by Paul Black
On Sunday Cheryl and I mentioned the rising phenomenon of "Pokemon" and our concern regarding its impact on this present generation of youth. Our concern has been met with mixed reaction, ranging from those receiving the warning and removing the app from their cell phones to others saying "I don't see what the big deal is." Please understand that our desire is not to shame anyone but only to bring attention to something that might keep us from becoming all that God has called us to be in Him. I appreciate the fact that some feel the freedom to disagree and question what is spoken of at church. When that happens, we become iron sharpening iron and I am never threatened or bothered by questions. In fact, I think that speaks of health in a church. My motivation is simply the responsibility I feel before the Lord as outlined in Hebrews 13:17 (NASB)
"Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you."
The issue that I'm most concerned about in "role playing" games like "Pokemon" (pocket monster) and other mystical games is the fact that it's usually about acquiring power through the cursing, hexing, capture and destruction of enemy creatures. One gains more power by the absorption of others powers after their defeat. The goal is to became the "master Pokemon" of the universe. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think that was also Lucifer's desire.
I believe this latest version is more dangerous than previous games because it blends fantasy with the real world. Now I'm generally not one to look for demons behind every rock, but there is something about this latest craze which has us greatly concerned. I first became aware of "Pokemon" after our first night of prayer at Baker Park. As I walked to my car after the event, I was surrounded by dozens of college age kids who were all walking like zombies glued to their iPhones and Androids. I discovered they were all involved in playing Pokemon. I was absolutely amazed how so many people could be completely lost to the allurement of fantasy yet totally unaware of the reality surrounding them. It was actually kind of scary.
Simply put, all these venues (Pokemon, Harry Potter, etc) are teaching a generation of children how to live and operate in the realm of witchcraft. As believers, we're instructed by the Apostle Paul to having nothing to do with the works of darkness... Eph 5:11
"Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them."
What does the Bible tell us about imaginations? Paul says this again in 2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)
"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"
All of our thoughts and fantasies must come under the reign and dominion of the Lord Jesus. Lucifer wants nothing more than to cause us to compromise our stand and make us totally ineffective for God's kingdom. If we continue to battle the spirit of the present age with a lukewarm attitude toward the wickedness of our culture, and counter it with a religious system that simply teaches Bible stories from a historical perspective and does nothing to teach them how to access the power of God that is in all of us, we have lost the battle before it begins. The truth is, if we grabbed hold of the fact that the "fullness of the godhead" resides in us as it was in Jesus, we honestly would have no use for role playing games like Pokemon. We would be operating in our identity as sons of God (Romans 8:19). Every day would become an adventure with the Holy Spirit of God wanting to display His glory through us to a lost world.
I challenge all of us to come up higher. Study the scriptures and do your research. The opportunity is to be a light and a witness to all these who are being swallowed up by this latest fad. I believe the harvest is ripe. Don't join the craze, instead pour your time and effort in intimacy with the Father. Get to know Him so you can be a light in the darkness. Don't just be a casual believer like so many are today, become hot and passionate for Him and see what He can do through you! I end with this verse from the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:14 (NASB)
"Awake o sleeper and rise from the dead, and Christ may shine on you"
( BTW, you can buy a copy of John Paul Jackson's book " Buying & Selling the Souls of our Children, A Closer look at Pokemon" on Amazon.com)