The Myth of the Modern Santa Claus

One of the greatest myths in Christendom is that of the story of Nicholas of Myra. I am not arguing about the life of the man; however, I am making an argument against the “modern” interpretation of the man. The modern Santa Claus has become a symbol of pagan idolatry, or, in essence, a spirit being.

The stories surrounding Nicholas has been skewed. He was a man born around AD 280. He became the bishop of Myra, which is a small town in Turkey. Nicholas became know for his fiery defense of early church doctrine, as well as children.

By the 13th century, Nicholas became known as a magical bringer of gifts. This version or concept of Nicholas of Myra came to the new world by the Dutch. This version was, also, called Sinterklaas.

Over the past centuries, the legacy of the man known as Nicholas has become intertwined with pagan ideals. The corruption of his story plays in to the spirit of this world’s ideal savior. The modern Santa Claus is a mimic of the LORD Jesus.

This modern Santa Claus may possess similar aspects of the early church father; however, the stories of the modern Santa Claus attribute his powers to that of pagan spirit beings and divine sources. The modern Santa Claus is said to possess the powers of omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, and has the ability to judge. 

One need only site the lyrics to songs written about this entity for a glimpse of how people perceive it. The song Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, for instance, has these aspects of its godlike ability. Here are the lines in question:

He’s making a list and checking it twice 

Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice (omnipresence)

He sees you when you’re sleepin’

He knows when you’re a wake

He knows if you’ve been bad or good (omniscience)

Now Santa is a busy man, He has no time to play

He’s got millions of stockings to fill on Christmas Day (omnipotence)

These lyrics speak to transformed image from a man who stood as a bulwark for church doctrine in to a man of secular desire and pagan beliefs. Nicholas was not a man who sat on his hands and did nothing, when confronted with worldly challenges. He would not abide by the framing of his life as that of a spirit being traveling the globe with godlike power.