Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Picking And Choosing

I did a post previously about the Jehovah's Witnesses picking and choosing which bits of Leviticus they actually adhere to. They choose not to accept blood yet they shave (No Blood - Lev 17:14, No Shaving - Lev 19:27).

Today I was wondering why Jehovah's Witnesses didn't celebrate the new year. The first result that came up in Google was a blog entitled "Defending Jehovah's Witnesses" which went through and said that New Year's Eve and New Year's Day celebrations had their roots in Paganism and worshiping false gods. Towards the end though the argument falls apart:

"While we today have no practical option but to use things like the Gregorian calendar (which uses the names of pagan Roman gods), we do have a choice whether or not to participate in customs which were originally devoted to honoring these gods. And according to Scripture, we should take advantage of that choice." (Defending Jehovah's Witnesses Blog)

No option but the Gregorian calendar? Admittedly the Gregorian calendar is the most popular but the Jehovah's Witnesses have never chosen to do, or not do, something because it is popular. If that was the case they would be lined up for blood transfusions which almost all the other Christian religions have no problem with.

Ethiopia has a population of approximately 86.6 million people. And rather than use the Gregorian calendar they use their own Ethiopian calendar (also known as the Ge'ez calendar). Ethiopia makes up less than 1.5% of the world population but they choose not to use the Gregorian calendar.

North Korea has a population of approximately 24.8 million people and use their own calendar, which is called the Juche calendar. Less than 0.5% of the world population and they see no need to go along with popularity.

With approximately 7 million members the Jehovah's Witnesses make up about 0.32% of approximately 2.18 billion Christians in the world. Yet they use the Gregorian calendar simply because they supposedly have no other practical option.

If you can make a rule within the organization not to accept blood transfusions as 0.32% of the Christian population then surely you could use a calendar which does not have its roots in Paganism.

One such calendar is the ISO Week Date calendar which is part of the ISO 8601 date and time standard. You could even get the Trekkie community to convert by adopting the Stardate system as used in the Star Trek franchise. The main thing is that to say they have no other practical option is merely a cop-out and they merely choose to use a calendar because it is popular.

So, Happy New Year to all.

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