Kids ... and baptism.
I have noticed, from reading posts on this and other related websites, what to me is an alarming practice taking place within the JW's. And that is the baptism of kids.
On a recent discussion posted by PE ( video of the girl now forced to shun her sister) this child was baptised at 9 years old. All of us who were baptised at a much older age know of the many questions one needs to give serious consideration and understanding of to become eligible for baptism, not to mention the two baptism questions asked before being dunked.
Surely the organisation must know that children of such a young age are not mature enough to fully grasp the seriousness, demands and consequences of making such a decision.
Another point; if Jesus is the example to follow, then why did he only get baptised at age 30, and he was perfect!
I would be interested to hear of your views on this.
my former PO was baptized at 9, became an elder at 19, got married with a 15 yo girl (parents had to sign a special authorisation) when he was 30...
He's quite crazy (and out of reality) and consideres himself as the absolute reference !
surely an example to follow for the young one !
I doubt he was an elder at 19. The Ks book states clearly that even getting appointed as an elder in your late twenties are exeptions.
I was 13. It was the 80s. Everyone I knew was getting baptised in their teens back then.
At the ARC Terry O'Brien was asked if JW baptise children and he said no. He said they only baptise those close to adulthood. Just a few weeks ago a relative was all smiles and "oh how wonderful" telling me about a young boy of 9 getting baptised with his mother.
I regret it so much that I made that choice without ever asking the important questions which never occurred to me to ask until now in my 40s.
Fulano - you will find that young elders are not unusual now. They are encouraging it and wanting the older one to train them up.
Getting baptised in childhood is a cruel trap sprung by JW org in order to retain members. Their literature however railed against the evils of infant baptism in other religions for years.
Too bad that you were too young to understand what you were doing! We've got you now and its tough luck. You wanted to get baptised in the first place, nobody forced you (except the expectation of parents, friends, relatives) and if you change your mind we will get everyone to shun you.................
This cultic behaviour should be publicised as an example of one of their unconscionable practices.
They could easily make a general rule that baptism should only be at an age when independence from parents could be attained say eighteen but no, baptism at nine years old! How can anyone be held to promises of lifetime commitments made at the age of nine? Only in the JWs!
Of course if they did suggest a minimum age of eighteen, the numbers of JWs would plummet.
If kids are "qualified" be baptized at 8 or 9, why wouldn't they be "qualified" to be elders at 18 of 19? It's the same ridiculous reasoning isn't it?
As I used to argue when I was an elder (and refused to go over the "pre baptism" questions with kids), "Please, brothers, show me one example in the Scriptures where a 'young man or virgin' was baptized! The only references I can find were 'men and women' being baptized!"
I got a lot of heat for stance on baptizing kids!
"I doubt he was an elder at 19." - Fulano
It depends on the time and the circumstances. Nowadays I believe it would be impossible, but I don't know for sure since I have been out of the loop for years. When I was 17 years old back in the Winter of 1972-1973, the congregation I moved into ( to serve where the need is great) had only 2 Ministerial Servants and no Elders. The Circuit Overseer contacted the Service Department and asked if I could be appointed a Ministerial Servant right away. They agreed that it would be OK to do so. (I wasn't appointed because I didn't stay in the congregation) Then the Circuit Overseer asked if I could be appointed an Elder before I turned 20 years old and the Service department said that it was possible but that the appointment would have to be approved directly by the Governing Body. As you probably remember, Fulano, things were much different pre-1975.
Getting baptized in the jokehovian religion is supposed to be the most serious decision one will make. And it goes against nature--as much as smoking, drinking, and using weed do. It can be harder to leave the jokehovian witless religion than quitting horse and coke, which are hard drugs. Yet, children are supposed to make this decision to go against nature, which cannot be reversed without serious consequences, as young as age 6.
Now, what if you were to take those same children, just baptized or just about to get baptized, and send them to a coin shop alone to buy some silver. That is a simple decision, and the worst you could get stung with is the price you paid for what you bought. Would someone be able to buy a roll of silver quarters or a few Australian Kookaburras at age 6, alone? I don't think so. So why the heaven are they supposed to be signing up for communist rules, and working to enslave the whole world while being stripped of everything fun, at this age?
Necessity is the mother of all adjustments in teachings in JW organization.
Worldwide annual baptism numbers have been trending downwards since a high of about 375,000 in the late 1990s. So, why wouldn't they adjust their teachings on child baptisms to increase the numbers?
Similarly, congregations often struggle to have enough suitable qualified brothers to become elders. So why wouldn't they adjust their teachings on who qualifies to become elders to ensure sufficient numbers?
This is an organization that specialises in expediency, with necessity its prime mover - not some standard of "truth".