Should Christians Celebrate Kwanzaa?


Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday celebrated from December 26 to January 1, created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga (formerly Ronald Everett). The holiday draws from African rituals and black national ideology to create the seven principles of Kwanza, called the Nguzo Saba. Among these principles are racial and national unity, self-determination, and faith in humanity.

Decorations feature colorful art and foods that represent African idealism. Ceremonies include showing gratitude to ancestors, drink offerings and feasts, and reading the African Pledge and Principles of Blackness.

Kwanzaa is a celebration of humanism, in which human fulfillment and values are the focus. This mindset is of the flesh and hostile toward God. The seven principles teach that people can improve their lives by sheer will and self-determination. For the holiday’s founder, apparently that means abusing drugs and women. In 1971, he was sentenced to prison for the sexual assault and torture of two women.

In the 60s, Karenga founded a black power movement called Organization US (as in “us vs. them”). The group was so radical, they killed two members of the Black Panthers in on January 17, 1969, on the UCLA campus. So much for unity. Karenga is a fraud and a dark reflection of his humanist ideal.

Humanistic traditions never unify. Jeremiah 17:5 says ,”Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength.” Titus 3:3 explains that before coming to Christ, we were enslaved to our passions and pleasures, full of malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

It is God alone who saves, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy. Peter explains that in Christ, we are a chosen race, a holy nation, a people for His own possession. Apart from Christ, we are not a people. In Christ, we are God’s people.

It is only Jesus Christ who gives unity, not man-centered holidays. Christians should have nothing to do with Kwanzaa. We must stand firm and hold to the traditions that we are taught by the word of God, when we understand the text.

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