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Comments sent between April and June, 2000.
Most of the comments below represent the views of visitors who have read the following articles or notes:
Pokemon, Pokecomics, Digimon, Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z
Our articles were written to encourage Christian parents who share our goal of following Jesus and trusting His Word. We are not trying to censor your favorite anime. If you don't share our faith, you may not want to read our information. On the other hand, if you have committed your life to Jesus Christ and seek to follow Him, I suggest you also read Answers to Pokemon mail and Ephesians 5:1-16. Then ask God to show you His heart and will concerning the content and messages of popular anime. He might encourage you through verses such as Psalm 95:6, Ephesians 3:14, 1 Peter 1:13-15, and 1 Corinthians 6:14-18. He is so faithful to guide all who seek His way.
From a concerned mother: I have been concerned about Pokemon and especially Dragonball Z that my children have watched and collected. I was given an article that had your web site. Tonight I asked my 3 oldest children to pray about what to do. One child said that they had also thought it was evil, and would quit. I encouraged him to pray tonight. My oldest son said that since he knows that it is just fantasy he should be able to still watch and look up on the web about it. I asked him to pray, he wanted to keep on at me about it.
My daughter likes Sailor Moon, and I even encouraged her, it didn't seem as bad as the Dragonball. But my boys told me that on the web they had found out that in Japan, Sailor Moon is a cartoon with naked women, (porn) I was upset. Tonight when I asked them to pray and discussed it, they told me that Dragonball was also naked in Japan. I am going to check on this tonight. I feel convicted to find something to replace this ungodly aspect of my childrens lives. I am only saddened because my oldest said that he would just ask his Dad to tape it for him. (We are divorced.) His Dad has also just informed me that Grandma would be buying the entire Harry Potter series for this son. Thank you for the site and the comments that helped me be strong and stand up for what I know is right.
Berit's response: What a hard place your are in -- but I'm also confident that our God will all the more demonstrate His love and faithfulness to you. He has promised it to all who follow Him! "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness," He tells us in 2 Cor. 12:9-10.
Next letter from the same mother: I asked the children this morning about their prayers. My oldest said he forgot to pray but he thought about it. We discussed that. He finally confessed that he knew what God wanted but he didn't want to do it. He said that he would loose all his friends if he didn't watch Dragon Ball. It was a good conversation and the other children joined in. Because their Dad does not see a problem with these things they all told me that when they are at Dad's he would let them watch, and even play murder games on the Nintendo. I am praying all the time about this.
I know that God loves my children and will help them with this. I was encouraged by the childrens responses and we are on a road to more Godly living. I even used your list of questions and scriptures that were in your article. Thank you. It was very helpful to read Eph. 5 and Phil. 4 and ask the children what that means when it comes to Pokemon or Dragon Ball. My oldest really wants to deny what God has shown him, he is so very angry about the divorce and blames God right now. But he does know what is right and when it is so plain in the Bible, then he listens. Thanks again.
From: Roberta Cira (Re: pokemon and anime): Thank you for your research. I searched the internet for hours and found nothing to support my "pokemon doubts." A friend gave me your web address the same day that I started reading a book by Chuck Pierce about ridding your home of spiritual darkness! Anyhow, I wanted to mention something that I didn't see in any of the other comments, and it has to do with anime (Japanese animation) in general.
Are you aware that there are adult anime videos that deal with violence and sex? They look exactly like the pokemon animation - same genre - but they are adult. I caught a news program about anime pornography and how the Japanese are going crazy over it! They showed a tape of Japanese men at a magazine counter pouring over animated pornography! All I could think of was how the children who are so desensitized to this anime via pokemon and the cartoon would easily be tricked into looking at the adult videos and pornography; what a slick plan of the enemy! My idea was confirmed when we went to the video store recently and my 4 year old son saw one of the anime action videos and said, "There's pokemon! I want that one!" I picked it up and it was clearly labeled "for mature audiences" and this was in a family video store. The women on the cover all held weapons and were scantily clad; of course they had unearthly bodies. I don't like this anime stuff at all. It is ugly and it gives me the creeps. The bottom line, though, is that our kids learn discernment - now it's pokemon, but tomorrow the devil will try something else.
From a concerned mother: I homeschool my 5 children . . . . I sadly let my children get a little involved in Pokemon. It began at VBS of all places.... I was also sick that week and when I brought them home each day I went to bed to sleep. They began watching the program while I napped.
I do not care for the Asian cartoon style but could not put my finger on what was wrong with the program. I did not know there was a game also. I told my children I would not buy them one thing of Pokemon. Other children gave them cards.
Tonight I did a on-line search on [note from Berit: I am purposely leaving these words out in order not to give any clues for children who might want to explore these awful sites that showed up on her search] … I had to tip toe around site because they were all PORN SITES. I could not really look into it but it looks like cartoon porn. I do not know if this is something you should pursue, but I wanted it known.
Who would have thought that one of these sites would have a FAQ. What it said was... Anime is japanese animation (cartoons) and Manga is japanese comics. [Deleted word] is defined as:- Abnormality. Sexual perversion. Used also to describe a certain class of anime or otaku (as in "H-Anime"). Lit. "Change of State", two Kanji.
This is big business in Japan. They are on the internet censored and people use software to uncensored them. (blurring of body parts removed). To me it looks like the artists are making clean versions and dirty versions.
From Terri (Concerning the absence of specific information on links to Japanese anime porn in same genre as Pokemon): All that to say "Yes! yes!" Your comments and appropriate deletions are right on target. Enough to give us the truth and present the danger--I don't want the blanks filled in. Thanks!
About a year ago I checked out a new Focus on the Family on-line magazine. It was targeted to older teens/college age youth and dealt with controversial issues. Although I appreciated the expose of Lillith, it described some of the scenes so well that I had a mental picture I did not want. The article went too far. I want my teenagers to be exposed to issues that are "out there" and know the Biblical response. I could not do that via the FOF site.
By the way, I wrote a summary of the Pokemon issue to the parents of our church (and included printouts of your article for those not on the internet). I discovered that Wizards of the Coast is the maker of the Pokemon trading cards. Wizards is the official card trading game site and sports Nintendo's official license. One click more, and a child on that site has direct access to D&D and the Magic game. In my investigation I saw the term anime, but didn't realize what that was. I will caution parents when I speak with them.
From Carl Larsen: I'm a college student at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont California and I found your site through a link from an Anime discussion site I regularly visit. I've been reading what you've had to say on anime in general and pokemon in particular, and, as a longtime fan of anime I have to both agree and disagree with you on your position. But first, a little explanation. Anime is a broad general term which describes virtually all animated videos and TV shows that are produced in Japan. Even shows that have been in the US for many years, Voltron for example, are basically anime….
Anime contains a very wide range of shows in both style and content. Many of these show do have fairly graphic depictions of woman in tight clothing and a few do cross the line into pornographic material; however, these shows are not in anyway directed at children. There is a basic difference in how the art of animation is viewed in Japan and how it is viewed in the US. Here animation or "cartoons" are considered almost exclusively the domain of children, very few animated shows are ever produced in the US which have an older intended audience.
As such, many Americans assume that all animation therefore is directed at children. Japanese anime can, however, be better explained by comparison to the American movie industry. It produces films for children, for teenagers, and for adults, It covers lighthearted humorous themes, themes of love and romance, themes of action, and yes just like the movie industry, themes of a more sexual nature. As such although these shows may have some stylistic similarities to cartoons they are not intended for the same individuals nor are they intended to entice younger people into violence or depravity. In fact the vast majority of anime concern much more mundane stories concerning the relationships between people, and are basically just animated sitcoms.
The animation allows a freedom to uses elaborately drawn sets for which comparable live action scenes would be impossible within the budget of a television show. In fact if you would like to see the beauty and drama of animation I challenge you to watch the movie "Grave of the Fireflies" a truly moving animated picture. Most anime is basically innocent and projects no more messages of "evil" than any other television show. It is merely a matter of ignorance about the medium. Many of the responses by Christians on your page seem shocked by the idea that there is pornographic animated content, I fail to see the difference between this and the "real" pornographic material widely available in the United States. The animated nature of the medium does not change the fact that the content is directed at adults who wish to view such material, and not at children. Anime is a whole spectrum of content and painting with a single broad brush does it a grave disservice.
….I myself collected and played the "occult" card game Magic: the Gathering throughout middle school and part of high school, in fact I spent quite a bit of money on the cards and went through several stages of collecting different sets and series of cards. However, I eventually grew out of the concept, sold my cards and moved on. I believe that these types of games and shows are not an unhealthy influence unless you allow them to be. So my suggestion to you all is to not necessarily clamp down absolutely on their use, but instead to monitor your children's habits and make sure they are staying within safe levels.
Berit's comment: The parents whose children happened to see Anime porn in a video store were drawn to it because they recognized familiar Anime characters. They had reason to be shocked. I came across some porn pages in my own simple Internet research on Anime. The animated women I saw were not simply nude, they were being grossly violated sexually. We are facing a danger that is already out of bounds among men in American -- even Christian men and youth pastors (one hotel reported their surprise at the number of youth pastors who watched TV porn during a Christian conference) across the country are addicted to pornography. Now children have free access to an even more enticing media for communicating this horrendous use of a woman's body.
