Digimon & Martial Arts
Responses to our article on Digimon
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From Daniel: You mistake the virtues of the children (which come in and are straitforward) for the traits of the devil? Is something as golden as Courage, Frendship, Love, Knowledge, Sincerity, Reliability, Hope, Kindness, Light, Miracles, and Fate so evil?
This is what each of the children represent. and they must pass on their virtues to that other world. In a way, that world is quit parallel to our world. There are good people and good digimon. there are bad people and bad digimon. there are people and digimon trying to do good, but are spreading satanic evils, such as religious fanatism across the globe.
You should not look at just the black and white, yet the Grey as well; And if needed, take color crayons, as the heroes of this anime are learning, and put the color in the picture. perhaps you shall see that these children carry the virtues of the holy Spirit.
I look at reality through the filter of God's Word, Daniel. You are free to believe what you choose, but so am I -- at least in America for this moment. I see good and evil from His perspective, and He tells us to shun "other gods" or spiritual forces that are not of Him.
Thomas Masterson: They say that fanaticism blinds the feeble, those who do not have an unshaking devotion in God. It takes a special kind of person to have their faith shaken and still believe. I, for one, despise all of you crusaders and your ____ self-righteous pomposity!
People usually see what they want and do what they want. You have turned a harmless show which should be
watched for enjoyment (so long as you don't set it higher than god) into a malignant tumor on society. WAKE UP!
Martial arts can be reconciled by Christianity, as we all believe in one similar principle: the soul. Chi is just a Shinto expression of the soul; it does not preclude god.
You have every right to state your opinion, Thomas. But martial arts teachers in the East have a different explanation -- one that matches the definitions and chart on Chi (or Ki) which I included in my article on Digimon.
Notice that one of the definitions came from the book Religions of Asia, 2nd Ed. by John Y. Fenton, Norvik Hein, Frank E. Reynolds, Alan L. Miller, Niels C. Nielsen, Jr. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1988), page 122-123. The authors represent Emory, Yale, Miami, and Rice Universities.
In Digimon, sure there are characters which style themselves angels, and why not? Who are we base born
mortals to say that angels don't look like that? Have YOU ever seen one?
No, but I trust God's Word more than I trust my own eyes -- and the angels in anime certainly don't match His descriptions..
In closing, I thank God every day for allowing me to be Presbyterian and miss out on all of your righteous
Anomymous: I read your article on Digimon. I am saved, and a firm believer in God, and his son Jesus Christ. However, you took an innocent show and made it out to be some sort of evil monstrousity. This is extremely out of line. The show is for children to have fun with. If a child is left out because he does not enjoy Digimon, he can easily find someone who doesn't either, the show was not at fault. Your review was wrong and humoungously pathetic. I'm sorry, but I and others think it is true.
From William Forcier: (Part of a letter posted on the Multiple Topics page) Many of your articles address things which I enjoy. Anime, RPGs. The words fail me now with what I wish to say, because I'm not going to try and defend these things. I know what is wrong, and I play them because I enjoy them. I try to fight hard, yet falter many times. There's just a lot of things I need to work through, and I have only myself to depend on.
William, you have God "to depend on."
Today, I managed to finally read your article on digimon. I shall admit, that I do enjoy the show, and the universe it creates. The first two seasons of said series, I loved to death. But now we approach the third and fourth seasons. My interest has declined to a vicious point of disliking.
I write this to "add to the guns", so to speak. Now, children themselves are merging with their digimon in the third, and in the fourth, themselves are inhabited by ancient spirits of digimon, allowing the children to ascend to a higher form of sorts to fight off the evil. Once it's defeated in a certain sector, they use their power to restore it back to it's previous beauty. I must say, the third series sent up the red flag at an instant. Seeing one episode and doing a small tidbit of research cinched it. I want nothing more to do with it.
I am so deeply saddened by all that is happening around me. Each day, I am exposed more and more to things which I wish I never had been. Even trying to remove such things from my presence, it only seems to find me once again. It is a constant battle for myself to stand firm in what I believe, from the teachings I receive from the bible, and put them into practice.
It's like my heart is fighting against my body. One wishes to sin, the other wishes to do what is right. I know there is a scripture verse addressing such an issue, but forgive the fact that I forget it in writing this.
Yes, there is a battle raging in all of us -- a battle between following truth and following our feelings (human nature or “flesh”). And yes, there “there is a scripture verse addressing such an issue.” Read the last half of Romans 7. Then delight in the last verse – and the first part of Romans 8. God provides the strength and victory in our weakness.
I thank God for your sincerity and humility, William. This postmodern age with its relative values has dulled the conscience of most people. Few even think in terms of right and wrong – it’s all fun and feelings.
When we are honest with ourselves and Him, and admit where we turn off His path, He gives us something far greater than the all the world’s thrills: His gracious forgiveness, freedom from bondage and His wonderful presence – all through the cross. It is such an exciting life!
From "14 yr old" Canadian: I have been studying Judo for quite a while but I have not noticed any spiritual side to it. For the summer I had tried karate for a little while
and noticed much more of a spiritual side to it.
I don't Mean to say that all martial arts are bad or all are good but I think people need to know the difference. First some martial arts an external which means they are totally based on mechanics (ex. Tae kwan doe) some are Internal focusing on ki/chi (ex. tai chi quan) It's the internal ones that you should stay away from.
