Was Jesus born on December 25th?
No, He probably was not. The hills would have been bitterly cold and snow covered in December. The Watchtower once recommended, "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). The Early Church originally celebrated his birth on Jan.6. The eastern Orthodox still hold to this date. We do know the date of Lincoln's birthday; yet we often celebrate on a different day since it is the memory not the exact date being emphasized. Col. 2:14-17 " So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regardinga festival regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths. "Rom. 14:5-6 ", One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord;" If someone wants to set a certain day aside he has the liberty and right to do so. It can be any day of the week, however if he makes it a requirement for others to have to do the same then he has become legalistic and is no longer operating in grace, he has become a judge of his brother without any Biblical substantiation. In the same manner if someone makes it illegal to celebrate it they are a legalist. Scripture does not forbid celebrating the birth of Christ. Jesus was at "the Feast of the Dedication" in John 10:22. This was not an official Holy day. Yet we do not find that Jesus refusing to participate in the celebration, he actually condones it and this was on Dec.25. Does this mean Jesus is practicing paganism? While we are not specifically commanded to celebrate Jesus birthday, we are not brought into bondage by it either. By practicing the freedom in the NT we can remember the time the savior visited our earth.
Does Scripture forbid celebrating Jesus' birth?
The Watchtower says there is no command to celebrate his birth in scripture like remembering his death! There is no command not to either. There is no command to meet on Sundays but we do out of our freedom to worship. This is something they changed their mind on over the years "Dont quibble about the date; join in with the world and celebrate Christmas (WT 12/1 1904 p.3468). "Christmas is so important, regardless of the date." (WT 12/15/1926 p.371) "It is quite immaterial the day Christmas is celebrated; we may properly join. (WT 12/15/1903 p.3290) They state, "We are to remember Jesus' death not his birth. "While the emphasis of forgiveness is on his death we should be thankful he became a man.Who set the precedent for our response to His birth? Lets take a look at Luke 2:8-14 and you find it was the inhabitants of Heaven, the angels! Jehovah definitely approved of celebrating the birth of Christ. Opposition only came from the kingdom of Satan. We read, Jesus' birth is characterized by "the glory of the Lord" and "great joy! " For who? 'All people!" A multitude of heavenly host" was joyous with celebration and praise! Do you suppose the shepherds said, "Oh, I just don't see what all those angels are excited about"? They joined Heaven and celebrated the birth of Christ, they were excited! Herod didnt celebrate his birth because the promise of God was born, he wanted him dead. (He asked The wise men who came to bring him gifts and worship him to report back so he might do 'fake' worship of him Mt.2:9-11)
What about the pagan origins of the Christmas tree?
Consider the pagan origin of the word "December" written on the front of every Watchtower magazine this month. What about the names of the week being of pagan origin (Saturday =Saturn) Is the Watchtower pagan simply for mixing a word of pagan origin with its religion? Watchtower readers would say no. The Watchtower is not recommending the worship of Greek gods by using something common to both cultures. For the Watchtower to be consistent they would have to remove the words of the weeks and months from their publications. Do Christians attach Pagan meanings to the tree today? No, not anymore than the J.W.s do!
What about the Old Testament references of the heathen decorating a tree?
Read the context of those Old Testament passages. The person was making an idol to worship. They built buildings for idol worship, should we no longer go into buildings ? They sacrificed foods to Idols, should we discontinue eating? To say people who enjoy Christmas worship Christmas trees is simply not being honest!Christians do not worship the cross on a building or a tree in their living rooms. Do Christians attach pagan meanings to lights or other decorations? No. Of course not! Rather, lights remind Gods people about Jesus! Jesus said, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" John 8:12. The real problems of Christmas are the commercialism which removes the focus from the Lord to the exultation of mythology (Santa Claus versus the Lord). Satan will use the commercialism and fantasy about Santa Claus to keep people from the real meaning of Christs birth. So do J.W's by the material that they print, making Christ a creature and ignore the incarnation of God visiting man.
Should we be giving Jesus such praise?
Remember how He commended the children who praised Him, saying the stones would cry out if they stopped." (Luke 19:3 7-40) When was the last time you heard someone from the Kingdom Hall praise Jesus? If Jesus does not receive worshipful honor, equal to the Father, your honor of the Father is not accepted (John 5:23). From the beginning people "worshipped him " (Matthew 3:1 1), not "him and her" (Mary) as Roman Catholicism does. Was Jesus worshipped by His disciples, or does the Watchtower Bible accurately suggest otherwise? Test those Bibles by the Greek. See how the Watchtower translates the following verses, then compare the Greek spellings (Rev. 22:8 with Mark 2:2), (Rev. 5:14 with Mat. 2:1 1; 14:33; 28:9,17), and (Heb. 11:21 with Mark 5:6 and John 9:38). The exact worship the Father receives, the Son also receives. Isaiah called the Christ child, the 'Mighty God" (Isaiah 9:6). He goes on to write the mighty God is Jehovah the LORD (Isaiah 10:20). Mt1:23 Emmanuel "The God with us."
What about gift-giving?
Good-will to all men is commended! Under the former light Judge Rutherford, the Watchtower president at the time, was very excited about his"numerous Christmas presents" " (Watchtower-Jan. 15, 1919, P. 3 1).According to their own judgment he was a pagan! Did not the wise men bring expensive gifts to Jesus Mt.2:1. How wise are you? Would a J.W. turn down a gift on any other day of the year? If you were at work and thirsty and someone bought you a drink for free isnt that a gift? If someone bought you a meal isn't that a gift? If gift-giving is acceptable on other days of the year, why not on December 25th ? God's only condition for celebrating is do so "unto the Lord" (Rom. 14:5,6). Christmas maybe your stumbling-block, but for Christians, it is a stepping-stone to share the real meaning. Using any Opportunity to point people to Jesus Christ. The light of the Watchtower may change, but the Light of the world (Jesus Christ and his word) is never changing.
What is the best gift?
The best gift you can give to God is yourself. He has already given his best gift to all the world almost 2,000 years ago. Salvation is his free gift to you through his Son not an organization. "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 6:23 ). No one reaches for their wallet to pay off a free gift! You, simply receive him (Rom. 4:4; 11:6; Gal. 3:24). What about "Working hard for the reward of eternal life" (Watchtower--April 15, 1972, P. 491). Eternal life is not a reward which must be earned by works. The Bible tells us salvation is afree gift! "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." (Eph.2:8,9). See, it is not by works, God is trying to keep you from boasting. Accept God's gift, 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). Rom.3:26-28" To demonstrate at the present time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? No: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." Rom.11:6 And if by grace then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. but if it is by works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work." Are you willing to receive what God has given? How do you receive?
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord(Jesus) shall be saved Rom.10:13! Saved from your sins, that's what the savior is all about.