baptized at 12?

by pennycandy 24 Replies latest jw friends

  • Elsewhere

    There are many areas were most JW kids end up leaving the WTS and have to be shunned by their parents. Does this child live in such a place? If so I would ask the mother if she is willing to risk having to shun her child considering the pattern.

    If she replies that she would have no problem shunning her child, then consider it a lost cause.

    This wouldn't happen to be Sinead O'Connor would it?

  • blondie

    Part of the reason parents want their children to get baptized so early is that the WTS talks about the age of accountability but does not specify an age. That is the age at which the child is no longer protected by the "good standing" of their JW parent at Armageddon.

    I have heard of 6 year olds getting baptized; I have seen it in the stories about JWs in the magazines.


  • tresbella

    NO LIE: I knew a girl in my old congreagation in fla that got baptized at 6. and get this her and all 3 of her sisters began home schooling once they reached the 6th grade. That's middle school people! Thanks to them it was like this sick epidemic where all te "young ones" wanted to get baptitized all at once. unfortunatly thatnks to my mother and the sickness going around I was one of them. But I was 14.

  • pennycandy

    No, Else, it's not Sinead. But I'll be sure to give her your number next time she calls : )

  • StinkyPantz

    Getting baptized is a lifetime commitment.. just like marriage? Which would be more important? Obviously service to God would be, so why let a CHILD make such an important decision like baptism, but not marriage if that's what he wanted? Because he is not mature enough, nor informed (for either), that's why!

  • Corvin

    These are my two oldest brothers, Jim and Ron. They were coersed into baptism at ages 11 and 12. The burden and responsibility of serving "kingdom interests" was too much for them to bare on their young shoulders and they were disfellowshipped by ages 12 and 13. No sh*t. They are well into their 50's now and they have not completely gotten over the shunning and terrible treatment.

    There is no way in hell a child that young could possibly know what they want to do for the rest of their entire lives and it is entirely too much to expect a child to live up to such weighty responsibility. While Samuel might have been given over to the high priest at the tender age of 9 or whatever, it was entirely under different circumstances.

    A child so young, if baptized, will never have the room to make mistakes, "f*ck up" as it were. They will be expected to tow the line from now until forever. There goes their childhood, their identity, and their entire life.

    TELL THIS NUT JOB FRIEND OF YOURS THAT JESUS DID NOT GET BAPTIZED UNTIL HE WAS 30 YEARS OLD! My god! Jesus was supposedly more spiritual than any little boy that ever walked the earth, but remember, he was the example we must follow closely, and no such pressure to present yourself as a living sacrefice to the organization should be place upon them until they are FULLY MATURE and UNDERSTAND FULLY what their dedication means, and son-of-bitch, child baptism and the commitment that comes with it is absurd for a child to take on.

    Tell them to call me and I will talk to them.


  • Scully

    Interesting how the WTS discourages teen marriages for the reason that the person's development is still in progress, as well as short courtships / engagements, all with the caution of getting to know the other person better.

    *** yy chap. 19 pp. 147-148 Dating and Courtship ***

    There comes a time, however, when normally the young person wants to get married. When is the best time for this?when you still are in your teens? Generally not, for the hard facts show that most teen-age marriages simply do not have the same success as marriages where one or both persons have attained a more mature age.

    *** yy chap. 19 pp. 154-155 Dating and Courtship *** 29 Giving in to frequent and increasingly passionate expressions can lead to a premature marriage. The book Adolescence and Youth says: "The early stages of courtship are often impossibly romantic. Marriage at that time might lead a person to expect more of the marriage than any marriage could realize. Lengthened courtship usually brings about a more reasonable understanding of the other person so that an understanding marriage may result." For such longer courtship, restraint must be exercised?otherwise the power of sexual drive may build up so early as to become a real danger.

    *** yp chap. 29 p. 231 Am I Ready to Date? ***

    Am I Ready?

    God tells young people: "Rejoice, young man [or woman], in your youth, and let your heart do you good in the days of your young manhood, and walk in the ways of your heart and in the things seen by your eyes." Young people do tend to "walk in the ways of [their] heart." Yet so often those "ways," which seem to be such fun, end up bringing vexation and calamity. The Bible thus urges in the following verse: "Remove vexation from your heart, and ward off calamity from your flesh; for youth and the prime of life are vanity." (Ecclesiastes 11:9, 10) "Vexation" refers to being deeply troubled or sorely distressed. "Calamity" denotes a personal disaster. Both can make life miserable.

