Cross or Stake Jesus commanded that we commemorate his death, not his birth.— Luke 22:19, 20. The Bible, however, condemns the use of magic, divination, spiritism, or “anything like this.” (Deuteronomy 18:14; Galatians 5:​19-​21) In fact, one reason why God condemned the ancient city of Babylon was that its inhabitants practiced astrology, which is a form of divination. It was not a Jewish practice to observe annually the date of one’s birth, and hence the Bible does not stipulate the celebration of birthdays. For example, the following Watchtower quote is from 1940. There is no proof that Jesus was born on December 25; his birth date is not recorded in the Bible. Not only does this doctrine cause undue anxiety to young Witness followers, it also alerts one to the power Watchtower leaders have, being able to convince its follower’s en masse to believe whatever it writes, regardless of how little Biblical support there is. Nor would it be appropriate for a Christian to attach special significance to the fact that a ring had a “birthstone,” since the Christian witnesses of Jehovah do not celebrate birthdays, pagans being the only ones mentioned in the Bible as celebrating birthdays. If this truly is a reason to avoid a birthday party or celebrations, then it should also apply to graduation parties, retirement parties, wedding anniversaries, or celebrating a good school report. 607 / 1914 / Seven Times This is in recognition that at death a person leaves their legacy of having been righteous or not. The greatest day of my life was the birth of my son; the greatest wonderment, and happiness. The Bible never refers to a servant of God celebrating a birthday. Although the Bible does not explicitly forbid celebrating birthdays, it does help us to reason on key features of these events and understand God’s view of them. A wedding reception, such as the one attended by Jesus, elevates a newly married couple with as much importance as a birthday party. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays because we believe that such celebrations displease God. Blood Transfusions To single out birthdays alone as giving undue importance is a contradictory Watchtower stance. Jehovah's Witness at a glance. 2 … ... and even birthdays. Forbiddance of beliefs and behaviour on the basis of paganism is one of the most illogical, misused, and contradictory lines of reasoning within the Watchtower. However, it was not the birthday, but the death of the baker that is key to the story, as it was in fulfillment of a prediction by Joseph, showing the prophetic ability of this follower of God. If you observed someone deliberately run over by a car and killed, would you stop driving cars? Almost everything is pagan. The angels celebrated the birth of Jesus. … It does not state to build kingdom halls; in fact early Christians met in homes, but that does not make kingdom halls unchristian. For example, the following Watchtower quote is from 1940. They try to follow the perfect example of God, who spontaneously gives good things to his children. —Gen. A Kingdom Hall announcement that an individual is pioneering gives importance to that individual prior to achieving their goal, but this is not considered wrong. (Matthew 7:​11) Children of Witness parents do not feel deprived, as these comments show: “It’s more fun getting a gift when you’re least expecting it.”​—Tammy, age 12. The Watchtower continues the reasoning, referring to Ecclesiastes 7 to suggest that birthdays attach excessive honour or importance to an individual. For some reason a Witness is allowed to participate in most wedding practices, but forbidden to throw confetti. This is not simply an oversight, for it does record two birthday celebrations by those not serving God. The question you ask was explained by the Society in the issue of The Watchtower, October 15, 1998, Questions From Readers: "Many of Jehovah’s Witnesses observe wedding anniversaries.A birthday is an anniversary of when you were born. My friend is a Jehovah's Witness and I know they don't celebrate Easter, Christmas etc. Why Don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses Celebrate Birthdays? But they do not participate in holidays and celebrations that are linked with pagan gods (as is true of such holidays as Easter, New Year’s Day, May Day, and Mother’s Day). Jehovah’s Witnesses believe it is a sin to celebrate birthdays, which they dismiss as heathen superstition or rooted in “ancient false religion.” The prohibition can be found in the Watchtower Society’s Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1 What Does God Require of Us? Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrated birthdays until the 1950’s. