Today we’re going to look at the first idea that people have of God– that of Santa Claus. No, I’m not saying that a majority of people worship Santa Claus as God, but what I am saying is that a lot of people expect God to be like jolly old Saint Nick.
- God exists to make people happy.
- He sits up in Heaven bearing many gifts that He gives to his good children.
- He has a list of who is naughty and nice, and only gives gifts to the nice ones.
- As long as I’m good and do the right things, all will be well with me.
- He’s a jolly old man, like a Grandpa, and he loves everyone.
- God is known more for His holiness and justice than He is for His love. (Isaiah 6)
- Sometimes those that follow God whole heartedly have died in many different ways (Jim Elliot), or have endured affliction in this life.
- God sees all things and judges all things– not just what we do, but also what we think. (Matthew 5:27ff)
Conflicts of Faith
The main problem with the belief that God is a type of Santa Claus is that when bad things happen there is no way to reason this against what has happened.
For example, I was reading in a recent Newsweek where a Chaplin in our armed forces was having a struggle with his faith. Why? Because he could not understand how the God that he believed in could allow his comrades not to come back, could allow innocent civilians to die, and could allow the atrocities and body counts he was seeing. You see, his perspective of God was askew.
He saw God as someone who always answers your prayers in the affirmative, who’s out to just do blessings and he missed the fact that God is also a God of justice and holiness that sometimes meets out punishment on the ungodly.