Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We had a good time and I hope you did too. After food and football we had a little activity initiated by Becky’s Dad. He wrote every letter of the phrase H-A-P-P-Y T-H-A-N-K-S-G-I-V-I-N-G on a separate piece of paper. We each had one letter and were instructed to think of something we were thankful for that started with the letter we had on our piece of paper.

I had the letter “A.” I explained that in the light of our recent elections, I am thankful in knowing that Jesus has “all authority” in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18). Things are still in God’s hands and He never exclaims “Oh My Me!” out of surprise.

Different families have many traditions, but sadly, the families of Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) are not among those who have Thanksgiving traditions. Like all other holidays, JWs are forbidden from celebrating it. In light of this fact, I decided to post a Quick Question For Jehovah’s Witnesses on this topic.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hwc4wGygHA&hl=en&fs=1]

The next time you speak with a Witness, you might want to ask them this same question.

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  1. In fairness to the JWs, Keith,Our early Puritan forebearers in Plymouth were as abhorant of holiday celebration (and birthday celebration) as are the JWs of today.I’m pretty sure it wasn’t THEIR idea to make Thanksgiving an annual holiday. And I think I’m safe in saying that if they were alive today they’d treat Thanksgiving day pretty much the same way as the JWs.Taken in that light, I think it becomes very difficult to argue that our the JWs are really guilty of ingratitude to those original “Americans” and their Indian hosts.As for me, would you please pass the Turkey!Your brother,Sincere.

  2. I both agree and disagree with you. It wasn’t the pilgrims idea to make Thanksgiving an annual holiday, but I disagree that they would avoid the holiday if they were alive today. Like I intimated in my video, there is nothing wrong with being thankful and celebrating it annually.The JWs are a whole different matter. They avoid the holiday because a man-made organization tells them to. The Watchtower forbids all holidays for the same reason; pagan origins. What I point out is that this argument does not hold true for Thanksgiving. Since the origins are not pagan, why not celebrate it?One last thing of note. I posted that video five days ago. It usually only takes a few hours before a JW posts some sort of response. As of now, there are NO comments from JWs explaining their reasons for avoiding the holiday.

  3. Keith: I both agree and disagree with you. It wasn’t the pilgrims idea to make Thanksgiving an annual holiday, but I disagree that they would avoid the holiday if they were alive today.Keith, I’m afraid you don’t know very much of the Calvinist/Puritan faith of our Plymouth and Boston forbearers. Like the JWs, they went out of their way to abstain from–and even subvert–most all forms of secular/state and traditional Christian (Catholic) celebration that had no biblical basis. (Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday!) To them, it all represented the vanity of the modern era that had robbed the Christian nations of the pure faith and worship. It was a big reason why our Puritan forefathers found themselves exiled from the British Isles.Like it or not, Keith, the strictures of JW religion and even the centralized authority we find in the Kingdom Halls has a very strong precedent and basis in our Protestant past. Particularly our Calvinistic past (which has lent much to both modern Evangelicalism and Mormonism, despite our many differences).Not all early Protestants read the Apolstolic authority clearly evidenced in the New Testament as merely a pattern of the past. In fact, before the 19th century, most didn’t. Unlike Luther, Calvin saw the culmination of Protestantism as the formation of an Ecclesiastical body counter to the Roman Church. It was to be free of all the filth that had corrupted Catholicism.That was the Puritan ideal. And I think it fairly captures the JW ideal, as well, whatever its faults.Your brother,Sincere.

  4. Hi Keith, I tried to post this on You Tube but for some reason my response won’t post. Anyway, I wanted to share that I only left the JWs back in January of this year. Except for my husband and two sisters (who were never JW’s) I lost all my family. My husband, children (ages 10,9, and 7) celebrated our first thanksgiving together. It was only the five of us but it was a joyous day. I did all the cooking, with the “help” of my two daughters. We truly had a lot to feel thankful for.The Lord had certainly taken care and blessed us over the passed year. We had many obstacles placed in our path but we relied on God had he provided the way.To make the day even more special my husband took the initiative and led us in prayer before our Thanksgiving meal. This was the very first time he ever did this. His taking the lead brought such joy to my heart I can’t even explain.Nothing about the day felt awkward or out of place. As a JW I never could come up with a good reason not to celebrate other than I was just told not too. I know some JW’s use the excuse “Well we are thankful to God everyday not just one day of the year.” How little they know, we celebrate and honor God everyday as well but there is nothing inappropriate to set aside a day to give special thanks to your Creator. Even in the Old Testament God set aside certain days, or festivals, that were to be used to give special honor to Him.Anyway I won’t hijack the comment page any further. This day was extra special for us and we were happy that we could use the day to reflect what God has provided us and give thanks.

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