10 good reasons why celebrating birthdays should be allowed

by bluecanary 90 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • bluecanary

    I cannot take credit for any of the gems below but I did want to polish and organize them. Much of the information was borrowed from this thread. If you can come up with any more, please post them.

    1. The Bible does not ban birthdays. Despite the fact that beheadings took place at both birthdays mentioned in the Bible, we are no where told NOT to celebrate them. This is important because the Bible is full of rules. God didn't leave anything to guesswork when laying out the laws for Israel. Birthdays were obviously a well-known custom at that time. If God was particular enough to dictate how the Israelites cut their hair, wore their clothes and cooked their meals, he would have made explicit a ban on birthdays.
    2. The Bible gives tacit consent for celebrating birthdays. Romans 14:5: "One [man] judges one day as above another; another [man] judges one day as all others; let each [man] be fully convinced in his own mind." And Colossians 2:16: "Therefore let no man judge YOU in eating and drinking or in respect of a festival or of an observance of the new moon or of a sabbath;" These Scriptures not only allow for individuals to choose which celebrations they will partake in, they make clear that no one has the right to dictate to another which celebrations they may partake in.
    3. The Bible does not need to tell us specifically that it's ok to celebrate birthdays. Do we have (or need) a Biblical command for everything that comes up in life? We are not commanded to commemorate wedding anniversaries, eat dessert, own pets or hold a checking account. Does not free will allow us to make decisions in regard to such matters?
    4. Whether or not the early Christians celebrated birthdays is irrelevant. We do not model our lives on what the early Christians did. Early Christians did not shave their beards. They did preach within Jewish synagogues. Just because something was or was not customary at that time has no bearing on its inherent rightness or wrongness.
    5. The Bible speaks poorly of other things that are allowable. Wearing make up, owning dogs, giving wedding gifts, haircuts and drinking are all associated in the Bible with tragic acts. Yet, none of these things are considered unacceptable for Christians. Why would birthdays not be held to the same standard?
    6. Other customs based on pagan tradition are allowable; wedding rings, wedding veils, piƱatas, pot lucks, tombstones, wind chimes, breakfast cereal, neckties and kites to name a few. These things are no longer associated with the pagan customs that originated them-and neither are birthdays. No one today associates birthdays with paganism.
    7. Other customs with violent origins are allowable. Soccer originated with conquerors kicking around the severed heads of their enemies. The theater was grossly violent and often featured the tortured deaths of Christians. Today, soccer and the theater are different. The origins of these things were far more violent than the Biblical birthday beheadings. And their modern counterparts are more violent than modern birthdays. Yet, these things are considered acceptable for Christians. How much more so should birthday celebrations be.
    8. The good man Job commemorated the birthdays of his children. (Job 1:4,5; 3:1) Job was considered righteous. The only sin he was accused of was in thinking he was more righteous than God. Therefore, commemorating birthdays is not sinful.
    9. Life is a sacred gift from God and we should be thankful. God is obviously fond of regular commemoration. He commanded the memorial of the last supper to be commemorated. He also had ordered various celebrations throughout the year for the Israelites. We celebrate our marriages (another gift from God) yearly. No one likes a good party more than God. It is fitting to show our gratitude for his gift by celebrating it each year.
    10. Given the body of evidence above, salvation does not rest upon the decision to celebrate one's birthday. No one can say this better than Six of Nine, so I will repost what he said:
    But what got my passions up, in opposition to the society, was that I realized that if A) birthdays aren't really a biblical matter at all, and B) we as Jehovah's Witnesses were going door to door offering people the only chance at real salvation....
    then wtf was it ok for us to withold that salvation over something as non-biblical and trivial as birthdays??? The onus IS NOT on "worldly" people to see birthdays as "no big deal, just follow the 'faithful slave'", since the "faithful slave" doesn't have a logical coherent argument.
    I looked around and thought "are we interested in saving lives, or not?" That's what it comes down to. JW's make a big deal about "stumbling". Well why don't they practice what they preach and stop "stumbling" worldly people away from Jehovah with their silly, non-biblical, contradicted by their own writings, birthday psuedo-doctrine?
  • jamiebowers

    Good points, but I have a comment and a question. First, I wasn't permitted to have a wind chime as a jw. Second, how is breakfast cereal based on pagan tradition?

