Saturday, December 19, 2009

Question of the Week - Wintertime worship: Santa Claus or Jesus Christ?

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December 19, 2009

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Q: Wintertime worship: Santa Claus or Jesus Christ?

A: As I drive through my neighborhood in December, I am confronted with giants dancing on my neighbors' lawns. A 6-foot-tall Scooby-Doo sways in the breeze donning a red knit cap. An inflatable carousel that wouldn't fit in my living room spins a snowman, a reindeer, and an elf in an endless circuit. Santa can be seen in plastic light-up form, inflated fabric, plywood silhouette, and various other renditions—including catching a bass on a large fishing pole. Oh! Look! That yard has a manger scene surrounded by reindeer and candy canes and soldiers and snowmen and . . . you get the point.
If you brought someone from Russia to my neighborhood, what would they infer from the inflated and illuminated army? I sincerely doubt that it would convey the message of the Creator entering His creation to redeem it from the curse of sin. The manger scenes might raise a question, and the lit cross with the message "A Savior Is Born" would surely draw the visitor's attention (that's my yard). But these are certainly lost among the troop formations. So, is this season about celebrating dancing snowmen and blinking lights or a Savior and the hope He brings?
Sadly, our culture has shifted its focus to the dazzling lights and away from a dazzling Savior. Commercialism has swallowed whatever Christmas used to be before it was this. Battles are fought over the very name of the holiday, and Santa Claus is embraced more freely than the infant Jesus. Santa is an icon in modern culture, and his image is used to sell everything from soda to sports cars. How is a Christian to view Santa in light of the true meaning of Christmas?

Read more of this intriguing article, as Roger Patterson, AiG–U.S., addresses this question from a biblical perspective.

News to Note Quick Look

PhysOrg: "Evolution May Take Giant Leaps": Evolution is thought to progress slowly, step by step, the accumulation of hundreds of millions of years' worth of small changes. Or is it? Read more.

LiveScience: "Mammoths Were Alive More Recently than Thought": Mammoths didn't die out that long ago: a creationist conclusion or the latest evolutionary idea? Read more.

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