Has the Christian God Become Indistinguishable from Santa Claus?

Has the Christian God Become Indistinguishable from Santa Claus? December 15, 2018

Or is it, “How Santa Became God?”

Maybe Santa is the dictator of capitalism… Maybe he’s the wizard at the end of the “yellow brick road” driving err, coercing slaves elves…

santa-god-andy-gill-patheos

Because, if Santa Claus has become the new God of capitalism and, capitalism has consumed our Churches then, have we even been following Jesus?

We’ve even gone so far in believing that we can only show, especially during the holidays, our love and affection through the reciprocation of gift giving.

Which is why I wrote this:

But, both of these “figures” playoff this idea of consumeristic culture. Both seemingly have a foothold on our behaviors which impact our overall lives, families, and relationships.

This type of culture defines what it does not just mean to grow up and start “adulting” but, what it means to grow up and become a follower of Jesus’.

All of which should add new meaning to what Jesus meant when saying, “The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy…”

“Keeping a list and checking it twice.”

Our call, as Christians, is not to become “good” and “nice”…

Sure, “biblically” speaking, there are references to God keeping a list of those who will “have a home in Heaven with Him”.  This is called “the Lamb’s Book of Life” and is in Revelation 20:12–153:5Philippians 4:3.

But, being ‘nice’ by our cultural standards is not a condition of entry into “heaven.”

And, similarly, being ‘naughty’ does not exclude you.

The purpose of a disciple is largely to transcend what we’ve been socially conditioned to abide by; the gospel is not a means of self-help but, it does lead to a discovery of one’s potential and influence.

Jesus wasn’t “nice.” In fact, he’s on the record saying he didn’t even consider himself to be “good.”

Let us keep in mind, one of the last things Jesus did was storm the temple, violently rebelling against the religious leaders of his time all the while overturning tables. Jesus in this instance was not being nice. He was making a statement, that arguably cost Him His life. What Jesus did was good, right, and just, but it was far from Him being nice.

The thing is, Christians [privileged or not] we are not called to be nice so much as were called to be HOLY. What if the privileged Church, instead of being burdened by guilt and shame, chose to be filled with compassion and mercy, leading them to lives of justice? To ignore injustice is to live a life that is meaningless. What good is a life lived that is vacant of loving the other? We must, like Christ, be quick to excoriate an oppressive and exploitative socially constructed system that favors, ‘mind you, the global minority. This reformation, revolution, and age of information must never be silent, nor should its main concern be “niceness.”

In an ever-changing western society we, sadly, no longer find meaning and purpose from simply existing; we have to earn our meaning and purpose through working, laboring, and consuming…

If you want to figure out how ingrained this toxic form of ideology is, within your psyche, just ask yourself this: How skeptical do you get when someone shows you love for no reason?

It’s a system and narrative which hands us a guide map that says, “If you do these things then, you can afford to buy our things and then, you’ll finally be valued and loved.”

This is not the Gospel. This is consumerism.

What we possess is not the measure of our self-worth.

The ability to be hard-working, frugal, and patient are not the sole determiners of one’s value.

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[1]Author Susan Linn quoted in Don Aucoin’s “All-Consuming Adolescence: Advertisers Are Aiming at an Increasingly Younger Market, and the Kids Are Buying In,” Boston Globe, December 15, 2004. Available at http:/ / www.boston.com/ news/ globe/ living/ articles/ 2004/ 12/ 15/ all_consuming_adolescence/ . [Berard, John; Penner, James; Bartlett, Rick. Consuming Youth: Navigating youth from being consumers to being consumed (YS Academic) (Kindle Locations 2534-2537). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

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