For followers of Jesus, there should be no Santa in Christmas. I realize I probably lost half of you right there thinking this would be some legalistic diatribe or Scrooge-inspired missive. But if you are serious about the Lordship of Christ, I hope you’ll hear me out. Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year because of Jesus and nothing else.
The whole “good will toward men” thing happens only because the Prince of Peace was born into this world a couple of thousand years ago. It is the birth of our Savior that brings joy to the world. The peace and joy of Christmas find their source in the birth of Jesus and nowhere else.
A few years ago, a church I respected and followed online posted a picture of their senior pastor dressed up as Santa Claus when he came into the office a couple of weeks before Christmas. Something about that didn’t sit well at all with me. I grew up as a pastor’s kid and have attended many churches throughout my life, but never remember seeing Santa in the church.
A week ago, the church I attend had a special event where volunteers babysat the children of attendees so the parents could have a date night. When they posted a picture of the nursery the following Sunday, there in the middle of the young children sat a man dressed as Santa Claus. Something is very wrong here. I must say again, there is no Santa in Christmas for those who profess Jesus as Lord.
When we teach our children from a very young age to associate Christmas with Santa Claus, how will they ever grow up to marvel at the human birth of our Creator? The miracle of Christmas is not that Santa can deliver presents all over the world in a single night, but that God became flesh so He might redeem the entire planet from the death throes of sin.
When we allow the traditions of the culture to overshadow the truth of the gospel, we must recognize how deadly this is. Santa may be innocent on the surface and a symbol of good for the masses, but believers in Jesus must recognize it is yet another subtle tactic of the evil one. A focus on Santa is the same as a distraction from Jesus.
When we allow Santa Claus–or the Easter Bunny or any other secular symbol–within the walls of our churches, is it so different from the Israelites putting false idols in the holy places of God? When we teach our children about Santa, is it not akin to teaching a false gospel? This isn’t hyperbole. We have allowed the things of this world to taint and distort the holiness of God and the truth of Scripture. You can brush me off as a legalistic lunatic, but think about these things.
Does Santa have any place in the church? Should we revere him in our homes? Look around. Our world is where it is today because of allowing culture to seep into places where only God should reign. Compromise and indifference have us on the brink of disaster. Most of the tactics of Satan are subtle. He wants you to laugh and disregard teachings like these. Don’t be deceived. Be alert (1 Corinthians 16:13; 1 Peter 5:8)! There is no Santa in Christmas. There is only Christ.