Monday, December 29, 2008

Reasoning on JESUS's birthday

I just had a talk with a Jehovah's Witness (JW). A pleasant discussion at that. She wanted to give me literature, but I declined saying that I had so much to read and so little time. I therefore offered her the opportunity to summarise one of the articles for me.

She asked me which one, and I decided to choose the article on "When was JESUS born?"

I told her that I already know that he was not born on the 25th of December but I would be interested in hearing the exact date if they had it.

She disappointed me by telling me that they did not have the date, but could show that it was not on December 25th.

We then went on into a discussion about the morality of birthday celebrations.

I agreed with her that it was not moral to celebrate JESUS's birth on the 25th, the same day as a pagan god. However, I disagreed with her about the immorality of celebrating a birthday or a life any at all.

I reassured her that while G-d did not command Christians to celebrate the birth of JESUS - the fact is that JESUS birth was celebrated, and by a number of individuals.

The JW went on to ask why was there not a continuous celebration by his disciples and followers until more than 100 years after.

I then went on to share with her that if they were following the Jewish calendar, which was lunar, they could not regularly have a set day to celebrate a birthday. The day would fluctuate too much.

However, since we today are following a pagan calendar named after Greek and Roman gods, our timing is such that a set day and set time can be commemorated each year.

I also suggested to her, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, that if we were following the Jewish calendar, where there is a timing and season for each activity, then there would be no need to celebrate birthdays. (The JW lady conceded that we are no longer under law, hence no need to follow the Jewish calendar. So I told her that if we are not following the Jewish calendar, hence there is no problem or law against celebrating birthdays via the pagan calendar.)

We left on peaceful terms, and I actually felt blessed from the conversation since we spoke about the Almighty G-d together and his Son. I also left with the realisation that if celebrating birthdays on a pagan calendar is immoral, what is more immoral is to not follow G-d's calendar. Further, there was no command to not celebrate birthdays, but there were explicit commands to keep G-d's sabbaths and convocations.

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