It happens every year at Christmastime. The question about whether you should allow your kids to believe in Santa is raised. Worse yet, should you participate in the ruse?
There are many trains of thought on this. Most recently, prominent pastor Mike Winger weighed in on the conversation, sharing his thoughts through a YouTube video.
Winger brings up a few key points. Among them, he compares the difference between playing pretend and outright lying to your kid about the existence of jolly old St. Nick. The former relies on everyone being in the know.
The latter keeps your kids in the dark, with you enjoying a chuckle at their expense and their innocence. Winger argues that how Santa is integrated into many homes weaves into the situation a level of deception that is unhealthy and not appropriate.
He explains that the sugar laid upon the deception makes it worse. Winger affirms that he doesn’t believe carrying out the charade makes parents bad parents. He says it merely is “a bad act.”
Winger brings up some thought-provoking points. But it is the nefarious, judgmental overshadowing of his words as well as his own delivery that, I suspect, ruffled feathers among his critics, those who simply want to share a joyous moment from their own childhoods with their children.
So much already is placed under a microscope today. Must Santa be the same?
Winger’s footing is seeded in biblical teaching. The Ninth Commandment states, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16) In other words, lying is a sin. Winger is simply suggesting that it would be better “not to lie about Santa,” especially if you are a Christian.
He goes on to suggest that hanging your hat on the fact that you’ve always lied about the existence of Santa is “not an argument against it being deceptive and deceptive in a significant way.” Winger ties raising responsible, good, respectable kids to his logic, which I can only interpret to mean “basic Christian values.”
This brings up a subsequent point in his video, where he addresses Santa replacing Jesus as the center of the holiday. He caveats that this isn’t the case in all homes, but “in most homes, Santa has replaced the emphasis on Jesus. Jesus is the footnote. Santa is the headline. He’s the star of the show.”
Winger isn’t wrong. These days, Christmas decorations adorn stores even before Halloween decorations are removed.
It’s sickening and takes away from the true meaning of the holiday, the birth of Jesus Christ. As Winger said, “I think our culture is wrong here, big-time wrong.”
If there ever was a sign that we need Jesus more, this is a good one. Retail ruined Santa, in my opinion.
The imbalance comes from that and the fact that the Christian underpinnings of Christmas have expanded well beyond its origins in the United States. We are a melting pot, after all.
Because of this, plenty who aren’t Christian are celebrating the holiday. It impacts the interpretation, understanding and relevance. Instead of Christ, they attach themselves to Santa and open their wallets. As Winger said, “Money is driving it.”
It certainly is, but the changing face of our nation has an effect as well.
Regardless, the intention of Winger’s words as I interpret them is basically this: Christmas needs to remain about Christ and all of those important things, and it hasn’t. It has become more folly than foundational or faith-based.
As a Christian, I concur. But I don’t think pinning the blame on Santa is the answer.
The problem runs much deeper. It arises from good versus evil, with evil set on extraditing God from our society for good.
Everything else is ornamental and deceptive.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.