. . . By Phil Arms
Every parent must learn to keep their spiritual eyes open for the deceptive tactics of the spiritual forces that are targeting their children. Therefore, it is imperative that parents educate themselves regarding the spiritual nature of the world in which they are raising their children. The natural world in which we live is a mere reflection of the spirit world and there are numerous parallel realities.
For instance, a key component to the physical development, health, and maturity of children is food. Few parents I know would allow their children to exclusively indulge themselves in junk foods, candy, and soda pop at every meal. The results for such a child would be a catastrophic physical condition. Conversely speaking, parents must not allow their children to gorge their minds with spiritual junk foods.
Unfortunately, most parents in our society remain uninformed concerning spiritual realities. Children must be guided by informed parents in their television viewing and entertainment habits. Even the most spiritually-minded and conscientious parents must remember that hardly a day goes by when their children are not exposed to the subtle influences of the New Age movement, the occult, or Satanism. The truth is, these satanic influences are behind the vast majority of the conflicts our children face.
However, just realizing our children are growing up in a world of spiritual warfare is not enough. Because of the growing intensity of this warfare, we as parents must give ourselves time to study and to stay informed about how to counteract these diabolic attacks upon our kids.
Just as God entrusted children to parents expecting them to feed and protect them physically, He has also entrusted parents with the spiritual nurturing of their children. Vigilance in parental efforts to know the messages woven into and often hidden in the programs and games our children participate in is an absolute essential. Learn to think critically, to focus on the dialogue of cartoon characters, and to listen for key words and phrases that are part of the scripts.
The Saturday morning when I walked in on my son as he watched the Pokemon cartoon was not, for me, a convenient moment to focus on the program's content and to attempt a character analysis. As I have already mentioned, I am not a "morning person." My body may be moving in the pre-dawn hours, but my intellectual and analytical capabilities are still dead to the world. However, because I have trained myself to listen to what is being said "between the lines" in children's programming and to discern the spiritual connotations of the plots, I made it a point, when I came out of my coma later in the morning, to pursue my investigation of Pokemon.
Procrastination in looking into the spiritual diet that our children are consuming in the programming they watch has extremely negative consequences. As parents, we will either facilitate the efforts of these forces who are out to enslave our children, or we will involve ourselves and frustrate the well-laid plans of these godless influences.
Once a parent has become informed about the nature of various negative influences and demonic content that inundates children's programming they must then develop a definitive strategy to protect their children and to provide fun-filled, stimulating alternatives.
Knowing the Spirits
Increasingly over the last several decades, consumers in
If parents were as concerned about the spiritual content of what their family is consuming as they are of the physical, new demands would be placed upon the creators of children's programming.
Christian parents have a biblical mandate to "test the spirits" behind the messages that are being absorbed by their children's minds. The epistle of First John in chapter four, verse one, states, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world." While certainly we should be concerned about false preachers in our pulpits, it is equally important that parents understand the evangelistic nature of those who are creating occultic New Age children's entertainment.
Under no circumstances am I espousing that we as parents are to live in fear of these demonic forces who are busily ministering to
God simply demands that we realize there is a great spiritual warfare being waged to spiritually deceive and ensnare people. And, yes, even Christians are targeted by these demonic forces. Paul writes in Ephesians 6:12, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
Failure to acknowledge these biblical truths and to enter into this warfare equipped with the full armor of God will result in horrendous spiritual defeats in a Christian's life. For Christian mothers and fathers who fail to wage this warfare against the host of hell, whose aim is to spiritually enslave their children, the results can be heartbreaking.
Unfortunately, most parents walk in great spiritual darkness not realizing how naive they are to the scriptural truths regarding this universal assault. Tragically, they and their children are, by the multiplied millions, falling into the diabolic ambush of satanic influences.
Parents are tempted to consider it all "innocent" fun and games, and are seduced into placing little or no restraints on their children's viewing and reading habits. They literally march into what Second Timothy 2:26 calls "the snare of the devil."
