Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Did Russell Get No Birthday Beliefs from Muslim Study as a Mason?

Did Russell get any “no birthday” belief from a study with the Muslims while he was a Mason? Was Charles Taze Russell ever a Mason? Did he ever teach anyone to not celebrate birthdays?

This is in response to an article entitled "Are Brithdays Pagan?" appearing at:


The article is addressing the Jehovah’s Witnesses belief concerning not celebrating birthdays.

First, let us say that we are not in disagreement with much of what is stated on that page.  We are mostly addressing some errors concerning the references to Charles Taze Russell and the allegations being made regarding Russell.

The statement is made:
They [Jehovah’s Witnesses] will not confess that this doctrine came from the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Charles Taze Russell got it from his Muslim studies as a member of the Masonic lodge.
It is further stated:
It is believed, and with good suspicion, that Charles Taze Russell, founder of the JWs, got his doctrine against observing birthdays from his association with the Masonic Lodge, and directly from Islamic influence.  Yes, there is an abundance of Islamic teaching veiled in many rituals of the Lodge.  Muslims do not believe in observing birthdays and devout Caliphs do not observe the birthday of Mohammed.  Russell had even more reason to crank out a doctrine against birthday celebration with his stand against Christmas, the alleged birthday of Jesus.  It was from this event on December 25 that Russell forged his doctrine against pagan holidays and birthdays, all in one neat package.  He could teach against the birthday of the Son of God and go back and pick up the ancient festival of the birthday of the sun, or sun god, and show where they were mixed.
(1) Charles Taze Russell was never associated with the organization known as “Jehovah’s Witnesses”. Russell did not believe in such an organization, and preached against such a sectarian organization until the day he died. After Russell died, Rutherford, by means of deceit and legal trickery, gained control of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and used that legal entity to develop the sectarian organization that is now called “Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

(2) Russell was never involved in any special studies of the Muslim religion, nor was he ever a member of any Masonic lodge, nor is there any "good reason" to suspect that he was. Many conspiracy theorists, by use of imagination, create a lot of alleged "facts" which are in reality not facts, etc.

(2) Charles Taze Russell never promoted a belief against celebrating birthdays or Christmas at all, thus he never got such an idea from any studies he might have made concerning the Muslim religion. In fact, the “Daily Heavenly Manna” book that was published by the WTS in Russell’s time carried a page for recording birthdays opposite each date. Today, The Dawn Bible Students Association continues to publish this book with the similar format.

God, of course, never prohibited the celebration or observance of birthdays; nevertheless, we believe that many of God’s commands should be considered related to the mimicking of the idolatrous rituals that are often associated with such celebrations, in this case, that of making wishes (in effect, petitions, prayers) upon a cake and/or candle. The Bible tells us to make our requests known to the Heavenly Father, not to a cake or candles. — Philippians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 10:14,20.

(4) Charles Taze Russell was never a member of the Masons’ organization at all. If he had been, he certainly would not have spent nearly his entire life proclaiming a message that goes contrary to the Masonic philosophy, and especially in contradiction to conspiracy theories that many often claim to be the goals of the Freemasons..

On of the prominent promoters of such theories is Fritz Sprngmeier. We have written some responses regarding him, which may be seen at:

Those who are well-acquainted with the writings of Charles Taze Russell find all the proof they need within those writings that attests that Russell was never a member of the Masons’ organization, and we have no reason to question his statement when he said: “I have never been a Mason.” — Sermon: “The Temple of God,” 1913.

Additionally, we have never seen anything among the Masons that suggests, as an organization, that they do not celebrate birthdays, or that they hold, as an organization, to any kind of doctrine that one should not celebrate birthdays.