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Child Baptisms in the Jehovah’s Witnesses

Submitted by Jaymes on July 7, 2012 - 10:52 pm 15 Comments

Are Jehovah's Witness Child Baptisms Wrong?There aren’t a lot of things that sicken me. At the ripe old age of 33, I’ve seen and done quite a lot. However, child baptisms is one of those things that jumps out of left field and smack me in the face. To be more precise, child baptisms within the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Take today’s District Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Cyprus as an example. Child baptisms aren’t performed every year in Cyprus, but today, a 7 year old boy got baptised. Yippee! That’s so great!

Many Brothers and Sisters stood in awe of this young man as he said “YES” to the two baptism questions. As he received a round of applause for being so loyal to Jehovah, do you think it even crossed his little mind that he may live to regret his decision?

My mother-in-law even commented by saying how proud she was to see this young man (we’re talking about a 7 year old kid here) taking this mature step in his life.

Has a little throw-up found it’s way out yet?

Does this kid know what he’s getting himself into? As a Jehovah’s Witness, when you get baptised, you’re dedicating yourself to Jehovah’s Organisation – The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. You’re signing over your mind and free will to a bunch of hypocrites that live in New York. Anyone care to disprove me?

I’ve heard many Witnesses say that as a baby is – well, a baby – when getting baptised, it can’t consent to the baptism, therefore the baptism is null and void.

Jehovah’s Witnesses use a stick to beat other religions over the head with when it comes to baby baptisms. They claim that Witnesses don’t do baby baptisms because Jesus Christ himself got dunked at the age of 30 and also because a baby doesn’t fully understand what it truly means to get baptised. But I suppose child baptisms are alright then?

This conversation actually happened after the 7 year old got baptised:

Jaymes: [Turning to the brothers that's sat to my left] Err, you don’t think this is wrong?

Brother: No way. If anything, it’s so encouraging.

Jaymes: Encouraging? I’m discouraged.

Brother: Don’t be silly. The other children will see the steps he’s taken to get baptised and will also want to get baptised. This young brother is a shining example to all other children in his congregation.

Ding ding ding! Come on down, the price is right! Arghhhh!

So let me see if I’ve got this right. If you have to consent to a baptism and be old enough to be able to understand what you’re getting into, why oh why did this 7 year old get baptised? After all, the entire concept of ‘consent’ is something that’s used in our legal system. For instance, a child can’t consent to marriage or sex (unfortunately) before a certain age. Why are these laws in place? Yep, you guessed it! To protect children from making binding contracts that could harm them. I said this before, but I’ll say it again: Is it possible this 7 year old will – in the next few years – realise that he’s made a mistake? Hell yes. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably seen the errors of your ways and want out too.

The Elder made it very clear in his baptism talk today – “This is the most important decision in your life and isn’t something that is taken lightly. Only after many hours in prayer to Jehovah can we be sure that this is the right decision”.

Knowing this, in what way is a 7 year old child any more consenting than a baby? When I was 7, I did what my mother said or I got the vacuum cleaner, broom (or whatever other hurtful object was near) over the head. I didn’t know what I wanted until I was around 28 years old. Of course, not everyone’s the same, but I can tell you – with a high level of certainty – you don’t know what you want when you’re 7, 8, 9 or even 15 years old. I was 15 when I got dunked and only did it to ease the pressure my mother was piling on.

Child baptisms are wrong. Very wrong! To be honest, they’re far worse when a cult is involved.

Before I go, I think I need to ask this question one more time: Why is it okay for a 7, 8 or 9 year old to get baptised, but not a 6 month old baby? Answers on a postcard.

  • Xteen Leela

    Ok, This is Crazy. If we are following Jesus’s footsteps, he got baptised when he was how old? 33? Does anyone know where he was in his lost years (not recorded inthe bible basically) Him being the son of God and being more enlightened, why did he have to wait till he was 30’s? The GB/slave should have a rule of getting bapstised when you reach 33. So does this mean this kid and all other kids are better and smarter than Jesus. Anyway if the WT says people should wait till they are in their 30’s I do not think they will have anyone left. Thats just my opinion. I was baptised in my teens, I can’t even remember what year,,, as its not important anymore in my present life.

  • Flo

    Ugh,sickening! I remember my mother used to make my sisters and I study with this really pushy sister from our hall. I was under SO much pressure to get baptized,and I was only 11 at the time. She even promised to reward us when we did. I don’t remember exactly what she baited us with,but it was very tempting.
    Now I’m 14,and I’m extremely happy I didn’t give in. I’ve been an Atheist since I was 12,and I hate to imagine what shit would be like now if I had gotten baptized.And,I’ve set a much better goal for myself! I’m going to try convince my mother to leave the JWs. I hate to see her waste whats left of her life.

  • http://smmcroberts.net Steve

    We all know that consistency is not a strong point of the WT. But back when we were bringing the (now old) “generation” doctrine to people’s doors as “The Truth” we always said that the 1914 generation were people who could see the events “with eyes of understanding”. We stated that someone would have to be at least 10 years old to fully comprehend what was going on (which meant that we were talking about people born in 1904 or earlier, making them 70+ years old in the mid 70’s: perfect timing for the 1975 fiasco.)
    The point being: if the Society uses 10 as the minimum age for understanding, they should never baptize someone younger than that. Or is this an unadvertised change in the WT regarding the “age of understanding”?
    It’s ironic that a governing body that constantly changes its mind demands its followers to commit (at baptism) to never changing theirs (at least as regards their unwavering trust in the WT as “God’s organization”.)

