Jehovah`s Witness/View on Christmas
Hello again Derrick, I was reading through several posts and found Mr. Hepburns view on Christmas. I have to say I was astonished by his negativity. I understand they don't celebrate (still haven't figured out why?)but I am pretty sure its not as horrid as he described. Sounded to me, like someone was trying to convince himself more than the reader. Why do they always see the negative of everything? As said many times before, its so sad. It seems a horrible way to live your life. Having a man made religion tell you (based on their wrong interpretation of the Bible) what to do or not to do? These "Watchtower experts" don't know anymore than the man on the moon! How can you "be in the truth" and be "inspires by God" and still get proven wrong over and over again??? Please the "new light" excuse doesn't hold water if you claim the other two!!!! Maybe one day they will see (and admit) how foolish they are. Take Care and Happy New Year to you.
Good afternoon, Rita. I hope you and your family had a blessed Christmas. Ours was nice....got to head to the mountains for a few days, and enjoyed some snow, pretty scenery, and some really good eating!
Well, you asked the question of the year right here, when you said..."How can you "be in the truth" and be "inspires by God" and still get proven wrong over and over again???"
You know, this is exactly what I have observed time and again with Rando. He lies, he gets refuted and made a fool of, so instead of learning from the embarrassment, he lies some more, hoping to make people forget about the lie he just got exposed for. Do you know that now, he has started once again, repeating a lie about Easter and fabricating a quote from me, that he was thoroughly exposed for telling several months ago? Yes, its true. He posted it several times then, so I finally exposed him for it. He shut up for awhile about it, but I actually predicted that he would wait awhile, and then re-tell that same lie again. Sure enough, the "awhile" happened this week. Its a lie that has already been exposed. So, he waits awhile, and tells it again.
You are correct...How can you be "the truth", when you don't TELL "the truth"? Rando never does answer that question. He embarrasses his religion, and other members of it, yet he still continues right along. Truly led of Satan, according to John 8:44. Jehovah God does not tell people to lie, misquote, and fabricate. But that is the fruit that Rando bears.
You asked me about the reply from Mr. Hepburn. It just so happens, that he has sent me a question regarding Christmas, and he presents to me a "hypothetical question", in response to some of the things he has seen in my answers that apparently he didn't care for. Its odd, because its no secret that I like Mr. Hepburn as a person, and he is the one that I generally recommend the most, when a person wants an answer from a practicing JW. But like you, he has had an answer or two here in the past week or so, that I was disappointed in, as well. But evidently, he felt the same way about mine, so its fair both ways I guess. At any rate, you will see his question to me, and my response to him, also posted in the forum tomorrow.
You asked...."I was reading through several posts and found Mr. Hepburns view on Christmas. I have to say I was astonished by his negativity."
Yeah, I noticed the same thing. He made a couple of comments about the mood at Christmas, which were true in SOME respects, but he seemed to paint with a broad brush, and acted like these statements applied across the board. I disagree.
For instance, he said..."No I do not feel that I am missing out on anything. I actually feel sorry for all those that do celebrate Christmas. It is not a season for joy. You just have to go shopping to see that. The amount of anxiety that people have is seen on their faces and their attitudes to each other. Pushing and shoving, manners goes right out the windows, finding car parks, it seems every one is lost their cool. Standing in line at check outs listening to conversations of people complaining about what to buy, how much they are expected to spend, not wanting to be buying for “so and so” because they have not given me a present or even a card in “x” years, and having to go to lunch at “Ys” house where everyone complains about each other ..... It seems to me the vast majority of people engage in Christians activates because of peer pressure and not because of a true desire to remember the one whom God sent forth to take our sins away."
Well, I think we all know that far too many people, have forgotten that Christmas is to be about Christ, and have made it a matter of greed, and certainly operate in the wrong spirit. I mean, every Black Friday, we hear of someone at Wal-Mart being trampled to death over an X-Box, or fighting over an IPod, or some such foolishness as that.
So, there is SOME truth in his comments here. But to say that it "seems that everyone has lost their cool", is a bit much. I know of MANY people, myself included, and I am sure you as well, who are still able to find the true meaning and the RIGHT spirit of giving and generosity, and keep the focus where it should be. Its all about personal responsibility, meaning that each person is responsible for the way they do it. Some do it for the wrong reason, no doubt. Some do not.
We have always been very selective about how we do Christmas. We have never attended either of our company's Christmas parties, due to the atmosphere of drinking, acting foolish, making out under mistletoe, etc, which are not honoring to the Savior, Jesus Christ.