Our children are being raised in a culture that from the day of their birth is attempting to mold their thinking into compatibility with itself. God's Word instructs Christians to stand constant guard over their own lives as well as the lives of their children.
The apostle Paul wrote, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Col. 2:8). It is this "philosophy" of which I warn parents. It is a philosophy that permeates the vast majority of children's entertainment today. Simply put, this "philosophy" attempts to answer life's questions and solve life's problems without in volving the truth of the living God in the equation.
Any and all attempts to bring resolution to the universal mysteries that have forever plagued mankind without considering the absolute answers given by divine revelation in the Word of God can only result in great deception. Hence, the greatest philosophers of this century have no more "philosophical" understanding than do uncivilized heathens sitting around their campfires under a starry canopy. They are both ignorant of biblical truth.
Parents must understand that their children will, just as they have, someday ask the great questions, "Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?"
The only satisfactory, fulfilling, and honest answers to such questions are found in the Word of God. However, the great Enemy of Truth who began his rebellion as an angelic being, Lucifer, wants children to deny the divine realities of God's Word. What better way to deceive them with lies about God, eternity, salvation, and their purpose in life than to, at an early age, fill their minds and hearts with the idea that they are here to become a master of demon spirits, as is the message of Pokemon?
This Bible verse warning, "Beware lest any man spoil you," literally means, "Be very careful lest any man make a prey of you and capture you with his false beliefs." The ancient philosophy of the Greeks, the Romans, and even modern philosophy offers absolutely no answers or help to mankind in his spiritual quest. The philosophies of the New Age, the occultists, the Satanists, and the Wiccans all have their roots in the same dark soil of human and demonic reasoning. They promote ways of thought and lifestyles that choose against the divine truths of God's Word.
We as parents, especially Christian parents, cannot lightly regard the indoctrination of our children by the high-tech wizardry of today's true televangelists, the purveyors of philosophical darkness who write and produce the "vain deceit" that fills so much children's programming. Do not be deceived into believing that your church-attending child can remain unaffected by the seductive lure of these occultic forces. The demonic, dark world of Pokemon and a vast host of other children's entertainment offers your children nothing but lies, deception, and philosophical death. It trains the child to disregard the true and living God and to dabble and traffic in a world of demon spirits.
Yes, characters in these programs are cute, cuddly, and often irresistibly huggable. However, encouraging a child to embrace such entities and to put these "monsters in their pockets" is not too different than encouraging them to embrace and pocket rattlesnakes. The only difference is that one is poisonous to the body while the other is poisonous to the spirit.
Throughout the Word of God Christians are given repeated warnings about participating in occultic activity.
It is appalling to me how many Christian parents have contacted us over the years asking questions about various children's cartoons and programs that are very clearly based on occultic/NewAge story lines and characters. It has been pointed out in a previous chapter how many occultic, New Age, and satanic facets are obviously in Pokemon programming. Scripture clearly warns believers to refrain from involvement in and toleration of any of these kinds of activities.
One of the most commonly used techniques recurring on the Pokemon program is the channeling of powers and evolved personalities. Channeling is a New Age term describing the use of one's body to transmit a message or power. In truth, it is the opening of one's physical body to demonic spirits in order for them to communicate a message.
In the Old Testament book of First Samuel we read where the king of
The Bible says in Leviticus 20:27, "A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit . . . shall surely be put to death." God was extremely serious in his demand for spiritual purity because of the deceptive nature behind such occultic involvement. People are not to open their bodies to be used as highways for demonic commuters attempting to access the physical realm.
Wizards and Mediums
Should we allow our children to be entertained by wizards and those entities who claim to have all kinds of psychic powers, like so many of the little "pocket monsters" on Pokemon? God clearly answers the question in Leviticus 19:31, "Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them; I am the Lord your God." God wants to protect us from the demonic defilement that comes from entertaining ourselves with these demonic entities.
