So I think i already have almost a year taking bible study. Here in the dominican republic religion is everywhere. In the states you can go a LONG time without hearing a bible scripture or hearing”because the bible says…”, and of course this also depends on who you surround yourself with. But here in the dominican republic its impossible not to hear a bible quote thrown in the middle of just about any discussion. Because of this, i wanted to be a little more informed about the bible just to have a general knowledge of it and be able to challenge others whenever it is brought up, instead of being all hushed up in a corner because i know nothing (like Jon Snow). So when a pair of english speaking jehova witnesses knocked on my door and offered to give me bible study, I took the offer. I also took an offer from a pair of latter day saints just to know more about their beliefs and how it differs from others, but we’ll leave that for another post.
It was quite refreshing that whenever we had bible study there wasnt this constant pressure to go to their church. Even better, it was strictly bible study. There was no talk of things that jehova witnesses themselves believe in and what they dont. That is until I began to ask…
A couple of people had mentioned how they thought jehovas witnesses were weird because they dont celebrate christmas, later on I also found out they dont celebrate birthdays, and I got very curious. So, I asked. I also found it very refreshing that they urged me to do my own research before actually discussing it with them. So I asked my friend google to show me the way and this is what we found:
1. Dec 25th is not christs’ birth day.
2. Christmas is not in the bible
3. Christmas comes from pagan traditions.
It made sense to me why they wouldn’t celebrate the holiday. I mean it isnt even the actual day Jesus was born. That was good enough reason to understand why they dont celebrate it. As far as the pagan traditions go, look it up it is quite the interesting read. Everything that we practice during the holidays (caroling, christmas tree, gifts,etc.) has really dark origins according to pagan tradition.
Most importantly it stood out to me how interpretation of the bible is what differentiates religions from one another. OtheR religions, who claim to be true christians, celebrate these holidays. Are they turning a blind eye to the history of these practices just to be able to celebrate them? Then again, No where in the bible does it say thou musnt celebrate holidays created by man…
So the jehova witness and i disucussed the whole christmas thing. Then she drops another bomb about not celebrating birthdays because it also has pagan backgrounds and thats when i threw in the towel and thought to myself, are they going to look up EVERY single thing to see if it doesnt fall under some kind of pagan or druid or cult tradition??? Kinda ridiculous, no?
But something funny happened to me this year as i put up my christmas tree. I felt somewhat guilty for putting it up. I dont believe in a heaven or hell, why do I have the feels about this? I punched myself in the face ( not really but lets pretend) and snapped out of it. Later I realized that I am a people pleaser, so I felt like by having her show up and see my beautiful tree all lit up, I’d disappoint her. It’s not so much about whether having this tree up would send me to “hell” or i wouldnt be considered for Gods’ earthly paradise. But i was a little disappointed in myself because this bible study thing was just supposed to be about research and I felt like i had fallen into their belief system within that split second.
Thankfully, I managed to smack myself silly and come back to reality!
Thanks for listening,