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From Ashley: I'm 11 years old, and I think I have been reading animorphs for about 3 years. I want to do the right thing, but I don't know if I should give animorphs up or not.
You said that since that morphing technology isn't possible, so it must be magic (or all those other words). Well, I know that morphing technology isn't real, and it will never be real, but it can in fiction books. And in animorphs its technology, they never say that its witchcraft, in the beginning of each book (I have read almost all of them), it explains how they can morph, and it
always says that its technology. Now even though that's not possible, it doesn't mean that its magic does it? Its just something the author made up to be fun in books because she or anyone else could never create it.
And about Harry Potter (or Pothead as me and my dad like to call him), I HATE! IT I HATE IT! I HATE IT! I know that it makes youngins believe in witchcraft, in fact just a little while back my best friend got a fortune telling thingy, and she asked it if she had Harry Pothead powers, and I said to her," That's witch craft!" (I said it in a bad way) And she just made this weird happy noise. I used to see all these articles on kids saying they can do things because of Harry
Pothead, and that he's their role model. Don't they know that witchcraft is bad?
O and about that friend of mine, she's quite odd.=) Now she seems to be on a zodiac and psychic thing. Its very funny actually, she goes on a website to see everyone's power, and now she wont try or do anything new because she says that its not her power. (I hope you understand,im not good at explaining).
Anyway, the most important thing is what I wrote about animorphs. I don't wanna be reading it if its bad.
Ashley, I am so glad you want to know and do what God wants. So many others just want to follow their feelings or the crowd. Then they get upset if someone suggests that their favorite games or books might clash with God's truth.
Animorphs is not as obviously occult as Harry Potter or other books or movies that deal with witchcraft and sorcery. But, like the others, it stirs a desire for personal power -- supernatural power -- and for some of the practices that have always been part of the pagan worldview. Most obvious is the morphing. Its like the traditional shape-shirting of a sorcerer or witchdoctor. What is actually an imagined experience -- an illusion of the mind altered by an induced trance -- seems to be the real thing.
To understand my concern, would you read these two articles? The type of entertainment may differ, but the dangers are very similar:
Harry Potter and the Power of Suggestion and Answers to Pokemon
Second letter from Ashley: I think I get it, people who read these books want to be able to morph (or to do witchcraft) and that leads them into liking supernatural stuff like that (correct me if I'm wrong).
You are right, Ashley. Thanks for listening. God is so faithful to give us understanding when we are willing to follow His way.
From Geismin: I recently found your forum regarding your views on Animorphs. Frankly, I am not surprised. I am a born-again Christian (12-27-00) and I enjoyed the Animorphs series both before and after I became a real Christian. I do have a question, though. Is it possible that Animorphs might use symbolism to portray a Biblical message? (Like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings)
In example , 'Elfangor', the Andalite prince who died and
gave the Animorphs their powers, might be used to portray Jesus. By dying for the
Andalite's cause, the Animorphs were able to become the equivalent of saved by getting
the morphing power. Because they were saved, they took these new abilities with it, like
the Apostles and the early Disciples were able to do.
Ellimist and Crayak might be used to portray God and Satan as well. In the Bible, God's own words are "I am the Alpha and the Omega." God never had an origin. God created Satan and he later rebelled from God. In the Animorphs series they do the exact opposite. They give you the origin of the Ellimist, playing God, but they don't give you the origin of Crayak, playing Satan. This can be interpreted in one of three ways:
1. KA Applegate never intended for it to be interpreted like that at all. She could've just used it in order to add suspense to her story.
2. The origins of the two in this book are coded, as to make it appear not overtly Christian.
3. The origins of the two in this book are a perversion to the Holy Bible, claiming that God is finite, merely a creation, nothing more, and Satan is infinite, without origin.
I do not know which of these may be right. I've found other Christian underlyings in other popular media icons as well (The Matrix). I'm not disagreeing with your viewpoints, but I believe that when something is said, there should be no question left unanswered.
I may have to leave some questions unanswered, Geismin, because I'm no expert on the Animorphs. I watched a few television episodes and read one of the books, but am not sure I really understood it. So I can only evaluate my first impressions, the symbols I saw and some of the practices -- such as morphing back and forth between a human and an animal shape. That, in and of itself, fits right into pagan ritual practices around the world. The illusion of shape-shifting usually took place during a drug-induced trance.
I don't know the intentions of the author nor the best of your three choices above. But I believe that any supernatural power which is not of God would have to be occult. If the "good" power seems to represent the Biblical God, it would be even more deceptive. Remember, God gave us the Word, not a set of images. He warned us that images can distort the absolute truth about Him and His teachings. Even a slight deviation from Scripture would be considered heresy if the distortion presumes to represent His truth. Does that make sense?
What do you think of Applegate's new series, Remnants? the website is www.scholastic.com/remnants. It looks as though it's telling the story of the Israelite's travel from Egypt back to Israel. Except for the fact that they were fleeing their true home in order to find a new one. But, you know, no question unanswered.
This is new to me, Geismin, but I will try to learn more about it.
Thank you Kjos ministries and I will be looking for your reply in the forum!
Christ est solus Dominum. Christ est solus Deus.
From Trent: I apologize for saying you did think they wanted to kill, and i worded that wrong. I know you didnt, but someone said "the only difference between them and a gang, is that they can morph" i know that that was already proven wrong and everything, but i made the soldier at war comparison to extend it further.
I make choices on logic and reason, not on fantasy and imagination, and making choices on logic and reason is more likely to lead to good and moral answers.
Also, i mean exactly what the "educational establishments" mean by it. It makes you think more cratively and everything. Also, another point i'd like to make, on books bringing learning, is the fact that before i read Animorphs, i did not even know about a red-tailed hawk. I didnt know it had the best vision of any bird. I also did not know that the Peregrine Falcon was the fastest living thing on the planet. Did you know these things? I learned so much about animals by reading animorphs, it isnt even funny!
And, the whole morhing being supernatural or what not..that isnt right either. fist off, it's a fictional book series, so IT IS NOT REAL! morphing cant be possible no matter what, science of supernatural. It's fiction..and thats it. nothing more, nothing less. that's it.
From Trent: i am concerned over things you have stated about animorphs. First, id like to say i am christian, luthern to be exact. now, i don't mean to argue or question your beliefs, but you have said things about animorphs, i couldnt possibly agree with. like the fact that animorphs makes kids learn shamanism or whatever.
before this website was mentioned to me, i had never even heard of it, now did animorphs evermake me think that anything was real on animorphs, including morphing, or as you would say "shape-shifting" I really dont think it possible.
also, the fact you you think that animorphs fight because they can and want to kill is stupid.
