I’m sure you’re all familiar with Santa Clause, the obese cola-chugging cookie-chomping fat man, who commits B&E offences across the world, organized from his crime syndicate HQ in the tax-exempt north pole, where he keeps midgets with pointy ears enslaved in his sweat shop to make cheap merchandise for Toys-R-Us.
But that Santa is not the real St. Nicholas. No, the real St. Nicholas of Myra was a die hard socialist who believed in giving hands outs to the poor and loved nothing more than slapping down heretics who denied the deity of Christ.
According to legend, St. Nicholas, the church bishop of Myra, was a delegate to the Council of Nicea in 325 AD and was part of the pro-homousios party who supported the full and equal divinity of the Son with the Father against the Arians who denied it. According to some hagiographies, Nicholas slapped Arius in the face in front of the entire assembly. He was summarily rebuked and had to apologize, but his violent outburst in the cause of orthodox Christology has been memorialized in legends and even in art.
So this Christmas season, amidst the eggnog, mistletoe, turkey, and presents, we have to wonder: Who would St. Nick slap down?
People who probably merit a good face slapping for their subordinationist Christology these days are:
Up to half of the Church of England
Complementarians who push the “subordinated in rank” thingy too far
And James McGrath for his book The Only True God (but go easy on James, he’s a friend)
So this Christmas season if you know someone who has a Christology so low that it could win a limbo contest against leprechauns, then follow St. Nick’s example, and slap them in the face, preferably with a soggy fish, oh and then apologize profusely. St. Nick would be proud of you.