The Slippery Slope of Crisis
Earlier this week I sent a message to a friend of mine saying “Ugh! I can’t believe the craziness around the whole Pokemon Go thing! How can believers be so blind? (There, I said it. Just had to say it to someone. LOL!) Hope all is well”. His response back, “I’m glad I could be here for you in your time of crisis”.
While we joked about a time of “crisis” – as believers – I believe we need to say Pokemon Whoa! to all this Pokemon Go! craziness.
Without coming off sounding like some kind of crazy radical right Christian who thinks everything is evil and bad, I want to make it clear, I’m not some kind of screamer on the right. Screamers do nothing more than add to the noise and rhetoric of an already confusing world. My hope is to cause us to step back and take a look at what’s really going on here. We are not only on a slippery slope of crisis, but we also find ourselves on a slippery slope of “being of the world” instead of “in the world”.
Called To Transform Not Conform
In His High Priestly Prayer Jesus prays for the protection of believers…
“My prayer is not that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth, Your Word is truth” (John 17:15-16).
Paul writes, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). In other words, we are called to not only live a sanctified life – which means a life set apart as one following Jesus and being transformed into His image – but we are also called to transform the world, not conform to it.
That’s why I say it’s time to declare Pokemon Whoa! instead of Pokemon Go!
Many will say “Oh it’s just a harmless game and after all, people are gathering outside and getting exercise. How can that be bad?” We need to remember another warning from Jesus when He said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). As we find ourselves “conforming” to the world, many are unwittingly opening themselves up for an attack by the thief to “steal, kill and destroy”. As a matter of fact, there are real life stories of people being robbed and beaten while playing Pokemon Go! Others are walking into traffic, getting into accidents while driving and even breaking the law and trespassing – all while playing what they believe is nothing more than an “innocent game”.
Without going into great detail, the whole idea behind Pokemon is simple – while it may have started as a hobby by a child in Tokyo collecting bugs – it quickly turned into a game of collecting mythical beings and training them to cast spells and curses on others. As believers, do we really want to jump on the bandwagon of something that encourages people to “cast spells and curses”? Correct me if I’m wrong, but does that not fall into the category of witchcraft?
I admit this is by no means an extensive look at the whole idea of Pokemon – and it’s not intended to be. The purpose of this post is to simply cause the body of Christ to step back and take a real look at what many call “the innocence and fun of Pokemon Go”. I’m not interested in casting stones and berating believers – and in some cases churches that should really know better – about jumping on the bandwagon of Pokemon Go.
The purpose of this post is simple – I believe it’s time to put the brakes on and say “Pokemon Whoa!” instead of “Pokemon Go!”