Actually, I didn't think or say that, Trent.
If you have even read a book at all of the series you will relise that they dont like killing and if they had another choice they wouldnt. it is comparison to soldiers at war. they dont want to fight and kill, and some would rather die. also, i know this is fiction and so does everyone else who reads it. and in my next argument, im being strictly hypothetical.
if some one told you that the world was under a silent attack by aliens that controll people, and he gave you and some of your friends/husband a chance to try and save the planet...would you accept, knowing that if you didnt, every one you know and love will be killed or controlled, including your husband and yourself? would you try and save the planet, berit? remember, this is strictly hypothetical. the next is not.
When you make choices, Trent, do you base them on facts and logic, or on fantasy and imagination? Which do you think is more likely to lead you to good and moral answer?
reading is great, no matter what you read. it increases vocabulary and spelling/grammar and gives you a higher level of thinking. (im not including fictional aliens' names and such) this fact has been proven.
Could you explain what you mean by "higher level of thinking"? I do know what the educational establishment means by that phrase, but I would love to hear what you mean by it.
so when children of middle school level read semi-large chapter books, ranging over fifty in the series, it does a lot of that, so why do you argue? no matter what is in the books (excluding bad lang. which i remind you is not in any of the books) it is good.
that is all i have to say in this matter, and i hope you will consider changing some of your opinions on animorphs. I m not telling you you HAVE to like them...but i am saying you need to get the facts strait and think a little more about it.
From Ben Fournier: Thank you for answering my other letters which were about that poke'crud. But could you make a new forum type of thing for this animorphs topic. It, animorphs are a book series and tv show made by a person named K.A. Applegate and produced by a company named Scholastic.
This is the animorphs home page: http://www.scholastic.com/animorphs/. Could you please look through it and review it. My opinion is that it is not good.
From Berit: I checked the Animorphs website, Ben, and agree with your opinion. I'm so grateful for your discernment. God has really opened your eyes, hasn't He?
I won't have time to watch the show until next week, but I see some major problems at the website. The most obvious one has to do with the idea of humans morphing into animals. That sounds just like shamanism (or witchcraft) in the animist (primitive pagan) cultures around the world. For example, children who are introduced to Native American myths in elementary schools may read about medicine men who transform themselves into the shape of a wolf. Or they may read a popular picture book about a buffalo spirit that appears in the shape of a white buffalo or as a beautiful goddess-like woman. They call it shape-shifting.
Many New Age stores show paintings of such medicine men or shamans who seem to be part human and part wolf. Animorphs are simply contemporary tories that promote the occult idea of shape-shifting.
(Later, I have watched the show and share Ben's concern. I will try to write a report on this soon.)
Next comment from Ben: I have not heard of animist culture, but I do agree with you. I guess it would also promote shape-shifting or morphing a they call. How I was introduced to animorphs was my step-brother(David) told me about them and he had just bought one that was called "visser", and I had read it and a few others. After a few weeks I was thinking that this seems familiar, another fad that is hard to stop thinking about and talking about. So I tried to find stuff against it. I found: Nothing. All I did find was pages saying that they were the best book series ever. And I thought that since there is nothing against it that is was an okay bunch of books.
But some of the stuff in animorphs still annoyed me. Like
(1)the yeerks, they are slug-like aliens which infest and take over bodies.
(2) The elemists, they are aliens which became like God. who are in-turn also the boss of the andalites.
(3) crayak, the elemist enemy which feeds on fear, who is also the boss of the yeerks.
(4) The andalites, centaur like aliens which made a thing the thing called the morphing-cube which gives the "power" to morph.
(5) The animorphs, kids that can shape-shift, who kill others. The only difference between them and a gang with guns is: they can morph. Oh what a big difference...
Anonymous: I'm rather insulted. Your interpretation of Harry Potter does nothing except reinforce the label of modern Christians as intolerants.... You should be careful of your condemnation of Harry... why is there no mention of the Animorphs on your site? There's real violence... 5 kids that can become any animal they want, so they can murder and kill in their wild animal forms. Or maybe Everworld, a virtual buffet of gods other than God. Need I say Goosebumps?
From KM: I would like to make some comments about certain things I read on your site: In reply to Ben Fournier's comments on Animorphs:
>"The elemists, they are aliens which became like God. who are in-turn also the boss of the andalites."
>"crayak, the elemist enemy which feeds on fear, who is also the boss of the yeerks."
This is wrong. The elemist is not the 'boss' of anyone, and is not a god. Elemists are simply a race that exists in a different dimension, or a different type of dimension, who can comprehend things humans cannot. They are to humans roughly what humans would be to 2-dimensional cartoon characters.
Neither is the crayak the 'boss' of the yeerks. The crayak and elemist are enemies, the elemist being generally on the 'good' side, and the crayak being generally 'bad,' who play out their wars through our dimension. There is little evidence of any direct contact between crayak and the yeerks, in fact, the crayak and elemist appear to play by very strict rules about what they can and cannot do in our dimension.
>"The animorphs, kids that can shape-shift, who kill others. The only difference between them and a gang with guns is: they can morph. Oh what a big difference..."This is wrong too, or at least has implications that are wrong. There are many differences between the Animorphs and a gang. The main one being, of course, they are not fighting for money or power, but to try to save their planet. They try, whenever possible, not to kill even the enemy, who are innocents under the yeerks' control. I don't see how you can compare them to a gang.
Also, there is nothing spiritual or mystical about the Animorphs' 'morphing' abilities. It is simply a technology that was created by the Andalites.
Our criterion for what is spiritual or supernatural has to be reality. Real science can never reproduce the kind of shape-shifting or transformation shown in Animorphs. Practically speaking, such a process of change has to be both mystical and supernatural. The fact that you can't see that, shows how easy it is for children today to be caught up in an imaginary world that erases the distinction between reality and fantasy.
I have finally answered Mike's letter. Sorry, Mike, for the long delay.
From Mike Crawley: I've read another topic that you have on your site. Animorphs. You seem to be comparing it to Shamanism and "Primitive Paganism." Yet what surprised me was your lack of imagination.
"Our criterion for what is spiritual or supernatural has to be reality. Real science can never reproduce the kind of shape-shifting or transformation shown in Animorphs. Practically speaking, such a process of change has to be both mystical and supernatural. The fact that you can't see that, shows how easy it is for children today to be caught up in an imaginary world that erases the distinction between reality and fantasy."
