Are Birthday’s Evil, like the Jehovah Witnesses say that they are?

British cat celebrating birthday with piece of cake
Jehovah’s Witnesses in good standing do not celebrate birthdays. They will not even let their children eat birthday cake when someone brings it to their child’s school.  They believe that Birthdays are evil. Mostly because of two passages in the Bible.

The first one is in the Old Testament

Genesis 40:20-22 NIV

20 Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand— 22 but he impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation.

While this is most certainly horrific to think of what happened to the baker, ask the Jehovah’s Witness is it the birthday or the Pharaoh that is to blame here?  If they say it is his birthday that is to blame ask them if the Pharaoh was a good man for the rest of the year.
Then remind them that the cup bearer was forgiven and restored to his position on the Pharaoh’s Birthday, so the Pharaoh also did a good deed on his birthday.  If an evil event makes the entire day evil, then would not a good event make the day good?
The other passage that they use is in the New Testament

Matthew 14:3-11 (NIV)

 3 Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4 for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet.  6 On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much 7 that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10 and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother.

Once again something bad happens on a birthday, but it did not begin then. Herod wanted to murder John ever since he was arrested.
He didn’t do it right away, not because he a man who was sleeping with his brother’s wife suddenly got a conscience.  He was afraid of the people. He knew the Jews hated him but loved John, and he was worried that John’s death would cause a riot, which would get him into trouble with Rome.  Birthday or not he would have eventually have killed John. If this is a  prohibition of anything it is a prohibition against making oaths, especially open-ended ones.

But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.

The birth of someone you love should be a special event, and birthdays are a way to make a person feel special in a way that would be impossible if you had to do it all year around.  EXP. Most people can’t afford to buy their child an expensive gift every day of the year, nor should they, but they can afford to buy them a bike for their birthday.

Birthdays are not an essential part of our faith, so please don’t get into a big fight over this with them. Try not to fight at all, but if things get more heated then they should, it should be over bigger issues then birthdays.

       Suggested Reading

Kingdom of the Cults, The

Walter Martin , Ravi Zacharias (Editor)

Our Darkest Hours

I have had more then my fair share of tragedies in my life, both physical and emotional. Last night one of my pets died, and while it certainly not the worst tragedy in my life the thought that I will never get to hear my parrot Bo say “cracker” again is enough to bring me to tears.
The dark times, often make people question God, but others draw closer to him during those times. I am lucky enough that I was introduced to  apologetics very early in my Christian walk. I never wonder if he is there not even in my worst of moments. I draw my strength from KNOWING that one day I will get to hear the love of my life say ” Well done, good and faithful servant.”. It isn’t easy, but as long as I focus on him I will have the strength to move on.  My trials on Earth will not only make me stronger, and somehow even if I don’t yet see it some good will eventually come from it. These dark days will make me appreciate Heaven even more, because without back stabbers we would not know how special our true friends are, without discomfort we would not appreciate comfort, and without hunger we would not appreciate a wonderful meal.
I may be in physical and emotional pain right now, but thanks be to God I know that a brighter day is coming!

Doubt

Sometimes when I listen to people who say they have lost their faith, I am far less surprised than they expect. If their view of God is what they say, then it is only surprising that they did not reject it much earlier. Other people have a concept of God so fundamentally false that it would be better for them to doubt than to remain devout. The more devout they are, the uglier their faith will become since it is based on a lie. Doubt in such a case is not only highly understandable, it is even a mark of spiritual and intellectual sensitivity to error, for their picture is not of God but an idol.   ― Os Guinness

Should we keep politics, and religion separate?

I used to think that we could not legislate morality, but then someone with a lot clearer thinking then mine set me straight.
If it is wrong to legislate morality then what do we do about laws that protect life? Thou shalt not murder is a moral principle that many of our laws are built around.  Why is it illegal to speed? It isn’t because politicians are party poopers (well many are but that is beside the point). It is illegal to drive 100 miles an hour in a residential area because your chances of murdering an innocent person go way up when there are no traffic laws. We have laws that say you must go to school for a certain amount of years before you can practice medicine. The reason for these laws isn’t without reason. It is because when idiots practice medicine the chances of people dying go way up.
Thou shalt not steal is a moral principle, is it wrong to create laws to protect private property?

It turns out that most if not all good laws have a basis in someone’s morality. I am not saying that all Biblical laws should be made into secular law, a law forcing people to worship God would be a bad idea, because forced worship isn’t worship at all, it is acting.  The trick is to recognize that personal freedom is a moral principle as well. While we can not divorce morality from the law, we do have to balance the idea of personal freedom, with the protection of others. One can not be free to murder, without taking away an innocent person’s right to live. One can not be free to steal without taking away another person’s right to private property.  One can have the freedom not to worship, but they can not have the right of freedom from religion without taking away another person’s right to freedom of religion.

January 11 Bible Reading

Genesis 31-33

Reading the Bible in context is extremely important. Bible verses are easily twisted when taken out of context.
The following passage has been taken out of context so much that it has ended up on greeting cards, pillows, wall plaques, and so much more.
“Gen. 31;49 And Mizpah; for he said, The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.”

It sounds so sweet, but actually it is anything but. Laban wanted to kill Jacob. While it isn’t theologically devastating if you get this passage wrong, think about how many good relationships were tarnished with the misuse of this verse. Please, until you become really familiar with the Bible it is best not to read just one verse of the Bible. At least read the verse before and the verse after, but the entire chapter is even better.

Jan 3 Bible reading plan

Genesis 7-9

About Noah entering the ark.
Some non-Christians have brought up the fact that many cultures have a story about a flood that wiped out most of mankind, as if this disproves anything. If it really happened (and I believe it did) at one point in time the world had 8 people in it. Those eight people would tell their children about the most significant part of their lives, and their children would tell their children. Occasionally the details would get clouded by people who could not remember the details correctly, or did not want to confess the details properly to their kids, but every culture would have some sort of version of the most significant thing to happen to their ancestors. So we should expect other cultures to have stories about the flood.