Is Santa okay to discuss as a Christian? What about St. Nick? How should we talk about them? Recently, I had a previous post covering a review of my first post on Santa, and how I could have discussed it better. If you happened to see the post, thank you for reading. 🙂 I decided it would be better to make a fresh post on the topic, and I hope it’s helpful.
The Santa Claus Conundrum
Santa Claus is… well… made up and he always presents problems for Christian parents when they engage with the idea of Santa and their kids. Lying is a sin. Lying is never okay, but the same parents who lie about Santa, punish their kids when the kids lie. It’s the same sin, yet, in one way it is looked upon as okay, and in another it is not. Biblically we cannot support lying being okay or made fun and it can be confusing to kids.
(NASB) Proverbs 26:28, “A lying tongue hates those it crushes, And a flattering mouth works ruin.”
Plus, it is really confusing when parents lie to their children about a being who sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake…. and then tell kids about Christ, another Person they cannot see who also sees them when they’re sleeping and knows when they’re awake. Is Jesus like Santa? Can someone else have the attributes of God in being everywhere and being all-knowing?
(NASB) Colossians 2:02-03, “that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
(NASB) Jeremiah 16:17, “For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes.”
But that is only the beginning of our interesting topic of a white beard and red suited magical being. Santa Claus is a real interesting fellow. He is said to give bad kids coal, but Jimmy down the street is a horrid child, and he got all that he wanted. So, Santa says one thing and does another? Santa must show favoritism because while Jimmy is horrid and gets all he wants, little Susie down the street barely has enough to eat, let alone get a new toy from Santa. Susie is such a nice kid, too. What did she do wrong? Children do not escape these questions.
Interesting, how Santa leads to discussing morals. I recommend Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis if you would like to dive deeper into the importance of this topic as it leads to evidence of God, pretty cool stuff! (Not sponsored but great book!)
I hope by sharing these examples the problems of Santa are seen. Santa isn’t beneficial in celebrating Christmas as a Christian. We’re kind of promoting a prosperity Gospel and works-based righteousness to kids. Oddly enough, we are encouraging children to believe in someone who is not real, nearly worship him around Christmas time to get what they want. Sadly, some kids take Santa pretty hard when they find out he isn’t real. It can create a sense of distrust. (Not all children struggle when they learn the truth, of course, but it’s a risk that does not need to be taken, at all.)
The Issues When Santa & St. Nick Do Not Point Us To Christ
What about St. Nick? Isn’t he important?
Well, St. Nick certainly did a lot of good things for the church. But do we celebrate him for Christmas?
Celebrate– Extol (to glorify), to perform (as a sacrament) with appropriate rites, to honor (as a holiday) with solemn ceremonies, to observe with festivities.
In the Bible, we often see festivals in the Old Testament associated as a remembrance of what God has done. Humans tend to need reminders. The Old Testament shows us how Israel often forgot the Lord and what He had done, while they turned to other idols. So, why do Christians celebrate Christmas? What are we to remember?
Christmas is about the Gospel. It is about our Savior taking on flesh to conquer the Devil’s hold of the power of death over us. (Hebrews 2:14)
Santa Claus, by himself, does not really point us to Jesus. Interesting fact, origins of Santa Claus (and even reindeer inspiration) mirror Odin from Norse Mythology, sharing even the name Father Christmas (see link at bottom for more info). If we use Santa Claus to focus on good works, we are not looking at the Savior, but, instead, we are looking at self.
St. Nick poses a similar issue. If we are focused on only what St. Nick did, his works, then we are missing the purpose behind his actions. This also raises the question, do we need someone to be our in-between in discussing Christ around Christmas? No, we do not need any in-between, but that does not mean discussing St. Nick or even Santa couldn’t be useful.
