"...the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light." John 3:19"Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee." Psalm 119:11
“It used to be that children didn’t understand much of the adult world until they were old enough to read about it in books,” observes Dr. William Dietz, former chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Subcommittee on Children and Television. “With the advent of television, children are exposed to more sophisticated messages at earlier ages.”2
What then does television teach our children? The spectrum is broad and varied. But let’s look at key categories and consider how the media message molds young minds.
• If it feels good, do it. Prime-time sitcoms, soaps, reality shows, mini-series, and mysteries model a seamy and sordid medley of yesterday’s sexual and spiritual taboos, for this is the “liberated generation”—hopelessly addicted to entertainment.
Profanity, crudeness, sarcasm, and cynicism are then thrown in to spice things up. Have you noticed how quickly children have assimilated these negative qualities into their conversations and humor?Kindness doesn’t fit unless it serves self-interest, but impudence is cool. Respect for parents is downright embarrassing, but following your own rules earns peer respect—or at least elicits approving laughter.
• Experiment with magic. The bright, beautiful gods and dark, cruel gods both draw power from a single source. So when Papa Smurf conquers evil with magical charms or when Teddy Ruxpin’s friends trust in the divining power of crystals... they are all teaching counterfeit spirituality.
A Smurf episode shows Mother Earth guiding the forces of nature with her magic wand. When her wand breaks, an earthquake frees a wizard determined to steal the Smurfs eternal-life stone. In the end, good (or white) magic conquers evil, the wand is restored, and the earth is healed. Though the Smurfs television shows date back to the 1980s, a 2011 Smurf movie was a box-office success... and Smurfs 2 is a 2013 release.
Magic, packaged for every age, prepares youngsters to accept occult forces without questioning their source. Appealing to their desire for secret knowledge and power to control their world, the supernatural has infiltrated almost every kind of program—including ads.
• Pursue a new world order. With television, mass programming has become a chilling reality. Media spokesmen wield power to censor unwanted facts, manipulate crucial information, ridicule Christianity and spread their propaganda. Meanwhile, today’s information glut has produced an audience ill-equipped to argue with the marketing “experts.”
Years ago, the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer spoke at a National Religious Broadcasters’ convention. One participant summarized some of his key points:
"My clear impression, received from Dr. [Francis] Schaeffer’s revelations, is that our nation is being systematically conditioned [by the media, public schools, and legislature] to accept a totalitarian, humanistic, elite ruling class. The rationale used for the concept of a one-world, all-powerful ruling class is that it is the only way to save the world from collapsing economically and socially.
"This is the reasoning of the self-appointed social “elite” who feel they are the only ones who have the intelligence and power to prevent mankind from destroying itself. And, if in the process of saving the world they have to destroy the Constitution of the United States and the personal freedom and dignity of the American people, then so be it! The threat to the Constitution is no fairy tale. It is very real."5
• Don’t hide from the horror and the paranormal. It isn’t just on Halloween that children can tune in to horror shows or shows about the paranormal. They seem to be available all year long. And the effects they have on children can be lifelong.....”6
Aliens, UFO s, & a (False) New Age ChristThe invasion of monsters began decades ago, and it quickly transformed the world of entertainment. With little resistance, an army of cute-ugly creatures swept into toy stores, television, and movies. They now adorn children’s clothes, bedding, wallpaper, lunchboxes, and books. And many have pushed their way into children’s hearts on the backs of seductive and misleading fables that mold their thoughts and manipulate their imagination.
Some of these monsters are crude and cool like Stitch, Shrek, and the serpentine aliens of Men in Black. Others seem wise and honorable like Yoda in Star Wars. But the creatures that win the prize for thrills and chills are the dark and deadly looking ones like Darth Maul...
They all serve a set of strategic social and spiritual goals: They entertain. They shift a person’s attention from the real world to a more titillating realm created by those who write the myths and steer the imagination. They tempt Christian fans to re-imagine or reinvent both God and themselves in the new context—thus bending the old realities to fit the re-envisioned ones. They desensitize their fans to mystical images and symbols of evil. And they stir a craving for more intense excitement of the same kind.
