Sunday, April 30, 2006

Beliefs and Customs That Displease God

What kind of beliefs and customs are wrong? (1)
Should Christians believe that God is a Trinity? (2)
Why do true Christians not celebrate Christmas, Easter, or birthdays? (3, 4)
Can the dead harm the living? (5) Did Jesus die on a cross? (6)
How important is it to please God? (7)

1. Not all beliefs and customs are bad. But God does not approve of them if they come from false religion or are against Bible teachings.—Matthew 15:6.
2. Trinity: Is Jehovah a Trinity—three persons in one God? No! Jehovah, the Father, is "the only true God." (John 17:3; Mark 12:29) Jesus is His firstborn Son, and he is subject to God. (1 Corinthians 11:3) The Father is greater than the Son. (John 14:28) The holy spirit is not a person; it is God's active force.—Genesis 1:2; Acts 2:18.
3. Christmas and Easter: Jesus was not born on December 25. He was born about October 1, a time of year when shepherds kept their flocks out-of-doors at night. (Luke 2:8-12) Jesus never commanded Christians to celebrate his birth. Rather, he told his disciples to memorialize, or remember, his death. (Luke 22:19, 20) Christmas and its customs come from ancient false religions. The same is true of Easter customs, such as the use of eggs and rabbits. The early Christians did not celebrate Christmas or Easter, nor do true Christians today.
4. Birthdays: The only two birthday celebrations spoken of in the Bible were held by persons who did not worship Jehovah. (Genesis 40:20-22; Mark 6:21, 22, 24-27) The early Christians did not celebrate birthdays. The custom of celebrating birthdays comes from ancient false religions. True Christians give gifts and have good times together at other times during the year.
5. Fear of the Dead: The dead cannot do anything or feel anything. We cannot help them, and they cannot hurt us. (Psalm 146:4; Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10) The soul dies; it does not live on after death. (Ezekiel 18:4) But sometimes wicked angels, called demons, pretend to be the spirits of the dead. Any customs that have to do with fear of or worship of the dead are wrong.—Isaiah 8:19.
6. Cross: Jesus did not die on a cross. He died on a pole, or a stake. The Greek word translated "cross" in many Bibles meant just one piece of timber. The symbol of the cross comes from ancient false religions. The cross was not used or worshiped by the early Christians. Therefore, do you think it would be right to use a cross in worship?—Deuteronomy 7:26; 1 Corinthians 10:14.
7. It may be very hard to abandon some of these beliefs and customs. Relatives and friends may try to convince you not to change your beliefs. But pleasing God is more important than pleasing men.—Proverbs 29:25; Matthew 10:36, 37.

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Published in 1996
Copyright © 2004 Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved

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