by John Holbrook Jr.
A Biblical View, posted December 5, 2016
For nineteen centuries, Christmas was associated solely with the birthday of Jesus Christ. Its name proclaimed its nature – “Christ’s mass” – and the event it celebrated, the incarnation of God Himself in the person of a tiny baby, born in a manger, was seen to be the most stupendous event in human history. It inspired some of the greatest literature, music, painting, and sculpture ever crafted by human hands. The musical paeans range from the poignant strains of Silent Night to the grandeur and glory of Handel’s Messiah, but all pay homage to “the King of kings and Lord of lords” who “…shall reign forever and ever.”
During the twentieth century, however, Christmas was high-jacked by a Pretender to the Throne with an unlikely appearance – a rotund little man with twinkling eyes, a great white beard, a red suit with white trim and a floppy cap to match, a broad black belt with a gleaming buckle, and black boots.
Traveling in a sleigh drawn by reindeer, he flies through the air and delivers presents to the children of the world on “…the night before Christmas.”
His name is Santa Claus. Now, in the early years of the twenty-first century, Christmas in the public square and in most homes as well is devoted primarily to him.
Who is Santa Claus?
Santa Claus is a counterfeit Christ. His incommunicable or metaphysical attributes (excepting the last) are god-like:
God is eternal; so seems Santa – he is ageless.
God is omnipresent; so seems Santa – he is everywhere at once, observing the behavior of children in their homes throughout the world, reading letters from the world’s children and making toys in his shop at the North Pole, and delivering presents in his sleigh, etc.
God is omnipotent; so seems Santa – he can do almost anything. He flies through the air. He lands on the roofs of high-rise towers and peasant hovels. He descends through chimney flues which are too small for him and most of his gifts to pass through – or are even non-existent. In addition, he delivers more presents than either he or his sleigh could possibly carry (in a way, he repeats the miracle of the loaves and fishes, but with toys).
God is omniscient; so seems Santa – he knows everything about all children wherever they are: whether or not they are behaving, what they need, what they want, etc.
God is immutable; so seems Santa – he does not change.
God is infinite; so seems Santa – his knowledge, capabilities, and activities are without limits.
God is indivisible; so seems Santa – he is not divisible.
God is one; so seems Santa – he is one person.
God is uncreated; only in this respect does Santa differ from Jesus. He was created by Thomas Nast and more fully developed by Clement Moore in the 19th century.
Santa’s communicable or moral attributes, however, reveal his nature more clearly:
God is perfect; Santa is imperfect – He misses some homes. He gives some bad children exactly what they want, and he fails to give some good children what they want.
God is truthful; Santa is untruthful – First, he lives a lie: although he admonishes children to be truthful, he exists and acts only because of the lie that he exists and acts. Second, he deflects children’s attention from Jesus, who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (KJV John 14:6). Third, he withholds from children the true Gospel of Grace: that they will receive the free, unmerited gift of eternal life in the presence of God if they repent of their sins and accept Jesus as their Redeemer and Lord. Lastly, he beguiles children with the false Gospel of Works: that they will earn a reward if they are good. Alas, no one can be good enough.
God is benevolent; Santa is malevolent –He encourages children to believe in him and his word. When children inevitably discover that he is a myth and that his word is not trustworthy, they realize that they have been deceived – deceived by Santa, deceived by their parents, and deceived by society. As a result, they become far less willing or able to believe the other Christmas story, the story of how God entered into his own creation in the person of a baby who was born in a manger. They reason: if Santa is a myth, so also must be Jesus. Santa may look jolly and benevolent, but he is actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
God is holy; Santa is unholy – He concerns himself exclusively with material things, and he encourages children to focus on and covet material things. He does not encourage them to eschew material things and to find their satisfaction and joy in knowing God and his Word (the Bible) and in serving God and others.
God is just; Santa is unjust – He tells children that he will reward them if they are good – particular if they are obedient to their parents – but then he distributes his gifts, not according to his stated criteria, but according to how rich the children’s parents are. A bad little rich boy will get much nicer presents than a good little poor boy. That is not just. Moreover, he never suggests that children be obedient to God.
God is merciful; Santa is merciless – In one sense, Santa is merciful in that he gives undeserved gifts – i.e. the treatment of the bad little rich boy above – but his mercy is bogus, for it is not extended in the context of the truth, but rather in the context of a lie (that we live in a godless, savior-less, ultimately unjust world where sin has no eternal consequences).
Again, who is Santa Claus?
Santa’s name and activities betray him. SANTA = SATAN (just move the N two places to the right, and you have the name of the great Deceiver and the Father of Lies himself) and CLAUS = CLAWS (just replace the U with a W – the sound remains the same – and you have Satan’s essential activity: getting his talons into people’s fleshly nature). Disguising himself as Santa Claus, Satan usurps Jesus’ place at His own birthday party and commences the corruption of souls at their most impressionable age, when they are toddlers. That he does so with the help of their parents – the very people to whom God has given the responsibility of protecting them from the depredations of the Evil One and of raising them in the knowledge and love of the Holy One, who is God-the-Son, the Lord Jesus Christ – is stunning in its cleverness and audacity.
That brings me to my conclusion: Santa Claus (or Satan’s Claws) is pure evil!
© 2016 John Holbrook Jr.