I see your point and realize that some forms are more overtly spiritual than others. But all martial arts are rooted in the pantheistic belief that a universal life-force flows through everything, connecting all parts of the planet to an ultimate Source, Energy or Cosmic Mind. This universal force is called PRANA by Hindus, Ki in Japanese, and CH’I by Chinese practitioners.
You may want to see the chart on this page: Holistic Health
The Digimon show... man, you guys are funny. ^_^ It's just a show... they're just kids. An
imagination's not a bad thing.
I believe in God and all that... but some of you Christian types are just so funny. XD
Your God is probably not the God we trust and love, Will.
You are free to close your eyes to the power of suggestion and the ways entertainment manipulates the human imagination, but your denial doesn't change reality. It only blinds you to its consequences.
From "a sister in
Christ": My husband and I just spent the weekend camping with his
brother, wife, and our two nieces (11 years old and 7 months old).
We were dismayed to learn that our older niece has been reading every Digimon book she can get ahold of. Also, we have a small tv in our camper, and my niece was very insistent that she must watch "her show" which turned out to be the Digimon cartoon.
I am ashamed to admit that I did not put my foot down and tell her that no, she could not watch Digimon on our tv. The Lord has just put it on my heart that I should indeed have done that. If the question ever comes up again, I will be firm that we will not be supporting Digimon, and I am going to print out your articles to share.
My purpose for emailing is to ask you if you have seen these Digimon books? I assume they are from the same company. I couldn't find out anything about them, but I'm sure they are just as bad as the cartoon show.
I was also hoping to ask if you would say a prayer for our niece, Cassie. This weekend we also found out that she's watched the Harry Potter movie and has read those books too. The odd thing is, she and her family are Christians! We've talked to them many times about Harry Potter, and they seem to agree, then we find out Cassie is still involved in it. They seem to let her watch or read whatever she wants to. Cassie is also "into" Anime, Sailor Moon, Pokemon (her father initially forbid her to play the Pokemon GameBoy game, but now she's playing it... I wonder what happened?). She patiently explained each of the special powers that the Digimon's had, including one that is psychic. I asked her, "You realize that all of that is made up, right? That's not real." But she would not admit that it was made up.
We will continue to learn what we can on these things. We both really appreciate your time and effort in educating the public about what these "entertainments" are really about.
Thank you, dear sister for sharing our concerns. We will pray with you that God awaken your niece to recognize and resist these popular influences.
I have seen but not read the Digimon books, so I don't have any helpful information to share. They seem to send the same message as the animated shows.
From Ender (Gal 2:20): Hi. I've been a Digimon fan ever since I first saw it about more than a year ago. I'm also a Christian, but my response is not a complaint. Everything you said was right on the ball. Digimon promotes the notion that in order to win a battle you have to "trust yourself" and "believe in your friends," which promote the new globalist agenda. (I've been reading your articles, and I can't believe the nonsense these globalists are placing in public high schools.) Certainly, they have no room for God in their hearts.
One episode talked about how "Hope" and "Light" sustained the fake "Digital World" the kids were in. This show is very violent, and event the humans partake in conflicts. The Digimon seem to be so powerful that they can destroy one another.
Like I said, I am a Christian. Although I've been a fan of Digimon for a while, I'm going to give up on it and eradicate it from my sight.
From Your Brother in Christ,
Thank you, Ender. I thank God for you and your listening heart. May He fill your life with a joy that is far greater than anything you leave behind.
Joe M: You are right that martial arts have had, and still do
in some places, spiritual sides to them but I believe that has been pushed
aside in America for the most part. It
is so deep routed in the Asian culture that it will probably never be removed
from them. Most teachers I have
found are American so the Asian religions generally don't work their way into
American classes even with Asian teachers.
You must also remember that
Japan is heavily an honor-based society.
Honor is everything to the Japanese.
In ancient times the Katana was considered the soul of the samurai.
Samurai basically means "to serve".
If we really want to get historical the samurai was primarily a horse
archer as to the common belief that they were all master swordsman.
There were master swordsman throughout the ages but they were more of
an archer in history.
Basically when it all comes
down to it martial arts were designed for killing and hurting people, no
matter what words you use to describe the beauty they can convey in body
movement, they are still weapons of war.
In these times they have become useful to know for a persons defense
because you can get attacked walking in a mall these days.
The word Kamikaze means
"gods wind" for your information if you wanted to know.
The Japanese believe in a
ritual suicide for honor that if you killed yourself to save face it was
considered noble. The ritual
preformed was called Sepuku. Again
you see the ridged honor based society where a person was willing to die for
honor. The Japanese are taught
that death is but a doorway to the next life and is nothing to fear. To fear death would be considered dishonorable.
So you can see where the kamikaze pilots came from.
It was considered a great honor to do what they did.
Something I read in your
Digimon Article that I would like to point out. My basis for this comes from the Japanese language version of
the Princess Mononoke or Mononoke Hime as it was titled in Japanese.
I think there is a slight
misinterpretation you have made in the Princess Mononoke, if you were the one
who made the interpretation in your Digimon article.
I believe the sequence when Ashitaka had the manifestation of energy
around him you said it was his ki. It
was actually his hatred in him given form. The
energy was black and tendril like symbolic with a demon or devil in Japanese
mythology or dark energy at work, very negative.
