Birthday celebrations and customs - Are they for Christians?

by AlmostAtheist 173 Replies latest jw friends

  • defd



  • Apostate Kate
    Apostate Kate

    I haven't read all the pages here so forgive me if I am repeating what has already been noted but;

    Matthew 2:11 - and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

    Luke 2: And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; 11 for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!"

    Jesus' first birthday party was the biggest in the universe. We really don't know if Jesus had birthdays while growing up, whatever was the Jewish custom, that is what He did. Does anyone know what the Jewish custums were back then?

  • mkr32208
  • forsharry

    You can dislike it if you want, but the basis for my argument is NOT incorrect.

    Pulling pell-mell from the scriptures and becoming a prophet, interpreting what they MIGHT COULD say is what tore my family apart. Unless it's there in black and white, use your noodle and figure it out for YOURSELF.

    If someone else doesn't like what YOU came up with using your Bible-Trained Conscience, well then too bad. Jesus came up with new thoughts and ideas on how things should be and for that he is inspired! Us? We're apostetic!

    For crying out loud the whole point of learning is to form your own ideas and beliefs on how reality should work for you. We're all grown adults! I find it the height of laziness to have to look to a manual for such a question. You either do it or you don't. You either want to or you don't.

    It doesn't say anywhere in the bible that you CAN'T celebrate Birthdays. Not black and white. and i'm not nearly haughty enough to start splitting hairs in the readings of these biblical parables.

  • AlmostAtheist

    Hey Kate,

    The problem with the gifts for Jesus being "birthday gifts" is that they came too late. Apparently the wise men/magi/whatever dropped by well after Jesus was born. As for the rejoicing at his birth, the anti-birthday crowd would tell us that they were actually celebrating the beginning of the end of mankind's slavery to sin and death. They would probably toss in the off-topic point that Jesus commanded his death -- not his birth -- to be commemorated. Edited to add: I don't have a source for it offhand, but I believe the Jews did not celebrate birthdays. I can't find any information about WHY they didn't, but I've seen in several places that they didn't. (You can imagine the difficulty of proving WHY someone did not do something. I wish I could find solid information on motive.)


  • mkr32208

    Whatever is not forbidden is permitted. You cross that line where do you stop? Oh wait they DON'T stop!

  • sweetscholar

    thank you, Mr Agnostic. I appreciate that message. and your patience, in a sense. unless I missed it in your other postings, cuz of maybe fast reading of them, you did NOT clearly mention the eye paint thing was ROOTED IN WITCHCRAFT PER SE IN THE SENSE OF SPIRITS AND DEMONS OR WITCHERY TYPE STUFF. I thought, from you said already, that all you were doing as far as connecting it in the "pagan origins" thing was simply because maybe pagan people had COME UP with it. meaning that pagans invented the wearing of eye paint, hence wouldn't that make it questionable, or your "point 4" thing. but you spelled things out more clearly (as you yourself admitted in your posting to me) finally.

    so Mr Agnostic. (that IS what you are, isn't it?) stop doubting the Bible's validity so much. yes, I understand that you're "familiar" with it. more so than the average schmooo on the street. which is a good thing generally. you know the Word of God, but you don't know the God of the Word. and even your knowledge of the Scripture is not with God's "power" and "Spirit" or with any true humility involved. even you might admit that much.

    but to your point. remember, I said from the get go that your eye paint comparison was MUCH better than the alibi that people like that girl and the other dudez keep mentioning like "pagans ate fruit and had cats as pets and urinated and bathed in water; so are those things 'wrong' too?" blah blah blah. I'm glad you didn't do that crap. and I'm glad you set the record straight a little bit about the supposed "gift giving" that those astrologers (could have been 'three' or ten for all we know) is NOT an alibi for the pressurized commercialized selfish OBLIGATORY "gift-giving" and gift WANTING that goes on at Christmastime. those "three" magi did not arrive at Christ's Birth, but much much later, and NOT on Christ's Birthday (which was in late September, not late December). they did not arrive at either dates. Christ was already a toddler not an infant at that point. side point. anyway, the eye paint witchcraft connection. here we go.