Eventually the real world of nature, families, work, and biblical truth becomes too boring to be enjoyed. Who cares about truth and facts when folklore and fantasies seem far more titillating and exciting?Today’s techno-progressive mystical-oriented world has little tolerance for biblical watchfulness. Instead, it embraces its mythical heroes with a driving passion that often eclipses both family and reality. The more shocking, crude, insidious looking, and ugly, the more cool and captivating the product. Hollywood and toy makers know that well....The horrific-ugly as well as the cute-ugly began turning a corner and pulling Western culture along with it. Grotesque, demonic-looking creatures with fiery eyes infiltrated toy stores and sold like hotcakes. Many were mutants—part animal and part human, or an admixture of animal and monster. And most could wield the kind of supernatural power featured in their respective legends and stories.They won incredible popularity. Children quickly overcame their natural aversion to scary images and learned to treasure these ugly, hybrid, mutant supernaturals. Few noticed their resemblance to the demonic creatures described in the Bible....In a lecture titled “The Rising Interest in the Supernatural,” Larry McLean compares today’s grotesque toys to historical images representing ancient gods:
"These [creatures] that show up in archeology and what we would call mythology were not just figments of the imagination. They were . . . represented as part human and part animal in their characteristics like this bird-human of the Assyrians. [They can be] horse-and-human like centaurs. Or fish-and-human like the god Dagon of the Philistines... or part jaguar and part human.
"Notice that tongue hanging out over the chin—which is a universal symbol of demonic possession.... One of the most popular combinations is human and serpent. . . . It’s not surprising that pagan religions worshiped serpents and dragons, for the Bible tells us in Revelation 12 that the old serpent, the dragon, is Satan the devil."9
Nor should today’s growing popularity of devilish images surprise us. The Bible prophesies that demonic activities will escalate before and during the reign of the Antichrist. Could the multiplication of demonic-looking, alien images be part of Satan’s plan to prepare us for these awful future events?These “masters” represent a hierarchy of warring demons that match the warning in Ephesians 6:12, which tells us that our battle is not against “flesh and blood” but rather against the “rulers of the darkness of this age” and “against spiritual hosts of wickedness.”
Different versions of these seductive deceptions have spread around the world through the writings of countless occultists. Their numbers include the infamous Satanist Aleister Crowley as well as the occultic “prophetess” Alice Bailey, whose channeled messages from spirit guide Djwhal Khul inspired United Nations and many education leaders. [Read more here: Brave New Schools,Chapter 2: The International Agenda
God’s Word shows us the truths behind those illusions. Revelation 9:1-11 foresees a day when the Abyss (the bottomless pit where Satan will be cast) will open with a burst of smoke and release an army of powerful deadly creatures onto the earth. They will look like a mixture of man, horse, and locust with wings. They will have stinging “tails like scorpions,” and their commander will be Satan himself. Our God will allow it; for man’s evil—as in the days of Noah—and God’s eternal justice will call forth His judgment.
Unless we teach our children otherwise, today’s postmodern antibiblical beliefs lead most of them to trust in deceptions. All the more, we need to prepare them to trust and follow God's way! The reward will last forever!"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor? . . . For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever." (Romans 11:33-36)
Pagan Fantasies Join the Digital ExplosionWhile “popular occultism” was embedding its pagan images... into our modern culture, the world was rapidly adapting to a computerized media. The two seemed made for each other.
“Magic is the science of the imagination, the art of engineering consciousness and discovering the virtual forces that connect the body-mind with the physical world,” writes Erik Davis in his article, “Technopagans.” Showing the impact of pagan thrills on the cold logical world of computer language, he introduces a pagan leader in computer innovation:
"Mark Pesce is a technopagan, a participant in a small but vital subculture of digital savants who keep one foot in the emerging technosphere and one foot in the wild and woolly world of Paganism. ...an anarchic, earthy, celebratory spiritual movement that attempts to reboot the magic, myths, and gods of Europe’s pre-Christian people...."A startling number of Pagans work and play in technical fields, as syops, computer programmers, and network engineers.... Over the millennia, alchemists, Kabbalists, and esoteric "christians" developed a rich storehouse of mental tools.... It’s no accident that these ‘hermetic’ arts are named for Hermes, the Greek trickster god of messages and information....
