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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Parker: 'When Santa Claus Decked the Arian Heresy'

James Parker III has a brilliant article regarding the original St Nick that provides some background information on one of the important saints of the early Christian church. I'll provide a brief segment here to get your attention...

"One of the most interesting stories connected with him was his role during the Arian controversy. St. Methodius asserted that "thanks to the teaching of St. Nicholas the metropolis of Myra alone was untouched by the filth of the Arian heresy, which it firmly rejected as death-dealing poison." (Arius, of course, asserted that Jesus was a created being and had not existed from all eternity.)

One weak tradition has him actually attending the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325, when Arian doctrine was rejected. The story goes that he got into a heated debate with Arius himself about whether there was a time when the Word (Jesus) did not exist. Nicholas strongly disagreed.

The debate ended suddenly when Nicholas punched Arius then and there on the floor of the council. This gives new meaning to the ditty: "He's making a list and checking it twice, he's going to find out who's naughty or nice."

The mental image of Santa Claus punching Arius on the floor of the Council of Nicea with Emperor Constantine looking on fundamentally changes the way one ever sees Santa Claus again. While I might not agree with his methods, I certainly admire his passion for Christological orthodoxy and doctrinal purity."

I'll take this tough, old saint over the corporatized, sissified version of Santa currently on offer any day.


The Maryland Crustacean said...

I had no idea! That would have been worth seeing. Perhaps another reason why J.W.s don't celebrate Christmas.

Ross said...

Is that what I should do the next time my Watchtower friends knock on my door?