    oh, and before I forget, the Bible does give hints that "elaborate FESTIVALS" are worse to God. the whole thing about setting apart a special DAY for vanity and witchcraft is obviously worse than makeup on the face. and to answer your question, before I forget, about "valuelessness", there's obviously SOME value to eye shadow and eye paint and eye makeup. just ask any woman who's trying to cover up wrinkles, or dark shadows under the eyes, or a woman who just looks better with a little makeup, and it's known that when you look better you tend to feel better. only natural and even somewhat necessary sometimes. yes, people have gone overboard with their pre-occupation with their looks. but balance is what's needed with that. "elaborate" feast days (see Jeremiah, and Ezekiel and Isaiah) are spoken of with dis-pleasure by God and the Prophets and even Apostles. apparently, despite your great Bible knowledge, you kinda missed that. (I'll give you the more precise Scripture references a little later.) but we don't have that kind of beneficial practicality thing with birthday candles and pagan-rooted and vain "wish making to a Druid god and demon guardian", and the adulate me attitude of it all.

    Scripture: 1 Timothy 2:9. Paul, under the Holy Spirit, said that he desired women to ADORN THEMSELVES. he didn't say "don't adorn yourselves", and where does the point of not overdoing it or doing it moderately come in? he said "adorn themselves well-arranged." the term "dress" is really broad (pardon the pun, we're talking about "broads" doing it primarily here) and is something that means to be "worn" in general. Paul did not say "don't adorn yourselves with eye paint". but again, when we talk about elaborate festive "days" with guardian demons floating around them, do you at least admit that the two are not 100% exactly the same? even if you consider them somewhat close??

    Listen. Simply put, the Bible does not forbid all efforts to improve or embellish one’s appearance. You say that only pagans did that SORT of thing? maybe you say that only pagans or apostate Israel did the specific eye paint thing. but as far beautifying with oils and makeup in general. well no, there's some stuff to indicate that faithful servants also did that. Even God, in a good sense, is said to have figuratively adorned and beautified "Israel'. Some of God’s servants, men and women alike, used jewelry. (take a look at Genesis 41:42; Exodus 32:2, 3; Daniel 5:29.) Faithful Esther consented to an extensive beauty regimen with cosmetic oils, perfumes, and massages. (Esther 2:7, 12, 15; compare Daniel 1:3-8.) God said that he figuratively decked Israel with bracelets, a necklace, a nose ring, and earrings. Such contributed to her becoming “very, very pretty" and that context was NOT in an apostate whorish sense either—Ezekiel 16:11-13.

    OK now what about for professed "Christians"? you mention your research where some people assert for sure that the very very very very very very first invention of "eye paint" was originally only specifically definitively for warding off spirits. we know that for sure because? archeological evidence? well here's some archeological evidence that Israelites used eye paint too. Archaeologists in Israel and nearby have found makeup containers, as well as applicators and mirrors. Women in the ancient Orient, INCLUDING ANCIENT ISRAELITES, used cosmetics that anticipated many of today’s products. With no specific censure from any of the prophets or rabbis, per se. Also, a little tid-bit. The name of Job’s daughter Keren-happuch likely meant “Horn of the Black (Eye) Paint,” or a container for eye makeup.—Job 42:13-15.

    So a Christian woman’s using cosmetics, such as lipstick, cheek coloring, or eye shadow and eyeliner is like whatever.

    Also, you say so assuredly that Jezebel did not necessarily use "excessive" makeup. cuz it doesn't say the exact words "too much" in the text. well there is such thing as logical inference from OTHER things in the text. analyze it honestly and carefully. the story of Jezebel suggests that she put so much black paint around her eyes that it would be noticed from a distance, even by Jehu outside the palace. What is the lesson? Do not put on makeup with a heavy hand, in an exaggerated way. If Jehu who was pretty far away noticed it, and knowing what an unbalanced psycho Jezebel was, you can say to me that she did not use too much eye paint, which the WT DOES condemn?? Remember, she did it FOR Jehu and others who were way outside the house to see it. moderate amounts of makeup would be more likely to be noticed by someone at least in the same room, not outside of the house away from an upper window. (and it was an upper window, if Jezebel died from falling out of it.)

