by Charley Carle
” Since the celebration of our Lord’s birth is not a matter of divine appointment or injunction, but merely a tribute of respect to him, it is not necessary for us to quibble particularly about the date. We may as well join with the civilized world in celebrating the grand event on the day which the majority celebrate — ‘Christmas day.’” Watchtower–Dec. 1, 1904, p. 364.
Today Jehovah’s Witnesses say, “We are to remember Jesus’ death not His birth.” Does God’s Word forbid celebrating Jesus’ birth? No. We find in the Scriptures that the opposition came from who? Satan’s kingdom! The inhabitants of Heaven set the precedent for earth! Luke 2:8-14 shows that Jehovah does approve of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ! It included “the glory of the Lord” and “great joy!” For who? “All people!” ” A multitude of heavenly host” was joyous with celebration and praise! Would you think the shepherds would respond saying, “Oh, I just don’t see what all those angels are excited about!” They were right in joining with Heaven by celebrating Jesus’ birth!
Was Jesus born on December 25th? Who knows? Yet the Watchtower readers read, “The event is so important that it is always appropriate to call it to the minds of the people, regardless of the date” (Watchtower–Dec. 15, 1926, p. 371). People often celebrate birthdays on different days. For example, Lincoln’s birthday may be celebrated on a Monday. The importance is not based on the date.
Every day is a good day to praise the Lord! Jesus commended the children, saying the stones would cry out if they stopped praising Him (Luke 19:37-40). When was the last time you heard someone from the Kingdom Hall praise Jesus Christ? Scripturally, if Jesus does not receive worshipful honor equal to the Fathers, your honor of the Father is not acceptable (John 5:23). So why worship Jesus? Isaiah called the Christ child the ” Mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6), then clarified in context that the “Mighty God” is Jehovah (Isaiah 10:20-21). From the beginning people “worshipped him” (Matthew 3:11) — not “him and her” as Roman Catholicism worships Mary. The exact “worship” which the Father receives is what the Son receives. Was Jesus worshipped by His disciples, or does the Watchtower Bible properly suggest otherwise? Comparing the Watchtower Bibles clears up the issue. See editions 1950, 1953, 1960, and 1970 with the current edition in Hebrews 1:6. Or test the Watchtower’s inconsistency through the renderings given in the Greek interlinear in (Rev. 22:8 with Mark 2:2), (Rev. 5:14 with Mat. 2:11; 14:33; 28:9,17), and (Heb. 11:21 with Mark 5:6 and John 9:38).
What about the pagan origins of the Christmas tree? Do born-again Christians attach pagan meanings to the lights? No, rather, lights remind God’s people about Jesus, the Light of the world. Consider the pagan origin of the word, “December.” Isn’t it written on the front of every Watchtower magazine this month? Would you think the organization is apostate, solely for mixing a word of pagan origin with the religion? Or do the original pagan meanings mean something differently to people today?
What about the Old Testament references to ungodly people decorating a tree (Isaiah 44)? Read the context. The person was making an idol to worship. To say that everyone who enjoys Christmas celebrates Santa Claus simply is not honest! The fantasy and commercialism is obviously the scheme of Satan to keep people from celebrating Jesus Christ.
What about gift-giving? Good-will to all men is certainly commended! Judge Rutherford, the second Watchtower president, was very excited about his “numerous Christmas presents.” Watchtower–January 15, 1919, page 31. If giving gifts is acceptable on any other day of the year, logically it is acceptable on December 25th too.
Dear soul, the best gift you can give to Jesus Christ is yourself! And He offers salvation as His gift to you. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9. Those who give understand that gifts are FREE! No one runs for a purse to pay the giver. You simply receive the gift with thanksgiving. (Romans 4:4; 11:6; Galatians 3:24). Could we say that the gift of God is a reward? The Watchtower printed boldly, “Working hard for the reward of eternal life.” April 15, 1972, page 491. A reward is something that a person has earned. My Bible tells me that salvation is a gift! “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23b. You can accept God’s perfect gift by receiving Jesus! “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” John 1:12. How do you receive Jesus Christ? “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!” Romans 10:13.
” (Note the “Jehovah” of verse 13 in the NWT is the Jesus of verse 10, connected in thought by the word “for” in each connecting verse.) Yes, calling upon God is calling upon Jesus! (See Acts 7:59-60). Jesus invited, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28.