And despite the lies you have seen posted from Rando the Clown, we never taught our children Santa Claus(like Rando was right there when we raised them, to observe what we did), but always taught them their presents came from people who worked hard, and bought those gifts because they loved them, whether the gifts were from us, our parents, other friends, etc. We also always read the accounts of the birth of Christ, from both Matthew and Luke, on Christmas morning. The fact that the date of December 25 is likely not the correct date, was immaterial for us. For the first time this year, my wife and I decided to buy for our boys, of course, but not for each other. Instead, we took that money and did some things to help a friend of ours who is raising a son by herself, with a mom that has been in and out of the hospital with complications from a stroke. My wife said that that she felt so much better and, as she put it, "more Christmas-sie"
, than in years past. We did take a short trip to the mountains, but we both had what we needed, so we decided to do something special for someone else. It was a really good feeling.
I can honestly say that we did not stand in line "complaining about what to buy for whom", and talking about people we didn't want to buy for, because they "didn't buy us anything". Anybody with that attitude, certainly HAS missed the point of Christmas. Nor did I clobber anyone in Wal-Mart over an IPod. Best Buy, yes...Wal-Mart, no. LOL...Just kidding.
So, while I agree with Brenton that this is a problem with some people, I do not agree with him that this is a problem with everyone, or even with most people. I think he paints with a brush that is too broad.
He also mentioned about how "happy" JW children are at this time of year, using his own family's example. I can't speak for him or his family, for perhaps that really was the way it was at his house. But I can certainly speak for myself, and the JW children I grew up around, and it was far different than the scenario he presented. I remember the JW children in the school, would be picked up early, lest we stay for the dreaded Christmas party during 6th period at school. We didn't want to leave, but he had to. I remember riding by someone's house, and enjoyed looking at the lights. I remember after my parent's split, and getting to buy something for my 2 cousins...I was quite excited. I didn't want to worship any pagan "gods", and I couldn't have cared less about Saturnalia. I just wanted to give something, and yes, I sure enjoyed getting, too.
I think the part that bothered me the most from his comments, was this one....
"BUT is remembering the birth of Jesus something that God would approve of?
We acknowledge that is was part of Gods plan for Jesus to be born. However, we also know that the birth of Jesus is NOT important, --- his death is. Ecclesiastes 7:1-4)"
First, it began with a loaded question...."BUT is remembering the birth of Jesus something that God would approve of?
Well, what Scriptural precedent does he have for even asking that question? None...its an argument from silence. In other words, a mere opinion.
The truth is, the Scripture neither commands, NOR PROHIBITS, us from observing the birth of Jesus Christ. That is why I respect his right not to, and do not judge his Christianity on the basis of his not celebrating Christ's birth. And he should respect my right to (Romans 14:4-8), and not judge my Christianity on that basis, either. The Scriptural counsel is clear, yet JWs seem to not want to obey this clear injunction to not attempt to infringe on the conscience of others, in the absence of any clear Biblical command.
But let that next comment sink in for a moment....We acknowledge that is was part of Gods plan for Jesus to be born. However, we also know that the birth of Jesus is NOT important, --- his death is. Ecclesiastes 7:1-4)"
It was part of God's plan, but it isn't IMPORTANT? So, the birth of Jesus is a mere trivial matter, hardly worth mentioning? But its part of God's plan...Ok.
To say that His birth is not important, but His death is, ignores one simple little fact....There would've been NO DEATH, without a birth. I mean, talk about stating the obvious!
I think what Mr. Hepburn intended to say, is that we are only commanded to observe His death, which is true. But to say that His birth itself is not important, but is part of God's plan....That just seems incredible to me, to even say something like that.
However, arguments such as "we are only commanded to observe His death, but not His birth"
, and "Jesus wasn't really born on December 25th"
, are ridiculous arguments. Even according to the early leaders of the Watchtower, they are ridiculous arguments.
Regarding the exact date, let me re-post the same quote I gave you in my last response. It bears repeating. This comes from the 2nd president of the very religion that now prohibits its members from remembering the birth of Christ with ANY type of observance.
I quote..."Even though Christmas is not the real anniversary of our Lord's birth, but more properly the annunciation day or the date of His human begetting (Luke 1:28), nevertheless, since the celebration of our Lord's birth is not a matter of divine appointment or injunction, but merely a tribute of respect to Him, it is not necessary for us to quibble particularly about the date. We may as well join with the civilized world in celebrating the grand event on the day which the majority celebrate-"Christmas Day".
Now, what about the fact that the Bible doesn't command us to observe His birth? Well, that fact is also covered in the above quote, when it says that it "is not a matter of divine appointment or injunction"
. However, it doesn't seem to have been viewed at that time, as a reason to prohibit it.
