There’s been a lot of talk lately about Pokemon and Pokemon Go. Honestly, I have major concerns and I’m tired of all the talk about both of them. I’ve never done anything with Pokemon and I never will. I always knew there was something not quite right about it because my parents didn’t want us to get involved with it, but I never knew all of the reasons behind it.
About two weeks ago, I heard a radio talk show with a pastor who has now done quite a bit of research on Pokemon and Pokemon Go. I only heard half of the program, I went on his website later and found two articles with lots of research in them. I will link to the articles at the end of my post.
Why Such a Divisive post?
I’m writing this post because I believe God wants me to and so I can have a post that explains my position on this topic. As I said last Friday, I would rather stand with God and be all alone than be silent and have gobs of readers, friends, etc. I realize this is risky and that it could cause my book sales to plummet, but God doesn’t call us to be comfortable and successful. He calls us to be faithful to Him.
I’m going to try to keep this blog post from being a research paper length, so a lot of it will be in bullet point form. To research any of the points further, check the end of the post for links to my sources.
The Facts and Problems with Pokemon
- Came from Japan into the US in 1995, and became more popular in 1999.
- Started with 150 cards, now has 729
- The character called ‘Abra’ is said to have the ability to read minds and identify impending danger and teleport you to safety
- Other characters are dressed sensually and/or have very sexual connotations with them
- Together, the cards portray characters who are headstrong, stubborn, quibbling, self-centered, vindictive, obnoxious, hormonal, sexually preoccupied, thieving and cross-dressing.
The parts that concern me most are 1) How Pokemon and Pokemon Go have energy cards that promote the pantheistic power of the occult, and 2) Pokemon Go takes its users to the next level of fantasy and conditions the mind into an altered state of reality called augmented reality. Using your smartphone camera, the game takes you to the next Poke stop. Living in this virtual world has already caused auto accidents, falls off of cliffs, set-ups to be shot to death, and more.
The Pastor on the talk show said he saw a group of young people looking through the bushes in an area as they tried to find the next Poke Stop. Nearby, an older man watched them intently. He may not have been intending harm, but someone who did, could easily use the Pokemon Go craze to his or her advantage to find their next victim.
What does the Bible say?
Obviously the Bible doesn’t specifically say anything about Pokemon, but there are principles laid out that can apply to Pokemon. One quick note: a lot of these points can also apply to magic of any kind, including the magic in Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter. That’s another discussion for another time, though.
Here are a few passages you can look up and study. After the list, I’ll quote a few select verses:
- Ephesians 5:8-16
- Ephesians 6:10-18
- Philippians 4:8-9
- Colossians 2:8-15
- Matthew 16:24-27
- Acts 19:11-20
- Galatians 5:16-26
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:18)
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26)
And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing. (Acts 19:19-20)
(All quotes from the NASB)
There are also multiple places in the Old Testament that also talk about magic, witchcraft, mediums, sorcery, etc. and forbid the use of them. For the sake of space and time, I have chosen not to mention them.
Why are Pokemon and Pokemon Go wrong?
Pokemon and Pokemon Go have characters that promote the things God hates or the things that are an abomination to God. Galatians 5:19-21a says, “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these…” The Pokemon characters have the above characteristics. They encourage those things.
Pokemon Go has people wandering around trying to find something so they can move on in the game. What are those characters in the game representing? Do they represent God or the flesh?
In summary, we need to be careful of what we put in our minds. What we put in our minds is what comes out of our mouths. What we put in our minds will also eventually go in our hearts and spoil it. Our heart should be focused on God daily. Treasuring magic in our hearts is not a way to please or honor God. One day, we will stand before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ and have to give an account for what we have done with our lives. For me personally, I know I need to clean up my own act in the things I read, watch, and do.
I pray you will consider what I have said and do more searching and research for yourself. God bless you as you strive to do what is right in the sight of the Lord.
Talk Show Program