Worthy Christian News » Christian » A Critique of the Anti-Pokemon Hype
A Critique of the Anti-Pokemon Hype
As you read this critique please note that my intention is not to defend Pokemon in any way, but to simply stop sensational, unfactual information . My comments concerning this article will be in red bold. In all fairness, at the time of this writing a 13th revision of this article exists on the web page of its author. Since most websources post this article it is fitting to take it at its posted worth. The article will be posted untouched save for some formatting and the term SIC will not be applied when there are errors.
Interestingly enough the statement of faith of the article's author examined is charismatic. In point # 10 on his belief page he writes concerning the Holy Spirit:
"He empowers believers and bestows gifts on them through the laying on of hands and /or the Baptism given to all who ask, for the purpose of becoming active in the service of Jesus Christ as 'royal priests'. His fullness, power and control are appropriated in the believer's life by faith, daily indwelling and filling us."
Click here for the Biblical view of spiritual gifts
This is not intended to be an ad hominem argument. It is my opinion that this unbiblical mystical experiential theology causes the author to skews the facts to make them more sensational. My proposition is that the author of this article abused truth to promote truth.
Grace to you,
Pokemon Revision 5 "Just another "fad"? Read on! A Christian perspective¦
By Brett Peterson email@example.com
How close can we get to the occult and still call it 'good social interaction & imagination stretching fun for kids? Pokemon is a role-playing game like Dungeons and Dragons, MAGIC (another card game like Pokemon), and many other 'games' and cartoons that have occultic overtones.
While role playing games can be demonic many are not. The game of Life is a role playing game, Cowboys and Indians even house are role playing games. Role playing games for children allow them to exercise decision skills that are needed for life. The danger comes when the role we identify with is ungodly.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Pokemon is a copyright of Nintendo Japan. It was first created in Japan and is highly influenced by Japanese mysticism. It is very popular there now, and has been since 1996. In 1997 685 people went into epiliptic seizures while watching the Pokemon cartoon. Pokemon is short for "Pocket Monsters". By 300 AD, the sun-worshipping Yamato kingdom had loosely unified the nation through conquest and alliance. Buddhism was introduced from China in the mid-6th century and soon became the state religion. Rivalry between Buddhism and Shinto, the traditional religion of Japan, was diffused by presenting Shinto deities as manifestations of Buddha. They seem to embrace all mystical religions and warrior religions.
The only things about Pokemon that can be substantiated are the facts that it is a copyright of Nintendo and one episode in Japan caused seizures with red and blue flashing colors. The incident was an accident and the company took corrective action for future releases. The other material, though it may be anchored in fact is not tied into Pokemon at all. Where is the connection between Buddhism, or Shintoism. What this boils down to is an attempt to link Pokemon to things that we as Christians know to be wrong. It is my belief that there is enough about Pokemon to warrant concern without distorting truth.
We finally have a researched answer to the influences behind "Pokemon" and the religions and philosophies that are taught within the game. Pokemon is the result of influences that are completely mystical. These are just to name a few:
Buddhist Mysticism, Hinduism, meditation rituals, Egyptian Book of the Dead, Book of Tao, the Analects of Confucius, the Gita, the I Ching, The Tibetan Book of the Dead: All These Philosophies influenced Pokemon!
Again, this an assertion with no teeth. The author might just as well have said Martians influenced Pokemon. With no evidence to support this claim it becomes talebearing, or even a false witness against our neighbor. Is it right to lie to convict a criminal?
C.G. Jung summarizes all these philosophies in his theory of "collective unconsciousness", & he assures his followers of the congeniality with occultic energy sciences and the evolutionary sciences with the occultic practices and tapping into the water energy, fire energy, leaf energy, and wind energy you can achieve spiritual enlightenment and success all of which are incorporated in Pokemon.
Jung draws upon Oriental conceptions of consciousness to broaden the concept of "projection": Not only the "wrathful" demons/monster (pocket monsters) but also the "peaceful" deities/spirits (pika-chu's) are conceived as animal projections of the human psyche the fundamental religious teaching and game play in Pokemon!
Again no connection between Jung psychology has been established. As for the pikachu-- have you ever seen a pika? Learn about them here. I am not an animal expert but since most of the Pokemon animals have a similar counterpart anchored in reality it seems to me the pika inspired pikachu. It is possible that Pikachu means nothing more than "electric mouse."
Pika (real animal)
Butterfly (real animal)
The Bible says:
EPH 5:8-17 "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."
