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Impact of Christian anniversaries on Pastors’ Financial and Spiritual Lives

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the study

Some Christian denominations and individuals do not attach serious importance to Christian anniversary , and as such, do not observe them for various reasons. This disenchantment disposition about Christian festivals replete some Scholars works; for instance, David Pack asserts that the true origin of Christmas could be traced to pagan culture, and that all the various customs associated with it, such as Gift-giving, Father Christmas, Christmas light, Christmas tree, Music and Carol, among others, took their root from Roman customs that have no bearing with the Christian faith. He opines that Christ is never present in the celebration tagged “Christmas” as assumed by its celebrants; therefore, he concludes that Christmas should not be celebrated by Christians. Scholars also indicated that in 245A.D, Origen2 of Alexander drew reference from Leviticus 12: 1-8, to discourage Christians from designating a day to commemorate the birth of Jesus. According to him, going by the Bible records, it is only sinners who celebrated their birthdays and that such occasions resulted in loss of lives. These were Pharaoh, who hanged his Chief Baker (Genesis 40: 20-22), and Herod, who beheaded John the Baptist (Mark 6:21-27). Job and Jeremiah were also said to have cursed their days of birth (Job 3:1- 16, Jeremiah 20:14-15). To further strengthen their position of non-observance of Christmas, they indicated that in 303 A.D, Arnobius3 interpreted the idea of celebrating the birthday of gods as ridiculous4 . In addition to the above, Christmas is said to be commercialized and secularized in the contemporary time, making it to lose its real significance. Therefore, it is regarded as a strategy employed by businessmen and businesswomen, who promote it vigorously, purposely to use it as a means to increase their sales and maximize their profit. Hence, the argument indicates that Christmas unique features are new dresses and suits, new shoes and the likes.

Coming from the same premise, Venerable Bede6 indicates that Easter derives its name from Eastre, an Anglo-Saxon name of a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility which by implication means that it is by nature, a pagan pervert to which Christians should distance themselves. Equally, the Easter tradition is regarded as a traditional Catholic celebration beset with drive for materialism, not sanctioned in the Bible for Christians‟ participation and therefore, becomes the tradition of men.

Statement of the problem

The Assemblies of God (AG) observes Christian anniversary, like most other churches, but the economic and religious implications of these festivals for AG‟s pastors differ from these other churches. Existing literature on AG‟s activities during these anniversary have focus on their necessity, scriptural basis, eschatological implications, mode of conduct and the principles to follow to guarantee their moral approval, without adequate attention paid to their economic and religious effects on AG‟s clergy. In other words, what has not received significant attention in scholarship is the study of the interconnectivity between Christian anniversary and the economic and religious dispositions of AG‟s pastors

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Updated: 10th October 2019 — 2:49 pm

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