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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Why Don't Jehovah's Witnesses Celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

Jehovah's Witnesses only formally celebrate the one event that Jesus commanded his followers. The memorial of his death (1 Cor. 11:23-26). They also celebrate other events which are referred to favorably in the Scriptures such as marriages, anniversaries, the birth of a baby, graduations and many other happy occasions.

But why don't Jehovah's Witnesses celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Jehovah's Witnesses take their worship very seriously and insist upon keeping their worship of God undefiled (James 1:27). They know that God does not approve of certain customs if they come from false religion or are against Bible teachings. (Matthew 15:6) If a holiday or custom is being deliberately used in worship by a Christian, it must have absolutely no known pagan religion associations or unscriptural teachings. (2 Cor. 6:16, 17; 1 Thess. 1:9)

There are two main reasons why Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate St. Patrick's Day:

1.) The origin and conception of the primary teaching that St. Patrick promoted (the Trinity Doctrine) is "entirely pagan" and unscriptural.

2.) The Bible makes it clear that there is to be no veneration or adoration of Saints as intercessors with God. Our approach to the Father can only be through Jesus. (John 14:6, 14; 1 Tim. 2:5)

Notice what the following source tells us about St. Patrick's Day:

"The doctrine of Three Gods in One, each separate and distinct, yet each totally God, is claimed by Christians to be a mystery and is accepted on faith. In trying to teach his converts about the Trinity, St. Patrick held up a shamrock explaining that the three leaves represented the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, while the stem was the Godhead itself from which they proceeded. This is said to be the origin of the use of the shamrock which is customarily worn on St. Patrick's Day.

"Scholars have discovered that the shamrock, or trefoil, was initially used in ancient Celtic fertility rites. It represented a triad of goddesses..." - pp. 79-80, Celebrations - The Complete Book of American Holidays, Robert J. Myers, Doubleday; Co., 1972.

Not only does Biblical and historical evidence clearly not support the Trinity, but Historian Will Durant said that

"Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. . . . From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity."

And Arthur Weigall stated that

"Nowhere in the New Testament does the word `trinity' appear. The idea was only adopted by the Church three hundred years after the death of our Lord; and the origin of the conception is entirely pagan." - The Paganism in our Christianity, pp. 197, 198.

(For more, see: Why Don't Jehovah's Witnesses Believe in the Trinity?)

Should we venerate "saints" as intercessors with God?

Though St. Patrick has never been formally canonised by a Pope, various Christian churches declare that he is a Saint in Heaven. He is even in the List of Saints. And he is still widely venerated in Ireland and elsewhere today.

Again, the Bible makes it clear that there is to be no veneration or adoration of Saints as intercessors with God. Our approach to the Father can only be through Jesus. (John 14:6, 14; 1 Tim. 2:5)

Notice what Peter's response was to a certain situation in the account of Acts 10:25, 26, JB:

"As Peter reached the house Cornelius went out to meet him, knelt at his feet and prostrated himself. But Peter helped him up. `Stand up,' he said `I am only a man after all!'"

Peter did not approve of such adoration when he was personally present. He understood what Jesus clearly stated in John 14:6, 14 that our approach to the Father can be only through Jesus and that our requests are to be made in Jesus' name:

"Jesus said: `I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you ask for anything in my name, I will do it.'" (JB)

1 Tim. 2:5: "For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (NASB)

Note what Martin Luther wrote concerning the reverence of Roman Catholic Saints:

"The pity is that we are so blind that we do not leave the devil alone to play his tricks in his own way; rather, we support him and multiply them. I wish people would leave the saints in peace, and not mislead humble folk. What spirit was it that gave the pope authority to canonize saints? Who tells him whether they are holy or not? .... God is just in judging us with His wrath and in allowing the devil to lead us hither and thither, to institute pilgrimages, ... to set about canonizing saints and other foolish things." - p. 458, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, Dr. John Dillenberger, Anchor Books, Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1961.

For more, see:

St. Patrick's Day - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Holidays and Jehovah's Witnesses - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Should I Pray to Saints? (JW.ORG)

The Bible’s Viewpoint - Is It Appropriate to Pray to “Saints”? (AWAKE! NOVEMBER 2010; JW.ORG)

Beware of Customs That Displease God (w05 1/1 pp. 27-30; Watchtower Online Library)

Can a Pagan Holiday Be Made Christian? (w07 12/15 pp. 8-9; Watchtower Online Library)

What Should a Christian Look For When Deciding Whether to Partake or Not Partake in a Holiday or Celebration? (Search For Bible Truths)

Why is it Important Whether a Holiday Has Pagan Religious Associations? (Search For Bible Truths)

Research: Are Celebrating Holidays Acceptable to God? (Search For Bible Truths)


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