Birthdays - I may need some input
None......of......their......business! and if Brooklyn's stooges do come to try and break your door down ask them if it's any of your business what they get up to in their spare time! good luck buddy
Blondie is right. Celebrating a Birthday is certainly not a disfellowshipping offence, no Elder should either publicly reprove or disfellowship you for doing this. However, as we know, many bodies of elders are rules onto themselves and tend to throw the flock book out of the window.
FYI Rocketman, The Tower is on shaky ground when it comes to birthdays. There is only reference to 12 or so birthdays in the Bible. Two of them ended in tragedy, but apparently the other 10 or so went OK. The Tower men will only tell you about the 2 which involved tragedy, but they will not tell you about how the righteous Job made sure each of his children had their own “special day”, or as my copy of the Living Bible says their “Birthday”. So if nobody was beheaded at this party you had, then I would not be too concerned about it; it’s certainly nothing to lose your head over.
Thank you for the supportive comments and good advice. Indeed, one reason we had this b-day gig is because we feel that the whole no-bday thing is on very shaky ground. Because a Pharoah and a Herod got nuts means that we cannot even have a nice aknowledgement and a get-togther?
I was concerned that though not technically a DF offense, the elders could, like Matty implies, try something anyway, like claiming "apostasy" (one elder tried that two decades ago when I got married in a church to my then-non jw wife).
As far as removing privilages goes, since I have none, they cannot take them away. And that's the way I have it set up. I've had privilages removed before, and I never much appreciated the punitive nature of that whole arrangement. So, I plan never to allow myself to be put in that position again.
The comments below from the WTS may be of use to you if you are questioned by the elders or any other well meaning 'friends' or family regarding a birthday celebration.
In the Awake of April 8 2003, a reader wrote in with a concern regarding an article the Awake had run on Hawaiian Luaus. Their very fair question read in part:
"Even if luaus today do not involve religious or spiritistic aspects, how are the different from other celebrations that have pagan origins but simply have been adopted by modern cultures to be a family fun gathering.?"
Awake responds (in part): "...while the luau may at one time have had a connection with false religious practices, the word now has simply come to refer to a Hawaiian banquet."
So in other words, even though the luau has pagan origins, there is no connection made in the minds of those celebrating a luau in modern times with these 'false' practices. Therefore, a luau receive the WTS stamp of approval. As we see the WTS never really answered the readers' question which was "What makes a luau any different from other celebrations that have pagan origins but are now just a fun family gathering (ie. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween, Valentines Day, (Birthdays?) etc, etc, etc.) As the reader suggested, why could we not apply that same principle that the WTS applies to a luau (simply a banquet or fun family gathering) to the numerous other celebrations - another WTS double standard it would seem - or is there a change in the wind?
How old is your daughter?
I say kudos for her friend asking if it was okay to say where she was at, and kudos to your daughter to tell her it was okay.
I keep expecting the elders to knock on my door....I live across the street from about 5 JW families...no kidding..and we have xmas lights up every year....but since I faded away...then do nothing..if you do not comment, don't go out in service and have no privillages, how can they really do anything?
Live your life....I know it is hard...but there are a lot more people out in the world than these close minded JWs
Jesus was given gifts on his birthday.
Artful, thank you for the research! Excellent point too, and yes, I noted that the article never really answered the question. It seems to be another case of them picking and choosing which celebrations they want to ban.
Eyebrow, over the past three years, I have in effect worked myself into a position whereby the can do liittle at all to me. By having no privilages, there's nothing they can take away or use as leverage against me, so that's the nice part about this. You made a good point - what can they do? Not much. I got very tired of being held hostage to privilages - over the past 25 or so years I've had certain things bestowed and then taken away as punishment. After a while, it gets very tiring.
The latest comment I could find that specifically dealt with b-day celebrations:
*** w98 10/15 pp. 30-31 Questions From Readers ***
Many of Jehovah’s Witnesses observe wedding anniversaries. A birthday is an anniversary of when you were born. So why celebrate wedding anniversaries and not birthday anniversaries?
Frankly, there is no need for a Christian to celebrate either. Still, that does not mean that the two are equal in import or that Christians must view the former (wedding anniversaries) as they do birthday celebrations.
Consequently, while it is entirely a private matter if Christians choose to take note of their wedding anniversary, there are good reasons why mature Christians abstain from celebrating birthdays.
Nothing directly said about DFing here, but if I was an elder, my hackles would pop right up out through my collar, and next on to:
*** w86 4/1 p. 31 Questions From Readers ***Why have Jehovah’s Witnesses disfellowshipped (excommunicated) for apostasy some who still profess belief in God, the Bible, and Jesus Christ?
Approved association with Jehovah’s Witnesses requires accepting the entire range of the true teachings of the Bible, including those Scriptural beliefs that are unique to Jehovah’s Witnesses. What do such beliefs include?
Do we have Scriptural precedent for taking such a strict position? Indeed we do!
Following such Scriptural patterns, if a Christian (who claims belief in God, the Bible, and Jesus) unrepentantly promotes false teachings, it may be necessary for him to be expelled from the congregation. (See Titus 3:10, 11.) Of course, if a person just has doubts or is uninformed on a point, qualified ministers will lovingly assist him. This accords with the counsel: "Continue showing mercy to some that have doubts; save them by snatching them out of the fire." (Jude 22, 23) Hence, the true Christian congregation cannot rightly be accused of being harshly dogmatic, but it does highly value and work toward the unity encouraged in God’s Word.
Bingo: Now I've got you red-handed, disrupting the unity of the congregation by publicly flouting your birthday celebration. Causing divisions!
Now, what would make a person willing to cause divisions? Obviously, I'd suspect that you had reservations, holding not-so-private opinions about the FDS.
Suddenly, your innocent little b-day celeb turns into an "investigational committee" for apostasy.
And so the wheel turns.
Rocketman - you're screwed, done and toasted. The only thing you can do now is be brave and face the music. But when the Old Men in Suits are done tearing their way through "The Heresy Polka", you'll be able to dance freely and happily. Even the Lambada if you wish! "No, not the forbidden dance! It's too hot!" you say?
CZAR says, "Dirrrrty dancing is the best!"