Does Santa Work for Jesus?

Cathy Lynn Grossman in today's USA Today asks, "Where is Christ in Christmas?" She pulls together a variety of opinion not least of which comes from Michael Horton, author of Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church. From the story:

"Santa becomes a substitute for Christ. He'll give you presents whether you were good or bad. It's hard to imagine Santa returning to judge the human race and consign anyone to hell. But that (judgment) is what Jesus came to save us from," says Horton, who tells his children Santa works for Jesus.


Well, I'm not sure Santa works for Jesus, but I do appreciate Horton's comment at the end of the story:


Horton blames Christians themselves for taking the Christ out of Christmas. "Secularism cannot be blamed on the secularists, many of whom were raised in the church. We are the problem," he says.


It's a fair question: to what extent have we, the church, been responsible for any measure of a Christless Christmas in America?


And be sure to read the whole column because it's not often you see an article in USA Today where the word "doctrine" is used. Of course it would be almost impossible to feature Horton in a story and not mention the word. Perhaps God is using USA Today, of all publications, to help get our focus back on the theological meaning of Christmas. After all, God did speak through Balaam's ass--that is, donkey (Num. 22:28-31).