Kwanzaa and Christianity – Unequally Yoked!


December 26 marks the beginning of the seven day celebration of Kwanzaa every year. What is Kwanzaa? It’s a celebration designed to bring together families to share their African-American culture.  At least that’s the general opinion of most who celebrate it.  For many it’s also a way of life complete with its own set of seven principles called in Swahili the Nguzo Saba.

Kwanzaa is celebrated by countless numbers of people in differing religions, ethnicities and what have you, but the number of Christians who celebrate Kwanzaa becomes a bit more on the disturbing side. Why is that? For the most part, Kwanzaa’s creation by Maulana Karenga, a college professor and leader of a black activist organization,was primarily because of his intense hatred of religions, especially of the Christian and Jewish religions.

Jesus Psychotic?

So Christians celebrate a holiday that not only is created by a man who hates religions, but mocked our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ publicly when he was quoted from the following in his book, The Quotable Karenga, 1967:

“Jesus was psychotic. He said if you didn’t believe what he did you would burn forever.” (pg 25)
“If you realized how human Jesus was, you’d see he was no God.” (pg 26)

To think I bought Karenga’s book off of Ebay a few years ago for less than 5 dollars, after giving my copy of the book to a Los Angeles pastor in the 1980’s who did nothing about it.  You can’t find that book anywhere I don’t think for less than $35, and I’ve seen it as a collector’s item in the $200 dollar range! Yes, that invaluable book reveals Karenga’s true beliefs at that time on Christians, Jesus Christ, religions in general and of himself and other humans when he said:

“We are God ourselves, therefore it is not good to be atheistic or agnostic.  To be an atheist is to deny our existence and to be an agnostic is to doubt it.” (pg 26)

This book was printed in 1967, a year AFTER Kwanzaa’s creation.  Churches that bring Kwanzaa within their walls have just offered an invitation to the wiles of Satan himself!

Kwanzaa resembling a mixture of different religions

Now many will say that that was then and now is now and how they celebrate it is the difference. Many will claim not to believe the way Karenga believes but should Christians participate in it? What is the Kwanzaa celebration about? Here a few of the elements of the Kwanzaa ceremony:

  • Chanting of Libations (see Karenga’s example of one here)
  • Drinking of a Unity Cup
  • 7 candles – one for each day of the 7 principles
  • Roll calling of dead ancestors names
  • Celebration of 7 principles to make each man, woman and child a better human being
  • Kinara – (Candle holder, very similar to the Jewish candle holder, the Menorah)

Although not considered a religious event, the entire Kwanzaa ceremony is reminiscent of Ancient African religions with the roll calling of dead ancestors, the 7 principles similar to having 10 commandments in the Judeo-Christian religions, lighting the candles in a candle holder similar to the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah. Yet it is stressed that this is not a religious celebration.

Godly vs Satanic

It’s important that as Christian’s we recognized what belongs to Satan and what belongs to God. Karenga is not to be condemned himself, but his teachings and anything associated with it we should steer clear of as we are reminded in the scriptures to do so:

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?

For youare the temple of the living God.

As God has said:

“ I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” Therefore “ Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” 18 “ I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6: 14-18

Kwanzaa is a celebration like Halloween that I’ve separated myself from. Many today do not celebrate Halloween like it was intended, but it’s the purpose of Halloween and it’s satanic pagan roots that is bothersome and to be avoided like Kwanzaa. Sure, people will say that Christmas is pagan too but the early roots of Christmas aren’t satanic and still had the purpose of honoring God. (See “Is Christmas Pagan, by Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason).

Holidays are just a small sampling of what we as Christians need to be discerning.  Unequally yoked not only means our practices, but who we associate with, date and marry, business partners and etc. God didn’t mean we couldn’t have unsaved friends or be a part of pagan ceremonies, but when it comes to relationships and practices that could compromise our faith in God, THEN it’s time to become unyoked!

To borrow from the previous link I shared on Halloween, we as Christians are to be reminded of what this world is about.  We are to remember not to get sucked into deceptive “feel good and look good” false spiritual events like Kwanzaa when the scriptures say:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:12-13


(Reposted from 12/2010)