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Standing Firm In Christ

Santa Claus, Imitation Of Jesus Christ

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Concerning Santa, there is an aspect of approach often (if not always) overlooked or ignored by both saved and lost.

 

Fantasy -- Dickens' Christmas Carol, Anne of Green Gables, kids playing Cops/ROBbers, playing church.

 

The kids playing know they aren't really cops, rOBbers, deacons, song leader, pastor or even actually in a church service.

We read, tell or relate Anne, Scrooge, the Ghost of Christmas Past, etc as fictional. If the child asks or expresses concern, fear, etc about ghosts or any other aspect of the story or its characters we reassure them it's not a real story.

 

Santa is portrayed as real and doubts are met with mild to firm reassurance of the validity of the child's belief. Have you ever known anyone (some may exist) that begins telling their child about Santa by saying "We are going to play a game about someone not real, but still fun?"

 

And yet, if a child starts seeming to believe too sincerely that their "invisible friends" (of which most every girl has some at some time in their life) are real -- parents get concerned.

 

And yet there are Christians (not all and maybe not even any here, not a pro/con Christmas post -- just the subject of a "harmless" Santa) who will defend Santa being okay for Christian homes.

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Concerning Santa, there is an aspect of approach often (if not always) overlooked or ignored by both saved and lost.
 
Fantasy -- Dickens' Christmas Carol, Anne of Green Gables, kids playing Cops/ROBbers, playing church.
 
The kids playing know they aren't really cops, rOBbers, deacons, song leader, pastor or even actually in a church service.
We read, tell or relate Anne, Scrooge, the Ghost of Christmas Past, etc as fictional. If the child asks or expresses concern, fear, etc about ghosts or any other aspect of the story or its characters we reassure them it's not a real story.
 
Santa is portrayed as real and doubts are met with mild to firm reassurance of the validity of the child's belief. Have you ever known anyone (some may exist) that begins telling their child about Santa by saying "We are going to play a game about someone not real, but still fun?"
 
And yet, if a child starts seeming to believe too sincerely that their "invisible friends" (of which most every girl has some at some time in their life) are real -- parents get concerned.
 
And yet there are Christians (not all and maybe not even any here, not a pro/con Christmas post -- just the subject of a "harmless" Santa) who will defend Santa being okay for Christian homes.

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Oops messed that up, most people that are critical of my family ( no tv no fairy tales, boogey man and homeschooling) are Christian folk.

I've actually had Christians tell me I take the Bible too literally. They claim some of "that stuff" in the Bible might have been fine and worked "back then" but we can't live like that today. What they are referring to aren't things like OT ceremonial laws either, they are referring to aspects of how Scripture says we are to live our lives, raise our children, not be conformed to the world, allowing Christ to be seen in our lives and that sort of thing.

 

I can't count the number of Christians, including many Christian parents, who say children are different today and must be raised differently. They declare even Christian children can't keep themselves from premarital sex; they 'have to have' things like TV, internet, smart phones; teenage rebellion is natural; we have to let our children sow some wild oats; it deprives children to keep them out of public schools; sports, dating and social interaction in public schools is something our children need; we need to let our children decide for themselves what they want to do; and on and on with the unbiblical nonsense.

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I've been thinking a bot more on this "Christ Mass' thing, and here's another thought I have on it.

 

It is interesting to me that many, (and I will graciously exclude anyone here on the board), believers in Christ, will ignore and wink at the many New Testament commands we are given, which are often received as little more than suggestions, (ie, Present your bodies a reasonable sacrifice..et al), which things would truly honr God, yet they relish the idea of taking a pagan-begun, Catholic-created 'holy-day', something never comanded by God, and think they can honor Him by keeping it. Many ignore and reject the most basic of commands of being a child of God, like being part of a church, the very BODY of Christ, but think that Jesus is going to be honored because they fight to keep an idolatrous 'nativity scene' in the public forum.

 

"And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.  And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace."   (Lev 10:1-3)

 

I often hear mush speculation about why the :Lord killed Nadab and Abihu here: was the fire they put on the incense taken from the wrong place? Did they somehow make their offering in the wrong way, make some mistake in the process? Yet the answer is in the text, "Which he commanded them not" And "I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified."

 

The Lord tells us how He will be worshiped-He doesn't have to say, "DON'T do this or that", because if we just DID what He COMMANDED, there would be no need. Nadab and Abihu offered a sacrifice of incense which was not their jOB to do, the Lord never told them to do so, not here and not anywhere else. In fact, what they did was to worship God according to what they had seen in Egypt, as they were big on offering ;lots of incense. It wasn't their JOB, the Lord didn't command it, He didn't WANT it, and they broke His command in doing so, and so, we killed as an example to everyone coming after: we worship the Lord the way HE has required; we honor Him by OBeying what He has told us, not by ignoring that and doing what WE think would be honoring.

 

So back to the case in point: God never commanded Christmas, never asked that Jesus' borth be celebrated at all, and certainly never commaded that we take over a pagan culture's celebrations to offer to Him-it is an offering fuill of spots and blemishes, one which he can't possibly accept, any more than He would have accepted a dead dog on the altar.