From Secret Squirrel (Re: Card Captor Sakura: If you hate Pokemon...): I've noticed that you have much information about the "occult" content of "Pokemon". If you (and your friends over at the AFA) knew that a series which, by your standards, is even more "occultic" than "Pokemon" was coming over the horizon, what would you do?
Nelvana, the Canadian animation company responsible for such series as the "Care Bears" and "Bob and Margaret" has acquired the rights to the Japanese anime series "Card Captor Sakura" (which it will rename "Cardcaptor" for North American television). Press Release.
This series can legitimately be described as a cross between "Sailor Moon" and "Pokemon". One day Sakura, a fifth grader, finds a mysterious book in her father's study. She opens the book, and a deck of Tarot-like cards goes flying every which way! "Kerberos", the guardian of the "Clow" cards (who resembles a teddy bear with a long tail and wings), explains that only people with magic ability are able to open the book. He gives Sakura a wand and sends her out to recapture as many of the "Clow" cards as possible. Eventually, when she captures "Windy" (which happens in the first episode), she will be able to fly her wand like a witch's broom. She is accompanied on her quest by Kerberos and Tomoyo Daidoji, a rich girl who likes to videotape Sakura in cute costumes that she makes herself. (Some people, on anime chat boards, have suggested that Tomoyo is a young lesbian, but I think that they're reading a little too much into things! It's just harmless hero worship.) It's interesting to note that, in the Japanese version of this show, Sakura chants full incantations to capture and use the "Clow" cards. (On "Sailor Moon", even in the Japanese version, the characters just say "power" words.) Also, in one of the early episodes, Sakura's dead mother, Nadeshiko, makes an appearance just to see how her children are doing. The Card Captor Sakura On-Line Encyclopedia: http://www.tcp.com/doi/sakura/ Another Card Captor Sakura Page: http://members.tripod.com/Card_Captor/ Card Captor Sakura links: http://www.anipike.com/series2.html (Scroll down to "Card Captor Sakura"; there are several dozen pages linked!)
Now, it's still about 10 weeks until the NATPE (National Association of Television Programming Executives) Syndication fair in New Orleans. This is the annual event where syndicated television programmes are shown to networks and individual TV stations. This would mean that, at this point, very few television programmers have actually seen "Cardcaptor". Nelvana may not have even dubbed a "pilot" (screening episode) yet. NATPE: http://www.natpe.com/
I love "Card Captor Sakura". Why am I helping you (and, by proxy, the AFA)? Because I want to sabotage this series from being hacked and slashed to bits for American television the way that "Sailor Moon" was. If there is enough of an outcry from "concerned" parents, the individual TV stations won't pick up this program, and eventually Nelvana will have to sell the rights to a domestic anime distribution company, who will distribute it subtitled on VHS and DVD, the way this series ought to be seen!
I hope that you find this information helpful!
An Anonymous "Sailor Moon" Fan!
P.S. "Secret Squirrel" is not my pseudonym! It's just the name that www.anonymizer.com uses for it's anonymous e-mail service.
Berit's comment: Kerberos (sounds a bit like Care Bears) is actually a Greek mythical creature called Cerberus assigned to guard the entrance to the underworld. It is the proverbial "hound of hell" who, according to the myth, would usher in the dead and make sure no one leaves. This two- or three-headed creature with a serpent tail symbolized the permanence of hell and all its terrors. It is pictured on page 262 in Scholastic's paperback version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. In this chapter, this hellish three-headed dog guards the mysterious sorcerer's -- or as alchemists called it, philosopher's -- stone believed to hold the power of perpetual youth or life.
Anonymous: I just stumbled across your website and I figured that I would share my opinions. But before I start that I want to say that I believe that you are entitled to your beliefs and that I respect them, although I may disagree with them. However I would like to tell you my opinions and the reasons behind them.
Anime is one of the few major creative industries in the Japanese culture. They view it as separate from real life in every facet, which is why anime often has nudity and extreme violence. They believe that it is ok for their children to see it because it is, to them, not real or representing anything real, and the children know and understand this. [anime pornography] is different and is meant for adult audiences, much the same way as live pornography is in America.
Pokemon is much the same way. Nobody went out of their way to include the influences which you think are demonic. They simply made a cartoon with a basic premise, that Pokemon exist and that it is possible to
capture them and use them to help you. All of the demonic influences which you see are simply your interpretations of the cartoon, which would not have occurred to the Japanese because their culture is, well, different is the best word. They wouldn't even think of this, because it simply doesn't occur in their culture.
[Berit's response: You are helping me make my point. I didn't say that the anime makers "go out of their way to include" occult influences. Their stories are not part of "a plot to corrupt Christian youth. The artists are merely presenting fantasy -- the kind the public will buy -- from the perspective of their spiritual and historical world view which is Eastern pantheism and animism. Seen from from a Biblical perspective, both involve "other gods" or unbiblical forces. Of course they "wouldn't think of this," because it is natural to them. Neither will they understand my worldview. That's one reason Christianity has not spread in Japan.]
Many of their anime movies center around a source of magical energy, or fighting demons and vampires, and include graphic summonings and incantations. To them, it is just a plot device, and in their minds, nobody would ever take it as real. So while I agree that it may unsuitable for American children, who aren't raised with the same idea that anime is in no way a reflection of real life, it is NOT a plot to corrupt Christian youth.
This, I believe is the main point on which I disagree with you...not so much that these influences could corrupt children, although I seriously doubt that any child given a basic grounding in reality can ever get sucked into the occult against their will, but that you seem to think that it is all a plot against Christianity.
Anyway...I have said all that I care to. I believe that seeing plots against Christianity is paranoid, but you have every right to spend your time however you want. Feel free to post this, anonymously please, or respond.
Anonymous: I can tell from the brief quotes you highlighted in your Sailor Moon bit, that your article is going to be pulling out the "Feminist ____!" banner. First off, women shouldn't have to "bow down" to anyone to do something disgraceful, and they should stand up when their being sexually harassed. Simple as that. Women aren't weak.
<<Nickelodeon's Powerpuff Girls, which some suspect is an American attempt to imitate the success of Japanese animators. >>
First off, it's Cartoon Network who makes the show, and this indeed shows how little research you do into the subject beyond hearing word of mouth. As for the content of the show, it's absolutely nothing like Sailor Moon and anyone would see it by watching five minutes of it. Art style's different, characters are different.... the whole premise and basis of the show is entirely different.
<<Market to girls: "Bringing girls into comic stores is not 'embarrassing.' It is necessary." >>
Well, usually when there's a demographic that you don't reach in a market place, you want to bring them in. Then again any person who knows a shred about marketing would know that.
<<Broaden the topics: "These authors tackle subjects from marriage and love to homosexuality and the supernatural. Readers respond to the sensitive depictions and renderings, which have no US equivalent." >>
So the books shouldn't touch on topics the Bible does? Or any other piece of media for that matter?
<<Appeal to feminist ideals: "Rumiko Takahashi is the best selling female comics writer on the planet, and has spawned hundreds of merchandise lines. They become instant role models to girls who had only known American comics where men controlled the depiction of women." >>
So the fact that the writer/artist is female, she shows strong role models for girls (which boys have by the way) she's automatically promoting feminist propaganda. I think someone has become a wee bit to desperate for topics to bash...
<<Surprise young readers: "Like the Harry Potter books, anime and manga depict a hyper "reality" where common problems (social acceptance, competition, peer pressure) have fantastic solutions.... [M]anga tackles gender issues without flinching - the price of celebrity, growing pains, the complexity of love...." >>
Whatever this has to do with "surprises" I obviously don't get, cause I see nothing "surprising" about any of those topics. Then again I was raised in this "blood soaked" and "sex filled" society unlike your nice hunky dory 50’s where problem were just neatly sweeped under the proverbial rug.
You really should stay away from the keyboard, cause every time your throw up another "well researched and informed" article, my already low respect for you goes down another notch. Face it, you never had a pedestal to stand on in the first place, and after your getting self in a rut with people, you show how little you do have to stand on. It's a sad day when the Bible gets brought down over all this nonsense, but like the horrible Christian church of the Dark Ages (Which your brand of mind con... I mean Christianity is a modern day version of), it will prevail, and triumph over all this non sense.
I also got the chance to read some of the Pokemon comments I never read before and I was appalled at the disgracing of Martin Luther and the use of his liberal and level headed words to make this sort of nut bar crap "right” in the minds of impressionable people. In fact, playing this stuff has nothing to do with anything Martin Luther said. He promoted the fact that only faith (not acts) can save you, and guess what? He's right.
His more recent note: I would like you to not only publish my emails, but I would like it if you gave out my email address. If you're not willing to endure harsh criticisms for your ideas, then you obviously don't have to much faith in them. [His email: SiberioS@aol.com ]
Berit's response: Most of the above comments refer to quotes on a Sailor Moon webpage. They are not my words. I haven't written the article yet, and I'm not sure when I will, but you can see the beginning of it here: Sailor Moon
From a concerned mother: I, myself, had a feeling inside that something was very wrong with these card collections and many other TV "comics" like dragonbalz, sailor moon, pokemon, etc. to name just a few…. I thank you because it was confirmed to me through you, that the Holy Spirit was trying to get me to discern and also spiritually clean our house and I was not just imagining this situation. Our son has left the gameboy and card collection quite some time ago, but it was not easy being the mean MOM. That's ok though because my first responsibility is to my Savior anyway. Thank you for being obedient to Jesus and letting the Holy Spirit guide you and give you the strength to perservere. I will be praying for your boldness…. James 1:2-4,12 & Isaiah 40:29-31, 1 Peter 2:9-12. I am looking forward to taking the time to read the rest of your articles.
