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Standing Firm In Christ

Santa Claus, Imitation Of Jesus Christ

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Not if it is going to be an hour and a half and without a description of what I am about to watch.

 

And before you say that I am attacking anyone, I am not. ;)

This sounds like a good standard to be applied toward sermons. That way we can decide whether we want to listen to it or not.

And before you say that I am attacking anyone, I am not. :rolleyes:

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Here is a very good article if you prefer to read. Its very long, as well, so maybe save it and read it in bits. The nice thing about it being in writing, is it also affords opportunity to research the info.  http://www.av1611.org/othpubls/santa.html

 

Here is a small snippet of it: (And yes, this is a SMALL snippet, its a long article) This is one of my favorite parts:

 

"Some other well known titles given to St. Nick’s bizarre companion is a demon, evil one, the devil and Satan. One of his dark duties was to punish children and "gleefully drag them to hell."

The following references are provided to demonstrate the "devil" who accompanies St. Nicholas is a well documented fact. In every forerunner of Santa this dark and diabolic character appears.

Christmas historian Miles Clement relates that no "satisfactory account has yet been given" to the origins of these demons and devils that appear with St. Nicholas. It is the Christkind who brings the presents, accompanied by one of its many devilish companions, Knecht Rupprecht, Pelznickle, Ru-Klas. . . (Del Re, Gerard and Patricia. The Christmas Almanack. New York: Random House, 2004, p. 70)

In many areas of Germany, Hans Trapp is the demon who accompanies Christkind on its gift-giving round. . . (Del Re, Gerard and Patricia. The Christmas Almanack. New York: Random House, 2004, p. 75)

Another Christmas demon from lower Austria, Krampus or Grampus, accompanies St. Nicholas on December 6. (Del Re, Gerard and Patricia. The Christmas Almanack. New York: Random House, 2004, p. 94)

Like Santa, Sinterklaas and the Dark Helper were also supposed to have the peculiar habit of entering homes through the chimney. . . (Renterghem, Tony van. When Santa Was a Shaman. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1995, p. 102)

In Sarajevo in Bosnia, Saint Nickolas appears with gifts for the children in spite of the war and shelling. He is assisted by a small black devil who scares the children. (Renterghem, Tony van. When Santa Was a Shaman. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1995, p. 102)

Ruprecht here plays the part of bogeyman, a black, hairy, horned, cannibalistic, stick-carrying nightmare. His role and character are of unmitigated evil, the ultimate horror that could befall children who had been remiss in learning their prayers and doing their lessons. He was hell on earth. (Siefker, Phyllis. Santa Claus, Last of the Wild Men: The Origins and Evolution of Saint Nicholas. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1997, p. 155)

In Holland, Sinterklaas (Santa Claus) wore a red robe while riding a white horse and carried a bag of gifts to fill the children's stockings. A sinister assistant called Black Pete proceeded Sinterklaas in the Holland tradition to seek out the naughty boys and girls who would not receive gifts. ("History of Santa Claus," <www.christmas-decorations-gifts-store.com/history_of_santa.htm?>)

The Christian figure of Saint Nicholas replaced or incorporated various pagan gift-giving figures such as the Roman Befana and the Germanic Berchta and Knecht Ruprecht. . . He was depicted wearing a bishop's robes and was said to be accompanied at times by Black Peter, an elf whose job was to whip the naughty children.("Santa Claus" Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 99)

Maybe a satisfactory account has been given. Let us keep reading.It can hardly be said that any satisfactory account has yet been given of the origins of this personage, or of his relation to St. Nicholas, Pelzmarte, and monstrous creatures like the Klapperbock. (Miles, Clement A. Christmas in Ritual and Tradition Christian and Pagan. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1912, p. 232)

Previously, we established the peculiar fact that today’s Santa Claus and St. Nicholas are not the same. They never have been. Santa Claus is dressed in a long shaggy beard, furs, short, burly and obese. The legends of St. Nicholas portrayed a thin, tall, neatly dressed man in religious apparel. You could not possibly find two different characters.

