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. It does not state to build kingdom halls; in fact early Christians met in homes, but that does not make kingdom halls unchristian. 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. If you observed someone deliberately run over by a car and killed, would you stop driving cars? I like it that way because I get surprised.”​—Gregory, age 11. Preaching - only Witnesses? “Even though I don’t get presents on my birthday, my parents still buy me gifts on other occasions. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays because we believe that such celebrations displease God. 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. As this not the case now, the reasoning is no longer relevant. 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. … They do not celebrate their own or anyone else’s birthdays nor national holidays. The Bible presents life as a gift to be celebrated and for which to be thankful. 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 reasoning against birthdays gives insight into the manner in which the Watchtower formulates doctrine. 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. Every day I marvel at him and his progression. This is little more than an additional way to isolate Jehovah’s Witnesses from people around them. Why Don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses Celebrate Birthdays? They don't believe in military service, national anthems or voting. “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? However, both of those events are presented in a bad light.​—Genesis 40:20-​22; Mark 6:​21-​29. You will be indoctrinated into thinking secular society is evil. No, they do not even celebrate Christmas or Easter because Jesus is not placed at or above the level of importance of Jehovah God. 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. Disfellowshipping & Shunning David was required to supply the foreskins of 200 slain Philistines as a dowry to King Saul (1 Sam 18:27). There is no proof that Jesus was born on December 25; his birth date is not recorded in the Bible. Such a concept does nothing more then reinforce the conditional nature of a Jehovah’s Witness parents love towards their children. Do Jehovah's Witnesses celebrate holidays? 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? Jehovah - God's Name? I didn't know this! 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. (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. 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. The Jewish non-practice of birthdays(1) does not make birthdays wrong, as the Bible neither specifically promotes nor condemns them. 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. The early Christians did not celebrate birthdays. 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 are members of a Christian-based religious movement. Like all good parents, Witnesses express love to their children throughout the year, including giving them gifts and having enjoyable gatherings. (All my friends are Witnesses) No gifts. 1. 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? Jesus explained why we need guidance and what two Biblical principles are of prime importance. Why don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate Christmas? In macabre fashion, the Watchtower misapplies Ecclesiastes 7:1 to persuade against birthdays. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays because we believe that such celebrations displease God. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays because we believe that such celebrations displease God. Copyright © 2021 Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. 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. “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. The Watchtower continues the reasoning, referring to Ecclesiastes 7 to suggest that birthdays attach excessive honour or importance to an individual. For example, when discussing piñatas, Watchtower advises to contemplate how they are currently regarded: The preponderance of paganism makes it irrelevant whether a “pagan” celebrated a birthday or why. 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. (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. 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. Cross or Stake (2 Cor. Jesus’ apostles and early disciples did not celebrate Christmas. My friend is a Jehovah's Witness and I know they don't celebrate Easter, Christmas etc. 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. 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. 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. 607 / 1914 / Seven Times 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? … Watchtower 1940 Jan 1 p.16 In 1951, that the Watchtower stated the Witnesses were no longer to celebrate birthdays. https://assetsnffrgf-a.akamaihd.net/assets/m/502015120/univ/art/502015120_univ_sqr_xl.jpg. Why Don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses Celebrate Birthdays? People don’t seem to understand what … They also don't celebrate other national holidays or birthdays in an attempt to remain separate from the world. Nor does he forbid celebrating ones birth anymore than he forbids accumulating good oil. The article starts by saying the following: 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. but someone told me that they don't celebrate Birthdays either. The intention of these passages is not an opinion about birthday celebrations, but rather the importance of working on gaining a character of wisdom. For example: Why does the Watchtower not hold birthdays to the same standard? Jesus commanded that we commemorate his death, not his birth.— Luke 22:19, 20. So why celebrate wedding anniversaries and not birthday anniversaries? Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrated birthdays until the 1950’s. These include Christmas, Easter, and even birthdays. The first Watchtower mention against birthdays was in 1951. Last Days This is quite different that the Watchtower’s suggestion we be ashamed of the day of our birth. This affects Witness children most, and later this is often remembered as one of the areas of greatest embarrassment and loss in childhood. However, when deconstructed each point shows poor logic, and the Watchtower condemnation of birthdays contradicts Bible principles. "—w98 10/15 pp. Why Don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses Celebrate Birthdays? 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. Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/AlexRaths 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” This is not simply an oversight, for it does record two birthday celebrations by those not serving God. 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'? The giving of wedding presents is accompanied by murder in the Bible. Audio download options Pagans have done virtually everything we do, including most of what a Jehovah’s Witness does day-to-day. Murder has never been a common accomplice of the traditional birthday party. The Bible never refers to a servant of God celebrating a birthday. 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