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Thread: For JWs, is celebrating a birthday a "shunable offense"?

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    Question For JWs, is celebrating a birthday a "shunable offense"?

    For JWs, is there any room for conscience regarding celebrating birthdays or is it as black and white as, say idolatry?

    Thanks.
    It's a wonderful life

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruminator View Post
    For JWs, is there any room for conscience regarding celebrating birthdays or is it as black and white as, say idolatry?

    Thanks.
    I have a copy of a JW elders book with his personal notes in it. Celebrating birthdays is not a disfellowshipping (shunning) offense as stated. But, they can still get the offender to that level as they would categorize it as "walking disorderly."

    They would first be admonished and repentence would need to be displayed. If not, they would be "marked." If they persisted in their behavior they would be df'd. They don't pursue this topic as idolatry as far as I know, but in conformity and quality of association and influence on others.

    Birthdays, and just about anything else not clearly defined, can also be covered by "Loose Conduct." See the interesting chart that follows.
    "Ignorance Can Be Educated And Crazy Can Be Medicated But There's No Cure For Stupid."

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    The following can be df'ing offenses. As far as I know some changes have been made. I believe they allow JW's to sell tobacco now- if they work at a store- and I know of a JW nurse who was allowed to administer blood to patients. Medical marijuanna may be something that has changed too, I don't know. If they want to get someone on something, "Loose Conduct- Disrespect, disregard or even contempt for standards, laws and authority" is the cover-all that their elders get to use.


    Adultery (sexual intercourse with a person other than your marriage mate), includes;

    Abandoning wife and eloping with another woman - w79 11/15 31-2, w76 p.728
    Planned adultery to break Scriptural marriage ties - w83 3/15 p.29
    Remarriage without Scriptural permission - w56 10/1 p.597
    Polygamy - jv 176
    Dating a person not legally divorced - ks91-E p.135

    Apostasy - w83 4/1 pp.22-4, km 8/80 pp.1, 4. includes;

    Rebellion against Jehovah's organization - w63 7/1
    Promoting sects - it-2 886

    Associating with disfellowshipped people including;

    Friends - ks91-E p.103, w81 9/15 pp.25-6, w55 10/1 p.607
    Family - ks91-E p.103

    Blood and blood transfusions - w61 1/15 ks91-E p.95, jv p.183-4
    Drug use - ks91-E p.96
    Drunkenness - ks91-E p.95, it-1 656
    Dishonest business practices - w63 7/1, w86 11/15 14
    Employment violating Christian principles - km 9/76 p.6, km 2/74

    Working for any religious organization - ks91-E p.95
    Working in a gambling institution - ks91-E p.136
    Selling tobacco - ks91-E p.96
    Contract work at a military establishment

    False worship. Includes;

    Attending another church ks91-E p.94
    Following mourning customs that involve false worship - w85 4/15 p.25

    Fornication it-1 863

    Bestiality - w83 6/1 p.25
    Incestuous marriage - w78 3/15 p.26
    Artificial insemination and surrogate motherhood.
    "True Christians, therefore, avoid surrogate motherhood as well as any procedures that involve the use of donated sperm, eggs, or embryos" g04 9/22;
    "Artificial insemination of a married woman by a donor other than her husband makes her guilty of adultery" g74 8/8 p.28
    sexual abuse of children - g93 10/8 p.10
    Reviling - ks91-E p.94, w96 7/15 pp.17-18; it-1 p.991; it-2 p.802

    Fraud - ks91-E p.94, om pp.142-3
    Gambling or related employment - w80 9/1, ks91-E p.136
    Gluttony - w86 5/1
    Greediness, this in used to include;

    gambling ks91-E p.95
    extortion ks91-E p.95, w89 1/15 22, it-1 p.789
    greed in relation to bride-price: w98 9/15 p.25

    Homosexuality - w83 6/1 pp.24-6
    Idolatry - w52 3/1 p.138
    Loose conduct - ks91-E pp.93, 96, w83 3/15 p.31, w73 9/15 p.574, it-2 p.264, ks91-E p.93, w83 3/15 p.31, w73 9/15 pp.574-6, w97 9/1 p.14, it-2 p.246.
    This includes;

    Sexual perversion
    transvestism/sex change - cg p.98
    Disregard for Jehovah's moral standards
    Disrespect, disregard or even contempt for standards, laws and authority

    Lying - ks91-E p.94, g00 2/8 p.21
    Non neutral activities (involvement in politics and the military) - ks91-E p.96
    Military service and non military service including working casual work (certain civilian work has recently been made a conscience matter w96 5/1 p.20) - ks91-E p.96
    Obscene speech - ks91-E p.95
    Parents condoning immorality - w56 p.566
    Political involvement, including voting or holding a political card in Malawi - ks91-E p.96 (w99 11/1 p.28 made voting a conscience matter)
    Porneia. Includes oral and anal sex between married couples, mutual masturbation between persons not married to each other, homosexuality, lesbianism, fornication, adultery, incest, and bestiality. - ks91-E p.93
    Slander - ks91-E p.94, w63 7/1, w89 10/15 p.14, om p.142
    Smoking or selling tobacco - km 2/74, ks91-E p.96
    Spiritism (includes yoga w02 8/1 p.22) - w55 10/1 p.607
    Stealing, thievery - om pp.142-5, ks91-E p.94
    Subversive activity - w95 10/1 p.31
    Uncleanness

