The Annual Christian Challenge
By Jim Josephsen

It’s that time of year again which challenges the integrity of the Christian.

What is a Christian? By dictionary definition, a Christian is one who professes a belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ. The Greek word christianos, from which the English word Christian derives, means follower of Christ. Therefore, the literal definition of a Christian is one who follows Christ. This seems logical. The Apostle Paul told the members of the Church of God in Corinth, to follow me as I follow Christ. Other modern translations of the Christian Bible structure Paul’s admonition as follows: Imitate me just as I imitate Christ or Follow my example, as I follow the examples of Christ.

To the Christian, Christ is the Head, The Lord, The Master, the One looked up to, the One honored and worshipped. Certainly, Jesus Christ is the leader of the Church, the Christian Faith and the One to follow. And of course, for after all, Christ is the namesake of the religion which claims over 2.1 billion adherents worldwide, with the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and the Scandinavian countries each tallying the overwhelming majority of their populations as Christians. Jesus Christ is the reason a Christian claims to be one.

Jesus Christ taught His disciples, who in turn carried His words into the then known world; words which 21st Century Christians can read and from which be edified. Jesus Christ said the disciple is not above his master: but everyone that is perfect shall be as his master.

One of Christ’s disciples, the Apostle John, understood what Christ meant and wrote it this way in one of his letters to the first Century Church; he that says he abides in him (in other words, he who says he lives in Christ, who says he has accepted the Lord, who claims to be a Christian) must walk (live the same kind of life) even as Jesus walked.

How did Jesus Christ walk? Jesus Christ walked blameless, acceptable in the sight of God, without fault, without sin; merciful, compassionate, considerate, honest, trustworthy, truthful, responsible yet bold and direct when He needed to be. Yet of all the characteristics exemplified by Christ, it is clear, as the Christian Bible is replete with scriptures telling us, Christ was without sin. In him was no sin; he knew no sin; He is pure in the sight of God; He is righteous. And what is sin? As John wrote, sin is the breaking of the law; all unrighteousness is sin. (See our booklet – Could Jesus Have Sinned?)

Another disciple, the Apostle Peter, took Christ’s teaching and expounded its meaning by further explaining to those who were (who claim to be) the followers of Christ - you have been called because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example so that you should follow in His steps: He never sinned and no deceit was found in His mouth.

Christ left examples, personal living lessons, for His disciples to follow. One of the reasons Christ came to the earth, part of His purpose for coming, was to educate, to teach and to show by example, how a person is to live a life that is righteous, proper, pleasing and acceptable in the sight of God, a life that will ensure salvation and eternal life.

Consider what Peter wrote. Notice a necessary characteristic of Jesus Christ, which those who call themselves Christians are to follow. Notice the phrase and no deceit was found in His mouth. Simply put: Jesus Christ never lied. There was no deceit, no guile, no falsehood, no pretending, no misleading, no fantasy, no caprice and not even a little white lie; there was no lie that ever emanated from the mouth of Jesus Christ.

Found in the Christian Bible is a life and death warning, as follows: but the fearful and unbelieving and the vile and murderers and sexually immoral and sorcerers and idolaters and ALL LIARS, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

Even as the 9th Commandment clearly spells out, you shall not give or bear out a falsehood against your neighbor, the groundwork was laid, you shall not lie. As the Scriptures teach, ALL liars, whosever loves lies and tells lies, shall not go unpunished. Their reward is Gehenna Fire; they will not be allowed in the Kingdom of God.

Here it is again, that time of year which challenges the integrity and very sincerity of Christians around the world - Christmas!

Oddly enough there is a somewhat increasing minority of Christians here and there that are turning sour toward the Christmas celebration. Still not wanting to eliminate completely “the spirit of the Christ-child,” some churches here and there are re-evaluating the sincerity of the holiday.

And why not? Over the past fifteen years there has been a barrage, a surge of information which has exposed the history and reality of the Christmas observance. Whether communicated through the Internet or as depicted in TV documentaries, the background and chronicles of this pagan holiday are becoming more transparent.

Some Christians are seeing Christmas for what it really is, an observance, the origins being deeply rooted in pagan traditions, folklore, myth and legend. Still the vast, clear and overwhelming majority of Christians still hold to and revere, adore and perpetuate Christmas with tenacious zeal, with religious passion.

One element of Christmas (passed off as harmless, innocuous, child-like, appealing, for the fun of it) is the plump, white-bearded, red-suited old man of modern folklore and commercialism, Santa Claus (an English name, a modification of the Dutch Sinterklaas which is an alteration of Sint Nikolaas or Saint Nicholas). (For more information see our booklet Christmas … the Untold Story).

Adapted from the 3rd Century character St. Nicolas, the Bishop of Myra, Santa Claus has been the central element of the Christmas lie that has been used to keep children in line. How often have you heard, or perhaps even said, “If you don’t behave yourself, Santa Claus won’t bring you any presents.” You know the seasonal song, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Santa Claus pretty near seems to have replaced the responsibility of parental discipline and God’s Judgment.

One of the responsibilities of a Christian parent is to bring up a child in the training and admonition of the Lord. Certainly, a Christian parent is not to lie to their children. Yet how often they do!

The Santa Claus (or whatever the name given throughout the world to the character who represents the St. Nicholas tradition) lie is a sin committed, perpetuated by countless billions of Christian parents and Christian teachers, used on countless billions of innocent, trusting, gentle, unsuspecting children. That practice has once again been carried out in 2007.

A Christian, particularly a Christian parent is to imitate and follow the examples of, follow in the footsteps of, to be as the Master, the Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, the one whom a Christian is to follow, never lied. Yet each year at this time, the lies are told. This is that time of year when once again the integrity of the Christian is challenged; to lie or not to lie?

If you celebrate Christmas, perpetuating the lie of the sweet, joyous story of Santa Claus to your child and all the while claiming to be a Christian, then you’ve got a problem.

It is time you repent of your sin, of your lies. It is time to ask Jesus Christ to forgive you for being disrespectful and disobedient toward Him as you have misled and lied to your children, causing them to believe in a fantasy, a fairytale, a pagan holiday, in a clear deception, in a lie and not the truth.

Once again the challenge is set before you. Either lie (after all it’s only innocent fun; it’s only for the children) or speak the truth, as is required of you by the Master, Jesus Christ.

Perhaps now is also the time to start looking into and understand the lies rooted in Sunday Worship, Easter Services and the Trinity. That is just the start. It’s time to learn the truth of the Bible and speak the truth, especially when it comes to the teachings of Jesus Christ, the very Savior of the World.

Breaking News Stories
Go here for the latest news stories on this subject. –news stories added 18 Jan 2008

Further reading:
See Christmas Feature Page
Christmas or Pagan Mass?
How Christmas Works
Pagan Origins of Christmas

Christmas, The Untold Story
What is the Kingdom of God?
The Real Jesus
Could Jesus Have Sinned?

Left: Christmas tree
Right: Image of Santa Claus

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