I love the Bible verses above. It certainly is a good passage. They way he uses the verses is really out of context though. He implies that all those who disagree or are skeptical about the assertion unproved in this article are foolish. To see what this wonderful passage really teaches go here.
Color energy Cards:
In the Tibetan tradition life is a sort of "game", and they state that each of the levels of game-existence is associated with a particular color and also certain geographical symbols. Note the energy cards in Pokemon have colors and elements that also refer powers and positions.
In Tibetan teaching, each person (trainer of projections) has to learn to decode his own internal road map. The Tibetan indicators may be used as a starting point. The purpose is clear: one should follow the signs of the three higher types and shun those of the three lower. One should follow light and pleasant visions and shun dark and dreary ones. Look at the Pokemon cards both are represented and role-played by our children.
Recently I observed a group of children who were role-playing Pokemon. They were making evil faces and chanting their Pokemon character names over and over! One three year old was chasing another boy almost trance like in expression saying in a deep raspy voice, "bulbasore attack, bulbasore, bulbasore." They are meditating and projecting their spirits just like practitioners of the occult!
I have watched young children pretend to be doggies, horses, and frogs. When you pretend to be an animal-- real or imaginary you act like the animal. I admit I prefer my children to act in reality, but the nature of play and fantasy is to have heroes, villains, monsters, goodguys, and badguys. It this really a manifestation of the occult or of a healthy imagination?
Pokemon monsters in the game and the cartoon can only say their name, so when they talk they are really chanting their name -- the children, I have observed, do the same thing while they are playing. They are actually opening their selves up to personality modification -- an occult practice!
Admittedly our communion with God in prayer is not to be vain repetition or mindless chatter (like the charismatic gift of tongues as practiced today. Click here or here). The concept of new age meditation is an emptying of our mind. Is this what really is happening here? I don't think the monosyllabic silliness of a child is the calling forth of demons. If it was all children learning to talk who blurt out da da da da would be open to occult involvement. Give me a chapter and verse to hang this concept on.
This is what is taught in Tibetan practice: "Use your foresight to choose a good post-session robot. Do not be attracted to your old ego. Whether you choose to pursue power, or status, or wisdom, or learning, or servitude, or whatever, choose impartially, without being attracted or repelled. Enter into game existence with good grace, voluntarily and freely. Have faith in the protection of the deities and choose." (Revised Tibetan Book of the Dead)
I am beginning to wonder if the author is wanting to connect Pokeman with the occult or just demonstrate his knowledge of such. Again no connection is made and it is a pity-- it could be.
Why would Satan influence a game like Pokemon? It opens up players to the demonic realm, channeling (a power some of the pokemon characters have), and possession.
Which one? I cannot find the demonic channeling Pokeman. I find some that use Psychic powers but no channeling. Be honest. I will address the psychic issue later.
Luke 11:24-26 "24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. 25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. 26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first."
In Japan, Shinto is one of the oldest belief systems and was developed out of worshiping the earth, such as sun, water, rocks, trees and even sounds (jiggly puff, a cute Pokemon sings a song and the sounds puts all who hear her into a trance -- this is a common type of teaching in Shinto and is very evident in Pokemon)!
Shinto teaches that all such natural features were felt to have a god behind their power. Many Shinto beliefs were incorporated into Japanese Buddhist practices after its introduction in the 6th century. Just as they believe in evolution and re-incarnation, these ideas are manifest in Pokemon.
Again no connection is made. No evidence is brought forth-- just assertions.
These pictures are typical examples of the dark side of Pokemon. Haunter, an evolved spirit can hypnotize and has "dream eater" power (powered by the purple Pokemon energy cards which is the psychic energy). This power lets him drain the energy from his opponents.
Finally we agree. I think Haunter as well as a few others demonstrate an unbiblical understanding of reality. There is not a question in my mind concerning the good or bad aspects of Pokemon. This article's integrity is my question. This, however, is a valid point. The haunter is a spiritual being-- ghost that makes me very uncomfortable and a definite concern-- one that cannot be overlooked.
Some eastern and New age philosophies teach this principal and call spirits that can do this "energy vampires". This is just the tip of the iceberg! The Pokemon game contains many typologies manifest in the cards that reflect the philosophies of Shinto with mystic Buddhism, in addition to many other beliefs. Kadabra, above on the right, evolved from Abra. Both have demonic powers.
Ditto-- the entire psychic power thing is bad.
