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Jehovah's witness Christmas question

(19 Posts)
LibrariesgaveusP0wer Wed 09-Dec-15 11:34:48


DD has some children in her school who are JW and who don't celebrate Christmas - removed from all plays, parties, must refer to them as 'winter cards' etc.

Is there anyone here who is/was a JW and can help me get my head round it in case of questions. I've read a few bits online and it doesn't make much sense to me.

So, some stuff given as an explanation seemed a bit odd - like the date of Jesus' birthday not being recorded. I don't think many Christians believe it was 25th Dec, it's a symbolic date. Do JW think everyone else believes it's a literal date?

The one I could get my head round most was that it was tacked onto a pagan festival.

So here's the big question: What do they believe in inherently wrong about celebrating Jesus' birth? I get that they don't like Christmas as a festival, but what's wrong with the idea of celebrating?

Which I think tags onto, why no birthdays?

Thanks! I can handle explaining what the Muslim and Jewish kids believe but I'm a bit confused on this one and it's hard to tell from Googling what is accurate.

Lessstressedhemum Wed 09-Dec-15 17:43:43

OK, no birthdays because on both occasions where birthdays are mentioned in the bible, the outcome is not good (think John the baptist losing his head at Herod's party) this is taken as a warning that Jehovah doesn't like birthdays.

Christmas -see above. Also it is originally a pagan festival, many of the traditions have their roots in paganism etcso, therefore celebrating Christmas is actually worshipping Satan rather than honouring God. The date of Jesus birth thing ties in with this because Christmas falls during what would have been midwinter festivals, so the date is not only inaccurate but was also chosen because of its association with existing festivals, if that males any sense.

Other thing about Christmas - JWs belief is that the star was sent by Satan to lead gods enemies to the Christ child.

Jws don't take part on any religious festivals associated with false religion because that would be dishonouring God and worshipping Satan.

LibrariesgaveusP0wer Wed 09-Dec-15 18:09:31

Thank you! Are you a JW yourself?

I am still a bit confused tbh. God in the old testament and new is pretty clear about stuff he likes and doesn't. Why send a cryptic message about birthdays via two stories of evil people celebrating them? Why wouldn't he say not to like other things?

I kind of get the Christmas /pagan thing, but why not commemorate his birth another time?

On the star? How does that fit with the wise men following it? Do JW believe the wise men were also the work of Satan? Can't remember the exact wording in Matthew.

LibrariesgaveusP0wer Wed 09-Dec-15 18:12:56

Sorry. Don't mean to sound disrespectful of your beliefs, if they are.

Chrisinthemorning Wed 09-Dec-15 18:13:44

Is it considered rude to wish them a Happy Christmas- either if you don't know they are JW or know but forget in the course of conversation? Or do they let you off because everyone does it?
Would it be polite for them to return the greeting to me as they know I celebrate- in the same way I would wish my Hindu friends a Happy Diwali despite not celebrating myself? I don't expect this but just wondered.
Thank you

LibrariesgaveusP0wer Wed 09-Dec-15 18:23:14

From what I've seen they avoid referring to Christmas and say things like "enjoy the school holidays ". That is just my experience though.

I know this is selfish, but I have felt a bit sad since finding out about one of the families. The mum had seemed a potential friend (most of my friends have older kids and are busy with work, but we and they have a baby too) but I now realise all her friends are based around her church and I don't think JW are encouraged to have friendships outside the church.

Lessstressedhemum Wed 09-Dec-15 18:31:22

Used to be.

Re the greeting thing, a jw would likely respond with something like "have a nice holiday", no mention of Christmas. They wouldn't be offended, usually, by you wishing them a happy Christmas.

Wise men - they were pagan so already worshipping Satan. The star initially led them to herod who then killed all the children under the age of 2 in an attempt to get rid of Jesus. So jws believe that Satan sent the star. They also believe that astro!ogy is the work of the devil.

A lot of jw beliefs are quite esoteric and and based on quite convoluted interpretations of scripture, so the birthdays thing seems reasonable from the inside. Also, jws believe that the governing g body are Jehovah's organisation on earth so whatever they say comes straight from the mouth of God, as it were.

They don't celebrate Jesus birth on another date because they don't mark birthdays at all. They also don't do Easter the same as other versions of Christianity, because it too has pagan roots.

Lessstressedhemum Wed 09-Dec-15 18:32:44

Friendships outside of the faith are actively discouraged.

LibrariesgaveusP0wer Wed 09-Dec-15 18:56:12

Esoteric really does sum it up.

Funnily, I wouldn't see Christmas as celebrating a birthday. A birthday is celebrating that you've been around 10 years or whatever. Chrismtas is celebrating the fact that Jesus was born. I guess that JW wouldn't make that distinction?

Is the birth of a new baby celebrated, or would that be a birthday too?

I haven't even got on to attempting to understand Easter!

Are you still religious LessStressed, or have you left all faiths, if you don't mind me asking.

Lessstressedhemum Thu 10-Dec-15 09:32:35

Am still religious, don't mind you asking at all. I don't know where I would be without my faith. I left jw because the God I believe in is merciful and forgiving and there is little mercy in the jw faith. Also because I don't believe that God would bury his message so deeply that it would be impossible to find without the help of the "faithful and discreet slave", the jw governing body.

The birth of a new baby is always something to celebrate!

LibrariesgaveusP0wer Thu 10-Dec-15 17:48:45

Good to know a birth doesn't count as a birthday!

That's really interesting. I am from a fairly evangelical CofE background and the mercy and forgiveness side is so strong. Also the idea of a personal relationship with Jesus.

I have been doing some more reading. I am ashamed to admit I didn't realise just how far removed JV beliefs were from mainstream Christianity.

Lessstressedhemum Fri 11-Dec-15 15:41:12

Yes, very, very different from mainstream belief. You don't really have a relationship with Jesus at all as a jw. He is pretty much secondary to Jehovah, although it will be Jesus who is head of god's government during the millennial rule.

Also works are very important in jw faith, much more so than in reformed churches. For instance, you have to preach as much as you can to avoid being found blood guilty at the End.

It all makes sense from the inside, until it doesn't anymore.

LibrariesgaveusP0wer Tue 15-Dec-15 22:05:44

Thank you for all your time on this thread. It's really helped. smile

Theydontknowweknowtheyknow Mon 21-Dec-15 13:46:46

This is very interesting!

I didn't realise that JWs saw the pagan gods as devils. I wish I knew more about paganism too. Maybe I will start a thread on that...

Tomboyinatutu Mon 21-Dec-15 14:00:35

Pagans aren't devil worshipers! That is so offensive!

Theydontknowweknowtheyknow Mon 21-Dec-15 17:09:27

Well yes that is what I thought. Isn't it the case though that when Christianity cane along they turned the pagan gods into devils?

IcecreamBus Mon 21-Dec-15 17:22:34

Jumping in to point out that pagans don't believe in Satan. Very interesting thread though!

usernamesandgingerbreads Mon 21-Dec-15 17:32:32

Very interesting thread. A lady off my birth board i stayed in touch with is JW. Never knew about the birthday thing. Hope i havent offended her.

Lessstressedhemum Mon 21-Dec-15 18:08:16

Worshipping anything/one except Jehovah, as one of his witnesses is worshipping Satan, because he is the ruler of this system of things and is actively trying to lead people away from true worship of the true God. So, even other Christians are worshipping Satan because they do not belong to the "Truth", which is what jws call their faith.

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