In my radio debate with Jon Murray, he said that he didn’t believe in God for the same reason he didn’t believe in Santa Claus. I understand where he is coming from because many folks equate Santa Claus and Jesus Christ. The sad commentary is that many who claim to be Christians cannot tell you why they believe what they believe because they have only a shallow, inherited faith.
The Santa character originated from a 4th century Greek Catholic bishop in Lycia. He came into the western culture in 1823, and a 1930 Coca-Cola ad popularized him as a man in a red suit. Here are some contrasts between Santa Claus and Jesus Christ:
1) Santa lives at the North pole and Christ is omnipresent (Acts 17:24-28)
2) Santa rides in a sleigh, and Jesus walks on water.
3) Santa is oblivious to our problems, and Christ has lived them (Hebrews 4:15).
4) Santa comes once a year while Christ is with us 24/7/365 (Matthew 28:20).
5) Santa gives us stuff we don’t need. Christ gives us everything we really need (Matthew 7:7).
6) Santa invades while Jesus stands at the door and knocks (Revelation 3:20).
7) You stand in line to see Santa. Jesus is always accessible (Acts 17:28).
8) Santa asks your name while Jesus knows your past (Psalms 139:15).
9) Santa chastises (better not cry) while Jesus offers help (Matthew 11:29).
10) Santa makes toys while Jesus makes new life (Romans 6).
This is not just a cute comparison. It is where we all live. Do we want new toys (a boat, car, TV, etc.), or do we need healing, an easier burden, and freedom from the problems our toys bring us? If you want an inflatable 15-foot Santa in your front yard, have at it, but remember, those are just toys.
The evidence for Jesus being the Son of God is massive, and you can see it especially in the effect it has had on the lives of men and women for many centuries. Santa is about physical things in a material universe. Jesus is about spiritual things in an eternal universe. Equating Santa Claus and Jesus Christ causes us to deny reality and miss a great answer to the real issues of life.
— John N. Clayton © 2021