    Sexually perverse practices within marriage, such as oral and anal sex - w83 3/15 p.31
    Heavy petting and breast fondling - ks91-E p.92
    Touching of sexual parts - ks91-E p.91
    Practice of viewing abhorrent Pornography - w2012 3/15 p.31

    Violation of secular law if flagrant attitude - w86 10/1 p.31
    Violence, extreme physical abuse, fits of anger - ks91-E p.96, w75 p.287, g01 11/8 p.12

    Includes Boxing w81 7/1 pp.30-1, ks91-E p.142

    Wilful non support of family, endangerment of mates spirituality - w88 11/1 pp.22-3, km 9/73 p.8, ks91-E p.95
    Worldly celebrations such as Christmas - ks91-E p.95
    "Ignorance Can Be Educated And Crazy Can Be Medicated But There's No Cure For Stupid."

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    Quote Originally Posted by -Beowulf View Post
    ...Worldly celebrations such as Christmas - ks91-E p.95
    Thanks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruminator View Post
    For JWs, is there any room for conscience regarding celebrating birthdays or is it as black and white as, say idolatry?

    Thanks.
    My wife taught elementary school for 36 years. During that time, she of course had JW children in her classes. They would have birthday parties from time to time for kids. Parents would bring cake, cookies, pastries, etc. along with little gifts for each child. The JW children, for the most part, would tell my wife that they could not participate in the party. So, she would give them the option of either sitting in the back of the class while the party was going on or going to the library. Inevitably, they all wanted to stay in the class. Why? Because they would ask for the cake, cookies, pastries, gifts, etc. even though they did not "take part" in the party. My wife, from time to time, would ask some of them why? They told her that as long as they didn't participate in the party, it was okay to get anything given out free.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastor2022 View Post
    My wife taught elementary school for 36 years. During that time, she of course had JW children in her classes. They would have birthday parties from time to time for kids. Parents would bring cake, cookies, pastries, etc. along with little gifts for each child. The JW children, for the most part, would tell my wife that they could not participate in the party. So, she would give them the option of either sitting in the back of the class while the party was going on or going to the library. Inevitably, they all wanted to stay in the class. Why? Because they would ask for the cake, cookies, pastries, gifts, etc. even though they did not "take part" in the party. My wife, from time to time, would ask some of them why? They told her that as long as they didn't participate in the party, it was okay to get anything given out free.
    Vintage! There is a deeper and underlying adult Jehovah's Witness application and parallel connection here. Thanks for sharing this.

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    There are two approaches to the scriptures:

    * if the scriptures are silent then it is forbidden
    * if the scriptures are silent then it is allowed

    Or one might say that if the scriptures are silent then it is a matter of conscience.

    I wonder why celebrating your child's "day" is not a matter of conscience?:

    Rom 14:4 Who are you to criticize someone else's servant? He stands or falls before his own Lord—and stand he will, because the Lord makes him stand.
    Rom 14:5 One person decides in favor of one day over another, while another person decides that all days are the same. Let each one be fully convinced in his own mind:
    Rom 14:6 The one who observes a special day, observes it to honor the Lord. The one who eats, eats to honor the Lord, since he gives thanks to God. And the one who does not eat, refrains from eating to honor the Lord; yet he, too, gives thanks to God.
    Rom 14:7 For none of us lives for himself, and no one dies for himself.
    Rom 14:8 If we live, we live to honor the Lord; and if we die, we die to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
    Rom 14:9 For this reason the Messiah died and returned to life, so that he might become the Lord of both the dead and the living.
    Rom 14:10 Why, then, do you criticize your brother? Or why do you despise your brother? For all of us will stand before the judgment seat of God.
    While I completely respect the JW decision that they will not celebrate, I don't see any scriptural prohibition of celebrations which appear to have been celebrated by the ancient Jews:

    It's a wonderful life

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruminator View Post
    There are two approaches to the scriptures:

    * if the scriptures are silent then it is forbidden
    * if the scriptures are silent then it is allowed

    Or one might say that if the scriptures are silent then it is a matter of conscience.

    I wonder why celebrating your child's "day" is not a matter of conscience?:



    While I completely respect the JW decision that they will not celebrate, I don't see any scriptural prohibition of celebrations which appear to have been celebrated by the ancient Jews:
    The idea is no to obey the traditions but to socially isolated people from their culture. That is what cults do to maintain control.
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    "He has shown you, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you. But to do justly..and to love mercy...and to walk humbly with your God."

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    Truth be told, they didn't start officially banning birthdays until about 1951. Up until then, it was okay. Also, I wonder about the shepherds and the magi who came to worship Jesus and brought gifts to celebrate His birthday? I wonder if Jehovah was displeased with that because it is considered pagan in it's practices and the two instances it's recorded in the Scriptures really bad stuff happened in one and the other says our death is more important than our birth (that's their take on it btw)?
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    The party present and
    celebrating the birth of Christ
    was the angel and a multitude of the heavenly host. (Luke 2:10-14)

    A fine day for the jehovah-noids to join the Church in celebrating the birth of Christ into this world is December 25.

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