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"Ask Peter" - Biblical answers to questions about occult entertainment
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Obsession with Magic: the Gathering
Question: I have a 14 year old son who I think is obsessed with the card game Magic. I have seen very noticable differences in his clothes, music, and attitude toward his family. He is a very intelligent young man. His test scores at school in math and science are off the charts.
He used to listen to christian music now listens to hard core music. He has withdrawn from me and his younger brothers. I recently found a journal that said he didn't care about his family and he only loved his magic cards. He wrote that he wanted to be a vampire and live forever. He's always gone to church but now I think the influence of the occult has him confused.
I never liked the card games (it started with pokeman in elementary school), but I didn't want to seem judgemental and I always thought because he was so intelligent that he could keep reality from fantasy, but now I think the two have become blurred to him. I'm not sure what to do. I'm scared if I take all his cards that he has invested so much time and even money in that it might push him further away. I would appreciate any advice you may have for me. I love him so much and want him back before it's too late.
Answer: Dear Mom,
This is a sad sad story. I have to tell you that your son is learning occult magick in your Christian home.
Let's begin by unpacking what your son has been involved in. 1) Pokeman is a card game developed by Wizards of the Coast (devoted occultists) accidentally marketed to too young an audience and has since been withdrawn. It was designed to be a feeder game for Magic the Gathering which is a card game that has become popular with high school students. Pokeman teaches young children the basics of elemental magick - how to use elemental spirits: fire, water, earth, air, ethers. By the time kids master the occult basics of Pokeman they are ready to move into Magic the Gathering.
MG is like a flight simulator that teaches kids spiritual warfare but from the side of the Adversary of God and NOT from the side of the Most High God. Kids learn how to conjure and manipulate demonic entities. There is real power associated with the playing of this game. Tournaments are set up all over the world to recruit these MG prodigies right into the occult. To be involved in the occult requires individuals to have very high intelligence and you mentioned that your son does. In your note you wrote that your son wants to be a vampire and live forever. The object of MG is to suck the life force out of you opponent and take on his energy - in effect this is what vampires do. Your son is beginning to fantasize about the very things the card game is teaching him. HIS CARDS ARE HIS LIFE. In Colossians 3 Paul writes that Christ is our life. There are miles in between your son's position and Paul's. One is a Christian. One is a baby occultist.
The Adversary is REAL and the Adversary wants our kids. You are going to have to confront this stuff head on with your son. This is your tact - DO NOT PUT HIM ON THE DEFENSIVE. NO MATTER HOW HE ANSWERS THESE QUESTIONS YOU ARE IN ACADEMIC MODE AND YOU ARE ONLY LOOKING FOR INFORMATION. IT WILL BE YOU URGE TO CONFRONT, CONJOLE AND PLEAD WITH HIM BUT THAT IS NOT YOUR MISSION THIS TIME. He wants you to do these things so he can blow you off and we don't want that to happen. You HAVE to know where he is coming from. You don't have to answer him... just get the information. Then write back to me with what he says and I will continue to feed you questions and insights. This is tough because we are dealing with a kid who has already started to sell over.
BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT THIS CONVERSATION YOU MUST PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD AS OUTLINED IN EPHESIANS 6 STARTING AT VERSE 10. Do not go into this war naked but armed and protected by God! Pray it on piece by piece. You don't need any eloquent prayers to put the armor on, you have a Holy Spirit that intercedes for you and will get you dressed! Amen!!
Ask him questions like
1) Teach me the cards... what do they mean? (don't react... get information)
2) How does this game work? (example: what are damage points and how are they important to the game? What kind of deck are you constructing? Why? Why does this feel comfortable to you?)
3) How do these cards reflect your spiritual life?
4) How do these cards measure up to the 10 commandments? (this is an optional question just to throw out if the conversation is going well)
You want to ask as many fact/feeling questions as possible WITHOUT REACTION even though his responses may scare you. This is WAR. You are undercover. Play the part. Above all things TRUST GOD.
