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June 11, 2015 Comments (2) Views: 1383 Practical Living

Discipling Children about Spiritual Warfare

Recently, I discovered my 11 year old son, born again and baptized, being raised in a Christian home and a local church, participated in an effort to conjure up demons.

It would be safer for my son to poke a water moccasin with a 12 inch ruler than play “Charlie Charlie.”

Last month, Pastor Brandon told me about a popular new game students are playing called “Charlie Charlie.” Think about it as the latest version of a ouija board. Participants get a piece of paper on which they write “Charlie Charlie,” lay two pencils or straws in a cross, and then say things in hopes of getting a demon to move the pencils. From college students all the way down to apparently elementary school (my son just finished 5th grade), this game is wildly popular.

And very dangerous. If the Scriptures are true, it would be safer for my son to poke a water moccasin with a 12 inch ruler than play “Charlie Charlie.”

So, how should a parent disciple their child about demons and spiritual warfare? Here’s how we did it:

Nicole and I have a parenting “rule of thumb” from Ephesians 6:4: remain calm until you have all the facts or you will end up exasperating your child and exasperation leads to broken trust. So, never over react in the moment, even when your child says or does something outrageous. Be a duck…calm and serene above the water, paddling furiously under the water.

After learning about this game from Pastor Brandon, and knowing my son has friends with older siblings, I figured my son had at a minimum heard of the game. So, I waited until we were watching a ballgame on TV together and engaged in random chatter, and asked him, which is when he said, “oh yeah, a group of us played that at my friend’s house last week.” Inside, I almost had a coronary, but you have to be a duck, so I just said, “huh.” