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What does the bible really teach? – Chapter 16 review

bible teach

Take a stand for true worship

In the last chapter the Watchtower showed how they demonstrate that they are the true religion. Now they are going to press home that they are the only ones who truly worship God. The 3 questions they are going to look out for are:-

What does the Bible teach about the use of images?

What view do Christians take of religious holidays?

How can you explain your beliefs to others without offending them?

The first 2 paragraph talks about false religion and if you have left false “traces” within you. The reason they have opened with this is to tell you how there are certain type of practices you should not follow in order to be in the true religion.

It talks about how we would not get involves in idol worship or bow down to carved images. This is really to show how great they are because they do not have crosses in there kingdom halls, as they see this as breaking the law of God according to Deuteronomy 18:10-12.

“There should not be found in you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, anyone who employs divination, a practicer of magic or anyone who looks for omens or a sorcerer,11or one who binds others with a spell or anyone who consults a spirit medium or a professional foreteller of events or anyone who inquires of the dead.12For everybody doing these things is something detestable to Jehovah, and on account of these detestable things Jehovah your God is driving them away from before you.”

Is the Watchtower justified in this? Well simply..no! As Christians some of us wear a cross as a reminder of what Jesus has done for us, and this is why we have them in our churches. Never have I or any Christian friends of mine worshipped a cross. Just like the Watchtower has pictures of Jesus in this book as a reminder of Jesus – Christians have a cross and that is as far as it goes. It is a false assumption on the part of Watchtower that Christians worship the cross.

Paragraph 6-8 now looks at the issue of Christmas and Birthdays. Let’s first of all Birthdays:-

“The only birthday observances mentioned in the bible are those of two rulers who did not worship Jehovah” (Genesis 40:20, Mark 6:21).

So the reason why according to the Watchtower we should not celebrate birthdays is the 2 rulers who celebrated their birthdays where not God fearing. In addition they say that on the grounds of its pagan origins. Let me list some things that have a pagan origin :-

Wedding rings
Wedding ceremonies
Funerals
Statues
US Money has pagan symbol on it

The Watchtower does not forbid wearing a wedding ring, going to a wedding ceremony, going to a funeral, visit the statue of liberty, or use American money.

Just because something has a pagan origin does not make it a sin. The Watchtower is actually just making its own rules, it has nothing to do with pagan origin at all.

What about this issue of Pharaoh and Herod celebrating their birthday. Was the sin the fact that it is was their birthday or was it because they rejected God?

On the grounds that Pharaoh rode a horse, should we not ride horses? The issue is not the act, it is people that did them.

It now spends a few paragraphs talking about Christmas and how bad it is that Christians celebrate it because of its pagan origins and the fact that disciples did not celebrate it.

Again the Watchtower has no weight in this argument. Most Christians know that Jesus was not born on December 25th, we celebrate it as opportunity to talk about Jesus to our family.

Here is a quick overview of its origin. The pagans were in to “sun worship” and on December the 25th they celebrate this. What happened though is that these pagans turns to Christ and were saved in his grace. They now used December 25th as a day for “Son worship” to celebrate our lord coming into the world and encouraged other pagans to worship the true son.

I fail to see what is so bad about this? Christians use Christmas to talk about Jesus to people who do not know him, Jehovahs Witnesses use Christmas to show how bad Christianity is!!

Paragraph 11-12 “Do origins matter”, the Watchtower say “YES” and yet as we have seen there are plenty of practises that have pagan origins that Watchtower still allow. Forgive me, but it seems very hypocritical.

Ephesians 5:10 – Keep on making sure of what is acceptable to the Lord.

I can assure you rejecting the gift of Gods son, by simply just passing the bread and wine around at memorial and not partaking is further less acceptable to the Lord than celebrating Christmas!!

They will however in the final paragraphs they do their best to make you feel guilty about celebrating Christmas and tell you about how your family may well cause you problems if you stop celebrating Christmas – this is just done to try make you get further away from your family and closer to the their organisation and the people in it.

It then says about the true worship is all about going to their meetings and going door to door. Notice, no mention of prayer, of singing praises to Jesus, of loving your fellow brothers – its all about their organisation.

This chapter is again proof that the Watchtower put works before faith. Titus 3:5 says :-

 However, when the kindness and the love for man on the part of our Saviour, God, was manifested,5owing to no works in righteousness that we had performed, but according to his mercy he saved us through the bath that brought us to life and through the making of us new by holy spirit.

We are saved through the wonderful grace of God not through how good we are Ephesians 2:8,9 :-

By this undeserved kindness, indeed, ​YOU​ have been saved through faith; and this not owing to ​YOU, it is God’s gift.9No, it is not owing to works, in order that no man should have ground for boasting.

However the Watchtower really does boast how much better it is than every other Christian group.

They forget the most important thing. Its called grace!!

Jason

findingthetruth@hotmail.co.uk

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Categorised in: Jehovahs Witnesses at your door, UK Partnerships for Christ, What Does The Bible Really Teach Manual Reviews

1 Response »

  1. In this chapter is yet another attempt by the Watchtower to convince readers that only in the Watchtower Society is where clean worship is found — beliefs and practices that Jehovah approves of . On Watchtower publications can guide people to a accurate interpretation of the Bible and thus pure doctrine instead of contaminated doctrine/worship .

