I'm not a JW, but would love to know why it such a horrible thing to celebrate Christmas
My thoughts exactly - I have yet to understand what exactly makes Christmas such a horrible, reprehensible thing. Seriously, I'm not being sarcastic, I want to know what's to wrong about it?? Is praising the Lord so horrible?? And spending time with friends and family and exchanging gifts?? How about praying for peace on Earth and goodwill to man?? Are all of these things so terrible that God would condemn because we celebrate them?? And as for worshipping Jesus, I believe in the Trinity, and there is a verse in the Bible, I'm not sure what it is exactly right now, that states that in honouring the Son, we are honouring the Father, so for me, that makes Christmas perfectly acceptable in God's eyes.
I won't even get into the whole hypocrisy/pagan practices, I have another thread on that one, take a look, see what others are saying about things that are permitted in the WTS that are as pagan as praying to Athena for victory in war.
The dub's feel that all of christendom are pagan, so you can't win.
I don't think I'm worshipping a tree. I think it's a decoration, and if you've got the time and the energy to put one up. Do it!
Agreed. Just because something used to be pagan, doesn't mean it's still pagan. When I put up a Christmas tree, I'm not worshipping it, I don't bow down before it, I use it as a decoration because I happen to really like it. Christmas trees look good, they're lots of fun to decorate with family members and they really brighten up the house for a couple of weeks. I don't worship trees, I worship God - a Christmas tree is just a decoration, nothing more.
Think about a regular ol' decoration you have around your house - me, I'm a university student, so I have movie posters on my walls. And I'm sure lots of people have pictures of their family members on their walls in nice frames. And how about nice curtains or light fixtures or floor coverings?? All of these things decorate your home, right?? So what makes them any different from a Christmas tree, other than the fact that a Christmas tree is seasonal?? Do you worship the pictures you hang on your walls?? Do you sing your praise to that new light fixture in your bathroom that you really like?? No, they're just decorations, not idols. Same goes for a Christmas tree - it's nice, it's pretty and sparkly and shiny and all of that, it's bright, it's festive, and it's just a decoration. You don't worship it any more than you'd worship that movie poster your teenager keeps on his bedroom door.
Pagan, What's pagan??? Everything is pagan, a cat, a wedding ring, everything is to someone. It is a lame excuse made to separate JWs from everyone else.
And it's true, the WTS tends to think that damn near anything in Christendom is pagan except worshipping God, so they like to ban anything that's mainstream. Heaven forbid that their members actually have some fun, spend time with their families, put up some decorations and fit in with the rest of Christian society. Ban the holidays, and you segregate your members from mainstream society and therefore, they are alienated and forced to the fringes of society. They don't associate with non-JWs, just like they're told, and they're afraid to disobey a bunch of old men in Brooklyn. That way, they can't question what they're being told, they can't find out that they're being misled and they can't break away from the WTS. No holidays just serves to keep people in line and prevent them from leaving the WTS, in my opinion.
So celebrate Christmas, enjoy the time spent with your family and friends, if you want to go to church, go for it, and if you don't want to, then don't. Everyone has the incredible gift of free will, God gave it to you, so use it.
I live my life believing in a loving, understanding and forgiving Heavenly Father - honour Him in whatever way you see fit, and He will understand your purposes. Nobody on Earth, not some organization, not some so-called "Governing Body", can tell you how to worship God, that is a personal thing, just as your relationship with Him should be, and God will not condemn anyone who worships Him with sincerity. If Christmas is how you choose to do that, God will understand.
In closing, I'd like to refer back to my favourite quote from the movie "Kingdom of Heaven":
"God will understand, my lord. And if he doesn't, then he is not God and we need not worry."
Merry Christmas everyone!!