I know nothing about the church you attend or the area of the country where you are but you NEED TO FIND A CHURCH WHERE YOUR SON CAN SEE THE REALITY OF JESUS IN THAT CHURCH. Very few churches have a real concept of spiritual warfare. Most would tell you to cleanse your house and rule the kid. It doesn't work. It only drives the kid away. We want to bring him to a place where the Holy Spirit who indwells him will change him from within and he can get rid of the cards and be free on his own. We have a fairly substantial collection of cards from kids who have come to this conclusion "on their own" (by the power of the Holy Spirit) so we know the power of God works in the hearts and lives of kids!
Be encouraged. I can tell that you love your son. The adversary would have you spend great amounts of time and energy blaming yourself. Don't. Put on the armor and go get us some information!!
In service to Jesus,
"For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light." Colossians 1:9-12
Question: Peter, I have 2 Christian brothers who are heavily involved in this game.. they probably spend 5- 7 hours per day online. Please advise how i should approach them on the dangers .. thanks dan
Answer: Dan, I have several thoughts to share with you regarding this question. First of all I want to acknowledge the fact that YOU are right to be concerned and it is obvious from your concern that the Holy Spirit is at work in your heart. That is VERY good!
For your own personal insight:
First I have to address the issue of the rest of the salvation story. Churches are very good at giving people the gospel. They tell a message that once you ask Jesus into your heart you are saved. They say the sinners prayer with new converts (or some reasonable such prayer) and then tell people that they now are saved and have the free gift of eternal life. Thatıs the end of most churchıs story. Hereıs the REST of the story...
Once you accept Jesus Christ as you personal Lord and Savior you become born from above (the literal translation of the Greek) and you have signed up for Godıs army and have declared WAR on his adversary whether you like it or not, whether you KNOW it or not. Beyond that the adversary has declared WAR on YOU. This war is true - not one fought in virtual reality.
It is the job of every born from above Christian to arm for war. We do this by submitting to the will of the Holy Spirit that now dwells within us. We do this by becoming ministers of reconciliation who spread the good news of salvation in the name of Jesus Christ and work to reconcile men to God. On a personal level your mind is renewed and TRANSFORMED (Rom 12:1) to the born from above nature and the things of your old nature begin to pass away.
About your 'Christian' brothers:
First problem: Many many people say a sinners prayer (either out of guilt or fear) and are never REALLY saved. They do not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit whose job it is to TRANSFORM the mind and produce fruit. If your ³christian² brothers were saved they should be aware of the Holy Spirit screaming at them BEWARE, BEWARE (the same way it is warnings you.) Since they donıt hear the Holy Spirit prodding them to turn away, and I say this as gently as possible, I can only wonder about their salvation. Just something for you to think about.
Second problem: Every person operates from a belief system. If your belief and faith is in God you behave one way. If your belief and faith is in SELF you behave a different way.
Christians have become very adept at compartmentalizing their beliefs. They do not apply their belief system to politics or entertainment. They work from their Christian faith for about 3 hours a week: Sunday School, church service, and/or youth meeting or prayer meeting. Apart from this time they act like the rest of the world acts. Christians can look at things like virtual reality games or occult movies and write them off as 'it's just a game' or 'it's just a movie' without applying a Christian value system to it. Virtual reality games are packaged to look like fantasy when, in reality, they package and promote everything that is detestable to God (Deuteronomy 18):
"You shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations... "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer (wizards), or one who casts a spell (enchanter), or a medium, or a spiritist (shaman), or one who calls up the dead (necromancer). For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do so." (Deuteronomy 18:10-14)
Many of the things that God calls detestable are found in EverQuest. The following internet links show the danger (from an occult perspective). Christians need to take their warnings seriously:
1) http://everquest.station.sony.com/about.jsp - this site from the game developers boast the following about this game.
"Choose from 15 races and 15 classes, including dwarves, ogres, trolls, rangers, wizards, and rogues.
"Thousands of items to discover and collect, both magical and mundane, including artifacts of great power.
Five enormous continents to explore, as well as other dimensions and planes of existence.
"Dozens of powerful deities whose activities influence the ongoing history of the world.
Hundreds of spells to learn, with seven separate magic-using classes."
