dofp, also there was a time that luaus and pinatas were not for jws for their associations with false gods and birthdays. That was updated as the WTS now gave their approval.
Comments from readers
Luaus I read with interest your article “Let’s Have a Hawaiian Luau.” (June 8, 2002) Several years ago I attended a luau in Hawaii. I felt there were strong religious and spiritistic overtones. Even if luaus today do not involve religious or spiritistic aspects, how are they different from other celebrations that have pagan origins but simply have been adopted by modern cultures to be a family fun gathering?
L. F., United States
“Awake!” responds: As noted there in our footnote on page 24, 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. A specific gathering to which the word “luau” is applied may or may not be appropriate for a Christian to attend. As in all aspects of life, Christians should make decisions that will leave them with a clear conscience before Jehovah God.—1 Timothy 1:5, 19; see also the January 8, 2000, issue of “Awake!” pages 26-7.
Although the luau may originally have had some connection with false religious practices, the word has simply come to refer to a Hawaiian banquet. Many Christians may therefore conscientiously feel that they can participate.
Comments from readers
Piñatas I read with interest the article “The Piñata—An Ancient Tradition.” (September 22, 2003) It left me with some questions. The ties to false religion are well-documented. But the article seemed to take the position that as long as it doesn’t bother someone’s conscience, it is OK. What about birthdays and holidays such as Christmas?
S. W., United States
“Awake!” responds: Christians refrain from any celebrations or customs that continue to involve false religious beliefs or activities that violate Bible principles. For example, the Bible definitely puts birthday celebrations in a bad light. (Genesis 40:20;Matthew 14:6-10) However, if it is very obvious that a custom has no current false religious significance and involves no violation of Bible principles, each Christian must make a personal decision as to whether he will follow such a custom.
We found that for many people in Mexico, the piñata has lost its religious significance and is considered by most to be just harmless fun. In fact, piñatas are used in Mexico on many festive occasions, not just for the posadas or for birthdays. And piñatas can be purchased in many forms other than the traditional star shape. They are sometimes made to resemble animals, flowers, clowns.
When considering whether to include a piñata at a social gathering, Christians should be sensitive to the consciences of others. (1 Corinthians 10:31-33) A main concern is, not what the practice meant hundreds of years ago, but how it is viewed today in your area. Understandably, opinions may vary from one place to another. Hence, it is wise to avoid turning such matters into big issues. The Bible says: “Let each one keep seeking, not his own advantage, but that of the other person.”—1 Corinthians 10:24.