Pokemon is full of creatures pictured in the multitudes of powerful Pokemon trading cards that use power-filled stones, who steal dreams, and move forces. God's Word also addresses these characters and their powers in Deuteronomy 13:1-3:
If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
New Age Teachings
The fundamental doctrine of New Agers that humans can interpose themselves into a cosmic force and use powers to gain god-like qualities is clearly addressed in the Word of God. Paul wrote of such people in the New Testament book of Romans, chapter one, where he says of them in verse twenty-five, "Who changed the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator. ..."
Pokemon of various kinds demonstrate numerous powers that help them defeat, poison, destroy, and overcome their opponents. These powers range from employing the elements, as do witches, to divination and psychic phenomena, all forbidden in Scripture.
The Bible states in Deuteronomy 18:10-12:
There shall not be found among you anyone who maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord; and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
Once a parent realizes how clearly God's Word speaks to this kind of issue, and once they understand the spiritual danger that Pokemon and other similar children's programs are to their child, it is necessary to take appropriate steps to intervene.
In the case of my own nine-year-old son, I decided to point out the obvious scriptural problems with the Pokemon story line and its demonic characters. Knowing that he had for years been taught to recognize the fingerprints of satanic programming and that in each case when previously confronted with a choice he had always made the right one, I wanted him to choose correctly on the Pokemon issue as well.
I have already explained how I began over a period of days to discuss with him the things I had found out about his favorite new cartoon, Pokemon. At first, he casually resisted my suggestion that it looked like Pokemon contained some very demonic characters. I must confess that when I began to see how absolutely devilish this stuff was that I wanted to jerk his GameBoy Pokemon out of his hand and forbid his involvement with the games, the cartoons, and the Pokemon movies.
However, I repeat, there comes a time when children must be taught the facts, be challenged to act, and then given the opportunity to make the right choice. Of course, if they fail to choose correctly, ultimately, parents must move to intervene.
So I prayed for God to give my son wisdom, I fed him the right information telling him what the Word of God said, and then watched as over the next several days he became more and more uncomfortable with his Pokemon game and program.
Finally, one day I came home and asked my wife, Suzanne, where Philip was. She responded, "I don't know. He just grabbed a hammer and went out to the backyard a little while ago."
Suddenly I heard an explosive, "BANG! BANG! BANG!" that caused me to run to the window overlooking the back porch. There I saw my son, Philip, on the porch, with all sixty-five pounds of his 5'4 " frame, being thrown into the process of smashing his beloved Pokemon game into a thousand pieces with the hammer. He was obviously not content to simply break it. He clearly wanted it totally obliterated. He then meticulously picked up as many of the tiny pieces as possible and with them cupped in his little hands, started towards the backdoor.
I quickly ran over and sat down on the couch, picked up a book, and tried to look as casual as possible. Philip then burst in the back door and walked straight to the couch. With a wide and proud smile on his face he cunningly said, "Hey Dad! Wanna play Pokemon? Too bad, 'cause you'll have to fix it!"
Then, his eyes alight with glee, he held his cupped hands over my lap and slowly, with the greatest deliberation, let the thousands of tiny Pokemon pieces rain from his hands.
I looked into his eyes with a Dad's very grateful heart and with my greatest exuberance told him how thankful I was to have such a smart son, one who knew how to make brave, hard, tough decisions in order to stand up for what is right.
He strutted for days.
Over the next few days I looked for ways to bless his obedience and to reward his right choices.
But children and young people can only make the right decision and correct choices in life if someone is equipping them with the right information and challenging them with the clear truths of God's Word. It is up to parents to teach themselves and then to teach their children to make the God-honoring decision that will put a hedge of God's truth around their lives and protect their futures.
*This article was used by permission from Phil Arm's book, "Pokemon & Harry Potter: A Fatal Attraction", Chapter 7. For information on how to obtain this excellent book see:
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