Oh, the irony. Sweet, sweet, can’t-see-the-forest-for-the-trees, irony. What follows is a quote from an Evangelical preacher who believes parents should never, ever, under pains of judgment from God, tell their children Santa or the Easter Bunny are real. These non-entities are nothing but myths, this preacher alleges, yet he, at the same time thinks it is vitally important to tell children the “t-r-u-t-h” about the Evangelical version of God. In his mind, God is different from Santa or the Easter Bunny.
While it may seem like a good idea to teach your children about the Easter Bunny, or that there is such a creature that brings easter eggs. It is not. It is lying to them. Parents, you need to tell your children the truth.
A mythical creature does not do what Christ did for us.
[The same headline] would apply to Santa Claus and all you have to do is replace the Easter bunny with the words Santa Claus and you will get the real picture.
Both mythical beings may ‘bring’ nice items that bring temporary satisfaction to the human body or fulfill long-held desires for gifts and chocolate but they can’t do anything for your child.
Nor can they help your children out when they are in trouble. They have no power to rescue them at any time. So why teach your children about these two ‘people’ who have never existed in the format they are credited?
While there may be historic people who have done nice things and have been given credit for being the basis for the mythical Santa Claus, those men could not and cannot die for our sins nor grant us eternal life.
If you want to give your children easter eggs, and chocolate on this weekend, do so with the right purpose, the right reason, and the right focus. Put your children’s eyes, minds, and hearts on Christ, not a mythical creature that seeks to rob Christ of his purpose for coming to this world.
We need to place our children’s eyes and the world’s eyes on Christ and his sacrifice not on some creature that does not exist and can’t lay eggs made from candy or chocolate. Bunnies can’t lay eggs at all but that is a minor point in this hoax.
Keep your childrens’ and your own eyes on Christ as there is no substitute for him.
This preacher provides no evidence for the existence of God, yet, contrary to his missive about Santa and the Easter Bunny, he expects parents to teach their children to keep their “eyes” on a dead man, Jesus, for which he has no evidence for his claim that this man is a resurrected deity. Outside of the Bible, there is zero evidence for the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Over the weekend, Polly and I went out to eat at Sweetwater Chophouse in Defiance. Afterward, we stopped at Meijer to buy a few groceries. Typically, we grocery shop in Toledo — better stores with a variety of foods. The Defiance Meijer is poorly staffed with half-empty shelves, and, quite frankly, it’s a dump. We don’t like shopping at this store, but, unless we want to drive 50 miles to Toledo or Fort Wayne, this is where we must shop.
As we were leaving the store, I noticed a mother, her four-year-old daughter, and another woman standing in the aisle talking. I noticed the four-year-old giving me the “look” — that wide-eyed, eyes-fixed look of a child who is amazed that she just spotted Santa. As we approached, she never took her eyes off of me. I waved at her. She excitedly returned my wave. Though I was in excruciating pain, I decided to stop and talk to this little girl for a moment. I said to you her, “do you think I’m Santa Claus”? She shook her head yes. I replied, “I get that a lot.” Mom said to the girl “this is what Santa does when he is not delivering presents.” (I thought, if I was Santa, I sure as hell wouldn’t vacation in Defiance, Ohio in the off-season!) I asked the girl, “have you been good this year”? She nodded her head yes. And with that, I said, “you all have a wonderful evening.”
This scenario has played out numerous times over the past decade (now that my beard is long, pure white). I have told countless “lies” to children. Am I in any way harming them? OF course not. Fantasy and myth play an important part in the lives of children. No harm, no foul. In time, these children will get older and outgrow the myths of their youth. I feel honored to provide a fleeting moment of joy and pleasure in their lives.
Now imagine if I went up to this child and said, “there’s no Santa or Easter Bunny. You need to grow up and stop believing lies.” Imagine if I excoriated her mother for lying to her, telling her that she needed to tell her daughter the t-r-u-t-h. According to the aforementioned Evangelical preacher, parents should tell their children the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about everything. Okay, here’s what I should tell this four-year-old girl: God became a man, who was born of a virgin (that’s a woman who has never had sex), who lived a sinless life, who was, at the age of thirty-three, executed on a cross ✝️ to provide a blood 🩸 sacrifice for your sins. Three days later, he resurrected (came back to life, think about your dead hamster 🐹 Joey coming back to life) from the dead, and later left earth 🌍 to return to Heaven (a place you have never seen, but it really exists up ⬆️ there). Someday, he will return to earth to slaughter 🩸 everything (humans, animals, cats, dogs) on earth, including you (and your mommy, daddy, nana, and grandpa) unless you tell the God-man, Jesus, that you are sorry for being a despicable, vile little girl, and ask him into your heart (your mind) to save you from your sins. If you pray this prayer, and really, really, really mean it, cross your heart, hope to die, you will go to Heaven when you die. If not, the God-man will torture you in Hell forever.
I, for one, don’t have a problem with lying in certain circumstances. Some lies are harmless, others are not. I don’t lose a moment of sleep over the former, and I try not to do the latter. During my fire-breathing Evangelical days, I was much like this Evangelical preacher. I prided myself in always telling my children the truth. Our six children were never exposed to the Santa, and Easter Bunny myths. In fact, we didn’t practice Christmas or Easter (or Halloween). No trees, lights, or Easter baskets. All Jesus, 24-7. Polly wanted it otherwise, but I was the head of our home, so she acquiesced to my authority and judgment. As if she had a choice. 😢😢
Of course, I was a hypocrite when it came to lying to my children. I generally told them the truth, but there were times I withheld the truth from them or out and out lied. Let me give you one humorous example. For eleven years, we lived in a12x70 mobile home. Our bedroom was on one side of the trailer, and our children’s two bedrooms (three children in each room) were on the other side. One night, Polly and I had a noisy, rambunctious roll in the hay. Boy, those were the days! 🙂 The next morning, our six-year-old daughter asked us about the “noise” she heard last night. With a smile on my face, I replied, oh, that was an owl in the woods. 🙂 Laura’s curiosity was quickly satiated, and off she went to prepare for school.
I suspect this preacher has spun a few lies in his time. In fact, having interacted with him numerous times, I know he has. All of us lie at one time or another. The only question in my mind is when is it okay to lie? I am sure I will be accused of practicing situational ethics or having subjective morals. On both of these counts, I heartily plead guilty. I am more than happy to flesh out my view on lying in the comment section. For now, I’m content to point out this Evangelical preacher’s rank hypocrisy.
Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
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