A few days ago the majority of the Western world celebrated Christmas. As you know being under the control of the Watchtower, the organization operated under the premise of “business as usual.” One question I have for you as a Watchtowerite is how did you fill up your day since you had off? As you may well know, the organization under the days of Pastor Russell and the early years of Rutherford allowed Christmas to be celebrated. Here’s one of the early quotes that pertain to Christmas:
It is quite immaterial the day Christmas is celebrated; we may properly join.
Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. December 15, 1903 Reprints p.3290
The organization at the time saw fit to participate with the rest of the world. “By properly joining,” the organization is giving complicit compliance with this. So we are left with a bit of a conundrum. The organization says “there are a great cloud of witnesses, extending back” in accordance with Hebrews 12:1. Since the organization feels there are witnesses that extend back to the Greek Scriptures, why did Russell choose to ignore them? Would he not of been a lover of truth by standing against Christmas instead of joining in this Babylonish practice?
Even though Christmas day is not the real anniversary of our Lord’s birth, but more properly the annunciation day or the day of his human begetting (Luke 1:28), netherless, since the celebration of our Lord’s birth is not a matter of divine appointment or injunction but merely a tribute of respect to him, it is not necessary for us to quibble particularly about the date. We may as well join with the civilized world in celebrating the grand even on the day which the majority celebrate-“Christmas day.”
Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. December 1, 1904 Reprints p.3468
Again what we have here is further proof that the organization is joining the civilized world. So does this mean that those within the organization are now “uncivilized” since they do not participate in this day?
The difference between lunar time, used by the Jews, and solar time, now in common use, would be a few days, so that we could not be certain that the exact day might not be in September about the 27th, but October 1st, B.C. is about correct, Nine months back of that date would bring us to about Christmas time, B.C. 3, as the date at which our Lord laid aside the glory which he had with the Father before the world was [made] and the taking of or changing to human nature began. It seems probable that this was the origin of the celebration of December 25th as Christmas Day.
Studies in the Scriptures Volume III-The Time is at Hand. 1889, 1915 ed., p. 61
The date in previous quotes was not to be “quibbled” over. The organization did however, use math to determine the timeframe for the birth of Jesus. The important thing here is the date, which is 1915. So in short, Watchtower Jesus would have read this when he was doing the inspection from 1914-1918 and had this in mind when it was declared in 1919 that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society organization was the “true one.”
The date of Jesus birth led me on a quest to see what the internet would say. This is what came up:
So what we have in the primary position and following:
United Church of God-A group that split from Herbert Armstrong. I searched and found this webpage: http://www.jwstruggle.com/2011/09/jws-and-the-worldwide-church-of-god/
Of those cites listed, I took a look at Biblical Archeology. It is very thoughtful, researched, and succinctly laid out. I will embed a copy here as well. Regardless, the Watchtower passed the inspection when it was engaged in a Babylonish activity. The following is the last date that affirms the positive aspect of Christmas:
Christmas is so important, regardless of the date.
The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. December 15, 1926 p.371
Then we have one picture in the Proclaimer’s book and shortly thereafter it was banned.
This Christmas celebration at Brooklyn Bethel in 1926 was their last.
Proclaimer’s of God’s Kingdom. 1993 p. 200
The question must be raised, why did it change? To get our answer, we need to go to the December 14, 1927 issue of the Golden Age pages 178-179. The article has the following quote:
Indeed, we have a historical precedent in the effort of the Puritans to ignore Christmas, recognizing it as an important part of the Roman system of worship in Wycliffe’s day; but they found their path strewn with many difficulties.
The fact that the world, the flesh, and the Devil are in favor of its perpetuation and observance, is a final and conclusive argument against its celebration by those who are dedicated wholly to the service of Jehovah.
Side note-the Puritans came to America for religious freedom. The organization should have taken a note from here and allowed the Watchtowerite to be fully convinced in their own mind.
Looking at a recent article, the The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom December 2014 article has the article “What Are the Facts About Christmas.” Here is one line, “Through the prophet Malachi, God said: “I am Jehovah; I do not change.” (Malachi 3:6) Does that not tell us how God feels about the many Christmas celebrations today?” However, the organization happily took part for 47 years from 1879-1926.
They threw another line, “Instead, they find joy and true satisfaction in spending time with their friends and family and in helping the poor and needy whenever they wish throughout the year.” They make it seem like they do engage in charity. However, it is obvious they do not engage in this at all.
So with all this in mind, this is a quick overview on the Watchtower and it’s affiliation with Christmas. Again consider that Watchtower Jesus approved it. Since Jehovah doesn’t change, why did he approve of the change that was performed by the organization? The bible, not the Watchtower says that Jesus doesn’t change in Hebrews 13:8. However Watchtower Jesus did. Does this mean that it is not an organization guided by Jehovah but one that is run by men who change things as they see fit?
One last quote from What Does the Bible Really Teach? on page 159 (2005), “To take a stand for true worship, we need to have a viewpoint like that of the prophet Isaiah, who told true worshipers: “touch nothing unclean.”-Isaiah 52:11.
Those who started this organization are unclean it would be fair to conclude that for 47 years spanning Russell through Rutherford’s first 10 years they were not the true worshippers even though they were approved.