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 :-
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!!