too. I could not even get my drivers license, get married, buy alcohol, vote (if we would of been allowed), get a "real" job but I COULD dedicate my life to the WTS and God and forever be held to it. To be straight forward, I had not even started my menstrual cycle when I got baptised. Talk about a baby!!!

  • Englishman

    I was 12, baptised at the 1958 Yankee stadium assembly. It seemed an appropriate thing to do at the time.


  • amccullough

    Although I was baptized at 14, I've held the viewpoint that since baptism is supposed to be the most important decision in your life, even more important than marriage, than you should be at a mature age. I don't understand these parents that will let their 16 year old get baptized but they won't let them get married (not that I think they should get married, but you know what I mean.) I think the fact that Jesus was 33 when he was baptized emphasized the importance of being mature.

  • Dawn

    Baptised at 13.

    The JW's have completely missed the boat on this one - it's a clear example of being saved by works instead of grace.

    Baptism is an expression of your faith in Jesus and acceptance of him as your savior - it is a personal thing that is completely between you and your God - it isn't the act that saves you and it certainly should not be tied to any "contract" of conduct/commitment like it is with the JW.

    They tie so much to the act of baptism and completely miss the fact that it's the heart condition that matters - it's your faith and his grace - and not whether you have been baptised, how many hours you spend in service, etc.

    If they focused on the real issue of faith and love, then people would do the right thing because they were compelled to by their heart, they would have a relationship with God - which is freedom. Instead of making yourself do it because you'll get in trouble if you don't - which is bondage.

    I have been attending a new church for about 2 years now. I love it -but decided not to become a "member" because I don't think I'll ever join in membership with a religious organization again. Too gun-shy!! However, I did ask them to baptise me last year because I wanted to - I felt compelled to do it from my heart, that's all. That's all it should ever be about.

  • peaceloveharmony


    in most countries a person under 18 cannot be held legally responsible for entering into a "legal" agreement. Thus, until the person is 18 that baptism is technically unenforceable if someone wanted to push the issue in the courts. However, if the person continues as a JW much past his or her 18th birthday, then he or she becomes a de facto JW by reason of publicly declaring, by their conduct, that they have as an adult validated their baptismal vow.
    in my case i was baptized at 15 and disassociated at 17, so i lose out because i validated their silly rules by da'ing right, even though i did everything under-age? this is a sticking point with my family. i keep telling them that my baptism and da are invalid since i was a minor and had no right entering into a contract at that age. doesn't seem to get thru my parents nor siblings head though. grr. thanks for the info alan.
  • Scully

    Is there pressure for a person to get baptized by JWs??

    The April 1, 2002 Watchtower study article answers that quite nicely. Its title is "Why Be Baptized?" Headings include: Baptism - How?, A New Reason for Baptism, Accurate Knowledge Essential, Importance of Repentance and Conversion, Wholehearted Dedication Vital, Is Something Holding You Back?

    Is Something Holding You Back?
    19 Many coerced participants in mas baptisms may have been told that they would go to heaven at death. But with reference to his footstep followers, Jesus said: "No man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him." (John 6:44) Jehovah has drawn to Christ 144,000 who will be Jesus' joint heirs in the heavenly Kingdom. Forced baptism has never sanctified anyone for that glorious place in God's arrangement. - Romans 8:14-17; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Revelation 14:1.

    Q:In view of John 6:44, who will be Jesus' joint heirs?

    20 Since the mid-1930's in particular, multitudes hoping to survive "the great tribulation" and live on earth forever have joined the ranks of Jesus' "other sheep." (Revelatioin 7:9, 14; John 10:16) They qualify for baptism because they have conformed their lives to God's Word and love him with 'their whole heart, soul, strength, and mind.' (Luke 10:25-28) Though some people realize that Jehovah's Witnesses 'worship God with spirit and truth,' they have not yet followed Jesus' example and given public evidence of genuine love and exclusive devotion to Jehovah by getting baptized. (John 4:23, 24; Deuteronomy 4:24; Mark 1:9-11) Earnest and specific prayer regarding this vital step may well provide them with the incentive and courage to conform fully to God's Word, to make an unreserved dedication to Jehovah God, and to be baptized.

    Q: What might help certain ones who have not yet been baptized?