  • http://www.JehovahsWitnessBlog.com Andrew

    I was 13, and even then I was far too young to know what I was really getting myself into. Why?

  • Jason

    @ Chelsea – Anyone who thinks a 7 year old is qualified to make a decision based on that will affect the rest their life is a fool. If a person isn’t old enough to dedicate their life to another person (spousal relationship), they certainly should not be dedicating their life to a corporation or the pretend god they claim to follow.

  • craig

    So, Andrew, how old were you when you were baptised?

  • http://www.JehovahsWitnessBlog.com Andrew

    @Chelsea – You miss the point. A 7 year old is incapable of making that decision. It even goes against your own doctrine of not having baby baptisms because they can’t understand.

  • Chelsea

    He has the right to make his own decisions! They discuss and ask him questions, and the elders feel he is qualified! SO SHUT UP!

  • Lady Libertine

    This makes me sick. I got baptized at 17 years old. I’m 20 now and am an entirely different person then I once was. I am also fully aware of the organization and its ins and outs more so than I ever was growing up in it. And you know, it’s funny, remember how I said I was totally different at 17 then now at 20? In five years, I’ll probably be saying the same thing. Because people grow and change as they get older. You think one thing as a teenager, another as a young adult, and you’re coming into yourself around 25 to 30 years old. Even the medical community has figured our brains aren’t completely developed till at least 25!

    Now, to use one of the Society’s favorite illustrations; if I can say, that at 17 years old, I was ill equipped to make the choice I did, how much less so is a second-grader?!

    Not to mention, they use their literature to make young teens feel guilty if they haven’t been dunked yet. I know, it worked on me!

  • R.C.

    Most kids at 7 aren’t even allowed to choose what cloths their parents buy for them but this girl (among many) is allowed to decide to dedicate her life to God insofar as a 7year old can understand such a thing. She will be expected to live up to that dedication as she grows up or face punishment. Don’t JW’s claim to be “footstep followers ” Jesus who was baptized in his 30’s ? How do they explain this one ?

  • Dillen

    Why did that poor kid get baptized so young when he probably doesn’t even know how much responsibility an adult actually has? This is very sickening to hear indeed because the child will grow up thinking why is his world suddenly getting smaller by the minuet and why does everything have to be based on what Satan wants or what he’ll do to you if you don’t “set things straight”? Child baptism is wrong because I bet his parents forced me into reading a really thick JW book he wasn’t supposed to understand until he got to ten! Thank God my JW sister isn’t going to have any children…she will put one or more them through hell! :)

  • rosemary osborn

    Beyond sad-beyond pathetic.I feel such pity for the little ones-sitting for hours like robots to
    listen to adult material-being beaten in the rest rooms if not behaving as robots. My heart goes out to them. May they find their way when the time comes.

  • Lacy

    It really is appalling. A 7 year old isn’t allowed to decide his own bedtime or what he wants for supper because a 7 year old isn’t qualified to make those choices properly. Yet the elders think he is mature enough to make a binding legal contract that will affect the rest of his life??? The kid would have had to have gone through the question sessions we all had to. At 7 years old he has an accurate comprehension of what fornication, adultery, bestiality, polygamy, homosexuality, betle nut, drugs, blood transfusions, the WTO, the new system, God, and even death are? Sure he may know the words and possibly simple meanings of them. But to really know at that age what they all involve, why some are forbidden, and the complexities of the others? No way.
    He’s never had to face temptation to know what he is or is not capable of. He doesn’t understand that he is now obligated to act as a secret police against all his friends and family for the rest of his life or risk facing disfellowshipping himself. He does not understand the true consequences of what happens if he makes a mistake or if he changes his mind. All he knows of consequences are short time-outs in his room and not getting desserts. This month, the Madagascar movie is the center of his world and the best thing ever. In a few months, Madagascar will be boring and the next Monsters, Inc movie will be the center of his world and the best thing ever. However, people expect him to spend the next 80 years believing Jehovah is the creator of his world and the JWs are the best religion ever? Really?

  • abden

    When I left in 98 there was a nine year old girl in my congregation and I remember how proud her dumb as a bag of hammers mom was when she got baptized. She was disfellowshipped by the time she turned fifteen.

  • Frank

    All I can say is “Oh Brother”. They have repeatedly condemned all other churches for baptizing infants a month or two after their birth. Yet, they are baptizing kids who are 7 years of age. This just shows how hypocritical they really are. A 7 year old child is still considered an infant and/or preschooler by law and again, baptizing a 7 year old is no different from baptizing a baby a month or two after their birth and again, a 7 year old is as much an infant as a 7 year old child.

    Again, this just shows you how hypocritical the JW’s really are. They put other churches down for baptizing babies, but yet they baptize a 7 year old, which is not any different from what most churches do. Then again, it wouldn’t surprise me if the boys parents forced and pushed him into being baptized. If they did, it is typical of the JW’s to do that.