Santa or not?
I recently discovered the Christian site for women, Revive Our Hearts, and for the most part have enjoyed many of their articles. Then yesterday I came across this article on their Facebook page with the lead in
"How Jen Wilkin makes Santa a part of her family—strategically"
You can find the article HERE.
I was not surprised by Wilkin's handle of Santa, albeit her use of the word "strategically". I disagreed with many of her points finding them shallow. However, what threw me off the most were the comments. That's when my blog brain went into overdrive.
I just don't understand why women need the validation of another "stronger" or popular Christian woman to justify whether or not they should do or not do certain activities.
One woman wrote this
"I've been an anti-Santa parent for all of the reasons you mentioned (don't want to lie to my kids, don't like the God-like nature of Santa, etc.), but I like the way you've approached it. I think we'll be doing something like this at my house from now on"
One woman was brave enough to rebuke Wilkin for writing a piece that encourages women to go against what Wilkin calls "matters of conscience".
Here is some of Wilkin's reponse.
"I cannot apologize for offering an alternative view on an issue that is a matter of conscience. I think the absence of dialogue on matters of conscience would be harmful to the health of the church. All matters of conscience require struggle."
Matters of conscience????
That's an interesting choice of words.
Last time I checked, as a Christian, when the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our hearts and minds, not only are our actions and desires transformed, but I might even venture to say our conscience is affected as well.......but....I am not a "Christian leader" nor am I a super popular Christian woman author....so I am sure I am wrong. (enter ooze of sarcasm)
Needless to say, this morning I opened up my laptop and was enthusiastically reminded why I love another website, Desiring God. My blog hackles calmed down as I read and listened to what John Piper said on this very controversial "matter of conscience" issue concerning Santa.
The article was written based on a transcript of what Piper discussed in an Ask Pastor John podcast. You can find that HERE.
My favorite words in the podcast were
"I cannot see why a parent, if they know and love Jesus, if they have found Jesus to be the greatest treasure in the world, why they would bring Jesus out of the celebration and Santa into the celebration at all — I mean, he is just irrelevant. He has nothing to do with it. He is zero.
Santa is nothing.
I just don't get, nor can I wrap my mind around why Christian parents get conflicted about this issue. It's a non-issue.
I think the real conflict is an issue of "warm fuzzy feelings".
All these conflicted parents grew up with nostalgic feelings of Christmas, which included Santa. They piggy back Santa onto Jesus because that's what their parents did and to leave Santa out would be to rip apart the warm fuzzy feelings that were mapped out in their hearts year after year after year. These parents grow up and have children of their own and want to give their children what "they had", even if at times, it conflicts with the Holy Spirit telling them different.
Every Christian parent I have ever talked to about Santa tells me the same thing. He was a part of THEIR Christmas so they don't feel convicted to get rid of Santa for their own children. Of course, these parents go on to tell me the various ways in which Santa is simply in the "fun" background and they also share with me the ways they have "allowed" Jesus to take center stage. I also get history lessons reminding me of the story of St. Nick who was a "real person", apparently trying to legitimize to me and themselves the reasons they want to keep Santa in their Christmas.
I encourage everyone to listen to Piper's take on Santa.
Again, here is the link to the podcast.
I honestly think it's a must listen to....then pray about it...then let the Holy Spirit guide us into all truth...not nostalgic feelings that make us feel warm and fuzzy.