Ghana, West Africa 1837, five massive British ships arrive on the coast in the midst of a dark night prepared to take a precious commodity from the port city of Accra to the Americas. The air that night was humid and the tension was so thick you could feel it. Several men jump off the ships carrying the payment for their “merchandise.” A transaction is made between the Ghanaian tribesmen and the British sailors as they gather together hundreds of men, women and children in chains. One by one hundreds of them were loaded on the ships. Some were crying while others screamed for their dear lives clutching the ground as they were dragged away from the land where they had lived. Others walked silently with faces as still as stone statues that showed they understood exactly why this was happening. They understood it was a curse.
After all of the captives were loaded, the doors of the ships were shut tight like the doors on Noah’s ark. There was no escaping except for death and many of the slaves were “blessed” with an illness that granted them that peace. After a long journey over the ocean, the ships finally arrived in the Americas. When the British captors and their “cargo” finally reached the American colonies, the British sailors thanked the Lord for granting them safe passage and called it Thanking the Lord Day. They declared that this day should be celebrated on the third Thursday of February. Imagine if you would that this was true and the day is still celebrated in the United States today. Understanding its roots, would you celebrate it? Many would say no without giving it a second thought, yet the same people are celebrating the genocide and destruction of the Native Americans today known as Thanksgiving.
As followers of Christ, should we celebrate Thanksgiving. If you believe the traditional story that has been told about this day, it ultimately involves murder, deceit and theft. The commandments speak against all three of these sins.
Matthew 19:16-18 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? (17) And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. (18) He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness…
Proverbs 6:16-17 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: (17) A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood…
Deuteronomy 19:14 Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.
Deuteronomy 27:17 Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour’s landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.
The Native Americans were lied to, deceived, murdered and had their land stolen. The previous scriptures show that those acts were wrong. How can followers of Christ sit down in good conscience and say this is a day to thank God?