Written by Adam Coleman
I spend a lot of my social media time debating with folks from various worldviews (i.e. Hebrew Israelites, Kemetics) and have picked up a number of Facebook friends that way. So around this time of year I find my timeline littered with Youtube videos, memes, and articles about whether or not Christmas is of pagan origins. Is jolly old Saint Nick just a mythical fat guy with nothing but love for everybody or is he some sort pagan-inspired distraction to an otherwise sacred holiday? Welp, I’ll let that battle rage on amongst the keyboard warriors and talk about something else entirely. After reading up on the original Saint Nicholas I’ve got new inspiration for celebrating Christmas this year so I’d rather speak on that.
Down through the centuries numerous legends have emerged concerning “the real” Saint Nicholas of Myra. Surely the most notable of these stories involves a father of three daughters who had fallen on such hard times that he couldn’t afford a dowry for them to be married. In those days, that was a big deal. If the daughters couldn’t marry then it’s safe to say they would live a life of shame as old maids throughout their adulthood. As the story goes, Saint Nicholas was sitting on some cash and had compassion on this poor family. He took it upon himself to go to the family’s home by night and anonymously leave enough money to resolve the family’s dowry problem. This act of kindness cemented Saint Nicholas in folklore and is the basis for our Santa Clause gift-giving traditions. That’s the background for the Sleigh Rider we’re all familiar with; However, there are other legends about Nick’s dark past that suggest he was more than just a do-gooder with dollars to throw around. Ladies and gentlemen, Saint Nicholas was a G.
All across the internet there is a bunch of garbage out there about what did or didn’t happen at the infamous Council of Nicaea. Basically the council of Nicaea came about because a Bishop from Alexandria, Egypt named Arius was going around teaching folks that Jesus to be highly esteemed but He was a created being and thus not God. Bishop Arius found himself at odds with another bishop from Alexandria, Egypt named Bishop Alexander. Alexander upheld that the correct understanding of scripture entailed that Jesus is God. The beef between these two was real. After a number of scrimmages between them there was council that concluded Arius was wrong and they gave him the boot. As a result Arius dipped out and started teaching his stuff elsewhere. As Arius kept teaching he was able to build enough of a buzz that this doctrinal issue had to be settled once again but this time on a bigger stage–The Council of Nicaea in 325AD.
Ministry leaders from all over the Roman kingdom gathered together at Nicaea to put an end to this Arius controversy. Among those leaders was none other than Saint Nicholas of Patara. St. Nick was one of the bishops that were in sharp disagreement with Arius so he chose to ride with his set at Nicaea to make sure nothing popped off at the council that would compromise sound doctrine in the church.
So, at the council Arius was making his case for a “less-than-God” perspective of Jesus. Arius probably showed up to Nicaea thoroughly prepared for another doctrinal debate with Bishop Alexander. Little did he know he was going to have to deal with Ol’ Saint Nick and apparently Nicholas was ’bout that life. As Arius was speaking Nicholas felt like Arius wasn’t putting enough respeck on Jesus’ name so he stepped to him on some real OG type stuff. Next thing you know, Blamm! Saint Nicholas punched Arius straight in his jaw! With that punch ol’ boy put everyone on notice that he wasn’t having all that heresy talk and whoever want it with him can get dat work.
Needless to say Saint Nick’s misguided display of passion for sound doctrine may have cost him some ministerial cred. After all, it’s pretty difficult to reconcile punching people in the face with “love your neighbor as yourself.” As for me, for some reason after reading the untold story of Knockout Nick, Christmas has taken on another layer of meaning. In short, Christmas ain’t for suckas. Of course Jesus is most definitely the reason for the season and ought to be esteemed as such during the holidays. In addition to that though Saint Nicholas is a good Christmas reminder to always keep it trill if need be. With that said, I’m outta here folks. Have a merry Christmas–like a G.
P.S. This article was clearly written with comedy in mind. I will not be responding to critiques of this article related to whether or not Christmas is of pagan origins, historical facts about St. Nick, etc. Lol I’ll get back to debating when the new year rolls in. Happy holidays!