"...Pagans carve out these tightly bounded zones in both physical and psychic space.... One link is science fiction and fantasy fandom, a world whose role playing, nerd humor, and mythic enthusiasm has bred many a Pagan."22
The characters birthed by Tolkien’s imagination fit right in. That’s why the first generation of dream-weavers and technopagans would masquerade as wizards, hobbits, dwarves, and other Middle Earth characters during the pioneering years of computer conventions. And that’s why the emerging world of Dungeons & Dragons adopted Tolkien’s orcs, dwarves, trolls, and elves.
Tolkien’s mystical realms set the stage and built the pattern for North America’s future game-makers. It makes sense. “The makers of D&D were trained in euro magic—all the elements of the medieval craft, same as Tolkien,” says Peter Lanz, a former occultist who wrote to us. “As an occult simulation, this system offers a smooth ride into the world of euro magic.”...
For example, Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play—like the Tolkien games—is “set in a medieval fantasy world” populated with a vast diversity of orcs, ogres, dwarfs, goblins, wizards, gods, and sorcerers.
“Digital Drugs” Sold on the Internet Induce Altered States of ConsciousnessAn article titled “A new worry for parents—‘digital drugs’ sold on the Internet” describes how teens are “getting high” from listening to certain high frequency digital sounds on the Internet. ...the sounds are being used as a mantra to take listeners into altered states of consciousness....Now, parents have a new worry—their kids getting “high” without drugs.... The article about “digital drugs” states:
"For decades, parents, doctors and school administrators have worried about the dangers of drugs. In the digital age, they’ve got a new arena for concern: Sound waves that, some say, affect the brain like a drug—and cost only 99 cents on iTunes and Amazon.com.
"...some parents—and at least one Oklahoma school system—worry that downloading these sounds could be a teen’s first step toward physical drugs. As proof, they point to YouTube, where hundreds of videos—some of teen “users” getting “high”—have been posted...."The Effect on Children
How do television, the media, and the Internet influence our children’s view of themselves and their environment? Consider these factors:
• It replaces other activities ...
• It produces unreasonable demands and expectations....
• It gives a distorted view of the world....
• It models harmful relationships....
• It models violent behavior....• It produces fear....• It clouds discernment of right from wrong....
Guarding Against Corruption in Television & Digital Media
Step One: Pray• Pray for wisdom to know what to watch, and self control to abstain.• Pray for consistency in maintaining God’s standards.• Pray that no other hero overshadows the true God in your child’s life.• Pray for appropriate guidelines for television viewing.
Step Two: Affirm God’s Values Together• Continue family Bible study.• Discuss these questions: What do you remember best from a movie or television program—the good values or the shocking violence? What do you forget? What could help you remember the good things and overlook evil?
• Discuss news reports and other information. Is all of it true or might there be distortions? Finding the truth in the midst of all the editorializing is work. But work we must, or the media will mold our thinking....
Step Three: Train Your Child to Discern Deception
Teach your child to be a scout for God—one who notices every message that wages war against against God's truth and has learned to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16).
1. Does it picture obscenity, nudity, sex, cruelty, and violence?...
5. Does good win over evil? Does it show your child that there are consequences for violating God’s standards?
6. Do you hear references to New Age phrases such as “higher intelligence,” “past lives” (reincarnation), “mind evolution,” and “perfection” as can be experienced through magic and counterfeit powers? These are rampant in many space fantasies.
7. Does it emphasize occult power? Our children must learn to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16).
8. Does it pass the test of Philippians 4:8?“[W]hatsoever things are true . . . honest . . . just . . . pure . . .lovely . . . good report . . . virtue . . . think on these things.”