Real science can never reproduce that shown in a book? That is incorrect. You don't hold as bright a candle to science as you do God, do you miss Berit? Sure, science now can't create shape shifting, but wasn't that also said about Cloning? Sure, we haven't caused instant clones (like in the Disney movie I saw, The Other Me).,but we can clone animals over time. Heck, we've even started attempts at cloning a human.
I have always enjoyed studying science. My great God created the rules by which the universe operates, and everything scientists have discovered and proven -- climate changes, ocean currents, tidal forces and the magnetic pull of the moon, DNA.... -- fit the Biblical model. I challenge you to find a genuine conflict between God's truth and verified science.
Cloning can be explained by science, and the first chapter in Genesis suggests a warning against such genetic engineering. Morphing, in contrast, is an imagined phenomenon, well practiced in animist cultures.
But it is plausible for shape shifting to actually occur. Maybe not the exact way shown in Animorphs, They touch an animal and absorb it's DNA, and then are able to become that animal.
If it could be made where your DNA was able to form into that of an animals, programmed into the subject, while still retaining the knowledge to return to being a human, then Shape Shifting is possible, while making it work is what's hard.
Mike, your last statement shows the simplistic thinking that results from today's cultural immersion in fantasy. Our politicians know well that people will believe a lie if they here it repeated enough times -- and they use that tactic well. Likewise, children and youth are finding it increasingly easy to believe that that fantasy is about to become reality. Yes, science has advanced greatly in the last century, but it can only go as far as the laws of nature permit. Morphing is not one of them.
From Kelly: I'm sorry I haven't fully examined your christian website, but a section of your site about the book series "Animorphs" was brought to my attention. I visited that only and I would like to say that whoever reviewed the series did not research it properly. The children can "morph" or just change into any animal through a technology created by an alien species. This is a concept that I believe is pretty much impossible, but the story is (obviously) entirely fictional, so in this fictional story, the "morphing" ability is simply a technology.
There are aliens who can crawl into humans brains and are thus able to control the humans. They are like parasites, but they are intelligent and want to enslave humanity. This is ridiculous, but it is also just fiction. It is a science fiction book series.
The children fight these Yeerks by using the morphing technology to become fierce animals, simply because they are children and could not possibly convince the government that the earth is being invaded, so they have to use the technology because otherwise all humans will be enslaved. Anyway, the children are mostly good natured who refused to use the technology until their families were endangered.
I think the only way it could be bad is if a child read it and misinterpreted it, and seeing as an adult did (the one who reviewed the books), it could possibly be misinterpreted as well by children, which would make it a bad influence. Anyway, dislike it for that reason if you choose, it is a good reason, but I would appreciate for the reviewer to get his facts straight.
Also, the 'Elemist' is spelled Ellimist and he is just supposedly a highly evolved creature who does not rule over any other creatures. The Crayak is a creature who the author has not adequately explained, we know little about him, but he does not rule over the Yeerks. THe Yeerks do not know of his existence.
Anyway, the book series will be ending very soon, and it is not as popular as it once was. Thanks for reading this.
Thank you, Kelly, for your explanations. But from a Christian perspective, it doesn't really matter what causes children to "morph" from a human shape to an animal shape -- and back again. In animist cultures, the perception of such "shape-shifting" was often caused by psychedelic components in native plants. The goal was to gain strength from the particular animal-spirit linked to the shaman.
The fact that the Animorph stories attribute the same phenomenon to alien technology doesn't change the power of the images and suggestions. But I want to present an accurate message, so I appreciate your additional information and corrections.
I am also concerned about the alien yeerks that "crawl into humans brains" to control the minds. But I can't take time to explain the problem in a credible way right now.
From Eric: I'm a friend of Kelly's, and when I saw this I was somewhat irritated. No offense, but these are the kind of extremist views that makes many people dislike Christians.
Eric, since I don't know whether you are from a Christian family or not, I'm not sure what you know about true Christianity. Jesus warned us that the people of the world's wouldn't like us. Many are offended by those who live by a different standard and don't share their views. In fact, He told us to expect hatred, exclusion and persecution. (See John 15:18-21) That's why He told His disciples to "count the cost" before promising to follow Him. Years ago, I did consider the cost of uncompromising relationship with my God, and I have found the cost to be well worth it. Nothing is more exciting than being joined to Jesus and walking with Him each day.
The people young enough to be influenced by a book series A) wouldn't be reading it, as it's middle school level and B) wouldn't have heard of "Animist cultures" or Pagan rituals. I (a freshman in high-school) am more versed in mythology and the like than most my age, and I had only vaguely heard of them. I never associated them with the series through my five years of reading it.
Whether you believe it or not, animism and the occult practices associated with it are as real today as they were thousands of years ago. I'm trying to awaken people to what is happening, not helping them stay blissfully ignorant of dangers.
Plus, should we limit the sciences used in our fictional stories to things that may or may not be vaguely referred to in the bible? I personally have seen nothing even remotely resemblent of Genetic engineering in Genesis. And as Kelly stated, the Ellimist and Crayak are in no way representive of God and Satan, and it has been mentioned that there is a "higher power" than them.
I don't tell the rest of the world what to do, Eric. People make their own choices. I am only offering warnings and encouragement -- with prayer that our readers make wise choices. But that's up to them.
From Katherine: I have visited your page on Animorphs, and here is my opinion on it: You don't know what you're doing. Read an Animorphs book before you bash it. All of you over there, saying awful things about it, read the first one or two first. Borrow them from the library. Then review them. If you don't, well then you are pretty narrow-minded, and probably just looking for something to insult. Let me also get a few things straight:They are just five normal kids, walking home from the mall, who made a mistake-like everybody else does--and recklessly walk through an abandoned construction site. Jake is a good leader, and normal sort of guy. Rachel is just a girl willing to fight when she must--not a feminest. Tobias is just picked on because he's new at school, and shy. Cassie is not a shaminist, just somebody who loves animals. Marco is just a person who is normal-like the rest of them.
An alien ship crashes and they are given the power to fight for freedom-not money, not power, not just to kill for fun, not for satinism--by a dying alien--not a practicer of black magick. You can read the rest in the book-provided you aren't a fanatic set on bad-mouthing everything around you, and I'd like to believe you're not, but you have given me no reason to.