From TJ Condon (follows his Pokemon comment): Also, about your attack on anime...
Yes, True Japanese uncut videos and series do sometimes show nudity. But you have to remember:
1) In Japanese Culture, this is commonplace. Also seen in several European cultures...That's one of the reasons Italy and Germany are high on the list of the most-anime-friendly contries. (Japan, naturally, is the best. Followed by Italy, Germany, and Canada in no particular order. America is around 5th place.)
2) The term for nudity and pornography in anime is "[deleted - if anyone needs to know this word, write us]" This is also the term for "pervert". Also much of this "______" is fan-made, the actual artists, production companies, etc. have no real control over this.
3) In America, cartoons are mostly child-oriented, therefore they usually lack much of a plot and rely on sight gags. There is anime for just about every age, from Pokemon and Sailor Moon to Dragonball Z and Ranma 1/2 and Tenchi Muyo to La Blue Girl and Ninja Scroll. All of these depend more on plot than cheap effects.
4) Anime is much of the reason I've been discovering my love for art, and I have been studying Japanese in my spare time… Thank you for your time.
From Karen Moll: I just happened to come across some of your articles while searching for a church for a family member… I, myself, had a feeling inside that something was very wrong with these card collections and many other TV "comics" like dragonbal z, sailor moon, pokemon, etc. to name just a few. Please, I pray, do not get weary in doing good, as in Galatians 6:9 & Colossians 1:9-14
I thank you because it was confirmed to me through you, that the Holy Spirit was trying to get me to discern and also spiritually clean our house and I was not just imagining this situation. Our son has left the gameboy and card collection quite some time ago, but it was not easy being the mean MOM. That's ok though because my first responsibility is to my Savior anyway. Thank you for being obedient to Jesus and letting the Holy Spirit guide you and give you the strength to persevere. I will be praying for you that God would send His angels out and surround you with a solid hedge of protection that only He can give (Psalm 91). Trust Him, He will never leave or forsake you. When you accepted Jesus as your Savior you were not immune to the world hating the truth . . . . James 1:2-4,12 & Isaiah 40:29-31, 1 Peter 2:9-12. I am looking forward to taking the time to read the rest of your articles.
From Kyle Davis: Hello! I stumbled across your site today, and noticed the Pokémon, Sailor Moon, and Dragonball Z stuff all over it…. As a Christian, and huge Anime fan, I thought I'd write down a few of my thoughts and shoot them your way. First off, I have to tell you that I have mixed feelings on your (and other Christian authors as well) work. You shoot from the hip, and many uneducated parents read your site, then instantly act on your words. I am of the opinion that parents should interact with their children, and be involved with their lives (especially 'Christian' parents!) The folks that had no idea what Pokémon was, and that their kids were really into it don't need to read your website, or others like it - they need to be involved with their children.
Berit’s response: As Christian parents, we must go to God’s Word for guidance concerning appropriate toys, games and activities, not to our children. God has told us to teach and train our children what’s right and wrong, not vice versa.
Second, I have to disagree with your scare tactics which condem an entire genre…. As for the "Dragonball Z/Sailor Moon are porn cartoons" on the Internet and in Japan, you'd really have to be looking for that sort of thing to find it. That doesn't mean because some pervert posts nude drawings of the Sailor Scouts on his webpage that Sailor Moon is bad. (If you look around the Net, you'll also find porns of Snow White, and other 'good' American cartoons - yet you don't condemn them as rapidly as you do Sailor Moon).
The world view behind the whole Anime-Manga genre is pantheistic. The psychic or PSI force that empowers the humans and the supernatural creatures is occult according to the Bible (See Deuteronomy 18:9-13. God tells us to have nothing to do with it. He holds us accountable for our thoughts and imagination as well as our words and action. Remember Matthew 5:27-28.
Again, I know you've all heard this before, but, like I said, I'm a Christian and a fan of the aforementioned anime series. On the subject of kids getting 'obsessed' with Pokémon. That isn't and should not be a criteria to make a judgement on the Christian/evil nature of the show. For example, I have a relative who doesn't allow their kids to watch TV…. How do they spend their time? Watching, and yes, becoming 'obsessed' with Veggie Tales, a Christian cartoon! (And yes, I *LOVE* Veggie Tales!) My point is, ANY time ANYONE gets too obsessed with ANYTHING, it's not healthy.
I agree. But some obsessions are more dangerous to the body, mind, and/or spiritual life than others.
You just attribute this evil of obsession to Pokémon, and thus parents become scared an take drastic "not in my house" measures, rather than watching it for themselves and discussing it with their kids. The bottom line is parents need to watch TV (ALL TV that their kids watch).
From Bulbasaur! The Plant Type: I must say that I am thoroughly confused by your site. You seem to be able to find un-christian themes in almost every children's show and video game. I, myself, am an avid player of Pokémon and other rpgs. I also enjoy viewing Japanese anime and Star Wars films. I am an active Christian and I contribute to my community through the Boy Scouts of America organization.
There is one comment on your page for feedback that I would like to correct. It states the following:
"As for Pokemon, I watched it for 5 minutes the other day, and noted a highly anti-family emphasis, as follows. The two heroes of the story happened upon a nursery, with dozens of babies, and no one else there. The father of the babies had gone fishing to feed his babies. The two heroes started playing with the babies. Then the father came back and became instantly aggressive, attacking the heroes. The father and one of the heroes fought for a while, then both backed off. The other hero said, "you shouldn't fight."
The father told the two that the babies were his, that the heroes were trespassing, that they were interlopers, and that they should leave. The two heroes balked and would not leave. One hero picked up a baby. The father said not to touch his babies. The heroes ignored him. This is the value that Pokemon is trying to instill: that parents have no right to sovereignty over their own children. And fighting to protect your own children is wrong. This is like a fascist or Communist Chinese philosophy. I was thoroughly disgusted."
The segment this person discusses is not from an episode of the Pokémon shows. It is from the somewhat similar show, Digimon. I would be grateful if you posted this message on the feedback section for others to see.
From a concerned parent: Last fall my sons friends at school were all caught up in playing Pokemon at school. My son had a feeling that there was something wrong with the game, it felt evil to him somehow. After finding your web page and printing out the information and articles, we were able to help the school in dealing with the problem. Now my son said that he doesn't have any friends to play with because they all like to play DigiMon and he doesn't like to play that game. I have done some searching and found some sites devoted to the game. From what I can see, it looks very similar to Pokemon. Do you have any insight into this? Can you point me to where I can find information that can help us.
From James R. Powell: I happen to be an anime artist. I don't want to start this out on a bad note, but I do feel that some people are somewhat ignorant on the subject of anime and pokemon in general. I'm 16 in the 11th grade my artistic skills with anime have won me many awards in the field of art, but I haven’t once been told, or picked up the notion that it was an evil kind of thing.
Berit's comment: Remember, the concept of good and evil can easily be molded to fit the world's different cultures. A century ago, most America, which first based its values on the Bible, generally rejected homosexuality, premarital sex, and rituals to earth-centered gods. Today all those practices are promoted through the media, movies, and public schools across the country. The new twist on "tolerance" pressures everyone to approve what once was considered wrong. My point is that your observations about right and wrong may not match my Christian values, and I would compromise my convictions if I used your feelings or public sentiments as a standard for my values.
Picasso was scrutinized when the world didn't except his unique why of "seeing" things on canvas. Later we found out that he was a great artistic genius'.
Why, I ask, are these two subjects put under heat when they are no different than things that are already around us everyday. Pokemon does show good values that even some teachers cannot show their students. The main character Ash shows a lot of qualities that parents try to show kids. Ash shows determination when things look grim. Doesn't our Lord tell us the same? To always persevere?
Good question, James. Yes, He does tell us to persevere, but His kind of perseverance must be seen in the context of His other teachings. In the New Testament, perseverance usually refers to persevering in His truth when pressured to compromise. Throughout history, the world has always sought approval for natural cravings and unholy thrills. But God always draws us back to His unchanging Word. Just look at the two verses below. Notice that the second one (one of two references to "persevere" in the NKJ version of the Bible) ties perseverance to uncompromising commitment to God's standards. But even that isn't enough if the obedience is legalistic and not prompted by an unwavering love for God Himself.
"Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all patience and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to myths. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions...." 2 Timothy 4:2-5
"I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love." Revelation 2:2-4
Or how about when Ash is willing to give his most precious possessions to save the life of a pokemon he has trained? Ash and another important character Misty teaches us that love can come from anyplace even though they fight. Their care for each other is easy to see if you try to look behind the fact that it’s different. They also teach us that we must take responsibility in the things we do. People need to look around the norm to look at things differently than how they already see things.
Anime originates way back. Its not just a style of art, its a language in its own. The sites with the pornography aren’t anime. Please I stress this to everyone who thinks they are the same. Here are the correct names for the styles ... [sorry James, I deleted the words. I don't want any child to do a search for those sites. I have seen some and they are awful!] are pornography look alikes of anime. They have a separate name for just that reason. Anime pronounced: Ann-Nuh-May, Manga pronounced: Mon-Guh, are generally geared towards Kids and Teens they are notably easy to tell apart from their "porno cousins". Anime, and manga always have a lot of humor. Its a very beautiful art if seen properly, its not meant to look exactly like a person, its beauty comes from its simplicity.
