What about festivals? Can we not celebrate our religious festivals?
I feel this is a subjective question and must be dealt case by case. Instead of proposing a solution here, I would rather tell you the framework, base on which you can understand how we should deal with such situation.
Primarily I feel celebrate and not celebrate should not be our question. We must ask ourselves, why do we want to celebrate or why this festival is being celebrated. Once you see the reason behind it, probably you will automatically cease celebrating it without my explaining.
However, if you are genuinely looking for a solution, follow this principle –
“Refrain from all such activities which do not give glory to the true and living God.”
You may enjoy the fellowship with your family and other relatives though. Completely alienating ourselves from rest of the family, friends and society at large is not the teaching of the Bible and it does not make us good witness of His love too.
Bible teaches that we are in the world so we cannot walk in this world closing our eyes because sin is all around. So, being in the world (but not of the world), we must take wise decisions so that by our sincere faith and conviction, everyone will be inquisitive to know more about the source of our confidence in God.
Most of the festivals (be it of any religion) have a purpose behind it. Some of them are general purpose but some solely religious. I am not here to talk about religion so I cannot endorse celebrating the religious festivals but others should be fine as long as we glorify the true and living God. People forget the fundamental reasons of the celebration and fall in rituals. This is a blunder. Religion or festival should not become an obstacle to us in glorifying God Himself.
All festivals have been commercialized now which is really sad. For example, even in Christianity, most of the people celebrate Christmas – the birth day of Lord Jesus Christ, around the world. They include every thing like parties, decoration, dance and amusement in their celebrations, but forget the birthday boy outside. In fact, many of them have forbidden Christ in the ‘Christ-mas’. They have replaced Christ by a big ‘X’ and greet each other as ‘Merry X-mas’.
This should not happen. If you cannot glorify the true and living God while celebrating your festival, better don’t celebrate it.
But if you can, I encourage you to use every opportunity during festival times to meet our loved ones and tell the truth of the love of God to everyone. I do not find any problem in meeting my friends in these holidays and showing the love of God. Amusement is not bad unless it is done in confined limits of godly conduct and biblical teachings. Take wise decisions and live a life which will glorify God and will become a model for many.
Remember, greatest commandments given by God – Love your God and then love your neighbour as yourself. This encompasses everything.