An alien ship? Supernatural power? Shape-shifting into animals? It doesn't sound very normal, Katherine. Perhaps, in their natural state, the five children look "normal" enough to deceive readers or viewers into accepting all the supernatural and mystical feats as both normal and natural.
From Zach: First of all, I would like to say that I'm a Christian, so you cannot blame the following on me being a biased atheist or something. Apparantly, some people cannot accept anyone with a little imagination.
Could I point out the internet; You are using it now, are you not? Well, not more than fifty years ago, someone like you would have found the internet to be some kind of Satanic creation or whatnot. That is the same with any technology that might ever be created that could give someone the power to change shape or such (which I doubt will ever happen, but stick with me here).
Zach, you would be far more credible if you would try to refute me with facts rather than silly accusations.
Also, some people obviously cannot tell the difference between science and fantasy, and also between fiction and reality. "Fiction" means "the type of literature dealing with imaginative narration." GOD gave humans imagination, and they used it.
They didn't use it His way. The Bible warns us repeatedly against following our imagination. Let me give you a few examples:
"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5
"the imagination of manís heart is evil from his youth..." Genesis 8:21
"But they ... walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward." Jeremiah 7:24
They used it [the imagination] to create wonderful stories that explore the endless possibilities of the world through words written on paper. If a stack of paper with ink on it glued together with the word "fiction" printed on the side, somehow defies God or his will, well, then I definitely see something wrong with our world. Clearly there are more important things to worry about than a silly book written for children.
Now as for Animorphs, I strongly recommend that whoever "looked into" the book series do a little more "looking into". First of all, the "gang" which the Animorphs were referred to is not a gang, but a group of warriors defending their world from evil. Can you not say that Christians are doing the same? And you cannot say that Christians have never started wars in history. (And the Animorphs did not start the war, they were brought unwillingly into it by the evil that was threatening peace and goodness.) In fact, you could very well compare these books to Christianity. Good people fighting evil for what is right.
It's an absurd comparison. God's ways for us are totally opposite of fictional warfare of the five children. (Please see Christ's Example.) He tells us
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal [not like the world's], but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; 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...." 2 Corinthians 10:4-6
And the Yeerks, the parasites who enter a creatures brain (and by the way, this is not far fetched. Are there not parasites in existance? There are.) could very well be compared to demons. They are evil, and they take control of a human being. The Animorphs fight them as Christians fight demons. So I hope I have spread new light on this subject by pointing out several facts. PS- God bless.
No, Zach, the children don't fight Yeerks the way Christians would fight demons. This myth teaches the wrong message. The fact that you and others believe that the Animorphs could serve as a model for Christianity make it all the more deceptive. You are obviously "learning" from it, and what it teaches you is distorting your understanding of the Bible.
From Kate: As a Christian, and an Animorphs reader I personally find your complete misinterpretation of the Animorphs series offensive. It has nothing to do with pagan religions or animal worship, and I don't think that any child could more grossly misinterpret the stories than you have already done. You see children, and young adults are not stupid, most realize that things like this are not real, they do not read the books and then go out and worship animal or anything of the like. Books are read for enjoyment and nothing found in a book could be any more harmful than reading about reality.
The Ellimist was never represented as God, he was introduced as a character superior to humans and perhaps humans are to cartoons. He admitted that he was not all powerful and that his abilities were limited and in the books he is actually the one fighting for good and preserving life, if anything he would be compared to an Angel which is not at all blasphemous. You're lack of knowledge about these books makes me doubt that you have even read beyond a couple books and began those books looking for wrong and not allowing yourself to accept that there is nothing wrong with them.
Kate, what you have described fits my observations. The Ellimist is "a character superior to humans" and might be compared to angels with their limited supernatural power. It is certainly not representative of God's angels, which carry out God's will. Therefore, it resembles "fallen angels" or demonic spiritual entities. God tells us to have nothing to do with such beings -- not even in our imaginations.
Furthermore you cannot hazard to guess the possibilities existing in the scientific world, perhaps now it seems impossible that people could ever achieve the level of technology shown in the Animorphs books, but then a thousand years ago who would have believed that people could walk on the moon, or travel in machines like cars and airplanes. Only from our limited perspective now do certain things seem unattainable.
No, I wouldn't guess at those possibilities. But I do know some of the impossibilities. They include those things that are outside the realm of natural laws and physics. No matter how grandiose your dreams, man will not morph into animals. Such actions fit into the mystical realms of occult thinking.
It is not being allowed to engage in fantasy that is harmful to today's youth. Our reality is so harsh that to believe that nothing better can exist is too demoralizing to consider. Fantasy is a way of imaging what can be better and relieving minds from the horrors and terrors that happen in real life.
Once you can see beyond your limited perspective perhaps you will not be so close-minded and bigoted to the world around you. The bible was written by man, and interpreted by man, no one can knows God's true wishes and you are acting in an unchristian way in your apparent inability to accept the beliefs of others, God teaches us to love our neighbor's and accept their faults and weaknesses, it is not man's place to judge but that is obviously what you have taken upon yourself to do. You are automatically assuming that the people who disagree with you are not Christian, quite possibly many are, and simply more enlightened and accepting than you are. I myself am Catholic and find myself utterly and totally disagreeing with your small views of the world.
How can you say that "no one can know God's true wishes" when He tells us repeatedly both in the Old and New Testament to know and do His will? Let me share one such Scripture:
"Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light....
"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:6-17
From Chris: Imagine being alive 200 years ago. You have no knowledge of 20th/21st century technology. What would you think if you saw a machine that let hundreds of people fly through the air like birds and land safely on the other side of the world? Or what about a carriage that moves people over the ground at tremendous speeds, without a horse pulling it? What about a grey box that allows people to instantaneously communicate with people around the world, from the comfort of your home? Today, we know that these things are, quite simply, an airplane, a car, and a computer. All just modern technology. But 200 years ago, these inventions would have seemed absurd, impossible, or supernatural.
In the Animorphs book series, five humans are given the ability to morph. Not by some some supernatural power, but by and advanced technology. You may say that it is impossible, but the same would be said about Airplanes, Cars and Computers by someone 200 years ago.
Chris, we cannot build our world view on imagination or possibility thinking. If we do, we have to let go of all factual logic. To put "morphing" from a human state into an animal state denies all that modern scientists have discovered about the genetic structures of living beings -- and move into the realm of the supernatural. For morphing is super natural. It is not a possiblity. Scientists today may be able to clone identical creatures by manipulating genes then using the natural process of growth. Any kind of momentary and total genetic transformation is ridiculous. Since you have been trained to set aside reality in favor of the imagination, you probably won't believe what I say -- or other scientific limitations to what you want to believe.