The startling fact is, Santa Claus is not the Bishop St. Nicholas – but his Dark Helper! If Nicholas, the ascetic bishop of fourth-century Asia Manor, could see Santa Claus, he would not know who he was. (Del Re, Gerard and Patricia. The Christmas Almanack. New York: Random House, 2004, pp. 138,141)

So the legends of Saint Nicholas afford but a slight clew to the origin of Santa Klaus,–alike, indeed, in name but so unlike in all other respects. (Walsh, William S. The Story of Santa Klaus. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1970, p. 54)

 

Artist Thomas Nast is rightfully credited for conceiving the image of our modern day Santa, but Nast’s model for Santa was not the Bishop St. Nicholas but his dark companion, the evil Pelznickle.In certain German children’s games, the Saint Nicholas figure itself is the Dark Helper, a devil who wants to punish children, but is stopped from doing so by Christ. (Renterghem, Tony van. When Santa Was a Shaman. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1995, p. 105)

Black Pete, the ‘grandfather’ of our modern Santa Claus. Known in Holland as Zwarte Piet, this eighteenth-century German version, is—like his ancient shamanic ancestor—still horned, fur-clad, scary, and less than kind to children. Although portrayed as the slave helper of Saint Nicholas, the two are, in many villages, blended into one character. This figure often has the name Nikolass or Klaus, but has the swarthy appearance of the Dark Helper. (Renterghem, Tony van. When Santa Was a Shaman. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1995, p. 98)

In Thomas Nast: His Period and His Pictures, biographer Albert Bigelow Paine, documents that Nast’s Santa was Pelznickle.rupprec.jpgThe Christmas demon Knecht Rupprecht first appeared in a play in 1668 and was condemned by the Roman Catholic as being a devil in 1680. . . To the Pennsylvania Dutch, he is known as Belsnickel. Other names for the same character are Pelznickle, "Furry Nicholas," and Ru-Klas, "Rough Nicholas." From these names, it is easy to see that he is looked upon as not merely a companion to St. Nicholas, but almost another version of him. (Del Re, Gerard and Patricia. The Christmas Almanack. New York: Random House, 2004, pp. 93,94)

Santa historian and author, Tony van Renterghem also documents Nast’s Santa Claus was not Saint Nicholas, but the evil Black Pete–the devil. But on Christmas Eve, to Protestant and Catholic alike, came the German Santa Claus, Pelze-Nicol, leading a child dressed as the Christkind, and distributing toys and cakes, or switches, according as the parents made report. It was this Pelze-Nicol – a fat, fur-clad, bearded old fellow, at whose hands he doubtless received many benefits – that the boy in later years was to present to us as his conception of the true Santa Claus – a pictorial type which shall lone endure. (Paine, Albert Bigelow. Thomas Nast: His Period and His Pictures. New York: Chelsea House, 1980, p. 6)

Santa researcher, Phyllis Siefker, echoes Renterghem’s conclusion: nast.jpgThomas Nast was assigned to draw this Santa Claus, but having no idea what he looked like, drew him as the fur-clad, small, troll-like figure he had known in Bavaria when he was a child. This figure was quite unlike the tall Dutch Sinterklaas, who was traditionally depicted as a Catholic bishop. Who he drew was Saint Nicholas’ dark helper, Swarthy, or Black Pete (a slang name for the devil in medieval Dutch). . . (Renterghem, Tony van. When Santa Was a Shaman. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1995, pp. 95-96)

It seems
ob
vious, therefore, that Sa
nt
a Claus can be neither the alter ego of Sai
nt
Nicholas nor the brainchild of Washington Irving. . . If we peek behind the imposing Sai
nt
Nicholas,
we see, glowering in the shadows,
the sai
nt
’s repr
ob
ate companion, Black Pete
. He, like Sa
nt
a, has a coat of hair, a disheveled beard, a bag, and ashes on his face. . .
In fact, it is this creature, rather than Irving’s creation or an Asian sai
nt
, who fathered Sa
nt
a Claus.
(Siefker, Phyllis. Sa
nt
a Claus,
Last of the Wild Men: The Origins and Evolution of Sai
nt
Nicholas.
Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1997, p. 15)

By the way, St. Nicholas did not come down the chimney. It was his fur-clad, dark companion that came down the chimney. One of the reasons his sidekick was called the "Dark One" or "Black Peter" was because he was normally covered in soot and ashes from his chimney travels. The "dark companion" also carried the bag, distributed the goodies and punished the bad boys and girls.

