Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Baptism And Marriage


Watchtower, April 15, 1987, page 13, paragraph 14:
"If one has ‘counted the cost,’ it places one at no disadvantage to make a dedication as a youth. With almost all new Christians, after baptism appreciation deepens. “Getting baptized as a youngster was a protection for me,” explained David. “As I got older, I noticed how some unbaptized teenagers in the congregation felt free of the authority of the elders and as a consequence veered into bad conduct. But I always remembered that I had dedicated my life to God. My life was already taken, so I could not follow such teenagers.”"

Watchtower, July 1, 2006, pages 29-30, paragraph 16:
"Numerous Witnesses around the world feel that their decision to get baptized when they were young helped them greatly. Take as an example a 23-year-old Witness in Western Europe. He recalls that getting baptized at the age of 13 motivated him to be careful not to be swept away by “the desires incidental to youth.” (2 Timothy 2:22) Early on, he set his sights on serving as a full-time minister. Today, he serves happily at a branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Rich blessings await all youths, including you, who choose to serve Jehovah."

Watchtower, June 14, 2011, page 6:
"A Christian mother writes: “Children who are baptized have more reasons to stay away from the bad things of the world. My son, baptized at 15, feels that baptism is a protection. ‘You don’t think about doing something contrary to Jehovah’s law,’ he said. Baptism is a strong motivation for righteousness.”


Watchtower, February 15, 1999, page 5:
“It is very risky to get married too young,” says Nikki, who was 22 when she married. She cautions: “Your feelings, goals, and tastes will continue to change from the time you are in your late teens until you are in your mid-to-late 20’s.” Of course, readiness for marriage cannot be measured by age alone. Nevertheless, marrying when one is not past the youthful stage when sexual feelings are new and especially strong can distort one’s thinking and blind one to potential problems."

Watchtower, April 15, 2008, pages 17-18, paragraph 6:
"Are you young and still unmarried? If so, how should you regard the prospect of marriage? You can avoid much heartache if you wait until you are physically, mentally, and spiritually ready for marriage before you start a romantic relationship with a Christian of the opposite sex. Of course, the Scriptures do not stipulate an age for marriage. However, the Bible does show that you do well to wait until you are past that time in life when sexual feelings are very strong. (1 Cor. 7:36) Why? Because strong sexual impulses can distort good judgment and cause you to make unwise decisions that may result in heartache later."

Watchtower, January 15, 2011, pages 19-20, paragraph 11:
"Although most young people would like to marry eventually, there are good reasons not to rush into marriage. Paul encourages youths to wait at least until they are past “the bloom of youth,” when sexual desires are most powerful. (1 Cor. 7:36) It takes time to understand yourself and acquire the experience in life that is needed to choose a suitable mate. Making a marriage vow is a serious decision, one that should last for life."

According to the Watchtower Society the Jehovah's Witnesses are instilled with a notion that baptism even at a very young age - Teens and even younger - is fine and encouraged, yet marriage at such a young age or even somewhat older (20's) is discouraged.

However, should there not be a correlation between the seriousness of marriage and the maturity needed and that of being baptized?

Well, what example do we have to reflect upon? Should any examples or experiences suffice?  Who would be the prime example for anyone stating they are Christian?

Jesus - who all Christians should be striving to imitate as closely as possible - was baptized at the tender age of...

30 years old!

Luke 3:21-23:
"Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized and, as he was praying, the heaven was opened up and the holy spirit in bodily shape like a dove came down upon him, and a voice came out of heaven: “You are my Son, the beloved; I have approved you.” Furthermore, Jesus himself, when he commenced [his work], was about thirty years old"

As any Jehovah's Witness should know, their baptism is even more serious and binding than marriage and devotion to their spouse. Should not the same admonition of not rushing and waiting until one is older and physically, mentally, and spiritually ready, until making such a serious dedication apply? Again, look to the example of Jesus Christ according to the Bible.

From their own literature they relate how 22 years old can be too young for marriage.  Is 22 years old (or even younger), not too young for baptism, then?

Why *really* does the Watchtower Society want members to baptize at such an early age? It undisputedly goes against the prime example of Jesus. Something 'less serious' as marriage is discouraged by the organization even into early-to-mid 20's.

Could the Jehovah's Witnesses practice of shunning have influence over this position by the Watchtower Society? How about stronger indoctrination, or fear and guilt? Think about it.