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate Flag Day. Do Jehovah's Witnesses celebrate holidays? God does not object to commemoration, with a number of yearly festivals, memorials, and celebrations in the Jewish calendar. Claiming birthdays as sinful is a classic example of Watchtower eisegesis; that is, misinterpreting a text to introduce one's own agenda and bias. The World Book Encyclopedia says that “they considered the celebration of anyone’s birth to be a pagan custom.” The Bible shows that the apostles and others who were taught directly by Jesus established a pattern that all Christians should follow.​—2 Thessalonians 3:6. “Are Cats for Christians” (see jwfiles.com/wt_ex_jw_corner/cats.htm 20th Jul 2012) is a great satire on how the Watchtower approach to rule making can be used to forbid anything, such as cats being unchristian, if so desired. Why Don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses Celebrate Birthdays? Nowhere in the Bible is it stated that observing birthdays is wrong, so the Watchtower uses four predominant lines of reasoning to prevent Witnesses celebrating birthdays: When presented together, these may appear to provide solid defense against birthdays. A lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses do celebrate with their children the birthdays of their children. The modern view of birthdays is what counts, and people do not associate birthdays with paganism, idolatry, or murder. The Watchtower makes the claim that birthdays are to be avoided due to being pagan. If God wanted us to abstain from birthdays, it is reasonable to conclude he would have specified as much. So why celebrate wedding anniversaries and not birthday anniversaries? These include Christmas, Easter, and even birthdays. (Luke 22:17-​20) This should not be surprising, for the Bible says that “the day of death is better than the day of birth.” (Ecclesiastes 7:1) By the end of his life on earth, Jesus had made a good name with God, making the day of his death more important than the day of his birth.​—Hebrews 1:4. questionable doctrine > Are we expected to believe Jehovah was tardy in removing an offensive practice from his people; or was the ruling against birthdays a man made rule introduced late in Watchtower history, as an attempt to segregate Witnesses from the general population? A baby shower, which is a birthday celebration, puts a mother and child in the spotlight. I didn't know this! “Even though I don’t get presents on my birthday, my parents still buy me gifts on other occasions. Job, an “upright and blameless man” celebrated with his children, in what was possibly their birthday celebration. Trinity. In macabre fashion, the Watchtower misapplies Ecclesiastes 7:1 to persuade against birthdays. Well, early in this century, Bible Students, as Jehovah’s Witnesses were then known, did take note of birthdays. Genesis 40:20-23 contains the account of Pharaoh’s birthday celebration, during which a baker was hanged. The inclusion in the Bible was not related to the birthday, but rather the importance of the death of John the Baptist to the formation of Early Christianity. Pharaoh killed the inhabitants of Gezer and gave the city as a wedding gift to his daughter, Solomon's wife. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays because we believe that such celebrations displease God. Audio download options Those that avoided birthday celebrations did so because the practice at the time was commonly an idolatrous one, associated with lavish feasts dedicated to pagan gods. Jehovah’s Witnesses have to fill out a monthly report that … Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrated birthdays until the 1950’s. The giving of wedding presents is accompanied by murder in the Bible. The tennis champion is a Jehovah's Witness, and recently explained that members of the religion don't do the whole presents and cake thing. Jesus explained why we need guidance and what two Biblical principles are of prime importance. We do not need the Bible to sanction birthdays for them to be acceptable, anymore than a range of matters not covered in the Bible. Although the Bible does not explicitly forbid celebrating birthdays, it does help us to reason on key features of these events and understand God’s view of them. Share “Is it just coincidental” that the Bible has an account showing the danger of a noonday siesta, or would most people feel that to be reading too much into the passage? But they take care not to overtly copy the traditional rituals associated with this celebration, such as blowing out candles on a cake. Although the Bible does not explicitly forbid celebrating birthdays, it does help us to reason on key features of these events and understand God’s view of them. Since “birthday celebrations tend to give excessive importance to an individual,” 17. this is why Jehovah’s Witnesses do not to celebrate their birthdays, but choose rather to “give gifts and have good times together at other times during the year.” 