It is significant that Black Peter, Pelze-Nicol, Knecht Rupprecht and all of St. Nicholas companions are openly identified as the devil. Children [in Holland] are told that Black Peter enters the house through the chimney, which also explained his black face and hands, and would leave a bundle of sticks or a small bag with salt in the shoe instead of candy when the child had been bad. ("Saint Nicholas," Wikipedia Encyclopedia. <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas>)

To the medieval Dutch
, Black Peter was an
ot
her name for the devil
. Somewhere along the way, he was subdued by St. Nicholas and forced to be his serva
nt
. (Del Re, Gerard and Patricia.
The Christmas Almanack.
New York: Random House, 2004, p. 44)

In Denmark, Sweden, and Norway creatures resembling b
ot
h the
Schimmelreiter
and the
Klapperbock
are or were to be met with at Christmas. . . People seem to have had a bad conscience about these things, for there are stories
connecting them with the Devil
. A girl, for instance, who danced at midnight with a straw
Julebuk
, found that her partner was no puppet but
the Evil One himself
. (Miles, Cleme
nt
A.
Christmas in Ritual and Tradition Christian and Pagan.
New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1912, p. 202)

Thus, in parts of Europe, the Church turned Herne i
nt
o Sai
nt
Nicholas’ captive,
chained Dark Helper, none
ot
her than Satan, the Dark One, symbolic of all evil.
(Re
nt
erghem, Tony van.
When Sa
nt
a Was a Shaman.
St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1995, p. 97)

One of the bizarre jobs of St. Nick’s devilish helper was to "gleefully drag sinners" to hell!

 

 On the eve of December 6, the myth told that this bearded, white-haired old ‘saint,’ clad in a wide mantel, rode through the skies on a white horse, together with his slave, the swarthy Dark Helper. This reluctant helper had to disperse gifts to good people, but much preferred to threaten them with his broom-like scourge, and, at a sign of his master, would gleefully drag sinners away to a place of eternal suffering. (Renterghem, Tony van. When Santa Was a Shaman. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1995, p. 111)"

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Can't this wait until Christmas when we fight and fuss EVERY year about this subject?

Well, but here we're just discussing one very specific part.

 

Here's the catch-I actually don't see a problem with the myth, the story, for fun, of Santa Claus. My problem is when we tell our kids that he's real and use it as a tool to keep them obedient. Its the lying to the children.

 

But again, as a fun story. like any fairy tale, it is entertaining and there have been spome cute and funny movies and cartoon made over time about it, and those, I think, are harmless as long as they are kept in their perspective.

 

Of course, many know here that I like superhero stuff-same thing. I hear oh, Superman is evil for this reason, (yes I am well aware of the messianic overtones there) and Batmn represents Satan, (not sure about that-what the ears?) and such, but again, like so much, as long as they are taken for purely entertainment value and nothing more, they are pretty harmless.

  On the Superman messianic issue., in fact, I just watched the new man of steel last night, and when he is confused and talking to a priest about whether he should give himself up to save humanity, there is a carefully-placed stained glass window of Jesus in Gethsemane weeping before His death-pretty clearly not an accident. So yeah, I admit I have some problems there.

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I raised my kids NOT believing in Santa clause. They got a lot of funny looks from "old folks" when they asked my 4 year old twins were they "ready for santa clause" and they answered "there's no santa clause" . They also got into a lot of trouble at school for telling other kids that.

 

Here's my reasoning.

 

If I have my children believe in someone they cannot see, that brings them "gifts" for no reason, and later they find out I was lying to them, How will I ever explain a God (they cannot see) that has given the greatest gift of all (for nothing we have done).

 

10 years of "suprise" and "joy" and "fun" once a year is not worth an eternity without Christ.

 

Besides.....just move the "n" in santa to the end. Pretty clear now.

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Until y'all mentioned it here, only thing I knew about Santa was that he is a mythical figure that brings good kids presents via reindeer from the North Pole.  All my kids were raised believing in Santa and we kept it going for as long as we could.  All of them have made professions of faith and are saved the bible's way, even while still believing in Santa.  But now my youngest is 9 and found out he ain't real.  Same with the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy but that hasn't stopped her from putting teeth under her pillow or running around the house with her sisters looking for easter eggs.  These are secular American holidays with a religious undertone.  I still hold the line with Halloween but that wall is about half crumbled by now.

