Jehovah’s Witnesses And Paganism
I agreed with her that all of our customs with rare exception reflect a much older and richer historical significance. Because Christianity is a relatively new religion comparatively speaking, it is filled with ancient symbolism that predates Christ’s birth much like our culture itself.
She brought up the Jehovah’s Witness’ contention that anything even remotely connected with paganism was “unchristian’ and “of the devil”.
If that is the case I’d like to point out a few things about the Jehovah’s Witnesses that many people may not be aware of. These are all well documented from their own publications and I have links to www.archive.org which is a repository for any public domain books, photos, and film from yesteryear.
Here is a nice one showing photos of Charles Taze Russell’s (the founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses) burial ceremony and associated stones. Note the pagan pyramid that is emblazoned with the name “Watchtower Bible & Tract Society”. This was bought and paid for by the Watchtower themselves.
The book that explains Russell’s fascination with Egyptology and his constant references to the Great Pyramid as a “proof” of his chronological prophecies is shown in the link below. (Failed prophecies by the way, all of them.)
The following is a photocopy of the foldout chart that describes a dispensation model that is eerily similar to the chronological models still used by Jehovah’s Witnesses today!
Charles Taze Russell’s famous “Studies In The Scriptures” with the image of the Egyptian Sun god RA emblazoned on the cover.
Now I’m no scholar. I’m not even a great writer. However I do have enough intelligence to understand that when a false god and the pagan images of a long dead religious system appear in books claiming Christian ideas and ideals that there is something askew.
Jehovah’s Witnesses love to point at the Christian cross and say that it was a pagan symbol even though by all accounts Romans used the crucifix to execute their major offenders.
Notice the following excerpt from the Wikipedia article found here.
Romans had crucifixion, Jews had stoning and Egyptians had desert sun death.All these acts of torture were considered necessary (as to deter others) or good (as to punish the immoral).
Yet the Jehovah’s Witnesses say that it was impossible for Jesus to be hung on a cross because it was a pagan symbol. What else would the Romans (a pagan culture) use pray tell?
The Jehovah’s Witnesses accuse other Christian churches of paganism when the facts bear out that Jesus Christ was in fact crucified and not hung on a stake or pole as they maintain.
The sheer audacity of the Watchtower to make such rash accusations when their own history is rich with the pagan symbolism of the Egyptian empire is amazing!
What of our modern era? Have you ever played Pinochle or Canasta or Spoons or Hearts? What you may not know is that modern playing cards were originally used to foretell the future. Does that make you a bad person because you like to play Gin Rummy or Go Fish? Nope. The meaning that playing cards originally had has changed and obviously the real test for anything being “pagan” is the intent. Can a modern deck of cards be used to foretell the future? Yes it can. Again the intent is the real test of anything.
Another modern example is that of the Nazi swastika. Actually the swastika has a much deeper and richer meaning than anything the Nazis might have placed upon it. It has been used in major religions for thousands of years. However because of the more recent perversion of this holy symbol by the Nazi Party almost all reference to this symbol is as a negative in our modern culture. Does that make the use of this symbol in other contexts bad? Not at all. It simply means that our modern consciousness has learned to associate the swastika with something unholy, heinous and perverted. It has been used as a religious symbol for thousands of years in Hinduism, Judaism, and Buddhism.
One of my favorite quotes is the following:
“Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” William Shakespeare
We see the same thing in our own modern culture with regard to words. For example, when we call someone a “dork” it means to us that the person is a jerk or a moron. However only a few short decades ago the word “dork” was a reference to male genitalia.
The following is from Webster’s dictionary:
dork 1. Slang . a silly, out-of-touch person who tends to look odd or behave ridiculously around others; a social misfit: If you make me wear that, I’ll look like a total dork! Synonyms: jerk, schmo; nerd, geek. 2. Slang: Vulgar – Penis.
Now if someone calls you a “dork” are you going to reference back thirty years and accuse them of having a foul mouth and take major offense or will you accept the modern version of the word and react accordingly?
Obviously Christmas and Easter are filled with ancient symbolism. So is Halloween. Many religions other than Jehovah’s Witnesses discourage the celebration of these holidays so they can’t claim exclusivity in this “club”. Now if you observed all of the pagan nuances in these modern holidays and worshiped the gods and deities that were originally revered using these symbols then yes you’d be doing something that Christians most definitely shouldn’t do.
My opinion? It has to do with the intent. If you just consider it a harmless holiday then it is perfectly acceptable. However if you have a problem with it, if you object to the symbolism, then you should abstain from celebrating it. The fact is that the observance of holidays, like so many things in the Christian life, is simply a matter of conscience!
What the Jehovah’s Witnesses seek to do in forbidding the observance of customs in our society is to attempt to differentiate themselves from every other Christian religion. By so doing, they can attempt to claim that they are the only “true” religion and that all the others are “of the devil”.
Of course if you show any Jehovah’s Witness any proof of their pagan roots they will accuse you of apostasy, being of the devil, and being a tool of Satan.
They simply won’t accept anything that flies in the face of their own teachings no matter how accurate or well documented it may be.
I’ve often said that Jesus Christ Himself could come down out of heaven and condemn them to their faces and they would say that He was “of the devil” and an impostor. Funny that the Pharisees did the same thing over two thousand years ago. Conversely if Satan himself claimed that the Watchtower was entirely correct they would pronounce him truthful and righteous!
If a Jehovah’s Witness is truly honest with you, they will admit that anything written in the Watchtower is considered to be God’s modern day words. Even if it flies in the face of biblical teaching they will accept and adopt what the Watchtower says over anything found in the bible…period. If they are honest, they will admit this.
It is so amazing what cults can do to people’s minds. They can suspend the biblical facts indefinitely and in exchange for that they willingly accept the lies that the Watchtower teaches to their followers.
“For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen”
And who is the Creator of all things? Jehovah’s Witnesses automatically say it is Jehovah as He is the only One that they feel is deserving of worship. However the bible says something entirely different!
“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
Jesus Christ created all things both in heaven and on earth. Anything that was created was created by Him and for Him.
So if we are indeed to worship “the Creator” then wouldn’t that make Christ part of that equation? Something to think about isn’t it?
Who do the Jehovah’s Witnesses really worship? They worship and hold in highest esteem the Watchtower and “the seven old men” in Brooklyn, NY.
Genesis 1:26 said it all when it stated:
“And God said: “Let Us make man in Our image according to Our likeness.”
Now I don’t want to be sacrilegious here but is God a schizophrenic? If I was talking to myself and used those terms you’d put me in the loony bin. However, if I had other people with me then it would make perfect sense would it not?
I maintain that God the Father (Matthew 28:19), God the Son (John 1:1) and God the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9) were all present in the creation of man! I maintain that they are each a distinct aspect of God and are each equally deserving of worship by Christians everywhere.
Yours in Christ,