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Should Churches Discourage Belief in Santa Claus?
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Should Churches Discourage Belief in Santa Claus?

"The key word is belief. Emulating Saint Nick is awesome, but I have problems with parents duping their children into believing that Santa exists. A church could acknowledge in a family context the historical person of St. Nicholas. But the figure the culture has created does not belong in church."
Scottie May, professor, Wheaton College

"The true meaning of Christmas is sacred. No matter their choices, when it comes to Santa and other traditions, families should make it their main goal to tie every practice to the true meaning of Christmas."
Leon Wirth, executive director of parenting and youth, Focus on the Family

"The true story of St. Nicholas is about a life lived radically for Jesus. Santa teaches us how to give with joy and to receive gifts with gladness. Don't discourage belief in Santa; instead, spend time encouraging people to put their belief in God."
Michael Chanley, executive director, International Network of Children's Ministry

"Churches should be in the business of encouraging belief in Jesus, not micromanaging which bits of folklore parents choose to include in their family holidays. Santa gives us opportunities to show our kids the love Jesus brought into this world."
Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira, author, Mama's Got a Fake I.D.

"Have Santa join the children to celebrate the birth of Jesus, since it is Santa's Favorite Story (by Hisako Aoki). The more we invite into the story, the less we will have to worry about the competition. All can bring their gifts to the King—even Santa."
Dennis Okholm, professor, Azusa Pacific University

"The notion of getting back to a 'pure Christmas' is misfounded; the holiday was a hodgepodge ...

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Should Churches Discourage Belief in Santa Claus?
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December 2012

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