BTW, this is just hypothetical. I was baptized as a JW. In my heart I devoted myself to a GOD and a religion on that day in 1977. The dedication to GOD still holds.
Just wanted to say, I'm of the same opinion too. Many JWs are in this same difficult "situation" you describe, a true quandary of sorts. But, basically, I think most people, most JWs will agree that there was nothing wrong with the "questions" posed originally to baptismal candidates before the critical revision was made in 1985.
But after 1985,...now that's a horse of a different color all together...at least according to most JWs I've talked to. Most agree if they got baptized after 1985 and became a "victim" to the recent questions, that after leaving JWs, this "change" left a bad taste in their mouth, that's if they got baptized after this change. Many want to get "re-baptized" I've found. They feel the change in the questions and the way this was all handled, clandestinely so, shows them the real way the organization "controlled" them. The deceit. Some feel they were "tricked" by the organization, into dedicating their lives "to an organization" instead of to God, thru Jesus, and in the name of the Holy Spirit.
But, I think overall, even after a person leaves the organization, he can still maintain his dedication to God. Thus, being in or out of the organization, would then have nothing to do with his dedication to God, symbolized by water immersion. The sincere disciple knows he did not dedicate his life, to an organization, as exemplified by the original baptismal questions asked. So most JWs feel the questions were okay, the questions the Watchtower decided to ask before the change in 1985 and can live with the "dedication" they made and the words they "agreed to."
But not so with those who leave the organization, and were baptized AFTER 1985...their situation is seems to be, even more "complex," actually.
This is what I have observed.
In my case, at least, that IS a quandry: Whether or not I was correctly baptized according to the "formula" in Matt. 28:19 because I was baptized post-1985.
I have at my church (extraordinarily enough!) an elder who is active in the Free Bible Students, and have just recently e-mailed him for his opinion on the matter. My other ex- or inactive JW friends seem to feel that we all made a personal DEDICATION TO GOD before we ever made the outward show of water baptism, and that should be enough. However, I'm not sure how much JESUS was involved in my own dedication. And, reading the scriptures, find that the baptisms mentioned in the Bible talk about the new disciples having been baptized in JESUS's name -- neither Jehovah nor holy spirit are mentioned. Someone posited that it was because most of the first century converts were already dedicated to Jehovah God as Jews so what was new for them was the acceptance of Jesus as their Ransomer.
I think that I will personally undergo a re-baptism at some point, not because I feel that it is necessarily a requirement, but because I have come to recognize Jesus in a different way than when I was a Witness.
While I do not worship him as Almighty God, I have understood that it IS okay to worship him -- God himself exalted him and recognizing that he is the Christ brings glory to the Father (Philippians 2:9-11). So I no longer get uptight when others give Jesus what would be to most Witnesses and some ex-JW's unseemly prominence. GOD gave him prominence -- who am I to quibble?
Still exploring these and other matters, I'm grateful for this opportunity for discussion.
A member of the body,
Hi Gopher. I realize this is a very old post, but I'm reading old posts so that I can become better acquainted with the folks here. They're worth the effort. I'm an abrasive person, but I'm not always trying to be abrasive. I am not trying to be abrasive when I say that Dubs that dump Annihilation Jehovah and embrace Hellfire Jehovah are simply making a choice between Dumb and Dumber. Or evil and evil-er. The underlying presuppositions remain the same. Unquestioned, uncontested.
There is a personal God.
This personal God gives a horses patoot about humans despite all rational evidence to the contrary.
God performs miracles. Or, at least used to perform miracles. Floating axe-heads, water into wine, raising the dead, etc and so forth.
We tiny humans, less than a speck of dust, somehow thwarted the plans of an Omnipotent and Omniscient God, and the action of a single human in picking a piece of fruit--that was a "no no"--cursed the entire unfathomable universe to entropy, disease, malfucntion, death.
The personal God has a Son who became a human, and his suffering and death paid a "ranson" price for us. (Who was the ranson paid to? Satan? Or did God pay it to Himself???)
Then this demigod Jesus rose from the dead and forty days later flew away "up" to heaven without an airplane, balloon, or the principles of werodynamics.
God loves us so very much that unless we submit to Jesus and believe all these unverifiable declarations about him, God will toss us into the Lake of Fire.
I could lengthen this list out ad infinitum of course. The point is that none of this is rational, logical, or self-evident. In fact it's illogical, irrational, and a leap of faith. Certainly, if you "buy into" these presuppositions THEN the insane story has it's own INTERNAL logic---as all religions do--but there is no logic in it per se. It's a leap of faith in statements, presuppostions, propositions, that are unverifiable, irrational, illogical. I don't mind that, not really. I don't care what your secret beliefs are. I get riled up when large groups of people whose minds have bitten into this "crab-apple" gang together and "gang up" on the rest of us, as Christians have done throughtout their history, and are doing right now. Christians, Muslims, all types of True Believers (fanatics) are not content to simply inflict their religion upon themselves, they believe they have a Divine Mandate to inflict their meme on everyone...which of course is the very nature of a meme. Misery loves company. "Hey! My religion wont let ME have fun by doing X Y or Z! Why should YOU be able to have fun doing X Y or Z?!?!"
Remember, your religion is a system of BELIEFS, not science. -Martin "As for me and my household, we shall serve pizza and beer. Prolly some herb too"