The General Overseer of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor W.F Kumuyi, has again warned members of the church against celebrating Christmas, saying the annual celebration of Christmas is idolatrous and unscriptural.
Kumuyi warned that partaking in the celebration made Christians to go back from the commandment of Jesus Christ.
The cleric said this on Saturday at the annual national December convention of the church, which held at the church’s camp ground in Ogun State.
He said, “We don’t celebrate Christmas. It actually came from idolatrous background. That is why you don’t hear us sing what they call Christmas carol, Never! We always say it is the December retreat. We are only gathering together because it is the holiday period and love the lord more, and rededicate ourselves more.
“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 the church either. If you don’t know that before, now you know.”
He warned that any of the church’s leaders that tried to introduce the “idolatry of Christmas” into any section of the church would be sanctioned, while also encouraging other believers in Christ to jettison the celebration as part of their sacrifice to perfection.
Kumuyi said the duty of the church was to make people more like Jesus Christ and not join in worldly celebrations.
“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,” he added.
But the Director of Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Monsignor Gabriel Osu, in his reaction to Kumuyi’s proclamation, said, “I don’t know what he means by saying the practice of celebrating Christmas is wrong.
“Is he saying that Christ wasn’t born? That he didn’t come to die for us? Does he not celebrate his own birthday? Do Kumuyi’s pastors not celebrate him? It is not everything I react to; some people just seek attention. If Kumuyi is a Christian, then he must believe in Christ.
“The celebration of Christmas didn’t just start today; it is too public an event for anyone to say that they don’t know what it is about. “If Kumuyi is condemning the commercialisation of Christmas, I can understand that. Christ came to redeem us from our lost state; this was actualised through his coming, his birth; that is why we celebrate Christmas. It is the fulfilment of God’s promise.”
“I saw him on the television a few days ago. He was in Akwa Ibom State and was the chief preacher during their Christmas celebration event. Kumuyi is just saying what he feels; he is not making any doctrinal statement.”
The spokesperson for the Christian Association of Nigeria, Oshodi chapter, Lagos State, Pastor Barnabas Otoibhi, said that Christmas was worth celebrating.
Otoibhi told one our correspondents in a telephone interview that the origin of Christmas was not as important as its essence.
He said, “The origin of Christmas, as we know it, could be traced to Roman Emperor, Constantine. Christmas was a day for celebrating the Sun God. However, because Constantine was a Christian, the day was changed to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.
“The tradition has continued to date and since the aim of Christmas is to celebrate Jesus since there is nothing bad in honouring Jesus. Also, the worship of the Sun God was done in Rome and not everywhere in the world, so it is not part of our history.
“We mark Christmas with the singing of songs as a day, which has now been consecrated.”