December 22, 2009

Santa Claus- The Great Imposter

The following 4 days of posts are taken from
I hope you are as enlightened as I was about this "cute little lie" we teach our children.  I did not think this was a "bad thing" to believe in Santa...after all I grew up with him and I turned out ok...

"A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,
soon led me to know I had nothing to dread."
—Twas' the Night Before Christmas, Clement C. Moore

1 • THE CONCERN And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. John 9:42
Who, REALLY, is this man we affectionately call Santa Claus?

What do we REALLY know about Santa?

Is Santa just a jolly, harmless, friendly fellow?

Or is there something or someone else hiding behind jolly ol’ St. Nick?

Before we look at Santa, let us establish some basic Bible facts:

The Bible clearly teaches a powerful, rebellious, subtle, evil being called the Devil, Lucifer or Satan.

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Revelation 12:9

The Bible teaches Satan rebelled against God. Satan rebelled because he desires to be like God. Satan’s mission is to de-throne God and persuade mankind to rebel against God.

12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Isaiah 14:12-14

The Bible teaches Satan’s primary attack is the most vulnerable. In Luke 10:19, Jesus Christ compares Satan to lightning, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven". Lightning, like Satan, always travels the path of least resistance. The Bible also likens the devil to a "roaring lion" The lion is a predator of opportunity. The lion looks for the injured, the youngest, the smallest, or the weakest – the one with the least ability to run or fight. So it is with Satan. He is actively "seeking" those "whom he may devour".

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8

The great German Reformer, Martin Luther writes in his Table Talks:

"The devil plagues and torments us in the place where we are most tender and weak. In Paradise, he fell not upon Adam, but upon Eve."

(The Table Talk of Martin Luther, #424)

The most vulnerable and least resistance are our children. It is no accident that the Lord Jesus Christ distinctively warns several times against harming or offending these "little ones".

1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:1-6

The Lord Jesus invites, and encourages little children to come unto him. The younger years are by far the most spiritually fruitful in the life-cycle of an individual.

13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. Mark 10:13-15

15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.
16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. Luke 18:15-17

Without question the most fertile time in the average persons’ life for receiving and trusting the Lord Jesus is the pre-teen years. Any church bus worker or youth worker knows young children are very receptive to the gospel of Jesus Christ. For children that child-like faith is natural. It is what the Lord Jesus described in Matthew 10:15. As we get older; the sensual, youthful lusts and logical, carnal mind begin to dominate our lives. And as that happens, our heart becomes hardened and seared to the spiritual things of God.

Barna Research Group published a survey conducted among teenagers titled Third Millennium Teens. Under the subtitle "Displacing the Myths," the report said:

The Myth: the teen years are evangelistically productive.

The Reality: if they're not saved by age 13, they probably never will be. (Barna 65)

The report goes on to say, "The data shows clearly that the prime evangelistic years are those before a person becomes a teenager." (Barna 65)

If the most productive time of salvation are the pre-teen years, and if the pre-teen years are the most vulnerable – does it not stand to reason that Satan would fiercely attack this time? Can we not see the overwhelming evidence of this Satanic attack on our children? From the sexual, sensual music of Britney Spears, or Nsync, to the occult and witchcraft of Harry Potter – there is an attack aimed directly at our children. It is assaulting them from the TV, the music, the Internet, the peer pressure, the public schools – Satan literally "seeks" to "devour our children" into every nook and cranny.

Many parents have been "lullabied to sleep" with the deception that our children are innocently immune to the attack of Satan. There is a false security that believes our children will naturally "grow out of it" or "they’re just sowing their wild oats" or maybe "they’re just being kids". But the Bible paints a much different picture. In Mark chapter 9, God details a frightening occurrence. A man brings his "spirit possessed" son to the Lord Jesus Christ.

17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;
18 And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.
19 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.
20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.
21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.
27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?
29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
Mark 9:17-29

It is interesting the apostles could not cast out this kind (vs 29). Jesus said, "This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting." What kind of possession was it? What was different about this possession? I believe the answer is found in the only question the Lord Jesus asked. Jesus Christ asked the man "How long is it ago since this came unto him?" And the man answered, "Of a child". These hard to cast out kind are those that enter in a child. Is it because the possession reaches so deep and so strong that they’re almost impossible to remove?

In Proverbs 22:6, the Bible explains the lifelong fruits of training a young child in the way he should go. That early training is so strong and so deep – as that child grows and matures – they will not depart from it.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

But. . . The flip side is: if that same child is trained by the ways of Satan and the world, chances are that child will not depart from it. George Harrison, a devout follower of the Hindu god, Krishna, understood this life-long influence, Harrison told Rolling Stone Magazine:

"The main thing is to get the kids. . . nail you when you’re young and brainwash you, then they’ve got you for the rest of your life."

George Harrison, Beatles, (Loose Talk, Rolling Stone Magazine, p. 70)

It has been stated the foundation of a child is shaped by the time that child is five-years-old, maybe sooner. Without question, the early pre-teen or "Santa Claus years" are some of the most important in a person's life-long development. It has been truthfully said, "The hand that rocks the cradle controls the world."

And believe me. . . Satan knows this!

That brings us to Santa. . .

Where does Santa Claus fit in the life of a young child? What about the teaching of Santa Claus in the psyche of a child? Is there more to jolly old St. Nick than meets the eye? Is Santa a clever, seemingly harmless, subtle (see Genesis 3:1) attempt to question the truthfulness of God? Is Santa the handiwork of Satan?

Remember the harmless question the subtle serpent asks Eve in the garden? "Yea, hath God said,. . .?" So slight. . . So simple. . .

And yet so deadly. . .

Not only that but Satan’s attack is not necessarily evil, or bad. In fact, it can be good, or even pleasant. The subtle temptation of Genesis reveals Satan’s clever "good and pleasant" message.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Genesis 3:6
As Eve saw the forbidden fruit, it was good and it was pleasant – and yet it was deadly.

The Devil is a master of disguise. He can make it appear good, pleasant, and seemingly so innocent – and yet it is deadly! The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 11:14, "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light" He does not appear with horns and a pitch fork breathing fire. He might just appear as a pleasant, friendly, fellow, with "a broad face and a round little belly, That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. . ."

Could Santa Claus be a subtle, clever attack on our children to confuse, doubt and rob their God-ordained "child like" faith? Satan knows, if he can somehow get that child through those fruitful early years without trusting the Lord Jesus Christ – his goal of eternal damnation in hell increases substantially.

Let us take a look a Santa. . .

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8

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"O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago." Isaiah 25:1

"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" -Matthew 6:27

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

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