legal action to Baptism of minor annulled?

by cyberjesus 32 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • blondie

    The WTS also says there is no arbitrary age, that if a young jw holds off on baptism thinking that he/she cannot be held responsible for jw requiements, the WTS says they are still responsible for their actions before God baptized or not. BTW what is the "age of responsibility" the WTS often uses?

    *** w96 9/15 p. 17 par. 6 May Jehovah Credit Good to Your Account ***

    One man with whom Jehovah’s Witnesses were conducting a Bible study was making little spiritual progress, apparently because he did not give up smoking, although he knew that he should do so. An elder asked him to read James 4:17. After commenting on the significance of this scripture, the elder said: “Though you are not baptized, you are accountable and must take full responsibility for your decision.” Happily, the man responded, stopped smoking, and soon qualified for baptism in symbol of his dedication to Jehovah God.

    *** w96 10/15 p. 21 par. 7 Father and Elder—Fulfilling Both Roles ***

    It is evident that the above-quoted proverb is not stating a hard-and-fast rule. It does not annul the principle of free will. (Deuteronomy 30:15, 16, 19) When a son or a daughter reaches the age of responsibility, he or she must make a personal decision with regard to dedication and baptism. If an elder has clearly given needed spiritual help, guidance, and discipline, yet the youth does not choose to serve Jehovah, the father is not automatically disqualified from serving as an overseer. On the other hand, if an elder has several minor children living at home who, one after the other, become spiritually sick and get into trouble, he might no longer be considered to be “a man presiding over his own household in a fine manner.” (1 Timothy 3:4) The point is, it should be manifest that an overseer is doing his best to have ‘believing children that are not under a charge of debauchery nor unruly.’

    *** w82 2/15 p. 30 par. 13 “What Prevents Me from Getting Baptized?” ***

    And finally, you may feel that you are yet too young to make a dedication with understanding. For many, this may be true, since there are thousands of young children associated with Jehovah’s Witnesses—which to us is a cause for joy. (Matthew 19:13-15) While growing to be sufficiently mature, mentally and physically, to take upon themselves the full responsibility of dedication and baptism, we can have confidence that God ‘marks’ such children as “holy,” as long as they are responsive and obedient to believing parents. (1 Corinthians 7:14) But time does not stand still. If you have responded to your parents’ bringing you up “in the discipline and mental-regulating of Jehovah,” and you have applied yourself in learning, both in the home and in the congregation, has the time now come for you to make your dedication to Jehovah? If so, after talking this over with your parents and the elders in your congregation, we encourage you to follow through on your decision to dedicate your life to Jehovah and get baptized.—Ephesians 6:1-4; 2 Timothy 1:5-7.

    *** w65 3/15 pp. 175-176 par. 8 Our Own Twentieth-Century Generation and the Resurrection ***

    The “goats” would also include those husbands and wives who have believing marriage partners but who, in spite of the good example of their believing marriage mates, are found to be still unbelievers in the day and at the hour of the execution of God’s judgment against this enemy world; also, the children of a believing parent or the children of believing parents (fathers and mothers), which children were once “holy” as minors, as unresponsible children, but who have grown up to responsible years and have refused to become dedicated, baptized believers by the time that divine execution upon the “goats” begins.—1 Cor. 7:12-16.

    *** w55 7/1 p. 411 par. 17 Christian Baptism for the New World Society ***

    Baptism is not a sacrament but is a symbol of dedication. Therefore, baptism of infants or small children under the age of responsibility is unchristian and should not be indulged in.

    *** w06 7/1 p. 29 par. 15 Youths, Make It Your Choice to Serve Jehovah ***

    Could it be that you hesitate to take this important step for fear of being held accountable should you fall into wrong conduct? If so, think of this: Would you refuse to apply for a driver’s license simply because you were afraid that some day you might have an accident? Of course not! Neither should you hesitate to get baptized if you qualify. Indeed, you will be strongly motivated to do your utmost to resist wrongdoing if you have dedicated your life to Jehovah and have agreed to do his will. (Philippians 4:13) Young ones, please do not imagine that by postponing baptism, you avoid accountability. When you have reached the age of responsibility, you are answerable to Jehovah for the way you act whether you are baptized or not.—Romans 14:11, 12.

    *** w04 3/15 p. 27 par. 1 Highlights From the Book of Exodus ***

    After reaching an age of responsibility, each individual is judged on the basis of his own conduct and attitude.

    *** w96 10/15 p. 21 par. 7 Father and Elder—Fulfilling Both Roles ***

    When a son or a daughter reaches the age of responsibility, he or she must make a personal decision with regard to dedication and baptism

    *** w88 1/1 p. 27 par. 11 Keep On Preaching the Kingdom ***

    As the time of the end has continued, children have been born and have grown up to adulthood or to an age of responsibility. Often these young people have not paid any attention to the truth. (IMPLIES THAT AGE OF RESPONSIBILITY IS LESS THAN ADULTHOOD)

    *** w83 10/15 p. 31 Exodus—From Tyranny to Theocratic Order ***

    No, because each individual, after reaching an age of responsibility, is judged on the basis of his own conduct and attitude. (Compare Ezekiel 18:20.) However, when the nation of Israel later turned to idolatry, it suffered the evil consequences of this for generations thereafter. Faithful ones were not personally punished for the nation’s sin, although they did feel some effects of it.

    *** w72 6/15 p. 360 God Respects the Family Arrangement ***

    Very young children who have not reached the age of responsibility are almost altogether the product of their parents through inheritance, with, additionally, the training and environment provided by the parents. Accordingly, God holds the parents responsible until the child reaches the age of responsibility for his own decisions and acts.

    *** w72 8/15 p. 512 Questions From Readers ***

    True, the apostle Paul pointed out that obedient minor children are “holy” because of the faithful parent. This is because God holds the parents, not some outside individuals, responsible for the children. (1 Cor. 7:14) God thereby makes a kind provision in behalf of his faithful servants. But when such children come to the age of responsibility they are no longer covered by this arrangement. Each has to stand or fall according to his own personal faith.—Rom. 14:4; Ezek. 18:20.

  • Mephis
    I think it was Herd (?) who gave a fairly recent speech on how one shouldn't be able to drive but not be baptised. He also said that only toddlers and babies were covered by their parents' baptism. They may as well do infant baptism and give up on the pretense that an 8 year old can have any conception of how they may feel about being inside 10 years later.
  • peacefulpete

    I will go so far as to say no one who gets baptized as JW understands what is really happening, adult or youth.

    The real motivations are rather pragmatic and selfish, continued association with what has become your substitute family and possibly a measure of of wanting to live forever, but mostly its about the group and acceptance.

    The question of why does someone join a cult like "People's Temple" is similarly simple, its about the group dynamics filling some need that family or society as a whole has not. Doctrine is irrelevant apart from it appearing unique among rival churches.

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