Are Jehovah's Witnesses allowed to celebrate Thanksgiving with family. You know have a feast with turkey and all the fixins?
- Hannah J PaulLv 71 year agoFavorite Answer
What exactly is Thanksgiving? What I mean is this: aside from the obvious reference of giving thanks, what do people feel is the way to celebrate the national holiday known as Thanksgiving? Is it the way most folks do it? Because most people I know have a huge dinner, complete with traditional ‘fixins’, in a house filled with relatives who are watching football all day. I cannot find any giving of thanks in that. Now separate the actual date (the fourth Thursday of November), set aside the publicity, cute commercials, and all the marketing and promoting everywhere and what do we have? A day where dozens of relatives eat, eat, and eat some more while the television is on. Sounds like a family reunion to me. Which can be done any time.
Look, Thanksgiving is a national holiday put into place by the leader of a well-known nation who, like other very patriotic folks back in the day, thought it was a good thing to do. The history of Thanksgiving celebration is full of myths, legends, rewrites, feel-good pablum, glossed over genocides and a few good harvests. So much so that one has to research the whole thing in order to glean actual facts. But what is the purpose of the holiday we now know as Thanksgiving? It is a national holiday, so what is its purpose?
Jehovah's Witnesses are Christians and, as such, we are no part of the world, just as Jesus was no part of the world, just as his disciples were no part of the world. John 17:14. Jesus and his followers lived in the Roman world. They respected and obeyed the law of the Romans and quietly remained true to the God of Abraham. Let me ask you, please, and you instruct me: if the Romans instituted a national holiday, one which seemed relatively harmless, do we suppose that Jesus and his followers would gleefully participate? Don’t you suppose Jesus would seriously consider it in the light of scripture rather than the shadow of emotion? Isn’t that what he did when tempted to turn a stone into a loaf of bread? Because making a loaf of bread seemed harmless enough, right? Do we think Jesus would have just done a knee-jerk response and celebrated? Do we think they would observe it?
As one other Witness said, Jehovah's Witnesses are allowed to do anything they want. If we want to, we can get drunk, we can be sexually immoral, we can worship modern day Baal, we can lie, cheat and steal. But Christians don’t act like that. Sheep don’t act like that, do they. So if others wish to celebrate, observe, participate in, and honor the national holiday called Thanksgiving – complete with all the fixins’, by all means, they should do so. They, like we, are free moral agents. Jehovah's Witnesses however try very hard to make sure that whatever they are doing does not displease Jehovah God and Christ Jesus in any way, shape, form, or fashion. As for the giving of thanks, God’s word the Bible admonishes us at Philippians 4:6 and Ephesians 5:20, to do so always.
Sorry for the long response, but seriously: this is not a basic yes or no question. More is involved than turkey and dressing. Or do you call it stuffing?
Hannah J Paul
- RebmilcLv 41 year ago
We all know the JWs can be totally inconsistent and even downright Hypocritical regarding certain issues. They set themselves up as judge and jury according to the latest whims of their ‘faithful and discreet slave’.
They post questions and answers, pontificating about Easter, Christmas, thanksgiving & Birthdays, True Christians shouldn’t be involved in these ‘so-called ‘Pagan celebrations’ they cry! We are the only ‘true Christians’ in the world today because we don’t participate in these events, they tell us. You all know what I mean.
And yet if you visit JW.org and look up the (Awake sept 22nd 2003) and find the article entitled “The Pinata-An ancient tradition” we find the following quote
“We peer over into the patio and observe a gaily decorated papier-mâché burro suspended between two trees. A blindfolded child is striking out at the burro with a stick, attempting to break it. The guests are shouting encouragement. At last, the burro bursts open, and candy, fruit, and toys spill out. Amid much laughter, all scramble to pick up the treats. It looks like fun. We are told that the burro is called a piñata and that breaking a piñata at fiestas is a tradition here in Mexico and some other Latin-American countries”.
(Notice the “looks like fun” bit).
The article goes on to consider “the origin of the pinata” and “the pinata today” where it states:
“The Chinese may have been the first to use something like a piñata as part of their New Year’s celebration, which also marked the beginning of spring. They made figures of cows, oxen, and buffalo, covering them with coloured paper and filling them with five kinds of seeds. Coloured sticks were used to break the figures open. The decorative paper that covered the figures was burned and the ashes gathered and kept for good luck during the coming year”.
Forgive me but doesn’t that show it up as a ‘PAGAN CELEBRATION’ especially when a few sentences later we find the following;
“However, the missionaries (Spanish) may have been surprised (as we were) to find that the native people of Mexico already had a similar tradition. The Aztecs celebrated the birthday of Huitzilopochtli, their god of the sun and war, by placing a clay pot on a pole in his temple at the end of the year. The pot was adorned with colourful feathers and filled with tiny treasures. It was then broken with a stick, and the treasures that spilled out became an offering to the god’s image. The Maya also played a game in which blindfolded participants hit a clay pot suspended by a string.
(Notice the “Their god of sun and war” & “The god’s image”).
When reading this article in the ‘Awake’ we are left in no doubt that the ‘pinata’ is ‘pagan’ in its origin. So, you could be forgiven in thinking that the ‘faithful & discreet slave’ should have no trouble condemning it as they do Birthday’s, Thanksgiving & Christmas, (especially as we find in the article Later, the piñata became part of the festivities of the ‘posadas’
during the Christmas season) & Easter eggs. After all its kids “Having fun” as they said in the opening passage.
