Occasionally during our ministry we come across humorous situations and articles. The following is an example of one of those. This essay, written by an ex-Jehovah’s Witness points out how the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society can twist anything good into something evil. The 1st piece below from “Insight on the Scriptures” is official Watchtower doctrine and is binding upon all Jehovah’s Witnesses. Take notice of some of the phrases, terminology, and ridiculous argumentation and then read Dave’s article. Dave uses the same Watchtower reasoning to “prove” that Christians should not own cats. Here is the Watchtower’s argument as to why Christians should not celebrate birthdays.
Insight on the Scriptures V.1 P.319
BIRTHDAY-The day or anniversary of one’s birth; in Hebrew, yohm hul•le’dheth and in Greek, ge•ne’si•.
The Hebrews kept records of the year one was born, as the Bible’s genealogical and chronological data reveal. The ages of Levites, priests, and kings were not left to guesswork. This was also true in the case of Jesus.
According to the Scriptures, the day the baby was born was usually one of rejoicing and thanksgiving on the part of the parents, and rightly so, for “look! Sons are an inheritance from Jehovah; the fruitage of the belly is a reward.” (Psalm 127:3 New World Translation) However, there is no indication in the Scriptures that faithful worshipers of Jehovah ever indulged in the pagan practice of annually celebrating birthdays.
The Bible makes direct reference to only two birthday celebrations, those of Pharaoh of Egypt and Herod Antipas. These two accounts are similar in that both occasions were marked with great feasting and granting of favors; both are remembered for executions, the hanging of Pharaoh’s chief baker in the first instance, the beheading of John the Baptizer in the latter.
While the expression “on the day of our king,” at Hosea 7:5, may possibly indicate a birthday party for the apostate king of Israel when the princes “sickened themselves . . . because of wine,” it could as easily be the anniversary day of his accession to the throne when similar festivities were held.
With the introduction of Christianity the viewpoint toward birthday celebrations did not change. Jesus inaugurated a binding Memorial, not of his birth, but of his death, saying: “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) If early Christians did not celebrate or memorialize the birthday of their Savior, much less would they celebrate their own day of birth. Historian Augustus Neander writes: “The notion of a birthday festival was far from the ideas of the Christians of this period.” (The History of the Christian Religion and Church, During the Three First Centuries, translated by H. J. Rose, 1848, p. 190) “Origen [a writer of the third century C.E.] . . . insists that ‘of all the holy people in the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day on which they were born into this world below.’”—The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913, Vol. X, p. 709.
Clearly, then, the festive celebration of birthdays does not find its origin in either the Hebrew or the Greek Scriptures. Additionally, M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclopaedia (1882, Vol. I, p. 817) says the Jews “regarded birthday celebrations as parts of idolatrous worship . . . , and this probably on account of the idolatrous rites with which they were observed in honor of those who were regarded as the patron gods of the day on which the party was born.”
Now Dave’s essay.
ARE CATS FOR CHRISTIANS?
(Completely fictional, but shows how anything can be manipulated into Watchtower Bible and Tract Society reasoning)
Many conscientious ones among Jehovah’s people today have wondered if Christians should own cats. The issue is of life-or-death importance since to stumble a brother that Christ died for is tantamount to “putting a millstone around the neck and being thrown into the sea”. Clearly our eternal salvation is involved. First let us consider what most scholars agree is the original Greek for the English word cat. Felos domesticus meaning literally “a contemporary house cat with all of its beastly identifying characteristics and behavior.” Clearly the Bible by using this kind of original Greek shows beyond a doubt that the basic nature of cats is evil or “beastlike” much like Satan the “original Serpent” and “the Great Dragon.” There are numerous reasons why a loyal dedicated servant of God should use their Bible-trained conscience to arrive at a proper understanding of why Cats are not for Christians. Consider the following facts with an open mind:
1) It was a common practice in ancient Egypt to worship cats as gods. As Christians we are to “guard ourselves from idols” and “worship no other gods.” Such feline influence could lead to idolatry and thereby “grieve Jehovah’s spirit” with tragic consequences.
2) Cats were most likely present at Herod’s birthday party when John the Baptist was beheaded. Clearly then, as loyal Christians, why would we even want to associate with animals that are without a doubt of such bad influence remembering “bad associations spoil useful habits?” To invite cats in our house may result in the same grave consequences as suffered by John the Baptist. Clearly, God disapproved of this party. Should we not then disapprove of cats the way God does? Surely!
3) Throughout history, particularly in the middle ages and reaching its climax in the Salem witch trials of the 1600’s, cats were recognized as carriers if not direct incarnates of demons. Since cats were associated with the devil, could we as loyal and dedicated servants of God therefore associate with cats and thereby associate with Satan himself the “god of this system of things?” Would we want to be subject to such vile influence and possible demonic attacks? Surely not!
4) Nowhere in the Bible are any types of cats spoken of in favorable terms. In fact was it not lions of the first century that the Devil used to devour faithful Christians? God Himself “Stopped up the mouths of lions” in Daniel’s day. True, the small house cats of today are not lions, but being of the same cursed animal family used by Satan, the Devil, on numerous occasions throughout history, would it be wise or appropriate to own one? In addition, by owning any type of cat, would we not give an appearance of condoning their evil deeds throughout recorded Bible and secular history? The Bible makes clear that God’s people are “no part of the world” and that we are “not to share in the sins of others.”
5) The scriptures clearly indicate that neither Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, the Apostles, nor Jesus Himself owned a cat. This was most likely because they didn’t want to be like the pagan contemporaries of their day who showed no regard for how God feels about owning cats. In harmony with the pattern set by the faithful prophets of old, surely it would not be fitting for a Christian today to own a cat.
6) Finally, cats are unclean animals. Some unclean practices indulged in by cats include coughing up furballs, licking inappropriate body areas, urinating on the floor, eating dead animals with their blood, sexual misconduct without the benefit of marriage, abuse of catnip, and stealing food from the table, just to name a few. Uncleanness is one of the “works of the flesh” condemned by the apostle Paul. The Bible clearly shows that “neither fornicators …or thieves will not inherit the Kingdom.” In addition Paul admonishes us to “quit mixing in company” with such unclean ones. Although the Apostle Paul was speaking primarily about Christians who fell into sin, there is no reason to conclude that this inspired Biblical principle can not be applied to association with cats. Uncleanness is condemned by Jehovah and the fact that the Apostle Paul made no distinction when it came to associating with house cats proves beyond a doubt that loyal Christians must avoid all association with such animals.Are we not grateful for this new light coming from God’s organization? Sister Catless tells us that since getting rid of her cat she has not had to be preoccupied with cleaning the litter box and now has a lot more time to go pioneering. Brother Bobcat puts it this way, “I’m so grateful that God freed me of the burden of owning a cat. I hope all of the brothers will realize how the devil uses cats to corrupt us and distract from the preaching work.” (Matthew 24:14) What fine examples of faithfulness! As loyal followers of Christ’s thinking on this matter, we can rejoice in the fact that in the new system God will reward all of our efforts to maintain integrity by loyally submitting to the leading of his spirit through the “Faithful and discreet slave.”
Let us all be wary of cats and Watchtower reasoning.