God tells us that we must see from His perspective, James. The universal ideals you mention show the best the world can offer, but it falls short of God's kind of love and responsibility which comes from God who, in turn, enables us to live the life of love and perseverance. Sometimes a nice-sounding ideal can be the greatest obstacle to God's best.
Another thing about it is that its very difficult technique to use. ... I wish I could leave you with a favorite quote that’s fitting to this article. Uhm here's a couple to ponder: "It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." Mohandas K. Gandhi. "The most important thing about communication is hearing the things that aren’t being said."
Remember Gandhi was a devout Hindu. Though humble and gentle, he spoke from a perspective that denies the cross, the need for Jesus, and the hope He offers. Yet, when seen from a Christian perspective, his words do carry an important reminder of our own inadequacy apart from Jesus:
"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." John 15:5
From Angie-chan: I was at your site today and personally I found some of your opinions slightly disturbing. I'm not trying to be rude by of this, by no means...I would just like to tell you my opinion. I understand your reasoning from assuming anime is "evil" [altough it's not]...I can see where you might question some of the things in the televised anime today. Some of that is due to bad translating and dubbing...and censoring as well.
But the big part where everyone is losing track is the cultural difference...anime is from Japan, made in Japan, and intended for the citizens of Japan. Personally America is the least open minded country in the world [which may not be true, but that's how I see it, and I am pure American myself].
Japan's culture [and many other for that matter] are more open to things a lot of americans would consider "Taboo". They are less concerned about things like cussing and death on childrens television, like we are. I mean a lot of the anime aimed at children isn't some big shot em' up fest or anything...but an example would be in Sailormoon S [third series, not aired in US due to it's "graphic" nature]...in that series they had things like people sacrificing [by death...which turned out to be temporary] themselves for others, which is a selfless and god-like act. Am I right?
Also, one of the young girls, Chibiusa [Reeni in the US dub] has a dream about her friend Hotaru being hung from [not nailed on or dying, she was just on it] a cross, calling for help. Then several "scarey" looking hands rose up and took her away. Then Chibiusa promtly woke and called for Usagi [Serena in the dub] and told her they had to help Hotaru because she was in trouble. Plus there is a lesbian relationship in it too [why are we scared to have that on TV...there are homosexual people all over the US, what's wrong with that?]...these are the main reasons why SMS is not aired in the US.
We [Americans] are just scared I think. Scared to let people see the truth too early. I mean, kids are going to find out about things like this anyway. Why not let them learn it early. I can understand not letting them watch something if it completely scares them and makes them cry or something...that's sensible. But if they enjoy it, and parents tell them they can't watch it because of one thing that was said that was taken out of context...that's ridiculous.
I beleive, as long as the parents sits down and discuss with the child what's right and wrong, immaginary and make beleive, etc then everything should be okay. I don't think a little anime and teletubbies is going to corrupt your child [yeah, I saw the stuff on your site about that too...not that I really _like_ teletubbies or anything, I mean I'm 16, but they're not evil]….
Thank you for taking your time to read this. And as I will say in honor of my personal love animeand japan... ::bows:: Arigatougozimasu.
Berit's response: It’s not that simple, Angie. Please read Answers to Pokemon mail. Thank you.
From Jason: Parents may not understand the nature of Dragonball Z, so allow me to explain. The difference between this show and Pokemon is that Dragonball Z is a more complex show, and it requires a certain amount of maturity to watch it. In reality, six year olds are not even the majority of the audience that is watching it, it's teenagers and adults, and it's as it should be, because the show is defintely more geared toward an older audience.
There are elements of violence and intense action in this show, and in its uncensored form contains a good dose of blood. Yet it does not compromise on death, this show at times shows the affects battle and death have on people and how it changes them. Some villains see the error of their ways and become good, others who do not turn from evil end up being hoisted on their own petard. I hardly think this show is an occultic influence, because no one can do the things they do on that show! They can't blow up planets with fireballs, or soar through the air, or have wishes granted by dragons.
(Actually, it seems every popular show for younger viewers gets criticized this way. I remember He -Man and the Masters of the Universe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers also being bashed for things like this.) Anyone who actually tried to do all that stuff would look really silly. Frankly, I think our energies should be directed elsewhere. In Hollywood movies, there is constant taking of the Lord's name in vain, and that as a Christian really sours me. We should be teaching people to respect the holy name of God. As for Dragonball Z, if your kids are going to react badly to it, don't let them watch it! God empowered parents with that responsibility, so let's quit acting like we're powerless. In the holy name of Jesus, we can command the evil of Satan to leave our children and our homes so we focus on His word and His will. Remember, television shows do not have power over us unless we let it! They're nothing more than a slight diversion. Let's remember that. Thank you, and God bless. Jason
There's a good reason, Jason, why "every popular show for younger viewers gets criticized..." Hollywood and the TV industry have been selling their thrills in a global market place for years. By now, the world has become psychologically addicted to gratuitous sex and supernatural violence. Anything less would bore mainstream youth.
He-Man, Power Rangers and other shape-shifting characters with supernatural power fit the craving for power without accountability to God's ways and moral order. Since most of today's popular fantasies come from an industry that rejects God and promotes a universal, pantheistic or cross-less spirituality, they will all clash with Biblical beliefs and values. (SeeThree cultural paradigms)
From Mark: I am writing to WARN about a dangerous new cartoon introduced to America in early March on the Cartoon Network called "Mobile Suit Gundam Wing". (weekdays 5:00pm, with the "uncut" version at 12:00 midnight) There are already so many cartoons with overtly evil occultic themes, like "Sailor Moon", "DragonBallZ" and "Ronin Warriors" where the "hero" characters all practice forms of magic, with lots of cute stuff thrown in. This new cartoon is insidious and even has "moral" philosophies being taught in it. There are many things I could say about it but I want to point out that this particular cartoon is getting closer to "real life" , (without unbelievably 'goofy' visualizations), which I believe makes it insidious.
Many of the web sites I found on the topic have some of the characters, (primarily five teenage boys - the pilots), being portrayed as living a homosexual lifestyle. Even though the actual 'anime' doesn't show that, it does leave open some possibility of suggestion in that direction, making "fan" sites with that theme "believable" by kids that might . Many overt scenes making suicide look "honorable" are in the show. Even though the "Gundam pilots" are battling for freedom-loving people in colonies who are feeling the tightening chains of military domination by world-government control, the show has distinct dangers built-in regarding the conditioning of young minds with philosophies that Christian parents would reject. I understand that most people, (yes- including children), know that cartoons are not real. Yet, after several years of studying this topic seriously, I conclude that everything we hear and see has a conditioning effect on us, and if certain themes are repeated often enough, acceptance of them is much more likely, whatever the 'media'. I understand this cartoon series has been affecting Japan and the orient for almost twenty years, and that their previously staunch customs are unravelling, and that their suicide rate is very high. While it wouldn't be good judgement to attribute ONE CARTOON with having caused this and other problems, just watching ONE show has convinced me that the unprepared viewing population will NOT go unaffected by it. After researching on the WEB a bit, I've found that this show is quite restrained in comparison to other projects yet unseen my most Americans. Another violent, moral-twisting show has hit our shores - HARD. I'm on the wall and shouting. Don't just stand. Stand READY. God bless you.
From Jason: (This is a follow up to a recent letter I sent regarding Anime. You may post this.)
Having read your response to my letter, I understand your position. To make my point about kids' shows, I was basically drawing on my own experience when I was four years old. When I watched He-Man, I liked watching it, but I never considered it a guide for living. I never tried to summon magical power or perform chants, I just watched the show and played with the action figures. I never believed it was real, and by no means did I consider it a substitute for the true God. These shows did not make me who I am today, and they did not shape my morals. This has been the case for many of my friends.
Berit, the problem in conveying your message is that to many people there is no clear distinction between media that is genuinely occultic and that isn't. Almost every fairy tale has some kind of magic, and even the hero has a magic sword or shield. C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien's stories respectively have a lot of magic and supernatural in them. I believe you should clearly point out the distinctions so we can understand where you're coming from.
Since this site is to offer guidance to Christian families, I will say this about Anime: It is not for kids. The stories and violence are too intense for young children, and for the most part the large part of the audience is adults and teens anyway. I also want to reemphasize the importance of parental authority. If your kids are going to have a problem with these shows, by all means do not let them watch it.
I hope you consider my suggestions.
From Berit: Thank you, Jason. To understand "where [I'm] coming from," may I suggest you read Digimon and re-read Answers to Pokemon mail? Keep in mind, I believe that any spiritual power not from God is from a counterfeit or occult source -- whether it's darkly evil or simply what Johanna Michaelson called "The Beautiful Side of Evil." The best counterfeit is the most dangerous deception. That's why I don't write about the obviously occult entertainment but focus instead on what many families accept as okay.
What we need to do is to study and thoroughly know God's Word and heart. Then we will recognize every spiritual counterfeit or occult message that counters the purity of His truth.
From Jim: HI :) I've my website "Charizard's Gym" up for about three years. And starting a few weeks ago I recieved some emails and a response on my guest book, (which was erased) all which exept for one were towards a negative direction. Most of them were Vicious complaints towards myself. Most contained sentences of me going to hell.
