As you probably know Santa Claus was based on the historical man, St. Nicholas of Myra, who lived from a.d. 270 to 343. He was the bishop of a church in Myra, not far from Nicea when the first council was held there in a.d. 325. Although we cannot be sure Bishop Nicholas attended the council, it certainly is likely. Several later accounts or legends report that Nicholas not only attended the council but at one moment flew into a rage and slapped Arius across his face. Here is a version that I found on the Lutheran Witness:
Archive for the 'holiday related' Category
This is what Easter is suppose to be about. When you strip away all the commercialism and pagan customs, it is about remembering why we can escape the death penalty we all deserve as sinful humans. It was this one human man, the 2nd Adam, the Messiah of Almighty Yahweh that died an undeserved death in our place and became the FIRSTFRUITS of those who are asleep!
Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.
A new year and a new decade has just begun today. Many people use this time of year to reflect upon the past year and set their New Year’s resolutions or goals of things that they would like to change for the coming year. Many of those resolutions are quickly broken by the end of the day.
As Christians, we should be continually reflecting upon our lives and “cleaning house” so to speak. We need to sweep away the bad habits that slowly and insidiously creep into our lives that are not holy or pleasing to our God. Some sin becomes such a habit, that it sets itself up as a stronghold in our lives. We become a slave to this habitual sin and we feel oppressed. We feel we cannot escape it. This sin becomes a false god in our lives.
This year my wife and I decided to celebrate Hanukkah with our family. We enjoyed it immensely and found it to be entirely compatible with biblical Christianity. My son Noah, asked for a couple of nights afterward if we could do Hanukkah that night, but we had to explain to him that it only lasts for eight days. Maybe you would like to celebrate it next year.
Jesus v. Santa
Tell your friends.
In many people’s minds, the idea that Christmas evolved from Pagan feasts is given more credence by the fact that many Christmas customs were observed as part of Pagan religion and culture. Yule logs, holly, mistletoe, and evergreen decorations all play a part in many different Pagan festivals. But does that mean that they all stem from the same source? Lights and trees, revelry and gift-giving are common to many different celebrations in many different cultures. But this doesn’t prove that they are derived from the same source. If Christians use them at Christmas, why assume they were all taken from Paganism?
Here are some good thoughts from John Piper’s wife, Noel:
Over the years, we have chosen not to include Santa Claus in our Christmas stories and decorations. There are several reasons.
First, fairy tales are fun and we enjoy them, but we don’t ask our children to believe them.
Second, we want our children to understand God as fully as they’re able at whatever age they are. So we try to avoid anything that would delay or distort that understanding. It seems to us that celebrating with a mixture of Santa and manger will postpone a child’s clear understanding of what the real truth of God is. It’s very difficult for a young child to pick through a marble cake of part-truth and part-imagination to find the crumbs of reality.
This is a condensed excerpt from a new article on my web site. Every year when the Holidays roll around we get the usual circulated messages about Christmas. One sector of Christendom cries, “Let’s put Christ back in Christmas” and “Jesus is the reason for the season!” Meanwhile another sector says we can’t put Christ back in Christmas because he was never there to begin with. They claim that Christmas is a Pagan feast and any Christian who observes it is committing idolatry. Obviously both sides can’t be right. Is it Pagan? Is it Christian? Is it both? Is it neither? This article is an attempt to sort it out.
In Luke 1:32-33, the angels give us the tip off that it’s all about Jesus being the Christ, the King of an everlasting Kingdom, who will be anointed by the Spirit of God: “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the LORD God will give him the throne of his father David; and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and his kingdom will have no end.”