Disfellowshipping & Shunning Claiming birthdays as sinful is a classic example of Watchtower eisegesis; that is, misinterpreting a text to introduce one's own agenda and bias. If God wanted us to abstain from birthdays, it is reasonable to conclude he would have specified as much. Solomon does not forbid being happy, or attending a banquet. Jehovah's Witnesses are members of a Christian-based religious movement. 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. So why celebrate wedding anniversaries and not birthday anniversaries? The Bible does not give authority to eat dessert and condemns gluttony, yet this does not imply dessert is wrong. For some reason a Witness is allowed to participate in most wedding practices, but forbidden to throw confetti. 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. Would you like to read this article in %%? In macabre fashion, the Watchtower misapplies Ecclesiastes 7:1 to persuade against birthdays. The article starts by saying the following: Genesis 40:20-23 contains the account of Pharaoh’s birthday celebration, during which a baker was hanged. For example, the following Watchtower quote is from 1940. Many of them kept small books called Daily Heavenly Manna. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays because we believe that such celebrations displease God. The Jewish non-practice of birthdays(1) does not make birthdays wrong, as the Bible neither specifically promotes nor condemns them. “Do you think that ten minutes, a few cupcakes, and a song make a party? 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. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays because we believe that such celebrations displease God. 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. 2. 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. Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrated birthdays until the 1950’s. 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. A birthday is an anniversary of when you were born. Weddings are laden in paganism, including the ceremony, cake, dress, burning of candles and the wedding ring. 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 was indeed a birthday gift from Jehovah, to be used in proclaiming his name. The giving of wedding presents is accompanied by murder in the Bible. but someone told me that they don't celebrate Birthdays either. 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. I like it that way because I get surprised.”​—Gregory, age 11. “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? The denomination was founded in the … The only commemoration that Christians are required to keep involves, not a birth, but a death​—that of Jesus. My friend is a Jehovah's Witness and I know they don't celebrate Easter, Christmas etc. However, neither were standard birthday parties, but that of kings. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays because we believe that such celebrations displease God. You will be indoctrinated into thinking secular society is evil. Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to celebrate birthdays, based on what are claimed to be Scriptural reasons. Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate holidays that they believe do not fit true Christianity. The Watchtower draws upon this as part of it formulation to condemn 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). It does not state to build kingdom halls; in fact early Christians met in homes, but that does not make kingdom halls unchristian. I didn't know this! Global Flood of Noah As many people know, Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, or any national holiday (Independence Day, Thanksgiving), and they don’t celebrate birthdays. The first Watchtower mention against birthdays was in 1951. I have heard of many Witnesses that celebrate birthdays in secret. These include Christmas, Easter, and even birthdays. Preaching - only Witnesses? 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. The angels celebrated the birth of Jesus. The intention of these passages is not an opinion about birthday celebrations, but rather the importance of working on gaining a character of wisdom. home > 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. 40:20; Matt. 14:6-10. Jesus explained why we need guidance and what two Biblical principles are of prime importance. 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. 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. The first Watchtower mention against birthdays was in 1951. Nor does he forbid celebrating ones birth anymore than he forbids accumulating good oil. The story was included in the Bible to bring glory to the prophetic ability of God, with the birthday as incidental. Watchtower 1940 Jan 1 p.16 In 1951, that the Watchtower stated the Witnesses were no longer to celebrate birthdays. For example, the following Watchtower quote is from 1940. The Bible never refers to a servant of God celebrating a birthday. 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. 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? Why Don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses Celebrate Birthdays? 607 / 1914 / Seven Times 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. Why Don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses Celebrate Birthdays?  |  Jehovah's Witness at a glance. Murder has never been a common accomplice of the traditional birthday party. Do Jehovah's Witnesses celebrate holidays? Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/AlexRaths (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. As this not the case now, the reasoning is no longer relevant. 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. Well, early in this century, Bible Students, as Jehovah’s Witnesses were then known, did take note of birthdays. The early Christians did not celebrate birthdays. They try to follow the perfect example of God, who spontaneously gives good things to his children. Birthday celebrations have pagan roots. 2 … They don't believe in military service, national anthems or voting. No, they do not even celebrate Christmas or Easter because Jesus is not placed at or above the level of importance of Jehovah God. 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. (Isaiah 2: 22) Thus, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not, for example, celebrate a sovereign’s birthday. If you observed someone deliberately run over by a car and killed, would you stop driving cars? Why Don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses Celebrate Birthdays? Jehovah - God's Name? Should not consistency force the Watchtower to forbid these wedding traditions? 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 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. Why don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate Christmas? 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. Why Don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses Celebrate Christmas. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays because we believe that such celebrations displease God. Such a concept does nothing more then reinforce the conditional nature of a Jehovah’s Witness parents love towards their children. Jehovah’s Witnesses have good times with their families and friends. (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. A wedding reception, such as the one attended by Jesus, elevates a newly married couple with as much importance as a birthday party. A lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses do celebrate with their children the birthdays of their children. There is nothing wrong with giving an individual special attention. Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrated birthdays until the 1950’s. 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. Cross or Stake Consider four of these aspects and related Bible principles. 144,000 - a literal number? A baby shower, which is a birthday celebration, puts a mother and child in the spotlight. For example: Why does the Watchtower not hold birthdays to the same standard? (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. birthdays. Great Crowd and Other Sheep 1. —Gen. 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. 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. Could I explain that I cannot honour his birth in case he goes wayward in the future? 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. 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. Having to fill out field service reports. To single out birthdays alone as giving undue importance is a contradictory Watchtower stance. 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. Trinity. 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