I don't put much thought into them as I hear them almost every Wednesday or Sunday during my hockey games. As an elite ranking goalie I often hear alot of complaints after making a save. So all the complaints exept for one didn't "phase" me one bit. The one that did was from a concerned mom. She sincerely asked me to give up Pokemon and anime because she thought it was evil.
Nothing touched my heart more than this. Sure my girlfriend makes me cry when she's in pain, but othing was like this. I thought that something truly awfull had happened to her. A couple of mouse clicks down the e-mail she said that she had visited some "Anti-Pokemon" websites, many of which were really extreme in getting the message through. But she also mentioned yours, which brings me to the purpose of this e-mail. Thanks for wading through this lengthy letter.
She told me that somewhere on your site you used the phrase "pornographic anime." At first I didn't think much of it until it hit me. While I know your trying your best on making your website as visitor-friendly as possible, I am asking you in hopes that you will change that word. Anime has been defamed too much to suffer another hit. While their are some sick people labeling their grotesque work "anime" its truely nothing of the sort. So please I hope you can find take them time to give it a different name, maybe "anime like pornography." True anime is usually of the comedy genre. One great one is "Masson Ikkoku" Its about Masson's daily life. Similar to MTV's "Real World" .
Mahollow (Haiwian for buh-bye)
Berit's response: Jim, I wish we, who call ourselves Christian, would always "speak the truth in love," so that others would recognize our faith and our Lord especially because of His love shining through us. But I'm afraid our human weaknesses often take precedence over His wonderful life in us. I'm so sorry.
After glimpsing some of the Japanese "anime-like" pornographic pictures, I too am concerned about the ease with which anime fans can explore look-alike porn. Though, I appreciate your tender heart and understand your concern, I can't change the words others have used. But I can and will invite Christians to pray with me that God give our children discernment and protect them against such awful images and influences.
From BrassMouse: I am 22, gainfully employed in 2 rewarding jobs with great promise in each, I own my own home, and am active within my community.
I am writing this in response to your various and sundry articles on anime, manga, etc... and the responses of the various other people who have posted to your site. I would be honored if you would post my message and would appreciate it if you would post my address, in the event that you do so any parents/others may feel free to email me for any information they desire....
I am no longer a Christian, the reasons for this are many and varied and would require far more time and space than I have, I did however make a reasoned logical decision to leave and was not coerced in anyway, my decision to leave Christianity also predates my exposure to and subsequent interest in anime. There are several points that I would like to touch upon:
First, the "pornographic" scenes in popular anime that have been broadcast on american television are, well, not. They often occur in a furo (Japanese bath) or onsen (hot springs)....[Berit deleted the descriptions] I am aware of no anime that contained more than that pre-dub and none that did so post-dub. The so called pornographic scenes are less sexual than victoria's secret commercials which can be seen round the clock on just about every network or the jeans commercial which features a woman stripping. These are far more deserving targets for righteous anger than anime, at least over this issue.
However it is true that there are anime which are created for adults, just as there are movies created for adults, these should be stored separately and marketed separately, just as home-grown pornography is, Most otaku are in fact disgusted by this material and will not display it on their sites.
It seems then that to prevent your children from accidently stumbling onto this material you would be better off to pressure distributors into racking and labeling it separately from mainstream anime. It is true that you can very easily wander into the inappropriate areas of the net, but every site I have heard of (I am however no great expert being rather repulsed by it myself) has warnings put up to stop minors from accessing it.
The same problem occurs with just about any topic. The operators of pornographic sites will intentionally put huge blocks of keywords on the gateways to their sites to attract as many people as they can, again blame needs to be put on the industry which markets that garbage on not on mainstream anime. If this seems rather esoteric to you look at it this way, if you had a problem with something the local adult channel was showing would you call the fox networks and complain? As hard as it may be to believe, that is exactly how different the two are, especially to fans.
Secondly, you and many of the people who reply to your page seem to be suffering from a case of wishful nostalgia. The United States is part of an interdependent world in which many of the parts are inherently different, we need to learn how to accept and, indeed, take pride in those differences, America is in the throes of a cultural backlash as it realizes that it cannot stand alone and many people are therefore turning their backs on anything different, often this xenophobia is given the label of christianity.
I do not believe we should all submerge our identities into some sort of awful global fascism, but I do believe that we need to move towards a more global social structure. Yes, some cultural melding and blending will occur.
You are probably wondering how this relates to anime? Few anime have been broadcast on American television, Otaku are of mixed feelings about this, on the one hand they want more exposure for their hobby. On the other the few anime which have been broadcast (BTW anime is the plural term, most Japanese words follow the same rule as moose) have been brutally censored and poorly dubbed, American seiyuu (voice actors) are often of poor quality. This censorship relates in many cases to the mass xenophobia and in particular homophobia sweeping the states.
Most readily apparent is the dub of Sailor Moon which had the gender of one of the characters changed so as to avoid a homosexual relationship. This is simply the act of small minds who wish to avoid facing reality, however I shall attempt to place it in a cultural context for those who don't understand why there was such a relationship in the first place.
Homosexuality is both a new and old thing in Japan, the label and stigma are both new and foreign, but the acts have been there for centuries, this is NOT a part of any of the Asian pantheism etc. that you refer to on your site but instead can be traced back to feudal Japanese history, *sigh*
Really, you would think people would learn things from the shining examples of intolerance in the past, I say shining because most of them involved flame, the continuous persectution of the Jews in Europe, the Burning of the Templar Knights, the Burning Times in Europe, the Holocaust, slavery, the civil rights era, different people are DIFFERENT.
From Berit: Please read Biblical versus Cultural Christianity
Finally I shall attempt to tackle the absurd charge that Anime, particularly Sailor Moon promotes satanism, occultism etc. I have noted from your replies that you do not feel that it is intentional and for that I congratulate you, many people would see some sort of Japanese conspiracy to taint our youth. Ki, or Chi is most often shown and described in Anime as the power of the spirit, it is almost without exception an internally generated thing which requires great amounts of study and practice to use. Often the power comes from emotions (see Ranma Nibun no Ichi). And while some anime unquestionably depict the characters casting magical spells (Slayers) it is often done so in a moral context, this is always the case in Sailor Moon.
Different "experts" disagree on this point. Some martial arts teachers and gurus would agree with you, but others attribute it to the universal pantheistic force that is central to many forms of Buddhism. But what's important to children is what they see and perceive. The power displayed in the cartoons is clearly supernatural. It is not a Biblical power. Therefore it clashes with Scriptures.
In fact, Sailor Moon, especially the dub, seems to be the very model of Christian Virtues as taught to me by my grandmother (excepting the church going, I am referring to the morals and principals behind the ritual) The characters are dedicated to both each other and the city, they fight evil in the form of the negaverse, they never kill any human without giving them numerous chances to reform and even then there is often a climactic conversion to the side of good.
The main character displays an almost insane level of devotion to her boyfriend (despite a roving eye) and many of the other characters break various female stereotypes. And they use magic powers. Really, anyone who lives in constant fear of being persecuted by evil beings from some dark netherworld needs to be firmly grounded in reality, period. Even if you believe in Christianity you should be able to discern fantasy from reality, and as for children saying things like "I'm drawing power from the Moon, just like Sailor Moon" that's the same as people trying to fly like superman or playing cops and robbers, they are play-acting, and anyone, ANYONE who would take the play acting of children as an introduction to the occult needs to be seriously grounded in reality.
I would second the suggestion of one of your readers that you watch Grave of the Fireflies, it is indeed a deeply touching movie which shows a side of WWII that few people think of. Sincerely, BrassMouse [firstname.lastname@example.org]
From Ryouga Hibiki [Mexico]: What you are trying to do??? Put every person who believes in god against anime???????????? I believe in god, but not cause of that I destroy anime.
You are upset to seeing violence in dragonball??? lesbianism in Sailor Moon???? gay acts on Pokemon???? sex like in many others????? Is that it??? well us anime fans dont have the fault. Im 18 and I dont want you to destroy anime for that. That's why the animes are labeled for certain ages. In Japan Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball, CardCaptorSakura and even Pokemon couldnt be seen till a certain age (the first 3 from 13 and above, pokemon 8 and up).
Its not our fault that the TV studios bring them for all ages, if you wanna punish somebody I’ll suggest punishing the TV stations. And above of all the series have also been censored, and even with the censorship you want them to dissapear???? Its true, a little kid should not watch it, but he is watching it cause of the TV stations.
Personally I hate DragonBall, but love Ranma Sailor Moon, and CCS. The things you hate from anime are really normal on Japan, they do it cause they teach their kids since early days, not cause they are sick mental and horny (forgive the word) people. Japanese dont are afraid of lesbianism or gays, they respect them, so they present them on anime like a normal thing.
There are sometimes sexual oriented scenes, but no sex is shown, unless it is an "H" anime which is strictly for 18 year old people and up, see the labels on the videos. Once I saw a news on TV saying to guys were arrested for selling this videos (which they only sold to 18 people like vulgar XXX american movies), but what upset me is that they said that it caused violation to kids rights, that they prostituted them….
The Japanese do this "H" anime cause they cannot do real XXX movies (Im not defending them, Im just presenting the facts). The real problem here isnt anime, is that TV shows these like cartoons for kids. Ever saw Ranma1/2 here in my country [Mexico] it was censored and supercutted to show it to kids.... it upset me very much. Just think bout the Simpsons, or Ren and Stimpy, why does nobody ever got mad about them? they are really disgusting, the stupid things they show.....
