As we know the Word of God is pretty plain about not following after that which the Pagan's embrace. As the prophecied Remnant people of God, are we not those that would strive to do all that our Lord would find pleasing in His sight? I want to make Him smile as do many of you I'm sure. And with His smile we can rest assured our prayers never fall upon deaf ears. With that said, what does our Heavenly Father think about the tradition of birthday celebrations?
"When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing whatsoever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it." -Deuteronomy 12:29-32
For a decade or so it has become more and more obvious to me that certain celebrations many of us as Christians take part in have been grieving our Lord. The last few years in fact I have been approached by more then a few Christians asking me if I celebrate birthdays or not. Usually I said yes, but I would also say I had some discernment that was bothering me on it and then leave it at that. In other words, I never really answered their questions. Recently the questions seemed to escalate as did the discernment. The Lord was sending so many Christians both on and offline asking the exact same questions. So, I looked into it and found some rather shocking facts that I would like to share.
I always thought that Pagan’s were the first ones to celebrate birthdays because of some research I’ve done long ago. This is no doubt the reason I was so uneasy about these celebrations over the years. There are many facts on and offline for anyone to research for themselves. But they all seem to say the same thing the following quote is saying…
"The various customs with which people today celebrate their birthdays have a long history. Their origins lie in the realm of magic and religion. The customs of offering congratulations, presenting gifts and celebrating - complete with lighted candles - in ancient times were meant to protect the birthday celebrant from the demons and to ensure his security for the coming year. . . . Down to the fourth century Christianity rejected the birthday celebration as a pagan custom." -"Schwäbische Zeitung" (magazine supplement Zeit und Welt) of April 3/4, 1981 pg. 4
Over the years I came across many similar statements and always assumed the Pagan’s were the first to celebrate birthdays because of such comments. Thing is, they no doubt were, however the one behind their desire was Satan as many are painfully aware just by looking at what Pagans do on a regular basis. Strangely enough, I found yet another group that has been celebrating birthdays all along. No one knows when this particular group or church formed officially, but it seems modern day Satanists look at birthdays as something their fallen god has “blessed” them with.
Before getting into the facts regarding this, I would like to see what Scriptures have to say on such things. In the Word, we find no evidence that birthday celebrations were sanctioned by God in any way shape or form. If they were, we would have such dates for at least the Patriarchs of old. For example, if birthdays were to be celebrated by the people of God we would know the birthdates of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, etc. Truth be known, we would even know the exact date of Jesus’ birth especially since He is the author of all births. Thing is, the Scriptures are rather quiet on this topic when speaking of the Lord's will. However, when we step into the area where Pagans are mentioned we see a different story. For just a few quick examples we find the Pharaoh of Egypt killed his baker on his birthday.
Genesis 40:20-22, "And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand: But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them."
Herod killed John the Baptist on his birthday. (Matthew 14:6)
Matthew 14:6-10, "But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger. And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison."
One thing that made me step back a bit in awe was what happened to Job's children. All of Job’s children gathered for birthdays on a regular basis. The Word actually illustrates that Job didn’t approve of this activity at all. In fact, he offered sacrifice for his children for such ungodly acts because of the temptation such merrymaking would usually lead to.
Job 1:4-5, "And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually."
As we can see, Job, a man of God, is genuinely concerned for his children when they meet together like this. So much so, he actually offers burnt offerings for each of them in case they do sin. Had this been a gathering sanctioned by God, Job would not have been compelled to do such a thing. In fact, looking into the terminology used in verse four, one finds something rather interesting. The term “every one his day” is the reason for the feast they gathered for. Does this not sound like a birthday celebration? Are not birthdays to this considered "your" day?
If you were inclined to use a different version Bible like a Thesaurus as I do on occasion to see how they translate a certain word. You would find in the “New Living Translation” the following wording being used to explain what the feasts were all about…
Every year when Job’s sons had birthdays, they invited their brothers and sisters to join them for a celebration. On these occasions they would get together to eat and drink. –Job 1:4 NLT
I of course don’t trust such bibles because they remove and re-write verses throughout the Word. This is what prodded me to create the “Bogus Bibles” page on this website some years ago. But such bibles like the NLT, NIV, NASB, and the like can be used as a quick Thesaurus of biblical terminology. Nothing more, nothing less. I must affirm, they are NOT to be trusted as the infallible Word of God as is the original King James version of the Bible we hold dear today.