    It must be mentioned that the Watchtower is to be commended for it’s concern about the danger of believing false teachings , and what they mention on page 155-156 about ancestor worship etc is true . However , like the religious leaders in Jesus’ day , they have proceeded to created a system of man made rules which go beyond what God wills — Matt 23:24 — and thus cause sincere people to stumble into a legalistic ditch — Matt 15:14 ; and what the Watchtower has taught about Christmas and birthdays is an example of going to far and thus succumbing to enforcing as doctrine what really is only the teachings of men — Mk 7:7 .

    Now whether one chooses to celebrate Christmas / birthdays or not is something that falls under Rom 14:5-6 , in my opinion .

    Let’s look at what this Watchtower book says about Christmas and birthdays :

    on page 156 it says : ” Christmas — not celebrated by early Christians …. there is no evidence that the first century disciples of Jesus observed such a holiday . ”

    response: while early Christians certainly did’nt celebrated it as a “holiday” or just like those today might commemorate it ( free from much of the baggage encountered today) , still , like today for those so choosing to celebrate it as a joyful reminder of their Savior coming to earth , it was/is not in violation of the scriptures nor God’s will . For those Christians who celebrate Christmas and keep it simple they are simply mimicking the angels and their resounding joy — Lk 2:14 .

    Now on page 156 the watchtower claimed that early Christians did not celebrate Christmas . We also know that the Watchtower Society has claimed to be : ” the modern day members of this 1900 year old Christian congregation …” [ W.t 10-11967 p 590 ] .

    If these two claims are true then why did the Watchtower “slave” teach for many , many years that to commemorate Christmas as others do on Dec 25 , was not wrong ? To it the date was not precise , but it was the respect to Jesus which was the focus . What’s more , during this very time it was claimed that God was directing His people , feeding them spiritual food through the Watchtower and thus they were being led to practice clean worship — and those who were in the organization at that time and who had died would get to go to heaven and be with Jesus ! [ see W.t. view of Christmas — W.t. 12-1904, p 364 ; W.t. 12-15-1926 p 371 ] .

    This is yet another example of why the Watchtower can’t be trusted as a consistently reliable guide in what constitutes clean worship .

    on page 157 it sys ” The only two birthday celebrations mentioned in the Bible are those of two rulers who did worship Jehovah . ( Gen 40:20; Mk 6:21) . birthday celebrations were also held in honor of pagan deities . ”

    Response: This is true . And we would expect that when persons like these two rulers celebrated their birthday it could be a celebration where terrible things might happen . But a Christian does’nt celebrate his/her birthday or the birthday anniversaries of their children in this manner .

    The Watchtower loves to quote works like The World Book Encyclopedia ; The Encyclopedia Americana ; the Catholic Encyclopedia ; the Lore of Birthdays , and others that state where the origins of modern day birthday celebrations came from , namely paganism . While this is true it is not surprising since many other things today also have pagan roots . Our days / months of the week are named after pagan personalities etc , and there is host of other examples that could be given .

    Christians recognize that commemorating the anniversary of their children’s birth is a occasion to be thankful to God . They do not acknowledge any pagan deities in their activity . What was done thousands of years ago in a religious activity of pagans has lost it’s meaning today , as such it is not a sin to celebrate a birthday or Mother’s Day etc . What the Watchtower does’nt like to mention is that according to those works mentioned above , things like wedding rings , a wedding cake , wearing the wedding ring on the right finger , and much more also came from a pagan origin , and yet have not Jw’s done these ?
    Whether or not a couple commemorates a child’s birthday anniversary, like their own wedding anniversary , should be left up to their conscience .

    Even the watchtower has had to admit that a balance should be considered when it comes to the pagan roots of common activities and or festivities . They state the even the Pinata has a non Christian origin and was widely connected to Christmas celebrations in Mexico and continues as such . Yet today it has lost much of it’s religious significance , and so the Awake of 9-22-2003, p 23-24 states :

    ” A main concern is , not what the practice meant hundreds of years ago, but how it is viewed today in your area…”
    furthermore , the Awake magazine of 4-8-2003 p, 30 says concerning the Hawaiian Luau , that it too may at one time have had a connection with false religious practices , but today the word has simply come refer to a Hawaiian banquet . A particular gathering to which the word “luau” is applied may or may not be appropriate for a Christian to attend. So it is left up to each Christian to make a decision that will leave them with a clear conscience before God .
    This is similar to how Jw’s can view birthdays . It’s up to their conscience etc.

    Jw’s should have more freedom on the issues of birthdays , but sadly when they joined the Watchtower organization they have been warned to :

    ” Fight against Independent Thinking ” — no questioning the organization .
    [ W.t. 1-15-1983, p 27 ]

    We get to pray for Jw’s to study the Bible alone and know they can interpret it for themselves as individuals . They don’t need the Watchtower as their guide .
    Good things can happen if they take that step .

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