Santa Claus or Easter Bunny

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by tinytim, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. tinytim

    tinytim
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    AS a pastor, would you ever tell kids on an Easter Sunday morning in a church service that there is no such thing as an Easter Bunny or Santa Claus?

    I'll explain later why I am asking..

    And NO.. I didn't do this!.. LOL
     
  2. Scarlett O.

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    Oh, my! I would think that from the pulpit a pastor would want to preach about the truth of the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection and what it means to us as the creation of the Genius Creator. That should dispel any other beliefs that people have and put the benign practice of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny in their place without having to say it.
     
  3. TomVols

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    Remember: there was a Santa Claus (St. Nicholas). So don't lie and say there was no such thing. So the two are a bit different.

    I have decided this to be an issue of Christian liberty, so I will articulate my beliefs but allow for others to hold their own as well, so long as we both come from Scripture and end at God's glory.
     
  4. Jkdbuck76

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    ...and St Nicolas had a temper. Did he not strike a heretic at one of the councils?
     
  5. preachinjesus

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    Why, oh why, would a pastor feel compelled to do something like this in midst of a service? Aren't there far more important things to cover?

    Listen, I'm all for being honest and forthright with people. If an adult comes to me and asks me heads or tails my answer is obviously no. But children are different.

    I guess if a church doesn't want to keep the people on the margins of Christianity they could do this. I would never, never do this from a platform.
     
  6. tinytim

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    If this happened at your church, how would you handle the situation? What would you say to the pastor?
     
  7. SBCPreacher

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    No, I wouldn't. That's the parent's decision. What would I do if a my pastor did this (assuming I wasn't the pastor), I'd say he was out of line.
     
  8. SaggyWoman

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    I am thinking that there are more important things to preach about than bringing E Bunny and S Claus up.
     
  9. sag38

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    When I was a new pastor I accidental suggested that Santa wasn't real in a impromptu sermon. I wasn't trying to be controversial. It was a slip of the tongue. Needless to say there were some parents who were not happy with me. But, they accepted my apology and let their green "boy" preacher off the hook.
     
  10. Salty

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    Sag - first I see no need to apologize. You might say, "I am sorry you feel that way..."

    I think that part of the problem is that the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause (not St Nick) are quickly replacing Christ in the manage and on the Cross.

    Schools now have winter and Spring Vacation instead of Easter and Christmas.

    How would a teacher react if a student drew a picture of Christ in the manager?
    Is any "religious stuff" allowed in public schools?
    This webpage describes a mom's thoughts about her daughters school. The mom is talking about a British school - but it could be just as well in the States.

    Would a parent be offended if a pastor said Superman is not real? or that the plots on "Leave it to Beaver" are not real for most families.

    Last week the teacher in our Children's church had the kids make Bunny rabbits out of paper plates and other materials. I did not see anything even closely related to the resurrection.

    Are we getting so worldly that we are afraid to say that Santa is not real? (if parents want to have fun with Clause at home - fine) but we need to start preaching the truth - as the movie line said -
    (Disclaimer: there are a couple phrases that that may be offensive)
    "You want the truth - you cant handle the truth?
    The Character is played by Jack Nicholson.
    As I watch this clip, I actually saw in principle some similarities between the mission of the Marine Corps commander and the mission of a pastor.

    Maybe just maybe, we should preach from the pulpit that the EB and SC are not real - and if I do, I will not apologize for it.
     
  11. Bro. James

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    Any sort of intrusions on people's religious comfort zones will usually produce consternation and small congregations. Preaching about sin, righteousness and judgement to come will not make standing room only crowds; but such preaching will produce real spiritual repentance and revival.

    The fantasizing associated with Easter and Christ's Mass are quite pagan, making it difficult to be consistent when trying to show the truth. The implication of doing good to get gifts is teaching salvation by works--a very difficult thing to unlearn. Multitudes of "Christians" think they are saved by their works. This negates the Grace of God. Most of the practices of Easter seem to have originated in the worship of some fertility goddess.

    "Come out from among them, saith the Lord, touch not the unclean thing."

