WT Quote Re:Christmas
I read a topic recently where someone mentioned a Watchtower article stating that a wife was obligated to participate in various Christmas activities if it was the unbelieving husband's request. Does anyone know which article that was?
On a side note, I'd like some tips on how I can obtain a WT CD. Thanks.
MJ, I think that is in a Question From Readers after 2001. I only have my 2001 CD at work. If someone else doesn't post it, I'll try and remember. We had quite a lively convo on it on JWD but I can't find it.
Hmmmm. Trying to find it. This is what I came up with....
***w60 12/1 p. 735 Questions from Readers ***
According to the Scriptures the husband and father is the head of the home. If he is a dedicated Christian witness of Jehovah it is his responsibility to see that his family receives spiritual as well as material provisions. (1 Tim. 5:8) Even if his wife is an unbeliever, he must see to it that his children receive proper Christian education and training both at home and at the Kingdom Hall, and he should do all that he can to help his wife see the truth of God?s Word. At the same time he ought to grant his wife freedom to worship God her own way, and she may at times insist on taking the children to her place of worship. Granting her freedom of worship may even mean letting her have a Christmas tree in one room of the house during that season, although the believing husband would not let other rooms of the house or its outside be decorated.
***w79 11/1 p. 31 Questions from Readers ***
?In my husband?s family it is customary for all the children and grandchildren to gather at his parents? home for a large meal on December 25. He realizes that, as one of Jehovah?s Witnesses, I do not celebrate Christmas. But what about going to the meal?
You personally will have to decide whether that would be best in your case. Here are some aspects of the matter that you may want to consider.
In many places, the fact that most persons do not have to work on certain holidays means that these are convenient times for families to get together. Even Christian relatives and friends have used such a day for a picnic or a meal, though they do not celebrate the religious holiday. This freedom from secular work may be one reason behind the gathering of your husband?s family on December 25. But if most of the relatives celebrate Christmas, the gathering may also be so that they can exchange Christmas greetings and gifts.
Jehovah?s Witnesses have explained that Jesus? followers were not instructed to commemorate his birth, that he was not born on December 25 and that this date was adopted from a pagan Roman celebration. (1 Cor. 11:23-26) Thus, Jehovah?s Witnesses do not celebrate Christmas, keeping in mind Jesus? words: "God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth."?John 4:24.
Those of your husband?s relatives who do not agree with your Bible-based beliefs may feel free to celebrate Christmas. In fairness, though, they should recognize your freedom to refrain. If you were at the family meal and refrained from sharing in Christmas greetings, exchanging gifts or joining in other holiday activities, would they be embarrassed or upset? This would be something for you and your husband to discuss beforehand. As a Christian wife, you undoubtedly have respect for his headship, and that apparently extends to matters such as where the family will eat. By your respectfully and mildly presenting your feelings, manifesting your reasonableness, he may well be moved to see if a satisfactory solution can be found.?Phil. 4:5; Col. 3:18.
Your husband might urge you to accompany him, suggesting that you view it as a normal meal without your sharing in any of the holiday aspects. That would be a possibility, for an individual could be present where others are carrying on religious activities without personally engaging in these. (Compare 2 Kings 5:17-19.) And the Bible does show that just because someone else imagines certain food to have a special meaning, that does not rule out the Christian?s eating it as normal food. (1 Cor. 8:8; 1 Tim. 4:4) In making that point, though, the apostle Paul emphasized the value of considering the consciences of others, seeking to avoid creating a wrong impression that might lead to stumbling.?1 Cor. 10:23-30.
If you did go to the family gathering and meal on December 25, would your relatives conclude that you were celebrating Christmas along with them? Or, perhaps because of what they have learned about your beliefs and what they would observe as to your conduct at the gathering, would they recognize that your presence then for association and a family meal has no religious meaning for you? You are the best one to evaluate the situation and the attitudes involved, and you should make a decision that you feel is wise, Christian and in accord with your Bible-trained conscience.
I'll check the cd
I think this is the article you heard about
** w01 12/15 pp. 28-29 Questions From Readers ***
Howcan a Christian wife balance loyalty to God with submission to her unbelieving husband if he shares in religious holiday activities?
Her doing so will require wisdom and tact. But she is doing the right thing in striving to balance her two obligations. Jesus gave counsel about a parallel situation: "Pay back, therefore, Caesar?s things to Caesar, but God?s things to God." (Matthew 22:21) Granted, he was dealing with obligations to governments, to which Christians were later told to be in submission. (Romans 13:1) Yet, his counsel finds a parallel in a wife?s balancing her obligations to God with her Scriptural submission to her husband, even if he is an unbeliever.
No one familiar with the Bible would deny that it stresses that a Christian?s first obligation is to Almighty God, to be loyal to him at all times. (Acts 5:29) Still, in many situations a true worshiper can accommodate the requests or demands of an unbeliever in authority while not sharing in a violation of God?s elevated laws.
We find an instructive example in the three Hebrews, as related in Daniel chapter 3. Their governmental superior, Nebuchadnezzar, decreed that they and others present themselves on the plain of Dura. Realizing that false worship was scheduled, the three Hebrews would likely have preferred to avoid being there. Perhaps Daniel was able to excuse himself, but these three could not. So they complied to the extent of appearing, but they would not?and did not?share in any wrong act.?Daniel 3:1-18.
Similarly, around holiday times an unbelieving husband might request or demand that his Christian wife do something she would like to avoid. Consider some examples: He tells her to cook a certain food on the day he and others will celebrate a holiday. Or he demands that the family (including his wife) visit his relatives on that day for a meal or simply as a social call. Or even prior to the holiday, he might say that while his wife is out shopping, she must make some purchases for him?foods unique to the holiday, items to use as presents, or wrapping paper and cards to use with his gifts.
Again, the Christian wife ought to be determined not to share in false religious acts, but what about such requests? He is the family head, and God?s Word says: "You wives, be in subjection to your husbands, as it is becoming in the Lord." (Colossians 3:18) In these cases, can she show wifely subjection while being loyal to God? She must decide how to balance obedience to her husband with her overriding obedience to Jehovah.
At other times, her husband may ask her to cook a certain food, whether because it is his favorite or because he is used to having that meal in a particular season. She will desire to show love for him and recognition of his headship. Could she do so even if he made the request on the occasion of a holiday? Some Christian wives might be able to do so with a good conscience, simply considering it as a normal task of preparing the daily meal. Certainly, no loyal Christian would attach any holiday significance to it, even if her husband did. Similarly, he might require her to be with him when he visits his relatives at various times each month or year. Could she do so even if it was the day of a holiday? Or would she normally be willing to purchase things at his request, without judging what he intends to do with the items she buys for him while doing her shopping?
Of course, a Christian wife should think of others?the effect on them. (Philippians 2:4) She would like to avoid giving any impression that she is linked to the holiday, just as the three Hebrews may likely have preferred that others not see them traveling to the plain of Dura. So she might tactfully try to reason with her husband to see if, out of consideration for her feelings, he might do certain holiday-related things for himself to accommodate a wife who loves and respects him. He might see the wisdom of not putting both of them in a potentially embarrassing situation if she would have to refuse to engage in false religious acts. Yes, calm discussion beforehand might lead to a peaceful solution.?Proverbs 22:3.
In the final analysis, the faithful Christian must weigh the facts and then decide what to do. Obedience to God must come first, as it did with the three Hebrews. (1 Corinthians 10:31) But with that in mind, the individual Christian has to decide what noncompromising things can be done at the request of one having authority in the family or in the community.
Thanks, Kwin... I was just going to post the same article.
psst...that was Mrs. Kwin