This site lists the popular areas of the EverQuest game: Beastiary, Spells list, PoP Spells to name a few. (In our research we have found an extensive spells database)
The site also lists the Class Areas: beastlord, druid, enchanter, magician, necromancer, shadow knight, shaman, wizard to name a few. (Note that God lists some of these things in His list of detestable practices.)
3) http://www.jsonline.com/news/state/mar02/31536.asp - this is an online news article, "Death of a game addict" by Stanley A. Miller II (The Journal Sentinel ):
"Shawn Woolley loved an online computer game so much that he played it just minutes before his suicide. The 21-year-old Hudson man was addicted to EverQuest, says his mother, Elizabeth Woolley of Osceola. He sacrificed everything so he could play for hours, ignoring his family, quitting his job and losing himself in a 3-D virtual world where more than 400,000 people worldwide adventure in a never-ending fantasy."
Third problem: If your friends blow you off and tell you that EverQuest is nothing to worry about, it's just a game and it's fun, then you know what I have written is the truth. The bottom line is if your friends are dedicating many hours a day to EverQuest and they are not dedicating the same or more time to their God Almighty then EverQuest has become their god. Thatıs the beginning and the end of this dilemma. When I was a practicing occultist I spent 6-8 hours a day perfecting my craft. In effect your friends are perfecting the same craft in order to serve on the adversary's army.
Fourth problem: 400,000 people are playing this online 'game' each day. The truth is you donıt know who those people are and you donıt know which god they serve. There are hard line occultists you are involved with all role playing game sites. At some point in time, if your friends look for tips or tricks on the web, they are more than likely going to come into contact with these occultists who are nothing more than predators, seeking whom they can devour (sacrifice) or recruit.
To help your friends:
You have to understand that change has to take place from inside a person and that any external pressure to change will meet with resistance that can be fierce at times. The only one who can change your friends from the inside out is GOD. Attempting to convince your friends that EverQuest is evil when they are devoting a minimum of 25 hours a week to it is an uphill fight at best. This is what spiritual warfare is all about. In effect you can wage spiritual warfare against them by praying that everything they put into their pseudo characters in EverQuest fails, is defeated and is destroyed by the power of the Holy Spirit of God Almighty. You can pray that the blinders that the adversary has placed on their eyes and ears be removed so that they can see and hear the truth of the Word of God.
Realize that there is a much greater war going on and this is the time to call all of Godıs spiritual warriors to arms. Arm yourself with the power of the Holy Spirit, dress yourself in Godıs armor and speak to your friends with conviction and grace as the Spirit of God leads you. Stay in the Word and pray fervently. Donıt be frustrated. If they talk you into a corner - pray for the Spirit of God to give you words. The same Spirit of Him who raised Christ Jesus from the dead dwells in you. Use Him!
P.S. If your friends raise issues that you cannot answer jot them down and write again. I am more than willing to help you. The more specific the information you give me the better I can assist you.
In Service to the Most High God
Response from Dan: Peter, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your response to my situation. I got it tonight. I will forward it to my friends. I've been praying about it for several weeks. Your info helps. Please keep up the great ministry you have of helping people who are blinded by Satan.
Here is Peter's response to a letter we prefer not to post. We have replaced the writer's name with a line (____):
Answer: There are two ways to go in the response to your letter. One would be to summarize your thoughts and go to the WarHammer site and pick out the blatant occult things that are there and write a response pointing these out. OR
I can just keep to your letter itself and hold a conversation with you around what you have written about your own belief system. I choose to go this way. At this point, to me, WarHammer is irrelevant to our conversation. I don't need to ask you more questions regarding chaos magick, there is enough written in your letter to respond to.
These are the things I see in your own writing that are red flags to me:
- chaos is neither good or evil
- we worship demons and angels but neither are good or evil
- chaos is turmoil in a person
- the power that comes from Father Chaos comes from men
- chaos is natural
- chaosıs color is not black - we are not satanists (I know you are not a satanist)
- I am a sensationalist
- all gods and all people are part of chaos
- there are no morals to chaos - no right or wrong
- chaos brings us individual pleasure and ambition and teaches us that chaos should be embraced and used to gain - no matter what it takes
- chaos helps us achieve the highest point of pleasure
- the 8 point star represents the many directions of chaos and the many ways you can follow it.
