What major reasons does the Watchtower have for not celebrating Christmas?
We would like
to address the major reasons why Jehovah's Witnesses don't celebrate
Christmas and compare these with historic Christianity's reasons to
1. The Watchtower states that Jesus could not have been born on December 25 instead he was probably born in September. Christian answer: December 25 more accurately represents the time of the conception of Christ rather then his birth. (9 months after end of December is the end of September) Christians believe that both the conception of Christ in a virgin as well as his miraculous birth were key events prophesied by angels and instrumental in heralding God's gift to mankind. Since Christians believe that life starts at conception, December is the perfect time to celebrate the gift of God's son to us.
2. Jehovah's Witnesses claim that December 25 cannot be used for God's glory because that date was originally a pagan holiday. Christian answer: When the pagans were celebrating the winter solstice, Christians believed that they could show their faith to the unbelieving world by celebrating the gift of God's Son who was given to all to the world. This show of appreciation to the Father for the gift of his Son became so widely known that the winter solstice celebration became basically obsolete as the spread of Christianity turned many hearts toward God. Even today Christmas has become a time when the name of Jesus is lifted up to the world allowing many who would never otherwise be interested in religion to hear about God's plan of salvation through Jesus. The fact that the date of Christmas could not the real issue for the Watchtower is evidenced by the fact that Christians around the world have celebrated Christ's birth on different dates, yet all of them of condemned by the Watchtower, no matter what date they choose. As Christians we know that every day belongs to God. No day belongs to Satan. Any day is a valid day to worship the Father for the gift of his Son. Apparently it not the date that offends the Watchtower. It is the mere fact that Jesus is given honor that ultimately offends the Society.
3. The Watchtower says that Witnesses are not allowed to participate in Christmas celebrations because there are pagan roots to Christmas. Christian answer: If having any pagan roots at all means that one must abstain we wonder how the Watchtower can use the Julian calendar whose months and days are named after pagan gods? How can they exchange wedding rings at weddings, for this has pagan origins? The Watchtower allows use of many objects that have pagan origins as well as allowing their followers to celebrate wedding anniversaries, which has pagan roots. Yet at the same time they condemn Christmas which has long lost any pagan connections.
4. The Watchtower says that nowhere in the Bible are we commanded to celebrate Christmas. Christian answer: No where in the Bible are we commanded to not celebrate the birth of Jesus. God was certainly not ignorant of the fact that Christians would choose to celebrate the first coming of His Son. There is no condemnation in scripture for those who choose to celebrate the first coming of Jesus. In part one we showed how the Jews were allowed to pick their own celebration called Purim. Even though there were many celebrations the Jews were commanded to celebrate, Purim was the one celebration they chose themselves because of their gratefulness to God for their being saved from their enemies. See the book of Esther for the complete story. Likewise Christians have the freedom to choose to celebrate God's gift of his Son. In contrast Jehovah's Witnesses have no freedom whatsoever to celebrate anything not approved of by the Watchtower. Every holiday celebration is denied them even Thanksgiving which has no pagan roots at all.
Written by Cheryl Schatz
For more articles about the Watchtower's teachings on Christmas and the Christian response, visit www.jwinfoline.com