So the question remains, are birthdays that sinister? If so, is there any evidence to prove the enemy of souls would be the true culprit behind them? Some may not believe me on this, so I did surf to a site I do not approve of and I did in fact clip an excerpt from that evil site to prove this as fact. Their exact words are as follows.
“There is no requirement for participation in ritual activity. The techniques presented in our literature are for members to make use of as they so desire. Some Satanists enjoy the social atmosphere of group ritual and seek out others for this purpose. Many Satanists find their ritual activity to be very personal and prefer to remain solitary. Either path is acceptible to the Church of Satan. Indeed, there are no rules for frequency of ritual activity. Some celebrate the equinoxes and solstices as holidays, but of course one’s own birthday is the highest Satanic holiday of the year.” -This article originally appeared in a different form in A New Age: essays on current religious beliefs and practices published by Merrimac Books in 1992. It has since been revised and reprinted numerous times.
The Church of Satan actually declares birthdays to be the highest of all holidays wherein they can partake in Satanic ritual for the individual that is experiencing a birthday. I actually got the above quote off the “Church of Satan” website, and I am sure you will understand my God given reluctance to link it out from my site. If you want to verify the above quote, simply copy the quote and Google it at your leisure.
Birthdays are designed by the enemy of souls to cause a myriad of problems. I never truly caught all this until I decided to researched it out. So.. How does this work? Why would Satan create such a ritual as birthdays that on the surface appear quite innocent and actually come off as a nice way to show our love for each other. How does this generate problems in a Christian household you ask?
There are a few ways…
It causes the one with the birthday to be exalted in an unnatural manner, which can and does generate the sin of envy in the hearts of most children as well as some immature adults. When a child gets a birthday gift a sibling or cousin wants, the sibling or cousin will be envious towards that gift and in so doing, sin is cultivated.
The exaltation of a child at a birthday celebration also tempts them to crave unnatural attention and as many can attest to, some children become more unruly directly after such celebrations are over because they are suddenly looked upon as “normal” like everyone else after the party ends. They get upset because just a few hours ago they were looked upon as a celebrity of sorts, and now cold reality hits, and their glorification ends.
The exaltation is especially harmful to some wherein vanity can be fostered into a lifelong crutch because of the way the heart feels when they are noticed above others during the merrymaking and so crave it afterwards.
Like the Pagan holiday of Christmas, it causes those giving gifts to experience three common problems.
a) During economic hardships, (like now) they are forced to waste money they need for other more important things so as to buy gifts. This unwise stewardship of their money causes them to suffer financially for it, which also cultivate despair.
b) The gift given can generate both anger and discord when the recipient doesn’t appreciate the effort they went through to find, purchase, wrap, and present the gift.
c) It causes grief and despair when the one giving the gift is unable to spend the extra money to get the gift they really wanted to give.
d) And finally the sin of envy is generated when they are out-gifted by someone else that did have the extra money to give the better gift.
It causes the one who is having the birthday to experience intense feelings of grief, sadness, and feelings of being unloved when loved ones don’t call, visit, give gifts, or even send cards or flowers to them.
If the household is Christian, and loved ones that are not of the faith give gifts that are offensive to Christians, this in turn causes friction where none should be. It also tempts the Christian to let it slide for the sake of not offending the gift giver. If the temptation is embraced, and the gift accepted, the child is now confused when they witness a double standard being presented by the Christian parents. Worse yet, the non-believing gift giver also witnesses this double standard and uses it to confirm their desire to steer clear of Christianity.
Another aspect of the Christian family being approached by non-believers bearing birthday gifts is when the parents do the right thing and refuse the offensive gift. The assumed good act of the nonbeliever is now looked upon as offensive, which is not so much the problem as we know Truth offends many. However, the child that is now prevented from receiving the gift they now crave may be tempted to dislike or distrust Christianity when a toy they now desire is taken away. It can now be illustrated to the child that Christianity prevents happiness if the child is not well grounded in the faith.
Like Christmas, some are tempted to commit crimes to ensure their children have birthday gifts.
Birthdates are also the catalyst of what we now see as a universally accepted billion dollar business practice today. Horoscopes and biorhythms have become extremely popular and trusted as if they were written by God Himself. This is of course without mentioning other multi-billion dollar companies that offer birthday cards, candles, cakes, party decorations, clowns, gift wrappings, etc.
Finally, commandment #2 is broken when either the person or the gift is idolized.
Speaking of the Horoscopes, where you aware of this historic fact?
