One day before the Christmas Day Holiday, I received an email from a former Jehovah’s Witness that said:
“I know it is not the day Jesus was born. Fact. I know that it is a pagan holiday. Fact.
“This year the Lord showed me Jeremiah 10. He was instructing Israel not to pick up the heathen ways. They were cutting down trees in the forest and decorating them. This was before Jesus’s birth.
“God does not change. He is the same yesterday today and forever. Because of this man has changed and said it is ok. We just will say it is the day that the Savior was born. In fact we lie when we do this.
“In the chapter right before this in Jeremiah He told Zion that they would suffer wormwood. To close to the tribulation in Revelations for me.
“Beside this fact I notice that Mystery Babylon aka ‘the world was drinking the blood of the Saints and the martyrs of Christ.’ I ask myself why I understand the martyrs’ blood but why had she killed the born again believers as well. Do we have a valid reason as a born again believer to celebrate Dec 25 as the birth of Christ?”
There are many questions in that email. Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that all holidays that the church celebrates are “pagan.” In fact, the words “pagan and Babylon the Great” are used synonymously and create negative connotations and disdain within the Jehovah’s Witnesses minds. Even when they leave the organization, they have trouble celebrating any holidays because they are taught celebrating holidays is not only wrong, it is downright evil! The Watchtower also uses the passage from Jeremiah 10 to convince their followers that Christmas trees are just wrong, wrong, wrong. Anyway, I will address each one of her issues:
By Bridget Anderson
I never did get to visit the KH when I was doing the study with the JW ladies for six months. So I figured this time of special “new light” would be a good time to go!
People were quite friendly to me. At least five people asked my name and introduced themselves. One lady got me a Watchtower and a song book to use.
I had a chance to talk with one lady more in depth before the meeting began. She seemed intrigued with the fact that I studied with JWs for six months, but then the study ended. I told her I really enjoyed the ladies, and enjoyed the study, as I really love theology and the Bible, and always have. But … well, we just really reached an impasse, so they decided not to go on. She cautiously asked me what the impasse was, saying she didn’t want to be nosy, but was very curious about this. I told her it was the issue about Jesus being Mediator only for the 144,000. She was shocked by this, saying she had been a JW for forty years, and did not understand this to be their teaching. I told her that the ladies responded the same way at first, but then checked it out, found it to be true, and then affirmed it to me, and seemed to be fine with it, because it was from the Slave. I told her I had the references from the WT on this, and she asked could she have them, so I told her I could get them from my car after the meeting, and she said that would be great. (Sadly I could not find her after the meeting, so bummer. But I did get talking to someone else at length, so maybe she needed to leave.)
Candace Conti and her attorney, Rick Simons, appeared at our Walnut Creek Meetup on July 14, 2012.
Holding nothing back, Candace shared her personal story as an active non-baptized Jehovah’s Witness child molested by a JW brother “in good standing.” When she approached the elders at her Kingdom Hall and asked them to do something to protect the other children at risk, they refused. They told her they had to follow the Watchtower Society’s guidelines when dealing with accused pedophiles. Those guidelines do more to protect and hide criminals than to provide safety and help to their victims.
Years later, she connected with attorney Rick Simons. Simons had direct experience dealing with child abuse cases and participated in many of the lawsuits filed against the Catholic Church. From the beginning Candace made it clear that she did not care about winning any monetary damages, but rather wanted to find an effective way of forcing the Watchtower to change its policies.