How To Focus On Christ & The Gospel
What we need to be able to do is look at what Santa Claus proclaims to be. Break down his attributes and then point to God’s attributes. Why does Santa Claus fail? This is the question we need to ask. Why is Santa hypocritical? This helps us, and can especially help kids in discussing Santa. (What to do when your kids know the truth of Santa, but other children they know do not? How should this be tackled? Michelle Lesley has a great post on this: My Kid Knows The Truth About Santa. What If He Tells His Friends Who Don’t?)
When discussing St. Nick, we run into questions like, what does it mean to be a Christian? Why did St. Nick believe in Jesus? What did Jesus come to do? What did Jesus proclaim Himself to be? Why is Jesus important? We can discuss how we are wretched sinners and our good works are like filthy rags. Nothing we do can ever earn us salvation. Yet, from the beginning of the fall of man, God prepared for a Savior to come, showing us grace in the most beautiful way. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- We are wretched sinners. (Romans 7:24)
- We are condemned and deserving of Hell. (John 3:18)
- We are described as sons and daughters of disobedience. (Colossians 3:5-6, Ephesians 5:5-6)
- We also described as sons and daughters of the Devil. (John 8:43-44)
- We are wicked. We are not good. There is no good reason in us that merits the Savior dying for us. (John 3:19, Romans 3:10, Revelation 3:17-18)
- (NLT) Isaiah 64:06, “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.”
St. Nick, like us, was a wretched sinner. He could have solved world hunger, and still be a wretched sinner. Sin separates us from God. In the beginning, God made Adam and Eve in His image, and it was good. Mankind was good. But when Eve became deceived by the serpent, took and ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, (also, giving some to her husband, Adam) sin entered.
Sin separates us from God because God will have nothing to do with sinners. Scripture tells us the wages of sin is death. The just punishment for all sinners is Hell. This is why nothing we do can ever be good enough for Heaven because we are already condemned by sin. Even for Christians, sin is a daily battle, as our flesh is corrupted. (Galatians 5:17)
Sin requires payment. In the Old Testament, we see the requirement is blood from an unblemished animal sacrifices. The need for the sacrifice to be considered pure is a type and shadow of Jesus Christ. Jesus became a Man so He could bear the punishment of our sins on the cross. (If you would like more of a breakdown, please see my post: Why Did A Loving God Kill His Son? (Does God Hate?)
Jesus conquered sin, which is death. All who put their faith in Him will be saved (justified by Christ) and receive salvation. They will be made into new creations. Through Christ alone, we can find our strength to repent from sin. We receive the Holy Spirit who convicts of sin, righteousness, and the judgment to come. We can walk in the way of the Spirit, being made spiritually alive while on this earth. Becoming more sanctified, as we grow in Him. (John 16:08, Acts 26:18, Romans 5:01, Romans 8:04, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Colossians 2:13, 2 Peter 1:03)
(NKJV) Romans 5:08, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
This is why St. Nick believed in Jesus. This is why we celebrate Christmas. We remember His birth, and what it meant for the world to receive a Savior.
Imitating Godly Men & Women
(NLT) Romans 1:17, “This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
Discussing Santa Claus has its place when we can point to the truth of God. Discussing St. Nick, like other Christians, is okay when it points us to Jesus because scripture tells us to imitate other godly men and women.
- (NKJV) Hebrews 6:12, “that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
- (NKJV) Proverbs 13:20, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.”
- (NKJV) 1 Corinthians 4:16, “Therefore I urge you, imitate me.” Paul telling the Corinthians to imitate him.
Now, as Paul shares later with the Corinthians, the reason we can look to these men and women as godly examples is because:
(NKJV) 1 Corinthians 11:01, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”
It’s all about Jesus Christ.
It’s always been about Jesus.
(Next week I am going to tackle why some people have convictions about Christmas and do not celebrate. Are their convictions reasons why we shouldn’t either? Is Christmas sinful? Stayed Tuned.)
Odin & Santa Connection – Odin And Santa: The Norse God Delivered Gifts With An Eight Legged Flying Horse
Monthly Scripture To Ponder/Memorize From Daniel 9 – (NKJ) Daniel 9:18, “O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.“
Community Prayer – December 2020