My point is that just becuase *you* can't understand something, doesn't mean that it can't be explained by something other than an evil, supernatural force. And it definately *doesn't* make it evil. The process of morphing does not have to be "both mystical and supernatural". It is a *fictional* technology. If you cannot perceive reality as anything but what is directly here and now, you have a very narrow perspective of the world.
I have not been "caught up in an imaginary world that erases the distinction between reality and fantasy."
Your words and arguments indicate you have been trapped in that world of the imagination, Chris, and your faith in your imagination has blinded you to reality.
And I'll thank you not to be so insulting towards us again. I think *you* are the one who is having the problem determining what is real and what is fiction. You seem unable to understand the reality that Animorphs is fiction. You don't appear to be able to make the distinction between a fictional story and "shamanism (or witchcraft)"
You are contradicting yourself. Your opening argument was that the most impossible images in the Animorphs series was actually possible based on earlier inventions and scientific advances. In other words, we shouldn't limit morphing to the realm of fantasy and fiction.
Having said that, I do not see what is wrong with a *fictional* story about children with abilities given to them, not by an evil power, but by an alien with advanced technology. There is no deception here. The spine of the book is clearly marked with the word, "fiction". Nobody is trying to tell you otherwise. There is no implication that this is anything but a made-up story.
I deleted your long commentary on the Ellimist and Crayak not because I am censoring you, but because these have been discussed earlier and I wanted to shorten your message.
I'd also like to address the issue of the yeerks. As Zach pointed out, there are real parasites in existence, that live in the bodies of other animals.
Granted, they are not sentient, nor mind controlling. Most of the yeerks *are* evil. There is no doubt about that. They have a thirst for power and domination of the galaxy. These yeerks are never portrayed as being good or right. They are the *villains* of the story.
They are the *evil* the animorphs fight against. I feel it necessary to point out again that thses are *fictional* creatures, anyway. They are not supposed to reflect reality.
It's interesting to see how you and others switch back and forth between relating your stories to reality when such a point seems to serve your argument -- then denying any such link when that side fits your argument better.
Someone has said that "The animorphs, kids that can shape-shift, who kill others. The only difference between them and a gang with guns is: they can morph. Oh what a big difference..."
Actually, there is a big difference. Gangs with guns fight for power, money, and trivial things. The Animorphs are fighting for the survival of earth as a free species. They are forced to kill, or submit and let the human race be wiped out. This is not an idea situation. Of course the animorphs would rather resolve things peacefully. But that is not an option.
Now you are talking as if the animorphs present a picture of reality, not just fantasy, again. That was my point in my initial criticism. Don't you see the inconsistency?
The animorphs realise that killing is bad, and this issue is discussed at length in the books. The animorphs struggle with the ethics of what they do. They try to find other, ways of dealing with their problems, and only use violence when absolutely necessary. Even then, they are extremely careful not to harm innocents.
After reading your responses to Zach's post, I'd like to say that you have completely missed the point of what he was trying to say. When he was comparing the animorphs to Christians, he was *not* trying to suggest that Christians are to kill non-believers with wepons. He was merely drawing the the parallel that both are good people fighting for what is right. (As I thought he made it pretty clear). I have spoken to him and I know for a fact that this what he meant. Before I end, I'd like to say that, yes, I am a Christian. I'm speaking from a Christian perspective, not that of an athiest, or someone of another faith. I hope the information I have given has helped to shed some light on this subject.
From Fitey: I have read you Animorphs forum about 50 times and disagree with everything you have said. Alright, first off, who is going to read this series and think 'Shamanism' or 'paganism' right off the bat? This is junior fiction. Which means, like, young. Young Adult maybe, but heck, if Animorphs was Young Adult it would be three times better than all the crud they have there. So I don't think you have to worry about it.
Secondly, and I know this has been said about a million times, the Ellimist does not control the Animorphs. I have thought that they are portraying him as a 'god' but they aren't- he's said like eight times that he's not all-powerful, and there is a greater power than he. As for Crayak, he is evil. I guess he could be the equivalent of the Devil, but I'm not going to say that since you've twisted everything else anyone who doesn't agree with you has said.
Third- yeah, the Yeerks are mostly evil. I don't get what's wrong with them (not all Yeerks are intentionally evil *see book 19 and 29*. They aren't saved, but they don't do evil on purpose). What do you think they are, demons? Hello.
The only thing I find wrong with the books is their belief in evolution. But there are tons of people who believe that and put their beliefs in books they write. Christians put their beliefs in books (I am a Christian by the way, and I go to a Christian school).
Yeah, I think Christianity is right, and I have started lots of controversies with people who believe in evolution.
As for the Anis themselves, they aren't gangsters anymore than I am (hmmm...). They use their powers to fight against evil and try not to kill.
Technology. Well, its sci-fi. Lots of books use 'mystical' powers as you so call them. So what? Its sci-fi. And don't give me that reason you've given everyone else, please. I would like a new, fresh reason, because I've heard the same one, time after time after time. (Thank you, Kelly, for your explanations. But from a Christian perspective, it doesn't really matter what causes children to "morph" from a human shape to an animal shape -- and back again.
In animist cultures, the perception of such "shape-shifting" was often caused by psychedelic components in native plants. The goal was to gain strength from the particular animal-spirit linked to the shaman.----Practically speaking, such a process of change has to be both mystical and supernatural. The fact that you can't see that, shows how easy it is for children today to be caught up in an imaginary world that erases the distinction between reality and fantasy.) You've said that like every time someone gives you a DIFFERENT answer. (some have been the same, but still, you've only used one). If you can dig up as much dirt on tv shows and books and stuff, cant you give us another reason?
....I just want to know why your so 'concerned' with us reading this stuff, this stuff that's our lives. (Corny, yeah. Obsessive, yes. But true? YES).
Thank you, Fitey. You made some good points. If you will read two of my articles -- Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft and Bewitched by Harry Potter -- I think you will find a more complete answer than I could give you here. Or look at some of my long answers in the section on Multiple Topics.
It seems that you are referring to animorphs and such entertainment when you say "this stuff that's our lives." I could cite lots of Bible passages that tell us to set our hearts on the things that are real and eternal rather all the world's enticements, which are futile and temporary. I could start by referring you to Matthew 6 and Ephesians 5.
