Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What Do You Mean There's No Santa??!!

Gifts Lying Under a Tree

Today, many children - even children of Christian families - will be getting up to see what gifts "Santa" has brought them.  We never misled our children about the myths of Santa.  It didn't have anything to do with whether it was right or wrong to celebrate Christmas; we just couldn't justify lying to our children.

I can remember finding out that Santa was not real at around age 6.  I had gone to my mother's room and was sitting on her bed watching the typical Christmas shows (i.e. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, etc.).  Also on the bed - unbeknownst to me - were some of the things "Santa" was going to give me in the morning.  I had seen the Toys R'Us bag and the items in them, but just didn't think much of it.  Mom was wrapping presents for the family and maybe those were just some of them.  My focus was on my shows.

However, when my Mom came in and saw me, she became quite excited and quickly pulled the things off of the bed.  Again, I paid no attention as my focus was on the TV.  Then, the next morning, I saw all of those items under the tree marked as things that "Santa" had given.

As the realization hit me, I looked at my Mom and shouted, "These aren't from Santa!  I saw these in the Toys R'Us bag on your bed!" "No you didn't.", my Mom insisted, "Those are from Santa."

"Then how did Santa get in our apartment?  We don't have a chimney?" I asked.  "Santa also has a key for every apartment." my Mom replied.

That one stumped me for a minute.  Then, as I looked more closely at one of the items (a candy cane filled with M&Ms), I noticed the remnants of a Toys R'Us tag and knew.  I then asked, "So does Santa Claus shop at Toys R'Us?!"  My Mom didn't have a response for that one except to say, "Just open your gifts!"

I did just that; proceeded to open my gifts.  However, in the back of my mind, I was really disappointed and wondered why she had lied to me.  I am being completely honest when I tell you that at that very moment, everything she had ever told me became suspect.  If she had lied about this, then what else had she lied about?  What else was I believing which was not true?

Many parents seem to protect the myth of Santa Claus like they are preserving some time of innocence or belief in the impossible for their children.  Yet, I wonder if such parents ever consider the impact of this decision to knowingly and repeatedly lie to their children?  Do they think the children will look back on this time with fondness and joy?  I didn't.  The lessons I learned - at the age of 6 - in realizing that Santa was not real were:
  1. People I loved would lie to me when it suited their purposes
  2. Lying was okay as long as the motives were "good"
How does it affect a child's 'innocence' to realize that the ones they trust have been lying to them, even when questioned directly in the matter?  What does it do for a child's 'belief in the impossible' to learn that when they believed, there was no truth in it?  Are we not instead teaching our children to carry over these same 'lessons' into Christianity?

Children will remember what we have told
them about Jesus upon realizing that
Santa is not real...and it will cause them
to wonder if belief in Jesus is
just as much a myth as Santa.
How can we in good conscience expect the testimony of our lives for Christ and professed faith in Him to be taken seriously by ones we have defied that witness to by lying and promoting fantasy as truth?  I tell you that - apart from the pagan roots of Christmas - great disservice is done to children whose parents play along with this deception.  The use of 'situational ethics' (vs. the principles of God's word) will be the longest lasting memory you provide them.
situational ethics: a Christian ethical theory that was principally developed in the 1960s by the then Episcopal priest Joseph Fletcher. It basically states that sometimes other moral principles can be cast aside in certain situations if love is best served.   As long as Love is your intention, the end justifies the means.  In Fletcher's mind, situational ethics validated his support of both euthanasia and abortion.
If we have not honored the word of God in our lives (even in so simple a thing as not encouraging our children to believe a lie), then nothing we tell them about Christ will matter.  The most such will produce is religious hypocrites who confess faith with their mouths, but in their deeds deny Him.  They may even grow up to be Christians, but it will be in spite of our example and not because of it. 

I do not mean to come down heavy on those who continue to propagate these lies to their children.  I simply see the pervasiveness of the 'Santa myth' as one of Satan's earliest attacks against children ascribing to true faith in God.  Teaching children that lying is okay, that their parents are liars, and that faith is not based in reality does more to discount a witness for Christ than most anything else for parents are called to rear their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Are we just Christians in name only: going to Church regularly and saying all the right Churchy phrases?  Or, do we really believe?  Do we really believe that we must live as God says we are to live?  Do we really believe that we are to live after the Spirit and not the flesh?  Do we really believe that we must not love the world and neither that which is in the world?  Do we really believe that all liars will find their place in Hell?