I think the problem is that you guys hate anime… Animation DOES NOT mean its for kids. That is why you get scared to see that. Almost all animes are for people of 13 years and older. In Japan Dragon Ball couldn't be watched by kids under 13. Please think bout what you doing.
From V9CyberKid: In recent news, the Catholic Pope has endorsed Pokemon, saying he finds no problem with it. I suppose he's wrong too, right?
Quite frankly, you all are a group of bigoted idiots. Your articles ramble on about unrelated subjects, and make such far-fetched claims nobody truly reads them, or care what they say. Simply put, all your site does is fear monger against Anime, Pokemon, Digimon, and their like.
As has been put before, it's fantasy. Children understand that. But yet you all truly believe that by watching anime, the minds and morals of us young ones will be corrupted, and we'll be desensitized. And to that, I say thee, 'nay!'
Your reports and articles are based on word of mouth, and perhaps a single comic book and half-watched episode. A lot of assumptions, limited research, heavy exaggeration, and racist fear-mongering, and you've successfully written another article.
What you protest is people of different races and cultures having anything in common. What your protest is global unity, a dream shared by many. If you cannot accept influences from other religions and cultures, how can you call yourself Christians? Jesus first appeared to women after having been risen from the dead. In that time, women were oppressed, and would not be believed. There was much fear mongering against them.
Remember now that Jesus was heavily persecuted, and in the end, his way was revealed to be true and right. He was persecuted by Jewish religious leaders and Romans. So, how are you any different, persecuting other faiths and beliefs? I call you hypocrites. You attack other religions, faiths, ideas, out of your own blind faith.
By attacking anime, you show your ignorance, your bigotism. I am offended by the subtle hintings at perversion in your articles "Angemon and his shapely partner" indeed. Perhaps you should look at reality, where women don't look like men. Perhaps if you actually opened up your eyes once, you'd realize that there are cultures BESIDES the US, that until you die and are judged, you won't know which ways are right and wrong, and an open mind is all that can be done.
The same passages you tote against anime, Japan, it's native religions, etc., are the same kind of passages toted about years ago that oppressed women, that told us we should take blacks as slaves. These are the same passages that tell us to oppress homosexuals. By your unwillingness to global unity, you take the very nature of the television character 'Archie Bunker', but with more flowery words.
On a side note, I showed your articles to a few Japanese priests in my area (All Catholic or Baptists) and they were disgusted and offended by your blatant racism and bigot towards them, and your phobia of everything that is not completely Catholic American.
~Coronusia Ajikazia wonkycyber --- ANDREW Ingle "If we live in a society where we cannot see each other, how can we see a God? If we cannot accept others, how can we be accepted?" ~Nik-kun
Berit's response: Please read your own letter again and see who shows most hateful bias -- you or I. Then show me where I show "racism." I believe--as I have stated repeatedly -- that God has called people from "all tribes and nations" to Himself, to receive the salvation that is by faith in His redeeming work. Skin color makes no difference to Him. Nor to me or others who love Him. That's why Christian missionaries have left their comfortable homes and safe food and traveled to distant cultures to bring His love and good news to people of every color.
Finally, please check your assumptions and facts a little better. First, I'm not Catholic. Second, nothing I write is based on world-of-mouth speculations. Third, I challenge you to refute -- using the whole Bible -- what I write as a Christian.
From Sarah: If you think Pokemon and Digimon are evil (even though they're just cartoons for kids), you might as well say that Looney Tunes and other cartoons are also evil. Digimon is just a cartoon for kids!
Berit's response: When I finish the article on the power of the imagination, perhaps you will understand our concerns.
From "an anime fan": I have a few more comments for you. Anyhoo.. I couldn't help notice that in one of your responses, you say "that the world view behind the whole anime/manga genre is "panthestic." This is a grossly wrong generalization.First of all, there IS Christianity in Japan. There may be other religions alongside it there, but that's no different than what we have here in the USA. And beyond that, there ARE anime and manga with religiously neutral or even Christian themes. I know that Sailor Moon has heavy Shinto influence, and I guess I could see where a Christian parent could be coming from if they did not allow their young son or daughter to watch it because of that. (On a side note, they would also be closing off a good chance for children to be educated about other religions in the world.) Secondly, pokemon and Ranma 1/2, with the exception of the psi pokemon in the former, are almost totally neutral. (In fact, in one of the Ranma episodes, Christmas is celebrated.) Thirldly, Neon Genesis Evangelion has a heavy Christian influence. I guess that the fact that the invaders are referred to as "Angels" could be somewhat misconstrued by a Christian that has never heard of the show before, but with a good deal of parallels to the bible, and especially the fact that one of the main characters (Misato) is commonly seen with a cross around her neck. How could this be thought of as "pantheistic"? No other religions besides Christianity are even hinted at in this anime. The characters do not have any psionic powers (that I've seen so far), and they fight to save mankind from the invaders that threaten to destroy it. Please do not take this in a disrespectful manner, but I implore you to gather more information before you go around making generalizations.Another thing.. more on the nudity in anime.. NGE has nudity, yes. In the opening, even. (It is silhouetted, by the way, at least in the opening.) and after seeing it a dozen or so times.. you know what? It has only heightened my respect for and admiration of the female form a hundredfold. Nudity and sex is not and should not be taboo, and this is backed up by the Song of Solomon. Both the male and female forms are wonderful, beautiful gifts from God, and should be viewed as such. Most popular anime series strive for this mindset. I honestly believe that a child could and should be able to view tasteful nudity, especially the kind that is so prevalent in anime, at any age. (Conversely, how porn is always referred to as "adult" entertainment makes me laugh. So porn is somehow okay for adults to view? Pah.) I mean, they're going to learn anyway sooner or later anyhow, when they stumble onto a late night "adult" show, or an issue of Playboy, or something.Does it not make more sense to show nudity to children the way it is showed in anime, so they may gain respect for the opposite sex and its form as well, rather than letting them indulge in porn, which only teaches them disrespect for women and lust? Instead of sheltering children from nudity, which only makes them that much more insecure about sex as they grow older, why not educate them about it, and explain that it is nothing to be ashamed of in the least when it is viewed (in my opinion) in a respectful, Christian view? If people would become a little more open minded about nudity, especially with their children, this may help to drive away the Puritanical mindset that nudity is somehow "wrong" or "bad".However, I do respect your opinions. I just wish you could show me the reasoning and/or Scripture behind them.
Berit's response: Please read Answers to Pokemon mail, then Ephesians 5:3-18. Pray first that God will enable you hear the message.
From Angelo Benedetti: I would like this email to be posted on the Anime Discussion area of your page to reflect my views. I am a 14-year old guy, who lives a classy suburb of Cleveland Ohio. I was first introduced to anime once I bought the game PokeMon. I found it to be a fun, if a little addicting, Role-playing Game. After searching the net for PokeMon sites, I finally caught all 150 and beat the game. (And by the way, I never once saw a Hentai site on my many searches) I also discovered there was a PokeMon cartoon. I watched a few episodes, and thought nothing was wrong with it. My Christianity wasn't offended by the "Physic Powers" and the "brainwashing" and "addictveness" it views (in your minds).
Berit's response: Please read Biblical versus Cultural Christianity. It should show you why neither your form of Christianity nor your conscience was "offended". We train our conscience by our activities and habits as well as by the values we are taught.
I soon outgrew it and began watching a new Anime, Dragon Ball Z. Dragon Ball Z, or DBZ for short, is a hyper-fast action packed anime. That action turned me onto it. The first 2 seasons were sliced and censored heavily. So heavily in fact, cleavage, blood, bruises and other things like that were fuzzed out. There was no profanity or talk of the occult. The third season began showing some more blood, but not enough to change the show's rating (TV Y7).
Soon, DBZ began becoming to childish for me, and I was turned onto the newest anime on Cartoon Network, Gundam Wing. Although there was an "Uncut" version at 12:00 and some of the pilots were slightly suicidal, I was never offended, which gets me to my points at hand;
Why do you feel anime is so offensive?? American anime is censored to American standards and has none of the "offensive" material the Japanese might have. How does Anime become the work of Satan?? I would like to know this answer drawn out clearly. If it is so evil, then why when every time a person like me tries to explain it, you cut in with your "opinions" and slash our words to nothing before we can make the impact we are trying to??
For an answer, see the references in my last response.
As to you parents out there that are finding "Anime Porno" and things of that nature, you have to be trying to find that. I have done many a search for PokeMon, DBZ and Gundam and have never once found a [xxx=word for Japanese animated porn] site. Ever. And for the xxxx sites that do exist xxxx is not anime xxxx is a form of Pornography like hard-core or soft-core. Just because it is animated and Japanese doesn't make it anime.
Most of our visiting anime fans would disagree with you. So would the websites that feature this anime porn. They call it what it is: anime.
And my final point, why must you hide behind the image of God to tear apart anime?? So some contains "magic" and "ki power." Haven't you all read myths or fairy tales or stories containing magic while growing up?? When did it become Anti-God and Satanic?? It's simply FANTASY! Not reality, FANTASY! Why are these themes evil?? They stimulate a child's mind and make them curious and imaginative. It's healthy to be imaginative. I would greatly appreciate if this is posted so I can see your views in full. Thank you.