The ancient world of Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Persia celebrated the birthdays of gods, kings, and nobles. Authors Ralph and Adelin Linton reveal the underlying reason for this. In their book The Lore of Birthdays, they write: Mesopotamia and Egypt, the cradles of civilization, were also the first lands in which men remembered and honoured their birthdays. The keeping of birthday records was important in ancient times principally because a birth date was essential for the casting of a horoscope.- The Encyclopedia Americana (1991 edition).
Like Christmas, birthdays have a very high suicide rate as well. The elderly weep when their children don’t visit them at home or worse yet the nursing home. Or some people weep and experience intense feelings of despair when a deceased loved one’s birthday comes to pass. I know this for a fact when a loved one died in the family and his birthday came up, one of my siblings, had a rough time as she was the mother of that child.
Please understand, I am not saying the date of someone’s birth is Pagan. Nor am I saying getting a year older is Pagan. I’m not even saying giving gifts any time of the year is Pagan. I would rather give gifts to loved ones whenever the mood strikes just because I love them and not because some tradition says I must do so on a specific date with celebration, decorations, special candles, etc.
All the celebration and merrymaking associated with birthday celebrations is where temptation to sin is brought in to play. This is why Job was offering sacrifice for his children that did gather on birthdays. He knew the drinking, feasting and merrymaking might lead to sin as it usually does. Sad thing is, it was during Job’s eldest son’s birthday celebration that Satan was allowed to send a tornado that killed all ten of Job’s children. Is this why Job cursed the day of his birth in Job 3 because of what happened on the day of his son’s birth? Strange thing is, if birthdays are all that important, or even considered a day of reckoning, why did the prophet Jeremiah also curse the day he was born?
Jeremiah 20:14-15, "Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad."
When we look in Scripture we only see birthdays associated with grave events. Temptation to sin is always escalated in merrymaking and drunkenness. This is what happened at Herod’s birthday celebration did it not? All the merrymaking and drunkenness got the best of him that day as is apparent in Scripture. He simply lost control and got carried away by the moment and made a hasty promise he never would have made on any other day. As we know, he was forced to keep that promise that caused the death of John the Baptist. The Word also shares that when Pharaoh's birthday arrived he too held a feast, and a man died at that feast as well. So, yes, merrymaking can often lead to sin. Especially when most people drink alcohol during such festivities as was the case back then. Even Christian families have been known to consume this poison at such celebrations only to regret it for many reasons later.
Now yes, I understand some will accuse me of hiding some not so grave events occurring on birthdays in Scripture. They go so far as to say the 12th year of the Jewish boy or girl that is “coming of age” in the Jewish faith is celebrated in a Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah is considered a bible sanctioned birthday celebration, when in fact they are not. Birthday celebrations are annual celebrations as we all know. These Jewish events happen only one time in the lifetime of a Jewish boy in the Bar Mitzvah, or a girl in the Bat Mitzvah, and only at the age of 12. That can in no way be associated with the annual birthday celebrations.
One more amazing fact many seem to miss is that when we are born, and then one year later we are not by any means 12 months old. We are actually 21 months old to be exact. Life is started at conception and for 9 months, we are growing in our mother's womb. To say we are 12 months old a year after birth is a lie. Not only that, it belittles the fact we were alive on day one. This may seem a little thing for some, but this is how Satan manipulates the minds of the masses. To deny the fetus it's existence entirely by declaring life starts are birth makes it that much easier for us to come to a state of mind that says abortion is acceptable.
Some have also suggested that when Jesus was born the wise men brought Him gifts. First of all, this too happened only one time in His life, and it was well after His actual day of birth to boot. It is written that the men bearing the gifts arrived at His home when He was “young child” in Matthew 2:11. Keeping this in context, a long standing tradition in the East at that time was to present gifts when one came in the presence of a King. These men were called “wise” because they knew of this King Jesus when most knew nothing of His Kingship. Scriptures speak of gifts being given to Kings all throughout the Bible. So again, this cannot be considered “birthday gifts” given unto Jesus when He was a young Child as it was only done once and on a date other than His day of birth. This ancient custom of presenting gifts to the king actually caused some kings to receive gifts multiple times a week due to visits from dignitaries or newcomers.
As close as we are to the arrival of our Lord and Saviour, one would think striving to perfection would be foremost upon our hearts and minds with each passing day. I am ware some of you do in fact strive to that end as the emails and phone calls confirm. Any opportunity to be pulled off the path to Christ should be abhorred like the fires of Hell. If we are striving to become strong Christians that not only follow after Christ but strive to be perfect in Christ, then the following passage would be the best epitaph of our lives; if in fact we were are called to leave this fertile soil before Christ returns, and in so doing we did so with a perfected Christ like walk.