18. Watchtower 1940 Jan 1 p.16 In 1951, that the Watchtower stated the Witnesses were no longer to celebrate birthdays. It is inconclusive that early Christians avoided birthdays as a universal stance, as there were many sects of Christianity by the end of the first century. May grace and strength be given me to do with my might what my hands find to do." The Watchtower here misrepresents Solomon’s intent, as is readily apparent when continuing to read this Bible passage. TERMS OF USE These contained a Bible text for each day, and many Christians put a tiny photograph on the pages corresponding to the birthdays of fellow Bible Students. Earthquakes Should not consistency force the Watchtower to forbid these wedding traditions? With over 600 intricately detailed rules in the Mosaic Law, birthdays could have been mentioned if they were offensive to God, as they were a common practice in the surrounding nations at that time. Many of Jehovah’s Witnesses observe wedding anniversaries. A birthday is an anniversary of when you were born. Jehovah - God's Name? This is quite different that the Watchtower’s suggestion we be ashamed of the day of our birth. The first Watchtower mention against birthdays was in 1951. The Jewish non-practice of birthdays(1) does not make birthdays wrong, as the Bible neither specifically promotes nor condemns them. Would you like to read this article in %%? Great Crowd and Other Sheep They don't believe in military service, national anthems or voting. Solomon continues by saying; vexation is better than laughter, a funeral better than a banquet, and mourning better than rejoicing. "—w98 10/15 pp. but someone told me that they don't celebrate Birthdays either. Though some churches interpret Job 1:4 to indicate birthday feasts of Job's sons, Jehovah's Witnesses interpret them as a circuit of feasts from one house to the next. Nor does he forbid celebrating ones birth anymore than he forbids accumulating good oil. With arguments from paganism being an illogical stance, the Watchtower is plagued with a contradictory stance on pagan practices, at times admitting the meaning of a practice to pagans in the past is not of importance today. Every day I marvel at him and his progression. (1) The Jewish Bar Mitzvah is a birthday-like celebration, held on the 13th birthday of a Jewish boy and 12th birthday for girls, but this custom only developed in the Middle Ages. Why Don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses Celebrate Birthdays? The only commemoration that Christians are required to keep involves, not a birth, but a death​—that of Jesus. This extends beyond necessary daily activities, such as bathing, eating, drinking, and working. Could I explain that I cannot honour his birth in case he goes wayward in the future? 14:6-10. Ask a Witness why they cannot celebrate a birthday and the first reason given will most likely go something like this: This is based on comments such as the following: It is correct that two birthday parties are specifically mentioned in the Bible, neither was for worshippers of Jehovah, and someone was killed at both. The article starts by saying the following: If we are to assume the inclusion of something bad in the Bible is to warn against such things, despite no statement to that affect, then endless more rules can be conjured. (Isaiah 47:11-​15) Jehovah’s Witnesses are not preoccupied with the roots of every custom; yet when the Scriptures give such pointed indications, we do not ignore them. Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/AlexRaths They do not celebrate their own or anyone else’s birthdays nor national holidays. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays because we believe that such celebrations displease God. To provide a basis in understanding why Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays, it is important to consider that Jehovah's Witnesses place the highest priority on basing their beliefs, their standards for conduct, and organizational procedures on the Bible.So then, there needs to be an honest examination to Bible references and principles regarding birthdays. I have heard of many Witnesses that celebrate birthdays in secret. The penalty for celebrating my birthday would be the following: Nobody at my party. Birthday celebrations have pagan roots. So why celebrate wedding anniversaries and not birthday anniversaries? Jehovah’s Witnesses do not stand … 7. Preaching - only Witnesses? home > “Do you think that ten minutes, a few cupcakes, and a song make a party? Whilst the majority of Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays because it is forbidden, if tomorrow the Watchtower decided to state birthdays are acceptable, few would object on Scriptural grounds. 