why do JWs gather on holidays

Why do so many Jehovah’s Witnesses gather together on holidays if they don’t/aren’t allowed to acknowledge them? Most of my husband’s immediate family are JWs and while they decline the invitation to be with us and celebrate on holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc.), they usually gather at his parents house for a family dinner even though they don’t acknowledge what the day is. This is irritating to me because my husband (and my kids) usually miss out being with his family because of this. I have several friends that say they’ve experienced the same thing with JW friends and family. Are they just not as devout as they claim to be (which would be understandable ;)) or am I missing out on some loophole?

They are allowed to gather for family meals— so perhaps that since in America we typically gather together for a family meal on such holidays, they want to as well (it makes sense since holidays are usually the only time most of the family and friends have off).

My Mom grew up being taught by JW’s (and Russian Orthodox— her parents were not aware of what the JW’s teach and the conflicts between the two faiths) and she taught me a mix of the two growing up. She told me she’d still give a gift to her JW’s friends, but she would say its a friendship gift and wrap it in regular gift wrapping paper (no holiday stuff).

I also have a JW friend who I invited over for New Years (along with his wife) and shared that we could forgo the celebrating if he didn’t want to— he was open for it but decided to just stay in that night since his wife was away at a meeting. So I’m assuming that JW’s could get together still on holidays, as long as it is not about celebrating that particular holiday.

I agree with the OP that family who are JWs can hurt us, by their beliefs. This situation seems quite hurtful! In our situation, the JW family is completely broken up be separation, and living now at opposite sides of he continent. I think that they want to grab our intellect and leave our hearts out of it, for we are supposed to be in the wrong to mention that we miss them at our family get togethers! We can’t blame them for their grasp of the truth. It is almost like atheism! So, my answer is that God will judge them. They are the strangest cult. Your post says it all!

I would have nothing to do with them. The JW cult is almost as dangerous to the human mind as the SDA cult.

They have no hope and can only spread the disease. You can’t help them. Let them go. God does not hear their cries so why should you.

Brother,

I can not agree with you, although they are missguided and have been lead astray does not mean that God does not hear them. Nor that we can not help them. We must pray and when given the chance we must share with them the Gospel.

Do they?
I’ve thought they can gather whenever they want to…

My Baptist Church is very close to the “JWs Church”.
We have every Thursday prayer-eveneing - and Jehovah’s Wittnesses also have a gathering on Thursday evening - they start about half an hour earlier than we do.

Esdra

I’m referring to gathering privately in their homes on holidays. For example, my in-laws and their immediate extended family (children, grandchildren, etc.) gather on Easter and have a big family dinner. Yet they don’t acknowledge that it’s Easter and there is no mention of the holiday. I’ve also heard of JWs that give (or receive) gifts at Christmas, but they aren’t referred to as Christmas gifts and they aren’t wrapped in Christmas themed paper.

Yeah, I realized too late. Sorry.
I read “Why do JWs gather on Sundays?” - As there was recently a thread “Why do non-Catholics gather on Sunday?”

But yeah, why shouldn’t they?
You see, I also have a Muslim friend, who of course doesn’t believe in the birth of Christ on Christmas, but they also give presents to each other and this year they even had a Christmas tree. I think also with JWs it’s pretty much a cultural thing.
The Holy Days are free days and so they have time to gather at home - the whole family.

Esdra

Jws believe that families gathering together (but excluding any non believer or disfellowshipped members) on holidays cements them together in their peculiar beliefs. Also, they see the holidays as a really good time to go door to door since non jws are “in a good mood and very receptive” to their message at those times.
I know. I played on their playground for 18 months before coming to my senses - 25 years ago.
**Esdra, **that jw meeting on Thursdays is their “school” to learn and teach what to say as they go door to door.
jws do not “worship” in their kingdom halls. It’s always a teaching and learning “meeting” unless it’s the “memorial” when they pass around bread cubes and everyone watches to see who eats of it. Those who do, supposedly have had a revelation that they are to be one of the 144,000 that are going to heaven and rule with Christ. The rest get to stay on earth and clean up the “harmagddeon” (their word) mess.
Anyhoo, they get together with each other at every opportunity. It’s a reinforcement measure.
Side note: I once had a jw come into my home at Christmas and say that my tree was “disgusting”. When I asked why, he said "once you are deeper into "the truth " their word for jwism- you will also find such things disgusting.
Pagan origins, you see. :rolleyes:

:smiley: :rolleyes:
I see, I see.

I would think that in our busy lives, when we have the time off from work, we visit family…whether we ascribe any religious or patriotic meaning to the day off from work…they most likely choose to gather together since “everyone else is doing it”, why miss out on being with family because “someone…some where” believes it Jesus birthday or the “Easter Bunny came late this year.”

I have gone to dinner with my aunt and uncle at their friends house…who happen to be Jewish…it was Passover…and while they didn’t do a traditional Seder…they spoke some of the “ritual words” of blessing and lighting the candles was an important “ceremony” for them. The Passover has no “ritual connection” to me…yet I enjoyed the meal very much.

Thy also don’t mind being paid for the time off on these pagan holidays. :smiley: I had a JW employee. I know.

LOL…well to be honest…I don’t mind being paid for tose pagan holidays either…and spending time with family.

Ah, yes, Yule and all that.

It is another way or form of saying they do,but they cover up with all their distortions and teachings. Case in point, my ex-roommate said JW’s do not celebrate birthdays,so I asked him:

Then why did you meet the day after for a small gathering for your birthday at your mother’s home?

His response: We didn’t celebrate my birthday.

:shrug:

4witness.org/images/stories/downloads/jehovahs_witness/jwquestions/qjw-christmas.pdf

4jehovah.org/images/stories/downloads/wdgr/wdgr_s03q04.pdf

As we gather during holidays like Christmas, we gather and put Jesus Christ as the center of celebration. For JWs, they gather to take advantage of the holiday but taking away the reason for that particular celebration of the holiday. Sometimes it becomes hypocrisy. when some companies give Christmas Bonus they will accept the bonus.

We like enjoying time together as family and friends as much as anyone.

You are right that many secular holidays promoted today have origins or customs associated with them that we believe God disproves of. Therefore we don’t get involved with those.

Here is the link to a spot on JW’s official website for any who want to understand where we are coming from on that: watchtower.org/e/bh/appendix_14.htm

We often find ourselves pressured to compromise our conscience on these holidays. Much of my family are not JW’s so I make a point of spending time with them on other occasions - that won’t make me feel I am celebrating a festival I do not agree with.
They respect that.

Exactly what does God disprove of? Be more specific.

Holidays with pagan origins.
2 Cor. 6:14-17 warns against being involved in false and pagan worship. The early Christians were surrounded by it in the Roman world. That’s why vs 17 instructs them to have nothing to do with it.
Any encyclopedia will tell you the roots and customs of many popular celebrations and holidays have their roots in pagan festivals. Festivals of the very cultures God instructed his followers to separate themselves from.

Patriotic or nationalistc festivals, or ones that celebrate war.
We know Jesus stand on that. At John 18:36, when questioned on his political stand by Pilate: “Jesus answered: “My kingdom is no part of this world. If my kingdom were part of this world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be delivered up to the Jews.”
Elsewhere he said his followers were also “no part of the world”.

Here’s a chapter in our “What does the Bible really teach” book that explains it further if you want a more professional answer:
watchtower.org/e/bh/article_16.htm

Enjoy.

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