Jehovah`s Witness/the 4th of July
QUESTION: Are Jehovah Witnesses allowed to celebrate the 4th of July? I remember years ago a neighbor who is a witness went to watch fireworks all the time, so I wasn't sure. Thanks.
ANSWER: Hi Heather,
Thank you for your question. The 4th of July celebration is all about political freedom from Great Britain and the birth of America. As Jehovah's Witnesses we do not participate in anything that has to do with politics since we are completely neutral (John 18:36, Daniel 2:44). That includes the 4th of July celebrations. Fireworks in themselves are not bad. I enjoy watching firework displays whenever I can, as long as they are not attached to any national holiday. However, I can only speak for myself.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: I did not realize that Jehovah Witnesses were against political freedom???? Do they think more along the lines of communism? The fireworks my neighbor went to were on the 4th of July, so I don't get that. When you say "you can only speak for yourself " does that mean if she thought it was ok, then its ok??? Its all very gray and confusing. I have read the Bible and follow the Bible, and I think fireworks are cool and not disrespecting to anyone. Thanks.
ANSWER: Hi Heather,
No we are not against political freedom. However we remain politically neutral in all aspects of government. Including the celebration of independence. Communism is a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party. The activity of Jehovah's Witnesses is not controlled by a single and self-perpetuating political party.
We all are blessed with free will. And with that free will comes responsibility. We are all individually responsible for our words and our actions (Matthew 12:36,37). When I say "I can only speak for myself" I mean just that (Titus 1:15). Maybe I misread your initial question. You stated that your neighbor who is a witness went to see fireworks all the time but you did not say that they were for the 4th of July, correct?
As I mentioned before, fireworks in themselves are not wrong. However, depending on the celebration which calls for fireworks, Jehovah's Witnesses would not participate or join in.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: You say you are blessed with free will? How do you think that happened? How do you think you have the right to practice the freedom of religion? You say you remain "neutral" yet accept all the benefits. How does that work? Seems a bit hypocritical to me. As far as being "controlled" by a single political party, no one is! I don't know where you got that info, but its incorrect, that what freedom is all about. No disrespect meant to you, but you have things a little twisted. Fact is, being able to choose what and what you don't participate in, is not being neutral in any way, its actually the complete opposite, because you have a choice. You are participating in FREEDOM. Fireworks is really a small thing here when you look at the big picture of what you do. Surely, you can can understand this and see the hypocrisy? You say you are not under political control (which does not even exist?), but you are under the control of something that is feeding you twisted info. Its really quite sad. Take Care.
The definition that I provided came from the Websters dictionary. And I used the definition simply to answer your question regarding communism.
The Bible tells us that God created man in his ‘image and likeness,’ and one of the faculties God himself has is freedom of choice. (Genesis 1:26; Deuteronomy 7:6) When he created humans, he gave them that same wonderful faculty—the gift of free will. So the desire for freedom is no accident, for God is a God of freedom. The Bible says: “Where the spirit of Jehovah is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17) Hence, God gave us free will as part of our very makeup. Since he knew the way our minds and emotions would work, he knew that we would be happiest with free will.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are well-known for our political neutrality. True Christians, nevertheless, know that they must obey Jesus’ command to be “no part of the world.” (John 15:19; 17:14-16; 18:36; James 4:4) This requires that they maintain neutrality in political or social matters. My choice will always be not to participate in any aspects of politics or nationalism. I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say I choose what I will participate in and what I will not.
There are Jehovah's Witnesses in many countries where they do not have the right to practice freedom of religion. In that case they continue to worship Jehovah. Just as Paul stated; "We must obey God as ruler rather than man Acts 1:29.
You initially asked me if Jehovah's Witnesses were "allowed" to celebrate the 4th of July and I've answered that question with each response. If you any further questions please feel free to visit our website at www.jw.org