A Babe in a Manger – An Old Guy in a Red Suit / the Pseudo One

A Babe in a Manger – An Old Guy in a Red Suit / the Pseudo One
by Susan Miller

In our American culture and tradition the winter holiday season of Christmas stars two main characters: Baby Jesus born in Bethlehem and an old man, Santa, from the North Pole. Isn’t it strange that the focus is on a ‘baby’ or an ‘old man’? While the baby just lies there receiving quiet adoration, the old man has all the action in flying around the world delivering toys to boys and girls who have been found worthy to receive gifts.

Baby Jesus arrived with this very important message: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” That message is important enough to demand further investigation on our part; but just what does that mean?

The mythical old man dressed in a red suit takes to the stage just after Thanksgiving being attached to the economic well-being of our culture; and competition for the dollars is stiff. Parents perpetuate this myth to their children by taking them to an elaborately decorated area in the mall where a man in a white beard is waiting on an elevated throne-like chair. Santa’s messengers help boys and girls down the aisle placing them on his lap, where a dialogue of desires is pursued and pictures to remember the event taken.

With some intentional searching of Scripture, we find the baby Jesus born in the fall of the year at the LORD’s Feast of Tabernacles. Heaven and earth came together at His birth as God sent His Son to dwell in our midst. Knowing that God will not share His glory with any other, it’s pretty easy to dump the myth of the old guy in the red suit. The Biblical Feast of the LORD called Tabernacles lasts 7 days and is a great time of celebration with great food, visiting friends and family get-togethers, similar to the winter holiday week between Christmas and New Years.

As any good parent, God wants Truth taught to His children. The baby born in a manger in Bethlehem at the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall of the year grew up and gave His life in exchange for our sin – life eternal in exchange for our mortality; truly the greatest gift of all time.

Let’s do Him honor and be willing to learn the facts and truth the Bible has to teach us. It is us who are being called to learn the Truth about the holidays or holy days we keep. It’s time to realize that facts are stubborn things regardless of our man-made traditions. We need to learn the truth from our Teacher.


The Pseudo One
by Batya Wootten 

I now have four decades of knowing the King of Kings in a personal way. One of the many things I have learned in that time is that, “Satan is Slick.” I mean, really slick! He really knows how to set a trap for us. And, he knows how to make people look like fools when they oppose him.
Our friend, Susan Miller sent us the above article and in looking for a picture to go with her article, I saw one of a crucified Santa. In fact, I saw a variety of them. I find such pictures to be both repulsive and telling.

Angus and I wrestled with whether or not we should even post it. We decided to do so for several reasons. First, the Christmas celebration as it is seen in our day has led some to see Santa as an apparent replacement for Jesus, who, as an adult, was crucified for our sins. Their picture then, is taking their assumed replacement a bit further.

Secondly, it is indeed a shocking picture, but maybe some people need to be shocked into seeing the idea of “Santa” in proper perspective. And finally, we decided to post it because it helps to expose one of “Slick’s” tricks: If the story of Santa is a fable that haSatan uses to take people’s focus off of the Messiah, you can see why some would take the idea to an ultimate end and depict Santa replacing Jesus on the Cross.

I first found the picture on a Blog by someone named Gigi, and titled, “Eyes on High.” I don’t know her and she does not believe as we do that Messiah Yeshua was probably born during Tabernacles. But, some of her comments resonated with me. Such as, she said she hates Santa (the word is a bit strong, but I understand her meaning). And called him a “replacement for Jesus Christ.” She pointed out that Santa is all about greed and teaching kids to want more stuff. She spoke of him appearing to be “all-knowing,” which is a characteristic of God alone (Psalm 139:1-3). She felt that he is painted as an all-giving figure, when in fact, Jesus gave it all when He was sacrificed on a Cross for us. Her point is that Santa cannot do that for us and should not be used to replace Jesus (hence, her provocative picture).

Gina also complained that the whole Santa story is a lie and when little children grow up and find out that their parents lied to them, it breeds mistrust and confusion.

I agree. Our God does not lie and He warns us not to lie or deceive one another (Leviticus 19:11; Numbers 23:19; Colossians 3:9).

In defense of the tradition, some call the idea of Santa a “harmless fable.” But, is it really? I mean, this story is something more than that of Cinderella or Peter Pan. Adults really try to especially sell the idea of Santa to their children. Much ado is made about whether or not they “believe” in Him. This is subtle, but in the end, a child is expected to “have faith” in him.

Bah! Humbug! The faith parallel should scare us!

For many, Christmas is the greatest day of the year. More businesses are closed on that day than any other. And, the focus of the people at home keeps moving further away from Messiah and onto putting presents under a tree, many of which are supposedly brought by the guy in the red suit.