It was linked to the curse he had on him from the Tatarigami (a form of
demon). I have only seen the
English translation twice so I do not remember if Neil Gaiman translated it
differently though. His Ki would
have been shown as a more vibrant color to show his incredible honor and his
strong beliefs in peace. The
character always tried to avoid fights when he could saying he meant no harm,
or that he wished for the spirits of the woods and the people of Iron town to
live together. I know you disapprove of the concept of the Princess Mononoke
because it shows powers not god granted and would be, as you would call them,
"false gods". If I am
incorrect in your thoughts I apologize.
As you can see the Asian
culture is extremely different, but I would not pass judgment on there martial
arts for this, because in order to get this level of culture in the art you
would have to travel to Asia.
There are non Asian martial
arts in the world also; savate is french, caporia is Brazilian, and Greco
Roman Wrestling to name a few. I
believe all cultures have a form of martial art and a history behind them if
you look hard enough.
From BrassMouse: After reading your Digimon article I have one slight correction to add to my previous letter. (In Anime section) During WWII the Samurai name and code of Bushido were perverted and twisted by the government in order to compel the people to greater heights of patriotism. The actual code did NOT condone many of the things that occurred and modern Japanese citizens are as horrified and disgusted by them as we are. The kamikaze pilots are the exception to this, they did indeed hold true to most of the tenets of Bushido and are "horrifying" only because of the side we're looking at it from. From the Japanese perspective, at least at the time, they were heroes, and indeed they were one of the most notably courageous groups involved in the war.
In case you're curious as to the sources of my information, a synopsis of much of this can be found in the "In search of history" piece that the history channel did on the samurai, I have done additional research and the points made in there have been born out. Sincerely, BrassMouse [email@example.com]
Anonymous: I am an avid cartoon fan, part-time martial artist, and college student. I'm also a believer in the word of God. One episode of Digimon i saw (forgive me, I don't know specifically which one) depicted the little kids throwing cards somehow connected with their little monster buddies into a pile. It was around 5 minutes of the hour (the usual climactic point in a half-hour cartoon) when there was an intense battle.
An overhead view of the pile of cards showed it was encircled by a pentagram, you know, the satanic star thing in a circle. They flashed the shape several times during the battle. Not an image most folks want their kids to see. A lot of cartoons deal with invoking spirits (Masters of the Universe, Smurfs, Thundercats, etc.). I believe that these cartoons won't automatically make a kid a satanist, but it does desensitize them to vivid images of outright evil.
As far as martial arts are concerned: I've studied a few different kinds of martial arts since age 11. Almost all of my classes implemented the use of ki in their exercises. Me, being curious, decided to further investigate it. I found that Eastern culture sees ki as a "force" or something spiritual. This made me question and eventually take a break from martial arts. Then I had a cool Sifu (read: instructor) who went over some of the same ki exercises with the class. None of his exercises involved concentrating, clearing your mind or visualizing. They were merely breathing exercises. He equated ki with breath in all of his teachings.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that the whole ki thing is what you make of it. I see it as controlling your breath to increase performance, nothing more. Peace, My Two Cents.
From Daniel: Hi, one little note: Digimon isn't a fad. At least from where i live all Digimon is is a TV show that's trying to be like Pokemon.
Lee: This may sound
very surprising, but I am an 18-year-old Christian who is "obsessed" with "Digimon".
I enjoy the show so much that I tape each episode
every day, and am proud to say that I have every single episode that
has premiered so far on tape.
While cruising the
Web, I happened upon your "Television and Anime" site
concerning the evils of "Digimon".
Considering myself much more of an expert
on the subject than you or any of the previous commentors are (no
offense intended!) I thought I
might be able to provide a bit more information about
the show that may help you to see the good that really is in it.
TV series is the animated story of seven (later eight) Japanese
kids, ages eight through twelve, who are transported from their summer
camp in Japan to the Digital World, a realm that is made up of
lost bits and pieces of
information generated by the "real" Internet on Earth. Once they reach
the Digital World, each "DigiDestined" child is met by a Digimon
partner (a living embodiment of the Web information) who has special
powers. Each Digimon
befriends and protects the child it has been assigned to.
At first, the
children are only concerned with getting out of the DigiWorld
and returning to Earth, but after a few adventures they realize that it
is their destiny to help save the
Digital World from evil Digimon (such as Devimon) who are hoping to destroy
the good in it. Forming a bond with their
Digimon, the DigiDestined find that they can help their Digimon "digivolve"
into higher, stronger forms (Patamon digivolves into Angemon) that can
defeat the powerful evil Digimon.
To help their Digimon
digivolve even further, the DigiDestined are told that
they can find certain "tags and crests" (like a necklace),
symbolizing important traits.
These traits are Reliability, Courage, Friendship,
Knowledge, Love, Sincerity, Hope, and Light (understanding).
The children are encouraged to find these traits within themselves to make
Throughout their journeys, the children discover these traits within
themselves while learning true Christian values:
"Forget About It" -- One of the children, TK, becomes angry
at his Digmon partner, Patamon,
after being led astray by an evil Digimon named
Demidevimon. In the end, they reunite, and both speak openly about
"forgiving and forgetting, because that's what friends do!"
-- Another child, Matt,
becomes angry at a child named
Joe because he thinks Joe is lying about causing a whole
bunch of problems for him. It
turns out that Demidevimon was behind all of
his trouble, and Matt apologizes to Joe, and asks that he forgive him,
which Joe does.
"Seasick and Tired" --
The youngest children, TK and Kari,
build small graves with crosses at the top of them, symbolizing all the
Digimon that have died helping them defeat the evil Digimon (In the
show, the creatures don't really
die in the real sense. They just disappear, reducing the violence of a death scene.)
