Sometimes in my diatribes against Santa Claus, I make the point that when and where imagination, reality and truth collide and a parent is suddenly forced to fess up to their child that Santa Claus is not real but has simply been a big game of pretend … in the mind and heart of that little child, one has ALSO suddenly cast doubt upon the true Christmas story and the birth of the baby Jesus. A child can’t help but wonder …
“Is the Christmas story real or pretend? After all … the same adults that have been telling me Santa is real have also been telling me that Jesus is real. Who and what can I really trust and believe?”
Recently I was reading Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christmas and just a few pages in came across this bit of testimony from Lee himself:
“As a youngster, like countless other wide-eyed children, I listened with rapt fascination to the annual Bible story about Christmas. But as I matured, skepticism set in. I concluded that not only is Santa Claus a feel-good fable, but that the entire Christmas tale was itself built on a flimsy foundation of wishful thinking.”
As many of you may know, Lee Strobel was a lifelong atheist and also a journalist who a bit later in life was awakened to the call of Christ Jesus and has since become a well-known apologist and author. So on the one hand you may say, it all worked out.
But you can’t help but wonder how much of his skepticism was born out of what he found out about the feel-good fable of Santa and influenced how he interpreted the birth of Jesus then subsequently prompted him to embrace atheism for 30 plus years.
And I can’t help but wonder, “How many other people have become skeptics and atheists as a result of the ‘pretend’ game of Santa?”
Offered simply as food for thought …
Note: This post was originally published in December 2010.