    Isn't it interesting that the last paragraph doesn't even mention "dating"... and how easily it could apply to baptism??

    The girl is not old enough to buy cigarettes or alcohol. She is not quite old enough to get medical care and have her records withheld from her parents. She cannot sign a contract. She cannot vote. She cannot join the military. She cannot drive a vehicle. She cannot get married. She cannot consent to sex. She cannot get a job. She has not passed "the bloom of youth". Has she even started puberty??

    The JWs used to pride themselves on baptism being a rite that was reserved for adults making adult decisions. At this rate, with all these 6 and 9 and 12 year olds getting baptized, they are hardly better than the Catholic church which they denounce for infant baptism.

    A baptism at the age of 12 should be on the same level as the Catholic confirmation or the Jewish bar mitzvah/bat mitzvah. Or the Spanish custom of having a huge party when a girl turns 15.

    It wouldn't be so bad if the JWs didn't consider this decision as a legally binding one for the rest of the child's life. But it is, and if 2 or 3 years down the road, she decides she likes a boy at school more than she likes going door-to-door, she'll find herself disfellowshipped and shunned if things go too far.

    I remember wanting to get baptized at the age of 13. My parents insisted that I wait until I was an adult. They said Jesus was a full-grown man when he got baptized, so they wanted me to at least be of an age where I would be able to understand the seriousness of that decision. As it was, I had a rebellious period later and wanted to quit the JWs. I wasn't baptized at the time, but I can just imagine how much worse the pressure to conform would have been if I were. As it was, my parents (my mom especially) started giving me the cold shoulder to give me a taste of what being DFd would be like. It was horrible and it finally got to the point where I couldn't stand the torture of being treated that way by my own family, so I "smartened up" and started studying and going in service again... becoming a model JW just so my parents would Love? me again. After such a close call at losing me to The World?, I think they were relieved when I asked to get baptized at 17... they agreed without giving it a second thought.

    I really hope you can talk some sense into your friend and get her to convince her daughter to wait. She does have the parental authority to stop her daughter, and I hope she is responsible enough to do so.

    Love, Scully

  • Insomniac

    I don't think I have much to add to what's already been said here. I was dunked two days after I turned 12. Hang on, it's my baptismal anniversary TODAY!!! F**k, 24 years ago today, Insomniac was a twelve-year old girl, making a lifelong commitment to a god she'd never spoken directly to, in a freaking horse trough in the basement of an assembly hall. I was too young to drive a car, vote, drink, get married, sign a lease, join the military, make love, hold down a job, or to say no to what I was being pushed into. In the pictures taken that day, I look like what I was, a child. But hey, I was old enough to dedicate myself for all eternity to a god who stood by and watched as his own son was tortured to death. So now that some years have passed and I've ceased to accept everything I was told, and I'm trying to be a good person who has a real relationship with her Creator, one not based on all the lies I was told before, I've lost my friends and family who are still on the inside. They won't talk to me because I've turned away from the "truth", and since I was dunked, it's irreversible unless I come crawling back to a faith that was never truly my own, and accept their hateful lies as truth again.

    Sorry for the rant, but I'm feeling raw about it today.

  • AlmostAtheist

    I hate to post since I have so little to add here, it's just that Gina and I were talking about this very subject just last night. My brother-in-law was so proud of himself (because my in-laws and his congregation told him he should be) because he got baptized at 14. I thought about how his thoughts will change between now and 30, and will he ever regret it. I was three years older than him when I was baptized and I surely, sorely wish I could take it back.

    Gina and I both recognized that you can't marry at that age, and others have commented on the many, many lesser decisions that are withheld from young people due to their immaturity. Yet the borg happily encourages it, and commends those "taking a stand" early in life. "It was a protection for me," so many are quoted as saying. Of course, only the "success stories" are quoted. The others are DF'd, DA'd, or dead. The morbid fear of walking death (DF) is probably a discouragement to sin, but if that's the reason they're staying faithful, it can't last. Like the compressed spring, they'll go off eventually.

    Are there any examples in the Bible of a child being baptized? Timothy was "young", but I don't know if an age is ever specified.


  • Soledad
    The morbid fear of walking death (DF) is probably a discouragement to sin, but if that's the reason they're staying faithful, it can't last. Like the compressed spring, they'll go off eventually.

    that's so true. I was baptized at 12. Looking back, I did it because I was pressured by the congregation. I wasn't really pressured by my mother.

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