- I prayed to chaos and I was bestowed a gift - I learned how to lie and deceive and manipulate to get what I want
- chaos hasnıt lied to me yet
_____, CHAOS HAS ALREADY LIED TO YOU. YOU HAVE BEEN DECEIVED and I am going to explain it to you this way:
According to chaos mythology (and it is mythology - not religion) chaos says:
You are caught up and spinning in the vortex of a tornado. According to you this is neither good nor bad - it just is. This opinion is not real. The REALITY of a tornado is that it leaves devastation and destruction in its path. Devastation and destruction are bad. If you donıt think so ask the people of the Midwest who lost everything they had last week in the series of tornadoes that turned several states into disaster areas.
Chaos has lied to you at its very foundation. It tells you that good and evil are flatline - that they are the same - angels and demons are neither good or bad - there is no right or wrong. ____, CHAOS IS VOID OF TRUTH. Its objective is to ensnare its followers in the physical rush of sensation. Sensation is addictive. Once you begin to experience the power of sensation you are put on a path were the next rush has to be stronger and better than the one before. As you go on, in chaos, YOU HAVE NO CONTROL over what you will do in order to satisfy your need for sensation. If you think you are in control of your path of life, think again. If you are in control you CANıT be in chaos - the terms are antithetical.
You refer to Father Chaos in your letter. Chaos and power are your gods. According to Bulfinchıs Mythology, (1978 edition, page 894) Chaos is defined as: "Confusion in which earth, sea and air were mixed up together. It was personified by the Greeks as the most ancient of the gods. The egg of Nyx, the daughter of Chaos was floating on Chaos and from it arose the world. Before earth and sea and heaven were created, all things wore one aspect, to which we give the name of Chaos - a confused and shapeless mass, nothing but dead weight, in which, however, slumbered the seeds of things. Earth, sea and air were all mixed up together." (Bulfinch p. 12)
What has resulted from this myth is this worldly philosophy:
"Nothing is True. Everything is Permitted." It's a simple statement, attributed to Hassan i Sabbah in the Principia Discordia, but it forms the foundation of chaos magic. We are all free to think and believe what we choose, when we choose, because ultimately, none of it is any more true than anything else. That is the power and the glamour of chaos magic. Zeus is as real as Isis is as real as Snoopy.
What people seem to me to forget all too often, is the importance of the corollary to that famous statement, also attributed to Hassan i Sabbah and also quoted in the Principia Discordia: "Everything is True. Everything is Permitted." Why do I call this important? Because it reminds us that nothing is any less true than anything else either. Sure, it isn't True that Christ died on a cross to save our souls or that Odin slew Ymir and formed the world from his body. But on the other hand, it isn't any more True that at the foundation of reality is only swirling, indifferent chaos. You can believe it if you like, and many chaos magicians do I understand, but that doesn't make it True.
THERE IS NO PEACE in this system of truth or ³religion.² There is nothing to trust. Every human being, no matter what stage of life he is in, seeks peace... peace with himself, peace with others, peace with God. You canıt find peace if your god and morality constantly change (your words). Frankly, if you reject good and evil, love and hate, right and wrong you are setting yourself up for destruction. Chaos cannot offer you peace - itıs not true. It can only offer you confusion and devastation in this life and the next.
The symbol you wish to have posted is also problematic. The symbol itself is the symbol of the decapitator in the Aztec religion. The older symbol, if it had the lower jaw attached to it, would be the symbol of one of the gods of the Mochie (precursors to the Aztecs in the Yucatan peninsula) who required human sacrifice as appeasement. Beware: if you are not careful the desire to satiate sensation leads to blood lust... when you reach this point you are doomed. THERE IS NO PEACE in this system of ³religion.² None. Sensation is nothing more than a temporary "fix". It is fleeting and will soon need to be re-experienced.
You will never know peace until you turn your allegiance over to the Mighty God of Israel. Jesus Christ is reaching out to you ___. In comforting his disciples Jesus Christ says,
"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going." Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I AM the way, and the TRUTH, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." (John 14:1-6)
___, Jesus is calling you. HE IS THE TRUTH. Jesus says, ³Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.² (John 14:27) God's peace is eternal.
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