December 2001


Santa: Exposed!
By David M. McNabb

The Holy Bible - the written Word of God containing the Old and New Testaments - is a masterpiece of literature. Authored by the Creator, and recorded by chosen men of God, this literary work transcends all barriers. Its writings are relevant to all mankind, regardless of age, sex, race, culture or social standing. The God of creation wrote it to all humanity.

Because of this fact, it contains the answers to every question. "Why are we here? How did we get here? Where are we going? How should we live?" All these and more are dealt with in God's holy word. Thus, we are admonished to look into God's word, as into a mirror (James 1:23,24), for it will reveal who we truly are and how we measure up to it.

Likewise, the Lord told us that we will know others "by their fruits." (Matt. 7:15-20) Although Jesus was at this instant referring specifically to false prophets, this works across the board. We are all known by our fruits.

Now, in nature, certain things are edible and others are not. There are different ways to find out which are good for food. One way would be to try it. If you don't die or get sick, then it was okay to eat (whether or not it was tasty). Otherwise, it wasn't. But that is not a practical way of knowing. Sometimes the berry won't make you immediately sick, because the poison is in low doses, but over time the effects will be seen. Either way, you don't want to put yourself and others at risk, even if by ignorance. The other way is to do research. You go to the library and find a book on fruits, roots, trees, etc. and study what may be eaten.

In like manner, if the Lord told us to know them by their fruits, He must have written a book telling us how to know their fruits. That is a wonderful characteristic of the Bible.

This being the holiday season, out come the icons of Christmas. The most familiar - Santa Claus and the Christmas tree - are found around the world (particularly in the northern hemisphere), and are not necessarily associated with Christmas. In Russia, for instance, the Yolka (Christmas tree) and Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost or Santa) are associated with their New Year's celebration.

Is it possible that the Holy Scriptures would identify Santa Claus, though they were written between 2,000 and 4,000 years ago in the region now known as the Mideast? Yes!

What do we know about Santa? First, he's very old, as evidenced by his white hair and long white beard. He wears red. He knows whether your naughty or nice, and makes a list. Now, he knows all about you because he sees you when you are both asleep and awake. He comes during the night bearing gifts. He enters the house through the chimney. He gives gifts according to merit (presents for the good kids, coal for the bad ones).

Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep." (John 10:1-2) Jesus just called our dear Santa a thief and a robber! In verse 10 of that same chapter, Jesus defines the ultimate goal of a thief, saying, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy."

How can Santa be called a thief? And how can this kindly, old, gift-bearing man come to steal, kill and destroy?

He comes to steal. He steals the show. Christmas, which many Christians observe as the time of Christ's birth, is usurped in large degree by this pretender. He steals the honor of the moment by imitating the characteristics of Christ himself.

Santa is very old, but it is Christ who is called the Ancient of Days, and whose hair was white like wool, as white as snow. (Dan. 7:9; Rev. 1:14) Santa wears red, but it is Jesus who is clothed with a vesture dipped in blood in Rev. 19:13. Santa is claimed to see into people's hearts, but Psalm 139 declares, "O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether."

Jesus said, in Rev. 22:12, "Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." He, not Santa, is the gift-giver.

Having stolen our, and our children's, attention, Santa the thief also seeks to kill and destroy. WHAT? How can you possibly say that about Santa? What harm could he possibly do?

Santa and Christmas are inseparable. Jesus and Christmas are inseparable. We teach our children that Christ came (was born) on Christmas 2,000 years ago. We further teach them that Santa has been coming on Christmas ever since. One day, our children realize that we have been lying to them about Santa all along - that he is some fictitious character based very loosely on a nice man who actually did exist, but whom none of the legend of Santa actually fits. That having been realized, then other things taught them by their elders must come under scrutiny - starting with those surrounding the holiday in question. Did Jesus exist? Was he born on Christmas? Was he the son of God? The legend of Santa, this thief of "the night before Christmas," achieves the desired effect: tremors in the faith of the young.

Unlike Santa, Jesus doesn't sneak in. He is standing at the door and knocking right now, asking us to let Him in. (Rev. 3:20) Would you do so now?

How can God be sure we are His children? He said how in Isaiah 63:8, "Surely they are my people, children that will not lie." Satan is a liar and the father of it. Satan is the origin of the Santa Claus lie. Let us be children of God, standing for the truth. And let us do it for our children's sake.