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In the video above, one can see how much the world has tried to attribute to a mythical character attributes of Jesus.

For instance, omniscient... he knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows when you've been bad or good

Watch the video.  You'll be shocked at all the similarities between the mythical character and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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I raised my kids NOT believing in Santa clause. They got a lot of funny looks from "old folks" when they asked my 4 year old twins were they "ready for santa clause" and they answered "there's no santa clause" . They also got into a lot of trouble at school for telling other kids that.

 

Here's my reasoning.

 

If I have my children believe in someone they cannot see, that brings them "gifts" for no reason, and later they find out I was lying to them, How will I ever explain a God (they cannot see) that has given the greatest gift of all (for nothing we have done).

 

10 years of "suprise" and "joy" and "fun" once a year is not worth an eternity without Christ.

 

Besides.....just move the "n" in santa to the end. Pretty clear now.

I hope you are not implying that a person who celebrates christmas is doomed to hell.

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I hope you are not implying that a person who celebrates christmas is doomed to hell.

Not at all. I just hope that one day in heaven we don't have to find out someone we know is not there because of the Santa clause lie.

I still have fun and joy at Christmas but it's for the right reasons. I have all the same things I had as a kid just no Santa.

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and Batmn represents Satan, (not sure about that-what the ears?) 

 

Probably because he's...The DARK Knight.  :bleh:

 

Plus, as a vigilante, he breaks the law.   :scratchchin:   It's never right to do wrong in order to do right.   :makmiday:

 

Plus he lies and wrecks havoc.   :verymad:

 

Hey...I just described mankind!   :nuts:

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Probably because he's...The DARK Knight.  :bleh:Only because he works at night

 

Plus, as a vigilante, he breaks the law.   :scratchchin:   It's never right to do wrong in order to do right.   :makmiday:  The comissioner allows it, hence, he has police approval. No law-breaking. Just jaw-breaking.

 

Plus he lies and wrecks havoc.   :verymad:Well, he never said he WASN'T Bruce Wayne, now did he?

 

Hey...I just described mankind!   :nuts:Indeed, but not as cool as...BATMAN!

:boxing:

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My view is, the modern Santa Claus that everyone recognises today is a marketing theme begun by Coca Cola and now used by pretty much the whole commercial sector to remind us each Christmas that we are expected to buy loads of stuff to prove we love our families. The original history of the character is about as relevant as the pagan origins of the names of the days of the week, i.m.o.

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That's true. These days it's all about the god of commercialism, the idol of materialism, the desire to be given more free stuff and the opportunity to "buy" love and friendship through extravagant gift giving.

 

The vast majority of people have no idea of history that occurred just a few decades ago and no clue at all to anything that happened longer ago than that.

 

If our focus is on Christ, we won't be distracted by Santa or other things and we won't use myths and fairy tales in a way that's damaging to our families or the testimony of Christ.

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My view is, the modern Santa Claus that everyone recognises today is a marketing theme begun by Coca Cola and now used by pretty much the whole commercial sector to remind us each Christmas that we are expected to buy loads of stuff to prove we love our families. The original history of the character is about as relevant as the pagan origins of the names of the days of the week, i.m.o.

And this is why people don't care about the purity of the Bible, because everyone figures that origins aren't important-who cares where Santa Claus or the Ishtar Bunny or Halloween come from-its not important! And so, why should I care about where we get our Bible(s)? Its not important: what's important about anything is how people perceive it today, not back in some old musty, dusty past! It only matter as it is relevant to me today!

 

And this is why there is so much error in modern Christianity-because no one cares about what things really mean. Oh, Rock Music in church? Fine! it doesn't matter what the originators and inventors of rock music intended their music to do, we have changed a few words, so its fully holy and acceptable now! I mean, I like it, so God must!  Who cares if the authors of the Greek New Testament intended to write something new that never existed in heaven or earth when they made the text behind 99% of the new versions of the Bible-their intention and thus, the manuscripts they used are meaningless to me, now, today, and so it doesn't matter.

 

Maybe if we as Christians continued to seek the old paths, if we continued to study to show ourselves approved unto God, maybe if we sought holiness, or in many cases, even understood what holiness meant, American Christianity wouldn't be the mess it is today.

 

But, no, its old, it doesn't matter. Doesnt matter where it came from, why it began, how it became thought of as 'christian'.

