In Nigeria, many people do not know that at least five popular churches do not celebrate Christmas.
As preparations are 100% ready to celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ (25 December), most Christian groups in Nigeria celebrate it while some don’t.
Among the groups that do not mark Christmas are:-
1. Deeper Life Bible Church
2. Seventh-Day Adventist Church
3. God’s Kingdom Society
4. Jehovah’s Witnesses
5. Mountain of Fire
They all have their reasons and we will analyze that below.
Redeemed Christian Church of God, Winners Chapel, Orthodox Churches, and others celebrate it though they stick to the theme of the occasion-the significance of the birth of Christ.
REASON WHY SOME CHURCHES DON’T CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS
Deeper Life Bible Church
Pastor Williams Folorunso Kumuyi, General Superintendent of Deeper Life Bible Church said in 2013 at its December retreat:-
“We don’t celebrate Christmas. It actually came from an idolatrous background. That is why you don’t hear us sing what they call Christmas carol. Never!
When you find anybody coming in, or any leader, trying to introduce the idolatry of mystery Babylon, that they call Christmas and you want to bring all the Christmas carol saying that is the day that Jesus was born, and you don’t find that in the Acts of the Apostles or in the early church, then you don’t find that in my church either.
If you don’t know that before, now you know. We are not trying to make the church turn like the world. We want it to be like Jesus Christ, and more like the Apostles.
If you don’t have that mind with us, then you have permission to go to other places.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate Christmas because they believe it has a pagan origin.
The group has five reasons for its position, they even listed the reasons on their website here => jw.org.
Below are the reasons:-
“1. There is no proof that Jesus was born on December 25; his birth date is not recorded in the Bible.
2. We believe that Christmas is not approved by God because it is rooted in pagan customs and rites.—2 Corinthians 6:17.
3. Jesus commanded that we commemorate his death, not his birth.—Luke 22:19, 20.
4. Jesus’ apostles and early disciples did not celebrate Christmas. The New Catholic Encyclopedia says that “the Nativity feast was instituted not earlier than 243 [C.E.],” more than a century after the last of the apostles died.
5. The Bible does not give the date of Jesus’ birth, nor does it say that Christians should celebrate his birthday. As McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia states: “The observance of Christmas is not of divine appointment, nor is it of NT [New Testament] origin.”
God’s Kingdom Society
God’s Kingdom Society does not celebrate Christmas on 25 December but the members mark theirs in October.
For this year, a press statement by the publicity secretary of the Church, Brother Benedict Hart, stated that activities of the Freedom Day “would be held at various centers in Nigeria, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States of America on designated dates, in line with a calendar that had been drawn up for the event this year.
The centers for this Sunday (October 6, 2019) are Asaba, Accra, Sogho, Orogun, Abeokuta, Omoku, Umuakpara, Sabongida-Ora, Arunton, Kaduna, Orerokpe.
The divine service would feature sermons, choral group performances and Special Thanksgiving to God. The main sermons for the service are the message of the GKS President, Brother Godwin Ifeacho entitled ‘The Grace of God’ and ‘Was Christ born on Christmas Day?”’
The GKS, an international Christian organization, dedicated to the preaching of the saving gospel of Christ was founded in 1934 by St. Gideon Meriodere Urhobo after leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses.
He lived from 1903–1952. The church has its headquarters in Warri.
Mountain of Fire Ministries (MFM)
MFM does not celebrate Christmas. According to the founder, Pastor D.K. Olukoya, during a past New Year Celebration:
“In Mountain of Fire, we don’t celebrate Christmas because the root is demonic.” He condemned men of God who “mesmerize their habitual gullible followers.”
“It is on scriptural records that Jesus Christ when winding up his mission of salvation about two thousand years ago, expressed his ambivalence about finding faith in the world when he returns.
He must have seen with precision the impending decadence awaiting Christendom after his departure.”
However, other Christian denominations mark it. In an article he wrote for his RCCG, Mercy Seat Bulletin, and published on this platform on 26 December 2017, Pastor Bola Oludairo, wrote that Christmas, the birthday of Jesus Christ, is easily the most popular worldwide celebration, but he argued that the word Christmas is not written in the Bible.
What then are the origin, myths, substance, warts and all, surrounding Christmas celebration? What is the Scriptural relevance and its significance to every Christian?, He asked and answered the questions himself:
“Bible Scholars are not in agreement as to 25 December 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 25 December actually has its origin in the Babylonian Cult calendar, as a day historically set aside for the worship of the cult’s Sun god.