Life is more than entertainment, and psychological bondage to mythical entertainment will waste the time you have to get to know and walk with Him as well as distort you understanding of His reality. But I would only say that to those who really are Christians, joined to Him at the cross by faith -- those who have committed their lives to Him and truly want to walk with Him. Does that include you? Others wouldn't understand. (See 1 Corinthians 2)
From Fitey again: I noticed on your website, on the reply to my letter you said "It seems that you are referring to DBZ and such entertainment when you say 'this stuff that's our lives.' ". Personally, I hate DBZ- and I find that I havent watched much tv lately. When i do, I watch really dumb shows like 'Sheep in the Big City' 'SpongeBob Squarepants', and (sometimes) 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?'. (Please note that I am speaking for myself here). Moreover, I play more video games (Spyro the Dragon and sequels, and SledStorm, which is a snowmobile racing game) or computer games (Chessmaster 5000 is all I have been playing lately, other than Solitare and FreeCell) or I write stories on 'Word' or read.
Thanks for the correction, Fitey. I fixed my answer above. I was trying to answer too many letters in a short time. I had just been writing about DBZ and when I came here I referred to the wrong show.
When I said 'This stuff that's our lives' I meant Animorphs. Its not really our lives- my life would probably be ruined if I based it on a fantasy series - but most of the people I know that read Animorphs do know a lot of facts about it (heh, Ill bet more than one can recite all the titles in order). I don't believe anyone should base their lives on a book (with the exception of the Bible). Just wanted to point that out.
It's easy to say that, but it can be a lot harder than we think to turn it off and switch our hearts and emotions back to the things God values. But there are many Scripture that might help. Here is one you can pray:
"To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You;
Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me....
Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day." Psalm 25:1-5
From MKO: From a message board I visit, I can tell that you're probably very sick of letters about animorphs. ::shrugg:: I don't read them, but I've read a few. The problem that you have with this series is that you're trying to relate a science *fiction* story's plot and characters to the word of God (which you, not everyone, holds as true) and factual life situations. What you *don't* see in the series is the underlying message of good--good vs. evil and the human--not godly good--but truly human qualities of the characters.
You can't say that an entity in a science fiction book is trying to replace God in people's lives or sway children to believe in it. Your views of "animist occult practicings" or whatever you're spatting about have nothing to do with a book about a group of kids saving the world from aliens by turning into animals. For one point, when they turn into animals, they're not trying to worship an animal spirit or praise any kind of false (in your beliefs) deities. They don't dance around a fire naked screaming about the wolf god before they turn into a wolf (not that i'm saying that's what "animists" do...).
Thanks for your time ;)
If it the children did dance around the fire, it might make it more difficult for viewers to identify with the show, MKO. The more ordinary setting make the subtle suggestions more powerful. It is a lot easier to rationalize bad practices when they are demonstrated by characters that seem to be good.
You say that I am "trying to relate" the stories to the Word of God. It's true. I am. That's the purpose of this website. You sound like a reasonable person. Wouldn't you want us to be free to see and explain America's changing culture from the perspective of our faith? If we are not free to follow our beliefs, no one in America is free. Everyone would have to conform to the latest politically correct ideology. You wouldn't want that, would you?
Explanations have been added here:
From Dahjo Anor: 1) You yelled at Zach for giving silly accustions.
Excuse me, but YOU are the one who is accusing Animorphs of being a book series that lures kid's into paganism. That is not true at all, why would a middle-aged parent want to lure kids around the world in to believing paganism? It simply something to be entertained with, not a standard of living. Since you have never read the books I do not see how you could say this.
It's nice of you to defend your friend, Dahjo. Let me repeat what I called "silly accusation." I didn't explain because I thought they would be fairly obvious:
"Apparantly, some people cannot accept anyone with a little imagination.
"Could I point out the internet; You are using it now, are you not? Well, not more than fifty years ago, someone like you would have found the internet to be some kind of Satanic creation or whatnot. That is the same with any technology that might ever be created that could give someone the power to change shape or such....
Also, some people obviously cannot tell the difference between science and fantasy, and also between fiction and reality. "Fiction" means "the type of literature dealing with imaginative narration." GOD gave humans imagination, and they used it.
I don't think sarcasm helps Zach argue his points. And "someone like" me would not have believed the Internet to be a Satanic creation. God did create us with the capacity to imagine all kinds of things -- both good and bad -- but He holds us responsible for what we do with it and where we focus our gifts. The Bible refers repeatedly to the imagination as evil, vain, or futile (depending on the version of the Bible). It was never intended to help us delight in what He calls evil.
You wrote a nice long letter But I left out all your quotes. Since I didn't have time to identify each one or find the context, I didn't think I should include them. I'm sorry to disappoint you.
Second letter from Chris: I'm writing to you again because I think you have missed the point of a lot of what I was trying to say in my original letter.
You said, "Chris, we cannot build our world view on imagination or possibility thinking. If we do, we have to let go of all factual logic. To put "morphing" from a human state into an animal state denies all that modern scientists have discovered about the genetic structures of living beings -- and move into the realm of the supernatural. For morphing is super natural. It is not a possiblity. Scientists today may be able to clone identical creatures by manipulating genes then using the natural process of growth. Any kind of momentary and total genetic transformation is ridiculous. Since you have been trained to set aside reality in favor of the imagination, you probably won't believe what I say -- or other scientific limitations to what you want to believe."
I'm not building a world view on these books. My world view is based on my religion, Christianity. These books are a source of entertainment for me, and that's all. I have not been "trained to set aside reality in favor of the imagination". I read fictional stories (which I maintain are completely harmless), but I am completely capable of making the distinction between imagination and reality. Yes, the morphing technology is currently impossible for us. Yes, it will probably stay that way, perhaps forever. The point I was trying to make, is that the same would have been said for cloning technology 200 years ago.
You said, "You are contradicting yourself."
No, I'm not. What I was trying to say (though possibly not as clearly as I could have) was that the animorphs series is fictional. The yeerks, the andalites, the animorphs, Ellimist and Crayak. *But* it is possible that the morphing technology, or perhaps something similar may become a reality in the distant future. I'm not saying it's definite, or even probable. I'm just saying it could be *possible*. That doesn't mean that I can't make a distinction between reality and fiction (though you'll undoubtedly find a way to twist my words and make it look like I can't). I just try to keep an open mind, and I would ask that you do the same.
What do you know about genetics, Chris? Have you heard any scientist who understand the incredible complexities of the genetic structure of the human body indicate that "morphing" is a possiblity?