Evolving -- dying and being "reborn" as an "evolved Pokemon"
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
In Pokemon, the monsters actually die to their old self and evolve into the new, more powerful Pokemon. This is the teaching of eastern mystery religions and is spelled out in the Egyptian book of the Dead and other occult religions.
In one Pokemon episode, Bulbasore (a frog) did not want to evolve some feel this means to just "grow up" -- but the idea is to go through a substantial change and it is even suggested that the Pokemon "loses" its former self or in a way dies to his current psyche -- a typical example of Pokemon and its occultic influence. Children are subtly being indoctrinated in the theory of evolution and mysticism in the Pokemon game.
What other influences are evident in Pokemon? It gets more unbelievable and shocking as you read on!
A word here about "evolution:" Since I cringe at the word I was immediately uncomfortable with it. But in context, however, the term evolved means just what the author says it does not. It means a more mature self. Where Pikachu is the infant when he matures he will be Raichu. Notice they look very much the same. Also the same skills learned in infancy will be with the adult model. There is absolutely no "dying" to be reborn silliness at all. Now that being said I am still uncomfortable with the term evolution.
Notice how closely the Pikacu and the "evolved" Raichu are related. One obviously is the infant and one is the adult.
Wicca, Witchcraft, Paganism, Satanism, "New Age", and other occultic influences in "Pokemon"
Lets look at what these religions teach and a short history. Remember Pokemon's energy is derived from earth, water, fire, lightening, etc. -- and the "pocket monsters" are part of a universal whole.
First, do you really believe there is power in the occultic? Let's see what the Bible says about all this:
2 Chronicles 33:6 And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. AV
These are real powers that have one intention to keep you from knowing God and experiencing His plan and will for your life! Any game, cartoon, etc. that even hints at occultic practice is dangerous!
Wicca, or Witchcraft is a popular and fast growing religious practice all over the world today. Most Witches/Warlocks consider their practice something that is learned by experience -- not by books. They go through many incredible rituals to become powerful in the "craft". Pokemon trainers must go through a lot of training and ritual type actions to become "Master Trainers", with the ability to controle the Pokemon and their powers.
Pagans use earthly powers and demonic spirits, shamans use animal spirits -- their minds are set on the flesh -- the Bible says the mind set on the flesh is death!
The Bible says: Galatians 5:16-23 "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, evellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. " AV
Through the true power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus gives us these according to that same passage: v. 23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
1 Cor. 10:19-22 "Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons." Are we trying to arouse the Lord's jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
Again the author implies that to disagree with his assertions violates these Scriptures. There is very little application that we can make toward PokÃ©mon and the sacrificing to idols in this passage--save maybe the stumbling block issue for weaker believers. As is his manner he has yet to tie the assertions into the PokÃ©mon world.
In Pokemon, trainers summon one of their Pokemon to battle other monsters and they use them as guardians. In Wicca, guardians, known as Watchtowers, are called. These spirits (and sometimes animals) are called by them to protect them from "evil" spirits while they open themselves up to these spirits during rituals -- the circle, the pentegram, etc. all provide a "safe" area to practice. (In Pokemon the monsters are held in a Pokeball until the trainer summons them). In witchcraft these spirits are summoned and called to stay in the circle until needed to fight off bad spirits. These Guardians in Pagan practice are often the spirits with whom a person feels comfortable with and has developed some form of a relationship with (in Pokemon the trainers befriend their "pocket monsters" and develop trusting and advice seeking relationships with them). Possible guardians might be one of the Ancestors, a "spirit guide," or other spiritual entity (including animal spirits and even real animal -- like the typical witches black cat) with which the person is familiar with. This is what occurs in Pokemon play -- the pocket monsters are captured, trained, and summoned as needed.
The term guardian never appears in Pokemon. What takes place is like the cock fights of old, where a trainer brings in his best animal to fight another. Not a very pretty sight, but certainly not calling upon "guardians" or the pentegram. This type of statement is sensationalism at its best.
Elements & Powers, geography, and demonic realms of power in Pokemon and astrology, New age cults, & Witchcraft. Most Pagan and earth based religions and philosophies find power in the Four Elements -- Earth, Water, Fire, and Wind. These are the energy cards in the Pokemon game!
Look at this verse in the Bible:
1Tim 4:1 "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron."
What are we allowing to come into our homes! The elements in Pokemon are foundational to many earth religions and mystic rituals. We draw our power from God, not the earth!
