WHY MANY NIGERIAN CHURCHES DON’T CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS

“Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.” (Romans 12:2).

Christmas Eve, 24 December, is believed by many to be the eve of the birth of Jesus Christ.
However, as other Christians mark the day/night, some denominations do not for three reasons: It is not the exact date of Christ’s birth, it has pagan origin and that it is not written in the Bible that it must be marked.

According to a publication by the Seventh Day Adventist Church (it does not go to church on Sundays but Saturdays, the Jewish Sabbath day): “We do not celebrate Christmas as the Birth of Christ per say since Christ was not born in Dec. He did not want us to celebrate His birth or He would have told us when He was born. It has become a money making celebration with Christ mixed in. It is a pagan ritual. We join in to be with the Family or friends to celebrate their friendship and love as a family gathering and for the Children. Easter too is a pagan holiday and we do not celebrate the Name but we honour Christ’s Resurrection and keep the day in mind on what He has done for us. We do not make an issue out of it but quietly honour Christ….it’s a gathering also for the Children. It is a personal Choice.”

What applies to the Seventh Day Adventists goes for the Jehovahs’ Witnesses and God’s Kingdom Society, with its headquarters in Warri.

There was a mild reference to this debate when Professor Hope Eghagha, former Commissioner for Higher Education in Delta State and a lecturer at the English Department, University of Lagos, posted what could pass as an examination question on his Facebook wall. He put it this way: “CRS 890. Postgraduate Exam 2014/15. Question 2: ‘Although the world marks the birth of Christ every December 25, there is no proof, either from sacred or profane history that he was actually born on that date.’ Critically review this claim drawing references from all sources you are familiar with. (35 marks).” It was a humour but underscores the controversy.

Also, Pastor W.F. Kumuyi, head of Deeper Life Bible Church reaffirmed to his members at the 2013 December retreat, that: “We don’t celebrate Christmas nor sing Christmas carol; because Christmas is of idolatrous background. That is why Deeper Life Church makes sure it organises its December retreat the same period to take its members off the streets where contemporary people (with the way they wine, dine and womanise on the eve) re-enact the ancient orgies of Rome and Babylon.”

In fact, the Redeemed Christian Church of God also fixes its evangelical outreach programme, entitled “Let’s Go A-Fishing” in the period to keep members busy meaningfully. In a bulletin of November/December, 2015 of a Redeemed Church parish, Pastor Bolade Oludairo explained the origin of Christmas.

He wrote: “Perhaps Christmas, the birthday of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, is easily the most popular worldwide celebration with hoopla, but do you know that the word Christmas is not written in the Bible? What then are the origin, myths, substance, warts and all, surrounding Christmas celebration? What are the Scriptural relevance and its significance to every Christian?

Bible Scholars are not in agreement as to December 25 being the exact birthday of our Lord Jesus. Some Bible Scholars even claim that Jesus was born in February. Many Bible Scholars also believe that December 25 actually has its origin in the Babylonian Cult calendar, as a day historically set aside for the worship of the cult s Sun god.”

The Babylonian cult initially had its headquarters in Babylon and its leader’s title was Pontiff. The headquarters was later transferred to Pergamos, under its then ruler Attalos, who was also Pontiff. He later transferred the headquarters to Rome before he died in B.C133. Julius Caesar became the Emperor of the secret society in B.C.63. After Julius Caesar, all subsequent Emperors also served as Pontiffs until A.D 376, when Emperor Gratia, who became born again, refused to be Pontiff. Bishop Damathas, the then Bishop of Rome, then accepted the title Pontiff.

Within three years, Bishop Damathas was able to inject all the rituals and practices of the Babylonian Cult into the Church. Among such rituals include the secret greeting sign of cult faithful, Easter and Christmas. In the secret greeting sign, cult members make a sign of an inverted ‘T’, with their hands, as if scratching the head and rubbing the chest, when greeting one another. “Easter” in the cult was actually the worship of the queen of heaven, called “Eastern Star,” through the burning of incense and other rituals, regarded as an abomination unto God. Jeremiah 44 to date, some of these heathen practices still abound in Christendom.

In the Babylonian Cult Calendar, December 25, which was when they worshipped the sun god, was later integrated into the Christian faith as the birthday of Jesus Christ.

As Christians, we should bother less about the exact date Jesus was born, knowing that the myths about Christmas are yet another attempt of Satan to pervert the truth. Satan’s aim is to make man leave the substance and chase the shadow. We should celebrate and concern ourselves with the incontrovertible evidence of the birth, death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 3:16) failing which no man can claim to be born again. (Revelation 1:5-7).

Rather than continue to split hairs and dissipate energy by joining issues on the exact birthday of Jesus, you and I should get cracking with a more eternally rewarding birthday gift exercise for Jesus: winning souls for Him so you and I can stop being victims of unanswered prayers, while on earth (John.15:16) and adorn the Crown of Rejoicing and Stars (1 Thessalonians. 2:19, Daniel 12:3), when we reign with Jesus in heaven. So, let’s go a-fishing. (Mark.16:15, Matthew 28:19-20). Merry Christmas!

The NEWS

26 December, 2015

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