The children kneel at the graves with their hands folded and heads bowed in prayer, saying that their
friends are in a better place.
These are just a few
examples illustrating the good to be found in "Digimon".
Other lessons learned throughout the series are the importance of
taking care of your brothers and
sisters (Matt and TK; Tai and Kari), helping each
other if your parents are seperated (Matt and TK), realizing the
concern and care that your
parents have for you (Sora ; Episode 26: "Sora's Crest of
Love"), the dangers and wrongs of stealing (TK, who condemns the
evil Digimon doing it in Episode
33: "Out on the Town"), and the values of teamwork,
mutual aid, and friendship. A
picture of a heavenly angel is shown in Episode
8: "Evil Shows His Face" and TK comments on the good in it.
In another episode, a
Christian church is shown.
In all my time
watching Digimon, I can't remember the "666" occurrence
anywhere. Maybe it was a
commercial for something else. There IS an evil Digimon
named Devimon, but Angemon (a good Digimon resembling an angel)
destroys him, symbolizing the power of angels over the temptation of
If I had children, I
would certainly encourage them to watch Digimon. It is less
"real" than other children's entertainment, such as "Power
Rangers", and demonstrates
the morals I value during every adventure.
Next time you decide to condemn a piece of children's entertainment, please get the whole story.
From Cyanne Coldsteel: I obtained this webpage through a mailing list, and being an anime lover, I was intrigued and went to this webpage. Upon entering, I also encountered many references to Feng Shui, Chi and, to a lesser extent, Martial Arts. As a person of Chinese descent, I cannot help up try and defend these things. My grandmother is a devout Christian but she still believes in the old Chinese superstitions and beliefs of Feng Shui. She also practices Tai Chi and I, to, am a practitioner of Tai Chi and Kung Fu. The idea behind Martial Arts is NOT for violence but as a means of self-defense, to join the mind and body, and to help aid in our own self awareness. Chi is very important to us Chinese as well. To some, it is the life force that keeps us alive, it is the energy that allows us to move and breath, to function and go about our day to day lives. To others it is merely a form of energy within ourselves that we can manipulate.
Berit's response: Please read Answers to Pokemon mail. It explains my position.
You are probably wondering what does all of this have to do with anime. Well, in shows like Dragon Ball Z, Chi and martial arts play a very important role. Their attacks are not those of the supernatural. In fact, their energy attacks is merely Chi gathered and forced OUT of the body. The Chinese have a form of chi manipulation called Chi Gong. It works much the same way as the Dragon Ball Z attacks, though instead of the brightly colored flames of energy, it is invisible.
Anime has long been categorized as being akin to porn. I hear this everyday when I am talking to some of my friends about anime and unknowing bystanders overhear our conversation and say it is porn. True, pornography can be found in anime, it is not in ALL anime. I can name a long list of anime where there is NO nudity at all. If you go to your local Suncoast video store, you can see a section devoted to purely Japanese anime. Look at the videos, a majority of them will have notes stating what age group they are appropriate for. The anime series Fushigi Yuugi has the 13 and up sticker while the anime movie Ninja Scroll has a sticker stating that the content may not be suitable for those younger then 18. You also have to remember, Japanese anime was made for one audience, the citizens of Japan. There are many references in their shows that one would not normally understand unless one understands Japanese culture. Anime in Japan is as varied as TV shows here in America.
As for the grotesque drawings that the artist call "anime" it is not truly anime. Anime is, in fact short,for Japanese Animation. Since these drawings are most likely NOT done by Japanese people nor are they animated, technically they cannot be considered anime but rather must be titled fan drawings. These pictures are all over the net but almost all pages that house these pictures have a disclaimer tell you about the content of the page. Also, unless you are actively searching FOR sites like these, they are not that common. By typing in Sailor Moon on the any of the search engines, I came up with several THOUSAND pages, and the first thousand or so are all clean sites. Likewise for Pokemon, Digimon, and Dragon Ball Z.
Please post this up with my e-mail address: [firstname.lastname@example.org]
See the rest of Cyanne's comments on the Anime page.
Anthony John Woo: Unlike other people who have responded to your various articles on Pokemon, Martial Arts, Role Playing, etc. I'm not going to comment on your point of view on these issues since other people have responded more eloquently than I on these issues and I can see that your mind is...determined not to change its opinions.
Instead I'm going to comment on your defintion of ki/qi/ch'i as occult concepts. Your definitions state:
PSYCHIC Energy: (Ch'i, Ki, or PSI) "An intelligent, powerful, invisible force… capable of being controlled and directed by the human mind; 1. Capable of being channeled out through the brain, palms, and eyes; 2. Can be transmitted through space into other living organisms and through matter; 3. Occurs when willed or occurs spontaneously; 4. Invisible energy living in all organisms and matter, connected throughout all the universes; psychic energy is an aspect of electricity…6. Controlled and employed under certain conditions that mankind does not fully understand… tunes into the etheric world vibrational frequencies reaching from cosmic consciousness…. 9. Transmits knowledge to the mind, and manipulates matter…. 10. Frequently comes from an intelligent, powerful energy field known as highly evolved soul-minds in invisible bodies… 12. A primordial form of intelligence pervading the universe and affecting its course."
Ch'i or Ki: (China & Japan) "An immutable principle in the… vital life force; Synonyms: Tch’i, Qi, Prana, Biocosmic energy, PSI (Psychic) energy...."