"A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth." Ecclesiastes 7:1
Amazing how the men of God in Scripture curse the day they are born, yet seek to be all they can be for God at the day of their death knowing doing so will warrant the best possible blessing known to man, the better resurrection. Makes perfect sense does it not? When you are born you have a lifetime of trials ahead of you that if you lack faith, may cause your eternal demise. But the day of ones death could also be a grandiose day if in fact we come to that day as did Paul wherein he declared...
2 Timothy 4:6-8, "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
Paul looked to the day of his death as a blessed day worthy of mention. Can you now see Satan’s fingerprints upon this so called personal holiday called birthdays? It does the exact opposite of the precious Scriptural insight we have from our Lord. Instead of seeking for an honored day of death that guarantees a “better resurrection,” the birthday ritual seeks to honor the day all men of God call cursed. One would think any day this side of eternity is cursed, with the exception of the day we came to a realization of our sinful state in need of a Saviour. If there is one thing Satan can be counted on to do is that he will always take that which is unblessed to make it appear blessed.
When we are born.. we are just starting our walk to find our way home to Heaven. Life is filled with tens of thousands of paths that are placed there by Satan to lead us away from our eternal reward. But if we strive to keep on the path that leads to Christ, the day of our death will always be a far greater day then the day of our birth. For eternal life is a far greater reward then mortal life, or any trinket accepted during this time. And no, I haven’t forgotten those that like to peer into what Sister White would have to say about such things.
“I have resolved from this time to make Christ first and last and best in everything. I will not sanction feasts made to celebrate birthday or marriage anniversaries, but will bend all my energies to lift up Jesus among the people. I will seek to impress upon the minds of my brethren and sisters the great necessity of preparation of heart, by confession and humiliation, to be accepted of God and acknowledged as his dear children. My heart has ached as I have seen men honored, while Jesus was neglected and almost forgotten,--liberal gifts for earthly friends, but poor and meager offerings for him to whom we owe our all.” –Signs of the Times, January 4, 1883 par. 8
Parents have not taught their children the precepts of the law as God has commanded them. They have educated them in selfish habits. They have taught them to regard their birthdays and holidays as occasions when they expect to receive gifts, and to follow the habits and customs of the world. These occasions, which should serve to increase the knowledge of God and to awaken thankfulness of heart for His mercy and love in preserving their lives for another year, are turned into occasions for self-pleasing, for the gratification and glorification of the children. They have been kept by the power of God through every moment of their life, and yet parents do not teach their children to think of this, and to express thanksgiving for His mercy toward them. ...Not only on birthdays should parents and children remember the mercies of the Lord in a special way, but Christmas and New Year's should also be seasons when every household should remember their Creator and Redeemer. Instead of bestowing gifts and offerings in such abundance on human objects, reverence, honor, and gratitude should be rendered to God, and gifts and offerings should be caused to flow in the divine channel. Would not the Lord be pleased with such a remembrance of Him? O how God has been forgotten on these occasions! . . . -Counsels on Stewardship 296
Am I demanding all that I call friends, loved ones, brothers and sister in Christ that trust me or my message to stop celebrating birthdays? No, for I am not one seeking the office of a Pope. No man can force another man to believe from the heart. It is an individual relationship we have with Christ that cuts that deep. Over the years I have been slowly but surely drawn to investigate this, and I must admit I dragged my feet a bit on it because most of my loved ones and friends do in fact celebrate birthdays. But recently the Lord has been moving me more and more to research this out. When I did so a bit too slowly, He lit a fire under me by prodding many of you to come forward to ask me to investigate this, and now I see why. For that I am grateful.
As I said earlier, I was shocked to find what I did on this. Still, all in all, this is YOUR decision to make. All I can do is share what I discovered with you. If it has helped you, praise the Lord. If you truly and honestly don’t see any wrong in birthday celebrations, I will not think any the lesser of you for it. If I am mistaken, the Lord will wink at my ignorance on this topic just as much as He will yours. That is why He is so worthy of our love and worship. He truly will never hold anything against us that we honestly don’t understand to be sin. And I stress the word “honestly” here because you cannot hide your heart from the God that created it. He is a loving Father to His children. Expect Him to be exactly as He has promised. You can truly take Him at His Word.