I was baptized in 1988 at the age of 10 years old, I know other people who were much younger (the day I was baptized the youngest was 5!). At about 20 years old I became inactive because I do not share the same beliefs. Whenever someone asks me what I disagree with this is one of the examples I give. And every JW seem to agree with me. Someone told me yesterday that things are much different now, I would like to know if this practice still continuing? I mean Jesus was 30 before doing this and I know I could never be more advance than he.
Also, another thing that bothered me was underaged girls speaking to elders in details about there sexual experiences (confessions). I always believed strongly that this was wrong, if it has to be done it should be with a sister. I won't go into detail what this does to a young girl, I would think you would understand. Does this practice still continue especially in light of JW's issues with the handling of child molestation situations?
Hello and thank you for writing,
My question to you Tammy is why would you get baptized at age 10 if you did not share the same beliefs? Baptism is only performed AFTER the person has gone through a series of questions, and even before a person goes through baptism questions they first have to be an unbaptized publisher and is also asked questions, one being if you believe and if you want to be a Jehovah's Witness. You are also asked if you've gone to God in prayer and made a dedication to him. Now when you went through all those questions and you must have said you agreed with what we teach and wanted to be a JW otherwise you would not have been allowed to get baptized. So if you do not agree then why were you not honest? Why get baptized knowing you didn't want to, were you trying to please someone else? Were you asked if this is what you wanted? You make it seem like you were dragged in front of hundreds of people and made to get baptized without your consent. Was that the case? Please clarify.
A child knows a lie from the truth at age 5. Some children mature at different rates, I know a child who begged to get baptized at age 7 and loved Jehovah from the heart and knew Bible truths better than some adults.
Unlike false religion, we do not baptize babies. The only people who are allowed to get baptized are ones who say they believe and want to. Why get baptized if you don't believe?
All true Christians belong to Jehovah. In contrast, the world in general is “lying in the power of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19) Christians come to belong to Jehovah when they make an acceptable dedication of themselves to him in prayer. Such a dedication is a personal vow. It is followed by water baptism.
Now regarding Jesus getting baptized at 30 years of age does not apply to any of us, why? Because of what Baptism actually means. Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, and John was the first person to baptize people and he did so being commissioned by Jehovah as a symbol for forgiveness of sins and also to pave the way for Jesus.
Mark 1:4 "John the Baptizer was in the wilderness, preaching baptism in symbol of repentance for forgiveness of sins"
John 1:29-34 "The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and he said: “See, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one about whom I said: ‘Behind me there comes a man who has advanced in front of me, for he existed before me.’ 31 Even I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing in water was so that he might be made manifest to Israel.” 32 John also bore witness, saying: “I viewed the spirit coming down as a dove out of heaven, and it remained upon him. 33 Even I did not know him, but the very One who sent me to baptize in water said to me: ‘Whoever it is upon whom you see the spirit coming down and remaining, this is the one who baptizes in holy spirit.’"
Jesus was without sin, (1 Peter 2:22) so him being baptized at 30 does not mean that's when people should get baptized, because Jesus didn't need to be baptized at all. We are not under John the Baptizer's baptism, and is why Apollos was taken aside because he was only preaching John's baptism but it was different now. (Ac 18:24-26)
Christian baptism required an understanding of God's Word and an intelligent decision to present oneself to do the revealed will of God was evident when, at Pentecost, 33 C.E., the Jews and proselytes there assembled, who already had a knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures, heard Peter speak about Jesus the Messiah, with the result that 3,000 “embraced his word heartily” and “were baptized.” (Acts 2:41; 3:19–4:4; 10:34-38)
Jesus’ command to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them...” Those who accept the teaching and who become disciples properly get baptized. (Matt 28:19,20; Ac 1:8)
If you were not for real when you were baptized at age 10 then that's why you left. In order to come to Jesus, one must be drawn by Jehovah (John 6:44). If a person's heart is unresponsive or unreceptive, they will not be drawn. Going through the motions is really meaningless.
When you said underage girls talking to the elders, you made it sound like something perverse. Any person that has gotten baptized including underage girls AND boys who are committing fornication is in effect breaking their vow that they agreed to with Jehovah God. If a person gets baptized and again, they have to know why they are getting baptized and have to agree to believe what has been taught to them from the Bible, and they go and betray that vow then they have to go before a committee. Baptism isn't to an organization it's making a dedication or vow to Jehovah God to do His will. Just like when a person goes before a court of law, if the case involves things of a sexual nature, they have to talk about it so that an informed decision can be made.
If a person breaks their vow to Jehovah by committing sexual immorality or any other serious sin after being baptized, then the Bible tells us what must be done, because Jehovah's organization must remain clean. The Bible says if the person wants forgiveness they should go to the older men or elders. That's what the Bible says:
James 5:14-16 "Is there anyone sick among you? Let him call the elders of the congregation to him, and let them pray over him, applying oil to him in the name of Jehovah. 15 And the prayer of faith will make the sick one well, and Jehovah will raise him up. Also, if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, openly confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. A righteous man’s supplication has a powerful effect."
Proverbs 28:13 "The one covering over his transgressions will not succeed, But whoever confesses and abandons them will be shown mercy"
Acts 20:28 "Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God, which he purchased with the blood of his own Son."
1 Cor 5:11-13 "But now I am writing you to stop keeping company with anyone called a brother who is sexually immoral or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man. 12 For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Do you not judge those inside, 13 while God judges those outside? “Remove the wicked person from among yourselves.”
Numbers 30:2 "If a man makes a vow to Jehovah or swears an oath to impose on himself a vow of abstinence, he must not violate his word. He should do everything he vowed he would do"
To summarize Tammy, Baptism is a command by Jesus, and the First Century Christians did so once a person believed. And talking to the Elders because a person who is baptized regardless of their age who has committed immorality is necessary so an informed decision can be made that will keep Jehovah's organization clean and not bring reproach on his name. When you talk to someone you can find out if they are sorry for what they did or not. Underage people who commit sexual immorality are not only brazenly going against Jehovah especially if they've made a vow of dedication, it's also against the laws of the land!