SPECIALreport on Christmas
By Lawrence Enyoghasu And Ngozi Uwujare
As millions of Christians and believers celebrate Christmas all over the world today, will you be surprised to know that there are people who don’t celebrate, who don’t associate with or believe in the worldwide event? Talk about that, and many are won’t to point fingers at members of Jehovah’s Witnesses. But Saturday Sun investigation shows that there are others – atheists, agnostics, traditionalists, and even some adherents among mainstream Christianity – who have vowed never to have anything to do with Christmas. In these encounters with our reporters, they state their reasons.
It’s a global occult celebration – Sat Guru Maharaji, Founder, One Love Family
Christmas celebration adds nothing to our lives. We are still importing virtually everything. What’s more, our children have been spoiled by Christianity to become promiscuous, bandits, Yahoo Boys, lesbians, robbers, killers, thieves, weed smokers and gays. So I believe that Christmas is a global occult celebration that has nothing to do with the rich African culture. Jesus died only for the Europeans who don’t believe in the laws of nature and principles. They believe only in using guns and fake news to protect themselves and to oppress others.
Those celebrating do so out of ignorance – Evang. Gbolahan Alao Nathaniel, The Church of Christ, Eleyele, Oyo State
The Church of Christ does not celebrate Christmas because it was never mentioned in the Bible; it was neither commanded nor celebrated either by the apostles of Christ or the early Christians. Church of Christ speaks where the Bible speaks, and is silent where the Bible is silent. We neither add nor subtract from the scriptures. Read Proverbs 30:6 and Rev.22:18. For these reasons, we don’t celebrate Christmas. Whoever believes in such does that out of ignorance. The birth of our Lord was prophesied more than 400 years before His birth. The Bible gave every detail that is meant for man and the salvation of his soul about our Lord Jesus. But his birth or date was never revealed. So, to just pick a date would be wrong of anyone because it will amount to adding to the scriptures.
I like the food but event not part of my atheistic beliefs
– Daniel Echa, freethinker
I belong to atheism, a religion that questions just anything. Why do we have to celebrate Christmas? It is a sheer waste of time and resources. A man should live for every day. There is no need to celebrate the day we are born, but what we have achieved by impacting people. Good to know that I’m from a different religion than Christianity. So celebrating Christmas is not a part of my culture. But if it comes to the festivals of my culture, I try to be sociable as much as I can tolerate. I like food so I have no problem cooking and eating according to the festivals. I don’t think my children will do that much too. When they are on their own, I don’t see them being interested in anything. I guess after years, they might have festivals for gaming. One more thing I am thinking and worried about is, they will say there’s God. If there is, we have nothing to do with that.
Some Muslims fear eating forbidden food – Sina Aiyekoti, Muslim
Nothing is stopping a Muslim from also cooking special food and eating as if they are Christians. But most Muslims fear that Christians eat what Islam forbids and that is why they likely won’t want to be around Christians during the celebration. But the Quran said we should celebrate with our neighbours.
Meat eaten that day, not slaughtered in the name of Allah
-Fadilat Sheikh Abdurahman Adangba, Imam, Adangba Central Mosque, Idimu, Lagos
A Muslim is a Muslim, either normal or not normal. There is no half-measure. The Quran orders that a Muslim should have respect for others, for their laws. This means that if they are celebrating Christmas, you should just wish them well, celebrate with them and all will be well. The Quran said that do not abuse the laws of other people. If they give you something to eat and you think it is haram just go ahead, and mention the name of Allah and eat but do not throw it into a trashcan, except when you are given a dog or swine that you know that the Quran forbids it. They need to pray over the food first because the animal was not slaughtered in the name of Allah; this is when it is edible. Make sure you celebrate with them since the Quran commands it.
Its origin is from pagan festival – Ehizoga Ode, Jehovah’s Witness
“The establishment of December 25 evolved not from biblical precedent but from pagan Roman festivals held at the year’s end, about the time of the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. Those festivals included the Saturnalia, in honor of Saturn, god of agriculture, and the combined festivals of two sun gods, the Roman Sol and the Persian Mithra. Both birthdays were celebrated on December 25.
Those pagan festivals began to be “Christianized” in the year 350, when Pope Julius I declared December 25 to be Christ’s birthday. The Nativity gradually absorbed or supplanted all other solstice rites. Solar imagery came increasingly to be used to portray the risen Christ (who was also called Sol Invictus), and the old solar disk . . . became the halo of Christian saints.
The Bible does not give Jesus’ birth date. But we can safely conclude that he was not born on December 25. How so? The Bible tells us that when Jesus was born, shepherds were living out of doors, tending their flocks at night in the vicinity of Bethlehem. (Luke 2:8) The cold, rainy season usually began in October, and shepherds—especially in the colder highlands, such as those around Bethlehem—brought their sheep into protected shelters at night. The coldest weather, sometimes accompanied by snow, occurred in December.
Significantly, the early Christians, many of whom had accompanied Jesus in his ministry, never celebrated his birth on any date. Rather, in harmony with his command, they commemorated only his death. (Luke 22:17-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
Every facet of Christmas is a distortion of Bible accounts – Ogbemudia Peter, Jehovah’s Witness and university lecturer:
Christmas largely involves an exchange of gifts, and the Christmas season is marked by partying, feasting, and drinking. The ancient Roman Saturnalian festivities began on December 17 and concluded on the 24th when gifts were exchanged. Homes and streets were noisy with banqueting, heavy drinking, and riotous behaviour. The Saturnalia was followed by an event celebrating the first day of January. This was also observed by a festival, usually lasting about three days. The Saturnalia and the first day of January likely formed one festive occasion.
When examined in the light of the Bible, virtually every facet of Christmas is either pagan in origin or a distortion of the Bible accounts. Hence, Christmas customs are Christian in name only. How did this come about? Centuries after the death of Christ, many false teachers arose, just as the Bible had foretold. (2 Timothy 4:3, 4) Those unprincipled men were more interested in making Christianity fashionable to the pagan masses than they were in teaching truth. Hence, they gradually adopted popular pagan religious festivals and labelled them ‘Christian.’
Such false teachers, the Bible warned, will exploit you with counterfeit words. But as for them, the judgment from of old is not moving slowly, and the destruction of them is not slumbering. (2 Peter 2:1-3) Jehovah’s Witnesses take those words seriously—as they do the entire Bible, which they view as the written Word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16) Hence, they reject false religious customs or celebrations. Has this stand deprived them of happiness? On the contrary! As we shall now see, they know from experience that Bible truth is liberating! The Christmas season, like the ancient festival of Saturnalia, is marked by partying, feasting, and drinking.