Now first let's look at your source: "Defined from an occult perspective in the Donning International Psychic Dictionary by June G. Bletzer, Ph.D."
In your article you see Ki/Qi as obviously occult concepts, simply by the defintion. On the other hand you're looking in an occult dictionary, what else are you going to find except occult defintions?
Now if you look in an Chinese-English Dictionary the character qi (I assume you're refering to this one, but I can't be sure since there are no less than 35 different characters that have the pronunciation of qi, but I'm pretty sure you're not looking for a "fork in the road", "fin", "navel", or "seven") is defined as 1) air; 2) gas; 3) breath; 4) smell, fragrence; 5) airs, manner; 6) spirit, morale (definition exerpted from the _Concise_English-Chinese_Chinese-English_Dictionary_, ed: A.P. Cowie, A. Evison, pg. 350) This is the character for qi that comes closest to the definition found in the "Donning International Psychic Dictionary" and it clearly has nothing to do with psychic energy.
And looking at a Kanji (borrowed Chinese characters commonly used in the Japanese language) Reference Book, the character for ki (once again I'm assuming that you don't want the character for "tree" which is also pronounced "ki" but is a completely different symbol) is used in many ways:
genki: healthy, in good spirits (as in happy/cheerful, not ghosts) kimochi: feeling, mood, sensation denki: electricity taiki: atmosphere kitai: gas hinoki: fire, heat (examples taken from _Kanji_In_Context_ ed. Koichi Nishiguchi, Tamaki Kono pg. 43) once again, Ki has nothing to do with pyschic engergy.
Looking at the way that qi and ki are actually used in the Chinese and Japanese languages it becomes clear that they have less to do with the occult than the word "power" has to do with the occult in English. By defining qi and ki _only_ as they are used in the occult (in a definitively western point of view, by someone who is clearly not a student of either of the languages involved) rather than the definitions provided by an actual language dictionary (which explains how the words are used by the people who speak the language) you are demonstrating a definite bias in favor of western languages and implying that the words qi and ki (which are everyday words in both Chinese and Japanese) are inherently corrupt--and by extension the languages the come from are corrupt (as opposed to English which, from your point of view, is an absolutely "pure" language).
Your opinions on Pokemon, Martial Arts, etc, are your own and have nothing to do with me. I am not a Pokemon fanatic, nor do I believe in the power of Ki as defined by your occult dictionary. I am, however, a Christian and a student of the Japanese language, and, in my opinion, the least you could do when writing an article that involves any language, is get the definition right. Otherwise you are simply spreading misinformation, and as Edogawa Conan (named after Conan Doyle, not Conan the Barbarian) from a soon to be aired Anime series is fond of saying: "There is only one Truth" and from what I can tell, it's not what you're spreading.
Berit's response: I appreciate your research, Anthony, but it seems to me you have taken an even narrower position than I have.
I had used the definition from the Psychic Dictionary because I believe in getting first-hand rather than a second-hand information. Disagree if you like, but it seems to me that a person involved in a particular practice -- especially its original, non-Westernized form -- can best explain the beliefs behind that practice. That's why I have been searching countless books and websites for the teaching behind martial arts. (Later, I may add some of the quotes and definitions from the many books I have on this topic)
For now, let me just quote a definition from the following website <http://www.aikidodaiwa.com/index.html. >:
"Aikido - The Way of Harmony
The Japanese word "Aikido" is made up of three characters: Ai, Ki, and Do. Ai means to join, unify, or harmonize. Ki means energy or spirit, particularly a universal life force, essence, or the forces of nature. Do means a path or way of life, and signifies that Aikido involves that not only self-defense techniques, but also positive character-building ideals which a person can incorporate into his or her life. Taken together, the three characters mean THE WAY OF HARMONY WITH THE SPIRIT OF THE UNIVERSE."
Since a single source may offer only one subjective side of the issue, check these additional sources:
Neither you nor I have all the answers to this question, Anthony. We would both do well to keep on praying, studying, listening and learning as long as God gives us opportunities to grow in understanding and discernment. And He is faithful to do that as long as we serve Him and seek His will.
From Derek Wilson: This is a comment about a comment, there was a comment posted by a guy named Mark Seely in which he recalls watching a previous episode of pokemon, but he was obviously a little confused. That was an episode of Digimon, a blasphemous show that displays many anti-Christian beliefs. I don't regularly watch digimon but I did watch that portion once & it WAS Digimon, NOT pokemon. Also, on a side-note, I saw a Digimon wrap-up (where they say all that happened in that episode) and it was talking about how a digimon named Angle-Mon defeated another digimon named Deva-Mon, I personally thought it was pretty strange, maybe even offending.
From Kristie: There were several innacuracies in your article about Digimon. You say that Digimon is like Pokemon, but actually it is nothing at all like Pokemon. You even call the Digimons "pocket monsters"- but they are NOT pocket monsters. Pokemon are pocket monsters because they can be shrunk into small balls, which fit into your pockets. Digimons do NOT do this.
From Berit: You are right. Thanks for the correction.
Also you say that Digimon, like Pokemon, use psychic powers. Pokemon DO have psychic powers, but Digimon do NOT. Maybe you are confusing the digital signals they use with psychic powers. The kids in Digimon are in the "digital world"- not digital as in machines, but digital as in computer code. They are basically inside a computer. The reason why they can walk through walls is NOT psychic powers- it's because the walls are not made of matter, they are just digital coding.
