Can anyone scan that article from July? Or send one to me? I haven't seen it.
Net Soup! http://www.freeminds.org
I don't think this article addressed birthdays but rather luaus (or another one addressed pinatas). The prinicples they seemed to cite could be applied to birthdays by ex-JWs. But remember how hypocritcal the WTS is. I can check but I think those are the topics to look under, luaus and pinatas not birthdays.
No, birthdays are forbidden to JWs and any who try to apply the info from these articles will find themselves being interrogated by 2 elders although I have been old that BDs are not necessarily grounds for DFing.
*** g03 9/22 pp. 23-24 The Piñata?An Ancient Tradition ***
Later, the piñata became part of the festivities of the posadas during the Christmas season and continues as such to this day. (A star-shaped piñata is used to represent the star that guided the astrologers to Bethlehem.) Breaking the piñata is also considered indispensable at birthday parties. Indeed, piñatas have become so traditionally Mexican that Mexico even exports them to other countries.
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.
The large bolded phrase above is the most interesting statement ever made by the Society regarding "pagan" or "religious" customs. The article explained the origination of piñatas and how they are very much tied to Christmas and birthday celebrations, particularly Christmas. BUT, as the phrase mentions above, it doesn't matter how the piñata was tied to Christmas hundreds of years ago. It is how it is viewed today by the general population of Mexicans. It is just a fun thing to have and do.
Similarly, you can easily apply this phrase to just about ANY other worldly celebration that witnesses do not participate in. Birthdays included. What did the practice of birthday celebrations mean hundreds of years ago? How are they viewed in your area today? It is not how they are viewed by witnesses in your area today, it means the general population of the area in which you live.
Personally, I think they allowed piñatas because the Mexican contingient of brothers and sisters is one of the fastest growing segments of the organization. Any converts which come from Mexico are most likely Catholic and they tend to want to keep some of their traditions that have been part of their families for generations. Christmas is HUGE in Mexico. Piñatas are HUGE during Christmas. Christmas just isn't Christmas without them. Even at witness get-togethers, piñatas were banned. The reason for the ban was because of their Christmas background. Now it is OK? Go figure.
Although birthdays are still considered sinful, I have noticed a bit of softening among individuals.
For instance, a couple of years ago, an elder in my cong and his wife turned 50. They mentioned they had received cards from a ministerial servant in our cong. The cards were scrupulously non-birthday cards, but they did recognize the milestone of passing a significant date, which just happened to be a birthdate. The elder and his wife had sent similar cards to the MS and his wife, previously. I got the impression that they all thought the birthday ban was pretty stupid, but didn't quite have the nerve to buck anything.
Imagine the confusion to school teachers if birthdays were allowed......
My kids were quite good at confusing teachers. For example, when Harry Potter was being read to the class, a JW boy in my daughter's school had to sit in the hallway, whereas we allowed our daughter to stay. I told to her explain that they were orthodox JWs and we were reformed.
I have always wondered about this myself. When I was growing up Birthdays, Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, 4th fo July etc; were all forbidden. I don't know if they were disfellowshipping acts but I did hear of a sister that was put on "public reproof" for having christmas lights in her house. I think holidays has always been frowned upon just like R-rated movies but I don't think a JW would be Df'd for going to a R-rated movie. He will probably be removed as an elder or MS not allowed to give talks etc; I think the same thing with Holidays and BDs. My mom has always said "Happy BD" on my birthdays.
someone post the july 04 QFR it addresses B-days directly.
Notice how the WTS avoids answering this reader's question: How are they different from other celebrations that have pagan origins (translation: BDs and/or Xmas) but simply have been adopted by modern cultures to be a family fun gathering?
***g03 4/8 p. 30 From Our Readers ***
LuausI 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.
***g02 6/8 Let?s Have a Hawaiian Luau ***
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.
If a Jehovah's Witnesses are aloud to celebrate their wedding anniversaries because marriage is "God's institution", then I can celebrate the anniversary of my children's birth because child birth is also "God's institution".
There is no July 4 WT, only July 1 and July 15, 2004.
July 1 QFR:: At 2 Corinthians 6:14, to whom is Paul referring when he uses the term "unbelievers"?
July 15 QFR: What is foreshadowed by the arrangement of the Jubilee year mentioned in the 25th chapter of Leviticus?
There is no QFR in the Awakes dated July 8 and 22.