Saturday, December 06, 2008

Santa Punches Arius

December 6. The feast day of Nicholas, the bishop of Myra. Also known as St Nick's Day. Lots of Christians like to tell their children the true story of St Nick on this day. But the part of the story we just loved was told us by a friend from Rockford.

The [first] Council of Nicaea met in AD 325 to discuss the nature of the Son of God. Was Jesus of the same substance as the Father? Was He different? Was there a time when the Father existed but the Son didn't yet exist? Was Jesus divine? Exactly what is it that Christians confess about the Trinity and about the relationship of the persons within the Godhead?

The bishops cared about doctrine. They really cared. (We don't see that too often these days. We care more about not rocking the boat.) At one point in the debate, the heretic Arius could not be refrained from spouting his blasphemies. And Nicholas struck him. This was not okay with the other bishops. They didn't approve of hitting. So they kicked out the bishop from Myra. Legend has it that some of the Fathers received a vision that night which showed Nicholas to be in the right. So he was reinstated to his office and allowed back at the Council.

And through the Council, God gave us the Nicene Creed which confesses "I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made." But in the process of working out the Creed, Bishop Nicholas (aka St Nick, aka Santa) punched out Arius.

The fat guy in the red suit with the elves and reindeer doesn't have a story nearly as good as the real Nicholas.

Real men care about doctrine.
Real men defend true doctrine.
Santa was a real man!

1 comment:

  1. *awesome*

    And I forgot, AGAIN, to have Sparkle set out a shoe to be filled with goodies last night. Maybe by the time she's 20 I'll remember.