ASK Commentary
December 20, 2001 

About Christmas Time

QUESTION NINE: "It is understandable that jolly 'Santa' would wear winter garments for his December 25th escapade because the time is usually cold in the northern hemisphere, but why was the North Pole selected for his home and where he made his gifts for humans by those who originated him?

AN ANSWER TO QUESTION NINE: "In the eyes of the ancients, it was customarily believed that God was always unmoveable and steadfast in all His ways (like the North Star never varies in its position in the heavens and all the other stars appear to circulate around that single star). The North Star became a symbol for God. In the time of King Solomon, the Temple at Jerusalem (that was recognized as 'God's Palace or His Home') was located on the north side of Zion (the City of David) and that position was called "the Sides of the North" (Psalm 48:2). The ancient Babylonian king who falsely wanted to take over the position of God (and sit in God's place) was chastened by the prophet Isaiah for attempting to sit on "the Sides of the North" (Isaiah 14:13) -- which was the Throne of God. And in Psalm 75:6,7 we are told: "Promotion comes neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge. He puts down one and sets up another." Note in the last section of Scripture that the cardinal direction "north" is left out of verse 6 but is equated with "God" in verse 7. So, the ancients looked on God as living in the north part of the heavens and Polaris the North Star became a symbol for Him. 

When it came time to invent a "Santa Claus," the originators made him to appear "old" (as children conceive of any God) and they made his home at the northern areas of heaven where it was imagined by the ancients that the real God lived. Thus, "Santa Claus" is a direct substitution for the God of the Bible. The real God looks nothing like our modern concoction, and I am sure that God would not like to be rendered as such. See Exodus 20:3-5. "Thou shall have no other gods before me. Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image OR ANY LIKENESS OF ANYTHING THAT IS IN HEAVEN ABOVE [where we say "Santa" journeys through the heavens to reach each home in the western world], or that is in the earth, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shall not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God." God is jealous over the depictions of Him. Indeed, there should be none. Yet, mankind goes right on and makes substitutes for God and many pictures of Him in numerous ways. One of them is "Santa Claus."

But why pick "Santa Claus" as a substitute "God" when one can worship the real God in a proper and in an obedient manner without violating the commandments? Most humans, however, prefer the rebellious ways of celebrating their own holy days and making their own "gods" in the fashion that pleases them. They forget all about the real God of the Bible. As a final thought: "You can't put Christ Jesus back in Christmas when Christ was not in Christmas in the first place." 

Ernest L. Martin

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