This message will take the form of a simulated discussion between a Jehovah's Witness named Joe and a Christian named Chris.
Joe in the last couple of weeks we have been discussing
the reasons why Jehovah's Witnesses don't celebrate
Christmas. When I read from a very old Watchtower
magazine I was surprised to see that originally the
Watchtower taught that Christmas was alright for
Jehovah's Witnesses to celebrate and that the date,
although it wasn't important, corresponded to his conception
rather then his birth.
was never told why the Watchtower celebrated Christmas in
their early years but I still believe that Christmas is a
pagan holiday and is condemned by the Bible. After all,
Chris, did Jehovah ever command Christians to celebrate
the birth of his son?
There is no direct command but I believe that there is a
precedence in scripture that allows God's people to have
the freedom to chose their own holiday in order to
celebrate God's gift of life sent in the person of God's
have never seen any scripture like that.
Joe, take a look at the Book of Esther. You remember the
story - God's people were faced with complete
annihilation shortly after Esther became Queen. Without
regard for her life Esther approached the king and plead
for the life of her people. But the law that called for
the death of the Jews had been signed with the king's
name and signet ring and could not be revoked. In order
to save the Jews, Queen Esther was given the king's
signet ring and permission granted for her to write a law
that would protect them. The new law allowed the Jews to
gather together to protect their lives. Joe, read what
happed from Esther 9:1 from the New World Translation.
"...on the day for which the enemies of the Jews had
waited to domineer over them, there was even a turning to
the contrary, in that the Jews themselves domineered over
those hating them."
Chris: The Jews were so happy that they were saved from their enemies that they instituted their own holy day or holiday and called it Purim. In Esther 9:9-31 it says "Therefore the Jews...celebrated the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a day of gladness and feasting, as a holiday, and for sending presents to one another...And Mordecai wrote these things...to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth day of the month of Adar, as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor. So the Jews accepted the custom which they had begun...they called these days Purim...the Jews established...that without fail they should celebrate these two days every year...they had decreed for themselves." Joe was it okay with Jehovah that the Jews created their own holiday, gave it a name and accepted the custom to celebrate Purim every year?
Well, I guess it was alright with Jehovah. I know that
the Jews celebrated Purim in Jesus time and still do to
this day. Jesus never condemned the celebration.
That's right Joe. You see Purim was instituted by the
Jews and the very day that Satan instituted as a day of
death for the Jews was turned around as a victorious
celebration for them. In the same way Christians
have the freedom to chose to celebrate the marvelous gift
of God's Son. The Christians who originally instituted
the celebration of the conception together with the birth
of our Savior believed that it was right to honor Jesus
on any day, and Christians throughout the centuries have
agreed. As a result December 25th the day that
pagans worshiped the sun in the sky, was victoriously
taken back for God in order to honor and adore God's gift
of His Son. The victory of light over darkness has been
so outstanding that the pagan worship of the sun on
December 25th has long disappeared.
I've never thought of it that way before. But, Chris, I
could never celebrate Christmas because if I did I would
be disfellowshipped. I would be kicked out of the kingdom.
That is a very drastic action. Can we discuss next week
the reasons why the Watchtower kicks people out of the
kingdom for celebrating Christmas?