MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Is Your God Santa Claus?

August 28th, 2007 Visited 1598 times, 1 so far today
This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Who is Your God?

Santa CandleToday 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.

Beliefs

  • 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.

Problems

  • 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.

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Comments

3 Comments

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  • DulceDiana says on: August 28, 2007 at 10:43 am

     

    I certainly testify to all of these and continually struggle in my walk with Christ to know him more than these ‘surface characteristics”.
    It’s a work-in-progress to know more of HIM. He is Almighty God!

  • Charley says on: August 28, 2007 at 5:24 pm

     

    One of the many things that is missing from the preaching of most pastors in America is instruction on what the Bible says about God and His characteristics. Since we are never educated (or take it upon ourselves to become educated) on these critical characteristics, we tend to make a God after our own image and desires…and he often looks a lot like the Santa you described.

    A.W. Tozer has a lot of wonderful books that help in this regard. He pulls no punches in describing the God he loved. The most concise in this category is “The Knowledge of the Holy“…available at amazon.com, I believe. [EDIT – I added an affiliate link to Amazon.]

    I read it for the first time last November and attempted to summarize in one of my blog posts, the characteristics Tozer describes. That post can be found HERE. I hope it helps anyone viewing your post to start on the journey toward knowing God as He has revealed Himself to us.

    Blessings,

    Charley
    Get Serious Blog
    HomeDiscipling Dad Blog

  • MInTheGap says on: August 29, 2007 at 8:41 am

     

    You’re right Charley, that and preaching only on the sins that everyone thinks is sin. Both of these are doing a disservice to the churches. One of Tozer’s books that I really enjoyed for how it taught me about God was “The Attributes of God“. I passed that around to a couple of people. It’s amazing how much Tozer himself goes into how much we don’t know about God, and how easy it would be to worship Him and pray to Him if we had a right picture of Him.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

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