The JW "anointed" partake in a ceremony that has its roots in pagan practice: the partaking of bread and wine symbolizing flesh and blood is based on the actual practice in ancient times of eating the flesh and blood of human sacrifice.
List of "pagan" things JW's allow
Luaus. Good one. Neckties....still trying to figure that out.
Orphan Crow, I agree, but that might be a jump for my audience.
My attempt here is to take things they shun due to it being "pagan" (ie: Pre-christian), and point out the inconsistancies because other things that are pagan are allowed such as.......
In doing so my hope is then to ask who decides what is pagan but ok, and what is pagan but forbidden? Why are they not allowed to decide? A list of these items would be helpful so I want to tap the minds here.
Blondie, I did a search but didn't get far.
What about dream catchers? Weren't they on the 'thou shalt not have' list for a while?
An elder standing on my front porch told me that my wind chime (made it myself) was of pagan origin and was used to keep evil spirits away. I looked him up and down and said "obviously doesn't work, guess I will have to make another."
Very witty Richard!
From me, a Jew...Much of our culture was borrowed from our "pagan" neighbors. Aspects of the Bible such as various rules in the Mosaic Law, much in our festivals, dress, etc. comes from the culture of our ancient neighbors.
But first, let me set something straight that the uneducated Jehovah's Witnesses have passed on to many of us that we should think about abandoning:
Paganism refers to the Roman religious system that ran concurrent with Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity (and there are some who practice a religion identified as "pagan" today). This is a particular unique description that is limited when speaking in Biblical terms, limited in scope and to a period of history and polytheistic practices associated with Rome.
What Jehovah's Witnesses should be saying is "heathen," not pagan. "Heathen" is a generic term for any and all religions that do not worship the God of Abraham. Not knowing the difference, JWs keep using a limited term in place or a more general term. Don't make the same mistake.
Now, Judaism didn't really adopt much that was pagan, but we did have a lot in our culture and Law that was heathen. Many in Judaism recognize that Passover was likely a spring festival observed by the Hebrews and their neighbors way before the Exodus. Abraham's clan may have carried it with them and passed it to their children. It would later take on a different significance when the Exodus allegedly took place at the same time. The Biblical account seems to suggest this, linking our use of unleavened bread for Passover with the detail that the escape prevented wait times for proper bread leavening, as if the command from God came after this situation and was based on this fact (though it is placed before it in the written narrative).--Note Exodus 12.39 with 12.18-20.
Many of the Laws in Torah did not introduce new ways of living, such as how to handle marriages, sex relations, treatment of women, slaves, etc. Instead the Law governed these aspects of life already in place, customs and mores borrowed from heathen cultures which the Jews held in common. JWs might have you believe God invented and introduced these laws at Sinai, as if the Jews suddenly had an entire culture and way of life cast upon them overnight. Nope. We lived pretty much like our heathen neighbors, and the Law merely introduced new ways of governing this behavior.
So, guess what. A lot of what you find Jews doing in Scripture when my ancestors are following the Mosaic Law was, indeed, pagan...I mean, heathen.
JWs don't know the difference between a pagan (Roman) and a heathen (anyone who does not worship the God of Abraham). So it should come as no surprise that they are confused as to what is "pagan" and what isn't, and whether this makes something wrong.