Last week I wrote about the beginning of my Anti-Santaism. However, it would not be fair to leave off there. It was a couple of years later before I turned my life over to Christ, but even then, my reasoning for being Anti-Santa stayed the same for years. It wasn't until a few years ago that it was no longer just about being a good mom and an honest person anymore. I began to realize that there really 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 lose their children’s trust. They thought that if they lied about Santa that when their kids found out the truth, that they might doubt the reality of Christ as well. Some of them thought this way because they had experienced this first hand. Their parents had lied to them about Santa and they had trouble believing in Christ after they found out the truth. Other parents didn't 'do' Santa because they acknowledged that lying was a sin. While I related more to the second, I really did understand both sides.
A couple of years ago, I was introduced to Santa as the counterfeit Christ (you can google "Santa the Counterfeit Christ" and find all kind of information about this). During that time, I listened to a sermon by James Knox. While that sermon was extremely harsh, it blew me away. I decided to create a friendlier version of it, and I would like to share that with you now:
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. Both Santa and Jesus are known as Father. Jesus is called the Everlasting Father in Isaiah 9:6, and of course Santa is called Father Christmas.
According to movies and the stories that children are told, they are both eternal. Santa is portrait as a guy who has always been around, and will be around forever. The Bible says that Jesus always has been and always will be (Rev. 1:8, Isaiah 9:6, John 1:1). But what does the Bible say about Santa living forever? The Bible says in Romans 5 (verse 12) that sin leads to death, and all men die, because they have 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 says– “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” And Matthew 7:7 reads– “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 that in a later post)
If we keep moving we come to 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. The Bible says that “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” (Hebrews 4:13). Psalm 33:13-14 goes on to say- “From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from His dwelling place He watches all who live on earth,” but the Bible doesn’t stop there. Psalm 33:18 says- “…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”. And 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 brings us to the next point, where does God watch over us from? Hebrews 12:22 tells us- “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,” and Psalm 48:1-2 adds- “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) Then, Psalm 75:6 concludes- “No one from the east or the west or from the desert (south) can exalt a man.” God watches over us from the North, and we all know that Santa lives at the North Pole.
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 (John 12:12-13 and Mark 13:26). 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, and they sing about him, and to him, while they wait.
Another thing that they have in common is mentioned in Revelation 20, where 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 lists 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 (except maybe a piece of coal), and God says that we all fall short the glory of God, but with Christ’s blood covering us we will be forgiven, otherwise 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.” (See also Revelation 22:12).
They both see time the same way too. The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:2 that the return of the Lord will come like a thief in the night, and we all know that Santa comes 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, and while we sleep days pass for him. 2 Peter 3:8 tells us that to God a thousand days are like an hour, and an hour like a thousand days.
Santa is also well known for getting into every house, no matter how tight it is shut up: when we go to bed, we lock the doors and close the windows, and many homes do not have fireplaces. Santa was not the first person to enter a room that was locked down: 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!" - John 20:19
Another little known fact is how similar the two are in appearance. Bible says Jesus will have hair white like wool or snow (Rev. 1:14), He will have a beard (Isaiah 50:6), and he will wear red (Isaiah 63:1-2). Every child can tell you that a white haired man with a beard that is dressed in red is Santa Clause.
While there are probably even more similarities, I want to point out one more (that is really two put together). “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’" - Matthew 19:14. Jesus wants the children to come to Him, to accept Him, and the children are the ones that Santa reaches out to the most. Santa wants the children to come to him. It’s practically a crime to try to hinder a child’s belief in Santa.
Those who believe in Christ are supposed to worship Him, and go into the world tell others about Him(John 9:38, Mark 16:15, and Matthew 28:19). 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. In fact, even those who don’t believe in Santa are expected to evangelize for him. We tell stories about him, sing about him, and even sing to him. In a way, it is like we are worshiping him. Which reminds me of the 1st and 2nd commandments…
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."
Our God is a jealous God (2 Corinthians 11:2)! He doesn’t want to share us with Santa. He designed us to love Him; to give our devotion to Him. But instead, They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator… (Romans 1:25). 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. ~Joshua 24:15