2. According to Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend, these celebrations originated from the belief that on a person’s birthday, “evil spirits and influences have the opportunity to attack the celebrants” and that “the presence of friends and the expression of good wishes help to protect the celebrant.” The book The Lore of Birthdays says that in ancient times, birthday records were “essential for the casting of a horoscope” based on “the mystic science of astrology.” This book adds that “birthday candles, in folk belief, are endowed with special magic for granting wishes.”. The first Watchtower mention against birthdays was in 1951. Birthday Celebrations (All my friends are Witnesses) No gifts. Acts 20:35 says, “there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving", and birthdays afford the opportunity to appreciate the joy of giving. Although the Bible does not explicitly forbid celebrating birthdays, it does help us to reason on key features of these events and understand God’s view of them. For example: Why does the Watchtower not hold birthdays to the same standard? This is little more than an additional way to isolate Jehovah’s Witnesses from people around them. Paradise Earth Forever? 1. PRIVACY POLICY. There is nothing wrong with giving an individual special attention. Because the Bible makes no reference to the birthday celebration of any believer, Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays. I would have to buy; My own cake. Are we expected to believe Jehovah was tardy in removing an offensive practice from his people; or was the ruling against birthdays a man made rule introduced late in Watchtower history, as an attempt to segregate Witnesses from the general population? However, when deconstructed each point shows poor logic, and the Watchtower condemnation of birthdays contradicts Bible principles. Why Don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses Celebrate Birthdays? This affects Witness children most, and later this is often remembered as one of the areas of greatest embarrassment and loss in childhood. birthdays. Having to fill out field service reports. You will be indoctrinated into thinking secular society is evil. As this not the case now, the reasoning is no longer relevant. They also don't celebrate other national holidays or birthdays in an attempt to remain separate from the world. Jehovah's Witnesses don't celebrate Christmas or Easter, which makes sense when you remember that they don't believe Jesus is equal to God. The site gives the following as reasons for the refusal of Jehovah’s Witnesses to join other Christians in 25 December celebration of birthday of Jesus Christ. Paul tells us, “… where the spirit of Jehovah is, there is freedom.” (2 Cor 3:17) He does not criticise Christians that celebrate a particular day as special, but does condemn those that are judgmental. I know that he turns 16 v. soon ( I know the actual date, but not off the top of my head ), would it be offensive if I said 'Happy Birthday'? It does so in several guises, though each of the following lines of reasoning is in actuality the same point: Whilst presented as several angles of support, it effectively is a single line of reasoning. Solomon does not forbid being happy, or attending a banquet. (Isaiah 2: 22) Thus, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not, for example, celebrate a sovereign’s birthday. Later, the Magi presented the infant Jesus with gifts that were accepted by Joseph and Mary. Many of them kept small books called Daily Heavenly Manna. Murder has never been a common accomplice of the traditional birthday party. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter, nor do they observe birthdays, national holidays, or other celebrations they consider to honor people other than Jesus. Last Days The Watchtower draws upon this as part of it formulation to condemn birthdays. Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate holidays that they believe do not fit true Christianity. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays because we believe that such celebrations displease God. Since Jesus was Jewish, as were early Christians, this applied to them too. Jews did not make a practice of celebrating birthdays, which is why the Bible does not promote them. The reasoning against birthdays gives insight into the manner in which the Watchtower formulates doctrine. People don’t seem to understand what … If the moral of these stories was against birthday celebrations, than the stories should end with the warning that birthdays are not for followers of God. The Bible presents life as a gift to be celebrated and for which to be thankful. 