One reason why Digimon is popular is the perception that the kids can manipulate supernatural power. Children see little monsters that look like Pokemon and seem to act like Pokemon. Since these shows are all fantasy, a logical or scientific discussion on the imagined capacities of digital energies matters little to young fans. The key is what they perceive and the forces they learn to love.
Also you say that, like Pokemon, some Digimons are good and some are evil. Actually, while there ARE evil Digimon, there are NO evil Pokemon. The only evil in Pokemon is the humans. In Digimon, some Digimon are inherently evil, and they use Black Gears to enslave some of the good Digimon.
Please read Pokemon Comics and The Pokemon Movie. They introduce an evil Haunter and movie's main villain: Mewtwo who wanted to destroy the world.
Digimon is a good quality show that teaches values like responsibiltiy and freindship- it doesn't teach things like "going against your parents"- actually the parents of the kids in the show fully support their kids in what they're doing. And it doesn't teach that you have to go along with the group and not be different- all the kids have thier own unique personalities and opinions. You should really give this show a chance and actually learn some things about it before you judge it like you have.
From a concerned father: I saw your site on Digimon. It was very good. But I've noticed somethingalongside the occultic teachings that is rather disturbing. It also promotes the homosexual agenda. My 13 year old wanted to watch the show and before even thinking of allowing him to, I decided to do some research on the web and I found out that the main two characters, two 10 year old boys named Matt and Tai, are homosexual lovers. What's even worse is that the show has an ADULT following as well. I found many fan sites run by adults that literally gush over how the two kids practice sodomy. Quite disturbing if you ask me.
From Ashok Kumar: I don't want to argue, I merely want to respond to a post "From a concerned father" in the Digimon/Martial arts section (last letter above). In his post, he says that Matt and Tai, two of the main characters of the show, are homosexual lovers. I am not an avid fan of the show, but I know from my experience and others that this is not true. The emphasis on friendship in Japan is often misunderstood and taken as homosexuality, and this is incorrect. Or perhaps the sites that the person was reading were fictitious fan sites, and not affiliated with the show. Either way, I just wanted to clear the issue up.
From MiTsunFist ["Martial Arts"]: I read an article recently which may answer your questions about martial arts and a peaceful world view. Takamatsu Soke wrote once that martial arts was the true way to enlighenment. When a person studies war for so long, they begin to understand the fragility of life and the importance of cooperation. Pretty much because they have seen the horror that war can cause. It is a universal paradox how war can lead to peace, but as Sun Tzu wrote: "The ultimate goal of war is peace."
If you look for Satan everywhere, you are bound to find him. Whether he is really there or not.
Just as a correction. Yogic meditation has nothing to do with awakening any "god" within us. It actually is about circulation of healthy energy within the body. It is this same energy which makes accupuncture effective. There is no talk of "gods" in yoga.
Christian, Born again.
It all depends on which aspects of Buddhist or Hindu yoga you study. The popular versions have been adapted to the American market which wants exercises without the mystical Eastern spirituality. But others, such as kundalini yoga, a form historically linked to Tibetan and/or tantric Buddhism, involves spiritual exercises that are aimed at "awakening" the feminine deity (the coiled serpent at the bottom of the spine), then moving it upward through the chakras until it joins the masculine deity or energy. This has been reinterpreted in various ways by those who have incorporated the concept of the chakras into more Western forms of paganism. (I have discussed this with several women who call themselves pagans and blend their beliefs with yoga.) But without the historical record and paintings depicting the yoga positions, chakras, etc., it is hard to sort it all out.
From Brian: Let me first say that I am not trying to challenge your beliefs or attack you personally. However, while reading your commentary on Digimon (http://www.crossroad.to/text/articles/Digimon.html) I was amazed by the chart "Common Practices of Earth-Centered Religions." It's far too general, for one thing, and in places just incorrect. I'd love to see your sources, for example, for "Sacred Sex" in Hinduism or Buddhism; if I recall correctly, the former disregards anything physical as an illusion and object of contempt, and the latter warns of such pleasures hindering enlightenment.
If one were to apply to same chart to Christianity, it would appear as immoral as any other:
You ask some good questions, Brian. I didn't include the sources in that particular chart, but I did check it out with the highly respected Brooks Alexander, founder of Spiritual Counterfeits. He approved it years ago when I used the same chart in my book, Under the Spell of Mother Earth.
As for your specific questions, I suggest you use our search engine (blue column on home page). Look for the word "kundalini." You should find it in several places, including CHAPTER 4 of A Twist of Faith. This sexual ritual, a form of Tantric Yoga, aims to unite the supposed male and female forces. It has been part of both Hinduism and Buddhism, especially Tibetan Buddhism.
I thought someone might ask about that chart. Yes, the same practices crept into both Christianity and ancient Judaism at various times. The repeated seasons of blending animism or paganism with Biblical teaching in the Old Testament led to the ultimate destruction of Israel and the exile of most of the people. The Babylonian captors then resettled the land with a different group of people. Later, when His precious people repented, God brought them back to the land.
The specifics can best be answered in this order. The Biblical bases for most of my answers is Deuteronomy 18:9-14. Remember, even before people first began to worship God's creation rather than the Creator, the demonic realm provided counterfeits of all God's promises.
