Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Why Jehovah's Witnesses Must Shun Christmas

All my life, growing up as a JW in the 1950s and 60s, I was taught the standard reasons Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate Christmas (while claiming to be Christian).

1. Jesus Christ was not born on December 25. The Witnesses claimed that Jesus was born in October. They didn't celebrate Christmas then either.

2. The date of Jesus' birth is not found in the Bible. They claim the only event in Jesus' life that occurred on an identifiable date was The Last Supper which was followed by his death.

3. Christmas is the celebration of a birthday. JWs do not celebrate birthdays (and claim the early Christians did not celebrate birthdays either).

4. They assert that the customs associated with the celebration of Christmas (including the date) have a Pagan origin.

There are, of course, very reasonable answers to all these objections. But none of the four reasons listed above is the REAL reason JWs must shun Christmas. The real reason is this:

Christmas is the ultimate testimony to and representation of the Incarnation -- God become man in the person of a Babe in Bethlehem. JWs reject the Incarnation.

Now JWs have a silly tale (unsupported by scripture, BTW) that the babe born in Bethlehem was the "transferred life" of the Archangel Michael, whom they claim was God's first creation. Surprisingly, at least to the Catholics I know, JWs at the same time claim to believe in the Virgin birth. They accept the part that the babe was conceived by Holy Spirit and born in Bethlehem without the aid of a human father, but they reject that this child is God become man.

JWs also claim that the adoration of the Infant is demeaning to Jesus Christ. They state that it detracts from his current rulership as the "King of God's Kingdom". Of course, everything about the JW explanation is demeaning to Jesus. And the angels who sang from heaven at the birth of Our Lord appear to disagree mightily with the JW opinion.

So the next time a JW wants to explain to you all the reasons they do not celebrate Christmas, ask that same JW how it is that they claim to be Christian while not acknowledging the miracle of the Incarnation.

And you might let them know that the Devil did not send the star, either.

10 comments:

Rob said...

-Now JWs have a silly tale (unsupported by scripture, BTW) that the babe born in Bethlehem was the "transferred life" of the Archangel Michael-

Did you ever learn where they got the idea? Was it in a "vision", or does it involve a convoluted reading of multiple passages in scripture?

NanaR said...

Rob:

This was taught as "fact", I never even thought to question it until I started studying Catholicism.

The Witnesses don't claim any "visions". They do, however, claim that they are God's representatives on earth, having been chosen for this position early in the 20th Century (the Catholic Church has about 1900 years seniority on them).

As I pointed out about the rejection of Christmas, one of the bases of JW belief is the assertion that The Word identified by the gospel of John is a CREATURE. As with most religions that are built on "proof texts", they pull scriptures out of context and misapply them to make their point -- at the same time ignoring the testimony of the entire New Testament that Jesus is God.

They teach that Jesus had a "prehuman existence", and their identification of Jesus with the Archangel Michael is part of their attempt to explain who The Word was before he was born on earth.

A great deal of Witness doctrine can be traced back to older restorationist and Protestant roots. So they may have (probably did) borrow it from some other source, but I don't know what that source would be.

That they can believe that Jesus is Michael the Archangel based on conjecture and correlation of supposed references in scripture, while at the same time rejecting the Diety of Christ as specifically taught in scripture, is a mystery to me.

I have some Watchtower publications references with relation to the above, but I don't want to post them in a combox.

You are welcome to email me at leoness46@hotmail.com if you would like the references or have other questions.

Thanks for visiting my blog ;-)

Lee Faber said...

The Seventh-Day Adventists also believe that the second person of the Trinity and the archangel Michael are the same person (based on the two passages in Daniel where he's mentioned). I've heard that Charles Taze Russel was an SDA pastor prior to forming the JW's. perhaps that's the origin.

Anonymous said...

Hallo ppl im a wittness(not baptized but am planning to be...)
when the bible was made some of the events in it were writen befor they happend(god jehovah told ppl who wrote the things befor they happend what would happen.)
What we no was either recorded back B.C. or god to it to the ppl... if u dont understand then email me at cutekittiecatmaya@yahoo,com...

David B. said...

Ruth Ann,

Could you send me an email? We are trying to record a few more episodes for our podcast, and would like to interview you (if you are willing of course). You can listen to get an idea of what it sounds like by listening to our interview with author Dave Hartline.

I don't like to post my email in comment sections (to thwart spammers), but you can contact me by emailing the address listed on the Per Christum blog, or else by using the Contact Form on our website. Thanks!

Cutekittycatmaya (Anonymous),

Your response doesn't make much sense to me. Could you elaborate?

NanaR said...

David:

I sent you an email to the email address on the Per Christum blog.

Cute:

I sent an email to the yahoo address you list in your comment, but it returned. Like David, I do not understand your comment. Please elaborate.

Ruth

Hidden One said...

That may be because her email is posted with a comma between yahoo and com, if that wasn't noticed.

NanaR said...

H1:

I noticed the comma. The email addy doesn't work even in the proper form.

Disciple (Lee) said...

Ruth, allow me to say (because I love saying it and because I mean it): Welcome home!

I wandered down many paths until I discovered Holy Mother Church fifteen years ago. Absolutely the best thing that has ever happened to me. And now I'm so glad to have discovered your blog. Will be reading your story in the days to come.

Peace be with you, Ruth, and I hope you had a Blessed and Very Merry Christmas!

Lee :)

PS: I celebrated Christmas with my best friend who is sort of a former JW. It's complicated. One of the reasons I'm looking forward to reading your story. God bless you. :)

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