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Considering Christmas was a Catholic creation intended to put a "Christian" varnish on top of pagan celebrations in order to help secure pagans into the RCC it's little wonder Christians outside the RCC didn't celebrate this, many which came out of the RCC from the Reformation dropped Christmas too.

 

Even in "Christian America" Christmas was a dividing factor for decades. It wasn't until the 1800s Christmas really became more universal among Christians in America and was basically adopted by virtually all Christians by the 20th century. Much of the reason for the spread in acceptance of Christmas had to do with a combination of consumerism promoted by companies wanting to sell their merchandise and later generations of Christians who came from non-christmas families that decided to join the fun rather than hold to the "old ways" of their family.

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No, He sure never commanded it. Neither did He forbid it. And that's covered in Romans - something so many Christians tend to ignore about this. No, just because something isn't forbidden doesn't mean it's right to do. But at the same time, it doesn't mean it's wrong, either. (God did specifically say who was to offer incense, hence Nadab and Abihu were fully aware that they were NOT to do so.)

 

Consistency needs to be maintained.  And it isn't by many people who say that Christians who celebrate the birth of Christ are following paganism and Catholicism - in so many different ways.  An offering full of spots and blemishes? So, keeping a day to the Lord, as Romans tells us we CAN do, is unacceptable?  Somehow that just doesn't line up with Romans.

 

I'm not jabbing or attacking here, Mike. But I have to say that, while you are welcome to not like Christmas based on the fact that Catholics promoted it, you did once say that you watch Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph.  Again,I'm not attacking, but there is an inconsistency in that Frosty comes alive by a magic hat - magic, not sleight of hand. And magic comes from where, when we get down to it?  Satan.  Rudolph has a red nose, flies (as do other reindeer) and talks about Santa. If celebrating the birth of Christ is wrong, then where would the right in watching/enjoying either of these come in, since they also are rooted in paganism.  And then there are the superhero shows...mythology rooted in paganism. Right?

 

I'm sorry, but I honestly don't see how one is right and the other is wrong. Again, not trying to be personal, but it has me wondering...

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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.

 

WHile the people may not need to be cheering or Krampus or Svarty Piet, or such, when they DO cheer for Santa, who is getting the glory? Someone is, but we have to ask, who? By the way, its the same guy who gets glory when we revel in greed, gluttony and coveteousness, because he is the symbol of those things. They are all important.

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My thoughts are, if we are not honoring God when we celebrate His birth on December 25th, whether by prayer or by special services, because it is actually a pagan day , then it is equally wrong for us to worship God any day of the year since all the months on our calendars and the days of the week were all named after pagan gods.

As Christians, we should have the freedom to worship any day of the year, regardless of scorn or ridicule.  Doesn't matter if it is Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or even Halloween. 

Our attitude of worship should be a daily attitude, every day of the year.

 

*edited to remove inappropriate word.

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My thoughts are, if we are not honoring God when we celebrate His birth on December 25th, whether by prayer or by special services, because it is actually a pagan day , then it is equally wrong for us to worship God any day of the year since all the months on our calendars and the days of the week were all named after pagan gods.

As Christians, we should have the freedom to worship any day of the year, regardless of scorn or ridicule.  Doesn't matter if it is Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or even Halloween. 

Our attitude of worship should be a daily attitude, every day of the year.

 

*edited to remove inappropriate word.

Thats just silly, because the pagans have nothing to do with the days themselves-some knucklehead just gave them names, which mean nothing.

 

But now consider, say, the seventh-day Sabbath. It was given by God to Israel at Sinai, so it is completely proper for them to celebrate it on the seventh day. As a believer, I could celebrate it, if I chose, and it would be fine, though I have no right to demand it of anyone else, nor does anyone else have the right to denamnd it of me-it was given by God, and I believe that this is an example of what Rom 14 is saying about honoring days or not honoring days.

 

The same would be said about the various feasts. Their origin is of God. Each day of the week is of origin of God, regardless of what someone calls them, the days themselves are given and created by God.

 

Now, when we deal with Christmas, as a feast day, a holiday, whatever you wish to call it, we know it was specifically designed by Rome, whom we should reject, based upon pagan rituals, which we should reject, the day chosen by Rome and attached to specific pagan celebration, for the express purpose of inticing those same pagans to join with them. No other reason. This is a reindeer of a different color from just the days of the week.  This is exactly what the Lord told His people NOT to do, when he told them NOT to learn the ways of the heathen. Mannaseh was judged because he went after the ways of the heathen. israel went into captivity for following the ways of the heathen. nadab and Abihu were prOBably partially killed for following after the ways of the heathen. Yet now, under grace, we suppose its alright for us to follow after the ways of the heathen, as long as we pretend it is Jesus' birthday?