    21 Some hold back from dedication and baptism because they are so absorbed in affairs of he world or in the pursuit of wealth that they have little time for spiritual things. (Matthew 13:22; 1 John 2:15-17) How happy they would be if they changed their views and goals! Drawing close to Jehovah would enrich them spiritually, would help to allay anxiety, and would bring them the peace and satisfaction that results from doing the divine will. - Psalm 16:11; 40:8; Proverbs 10:22; Philippians 4:6, 7.

    22 Others say they love Jehovah but do not make a dedication and get baptized because they think that they will thus avoid accountability. But each of us must render an account to God. Too bad they forget this when they round up the possée... I mean judicial committees. Responsibility came upon us when we heard the word of Jehovah. (Ezekiel 33:7-9; Romans 14:12) As a 'chosen people,' the ancient Israelites were born into a nation dedicated to Jehovah, and they therefore had an obligation to serve him faithfully in accord with his precepts. (Deuteronomy 7:6, 11) Nobody is born into such a nation today, but if we have received accurate Scriptural instruction, we need to act on it in faith.

    Q: For what reasons do some hold back from dedication and baptism?

    23 Fear that they lack sufficient knowledge may hold some back from baptism. Yet, all of us have much to learn because 'mankind will never find out the work that the true God has made from the start to the finish.' (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Consider the Ethiopian eunuch. As a proselyte, he had some knowledge of the Scriptures, but he could not answer every question about God's purposes. After learning about Jehovah's provision for salvation through Jesus' ransom sacrifice, however, the eunuch promptly underwent water baptism. - Actus 8:26-38.

    24 Some hesitate to make a dedication to God because they are afraid of failure. Says 17-year-old Monique: "I have been holding back on baptism for fear of not being able to live up to my dedication." If we trust in Jehovah with all our heart, however, 'he will make our paths straight.' He will help us to "go on walking in the truth" as his faithful dedicated servants. - Proverbs 3:5,6; 3 John 4.

    Q: What fears should not hold individuals back from baptism?

    25 Because of implicit trust in Jehovah and heartfelt love for him, each year thousands are moved to make a dedication and get baptized. And surely all dedicated servants of God want to be faithful to him. Yet, we are living in critical times, and we face various tests of faith. (2 Timothy 3:1-5) What can we do to live up to our deication to Jehovah? This we will consider in our next article.

    Q: What question now merits consideration?

    Gosh. You mean that if I don't get baptized RIGHT AWAY, like the Ethiopian eunuch (the guy with no balls) Jehovah will be able to read my thoughts and emotions and know that I'm just a no-good, ungrateful, good-for-nothing person who doesn't appreciate his LOVING provisions and his WONDERFUL faithful and discreet slave? You mean that even if I don't KNOW everything there is to know about the WTS, I should go ahead and get baptized RIGHT NOW because if I wait until I find out the stuff the WTS doesn't want me to know, I might change my mind??

    Yep, you're absolutely right. No bloody pressure at all.

    Love, Scully
    edited for typos and code errors

  • Dawn
    Jehovah has drawn to Christ 144,000 who will be Jesus' joint heirs in the heavenly Kingdom.

    Hmmmm I have yet to find the biblical basis for this point - that only 144,000 will be joint heirs?!! I see that 144,000 sons of Isreal are in heaven....but so is the great crowd if you read on in Revelation. They're standing before the throne of God also - so it looks to me like everyone's in heaven.

    Plus - if they take the 144,000 literally, then they have to take the next 3 words "SONS OF ISREAL" literally (Jews) - and the following words "WHO ARE VIRGINS".........

    Taking all of this literally, it's no wonder Armageddon's taking so long - God has to find 144,000 virgins - NOW THAT'S A TASK

  • Matty

    That’s virgin on the ridiculous Dawn. Anyways, things have changed so much though here in the congregations in the UK - I've noticed this in a number of congregations - I wonder if it's a worldwide trend:

    Twenty years ago, someone who was 18 and brought up a witness and not baptized, well, it was a bit of a disgrace. People would murmur, wondering what was going on. If you had any privileges in the congregation you might find them whipped from under you. Back in the 80’s I felt under pressure at 17, thinking “everyone will think I’m worldly if I don’t get my skates on!”. These days however, kids seem to be getting baptized much later - 20/21 is not unusual now. My cousin is 16 next month, and it’s never even been mentioned, and he is very zealous, from a zealous family.

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