A Georgia pastor warned over the weekend that children who believe in Santa Claus could grow up to be atheists.
Many Christians in Harlem, Georgia said that they were outraged last week after the Born Again Independent Baptist Church changed its sign to read “Santa is Satan.”
In an interview on Sunday, Pastor Edward Carothers explained to WRDW that he posted the message because “Santa Claus is robbing Christ of his glory.”
“We have come to the point where we have replaced Jesus Christ and his birthday with a fictitious character named ‘Santa’ and we have lifted him up instead of lifting up the savior,” the pastor added. “It’s amazing to me that people would get this upset over a fictitious creature.”
Carothers said that the problem with Santa was that children would grow up and learn that he wasn’t real, and then they would also question Christianity.
“They grow up believing in Santa Claus, they grow up believing in the Tooth Fairy, they grow up believing in the Easter Bunny, they grow up in some homes believing in Jesus Christ,” he said. “Well when they get older they find out the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus ain’t real. So, what about this fourth person called Jesus?”
But many in Harlem said that Carothers was taking things too far.
“For something like that to be on that sign it’s absolutely ridiculous,” new father Drew Pate told WRDW. “”We have a one week old and I don’t want when he gets bigger, Daddy is Santa really Satan and have to explain no it’s just somebody’s crazy idea.”
“I’ve read the Bible and I have never seen anything like that in the Bible,” Pate noted.
But Carothers said that he stood behind the sign.
“As much as they’re offended by me and my little sign those three letters that were put on my sign so am I offended by Jesus Christ being denied who he is on the day we celebrate his birth,” the pastor opined. “I want them to know that we believe in Jesus and we’re going to lift up and magnify him on his birthday. It’s his birthday. It’s not Santa’s birthday.”
Watch the video below from WRDW, broadcast Dec. 16, 2014.
(h/t: The Blaze)