  • FatFreek 2005
    FatFreek 2005

    Excellent, BlueCanary. So well thought out and arranged -- a definite keeper for all of us.


  • WTWizard

    There really is only one reason why birthdays should be banned: Birthday celebrations take time and money that would be "better used" in field circus. You are not likely to be out in field circus on your birthday if you are celebrating it. And, if you spend the money on someone's birthday celebration, you will not have that money for the Worldwide Pedophile Defense Fund.

    Fact is, there were only two birthdays in the Bible where someone was beheaded in the name of that birthday. And both cases, the person celebrating the birthday was of the ruler class, in the throne at the time, and was a tyrant. Since when are the vast majority of celebrated birthdays celebrated by tyrants? I have been to quite a few birthday parties when I was growing up--my own, and those of other children that my parents dragged me to. And not even once did I see anyone's head cut off and served to the person whose birthday was being celebrated.

    What I get from this, is that celebrating the birthday of a currently ruling tyrant is bad. Because that tyrant could well order someone's head cut off--someone like President Osama Obama, for instance. Celebrating the birthday of your own child, or your own, or anyone else you see fit to celebrate, is not wrong. And, more specifically, tyranny itself is wrong--including Jehovah's tyranny. I also noticed that Jesus' birthday was explicitly permitted to be celebrated by perfect angels--none of which were debased for that act. (And I challenge anyone to find one valid reference to where someone's head was cut off by those perfect angels and served to Jesus on that occasion.)

  • BabaYaga

    Great job of organizing this cool list, Blue Canary. Thank you!

    I also want to reiterate Six's quote:

    I looked around and thought "are we interested in saving lives, or not?" That's what it comes down to. JW's make a big deal about "stumbling". Well why don't they practice what they preach and stop "stumbling" worldly people away from Jehovah with their silly, non-biblical, contradicted by their own writings, birthday psuedo-doctrine?


  • allelsefails

    Funny - my son (MS) told me that he doesn't really understand the whole "birthday" thing either. He also told somebody who was a real hardliner "What if Jehovah rejects the Governing Body sometime in the future like he did Israel?" The brother felt this was impossible, but I was proud that my son is still thinking. Maybe I rubbed off a little bit ;-)

    Jaimiebowers - I don't know about bluecanary but I was not allowed to have "Lucky Charms" crazy Irish pagan cereal. Wind chimes are allowed now, but were not when I was a kid. Don't remember when that changed.

  • teel

    Also a very good counter-example to their reason that only bad things happened on birthdays: the pharaoh on his infamous birthday not only beheaded the baker, but restored the chief cupbearer to his position. This later lead to said cupbearer to talk to the pharaoh about Joseph, and his capability of interpreting dreams, Joseph's appointment, etc..., and in the end Abraham's family being saved from starvation.

    Basically if the pharaoh wasn't celebrating his birthday, the izraelites may have well never have formed.

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    Jesus' reputed words to the Pharisees at Matthew 23 come to mind, especially verses 13 and 24. I have never been a JW, but I can imagine a pain being felt by some, especially children, who feel being deprived of the pleasure of the parties and games, of the surprises and the fellowship that the celebrations bring. The Jews are very conscious of a person's age when they celebrate the Bar Mitzvah.

    I can think of 99 reasons for celebrating a birthday - because she is my dear Mum. It was worth tavelling thousands of kilometres a couple of weeks ago to be with her to help her celebrate that great achievement.


  • bluecanary

    Excellent point, teel.

    Hmm, the search feature is not working very well. Yesterday I read a thread that talked about the Goddess of grain, Ceres (for whom cereal was named). It said that Pagans would eat a tribute of wheat and milk to her in the mornnigs. I have not been able to confirm this, but the Pagan tie is still as relevant as it is to birthdays.

    And wind chimes is probably now one of those conscience things, like pinatas. I've known JWs to have them.

  • finallysomepride

    breakfast cereal? hows that a pagan thingy??

    Excellent points, really shows how lame they really are.

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