JWs Changing "Baptism Questions" Effective May 13?

by Room 215 79 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • blondie

    I don't think the questions will be changed in print until the regional conventions start this month, perhaps during the baptism talk then and perhaps with a part explaining the change to jws in attendance (or maybe not and it is a test to see if jws are really listening).

  • sir82

    Bizarre. I can’t think of any practical or theological motive for it.

    In my experience, whenever they do something "weird" or apparently inexplicable, it is almost certainly done for either financial or legal reasons.

    There is no financial motivation that I can see for removing "spirit-directed", so it seems it is likely a mandate from the legal department. Maybe in certain countries it would cause / has caused some sort of issue.

    A religion run by lawyers - dog help us all.

  • slimboyfat

    Well, I’m still reserving judgment if this is for real.

    If it is real, then I agree that some legal advice they have received is the best explanation, as with Bulgaria, closing the book study, and other presumably legally motivated actions.

    That being said, just because Watchtower may make a decision for legal reasons, doesn’t necessarily mean it was a necessary, or even particularly advantageous change. They are clearly capable of making poor decisions which they believe to be vital or strategic, but which are in fact ineffective or even counterproductive. So if it looks and seems like a stupid change, then it might really be a stupid change.

    Because I honestly cannot imagine in what scenario a religion gains benefit from removing reference to a spirit or supernatural power in their baptism. Unless they are going to systematically remove all references to the spiritual in all their activities, and quit calling it a religion, which is just absurd. Besides which, isn’t calling it “Jehovah’s organisation” just as strong a claim as calling it “spirit directed”? It doesn’t make sense on any level. But these are the people who think an overlapping generation makes sense, so there is really no telling what if any logic lies behind some of the decisions they make.

  • slimboyfat

    That having been said, I have another thought:

    This is a religion that seems almost addicted to making unnecessary alterations. Consider the fact that many religions are content to use the same hymns for hundreds of years, whereas Watchtower feels the urge to create a substantially new song book every 20 years or so. Or all the other pointless terminological changes over the years: swapping assemblies and conventions back and forward, circuit servant and circuit overseer, region/convention, sanctified/vindicated, presiding overseer/coordinator, and so on.

    Consider the name of the Watchtower magazine itself. It’s had about five different titles in 140 years, whereas The Christadelphian magazine has had the same name since 1869.

    Could it simply be that some brother piped up during a GB meeting and said, “we’ve not changed the baptism questions for nearly 40 years”. Someone was assigned to “improve” the questions, and this is what he came up with? Making direct reference to Jehovah might be construed as in some sense more revenrtial, like how they boast about the song book using Jehovah’s name more often than Jesus.

    Could it just be change for change’s sake, and nothing more? Sometimes attempting to derive meaning from Watchtower actions is Kremlinology at its finest.

  • dozy
    In my experience, whenever they do something "weird" or apparently inexplicable, it is almost certainly done for either financial or legal reasons.

    I would concur with that. When you watch the present GB , it doesn't really strike you that there is any great scholarly or biblical theological expertise there , to put it mildly. And I am guessing that removing the reference ( which really is necessary to tie it into the formula of baptism in "the name of the spirit" ) would have been resisted and avoided if at all possible - by nature the Society tends to be reactive rather than proactive.

    So my bet is on some kind of obscure legal reason - we do know that some people who have been DFd have challenged the Society legally on the basis that their baptism was invalid , referencing the questions , and the ambiguity ( in legal terms ) that the "spirit-directed" description provides may have caused some difficulty ,in the same way that a similar claim troubled Geoffrey Jackson at the Australian Royal Commission. In a court of law , these claims can be tested and there are a few Youtube videos of judicial committees where elders have said that essentially when someone becomes baptised , they are entering into a legally binding contract with the Organisation.

    Frankly , we may never know the real reason behind it ( or even some sort of cobbled Society excuse , such as the "high gas prices" excuse for scrapping the book study ) . There isn't any explanation in the elders letter & it is perfectly possible they never make any further reference to it , in the ( correct ) assumption that most JWs couldn't care less anyway and wouldn't even be aware of the change.

  • BereanThinker7

    I think its an attempt to remove from the witnesses consciousness, how can the organization be "spirit directed" yet change those "spirit directed" teachings on the regular? Sort of similar to the question I'm sure all of us had at some point, What is the difference between saying the Org isn't "inspired" but IS "spirit directed?" I think this coupled with some legal reason caused them to inadvertently remove the holy spirit aspect from baptism all together! Shows where the leaderships real priorities are.

  • truthlover123

    Inspired, inspiration can be obtained by viewing the sky, the stars, etc. -it does not mean holy inspiration however spirit directed is another apple altogether. Indicative of a force impelling something to be created- in this instance, a belief system that is totally dominating peoples lives. Who says it is holy when real estate, money grabs, changes in long held ideas-- i.e. generation - changed 6 times to my last count along with myriads of date changes....etc. Old prophets said what was going to happen from God and it did.... society says and it does not happen so who is false....

    So this wording" spirit directed" is positioned to suck in people-- people want to worship.. have good hearts for the most, want better life-- HOPE.... is what "spirit directed" is based on....yet no guarantees that it will happen

    Now I see other fingers being pointed to everything the society has done if this baptism question is changed. And I doubt it will be mentioned at the assemblies... just let it go and the sheep will follow...

  • pixel

    3 things:

    1) The letter is legit (It is in the announcements - for elders only) for this month (May).

    2) I think this comes because of what happened with The Royal Commission (Geoffrey Jackson). What's he not asked something along the lines of who directs this organization? Maybe the want to get rid of the Holy Spirit for legal reasons.

    3) I can't image how weird, from an "religion" stand point, would be to be in the meeting where they would go like: "All right boys, we need to get rid of the Holy Spirit on this question".

  • lastmanstanding


    The existing question (1) as is found in the current “Organized” book has no mention of “salvation”.

    The question (1) from 1966,1970,1973 up until the current version, I haven’t checked when it last changed, does mention “salvation”.

    They put “salvation” back.

    Glory be.

    So, “advancing light” has directed the governing blabber mouths to go backwards.

  • truthlover123

    Has anyone attended a meeting where this announcement has be made? Change to question 2?

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