 

The Lord Jesus gave us a regular celebration that we are to do as a remembrance, a celebration perhaps, of Jesus' death, which we call the Lord's Supper. It is commanded for us to do-as far as how often we do it, the Bible doesn't specify, just, "as often as ye do it," so there seems to be some liberty in this. yet it is given as a remembrance of His death, and of course, we remember at the same His resurrection, through which we are redeemed. We also know WHEN He died and thus, when He was resurrected. The Bible tells us. So it is appropriate we celebrate it. In fact, we do so each First Day, in remembrance of His resurrection the first day, and His meeting with His disciples the same day. BUt history tells us that no true believer in Christ ever celebrated Christmas until some 150-160 years ago. before that real Christians were known for NOT celebrating it.

 

But, as we hear time and again, history means nothing to most Christians any more. We don't know our history, we don't care, it doesn't matter anymore. A sad affair.

 

Jer 6:16  "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein."  This is the attitude. No one cares about the old paths-what believers did for 1800 years no longer matters-most are completely unaware because they care so little. We can't ask for the old paths, because we don't know the old paths. Many today are like Israel who say, "We will not walk therein."

 

*Edit: on reading this, I notice I sound kind of angry-I'm not and I apologize if I come across as such. Its not meant to be personal to anyone,  not SFIC or anyone else. Please don't take is as such.

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Christmas is not a christian festival placed at a pagan time to attract pagans to Christianity, which is what we try to do still today.  Bat a pagan festival with a christian veneer to attract Christians to paganism.

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Christmas is not a christian festival placed at a pagan time to attract pagans to Christianity, which is what we try to do still today.  Bat a pagan festival with a christian veneer to attract Christians to paganism.

In some respects, it's really not that much different than how many churches today attempt to draw many in by having a band on the stage (it's not really just a preaching platform anymore if a band is playing), or by hosting Superbowl parties, or having movie nights on their big screens.

 

There is much conforming to the world in order to attract the world. That doesn't make it Christian.

 

One of the area churches took Yoga and called it "Christian Yoga" and now dozens of women flock there for "Christian Yoga classes". I've seen video clips from these classes and simply placing the word "Christian" in front of Yoga didn't make Yoga Christian.

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I must admit, I read the full article on santa claus and it was quite an eye opener! I packed up my decorative santas I had. They will no longer be a part of my Christmas decorations. Santa is one thing but what about the rest of the holiday? It is about being with family, enjoying family and some gift giving. In our family, gift giving is very limited. I only buy for my daughter and my mother, and 3 neices. That's all. So I can say I'm not all caught up in the commericialism of it either. I have a short list and limited budget. But it's also a special time of year when my mom takes her grandaughters to see the Nutcracker ballet. We also have a Christmas baking cookies day. And a large dinner on Christmas for extended family to visit. These are the things I don't have a prOBlem with yet. 

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As we read in Romans, there are many "holidays" that some attend to and others do not. The context of determining the right or wrong of participating, or not, in these comes down to our heart and our honesty.

 

For instance, many claim they celebrate Thanksgiving Day as a day to honour the Lord and give Him thanks for many things over the past year, yet the reality for many is their celebration centers around food and/or family, sports, playing games, and these days even shopping, rather than God and giving thanks.

 

We should consider the same when it comes to Christmas and other holidays as well. Are we being honest in where our heart as we celebrate those days? Are we spending Christmas Day in awe of God become flesh, marveling that God would do this for us, rejoicing Christ came to save us, celebrating the birth of the Messiah...or are we spending most of our time with matters involving gifts, food or other things?

 

Are we lifting up the day to the Lord when we gather with our lost family on a holiday (pick one) and are in the midst of their cursing, smoking, drinking, foul and off colour stories, immodest dress, course jesting and the like?

 

These are things we should ask ourselves, and also ask God to search our hearts concerning these matters.

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I must admit, I read the full article on santa claus and it was quite an eye opener! I packed up my decorative santas I had. They will no longer be a part of my Christmas decorations. Santa is one thing but what about the rest of the holiday? It is about being with family, enjoying family and some gift giving. In our family, gift giving is very limited. I only buy for my daughter and my mother, and 3 neices. That's all. So I can say I'm not all caught up in the commericialism of it either. I have a short list and limited budget. But it's also a special time of year when my mom takes her grandaughters to see the Nutcracker ballet. We also have a Christmas baking cookies day. And a large dinner on Christmas for extended family to visit. These are the things I don't have a prOBlem with yet. 

And of course, there's nothing wrong with spending special time with family-as we get older and family spreads, sometimes it these days only that we can all get together-if it happens to be such a day as Christmas, then so be it-we can be family and eat and fellowship, and not have to do it in the name of christmas, even if others are.

 

I get together with family, but I don't do gifts generally, unless its a Bible or something such as to be beneficial, even for the youngsters. BUt even getting simple gifts for family as a gesture of love and affection is fine, so long as it isn't the REASON for the season, which in reality, we all know is the case with Christmas for many.

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And the carols?  Most have some unbiblical teaching in them.

We Three Kings? and of course, any that mention them, like The First Noel. Some are okay, though I would add them into the other hymns throughout the year, just like hymns about the resurrection of Jesus, we don't save just for resurrection day, we sing them through the year-so why not sing the good ones throughout the year since that we don't know a date for.

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