For this and other reasons, I get dismayed with Santa Claus and His Season. Every year at this time I feel like I want to crawl into a hole in the ground and not come out until it’s all over.

I am saddened because, in many cases if you speak against Santa, you are thought to be a Scrooge, a religious bigot, and/or an intolerant person. I am grieved because I know that many people have been raised with positive family memories that are centered around Christmas, and such things are hard to break away from. Paying that price is difficult, and some who do so become angry with those who don’t do the same.

I am saddened because I feel for those who need to be liberated by the truth – but I don’t want meanness to be behind their lesson – because seeds that are planted in meanness will sprout meanness. A seed can only bear fruit after its own kind. Finally, I care about those who want to turn away from the crassness of Christmas and its focus on getting. Turning away often leads to a lonely and difficult road fraught with conflicting emotions: Joy for waht we know and sadness over what loved ones do not yet know.

  For everyone’s sake, my question is, how do we turn from the mistakes of Christmas, yet not cut off communication with loved ones that we should hope to one day reach?

My suggestion has long been that in our personal lives, we need to have commitment without compromise, but for others, we show mercy without measure. I suggest we follow James 2:13, “Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” I have also suggested that we do like a good banker and teach the people about “the real thing.” In that way, they will be readied to recognize any and all counterfeits. We need do more teaching about Tabernacles and our Messiah and less railing against Christmas and its bogus Santa. We need to trust that, when Believers become acquainted with the real thing, the counterfeit will be exposed for what it is.

But alas, those who seem to have a prophetic bent to “Declare unto His people their sins” often do not appreciate the idea of showing mercy to the sinner. (I say “sinner” only in the sense of not hitting the bulls eye in the target, of being off center.) Even so, we do not want the blood of un-warned brethren to be on our hands (Ezekiel 33:6-18).

So, how do we reach them?

Zechariah 8:16 declares, “These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts.” This point is affirmed in Ephesians 4:25, “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor.” It is further qualified as to how truth is to be spoken in Ephesians 4:15, “Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Messiah.” Finally, we are told why we need to do it this way in John 8:32, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” We need to speak the truth in love if we want people to be set free.

With Truth personified standing before him, Pilate foolishly asked, “What is truth?”

1 John 2:21 tells us that “no lie comes from the truth.” The Greek word for lie here is pseudos; it comes from a word that means to deceive, lie, speak falsely, to willfully misrepresent or mislead (Strong’s #’s G5579; 5574). In English, pseudo means false or counterfeit; fake, not genuine; pretended.

As stated earlier, “Satan is slick.” But the truth is, his pseudo man in a red suit is no match for the truth about our Messiah! He did in truth give His all for us that we might be set free! He is in truth all knowing, and it is His story alone that we want to tell!

However, in our freedom, we would do well to heed His instructions: “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16).

In this battle for the souls of our people the Shrewd One has been wise enough to mix his pseudo story with the economy of much of the free world. To change his course would call for the conversion of entire companies like Hershey (candy), Hallmark (cards), ToysRus (toys) and Macys (gifts). That is probably not going to happen prior to either their bankruptcy, the collapse of free world’s economy, or Messiah’s return.

Therefore, let us be wise enough to realize that we are probably a minority of a minority of a minority. We are indeed few in number, so let us not kill off those whom we would like to have join us in this battle. Let us be wise enough to realize that Messiah wants us to win them by speaking liberating truth to them in love.

Finally, as a mother, as one whose heart aches with desire for Messiah’s people to be all that He calls them to be, I want to speak to any who might still be wondering about Christmas and the place that it should hold in the life of a Believer:

We are headed for the City of Truth. Zechariah 8:3 declares, “Thus says YHVH, ‘I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.'” In Ephesians 1:1-10, Paul speaks of our call to be holy and blameless, of the Father’s love for us, of our redemption through Messiah’s blood, and the forgiveness of our trespasses. Paul speaks of the riches the Father has lavished on us, and of His determination to “sum up all things in Messiah, things in the heavens and things on the earth.”

The story of the pseudo all-knowing, all-giving one will not be told in the City of Truth. Only the truth about the riches that our Father has bestowed on us in Messiah will be told. In the end, all things will be “summed up” in Messiah Yeshua. Anything that detracts from that summation needs to subtracted from our lives. Continuing in it does not add up in the life of a Believer.

I want to close with a prayer:

May the Father bless you with wisdom from on High as you seek to serve Him. May He grant that you deal with family and friends in a way that makes them hungry for more of Him.
Amen and Amen.

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