We remain neutral toward all such celebrations. Article ID: JAF3352 | By: David W. T. Brattston, This article first appeared in the CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL, volume 34, number 06 (2011). They believe sins require two witnesses. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day on which they were born into this world below.”​—The Catholic Encyclopedia (New York, 1911), Volume X, page 709 (quoting Origen Adamantius of the third century). A co-worker is Jehovah's Witness. Activities that Jehovah’s Witnesses are prohibited from participating in are as follows: All Holiday and Birthday Celebrations All Patriotic Activities, Including Singing the National Anthem and Saluting the Flag After-School Activities that Conflict with Evening Commitments at the Kingdom Hall So if a holiday or a celebration is in some way linked to other gods or goddesses, or if observing it is contrary to our understanding of Biblical principles, we do not take part. Even he stands alone in his opposition, which would indicate that other Christians did not consider birthdays to be the issue or sin that Witnesses do. The Saturnalia in Rome provided the model for most of the merry customs of the Christmas time.”​—Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics (Edinburgh, 1911), edited by James Hastings, Volume III, pages 608, 609. Seriously, We should not say “happy birthday” in any way. May grace and strength be given me to do with my might what my hands find to do." Other holidays are somewhat different in nature. I have been given a case study where Joseph''s family are Jehovah Witnesses and do not want the service to celebrate Joseph's birthday. … Another problem is that the non-Witness sources it cites are too old to still be authoritative or available. They celebrate it once per year, noting that it was instituted on the Passover, an annual festival. David W. T. Brattston, J.D., is a retired lawyer residing in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. For further information or to subscribe to the CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL go to: http://www.equip.org/christian-research-journal/, 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?2 and What Does the Bible Really Teach?3. 2 and What Does the Bible Really Teach? In some places there may also be a certain day set aside to memorialize a nation’s war dead, or a day to remember the birth of a country or certain prominent presidents, rulers or national heroes. It’s the support of friends like you that enables CRI to to post new articles on subjects of interest and continue our weekly podcast. Origen began Commentary on Matthew 10.22 with, “Some one of those before us has observed what is written in Genesis about the birthday of Pharaoh, and has told that the worthless man who loves things connected with birth keeps birthday festivals; and we, taking this suggestion from him, find in no Scripture that a birthday was kept by a righteous man.”5 Origen’s predecessor who wrote about Pharaoh’s birthday party was not a Christian, but a member of what Jehovah’s Witnesses like to condemn as “false religions.” The teaching originated in Philo the Jew’s On Drunkenness.6 Even here, the objection is not to birthday parties per se but to drunkenness, citing Pharoah as an example. However, Jehovah’s Witnesses for conscientious reasons do not take any part in these holiday activities​—whether it be singing, playing music, acting in plays, marching in parades, drawing pictures, attending parties, eating and drinking, and so forth. Or what portion does a faithful person have with an unbeliever? You can't save your friends with a blood transfusion. When the class is celebrating a birthday, give the child an alternative task such as a special errand or send the child out of the class with a book, drawing activity or similar option. The reason is that these holidays, too, are connected with non-Christian worship; in fact, certain features of such worship often dominate the celebrations. At least he might if he were me. Halloween: Though celebrated as a Christian holiday, Halloween finds its origins in pre-Christian festivals that propagate false ideas about life after death. Mother’s Day: “A festival derived from the custom of mother worship in ancient Greece. Most Watchtower publications state merely “early Christians did…” without citing specific ancient Christian authors or other supporting references. All others will be annihilated. The question to consider is whether these extre… Hell does not exist. The service usually make a special deal of each of the children on their birthday, inviting them to be king or queen for the day and singing 'Happy Birthday' in different languages. It is not an official practice of Jehovah's Witnesses; it is at best a personal choice. Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays Most witnesses would sincerely appreciate the thought behind your card and would not be offended by this in any way. Or what sharing does light have with darkness? Indeed, Reasoning from the Scriptures concedes that “wholesome gatherings of family and friends at other times to eat, drink, and rejoice are not objectionable.”8 In other words, the activities accompanying the celebrations are not harmful in themselves, but only on a particular day, just like commemorating Christ’s coming into the world is laudable and encouraged on any day except December 25. The present article accordingly examines the entire extant body of Christian literature before the persecution, mass apostasy, and epidemic of AD 249–251. When learning these facts about Christmas, how have some been affected? : Thinking About Religion in The Mandalorian, The Origin of the Islamic Dajjal in False Christian Apocalyptic Literature, How to Have a Civil Discussion about Abortion, Why Do I Call Myself Good? Myth: You divide families by teaching people not to celebrate Christmas. Christmas: As you are probably aware, December 25 was not the birthday of Jesus Christ. For example, there may be national days of thanksgiving. paragraph 7. … Without mentioning Origen, Jehovah’s Witnesses heavily rely on these two incidents. Origen mentioned the topic in these paragraphs only secondarily to his observation that, for his infant son Isaac, Abraham celebrated not the day of birth or anniversary thereof but the day he was weaned (Gen. 21:8). They observe it on Nisan 14 according to the ancient Jewish lunisolar calendar. As an ex-Jehovah's Witness, I can tell you she will likely see through what you are doing, but won't reject it if it isn't wrapped in the "Pagan" birthday ritual. May Day: “May Day festivals probably stem from the rites practiced in honor of a Roman goddess, Maia, who was worshiped as the source of human and natural fertility. Curiously, Reasoning from the Scriptures contains no entry on alcohol or drunkenness. So why celebrate wedding anniversaries and not birthday anniversaries? 's also reject birthdays because they claim that they are shown in a negative way in the bible. The following encyclopedias explain: “The observance of Christmas is not of divine appointment, nor is it of N[ew] T[estament] origin. To put matters in their context, recall that during that period, Bible Students also commemorated December 25 as the anniversary of Jesus’ birth, or birthday. The Witnesses cite (incompletely) Augustus Neander. 1. Mt 14:1-12). They were a Pharaoh of Egypt and the Roman ruler Herod Antipas, each of whose birthday celebrations had deadly results. It is commonly known that Christmas was not originally a celebration of Christ’s birth. Fact: We care deeply about families, and we use the Bible to help build stronger families. They provide no specific references except the Bible, not even names of authors or titles, or any indication that better evidence lies behind them. His articles on early and contemporary Christianity have been published by a wide variety of denominations in every major English-speaking country. So my question is to Jehovah Witnesses, why is it bad to celebrate birthdays and holidays, could you please provide some … It was indeed a birthday gift from Jehovah, to be used in proclaiming his name. http://www.equip.org/christian-research-journal/, This is the Way…Or is It? Jehovah's Witnesses reject birthdays as pagan, so they refuse to participate in them. New Year’s Day: “In ancient Rome, the first day of the year was given over to honoring Janus, the god of gates and doors and of beginnings and endings. New Year’s Day became a holy day in the Christian church in A.D. 487.”​—The World Book Encyclopedia (1982), Volume 14, page 237. Homilies on Genesis 7.1 touches in passing on observing one’s birthday, without comment on its desirability or not, while Homilies on Samuel 1.8 merely mentions that people in Origen’s day held birthday parties for their children, without Origen condemning the practice. Jehovah's Witnesses commemorate Christ's death as a ransom or "propitiatory sacrifice" by observing the Lord's Evening Meal, or Memorial. probably come from an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia which took place every February 15. 14:6–10). 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 festival honored Juno, the Roman goddess of women and marriage, and Pan, the god of nature.”​—The World Book Encyclopedia (1973), Volume 20, page 204. ‘Therefore get out from among them, and separate yourselves,’ says Jehovah.”​—2 Corinthians 6:14-17. There is no proof that Jesus was born on December 25; his birth date is not recorded in the Bible. Of the forty-some works that have come down to us, only four of Origen’s Bible commentaries and collections of sermons even mention birthday celebrations. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays due to viewing it as elevating an individual. 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. 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