Astrology: The wise men followed a star. Check. The question is whether the wise men really were astrologers, or if they were sincere seekers after the true God. I tend to believe the latter, since they obviously had studied the ancient Hebrew manuscripts wherein God showed them one of the many prophecies promising the coming of Christ. Astrology involved faith in the stars themselves -- the heavenly bodies were deified and worshipped. But since they also are part of God's creation, He could direct and use the star for His purpose.
- Testament. Check. Yes, He did. So did the demonic spirits behind the Canaanite idols. Therefore God warned His people not to use pagan rituals and occult formulas to seek visions from other spiritual sources.
Dreams, Visions: God often spoke to people in dreams in the Old
Divination: Jesus' birth being foretold. Check. Yes, but again God warned His people not to use the Canaanite rituals to seek wisdom, direction or information about the future from pagan diviners or fortune tellers.
Spiritism: Legion. Jesus raising the dead (Lazerus) Check. That's not and example of spiritism. But King David's predecessor Saul sinned by seeking counsel from a spiritist. This was clearly wrong. He died in the battle that followed.
Magic, sorcery: "... not suffer a witch to live..." If there are witches, it means magic exists, correct? Check. Of course. Magic is real, but because the source of the power is demonic and not of God, He tells us to have nothing to do with it. The fact that compromising Christians and Jews have -- through the ages -- blended God's Word with pagan practices should be a warning, not an excuse, for us today.
Charms, Amulets: Icons. Check. These have no place in genuine Christianity. The cross is a symbol of what we believe, not a magic charm or amulet that can be used to transmit spiritual power. Some may try to use Christian symbols in that way, but that doesn't make it right.
Solstice rites: Christmas. Check. The worldwide practice of solstice rites were based on the deification of the sun and the worship of a sun god. That was pure paganism and had nothing to do with genuine Christianity.
Serpent Worship: More than Buddhism. Check. Scroll to "serpent" on our Symbols page and read the explanation.
Sacred Sex: See above.
Finally, may I suggest you see this chart, Biblical versus Cultural Christianity Thank you.
From H@+ D@G in the UK:
>>the more psychically attuned kids will walk through walls, float into the air, transmit power through their hands, and use mental telepathy as well as digital technology to communicate with each other.>>
They only walked through the wall in two episodes, and it was due to glitches in the website they were in. They only floated into the air in one episode, and it was using their digital technology. They NEVER transmitted power through their hands or used telepathy.
The television episodes I watched showed them floating through the air and transmitting power through their hands. One of the children did receive messages that seemed to be telepathic. Now, a person can interpret those images in any fashion that fits their world view, but many will perceive the same phenomenon I observed. Remember, it the field of public persuasion and promotion, perception is everything.
>>DigiMon was originally called by several other names including:Digital Demon, Digi Demon, Digital Monster, and Tama-Hawk.... Digimon is a linkable fighting pet by Bandai.... The pet is similar to other keychain virtual pets, except these are raised to fight and kill.>>
That site needs to do more research! They were never called digidemon tamahawk or whatever. The original virtual pets were called Digital Monsters, the sequel was called Digimon Pendulum, the third game was called D-3. Also, when you beat another Digimon, it returns to an earlier stage-it doesn't die.
In response to the E-mail saying that Matt and Tai are homosexuals:later episodes and publicational art show that they aren't.
Another letter from H@+ D@G in the UK: The only episodes I remember which had anything to do with the stuff you mentioned where one where Mimi and Izzy comunicated using microphones (Mimi's onewasn't that easy to see), one where they used their digivices to fire beams (in one part, where they were veiwed from behind, the beams looked as if they were eminating from their hands) and one where they transported to the digital world using digivices (they looked as if they were floating).
From H@+D@G in the UK: When a character, who has not been identified as having psychic powers, says that he's in a world made out of computer data, goes into go into an online network, says he needs to find the weak points in the programming code and then walk through a wall, most viewers won't percive the image as being occultic. You probably only did because you were actively LOOKING for objectionable content. And even if they do, your article is misleading; it clearly says "psychically attuned kids", when it should be "kids who may be perceived as being psychicly attuned".
That's a good point. Thanks. But perception is key to understanding. And our perceptions are based on our world views. That's one reason why diverse people interpret art and other images and fantasies in such different ways. Those who trust God, look to the Bible for guidance. It gives us a standard for explaining reality.
In contrast to popular opinions, the Bible has always been far ahead of secular history in describing science. For example, over three thousand years ago, it recorded that our planet was suspended in space -- and that the shores of its continents provided barriers for the oceans. It also describes the spiritual world and the evil forces behind sorcery and every other kind of magic. So when a Christian reads fantasies that describe actions natural to the world of the occult, they are likely to match those actions to their understanding of reality.
Keep in mind, people around the world will confirm the reality of such occult experiences. There is no evidence that can confirm your "computer data" interpretation. Logical thinking or reasoning requires linking the unknown to something known.
By the way, please refer to me as "H@+ D@G"
From Mindy: hi i did some reacerach on digimon and i found out that the "Vitrual Pet" site along with the http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Arena/4107/animatedseries.html http://digimoncentral.clickheretofind.net/ isn't official sites
Thanks, Mindy, for the information.
From Falconcunning: This message is about Digimon, and the stuff contained in today's new episode. It was very surprising that one of the supporting characters said Digimon were magical creatures. To explain further, this was versed in Japanese myth, and had a lot to do with temples and Japanese gods.
They also explained the parallel of multiple worlds, that connect, usually separate, but can be pulled together if something wacky happens. There was no reference to Christianity, and it was based in that Data from computers evolved in to sentient beings. Just thought you'd like to know.
