Satan Claus Revealed…

 There are enough Evangelical Christian boycotts and protestations that it’s often easier to point out what we don’t believe in that what we do.  When you consider the number of things that we’re supposed to get bent out shape over you begin to understand why many of us never read our Bibles, pray, or even evangelize.

While Christians are on record for opposing: Hallmark, Halloween, Harry Potter, The Home Depot, Disney, Sony, and more, it’s hard to find a topic more divisive to many Christians than “Satan Claus”.

In my experience, Christians with opposition to Santa Claus generally fall into three categories:

#1. Santa Claus undercuts the true meaning of Christmas, robbing Jesus of his rightful glory and promoting consumerism.

#2. Lying is wrong.  I’m not going to teach my kid to lie, by lying about Santa.

#3. I’m not letting some “fat idiot” take credit for presents that I bought.

These beliefs, or some combination of them, often lead to a bitter refusal to participate in the “Santa myth” and the accompanying 2 months of griping when velvet, beards, and heavy-set men are spotted near twinkle lighting.

I’d like to just take a holiday moment to say to the garden-variety Christian that “you don’t have to hate Santa” .  I’ll do this by addressing the three main reasons… in a tongue in cheek fashion.

The Glory Robber
To argument #1 I’d say that Santa only undercuts the true meaning of Christmas if you let him.  Remember that Santa isn’t an “evil deception” concocted by the “liberal media” to rob Jesus of his glory, he was a real clergyman so consumed with the generosity of our God that he’s been revered by our Orthodox brethren for years.

Celebrating the story of St. Nicholas can actually be a great way to explain to your children how Christians are called to live courageously,  just like God did when he gave Jesus to us on that first Christmas.

The story of St. Nick can actually enhance your family’s advent celebration, so long as you are willing to spend the time that it takes to go beyond the Tree and the Gifts and the carols… but I’m guessing you’re already doing that right?

Talking honestly with your kids about how the Saint Nicholas story has grown “taller in the telling”, in efforts to honor to his good deeds, doesn’t mean that we dishonor Jesus… if we don’t want to.

“I Cannot Tell A Lie!”
For argument #2 I’d start off by reminding us all that kids aren’t taught how to lie, their sin nature ensures that they are able to do it on their own.

On top of this, Christians already participate in many other historical inaccuracies and tall-tales for the sake of celebration.  Consider our lies about how Columbus Discovered America in 1492, William Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, and America gained its independence on July 4th, 1776.

Let’s also not forget that we are lying to children when we participate in the idea that Jesus was born, rather conveniently, on December 25th!

This year, while you’re already explaining to your kids that December 25th isn’t really Jesus’ birthday, AND why there were no Wise Men at the manger, AND that your tree is made of plastic, take just three more minutes and explain how the modern Santa myth is a fun diversion that we all participate in.

You just might build some trust along the way.

Satan Claus Revealed
All I really need to say about #3 is this:  If you really think Christmas is about getting credit for the presents you bought, then congratulations, YOU undercut the true meaning of Christmas, robbing Jesus of his rightful glory and promoting consumerism.  Go take a look in the mirror, if you want to see Satan Claus!

Extra Credit
While I understand that many Christians feel the need to “take a stand” against “removing Christ from Christmas” I’d like to just finish by addressing the idea that someone can actually remove Christ from anything, let alone Christmas.

Every year I hear outraged people (who may or may not have just purchased 20 foam-core signs for $100) that “President Osama” or Hillary Clinton are trying to make “Christmas a secular holiday”.

Their proof of this always involves the word “Xmas”.

Writing “Xmas” instead of Christmas is not a “liberal” attempt to secularize Christmas, it’s actually a time-honored Christian shorthand.

Jesus Christ, the Word of love that God first spoke to create the entire universe, and then spoke to us over 2000 years ago, is himself the THE VERY FABRIC OF THE COSMOS.  He can’t be removed from anything, by anyone, ever.

Not even Satan Claus.

Let’s live like we believe that.

“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” Colossians 1:16-20

3 Responses to “Satan Claus Revealed…”

  1. Sharon O December 14, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    In our house we did both, we had santa and the manger. Now I even have a ‘santa kneeling next to the manger’… it is ok to share the spirit of giving and the spirit of the Lord in the same season. Santa is not in my opinion taking away from Christmas any more than the bunny rabbit takes away from the easter story. It is all about presentation.

    • Jon December 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

      I love that you have Santa bowing down to the manger… such a great picture!

  2. Jeff Patterson December 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    Great words. Wonder if it jives with this graphical representation. ;-)

    #visuallearner

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