Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Continued Questions for JW's

Genesis 40:20-22 And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants....But he hanged the chief baker. KJV

The Watchtower organization has prohibited birthday celebrations among its adherents, using Genesis 40:20-22 as a key part of the "scriptural basis" for this ruling. Their thought is that the word birthday appears in the Bible only in reference to Pharaoh of Egypt and King Herod of Galilee. (Matt. 14:6 and Mark 6:21) Both of them were pagans, and both men had someone put to death in connection with the celebration. Since no men of faith are recorded in the Bible as having celebrated their birthdays, but only wicked men---so the Watchtower reasoning goes--- JW's of today must not be allowed to celebrate birthdays either.
It is worth noting that, as with other teachings, it is not left up to the individual Witness to read the Bible and come up with this conclusion. Rather, the sect's secretive governing body has promulgated this official interpretaion and uses it's disciplinary procedures to enforce the policy on all Witnesses. It is noted that a 70 year old in Massachusetts decided to send his non-JW son a birthday card. His wife reported him and he went to trial and everybody now shuns him. Even though they couldn't show him scripture that said this was non-biblical.
Question: Where in the Bible does it say that God prohibits having Birthday parties, celebrating birthdays or sending Birthday cards? They will likely take you to these particular scriptures. In refuting the Watchtower's so-called scriptural basis for banning birthday celebrations, you can point out that Pharaoh and King Herod were arbitrary rulers and violent men; such monarchs were accustomed to executing people on all sorts of occassions, not just on their birthdays. Moreover, a person sending a birthday card, or a parent providing a cake with candles at a children's birthday party, can hardly be accussed of following the pattern of those murderous men. Although the actual word birthday appears only in connection with Pharaoh and Herod in most translations, the Bible does contain references to such celebrations in Godly familes;
In Job 1:4, it says of the patriarch Job's family, "And his sons went and held a banquet at the house of each one on his own day; and they sent and invited their three sisters to eat and drink with them" NWT, That" his own day" refers to each one's birthday becomes clear when we read further. "It was after this that Job opened his mouth and began to clal down evil upon his day. Job now answered and said; "Let the day perish on which I came to be born."" Job 3:1-3 The living bible uses the term birthday when referring to "his own day".
Even the Watchtower Society's own translation reveals that the birth of John the Baptist was celebrated, when it records this angelic announcement: "And you will have joy and great gladness, and many will rejoice over his birth." Luke 1:14 NWT
If the birth of John the Baptist was an occassion for rejoicing and if faithful Job's children celebrated their birthdays, the fact that Pharaoh and Herod also celebrated theirs cannot logically be used as a basis for banning birthday parties among Bible believers today.

I will continue to post questions as I continue. I have already decided where I going next with this post. I hope it will be intriguing and also interesting and also a teaching tool. Have you ever thougth about the "Rapture". What does that really mean? What are we as Christians suppose to think and know about the Rapture? When will the Rapture occur? Will we be a part of the Tribulation?
Many questions that Christians have today revolve around the elusive thought of "Rapture" Stay tuned in the coming days or weeks depending on how long it takes me to finish my thought on Witnessing to JW's


Greg P. said...

Very informative Eddie. Makes me want to be careful next time I tell someone happy birthday. I like the way you can counter their scriptural reference in Genesis about celebrating birthdays with the reference in Job and the celebration of John the Baptist's birthday. Kinda deflates their arguement.

I would very much like to read your post on the rapture! I will look forward to it. You are doing a nice job with the info regarding JW's.

Mommyluann said...

Thanks for the post on the JW'S.
My pastor in VA did a series on dealing with Mormon's. It was eye opening. I spent two summers on a mission team to Hawaii...Mormon's have a big influence there with the Mormon Temple on the islands.

BethAnne said...

One of the teachers when I was in middle scholl was a JW (I wasnt in her class). When it was time to say the pledge to the flag, she just sat down - they arent allowed. I dont think you should be able to teach in a public school if you arent willing to set an example for the kids when it comes to being loyal to our country.