6:14-17) Like the early Christians,* they do not even celebrate birthdays. Pagans have done virtually everything we do, including most of what a Jehovah’s Witness does day-to-day. Mediator for only the 144,000 People died at the two birthdays mentioned in the Bible, Day of death better than birth – undue honour, The Bible does not say to celebrate birthdays, Early Christians did not celebrate birthdays, Are never spoken of favourably in the Bible, Are never listed as being owned by righteous men of old, Are unclean animals, by the definition given to Noah. https://assetsnffrgf-a.akamaihd.net/assets/m/502015120/univ/art/502015120_univ_sqr_xl.jpg. Copyright © 2021 Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. Matthew 14:6-10 and Mark 6:21 have the account of the second birthday celebration, held for Herod, during which Salome requested the beheading of John the Baptist. … Why don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate Christmas? Jesus’ apostles and early disciples did not celebrate Christmas. The Bible does not give authority to eat dessert and condemns gluttony, yet this does not imply dessert is wrong. Could I honestly tell him that I cannot celebrate his birthday, because “the day of his death is greater than the day of his life”? However, neither were standard birthday parties, but that of kings. David was required to supply the foreskins of 200 slain Philistines as a dowry to King Saul (1 Sam 18:27). Disfellowshipping & Shunning This is telling as to how solid the Scriptural grounds for such a doctrine is. The denomination was founded in the … Cats: When the Bible does not forbid a practice, an Eisegesis approach to rule-making allows even the most shallow of reasoning to claim the practice as wrong, which is what the Watchtower has done with birthdays. Consider four aspects of birthday celebrations that show why God is not pleased with them. The Bible does not show Jesus or his apostles celebrating birthdays and The Watchtower claims the absence of any record of the date of the birth of Jesus or his apostles indicates that "God does not want us to celebrate any of these birthdays". (2 Cor.  |  2 Samuel contains the only instance where a siesta is mentioned in the Bible, and results in a beheading. No, they do not even celebrate Christmas or Easter because Jesus is not placed at or above the level of importance of Jehovah God. For conscientious reasons, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not take part in holiday activities [Picture on page 17] Early Christians did not celebrate their birthdays [Picture on page 19] “This is not mere child’s play, but the vestige of a fertility rite, the eggs and the rabbit both symbolizing fertility” Global Flood of Noah It is common for a Witness to receive gifts after their baptism, or even be provided a celebratory meal, yet it is unknown whether they will continue in good standing to the day of their death. The story was included in the Bible to bring glory to the prophetic ability of God, with the birthday as incidental. I like it that way because I get surprised.”​—Gregory, age 11. The early Christians did not celebrate birthdays. The Bible does not state that wedding anniversaries are acceptable, but that does not make them wrong. My parents had me almost convinced that I was not missing out by not celebrating my birthday, but watching my son shows me how much I did miss out on. 144,000 - a literal number? However, both of those events are presented in a bad light.​—Genesis 40:20-​22; Mark 6:​21-​29. I didn't know this! The life a of Witness is filled with pagan practice, such as the wearing of neckties and perfume, celebrations with piñatas, flying of kites, and even use of the calendar, which is named after Roman Gods. You should come to my house and see what a real party is like!”​—Eric, age 6. Like all good parents, Witnesses express love to their children throughout the year, including giving them gifts and having enjoyable gatherings. The question to consider is whether these extreme examples are included as a warning against such celebrations. The intention of these passages is not an opinion about birthday celebrations, but rather the importance of working on gaining a character of wisdom. Consider four of these aspects and related Bible principles. It was indeed a birthday gift from Jehovah, to be used in proclaiming his name. Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to celebrate birthdays, based on what are claimed to be Scriptural reasons. Neither story makes such a statement, as this was not to purpose of these accounts. Why Don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses Celebrate Christmas. Jehovah’s Witnesses have good times with their families and friends. Weddings are laden in paganism, including the ceremony, cake, dress, burning of candles and the wedding ring. 40:20; Matt. (1 Kings 9:16 NIV). Jehovah's Witnesses are members of a Christian-based religious movement. Such a concept does nothing more then reinforce the conditional nature of a Jehovah’s Witness parents love towards their children. 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