I have actually studied it, and I wish you would take a closer look. I may post some information on this later. But I can assure you right now, that a human cannot now, and will not in the future, be able to turn himself into an animal and then reverse the process at will. Surgeons may be able to attach animal parts to a human body and manipulate the immune system in such a way that the part is not rejected, but that's not what morphing is about.
Science may be able to accomplish amazing feats such as cloning and interspecies organ transplanting. But also know enough about science to recognize its limitations.
Chris, the problem with your kind of "possibility thinking" is that you use your imagination to reach beyond what is realistic while ignoring the scientific facts. Filling you mind with fantasy seems more important to you than learning the facts that would refute the myths. Then, when challenged, you tell me that these myths are nothing more than fiction. But you ignore the fact that your fantastisies have already become part of your way of thinking and your way of rationalizing reality. You have stretched your view of the world to accommodate the ideas and possibilities inspired by the fiction. Don't you see the inconsistency?
"There is no deception here. The spine of the book is clearly marked with the word, "fiction". Nobody is trying to tell you otherwise. There is no implication that this is anything but a made-up story." I notice you did not respond to this. Maybe you're running out of arguments.
You said, "I deleted your long commentary on the Ellimist and Crayak not because I am censoring you, but because these have been discussed earlier and I wanted to shorten your message."
I doubt it. The issue of Ellimist and Crayak has been discussed earlier, but I believe I discussed it in more depth that was previously done. I think it's far more likely that my argument was presented in a way that you found hard to argue with, so you omitted it. I wonder what you'll censor this time...
"It's interesting to see how you and others switch back and forth between relating your stories to reality when such a point seems to serve your argument -- then denying any such link when that side fits your argument better."
That's because Animorphs is SCIENCE FICTION. Fiction based in, or inspired by, science. Some of it is true, is possible. Some of it isn't.
You said, "Now you are talking as if the animorphs present a picture of reality, not just fantasy, again. That was my point in my initial criticism. Don't you see the inconsistency?"
I never ceased to be amazed by your comments. I think it is a wonderful testament to God's power that He could create a being with such an amazingly narrow mind. It's incredible that, while countless children can see what parts of the series should be construed as fiction, and what parts as reality (or reflections of reality), you seem unable to do so.
Your sarcasm doesn't help your argument, Chris.
"The animorphs realise that killing is bad, and this issue is discussed at length in the books. The animorphs struggle with the ethics of what they do. They try to find other, ways of dealing with their problems, and only use violence when absolutely necessary. Even then, they are extremely careful not to harm innocents."
Yes, they model and teach "situation ethics" or moral relativism -- not the Biblical answers to moral dilemmas. In other words, they tend to mislead those who want to follow God.
"When he was comparing the animorphs to Christians, he was *not* trying to suggest that Christians are to kill non-believers with wepons. He was merely drawing the the parallel that both are good people fighting for what is right."
Are they? Not if you read the Bible and understand God's guidelines and His view of "good" and "right."
You must concede that I am right about both of these points, as you appear to have no argument against them.
Here is a Scripture that backs up my concerns, Chris:
"Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear. They will reject the truth and follow strange myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Donít be afraid of suffering for the Lord." 2 Tim. 4:2-5
From John: It has come to my attention recently, that you have brought the Animorphs book series under fire, accusing it of spreading shamanism, etc. I am writing to defend it. I am a practicing Catholic, and Animorphs is my favorite book series. I understand that your main problem is the morphing, or "shapeshifting" as certain paganist cults called it. You say it cannot be done by technology, and while you are right, the fact remains that this is science fiction. In science fiction, impossible things happen.
You say that the Animorphs are five normal looking kids from the outside, which is simply a guise to draw unsuspecting children to shamanism. Well, the characters Tobias, Cassie, and marco are all Christian and the characters Jake and Rachel are Jewish. Last time I checked, these are two of the principle religions which worship God, not demonic spirits.
Please explain why you conclude that Tobias, Cassie and Marco are Christian, John. What is your criteria? Might you be suggesting that since "this is a science fiction," you don't have to match the fictional definition for Christianity to its Biblical meaning. This question may sound insignificant, but it would help me better understand your reasoning.
As for the Ellimist and Crayak, they cannot represent God and Satan.
1) Both were born, they are not infinite.
They cannot create or destroy worlds.
3) Neither is immortal.
Look, John, you said "this is science fiction." My concern has to do with perception -- the images and suggestions that these forms of entertainment communicate to the minds of young fans. I know well that we are dealing with science fiction, and I am not looking at the Animorphs as factual reality. Therefore, your three points don't lessen the impact of the occult suggestions and images.
What child, when fascinated with some of the fictional powers, will stop and think -- the Elliminists "were born, they are not infinite." How many care whether or not they represent Satan? Few children use such logic while reading science fiction or watching a movie. Their minds just store and assimilate the visual and auditory messages that stir emotional responses. Does that make sense?
Now, I've also noticed that you
cite Bible verses as a defense. However, the Bible is not always right. Take
this example: "Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves shall he be to his
brothers." Genesis 9:25
Noah says this after his son Ham disgraces him. The people of Canaan, however, settle in Africa. Does this make enslaving blacks right, simply because the Bible says so? I think not.
Of course, it doesn't made slavery right. The Hebrew word for "slave" here is just as often translated "servant." But in this context, the word doesn't refer to either service or slavery as we know them. Canaan here refers primarily to the people who lived in Canaan -- the land God promised to Abraham, Moses, and the Israelites. In those days, it was customary among all nations to view the captors or losers in a battle as servants to the victors. So when Joshua led God's people into the promised land, many of the Canaanites did serve Israel.
But keep in mind, God had some important reasons for allowing His people to take over the Canaan at that time. Centuries earlier, when He promised the land to Abraham, He said it wouldn't happen until "the iniquities (sins) of the Amorites (Canaanites) is complete." In other words, God would allow Canaan to exist in the land until it became so evil, occult, cruel and destructive that it deserved His judgment. When that evil was "complete", He used His own people to carry out the judgment, while at the same time fulfilling His promise of a a land for Israel.
In case some readers find such favoritism unreasonable, let me tell you what happened later. Israel became increasingly fascinated with its pagan neighbors. The people began to worship pagan gods and engage in witchcraft, sorcery, divination, human sacrifice and all the other occult practices listed in Deuteronomy 18:9-12. They even enslaved their own people. When their "iniquity" like that of Canaan, became so horrendous that God again had to judge the inhabitants of the land, He used the pagan nations Assyria and Babylon to punish His people. His action had nothing to do with condoning slavery.
