Tell the Truth...! : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

I have been threatended by some members due to the fact that the church I pastor does not make any references to Santa Claus during the season of Advent! The church is in the middle of an area which is urban and full of crime (a person was murdered during a home invasion less than 3 weeks ago who lived on our block). This entire period we have been witnessing and sharing from the gospels concerning the birth of Christ. As a child, I was fortunate to learn for myself the true meaning of Christmas. I saw my dad trying to assemble three bikes on Christmas Eve and my mother reading the instructions. Now that is the meaning of the modern day Experience! It is not about Santa Claus, but Jesus the Christ. If there was a man in a red suit trying to get down our chimney in the hood, either he was a burglar or the insurance man trying to get his monthly payment. As for me and my children, how foolish would I be to allow another man (other than Jesus) to get the praise and thanks for the gifts they will receive! If there was a Santa Claus, please give him the bill from Toys R Us, Marshall Fields, Gap....I think they are due on the 5th of January! Can you feel what I am saying? Holla if you hear me!

-- Anonymous, December 18, 2002


I hear you Parson, loud and clear!! Jolly Old St. Nick ought never supercede the real meaning and purpose of Christmas. Urban legends like Santa contribute to the dysfunctional behavior we witness not by just kids but even adults. QED

-- Anonymous, December 18, 2002

"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist"

Even at my age Santa never fails to visit me each year and I am never disappointed by what he brings nor by the love and generosity he has to share. Some call him Saint Nic'las because he speads good chee. Because he spreads joy, he reminds others of Krist Kindle--the Blessed Christ Child.

"And now I will show you a still more excellent way" -1 Corinthians 12:31.

Yes, Virginia, there is also Jesus too. For it was He who through his matchless love gave up all that He had in glory and came to earth seeking for you and me. He came as one , "Born To Die". He is the one who became the Blessed Christ Child, Our Lord Emmanuel.

Since He found me He never leaves me alone. His love is eternal and has no end.

Thank God that since I know who Jesus really is. I also know that I am too a saint. This also lets know that my God is not the one who J.B. Phillips wrote was TOO SMALL. My God is a Big and Loving God. In fact He is so Big and so loving and kind that neither He nor His blessing of Christmas is ever diminished or intimidated by me or Santa Claus.

-- Anonymous, December 18, 2002

Ray I am concerned by your first line in your post you say "I have been threatened by some members of the church" I do not know if it is a serious threat or not. And would like some clarification. You are a wonderful pastor and the fact that you have kept the focus on the gift of Christ is a testament to your resolve as a follower of Christ. As pastors we deal with people at different stages in their walk with christ, some will be babies, some will be mature christians, some will be seekers and some will walk with the children of darkness. There are a few things we can do with our congregations at Christmas time. 1.) Print out our 25 articles of faith for the A.M.E Church and also go over the Apostle's Creed. When we look at these documents in the light of Christmas they have a fresh and inspiring meaning. And no where is Santa Clause mention. If the congregation insists on Santa imagery suggest that those who want it the most dress in a santa costume and give gifts at a nursing home, feed the homeless, adopt a poor family and buy gifts for them. This way they can be taught to think of others as Christ did.

Robert Matthews always sums things up so beautifully. Thank you Robert. And he mentioned part of a letter written to the New York Sun newspaper in 1897 asking if there was a Santa Claus. I thought our readers on A.M.E Today would like to read the editorial in it's entirety. I have cut and paste from the People's Almanac. enjoy!

The People’s Almanac, pp. 1358–9. (Originally published in The New York Sun in 1897.)

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

-- Anonymous, December 18, 2002

I use the term "threatened" in the sense of persons not trying to do bodily harm...but trying to close the collection plate. The funny thing is that the youth of the church appreciate and even thanked the pastor for "keeping it real." Now c'mon, ya'll know that a red suit with a sleigh full of material things is living "ghetto-fab!" One of my high school members had his vision of Santa as a brotha with gator boots, wearing a gucci suit, riding on 22"rims spinning on a red 'lac (red cadillac)! As the Ohio Players would sing "...heaven must be like this, it must be like this!" Besides, we have been blessed with the best gift, the Love of God through the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ! Nothing that Santa could bring could ever compare to what we have already received...God's Love, Grace and Mercy! Can I get an "Amen" from my fellow peeps?