Thanks for this helpful information, Falconcunning. I appreciate it. To emphasize the key points, I made the words bold. I hope you don't mind.
From Robert: I'm not normally the type to write to people whose webpages I see, but I felt like I should this time. I was browsing your page on the "Digimon" fad (http://www.crossroad.to/text/articles/Digimon.html) where I noticed you went out of your way to post information on the Nanking massacre on the page.
While Nanking was a horrible event that the Japanese government has yet to admit to, I think it is unfair of you to use Nanking to denounce Digimon, simply by virtue of the fact that the two events have nothing to do with each other. It would be like you were using the holocaust to denounce a modern German television program!
While I'm not trying to argue on the nature of Digimon, I admit, I am a fan) I simply think it is unfair for you to use that sort of tactic in connection with something completely unrelated. Thank you,
Robert, in that article I also compared Japanese culture with other cultures (pantheistic, pagan, communist, etc.) around the world. All have, like Japan, committed atrocities that seem unthinkable in America today. I even included the old Viking culture in my native Norway.
I brought that up because some have argued that Japan and Buddhism are more peaceable than others. That's not true historically. Japan has been neither better nor worse. People around the world have the same basic human nature with similar variations. What makes the difference is faith in a God who enables us to love each other. Until Christianity spread through the world, slavery and all kinds of human cruelties were accepted as normal in most countries.
In other words, the Buddhist history and culture was no more peaceable or violent than other pantheistic cultures. Does that make sense? Please look at the article again and tell me if I totally missed communicating that important message. Thanks.
Second letter from Robert: I reviewed the page with your comments in mind. You do have a point (all cultures have their respective negative elements) though, the only point I have a problem with is that it is discussed on that page as such.
You have a point that all cultures necessarily don't always exhibit peace and love without Godliness, even Christian societies occasionally falling into the same problem (the Crusades and the Inquisition coming to mind).
I know many horrible evils were committed in the name of Christianity. But please see the difference between Biblical and Cultural Christianity.
The big problem here is that you don't seem to distinguish between a society and individuals. Digimon was produced by individuals, not a society. The logic here seems to be that if the whole society has a bad history, any product coming from it will be bad as well, which isn't true, for a couple of reasons:
One, there are many progressive-thinking Japanese who are shedding the isolationist thinking of the past and the old imperialistic way (especially with the death of Emperor Hirohito in the latter-80's, the world's last divine right monarch) and are thinking for themselves.
Two, there are elements of all societies (Japan included) that are very nice in themselves: Japanese ink paintings ("sumi-e") and wood-block prints ("ukiyo-e") are good examples. Your line of argument on your page denounces everything about Japanese culture, not just Digimon.
That was certainly not my intention, Robert. My goal was simply to help Christians who asked me to explain the beliefs and values communicated by Digimon -- from a Biblical perspective.
I hate to say this, but is it because there is less blatantly wrong with Digimon that this is even brought up on the page? There are a few things wrong with it by your standars, sure, but by your standards as well it is nowhere near the level of Dragon Ball or Pokemon. In fact, most of your page deals with the problems that Japanese society seems to present to Christians, not about Digimon themselves. I have no problems with your spiritual issues with Japanese culture, but could it not have been exhibited elsewhere?
You are right in pointing out the difference between a society and its individuals. But the masses reflect the society or culture. The values of the individuals that make up the masses define the culture. While every society in the past has tended to squeeze its members toward a common set of beliefs, values and customs, that can happen faster today with our media, entertainment and information technology.
So the basic cultural values that add a special flavor to Japanese entertainment sprang from the two main religions that inspired contemporary Japanese art, culture and entertainment: Shintoism and Buddhism. Now it is spreading around the world, blending with the post-modern values and anti-Christian sentiments that are changing the Western world.
At the same time, today's individualism is in some ways unique. Never has an individual been able to seek out so much contrary information and join groups that provide unique identities. But non-conformists have almost always been suspect and disliked by the mainstream, and today's labels such as "extremists" are applied to anyone who doesn't conform.
For example, after the Oklahoma bombing, Time Magazine linked homeschooling parents with those "who hate the government" and bomb buildings. All were considered extrememists. So are people like me who choose to stand on the old absolutes of the Bible. It's a dangerous trend. For if I lose my freedom to express my faith, no one will be free to do anything but conform to government ideology. (See The Enemy Of The People? and A Terrorist? Me?)
Remember, our God loves people. He wants us to be free to receive all that He wants to give us: strength, joy, peace... He warns us to shun the counterfeits, because they get in the way and blind us to His riches. I write these messages because I, too, care about people and want to bring His blessings to those who recognize their need for Him.
From Kathy: Thank you for your article on Digimon. I will be reading the one on Pokemon also. I was just wondering, on the Digimon page you have a link to the cybercemetary, which is ridiculous, but you've stated that it is for virtual pets. I've went to this site, and all I can find is real pets that have died, that people have paid $50 the first year, and $20 each year after, to have their pets photos posted. I wish this money were being spent on missions, but the world will do what they will do. If that does have 'virtual' pets, such as pokemon, digimon, etc. please direct me to it. I would like to show my children how some people take this to extremes. Thank you.
Thank you, Kathy, for alerting me to the change in the link. Perhaps I made a made a mistake when I first posted the article. I will check and see what I can find. Meanwhile, perhaps some of our other visitors can help us find that information.