AIG Is Opposed to Santa Claus

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.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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23 responses to “AIG Is Opposed to Santa Claus

  1. We could construct a quiz. Binary answers, 1) Santa 2) god

    1. Watches you all the time
    2. Knows when you are awake or asleep
    3. Wants you to be good
    4. Rewards you if you are good
    5. Punishes you if you are bad (don’t forget the lump of coal)
    6. Is imaginary

    Of course, #6 is the only one that we have just the one answer to. Santa is real, you can see him at the mall.

  2. Derek Freyberg

    What, no salvation by good works?

  3. Charles Deetz ;)

    The problem with being a fundamentalist is that the only fun you have is in your title. Unless you are as sad as Avery, she’s just a *damentalist.

  4. Michael Fugate

    So you don’t have be a YEC to get to heaven? And going on the Boatie Hajj won’t help either? But it also means the prosperity Gospel is wrong – God didn’t give Osteen his cars and houses?

  5. Since ‘theological studies’ are just a load of hot air, shouldn`t that be a ‘master of farts’? 🙂 Compliments of Season to all.

  6. Robert Earl Keen
    “when you’re in with the lord,
    theres just one reward
    they’d just as soon make it come true”
    Avery’s world view is profoundly messed up.
    Not sure what they put in the Kool Aid at Liberty

  7. Avery obviously has no sense of irony – her Santa description is like a gentle version of the god of the Hebrew bible, with the former handing out coal and the latter killing off millions. I suggest that she read Matthew 25 where it says that everyone will be judged by how they treat others.

  8. Unfortunately, Avery states standard Christian doctrine, more or less. “All have sinned and fallen short”, just in themselves. All also share in original sin. All must depend only on acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus and the grace won by the Cross. In no other way can anyone be absolved of universal sin, and by no other means can any be saved. Salvation is by faith and witness, in that order.

    That’s the straight poop. The various Churches often try to dissemble it, but that’s the basis of the Christian doctrine of redemption and salvation. Some go even further: “no salvation outside the Church”, they say.

    Jesus himself is never quoted as saying any such thing, and in various quoted sayings implicitly contradicts it. That should bother people like Avery, even if they’re not disturbed by the idea that this loving Father is going to cause some proportion – apparently most – of His children to be tormented for eternity. That last was alone enough for me to forsake Christianity. I didn’t need to have added to it the notion that this God could not forgive anybody without a bloody agonised tormented sacrifice, and that this was a rule that transcends mercy.

    Sorry, Avery. Nothing transcends mercy. I don’t blame Jesus for originating the doctrine of salvation by faith. That was Paul. But I do blame you for perpetuating it. If you are not horrified and repelled by its implications, all that tells me is that you are incapable of moral reflection.

  9. “The philosophy and message behind the idea of a man who delivers gifts”
    The philosophy and message behind the idea of a god who decides whether you go to Heaven or Hell is essentially the same.

    “Our good works won’t save us.”
    Yeah, that’s why christians like Rudolf Höss and Jeffrey Dahmer never bothered.

    DaveL complains: “Unfortunately, Avery states standard Christian doctrine, more or less.”
    Fortunately there is no such thing as standard christian doctrine. This doctrine is only standard for a subset of christians.

  10. mnbo, there are certainly detail differences, and a few extreme outliers, but all three major branches of the Christian church teach that faith, specifically in the grace won by the sacrifice of Jesus, repentance of sin, and witness to that faith expressed in works, are necessary to salvation.

  11. The only gift Ms Foley is likely to get is a lifetime of mental problems. She’s off to a good start with the self-loathing. No eggnog for her!

  12. The Nicene Creed, which we may take to represent the core beliefs of Christianity, has no mention of the faith-vs.-works efficacy for salvation.

  13. “For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary; and was made human. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried.”

    The Nicene Creed, First Council of Constantinople, 381 CE.

    No, there is nothing in the creed that relates to faith vs works for efficacy for salvation. But there is a specific requirement to believe that the sacrifice of Jesus is necessary for salvation. That is, there is a requirement for that specific faith first. This is still the teaching of nearly all Christianity.

  14. Ceteris Paribus

    @ TomS:

    Yup! There is no trade-off for “works”

    The Fundies won’t even cut some slack for infant babies, or even anything which began as a fertilized egg. They all are consigned to the same Hell as politicians and mass murderers.

    But in an earlier time according to the poem “The Day of Doom” by Michael Wigglesworth (1631–1705), Wigglesworth allowed the un-born a chance to make their plea for mercy. But it didn’t get very far:

    You [addressing the un-born] sinners are, and such a share 345
    As sinners may expect,
    Such you shall have; for I do save
    None but my own elect.
    Yet to compare your sin with their
    Who liv’d a longer time, 350
    I do confess yours is much less,
    Though every sin’s a crime.

    A crime it is, therefore in bliss
    You may not hope to dwell
    But unto you I shall allow 355
    The easiest room in hell.

    The glorious king thus answering,
    They cease, and plead no longer:
    Their consciences must needs confess
    His reasons are the stronger. 360

    Merry Xmas to the friendly folks at AIG

  15. Michael Fugate

    Why does the AiG’s god or any other god, for that matter, get to judge me? And my only option is subservience? to trust and obey? Then again, I can’t figure out how the descriptions of heaven are really any different than just nonexistence? No pain, no hunger, no nothing but mindlessness.

  16. @DaveL: alas that doesn’t mean that according to all members of those three major denominations faith (etc.) is also sufficient for salvation. You overestimate the capability of theology to reach consensus.

  17. Michael Fugate

    short version: humans bad, god good.

    For some reason, we should try to be good, but to be honest it doesn’t really matter; it won’t make a difference. Try as hard as you can, but you won’t ever be good – don’t even think you will be and especially don’t believe you are now. Goodness and human should never be used in the same sentence. I am feeling uplifted by the “good” news, aren’t you?

  18. As Douglas points out, no sense of irony. However, the deeply Calvinistic predestination-like views of Avery are (luckily) not shared by most Christians.
    When a child I saw Santa as the Earthly incarnation of God. (See Frog’s 6 points).
    If humans descend from animals, what stops them from murdering and raping? If we are condemned anyway, what stops us from murdering and raping?
    The same way that Santa resembles God, Avery’s world view asks us the same questions, but stronger. Double irony.

  19. Doctor Stochastic

    Rebels without a Claus?

  20. Mnbo, of course it doesn’t mean that faith is sufficient, only that it is first necessary and then expressed in witness and in works.

  21. And my only option is subservience? to trust and obey?
    It’s not a god that wants you to obey rather it’s Hambo wanting you to obey him with his twisted fundamentalist view of god.

  22. A minor question: What is the source of the fundamentalist view of god?