Please read Answers to Pokemon mail and the article, Bewitched by Harry Potter. They should answer your question.
Anonymous: I would like to say I found your website through a mailing list I was on, someone made a comment about the anime section. I went to read what was there, and I would like to give my opinion. First off I am a 15 year old male from Canton, Ohio. I believe myself to be a strong Christian, I go to church every Sunday, I do my devotions on my own and with my family, I am a baptized believer, and so forth. Anyway, I got into Anime when I was around, 12 years old. I must say at that time it was only because of the more adult titles, not nessecarly because they had sex, some did, but because of just how different it was.
First off, about Gundam Wing, I really see no reason why the show would be considered bad or evil. I do agree young children should not watch it, by the midway point of the series it gets to a point of storyline where I think anyone who was thirteen or over could watch it. As for the yoai (homosexual) stories and sites people find online about Gundam Wing, that is because of it's fans. The characters of Gundam Wing are considered to be bishounen, which is men who are really beautiful but have that girly look to them. A lot of the female fans think it is funny to make up yoai stories about them, although I have no particular interest in it. So it is not the actual show which is that, just the fans.
But then again you will find something like that with everyone, just as you would find stories about people from the bible in those situations in stories that people have posted online.
I wonder if anyone knows of the series Superbook? It was an older anime series which is about a boy and a girl who find a bible, and are transported back in time to the times of the bible and you see all the stories. It was a great series for little kids to help learn their stories of the bible, there was no violence, no sex, no language, etc.,
So I don't think it is right to have a section devoted entirely to Anime, because not all anime is wrong. You have anime for little kids, anime for teenagers, anime for adults, and anime for all ages.
Oh yes, and I read about someone concerned about nudity in Sailor Moon and Dragonball Z. In the original Japanese version of Sailor Moon, it is not really nudity, when they transform into their Sailor Scouts, there is a big glowing light on the entire screen with an outline of the Sailor Scout in black, that may be mistaken for Nudity. Or they could have found some fan website which had fan art (yes it can be in either japanese or english) where they found pictures of the Sailor Scouts in that mannor.
Dragonball Z, the only real nudity was in the original series, Dragonball, which is no longer airing on TV, but it was brief and such. But then again, it was only brief.
From Cyanne Coldsteel [email@example.com]: Mark said: "I understand this cartoon series has been affecting Japan and the orient for almost twenty years, and that their previously staunch customs are unraveling, and that their suicide rate is very high."
Actually, Gundam Wing has only been existence for 5 years. As for Japan's staunch customs being unraveled, I would attribute that more to American influences upon Japan, not to anime itself. If anime was the cause of their customs unraveling then that would have started about 40 years ago. If you look at it, many of the older Japanese citizens, whom stay as far away as possible from American influences, still maintain their customs proudly. It is the newer generation that grew up with American influences their whole lives that are leaving their tradition customs.
As to the suicide rate being high, I cannot argue with that. But you have to look WHERE the largest number of suicides occur. If you look carefully, you will notice a majority of suicides occur either at the teenage level, mostly those who are between the ages of 17 and 18, and those who are wealth business executives. That is because of 2 reasons, stress and honor.
Unlike America, Japanese Students are required to take entrance exams to get into college. The higher they score, the better college they can get into. Their whole lives depend on 3 days of grueling tests. If they even miss 1 day, their whole life will be affected. At home, they are pressured by their family and at school by teachers to do well on these tests so that they can go into a good college and thusly lead a good life. If they fail these tests, they believe that they have failed themselves and dishonored their family so they opt for Sepukku, a ritual suicide where the person who is committing suicide can redeem honor through death.
Business executives face this pressure also. When their company fails, they believe that they were the ones who caused the downfall so they kill themselves for they have dishonored themselves. Please post this up with my e-mail address.
From "An Enraged Agnostic": This website is no surprise to me anymore. You see, I am a Non-Christian girl who went to a Catholic school (I had no choice, all the public schools in Louisiana are horrible.) and have experienced this for years. Do you have ANY idea how many people have called me Satanic or said I practiced Voodoo just because I'm not Christian? I'm Agnostic for crying out loud! You are bashing EVERYTHING that isn't Christian! Just because someone believes something different doesn't mean its evil and you're pure and wonderful!
And for your information, I've lived with Christians for years and most of the non-Christians have better morals than the Christians! I'm so incredibly sick of this pompous attitude that all non-Christians are heathens and all Christians are good and wonderful. Infact, most of the Christians I've met DON'T follow thier religion at all and yet they freak out when someone isn't Christian and shove Christianity down their throats!And I'm SO incredibly sick of this 'Poor Christians' attitude you all have. 'Oh poor us, Pocahontas made us look like savages. Oh poor us, the Romans fed us to the lions! Poor us! Poor us!" You should talk! Christianity has done more persecution than anyone! Was ANYONE taught about the Crusades? Yep, you guys fought the Muslims, and killed any Jew you saw on he way. And why did they kill the jews? JUST BECAUSE THEY FELT LIKE IT!!!! The jews weren't fighting, and THEY KILLED THEM ANYWAY!!! Oh, and let's not forget the Salem Witch trials and the many protestants you tortured and burned too! And stop whining about Pocahontas, because the Englishmen WERE savages! You forced you religion on them, killed them, took their land, the list goes on and on! I have a Native American friend that would be SO disgusted with you! I could go on forever!And to add insult to injury, you insult Anime. As someone else pointed out Anime is like movies, and each series is targetted at a different audience. Assuming that it's all for kids is showing how incredibly ignorant you are on this subject. Yes, on Dragonball thier is a bit of nudity, but it's small CHILDREN!! When's the last time you've seen a baby commercial that didn't have a kid's bare butt?
How you can find evil in Sailor Moon is beyond me. They have superpowers!! So does Superman, but you don't claim he's a tool of Satan!! And may I remind you how incredibly low Japan's crimerate is? I bet you wanted to ingnore that didn't you?You guys are so lucky that I have a few Christian friends who are actually moral and not HYSTERICAL over everything, or else I would probably hate all Christians at this point! Do you have any idea how many years I prayed as a young child, asking your God to please make the children from the Catholic school treat me like a human being? Even though Agnostic, I can see that Jesus was a good man who preached about love and peace. But all you people talk about is hatred. Stop finding fault within other religions and start improving your own. didn't Jesus say not to judge others? I'll leave you with that.
Berit's response: Yes, I do suggest that televised anime for children (Pokemon, Digimon, Dragon Ball Z...) are evil from a Biblical perspective. But keep in mind, my comments are directed to Christian parents who ask for this information. Beyond this one point, you are assuming a lot of things that aren't true. May I suggest you list all your accusations and assumptions about me, then find the reference in my articles that validate your accusations. For example, notice that I didn't judge you or any other anime-fan in my writings. All my warnings are directed at the entertainment, not the child. Perhaps you need to consider following your own advice. Finally, please take time to read Biblical versus Cultural Christianity. It would clarify some of your concerns and biases.
From LordCow:The idea that pokemon is evil so silly. You should focus on more important things. So what if it has influences from the place it was made, what you say Japanese have no right to put their own culture and religion into their products. And if they do, Christians should avoid it like the plague. What is so wrong? Most kids will not even pick up on it. they will just play the game and enjoy it. You make Christians look like rabid zealots. As for Anime, its allowed to show any world its wants with any number of gods ruling. It can make up is own spirituality because its fiction and yes there is adult anime just like adult TV. Why are Christians so insecure? It's the most predominate religion.
From Shinji, "an anime fan": I was the one who wrote the mail that began with "I have a few more comments for you. Anyhoo.. I couldn't help notice that in one of your responses, you say "that the world view behind the whole anime/manga genre is "panthestic." This is a grossly wrong generalization.
I was pleased to see that you posted it on your site. However, I read the "Answers to pokemon mail" link -- several times -- and it barely relates to my letter at all. I mentioned pokemon maybe once or twice in my e-mail, and it was not the main focus -- just a very minor point. I was talking about Neon Genesis Evangelion more than anything else [I'll get to this in a second.] Furthermore, I read the Ephesians bible verses that you told me to, and it just didn't do anything for me. I don't see how it relates to anime. I would suggest that you post that link up only when responding to pokemon e-mail, as it has very little -- if anything -- to do with anime as a whole. Saying all anime is panthistic and occult is like saying all movies are violent just because Terminator 2 is violent [guilt by association. Wasn't this a big thing during the McCarthy trials?]NGE is an anime, and yet teaches us very Christian values:
John 15:13: "Greater love has no man than this, that his man lay down his life for his friends." In one of the last episodes of NGE, one of the characters shields a friend with her own body, even though it leads to her death.Col. 3:20: "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the lord." Shinji never disobeys his "mother" [not really.. it's almost like she adopted him, as Shinji's real mother had died.. but you'd have to see it to understand the circumstances.] Misato, and always trusts in her strength and courage.If you like, I will find more parallels, and back them up with Scripture. Just thought you'd like to know this. Not all anime is "occult" like Pokemon might be. And one last thing -- the message you wrote:"Our articles were written to encourage Christian parents who share our goal of following Jesus and trusting His Word. We are not trying to censor your favorite anime. If you don't share our faith, you may not want to read our information. On the other hand, if you have committed your life to Jesus Christ and seek to follow Him, I suggest you also read Answers to Pokemon mail and Ephesians 5:1-16. "seems to imply that if you are an anime fan in any form, then you are not a Christian. If this was your intent, then I find it very appalling and disturbing [see John 3:16}. If it was not and I interpreted it wrong, my apologies. In any case, you may want to reword a little it to avoid any future confusion.