More important than the issue of Santa Claus, remember that children see a lot more than that for which we give them credit.  They can see hypocrisy very easily.  What is the governing authority in our homes?  Is it family tradition, the ways of the world, or the word of God?


  1. We never told our children about Santa and they understood gifts came from us and grandparents. Seemed a lot easier than lying.

    I have listened to many parents extol the virtues of teaching their children to believe in Santa. Rather sad to have your child believe a lie.

  2. I agree with your comments about Santa Claus, but in the Bible Rehab lied and God Blessed her. I do think that there are times we have to lie to save someones life. Like the story of the woman who hid Jews from the Nazi's and when the Nazi's asked her if she had Jews in her home she said no, but the truth was she did have Jews in her home, if she would have told the truth the Jews would have been sent to concentration camps and killed. So there are times when you have to lie to save someone's life.

  3. AMEN!!!!! The truth in black and white, this is really good, it brings back memories of my santa shattering days, well for us Santa never came to the third world countries, so expecting a gift wasn't on our minds, but just the belief of it was trilling, then to find out that it wasn't true smh! mann lol, but I love your post, it shows that parents must/should play a more vital part in the beliefs of their children, parents are given the mandate to carry on a Godly legacy from God's word, if all those fairy tale lies are part of that legacy, well that's deception added from the start, I pray that many parents, christian parents, wake up, thanks again, God bless, 1 Love.

  4. Well said. Parents must guard themselves against hypocrisy which is a doorway to the enemy.

    Its best said by scripture: The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.

    Parents are sending their children to look for their blessings under trees instead of praising Yahweh!

    Also re: Rehab - I know a lot of people think this woman was righteous but let examine the scripture on this:

    JOSHUA 1:2
    Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.

    JOSHUA 2:1
    Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove[a] to spy secretly, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there.

    JOSHUA 2:8
    8 Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, 9 and said to the men: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. 12 Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, 13 and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.”


    I believe those who want to present Rehab in this way are like the Lot camp. Someone who didn't repent but got spared the destruction. Also ties into this situation ethics outlook. The house of Rehab was a spiritual contaminant to the children of Israel as they should have been destroyed as the rest of Jericho.

  5. I agree totally. Why are we so suprised when our children turn away from God, was that just another lie also.

    Lying is Lying. Christians who lie will go to the lake of fire even for lying about Father Christmas. Thou shalt not bare false witness to thy neighbour.

  6. I think its important to address the trojan horse before people see it for truth. To say that its ok to lie at times to save lives is a lie in itself and if you believe that then you need to be BORN AGAIN. I dont say that to be mean. I say that because we must contend for truth. Secondly telling lies about santa being real is not a life or death situation for the kid. No one is about to kill the kid so lying about santa is not saving their lives from someone killing them. Its foolish to even compare the two.

    Now, as for Rahab, to say that her lying saved all of Israel is to say that Satan is stronger than the Lord. I say this brcause God is ALL TRUTH AND CANNOT LIE. Satan is the father of lies and the truth is not in him. So to say that Rahab had to lie to save the lives of the spies that went into Canaan is foolish. It says that God had to depend on satan to bring his plan into fruition and he needed the help of an idolator to protect his faithful people. God is so much greater than that. Did Rahab lie...Yes, however God could have delivered the spies even if she told them the truth. He already had given them the land and promised them the victory so her lie was not needed. God worked around her carnality because she believed on his greatness because of the victories the children of Israel had in canaan. Most were impossible without the aid of the almighty so she believed on the true and living God because of it. Does this make sense?

  7. One more thing. Rahab is an example of those outside of Israel that came to a knowledge and belief of the Lord. Yes she served the gods of Canaan but upon seeing God's power over those false gods, she believed and even in her feeble attempt to show kindness, she turned to belief in the Lord to be spared. I may be wrkng but i believe she is lived amongst israelites after that and in Christ's lineage. She is an old testiment example of adoption into the family. Uraiah the hittite is another example of a hdathen converted to faith in the true and living God. The hittites were enemies of God but Uraiah (the light of the Lord) was converted and fought for Israel valiently. Old testiment forshadowing of gentiles grafted into the vine.