Also, how can you condemn the
Animorphs characters for commiting acts of violence when in the Bible, our
own God slaughters thousands of Egyptian men, women and children in Exodus.
I have criticized the Animorphs, not for the violence, but for mirroring occult practices -- giving Christian children the impression that traditional pagan practices such as "shape-shifting" or claiming animal strengths are compatible with their faith.
Also, I believe it was our Church that committed the Inquisition, where everyone who spoke out against us, even some of our own followers.
Please read Biblical versus Cultural Christianity
Lastly, I want to bring up your
argument that we are stuck in a world of imagination. How is it your place to
tell people what they are? You obviously use your imaginations to
think up retorts. Why don't you use those
imaginations to persecute something really dangerous, like the KKK and neo-Nazis instead of things like TeleTubbies and Animorphs. Trust me, straight out racism and hatred are much more likely to affect children than obscure references to Native American mythology.
I use facts, truth and logic -- not my imagination -- to answer questions.
Nazism and KKK, which are obviously bad or evil, threaten our faith and values far less than fun activities that seem okay. How many of your friends are tempted to join the KKK? Compare that with the number that reads the Animorphs or Harry Potter books. Which is making a greater impact on your minds and our culture?
From Chris again: First of all, I'd like to apologize for the sarcasm in my last letter. You're right, it doesn't help my argument.
You said, "What do you know about genetics, Chris? ... I have actually studied it, and I wish you would take a closer look....a human cannot now, and will not in the future, be able to turn himself into an animal and then reverse the process at will."
I haven't done much study on genetics, so I don't know much about it. It's probably not a good idea for me to be making judgements about what is and is not possible with so little information. But isn't that what you're doing with animorphs? How many books have you actually read?
I have only read one of the books, Chris. But your comparison is not a realistic parellel. Genetics has to do with science. Among other things it exposes some of laws of nature that limit the extent to which humans can manipulate the complex order of God's creation. A simple example (that has little to do with genetics) is gravity. No matter how well we use magnetic or other forces and obstacles to block the earth's magnetic pull, you can't do away with gravity.
In other words, the issue of whether morphing is possible boils down to a scientific conclusion based on scientific data. This kind of reasoning based on facts differ greatly from the issue of whether the practice of morphing -- either through the imagination or through psychedelic dreams, visions as in the pagan practice of "shape-shifting -- is good or moral.
I am not pretending to be an expert on the mythical setting behind the Animorphs story nor of the the personalities of the characters. I don't have to share in your imagined "experiences" in order to know whether or not these suggestions and images clash with the Bible. Even if I hadn't read the book or watched several televised episodes, I could tell just from the above letters that this popular myth leads "Christian" children to reject or twist God's Word in order to rationalize their delight in the story. So the issue isn't whether children believe morphing is possible (which man obviously do), but how the show guides their understanding or perception of right and wrong.
I'm talking about books now, not the TV show (The TV show is an innaccurate adaption of animorphs and the author cannot be blamed for this). I don't think it's fair for you to be making such harsh judgements of Animorphs, unless you have read most or all of the books. This is the only way to get a full picture of what the series is like.
"What child, when fascinated with some of the fictional powers, will stop and think -- the Elliminists "were born, they are not infinite." How many care whether or not they represent Satan?"
What child, when fascinated with some fictional powers, will stop and think "That sounds just like shamanism (or witchcraft) in the animist (primitive pagan) cultures around the world. I think I'll become a medicine man so I can turn into a wolf"?
The parallel never even occurred to me. These books are fictional. There is no deception. I made this point in my first letter, and you didn't respond to it (the comment, not the letter). I read these books and think "Wow, wouldn't it be amazing to be able to fly?" I don't think there's anything wrong with that. In fact, in Isaiah 40:31, it says "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles."
Even the bible uses the idea of humans flying like birds. I'm not trying to say Animorphs books are like the bible, I'm just making the point that there is nothing wrong with imagining things like this, as long we don't take it to the level of converting to shamanism.
Please go to Harry Potter and Dungeons & Dragons- Like Peas in a Pod? and click on "Transforming Power of the Imagination." You will find some studies that show how imagined experience can be a powerful as actual experience in creating the memories and images that form a person's understanding of reality.
Your illustration from the Bible is universally understood to be a metaphor. No one believes that God is telling us to morph into eagles and sprout wings. It's like the expression, "nerves of steel," which has nothing to do with metal.
And how many Animorphs readers do you know who are tempted to become witch doctors?
I don't know. But I do know the power of television shows and books to stir fascination and to motivate children and youth to explore occult phenomenon and seek experience with pagan practices. I illustrate that process in Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft.
By saying that there is a danger of this happening, I believe you are insulting the intelligence of readers. We teenagers may not know all there is to know about life, but at least give us credit for being able to tell the difference between Animorphs and reality.
What you know intellectually is not necessary what you do in your daily life. Many know that fried food, tobacco and drugs can cause serious health problems, yet humans tend to indulge themselves in what we know is not good. Just as companies pay billions for ads that flash into a viewer's imagination and seduce them to buy their products, so the occult images prompt children to crave more of the same.
I believe that apart from God, we don't have the will or strength to live by what is right and good -- unless we redefine and twist the meaning of "right and good" into something that fits our human inclinations. Does that make sense?
To those who belong to Him, God says, "As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power." Colossians 2:6-11
From Kelly. I wrote you earlier on this topic. I think your website is actually very informative for everyone. I've read many of your articles, especially those pertaining to the new global ideology. I do read the Animorph books for pleasure, and I must argue that the way I see GOD has not been distorted, or influenced in any way whatsoever, by the books.
Perhaps my time would be better spent on more spiritual activities rather than indulging in this literature, but I must say that I feel my relationship with GOD has not been damaged. I still love GOD and share my life with him, but I also read these books. I do not believe they are harmful to anyone, and I just read them.
I do not believe the books deceive anyone who reads them, the children are never portrayed as being normal, and no one is really obsessed with the books, they are just exaggerating. It is my belief that they do not desensitize people -- but I suppose one would never know, that's everyone's own decision to make. If you take it upon yourself to warn Christian families that these books may desensitize people, then of course you can. It does not matter to me, though I do feel defensive of them because I believe that they are not an influence to people. If you disagree, then you do. That's as far as this argument goes.