Saturday, December 4, 2010
My Anti-Santaism: The Counterfeit Christ
Image by Oren neu dag [CC-BY-SA-3.0]
This is post number 3 in my Anti-Santaism series. You can read the introduction post by clicking here.
In my last post, The Beginning, I wrote about where my Anti-Santaism started. However, leaving it at that isn't fair. That is where it started, and where it stayed for years. Even after becoming a Christian it stayed there for quite some time, but then it started to become more. It wasn't just about being a good mom and an honest person anymore, there was a spiritual side to it... a big spiritual side.
I started meeting other Christian moms who didn't 'do' Santa because they didn't want to loose their kids trust. They thought that if they lied about Santa that when their kids found out they would doubt the reality of Christ as well. Some of them thought this way, because their parents had lied to them about Santa and they had trouble believing in Christ after they found out. Other parents didn't 'do' Santa because they acknowledged that lying was a sin. This related more to me, but I understood both sides.
Last year it was introduced to me that Santa was a counterfeit Christ (you can google "Santa the Counterfeit Christ" and find all kind of information about this). I listened to a sermon by James Knox, and it was extremely harsh. So I recreated a friendlier version of it. I thought I would share it with you:
Have you ever stopped to think about how similar Jesus and Santa are? Many people have noted similarities, but I never realized just how similar they were. First I want to look at their ages. How old is Santa? If you listen to the stories parents tell their children he has been around forever, not only that, but he will NEVER die. Hmmm. Let’s see what the Bible says about Jesus:
Revelation 1:8 - "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."
Isaiah 9:6 - For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
So the Bible says that Jesus has been since the beginning, and always will be. I also want to make a quick note of the fact that Jesus is called the Everlasting Father… Santa is called Father Christmas and supposedly lives forever, but what about Santa living forever? The Bible says in Romans 5 that sin leads to death and all men die.
Romans 5:12 - Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned
So according to the Bible, Santa can’t live forever because he is a sinner just like everyone else. (See also Romans 3:23)
The Bible also tells us that if we want something or need something that we should ask God for it.
Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Matthew 7:7 – Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
God wants us to pray to Him, not write lists to people that aren’t real. There is also a scripture that says if we ask and do not receive then we are asking with the wrong motives. (James 4:3) I have to wonder what the motivation behind writing a wish list to Santa is? (More on this in my next post)
The next thing I want to look at is the fact that Santa can see us all the time. He sees us when we’re sleeping and knows when we’re awake. He watches over little kids all year round. Let’s look at Scripture:
Hebrews 4:13 - Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
Psalm 33:13-14- From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from His dwelling place He watches all who live on earth
Psalm 33:18 - But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love,
2 Chronicles 16:9 - For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
Psalm 139:11-12 - If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
The Bible tells us that God can see us when we are sleeping, and when we are awake. He can see all of mankind, and watches over us always. Which leads me to my next point. Where does He watch over us from?
Hebrews 12:22 - But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,
Psalm 48:1-2 - Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. (KJV)
Psalm 75:6 - No one from the east or the west or from the desert (south) can exalt a man.
So God watches over us from the North. Where does Santa live? That’s right, the North Pole. There are just so many similarities!
John 12:12-13 - The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet Him, shouting,
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Blessed is the King of Israel!"
Mark 13:26 - "At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
People have long anticipated the coming of Christ. When He lived on earth people lined up to see Him, and now we are anxiously awaiting His return. Every year in December, (and longer for some) people anxiously await the return of Santa. They line up in department stores to sit on his lap or get pictures with him; they line streets to see him at that end of the parades. They sing about him while they wait… Sound familiar?
Another thing that they have in common is mentioned in Revelation 20. Verse 12 says, “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.” And then if you look at verse 15 it reads, “If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
God and Santa are both making lists. Both are based off of what we have done. Santa’s myth says that if we are naughty then we won’t get anything for Christmas. God says that we all fall short the glory of God, but with Christ’s blood covering us we will be forgiven. Other wise we will be thrown into the lake of fire. In both cases they are the judge, you can’t call Santa Christmas morning and petition because you didn’t get what you wanted, and you most certainly have no hope after you have been thrown into the lake of fire.
On the other side of that, if you are found favored you will receive gifts.
2 Timothy 4:7-8 - I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Revelation 22:12 - Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.
1 Corinthians 3:14 - If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.
These verses are similar to the ones that we have already looked at. Longing for the return of Jesus, but also receiving gifts based on what we have done…
1 Thessalonians 5:2 – for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
2 Peter 3:8 - But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
When does Santa come? At night. You don’t hear him coming, you don’t see him coming, but he comes and is gone before anyone ever knows. Kind of like a thief… Not only that, but in one night he visits every house with children in the world. How is that possible? Many believe that he lives outside of normal time.
How does Santa get into our homes? When we go to bed we lock the doors and close the windows, and many homes do not have fireplaces. I know another man that can enter a place that is locked up tight.
John 20:19 - On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"
Another little known fact is how similar the two are in appearance. Let’s look at what the Bible says Jesus will look like when He returns.
Revelation 1:14 - His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes were like blazing fire.
Isaiah 50:6 - I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.
Isaiah 63:1-2 - Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with His garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of His strength? "It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save." Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress?
What does Santa look like? He has white hair with a beard and wears red.
Look at all of those similarities! But there are still more! The last one I want to look at is kind of two put together.
Matthew 19:14 - Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
1 John 3:2 - Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
Jesus wants the children to come to Him, to accept Him. Who does Santa target? Then the Bible tells us:
John 9:38 - Then the man said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped Him.
Mark 16:15 - He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
We are supposed to go into the world and share Christ. Many of us have a hard time with that, but when it comes to Santa, we have no problem being a disciple for him. We dress up like him, and make sure not to damage his image. We tell stories about him and sing about him, and to him. In a way it is like worshiping him. How do you think God feels about that?
Exodus 20:2-4 - "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. "You shall have no other gods before me. "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
2 Corinthians 11:2 - I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to Him.
Our God is a jealous God! He doesn’t want to share us with Santa. He designed us to love Him. To give our devotion to Him, but what do we do?
Romans 1:25 - They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Santa is a created thing, a lie. Jesus is the truth, and will be forever. What will you do with that truth?
...as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.