The Bible tells us:
Galatians 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
Galatians 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Most all covens and eastern philosophies, and Pagan belief systems hold the elements as sources of power, as the Pokemon game does.
Again the Bible says:
1 Timothy 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
1 Timothy 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
2 Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
I think I have already made comment on his misuse of Scripture-- several times.
This is what all religions are nothing but mans attempt to reach God. Listen finite man can not reach an infinite God! He had to reach down to us, and He did in Jesus Christ!
One last example of occultic practices and Pokemon.
What are our children really playing with - imagination and simple 'pocket monsters'?
In Paganism and the Occult there are sprit guides, messengers, and elementals or artificial elementals. They can be summoned to do things for the "trainer" or "practitioner". They can 1. Watch and tell the trainer what it sees, 2. Guard the trainer, 3. Fight with other spirits or elementals, 4. Carry out assignments given by the trainers.
Take out the spiritual assertion and this can be said of all employer/employee relationships. Sounds a lot like the army. Again the author works from the premise that PokÃ©mon are demonic, without proving this.
Pagans can capture free elementals (much like Pokemon trainers capture pocket monsters) and build relationships with them for use (just like Pokemon trainers). Witches, Shamans, etc, recommend ony master practitioners do this because you are not masters of the elementals, just like Pokemon trainers are not masters of the Pocket monster -- and they warn that they can be hard to get rid of and may require an exorcism to become free of a bad one.
A man can catch a dolphin and train it to jump through a hoop; so what? Anyone messing with demons needs to warned, but just how are pocket monsters demonic-- EXACTLY?
"artificial elementals" -- the name of the actual "pocket monsters" our children are playing with!
Matt. 17:14-21 " Â¶ And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. "
Have I mentioned misuse of Scripture yet? Have I mentioned lack of any tie between absurd assertions and Pokeman? It is the same silly reasoning over and over.
Please pray and do what the Lord instructs you to do "it is time to take a stand for God and protect our children from the influences of our enemy! My son is six and we had a whole book of Pokemon cards -- after praying about it he made the decision to get rid of his cards, because he could see they were evil!
Listen Christians "we are in a battle! The enemy is subtle and is trying to influence our children's minds. Pokemon teaches all the basics of many false religion and occultic practices! Pokemon also indoctrinates children in evolutionary thought and pagan beliefs!
It is not Pokemon that we fight - the Bible says:
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.
These 'powers' are the very real demonic spirits behind all-false religion and self-serving pursuits.
Again, Pokemon is not the enemy - it is Lucifer and all that exalts itself against Jesus Christ and the true path to enlightenment. Pokemon is a tool the enemy can use to build a false foundation and plant seeds of futility in my child - and this I will not allow, and I will, by the blood of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit come against all falsehood and doctrines of demons that try to indoctrinate my child with eastern mysticism and occultic practices.
I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ by and through the power of the Holy Spirit will protect you and your children from the schemes of the enemy.
Grace, peace, and courage to take a stand for righteousness be yours!
Pastor Brett Peterson
Special thanks to Pastor Brett Peterson from Worthy News for this article
Well that just about sums it all up. Poor reasoning along with unproved, unfounded assertions make this document of little value. Some of you may think that I am defending the Pokemon. I assure you this is not the case. There are valid concerns that I have expressed. Let me be candid. The issues I see are not the sensational ones so fancifully portrayed by our brother Peterson. A few of the real issues as I see them are the:
1. Worldly styles of dress on the female characters that Christians would consider immodest.
See Misty's attire. Modest?
2. The psycic ability of a few of the monsters. This bend toward the parranormal needs to be addressed just like the "force" in Star Wars.
Some Pokeman like Abra have psychic powers.
3. The fad frenzy. Should we as Christians chase after the fads of the age?
4. The marketing program of Nintendo-- "Gotta catch em all". Who can afford that?
Gotta Catch 'em All!
Christians do need to be careful that their desires do not become earthly. The need for moms and dads to guard their children from wickedness and evil has never been greater. Pokeman should cause the Christian parent a little uneasiness. In fact I do not blame a person for boycotting the products. However none of us have the right to bend truth to advance our claims or convictions. So at this point I humbly lay the issue at your feet to do with as you think Christ would have you to do. May you please Him and walk in truth.
Written by Mark Markham, Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Heidelberg, Germany.
Visit the Calvary Baptist Church.
You can email Pastor Mark Markham at : firstname.lastname@example.org