Sorry JWs, but the "new light" argument just won't cut it on this one....There are not new facts that have surfaced, which indicate it is wrong for Christians to observe Christmas. Your former president had the SAME facts that you have today....He just realized that the fact that the date is not correct, was immaterial and unimportant. It isn't about "new light"....Its about how the facts available, are INTERPRETED by those in power and authority.
Here are a few more quotes, from early JW leaders.....
"Christmas is regarded by many people as the date of the birth of the babe Jesus in a manger at Bethlehem. Whether or not the date is correct, is of small importance, but the event was and is of the greatest importance"
Now, contrast the above comment, with the comment from Brenton mentioned earlier, that "we also know that the birth of Jesus is NOT important."
The WT publication "THE GOLDEN AGE", where the above quote was taken, also featured an ad entitled "A Chance To Make Some Xmas Money"
Another quote from the WT Society, in its earlier years....“"CHRISTMAS Day," in celebration of our dear Redeemer's birth, has for long centuries been celebrated on December 25th; and altho it is now well known that this date is in error, and that it more properly corresponds with the date of the annunciation to Mary, nine months before our Lord was born, and that he was born about October 1st,--nevertheless, since the Lord has given no instructions whatever upon this subject, and since it is proper to do good deeds and think good thoughts upon any day, it cannot be improper, in harmony with general usage, for us to remember in a social way our dear Redeemer's birth at this time.
Our Lord Jesus was God's great gift to Israel and to the world, as yet appreciated fully only by the Spiritual Israelite. Through him also all of God's gifts are promised and to be bestowed. (Eph. 4:8.) In view of these things, the custom throughout Christendom of making Christmas Day a joyful one, by the interchange of little tokens of love in the family, and to the poor, seems most appropriate.”
Another one… "especially when we remember that all of these glories and blessings and privileges are ours because of the great redemptive work accomplished by Him Whose entrance upon the work is celebrated by Christmas Day. Although we cannot agree that this is the proper day for celebrating the birth of our dear Redeemer, but must insist that it was about October first, nevertheless since He did not intimate His desire that we should celebrate His birthday it is quite immaterial upon what day that event, OF SO GREAT IMPORTANCE TO US ALL (emphasis mine, because of Mr. Hepburn’s statement), is celebrated. Upon this day, so generally celebrated, we MAY PROPERLY ENOUGH JOIN WITH ALL WHOSE HEARTS ARE IN THE ATTITUDE OF LOVE AND APPRECIATION TOWARD GOD AND TOWARD THE SAVIOR. (emphasis mine)”
“The habit of GIVING little remembrances one to another at this time of year, seems to us specially APPROPRIATE” (emphasis mine)
“We recommend that every little gift on this occasion should, so far as possible, represent or be accompanied by some little remembrance of the great Gift--something to draw the mind of the recipient to the fact that the great gift of God in Christ is, and should be, in the minds of all who give or receive the trifling exchanges of the season”
It was also suggested in one of the JW publications, that they give as CHRISTMAS GIFTS, copies of Russel’s series of writings entitled “STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES”.
Since it is obvious from the above quotes that they were well aware that Dec. 25 was not likely the date of Christ’s birth, and since they knew of the various customs of Christmas even in that day, the “light got brighter” excuse simply will not cut it. It is not about “light getting brighter”….it is about the whims and opinions of whoever happens to be making the rules for everyone else.
But today, most JWs are not content to simply OBEY the Scriptures and let each Christian follow the dictates of their own consciences on matters of observing Christ’s birth, that the Scriptures do not speak on one way or the other. Instead, we see the stupidity posted by Rando, who thinks Jehovah God is more concerned with a decorated tree, than He is about constant lying and fabricating false quotes. That guy sure is in for a rude awakening when he faces God with his life.
This has gotten so long already, that I am not going to spend too much time on this other statement made by Mr. Hepburn….“At his birth, Jesus had not made a good name as he had done nothing at all”
….except to make a quick point or two.
First of ally, Jesus CAME INTO this world with 2 names in Scripture….”Emmanuel”, which means “GOD WITH US”, and “Jesus”, which means “Jehovah Saves”. I didn’t realize He had to “make a good name”, when He already had one.
Futhermore, He was called “Christ” from the moment of His birth (Luke 2:11, Luke 2:25-30), and not when He turned 30 years old, as the Scripturally inept Rando claims.
Please understand, Rita, that I am not speaking against Mr. Hepburn as a person. I think he is probably a good guy. I normally like his mannerisms and approach. Although this answer that your reference, and his answer about wedding rings, I did find disappointing, in light of the fact that he normally gives better answers than that.
Thank you for writing, and again, I hope you and your family had a very Merry Christmas, and a great upcoming new year.