Our response: I wrote the above comment to clarify to non-Christians that my articles are not an attempt to criticize, judge or direct them. Nor did I intend to imply that an anime fan could not be a Christian.
I did say "that the world view behind the whole anime/manga genre is "pantheistic." But that's not the same as what you suggest I said: that "all anime is pantheistic and occult." I wouldn't say that since I have not seen "all anime." Yet, many of our visitors have defined "anime" as originating in Japan. The supernatural power demonstrated in the limited number of anime that I have watched or read in the "manga" (corresponding comic books) are based on the historical, pantheistic Shinto-Buddhist world view in Japan. (See Digimon) It may be cloaked in humanistic explanations, but those doesn't explain the supernatural features of many anime myths.
I suggested that you read Answers to Pokemon mail because it takes the discussion out of the realm of "how far can we push the limits?" to the more important question: "How can those who love God best follow Him and share in His life?
You argue that some popular anime stories teach Christian values. It may seem that way, but you cannot separate Christian values from the Biblical context. When you do -- when you insert Christian-like choices into the context of a different belief system -- they are no longer Biblical values. As Christians, we enjoy God's grace, love and salvation because we choose to trust and follow Him, not because we do "good deeds." God tells us repeatedly in His Word that, separated from Him, our good works (often viewed demonstrations of "Christian" values) mean little. Trusting in our own human strength or some mystical supernatural strength doesn't count with God. What does count is trusting Him to provide His life, love, wisdom and strength for every challenge we face. If we do, He will give us His strength in our weakness, His love in place of our resentments, and His peace in the midst of our storms. He says,
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)
From Scott Bowen, Catholic/Avid anime viewer [Age: 17]: Im trying to present my arguments in an orderly, concise, fair, and non-offensive mannor. ...
I am both an avid anime fan and a Christian, which means I hold the same values and value standards as the next Cristian. My dad is very avid in the church, oftentimes alot more than the pastor himself. I have heard tapes on many of the top Christian theologans, includeing R.C. Sproll. I know the Bible very well because I was essentialy spoon fed it all of my life, from before pre-school to the present day. I have been in at least 2 religouse classes every year in school starting in first grade. I have pittifuly and imbaresinly been in every church made musical play from birth up untill the 5th grade. I have successfuly debated with myself many times the argument between there being a Christian God and not a Cristian God (just as a practice, I assure you).
Berit's response: Please see my comment at the end of your letter.
Now for the Anime cridentials: I have watched anime for many years now, and have been presented to the many different forms of flowing color that the style is. I have seen various animes ranging from Ninja Scroll to Dragon Ball/Z/Gt to Hello Kitty (yes thats an anime on Nickleodean). I have written many an essay about the subject of anime and given many a speach on it as well. I myself am planning on becomeing an anime artest myself, I have the tallent, drive, knowledge of the industry as well as the art form. I have 3 websites on different animes.
I have the uncensored Japanese versions of Dragon Ball Z from eppisode 118-265 and movie number 7, and the last 8 eppisodes of Dragon Ball Gt. I have seen every American eppisode aired on DBZ and know them fluently well. I own Dragon Ball Gt Finnal Bout in the Japanese form. I have seen every American Gundam Wing eppisode both the American sensored and uncensored forms. I know many people also on the inside of the Funimation company personaly, and have spoken with them many, many times on the subject of sensoring. Rangeing from their regulations on sensoring, to the debate of no sensoring altogether. I know many forign exchange students from the country of Japan and so have a dirrect link to there culture and society as a whole.
I even know a bit of Japanese myself from watching my Japanese version DBZ tapes (see theres at least one GAURENTEED benifet you have to agree:) So as you can see I know my subjects extremely well. I also have a full year of collage freshman english 2 (the harder one) with a B average in that class, while Im only a high schooler at the current moment. Now that Ive given any credible cridentials on myself relating to the issue Im about to address, lets actualy address the issue shall we...
I believe your sites and many of your sites readers claims to anime being occultish and anti-Christian is as far false as the concept of the word false can possibly be taken. Let me explain. Occultish means something that is essentialy spoken of or talked about untill it becomes like that of a religion.
[Please take time to check the dictionary definition of occult and occultism]
Now this deffinintion entitels exacly what you are doing with this page, you are picking a topic, in this case anime in general, and continualy talking about it utill it ultimately runs what time you could be useing to speak to others about God and thereby become occultish with God in word, like it should be. I also bring up the point that in many of the letters that you post people are doing the exact same thing, everyone is makeing the generalization that all animes are this way. Now let me break this statement down for you. There are words that are commonly used in the mails posted up those words are, "every show, every anime, etc." These words are called generalizations which fall under the catagory of fallicies. The deffinition of fallicy in the dicionary (that some person made reference to so highly in one of your letters) says a fallicy is "Incorrectness of reasoning or belief", and fallacious stating "Tending to mislead; deceptive."
.... You speak of many times that the shows of Dragon Ball/Z (not Gt because it has yet to be intruduced into America) and such things are overly violent, but you neglect the fact that many, many times the Bible itself speaks mentions of wars for Christianity or the perservierence of Christianity. Now real life human to human wars are alot more brutal, violent, bloody, and realistic than that of any cartoon could ever attempt to accomplish. ...
Also the battles taken in DBZ are justifiable, if a person was threatening your plannets destruction, you would fight to prevent that, would you not, well that is the exact same cenario placed in DBZ.
Ok now to kill two birds with one stone. For the characters "superhuman and magical (referenceing magic as a Wicca cult)" powers. And the concept of Ki being a magical practice. Well these ones will be easily dissproven, so here we go...
First off I will make reference to a passage in the Bible stateing "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit......To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of HEALING by the same Spirit; To another the working of MIRACLES;..." Well that already dissproves the concept of Ki being a anti-Christain magic form, but Ill continue on this one as well so as to prove myself even further. If you learn about what Ki is and what it can do for you, you ultimately realize that Ki and the Holy Spirit are speaking roughly about the same thing....
Sorry, but you didn't prove anything. The Bible also tells us:
"Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God." (1 John 4:1-3)
Many people believe that because it originated from a different religion and a different language that is must be false or anti-Christian, but many other religions speak of people having spirits or souls to them, just like Christianity. So when the concept of Ki is brought up it is basicly the Japanese supliment of Holy Spirit. Also Ki is only mentioned in the Japanese versions of DBZ (which is not sold in America), and so Ki should not be an issue....
Also that Bible passage mentioned above also aplys for the fact that it is technickaly possible for what is done on DBZ to be done in real life not to mention on TV. This is because God is the diety that gives everyone there individual tallents and gifts, correct? Well then God can also regulate the capability of that person so being able to shoot a blast of energy is very possible, but only with God backing you up with that power. So if he can do anything, including that, that means that haveing a person on that show being able to do that kind of thing is not magic but Gods power controling it. Also you may scoff at me makeing this point by saying "people couldnt do that, well God can do anything, therefore that is possible".
You are supporting my argument that "Christian" anime fans learn to accept a fictional world which distorts both the real world and their understanding of God.
Now about that subject of nudity.... First off you should have no worries about that altogether because you arent going to see that on Cartoon Network EVER I gaurentee you. Maybe in tape form... Also seing as how many DBZ eppisodes I have, I have never heard of a case where there is any type of frontle nudity... Also I quote the Bible again stateing "the body is Gods temple" meaning the human body is something of sophistication and beuty to be admired, not flaunted or humorized about, which DBZ does not in any way shape or form actualy do.
I again thank you for reading this long essay of mine supporting my arguments and dissproveing each of yours, DBZ is not a threat to God or his teachings in any way shape or form. Good day, you may get up and streach now.
First, you didn't disprove any of my arguments. Second, you did prove how a person can grow up in a church culture and learn very little about God, His Word and His ways.
Third, since you refer to the body "as God's temple", let's put that truth into the right context -- one that clarifies at least one of your earlier misapplications of Scriptures. God's Word tells us:
"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.'
"Therefore 'Come out from among them and be separate,' says the Lord. 'Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
Every believer who have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior has become a "temple" for God's Spirit. But this gift and privilege is no excuse for public nudity, but rather a call to separate ourselves from people and practices that encourage contrary beliefs, sexual promiscuity, etc. While He tells us to reach out to others around the world with His love and truths, we are not to be part of the world system that rejects His Word and ways. I know this message isn't exactly politically correct. That's one of the reasons why Christians have been despised and persecuted through the ages.
Finally, you have missed the point of what it means to be a Christian. Your list of credentials might sound good to those who don't have a personal relationship with God. But those who have received His Spirit know that His peace, strength and eternal life came through faith, not by such "good works" as church attendance or an "avid" father. (See my note at the end of the previous letter)
May I suggest that you pray that God help you understand your need for His wisdom, strength, and goodness. Neither you nor I have the power in ourselves to become a child of God or to follow the Shepherd. (See beliefs) But when we confess our sins and trust that Jesus died for us on the cross, He pours out His love and grace into our lives in ways we can't even imagine. He frees us from bondage to the cravings of our human nature and fills us with His wonderful life, strength, hope and joy. May He draw you to Himself and show you all the wonders of His love!
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