Is it okay to keep Thanksgiving?
Here’s an answer from our Personal Correspondence Department, courtesy Mr. Gary Ehman…
Thank you for your question concerning the relationship between the national holiday of Thanksgiving and the Bible.
To begin, there is no direct connection between the United States national holiday on the fourth Thursday in November, and God’s biblical Holy Days. Most people recognize the first Thanksgiving as taking place in December 1621, when the Pilgrims held a three-day feast to celebrate the bountiful harvest they had reaped. In addition, the day did not become an official day of observance until the presidential proclamation of Abraham Lincoln on October 3, 1863, where he declared “a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
Interestingly, through Lincoln’s words, we can see a nation that once professed God to be the true God, and denounced secular teachings. In essence, there was a link between the day of Thanksgiving and God. However, there is no direct biblical command pertaining to the fourth Thursday in November, and God continues to be removed from the picture in our nation today.
Conversely, God has detailed for us His Holy Days which are to be kept in accordance to scriptural outline. The Feast of Tabernacles in the fall designates a time of thanksgiving for blessings obtained throughout the year, and the great spiritual harvest still to come (Deuteronomy 16:13-15). Furthermore, God tells us to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
While the United States national holiday of Thanksgiving is not directly commanded in the Bible, we can certainly praise God and give Him thanks, at any time, for the blessings He has bestowed upon us.
If we can be of any further assistance, please let us know.
PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE DEPARTMENT