    Tammy Fay Bakker when she was younger once thought that all makeup was sinful, then she went batty and mental and overboard the other way. if it quacks like a duck, people. as far as "excess" goes.

    and let's face it. makeup tends to have many chemicals and crap that are not really good for the skin. and heavy caked on and constant use of it is not the wisest idea.

    Again, I agree that specific "eye paint" is not mentioned in reference to faithful witnesses of the Lord in Holy Scripture, but ornaments and adornments and cosmetic facial oils are and are not forbidden outright by the Holy Spirit in the "New Testament." whereas "birthday celebration feasts" are not even hinted even in an indirect way by any of the holy writers of Scripture as being ok for a servant of Yehowah. Paul said: "I desire that women adorn themselves well arranged."

    There were shells containing eye shadow in ancient Chaldea, in archeological finds, around the time of Abraham. where do we see a clear thing besides your website (which I'll address and mock shortly) that definitively for sure states the exact irrefutable origins of eye paint. now do your biased Protestant website:

    I red your website reference with much amusement. (I'm sorry to sound so curt and dismissive about it, but when I red through it all, I had to say of you: "this guy is desperate in his attempt to have an alibi for sin and paganism in his agnostic life." sorry but those were my thoughts when I saw it.) look who put that mess together. Some outfit that calls themselves "Christian Resource Centre (Bermuda)". yeah, really unbiased. I told you that you have some uptight protestant groups that forbid wine drinking and call the Holy Spirit a liar when it called it "wine" not "grape juice" in John 2, and 1 Timothy 5. quote:

    Another magazine states:

    "The use of makeup is also said to stem from witchcraft where the painting of one’s face was believed to ward off evil. Makeup was used extensively by American Indian witch doctors and European witches. Mascara was particularly a charm inasmuch as it is made of antimony, an old witch metal."

    ok, what specific "magazine" was that? let's see how reputable or reasonable or unbiased or archeological or truly substantiated it is. also, the sloppy reckless quote says "the use of makeup is also SAID to be stem from witchcraft where the painting of one's face was believed to ward off evil." ok, publication? copyright? documented evidence? archeological irrefutable proof? yeah, just assertions. whereas the documented evidence and archeological data on birthday celebrations with their trappings is irrefutable as for its pagan demonic overtones and blatant connections and rituals and customs. I agree with the Scriptural principle quoted at the bottom of that web page "have no fellowship with darkness but rather REPROVE (or correct, point out, rebuke, or condmemn) them." (Ephesians 5:11). which is what I've been doing with BD celebrations and their 'darkness' worldly attributes. the website is mis-applying it to general use of makeup though, and what's funny is that I can guarantee you that the jokers who put that website together celebrate birthdays. duhh. yet get a fit over "eye shadow"????? the over use and slutty weird use of it, yes. but not moderate use too. because of some very weak and UN-substantiated quotes and conjectures about eye paint's origins? there's NO conjecture or guessing as to the actual origins of birthday celebration rituals though.

    and again, as for the Scriptural indication that God has a bigger problem with "elaborateness" and "festivals" and "magical nonsense tied in, and mixed in"? just one passage for now will suffice. either you overlooked it, or you never looked at it quite in this way. but it is what it is, and it speaks to the matter. The Lord Himself speaks to apostate paganized bewitched Israelites:

    (Isaiah 1:13-14) " 13

    Stop bringing in any more valueless grain offerings. Incense—it is something detestable to me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of a convention—I cannot put up with the use of uncanny power (referring to magic and spells and necromancy and so forth) along with the solemn assembly. 14 YOUR new moons and YOUR festal seasons my soul has hated. To me they have become a burden; I have become tired of bearing [them]."

    There's a certain formalized and "elaborate" element to that sort of thing.

    I'll throw in a few more, in general:

    (Ezekiel 14:3-5) 3

    "Son of man, as regards these men, they have brought up their dungy idols upon their heart, and the stumbling block causing their error they have put in front of their faces. Shall I be inquired of at all by them? 4 Therefore speak with them and you must say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: "Any man at all of the house of Israel that brings up his dungy idols upon his heart and that places the very stumbling block causing his error in front of his face and that actually comes to the prophet, I, Jehovah, I will let myself be brought to answer him in the matter according to the multitude of his dungy idols, 5 for the purpose of catching the house of Israel by their heart, because they have withdrawn themselves from me through their dungy idols—all of them."’