  8. Hello All,

    There have been a number of comments about Rahab. I think it is important to note that she is listed as one of the "Heroes of faith" in Hebrews Chapter 11. If God has determined to reference her so, then He must have looked favorably upon her.

    We should consider that nowhere does Scripture say she was blessed because she lied, nor was it God who directed her to lie. When God blesses us, such is not a sign-off on our sin. It is a demonstration of His grace in spite of our sin; and hopefully with the affect of moving us away from our sin.

    Rahab was blessed because she had the faith to see and know that the God of Israel is indeed the One & True God. She chose therefore to side with Israel rather than her own people and continued to reside with Israel afterwards (Joshua 6:25). As kgore shared above, she is an example of an idolator who came to a knowledge and belief of the Lord.

    We know that God hates lies, yet we also know that allowing those who continually reject His truths to believe a lie is part of His judgment against them (I Kings 22:19-23; II Thess. 2:10-12).

    I also agree with kgore that Rahab has a special place in Bible history as an ancestor to Jesus Himself.

    Just adding my thoughts to the mix.

  9. I have heard Zac Poonen teach that we should not use Old Testament people as examples/excuses because they did not and could not have the Spirit living in them. Since we have the gift of the Holy Spirit constantly living in us we have power to live free of sin unlike the OT people.

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      I have heard Pastor Poonen say the same, specifically in relation to Job I think. I agree though. When we are reading about the Old Testament figures, these are individuals who were not born again. As you say, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we have the ability to overcome sin. Thank God!

    2. Hi. There are various people of the Hebrew scriptures (OT) who had the Spirit of God, careful reading of the Bible will show this - Micah, Isaiah etc etc. Are you saying they were not God's and have perished just because they were before the time of our Lord Jesus coming to the earth? That sounds wrong. Abraham was an 'OT figure', yet we are clearly told in Romans, for example, about the faith of Abraham - he clearly had a relationship with the true God, despite his background. Pastor Poonen is mistaken on this, I believe, according to the Bible's examples. Read Daniel, Ezekiel etc. How could Zac Poonen say they could not have the Spirit in them??? Some others had the Spirit just come upon them at certain moments (e.g in the book of Judges), but to make a blanket statement as has been declared is error.

    3. Hi Susanne-FaithWoman,

      I think you may have misunderstood the comments (probably because neither Anonymous nor myself went into great detail about Pastor Poonen's statements).

      The New Testament Christian has a "promise" of the Spirit which is very different from what the Old Testament figures experienced (Gal. 3:14; Eph. 1:13). We do not simply have access to the Spirit of God or have the ability for the Spirit to come upon us for a particular work (as did the Old Testament figures). Rather, the Holy Spirit can now reside permanently within a believer as a seal of redemption, performing a transformative work by molding us into the image of Jesus.

      "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." John 14:16-17

      Jesus told His followers that they "knew" the Spirit because He dwelt "with" them, but that He would eventually be "in" them. This is the major difference about which Pastor Poonen spoke, and it has nothing to do with whether the Old Testament figures were saved. It simply references the fact that after Pentecost, God's people could now experience the promise of the Spirit in a way that the Old Testament figures could not. The permanent, transformative indwelling of the Holy Spirit means that we actually have power to overcome sin. The Old Testament believers were still slaves to sin, but through Jesus' sacrifice and the Holy Spirit's work, we are no longer slaves to sin.

      Bottom line, We should not comfort ourselves by saying things like, "Well, Job got frustrated and depressed"....or, "Elijah just wanted to give up and die," etc. as if their reactions validate our own. Instead, we need to understand that we have been given a power to rise above sin that they did not have. Therefore, our response to sin should be different; we are held to a higher standard for God has empowered us to live after the Spirit and not the flesh.

      So while we just glossed over Pastor Poonen's statements in that area, his teaching was not unbiblical at all. I am sorry if our brief dialogue brought confusion though.

      Hope that helps!


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