BUT NO! The article concludes with the following classic Hypocritical quote;
“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.
Did you get that? “When considering whether to include a (pagan) piñata at a social gathering, Christians should be sensitive to the consciences of others.” And “A main concern is, not what the practice meant hundreds of years ago, but how it is viewed today in your area.” Or even “Hence, it is wise to avoid turning such matters into big issues”.
So JW friends, perhaps you can explain the difference, and inform us why you turn Birthday’s, Christmas ‘gifts’ thanksgiving and Easter eggs into ‘Big Issues ’”as the main concern is not what the practice meant hundreds of years ago”. After all, just like the (Pagan Pinata) its only kids having fun.
And please don’t use the Bad things happen at birthdays excuse as the Aztecs and Maya were renowned for their human sacrifices.
- Roberta BLv 61 year ago
First, it is not about being "allowed" to do things. When we become Jehovah's Witnesses, we promise to do things Jehovah's way. Principles are involved which can be applied to anything that humans invent after the Bible was written.
Our God Jehovah prohibits certain things, and he also encourages us to do things that are truthful and real. We find those real things in the Bible, his Word. The principles to consider are not about eating a turkey, nor is it about spending time with family and friends. It is about this:
(Ephesians 5:20) in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ giving thanks always for all things to our God and Father.
Does this scripture, and several like it, refer to setting aside a day to thank God for blessings? NO.
It says that we should be "giving thanks ALWAYS".
Also, Thanksgiving is an American holiday, so does the fact that Americans have one day in the year set aside for thanking God mean a special blessing? NO, because the Bible says:
(Acts 10:34, 35) At this Peter opened his mouth and said: “For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial, 35 but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.
So the criterion for acceptance by God isn't following an American holiday, but to fear God and work righteousness, no matter what nation one lives in.
My brothers are from all nations. Only one out of every seven Jehovah's Witnesses live in the United States. We don't follow the three major holidays of the nation of Israel, which Sarah Hale, who promoted the institution of a yearly Thanksgiving Day suggested - she wrote
“Can we not then, following the appointment of Jehovah in the ‘Feast of Weeks,’ or Harvest Festival, establish our yearly Thanksgiving?”
However, with the teachings of Jesus Christ came a new view of these prescribed celebrations. Just before his death, Jesus commanded but one celebration. He required his followers to memorialize his death. This observance was made all the more outstanding by its being the only one:
(Luke 22:19, 20) Also, he took a loaf, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them, saying: “This means my body which is to be given in YOUR behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” 20 Also, the cup in the same way after they had the evening meal, he saying: “This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood, which is to be poured out in YOUR behalf.
The apostle Paul, in fact, became concerned about Jewish Christians who still were “scrupulously observing days and months and seasons and years.” He remarked: “I fear for you, that somehow I have toiled to no purpose respecting you.” (Gal. 4:10, 11)
We must be thankful to our heavenly Father EVERY DAY. The words “thanks” and “thanksgiving” are used over forty times in the Christian Greek Scriptures.
During the time of early Christianity, the pagan Romans, who held an annual thanksgiving celebration in December. A writer of the second century noted: “We [Christians] are accused of a lower sacrilege, because we do not celebrate along with you the holidays of the Cæsars in a manner forbidden alike by modesty, decency, and purity.”
The basis of the Thanksgiving holiday also comes from the historical accounts when some European colonists shared with some native Americans in a three day harvest feast. But the historical accounts also show some not so rosy events.The most infamous “thanksgiving” was proclaimed in 1637 by Governor John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony after the massacre of hundreds of Pequot Indians. Therefore, we can appreciate why some may be offended by Thanksgiving Day (and native Americans are also among our brothers and sisters).
The bottom line is, Jesus did not celebrate the holiday and that, since it is an American Holiday, and since we have unity among our international organization, we do not either. We should and must thank God every day, not just for turkey, or even for our families, but for our daily bread, and for all of our blessings, including our worldwide brotherhood, every day. If some of us get together because we have a day off sometime during that weekend, it is clear to onlookers that we are not doing it for the holiday, because a law does not have to be passed in order for us to thank Jehovah.
Source(s): Holy Scriptures, New World Translation http://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/genesis/1 Watchtower 1976 11/22 pp. 12-13 A National “Day of Thanks”—The Dream and the Reality
- 1 year ago
No their a cult
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- Kilroy JLv 51 year ago
Only after Armageddon.
- Anonymous1 year ago
Jehovah's Witnesses aren't allowed to do anything. They have someone follow each member around to make sure they behave.You can see them standing menacingly on every corner.
- BrianLv 51 year ago
We are allowed to do anything we want.
We choose to be with our families as much as possible, not just a couple days out of the year like the American Society wants you too.
My family got together last weekend and had a great dinner of tacos. We played some games and then sang some songs to glorify Jesus and our God Jehovah. A great weekend indeed. Very uplifting.
This weekend we went out in service. Talked to a few people abut Jesus. Will come back in a couple weeks to see what they thought of our conversation.
- Anonymous1 year ago
No. You have to go to their house on Friday and try to convince them to convert to another religion.
- AlaLv 51 year ago
Many JWs have their big meal on an alternate day a call it their big family dinner.
- .Lv 71 year ago
They have to wait until Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) to do that.