Can someone help me figure out something, dealing with paganism?

by Tameria2001 18 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Tameria2001

    The Watchtower and quite a few other religious groups don't do certain things because of pagan origins. They go on about the different holidays, certain traditions, and say they don't do those things because of pagan origins. Yet they turn right around and do other stuff, which does have pagan origins. I would say a good portion of what we do in our everyday lives have some kind of pagan origins. Personally, I don't care, because the way I think about it, it was people who started everything that we continue to this very day. What I can't figure out why do certain groups want to pick and choose which things they do and don't do when all of it has some kind of pagan origin?

  • truth_b_known

    I agree with you 100%. So much of the cult life in the organization is based on this concept. The idea that if something, at least at one time, was involved in a religion other than Jehovah's Witnesses it would be considered interfaith - literally worshiping a god other than Jehovah. Therefor being something that just was not done.

    After leaving the organization I began to learn of customs practiced daily by Witnesses, at least in the U.S., that come from non-Judaeo-Christian religion.

    Are you married?


    Did the bride wear a white gown?


    Were there bridesmaids and groomsmen?


    Are their wedding rings?


    All pagan ritual for weddings.

    Here's the worst part - as an active Witness in the U.S. I dare you to go around your congregation stating that.

    "Oh Brother So-and-So, is that a wedding band you're wearing? You do realize that is pagan in origin. You may want to take that off as to not stumble any one in the congregation."

    "Sister So-and-So, I hear you are getting married this weekend. Are you having bridesmaids or wearing a white wedding dress? You shouldn't. Especially if you are having your wedding in the Kingdom Hall. Those are all practices steep in ancient false religion."

    I promise you will be ordered to cease and desist under penalty of disfellowshipping if you don't.

  • Crazyguy

    The JWs under Rutherford were on a path to be different from most of Christianity so they needed to change doctrine to be different. I think other sects of Christianity do the same or find one specific thought that they find pagan and run with it. That’s how we get groups like the Amish or Mormons etc.

  • dynamiterose77

    @truth_b_known I remember realizing some of this but not thinking anything of it. I don't know why.


    Wedding cake was a fertility rite... and I remember reading somewhere that so were eclairs and cream puffs and were given to young newlyweds. And the tossing of rice was originally guests crumbling the wedding cake over the bride and grooms heads as a fertility thing.

    Bouquets, by some accounts, were more of a charm to keep evil away... and some sources say it would then be burned within the brides new home to clear it from any spirits.

    It just goes on and on...

  • sir82

    Based on my extensive research, I have found that pagans breathed while performing their ancient religious rituals.

    Clearly, breathing is of pagan origin. All true Christians should promptly hold their breath until they pass out.

  • RubaDub

    From some research I have done, it has been documented that pagans pooped.

    Rub a Dub

  • OneEyedJoe

    You're coming at it from the wrong direction if you're trying to build an internally consistent model that will predict which pagan practices a religious group will embrace and which they'll shun if you're going to actually look at the pagan origins and doctrines surrounding the individual practices. Those don't matter. The "pagan origins" concept only comes into play after something is decided to be banned as a justification. The best example I can think of here is with JWs not celebrating holidays. They don't celebrate christmas, halloween, easter, or valentines day because they have pagan origins. But what about thanksgiving? They clearly can't claim pagan origins there - it was started by a bunch of christians recently enough that its origin can't really be disputed reasonably (of course it's got a dark past to it that's often glossed over in schools, but that's beside the point). But nonetheless JWs don't celebrate thanksgiving...the justification being some wishy-washy condemnation over holidays that encourage national pride or some such nonsense. I don't know if it's the official JW line on the topic but I was also always told that we didn't celebrate mother's/father's day because doing so might imply that we don't need to "honor your father and mother" on a daily basis (obviously that's nonsense). Another counterpoint - Anniversaries. These are celebrated by all JWs that I ever knew. These can be said to have pagan origins from astrology that ascribe special significance to the particular time of year that some event occurred. And certainly we wouldn't want to risk implying that we should only love our spouse one day a year! But anniversary celebrations are's all confusing if you look at it from this perspective.

    Instead, look at things from another perspective - what holidays/events are commonly used as talking points among acquaintances due to their near-universality in the culture, and what ones might lead to invites to a group celebration with non-JWs? In short, what things might risk leading to a closer connection between non-JWs and JWs? It's Christmas, easter, thanksgiving, halloween, mother's/father's day, valentine's day, etc. It's certainly not wedding anniversaries because unless you tell someone when yours is, they're unlikely to bring it up, and even if there's a group celebration of an anniversary, they're usually relatively private affairs so there's little risk of someone from work inviting you to theirs or a JW inviting a non-JW to theirs. If you do a half-way decent job of separating a JW from broader society, there's no risk of a wedding anniversary (or, say, a graduation party) being the impetus behind a JW finding camaraderie with a non-JW. Contrast those with birthdays and you'll see why one annual, self-aggrandizing event is no good and anniversaries and graduation parties are fine. Birthdays often become known to your casual acquaintances and sometimes just by dint of you being a decent person such ones will take it upon themselves to celebrate your birthday (especially in the formative years of youth) or commonly there are group celebrations at work for everyone whose birthday falls in a particular month or quarter.

    I would conservatively estimate that the real reason 80-90% of the policies/doctrine in place in the JW faith are there for purposes of either control of adherents or to separate them from society. When you start to look at it from that perspective, reasons for the inconsistencies between the application of justifications like "pagan origins" or "we are no part of the world" start to become clear.

  • sir82

    Good analysis - I think you are spot on.

  • ScenicViewer

    ... for purposes of either control of adherents or to separate them from society. (OneEyedJoe)

    I believe you nailed it. The more you can isolate people the easier it is to control them.

  • Tameria2001

    That makes total sense. I've been away from the JW, that quite a bit of their stuff I have totally forgotten about, just retain enough to know I never want to ever step foot on their property ever again. One thing I do remember asking, and no one could ever answer was if they don't celebrate the different holidays, because of pagan origin, then why couldn't they celebrate the Jewish holidays such as Hanukkah, surely they weren't started by pagans. Weren't the Jews at one time God's chosen? That was how I brought it up back then, this was before I was even baptized. Not one single JW would answer my question.

Share this