Why did the real Santa Claus (St. Nicholas) go to prison? (true story).
Amazing History behind Christmas and Santa Claus
Santa Claus got busted for being a Christian and the Roman Emperor Constantine freed him? No way? Yes, it’s true! Then he had a part in the Council of Nicaea (canonizing the Bible) and was put back in jail for slapping a heretic. Saying “Merry Christmas”, “Merry X-mas”, and “Happy Holidays” means the exact same thing. Yes, all true and easily verified.
St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) was a Bishop during Christian persecution by the Roman Empire and was therefore put in prison. He was let out in 313 A.D. when Constantine made Christianity legal.
Constantine ordered a council at Nicaea in 325 AD to resolve a dispute. Nicholas was at the meeting and was so upset at the deceiver that he slapped him and was put in jail until the meeting was over. He was known for secretly giving to the poor and passionately upholding the scriptures.
Chi-Rho is the first two Greek letters for Christ, and therefore the abbreviation of His name (like we do with states). Later it was shortened to just Chi, which is our letter “X”. “Sign on the X” and “Cross my heart” mean a promise before Christ. So X-Mas means Christmas exactly.
In Western Europe Dec 25 was the most important day for Christmas. In Eastern Europe Jan. 6 was more important (the Epiphany-the visit of the wise men). The Council of Tours, 567 AD, was convened to decide which should be most important and they couldn’t. So they made the 12 days from Dec 25 to Jan 6 the “12 twelve days of Christmas” (it’s not the 12 days leading up to Christmas). They called them “holy days” which became Holidays. Saying “happy holidays” means “happy days of Christmas”.
Gift giving became popular on Dec 6th for commemorating the death of St. Nicholas. In the 1600’s, Martin Luther changed the day from Dec 6th to the 25th to get the focus on Jesus and said all gifts come from Kris Kindle (German for Christ Child). It changed over time to Kris Kringle.
Jesus actually attended Hanukkah (Feast of Dedication, see John 10).
Then, things start really getting blurred. In the book of Revelation, Jesus will come back with all the Saints on a white horse at the final judgment. The Greeks started celebrating Saint Nicholas coming back every year for a mini-judgment. In Holland they still have him coming on a white horse. In Norway they didn’t have horses so they had him riding reindeer. The Lambs Book of Life (Book of Revelation) became Santa’s naughty and nice list.
Santa had always come from heaven, but then Thomas Nast, illustrator for Harpers Weekly Magazine who came up with the Republican Elephant and the Democratic Mule, drew Santa coming from the North Pole on 29 December 1866. He did it as a jab at the South during the Civil War.
Things certainly get twisted over time don’t they? It’s happened with the essence of the Gospel too. The modern twist is that we are saved by “faith alone”. But here’s what Martin Luther, the initiator of “faith alone”, said:
“To think, ‘If faith justifies without works, let us work nothing,’ is to despise the grace of God. Idle faith is not justifying faith.”
John Calvin, famous for “eternal security”, also agreed in obedience after salvation: “… as often as we mention Faith alone in this question, we are not thinking of a dead faith, which worketh not by love … It is therefore faith alone which justifies, and yet the faith which justifies is not alone”
And how do you build your house on the rock, according to Jesus?? Check your answer in Matthew 7:24 (hint: the answer is not just believing). This verse is situated in a section of verses from Matthew 7:13-29 describing the “narrow gate” and good trees bearing good fruit – in other words who makes it and who doesn’t. Then there’s the parables of Jesus. Think of it, the wicked servant in Matthew 24:45 believed in the master, he just wasn’t obeying him. Same in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25), the two sons, the tenants (Matthew 21) and so on. See, they all believed, and perished! You need to obey too! Here’s a separate article going into more detail (link).
Luther and Calvin were using “faith alone” to condemn one extreme: relying on certain works for salvation, works that the church back then had set up and which had gotten out of control. But using “faith” to exempt us from obedience is another extreme. The Bible calls this a dead and useless faith. God’s plan is for us to come to Him with empty hands (no works) and a sincere heart that seeks Him and what He wants. Then we develop a relationship with Him as He gives the power to obey Him in powerful ways, as His ambassador to the hurting world. So it’s a great life.
For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13, see Romans chapter 7 and 8 too)
This wonderful life is the living “faith” of James ch. 2. And it’s the only one that will save you. Don’t be tricked, we know “faith” is not a mere mental decision with no obedience because of all the Bible’s calls for obedience. Half the parables of Jesus and 90 other verses show this (see 90 verses here).
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock (Matthew 7:24)
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. … You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. James 2:19,24 Read all of James chapter 2.
The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 John 2:4)
Another twist over time is that Sin is forgiven so it’s not a big deal. But Jesus said cut your hand off if it causes you to sin! (Matt. 18:8-9). No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning (1 John 3:7-10). We must defeat sin by seeking God and relying on the Holy Spirit (Romans ch. 8)! So just obey the Bible and make God and Santa happy!
Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Luke 13:23,24
Or maybe you don’t believe in God. Belief in God takes some seeking. The Bible actually says God does not usually want to prove himself to people, but He is looking for sincere people willing to seek the truth by faith. (See Jeremiah 29:13, Acts 17:27, Heb 11:6). Creation and our conscience point to a creator but a sinful man will not seek Him: Psalms 10:4 In his pride the wicked does not seek him
So God has in a sense hidden Himself, that’s why it’s easy for people to not believe in God. But they have to come up with some crazy (& well-funded) ideas for how we got here, which take far more faith. They see similarities in creation and extrapolate to absurdities. It’s like thinking an IPad evolved naturally from an IPhone. The ultimate origin is a real mystery so it’s actually by faith. Some even propose aliens (and who knows where the aliens came from).