-- Anonymous, December 18, 2002

Parson Ray,

Speak the TRUTH, my brother!!

To each of you on this board, I pray God's richest blessings upon you.

May your lives be filled with peace, joy, hope and love.

God bless.

Revsistah J

Give the gift that keeps on giving = JESUS!

May the Joy, Peace, Hope, and Love of Jesus - the reason for the season- dwell richly in your hearts.

-- Anonymous, December 19, 2002

Merry Christmas Rev. Wiggs!!! How are you my sister? You have been sorely missed on the board. Good to know you are doing well.

-- Anonymous, December 19, 2002

Good morning, to all. I'm doing very well, thank you, Rev. Denise. I've been in and out of the office and have not had access to the net.

There've been some very interesting and thought-provoking questions and comments in the last few months and though I've not had the opportunity to respond to any of them, the dialogue has been uplifting. Thanks, for all that I've read helps to keep my prayer list filled.

Parson Ray, I feel ya! Let me holla at ya!!

Yes, we have santa (satan) this time of year and in the spring it will be the bunny. "What is a lie?" santa (satan) is a lie. What makes him a liar is that we tell children that he brings them gifts. Why tell that lie when we can tell the TRUTH - about JESUS "the reason for the season." A few years ago, in an AMEC, the youth choir stood up and sang "santa claus is coming to town" the Jackson 5 style. Some of the congregation in that church saw nothing wrong with it. The pastor went along to get along and didn't address it at all. When it came up in Sunday School the next week, one prominent leader said the SS was not the forum to discuss it. Where is the forum? If not there? where?

Today, we still have Christians in the dark about what to stand up for and what to stand against. The basic premise is to "leave it alone." How will they know if we don't tell them? What did Jesus leave alone? He addressed the religious leaders of his day regarding those things that they had the wrong connotations/concepts about. There is much to pray about.

No matter how far back in history you go, (kris kringle, santa, or st. nick) the gist of what they were about is giving gifts. Well, followers of Christ are givers of gifts, including time, tithe, talents. Followers of Christ MUST not forget the "giver of every good and perfect gift" whose name is JESUS.

May the Peace, Joy, Hope and Love of Christ dwell richly in your hearts not only during this season, but day by day!!

Revsistah J

-- Anonymous, December 20, 2002

SANTA? NOOOOOOOOOOO way, kawanza no way! we should be do all we can do to show the light of Christ, not someone in a red suit who lives with "mystical" creatures, does magic, and bribes children to take their mind off the birth of Christ. As long as I am talking, remember"a house devided cannot stand" either we celebrate the birth of our Lord or some BUM in a red suit. These are the things that are killing our Country, anything that will divert people from Gods' Word, and the tearing down of those things that remind us of Him. Please, speak up for Christ, make your voices heard by the elected officials, show that your candle is in the window not under the bed. In Christ, In Freedom, Angelo Cobrasci, CEO Defenders of Freedom

-- Anonymous, December 27, 2002

A funny thing happened with my kids. My wife and I decided that we'd never tell our kids Santa was real. We'd tell them he is a fun thing people do, but he isn't real.

Well, they didn't believe us. Neither one of them did. They just looked at us like we were crazy, as if to say "I sat on his lap this morning. Of course he's real."

Then at about the age kids normally stop believing something clicked, and they asked if the whole thing was a hoax. We reminded them how we said all along it was fake, and they finally got it.

-- Anonymous, December 28, 2002


Whether you know it or not you just preached a sermon and your text was takenn from both the New Testament and the Old.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." - Ecclesiastes 3:1.

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." - 1 Corinthians 13: 11.

I am so glad my parents and the Lord allowed me my season to learn and grow and they allowed me my season for Santa Claus.

-- Anonymous, December 28, 2002

Praise the Lord1

-- Anonymous, December 28, 2002

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