 

It DOES matter.

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I would say it's case-by-case, Uke. Sometimes the history of something is relevant and sometimes it isn't. In fact I even gave an example about which I expect most would agree the origins aren't relevant: the days of the week. The etymology of the words 'Monday', 'Tuesday' etc and even 'Sunday' are Pagan. Does this mean we endorse Paganism when we use those words? And should we therefore change them? I think most would say no on the grounds that the original meanings of those words are 'lost in the mists of time' and we're not invoking those meanings when we use the words today. The Bible explicitly refers to its own history, so there is no comparison.
 
It would be different if the figure of Santa Claus pointed to his own past, so that to 'get' Santa you had to understand something of that past. But he doesn't, he just points to whatever products are on sale that Christmas. People only have to 'get' shopping and presents to get Santa.
 
So why try to convince someone that when they cheer for Santa Claus they're actually, in some tenuous way, supporting some 15th century demonic Dutch mythological figure they'd never even heard of before you started talking to them about it, instead of pointing out the much more obvious fact that Santa represents a Christmas that is all about greed, gluttony and covetousness. Isn't that enough to go on?
 
Perhaps what's going on is that because we as Christians are so reluctant to speak up against those sins, we have to find something else to hang Santa Claus on, even if it's an old and long-forgotten association.

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Here is a very good article if you prefer to read. Its very long, as well, so maybe save it and read it in bits. The nice thing about it being in writing, is it also affords opportunity to research the info.  http://www.av1611.org/othpubls/santa.html

 

 

I just read this and I have to say it really gave me some pause. Moreso from the implications of how Santa Claus is put into practice than from the history. There seem to be several assumptions or preconcieved thoughts scattered throughout to make a paticular point, but there are several that warrant some attention. It's definitely made me want to investigate the issue further for myself...before my 2-yr-old starts asking the questions. Thanks for the thought-provoking link.

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I know this post stopped in March but as I was reading trough it I thought I would post my 2 cents. I have a 4 year old boy a 2 year old boy and.a 5 month old girl. They do not believe in Santa clause the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny or any other worldly fairy tales. The Bible tells us that we are a peculiar people (1 Peter 2:9). My wife homeschools our children and people consider our family crazy just because we are trying to do right by our Lord in the best way we can. I have had people accuse me of being mentally abussive to my children for not letting them believe in these worldly lies. The Bible also tells us not to be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14). We saved Christians need to start getting on the narrow path and not let the world and satan into our homes. The devil will use things that seem harmless but in the end can plant seeds of doubt in a child's mind. I didn't mean to type this much or take the thread in a different way but people I ask you to step back and look at your life are you a light for the lost or are you trudging through the muck next to them?

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Here's another thing that the devil stole from the Lord so that he could attribute it to his "Santa Claus"...

"Ho Ho"!

Zechariah 2:6 Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD.

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I know this post stopped in March but as I was reading trough it I thought I would post my 2 cents. I have a 4 year old boy a 2 year old boy and.a 5 month old girl. They do not believe in Santa clause the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny or any other worldly fairy tales. The Bible tells us that we are a peculiar people (1 Peter 2:9). My wife homeschools our children and people consider our family crazy just because we are trying to do right by our Lord in the best way we can. I have had people accuse me of being mentally abussive to my children for not letting them believe in these worldly lies. The Bible also tells us not to be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14). We saved Christians need to start getting on the narrow path and not let the world and satan into our homes. The devil will use things that seem harmless but in the end can plant seeds of doubt in a child's mind. I didn't mean to type this much or take the thread in a different way but people I ask you to step back and look at your life are you a light for the lost or are you trudging through the muck next to them?

We've encountered similar as we've sought to raise our children biblically rather than based upon the worlds model. We've been accused of depriving our children of fun, ruining their childhood, not letting them be kids, etc.

 

Santa, the tooth fairy and such are fairy tales, works of fiction, fanciful stories. They are not real. Yet many parents, even Christian parents, not only portray them as real in order to manipulate their children or just for "fun", many also tell their children the "boogeyman" is real and use that to scare their children as a means of discipline or getting them to do what the parent says.

 

We need to keep our focus upon Christ and serving Him all year and not be distracted by the various things throughout the year designed to turn peoples thoughts from reality to fantasy and worse.

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