“No one knows how it got started” Richard Dawkins (2008 “Expelled” documentary)
“That’s a great mystery” Bill Nye, the science guy (debate with Ken Ham)
“[that] is an unanswerable question” Carl Sagan (Cosmos) SEE IT’S BLIND FAITH!!
It does take effort, but IF you sincerely seek the truth you’ll find the Bible is easy to believe in. Since Satan is such a deceiver it’s not surprising to find so much deception in various religions. But there is no other book like the Bible. Usually religions are created by a few people making claims and telling stories. There is no compelling evidence at all.
The Bible is very unique in these ways:
Verifiability. Unlike any other book, the Bible has been accurately recording world events since 4000 B.C. It was all orally passed on at first but there are historical confirmations during this time. Then it was finally written in 1400 B.C. as language became more accessible. There are many things that are verified by archeology and history as true events.
Prophesies that were fulfilled 100’s of years later. The exact year of Jesus’ coming was prophesied. Some prophesies have even been fulfilled in our time: Israel was reborn in a day (Isaiah 66:8) and is a burden to the nations (Zach 12), the explosion of knowledge (Daniel 12:4), instant worldwide communication (Rev. 11:9). Others may soon be fulfilled: one-world religion and government, mark on the hand needed to buy and sell (Rev. 13).
Sincere Leaders. Jesus, and His disciples were killed for their message, showing sincere motives. No other major religious leader (not follower) voluntarily (not by force) died for his message. Usually only his followers die for him while he lives well.
Teaching. It has unique teaching on sin, forgiveness, peace, and love that heals the soul and makes sense of a fallen world. It tells of a loving God that wants good for us but also of a deceitful Satan/Devil that hates us.
Summary of deceptions preventing belief in God:
ð Enjoying sin & don’t want to think about it. It’s important! Please do. Satan offers many temptations, but they are all harmful counterfeits.
ðChurch Hypocrisy, problems, wars, etc. See 2 Timothy 4:3, Rev 3:14. As predicted, many churches are lukewarm. If you’re seeking God and don’t know what church to go to or are generally turned off on them, just Follow the Bible. In time you can pray that God shows you a sincere one. If you are going to a church of course make sure they preach the whole Bible by reading it fervently yourself.
ðVarious “historical” documentaries and movies. Archeology overwhelmingly supports the Bible as many secular archeologists admit. But it deals with fragmented or sometimes inaccurate archeological information. It requires guesses and assumptions sometimes. Remember written language itself was developing during these times and there was no universal dating system. So some critics can quickly develop skewed opinions with the unclear areas. Many times they have thought the Bible was wrong, only to find later it wasn’t. e.g. For centuries they thought the Bible was wrong because it mentions Belshazzar as king of Babylon and everyone knew it was Nabonidus. Other details were off too. Then in 1882 they found a small detail on the “Nabonidus Cylinders” which clarified it all. Nabonidus left his reign to his son Belshazzar as co-regent while he retired. The cylinders were buried and forgotten and this detail was lost to ancient historians as Babylon was destroyed. Historians just 100 years later (Herodotus, Megasthenes, Berossus) mention only Nabonidus. This gives credibility to the Book of Daniel and its amazingly accurate prophesies because it must have been written close to the events before the detail was lost.
ð Evolution casts doubt that there is a God.
Evolution has so many flaws that are not revealed in popular media and education outlets. They fight hard to suppress this from being taught. Life has never come from non-life! Even the famous Miller-Euric “primordial soup” theory has been proven impossible. The well-known example of a horse turning into a giraffe by generations of stretching their neck, called Lamarckism, is also abandoned. Darwin’s theory, change by natural selection alone, has been proven inept so they’ve added mutation, called neo-Darwinism. But mutations only alter existing information. DNA research has shown that creatures have built-into their DNA (by the creator) a wealth of information that allows them to speciate within a kind. (e.g. produce many types of dogs and wolves, but not cats). Evolutionists name this “micro-evolution”, and use it for their examples, touting that “evolution” is proven true. But it’s not evolution as we know it. Cells, organisms, and even the whole world eco system are made of many integrated parts that can’t survive alone. They had to be created whole or they would have died. But the odds of even one cell, the smallest of these systems, all coming together is 1:1×10137,000 The cell is much more complicated than Darwin could have ever imagined. It’s basically a mini-city. Google “metabolic pathways”.
ð Killing in the Bible. God “resets” peoples when they become depraved – a miserable, hopeless condition where even innocent kids suffer (child abuse, child sacrifice, disease). It won’t change so God ends the misery (by fire, flood too). It was always limited to one time and place, it was not to be ongoing.
ð If there was a God, why is there pain & suffering? Satan, the “prince of this world” & “the father of lies” has some control of earth & has brought suf-fering, death, etc. Man is free to obey God, who wants good, or Satan and evil.
ð Why doesn’t God prove Himself? Discussed earlier, He wants faith.
Isn’t the Bible full of errors? In spite of being written over 1500 years, it actually isn’t. Critics misunderstand small details in this ancient book which was written in a totally different culture and writing style. e.g. Prophesies can have multiple fulfilments or come from different sources. Terms can mean different things (“father” can mean predecessor or great-great grandfather). Different names are used. See also the previous historical discussion. By Mike Murphy
Given by the Murphy family. e-book available. Write us: firstname.lastname@example.org