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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Why Christians probably should not celebrate KWANZAA

Why is it that "Us" Christians always feel the need to participate in the things that the world tells us is ok without doing the research for ourselves.  As a child I always wondered what Kwanzaa was and why African-Americans celebrated it.  I knew that I celebrated Christmas as the birth of Jesus Christ: my lord and savior.  And even though we do not know the exact date of Jesus' s birth, for me it is still a day of reflection on God's goodness and mercy.  He is so merciful that he sent his only son to die for us. Matthew 1:22-25. Christmas for me is also a day to spend with family and friends and to be thankful for everything God has blessed me with.........But I never understood Kwanzaa until I did the research myself.
Maulana Karenga of the US Organization created Kwanzaa in 1966 as the first specifically African American holiday. Karenga said his goal was to "give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society." The name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning first fruits of the harvest. The choice of Swahili, an East African language, reflects its status as a symbol of Pan Africanism, especially in the 1960s.
Kwanzaa is a celebration that has its roots in the black nationalist movement of the 1960s, and was established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage by uniting in meditation and study of African traditions and Nguzu Saba, the "seven principles of blackness" which Karenga said "is a communitarian African philosophy".
During the early years of Kwanzaa, Karenga said that it was meant to be an alternative to Christmas, that Jesus was psychotic, and that Christianity was a white religion that black people should shun.

The most common statement one will hear about Kwanzaa is that it’s not religious.  But quite the contrary as the creator of Kwanzaa, Maulana Karenga let it be known his true intent of creating this holiday through many of his writings.  An example of such writings is when he made the following statement in his book titled Kawaida Theory explaining a negative of religion:
“It is a simplistic and often erroneous answer to existential ignorance, fear, powerlessness and alienation. An example is the Hebrew myth of the six-day creation and the tower of Babel, or Christian myths of resurrection, heaven and hell.” pg 23.
If Christian beliefs are mythological and not real answers to life, then what was Karenga to do? Create what he believes are true answers to life complete with principles for living – thus the creation of Kwanzaa!  In his attempt in pushing this as a “non-religion,” he in fact was creating a new religion for others to follow!

This is why I will not be celebrating Kwanzaa!!!

 Ephesians 5:11
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

J. Lawrence Scholer, "The Story of Kwanzaa", Dartmouth Review, 15 January 2001.

Morrow, Carlotta. "The Truth About Kwanzaa." Christocentric. 26 Dec. 2010. Web. 29 Dec. 2010. <>.

"Kwanzaa." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 29 Dec. 2010. <>.

1 comment:

  1. I celebrate Christmas because although Dec. 25th may not be the exact date Jesus was born, he was indeed born and his birth should be celebrated. I believe the idea of Christmas has been distorted in several ways and becoming as a pagan holiday than the actual celebration of Jesus. -Christ-mas is not about breaking the bank for gifts, the title its self should never be replaced with 'Happy Holidays', and as Christians we should NOT teach our kids/youth that santa exists! Lastly, I do not believe there is anything wrong with giving gifts during the Christmas holiday because when Jesus was born He too received gifts (don't break your wallet and don't teach/believe that what Christmas is all about). Kwanza is WRONG!! I do not and will not like or take any part of any church who practices this holiday. I am highly taken back by those who claim to be in Jesus and in leadership who thinks this holiday should be practiced in God's house/place of worship. They call forth spirits of their ancestors and have objects in front of them -idols- representing what gives them strength, unity and peace. We have all of those qualities from the Lord and NO ONE else. Yes there are good principles practiced within kwanza but as the devil is a deceiver and pulls you in to sin by looking good so are the principles in kwanza. We can as Christians learn good traits from our Savior. Light does not fellowship with darkness and if anyone who claims they love God practices kwanza because of the 'good' principles then they are fooling themselves. You shouldn't even pick and choose what you like about kwanza and say ok well this part of it is ok for me to do. The Bible teaches us not to give a single foot hold to the devil. Deuteronomy 18:9-14
    New King James Version (NKJV)

    Avoid Wicked Customs

    9 “When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spirits, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. 14 For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.

    Black History Month is a great time to give respect to our people and heritage. However, I believe we as African Americans should celebrate who we are and those who have helped us become who we are all year. I do not believe the way the kwanzaa celebrates our cultures past/present/future is right. If you take the time and realize what the originator of this tradition said about Jesus and the Christian community before he 'changed his mind' in attempts to make kwanzaa a more celebrated holiday then you wouldn't celebrate this either.