    (Ezekiel 20:16) ". . .for the reason that they rejected my own judicial decisions; and as regards my statutes, they did not walk in them, and my sabbaths they profaned, because it was after their dungy idols that their heart was going."

    (incidentally, a good point too against "Christmas" which takes pagan sun god worship and the worship of Egyptian Evergreens (and there IS a tie-in with Jeremiah 10 as far as idolatrous "trees" to a degree) and pagan dates and pagan customs that are dumped on Christ's supposed "birthday". and of course a good point against "Easter" which is "Ishtar" the Babylonian Fertility Goddess of Spring with her fertile bunny rabbits and easter "eggs" and pagan customs dumped on Christ's supposed "Ressurection Day", not even His Death Day or Lord's Supper commemoration. all mish moshed. DUNGY IDOLS IN THEIR HEARTS PROFANING GOD'S PRINCIPLES. "elaborate" things in Scripture.)

    your quotes from very biased and questionable sources with that quote other un-documented un-substianted things are not all that impressive. I mean, I appreciate you bringing up the point and the contention and the argument. but it does not really hold up under that much scrutiny "ward off evil" is the true actual origin? provable beyond question? provable solidly like the birthday celebration elaborate pagan customs unquestionably definitely are??? methinks not. at least not at this point. provide better evidence that that silly protestant hypocritical website, and we maybe we can get further. sorry. anyway, that's that. I hope my response and messages helped a bit. at least for the time being. later.

  • DanTheMan
    wish making to a Druid god and demon guardian",

    You mention the "Druids" issue in every post it seems.

    Didn't the Awake article on Pinatas indicate though that the history of a custom isn't so much important as how it is viewed today? I don't know anybody who views blowing out the candles on a cake as having any connection to Druid gods. I did see where you reasoned in one post that the difference is that B-days are mentioned in the Bible but Pinatas aren't. But I don't think the reasoning fits, simply because Pinatas weren't a custom in the ancient near east so of course they aren't mentioned in the Bible.

  • LittleToe

    I'm sorry to say it, but your argumentation is really foolish.

    you mention your research where some people assert for sure that the very very very very very very first invention of "eye paint" was originally only specifically definitively for warding off spirits. we know that for sure because? archeological evidence? well here's some archeological evidence that Israelites used eye paint too. Archaeologists in Israel and nearby have found makeup containers, as well as applicators and mirrors.

    You've just undermined your whole argument:

    How do you know for sure that Birthdays are pagan? The very very very very very very first invention of "candles" was originally only specifically definitively for warding off spirits. You know that for sure because? Archeological evidence?

    You come across as proud, haughty and conceited . Tell me again, what kind of Christian do you profess to be?

  • sweetscholar

    hi. I hope you red through that last posting of mine. "solemn assembly" and convocation and "uncanny power". and biased protestant hypocritical website, with no documented anything, but mere conjectures and reckless quotes. etc. provide something a wee bit more solid than that I said.

    but I wanted to also say that AGAIN, I don't and the WatchTower does not put Birthday celebrations on the same level as "thou shalt not murder, steal, defraud, lie, or sleep with another man, and adulterate" etc. per se. even with the blatant pagn demonic elements so clearly tied and mixed in. of course not.

    but the point is that it's DEFINITELY questionable and unwise. not beneficial or holy in the overall sense. not very "separated or sanctified" is the point. with all the Biblical, historical, archeological, and linguistical data put together. there's no hard undeniable evidence besides a few conjectures that "eye paint" is as bad or as questionable or as tainted. you may stubbornly think that there is, but let's face it, buddy. her hair was made up too. enough already. we went from birthday celebrations, to masturbation, to oral sex in marriage (from that other guy), to cats, to eye paint, to dancing, to alcohol. lol. is there more?

    but anyway, if you can provide harder better things and evidence. then MAYBE you have a valid plea about your '4th point' of paganism with eye paint. maybe. but even you cannot get around the point about the "elaborateness" and "festive" junk element, that IS to be seen in Scripture, if carefully examined. Isaiah 1,2; Ezekiel; Jeremiah; 1,2 Corinthians, etc. take care.

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