    Peace,

    Bro. James
     
  12. webdog

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    If Santa and the Easter bunny are not real, where do the toys come from? I hate to break it to you all, but my kids got gifts and candy from both, and the last I checked I'm very much real and typing this. As parents we play many roles. Its not for a pastor to usurp the father's authority in the home. He is the leader of the church, not over my home.
     
  13. tinytim

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    So Web, how would you handle this situation if your pastor did this?

    This is a real situation and a person from a real church is watching this thread for advice... I'll let you in on that much..

    Apparently a pastor, right before the easter egg hunt at a church gathered the children around and told them there was no easter bunny or Santa Claus...
     
  14. preachinjesus

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    The person needs to get out of the church. When a pastor does something like that it tells me more about the kind of ministry that he is going to go about doing than anything else. As someone who has been in ministry for more than a few years and served alongside some really wonderful people it is not the place of a pastor to usurp the authority and traditions of parents over issues that are of peripheral worth.

    If a pastor, senior or associate, at our church did this they'd be in very, very hot water. We work way too hard at reaching people who have been far from Christ for too long to have to deal with this kind of muck and mire clogging our ministry.

    Imagine the spiritual repercussions, years down the road, when these children grow up and still have the image of a spiritual shepherd devastating their beliefs in this way.

    What harm is there is letting little kids enjoy Santa or the Easter Bunny? Seems far more harmful to destroy their precious experiences than to let them work out of it naturally.
     
  15. webdog

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    Is this a new pastor or a long time pastor? How long have they been at the church? This would play a role in how to address the situation. I would reply to him similar to my post above. I would point out it is not his place to usurp my authority in my home, nor the other fathers and their families in the church (not to mention you cannot prove a negative ;)). If he didn't respond to me favorably, that is when you bring a witness...and you know the rest from there.
     
  16. tinytim

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    Been there for about 2 months.. It's a small country church.. when he started there were about 20 coming to worship they are now up to 40 or 50.. He has a way of bringing in people, and his sermons are biblical, I am told by many friends..
     
  17. Scarlett O.

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    Here's what I think, if it's worth anything.

    I think that a small group (2-3) of people who are not hot-heads, but have the gift of encouragement and tact, should go to him and explain not so much about WHAT he said, but that he overstepped his authority as a pastor and delved into blanketly interferring with parental authority. Especially being that this was a fellowship occasion and he was not actually behind the pulpit.

    If he truly is preaching sound doctrine and the church has doubled in size in two months, then this should not be held against him.

    It's a mistake. All pastors make them. All laypeople make them.

    He should not be made to feel bad, but it should be explained to him why he was out of line on this one. If he is worth his salt, he would make a simple and sincere apology to the parents of those children and no one else. And he should say NOTHING to the children.

    And then everyone needs to move on and continue the work of the Lord in that church.

     
  18. abcgrad94

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    If this was a church-sponsored activity, maybe he felt uncomfortable with what he feels is a "lie" and wanted to make sure the kids knew the real reason for Easter? I'm sure he meant well but just handled it badly. I think a brief talk with some level-headed dads is in order, just to let him know the parents would prefer to be the ones to decide when to "break the news" to their children. After that, I wouldn't give it another thought. It's not a huge issue that should cause great division or discouragement in the church.
     
  19. menageriekeeper

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    Oh my! He really stuck his foot in the muck didn't he? :eek: Poor fella!

    After I waited out my initial fury (red hair ya know, so the temper flashes hot and quick), I suggest what Scarlett and ABCgrad have suggested. Though in my case, he'd be speaking to me since my dh doesn't attend church, thereby avoiding these sorts of things.

    I would NOT expect him to say anything to *my* children. I would have already dealt with them and anything further would just be confusing.

    A sincere apology would clear the matter up nicely so long as he didn't repeat the mistake next year. (and I would be watching)

    Next year, instead of telling the children there is no Easter Bunny he should tell them the real reason for Easter is Christ and everything else we do like egg rolls and such is in celebration of what Christ did for us and move on!
     
  20. sag38

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    I simply told the children, "Let me tell you about the real meaning of Easter. It doesn't have anything to do with eggs and bunnies. It's about a man named Jesus....."
     

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