Evolution isn’t the only thing that bothers Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. They just posted Naughty or Nice?, written by Avery Foley.
AIG says she has a masters of arts in theological studies from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, which qualifies her to be one of ol’ Hambo’s creation scientists. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
The familiar holiday song about jolly ol’ Santa Claus rings out to remind children not to pout or whine because
He’s making a list,
And checking it twice.
Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town.
He sees you when you’re sleeping.
He knows when you’re awake.
He knows if you’ve been bad or good.
So be good for goodness’ sake!
Wasn’t that lovely? Not to Avery. She says:
Believing that Santa is watching their every move and judging their actions to see if they deserve gifts may be an effective way of getting children to behave during the holiday season, but what message is this sending?
[*Gasp!*] What’s the message? She tells us:
This popular song portrays the portly North-pole dwelling St. Nick as omnipresent and omniscient — he somehow knows what every child is doing everywhere in the world. Of course, those are attributes that belong to God alone.
It also urges children to “be good for goodness’ sake!” But some vague idea of “goodness’ sake” or the hope of reaping a reward from Santa (or anyone else) should never be our motivation for being good. And who defines what “good” is in this context anyway?
Jeepers! Now that we think about it, that song is all messed up! Avery isn’t done with it. She goes on:
We should be “good” — as defined by God in his Word — because we love our Heavenly Father and do not want to sin against him, and because he has commanded us to be perfect as he is [scripture reference].
Yeah — phooey on Santa! Avery continues:
The philosophy and message behind the idea of a man who delivers gifts to “nice” kids and coal to “naughty” kids — and the accompanying idea that everyone really is “good” and deserves gifts (does any parent really put coal in their “naughty” child’s stocking?) — fits perfectly with the world’s philosophy.
What philosophy is that? Let’s read on:
Every man-based religion operates on the principle that if you do certain things you will be rewarded. It’s all based on what we do. Earning gifts (whether physical, emotional, or monetary) is our default mode of thinking. We also like to think that we’re basically good, that our good works outweigh our bad ones, and that we deserve good things.
What’s wrong with that? Here it comes:
But this is completely upside-down compared to the gospel. The Christian message is one that starts with bad news in Genesis. We’re all descended from Adam, the first man, who rebelled against God. Because of his sin nature that we inherit — and our own sin [scripture reference] — we’re all born into and continue in rebellion against God. We are sinners and deserve God’s judgment and the wages of sin — death [scripture reference].
And we can’t do anything about our condition! Our good works won’t save us. Compared with God’s righteousness and holiness, all the “good” things we do are just “filthy rags” in his sight [scripture reference]. Because death is the penalty for sin, we needed a perfect man to take our penalty.
Ah yes, that’s the spirit! Skipping several paragraphs about the bible, we’re told:
We should never buy into the world’s philosophy that you have to earn your gifts. We must teach our children the true nature of God’s mercy and grace and how it runs counter to what we as humans would expect, then compare that to what the philosophy of Santa teaches. We assume our good works earn us favor with God, but they don’t.
The rest of Avery’s post is more information about how Santa’s characteristics aren’t scriptural. You can read that if you like, but we’re stopping here. Whatever else you may think of it, Avery’s message was certainly seasonal.
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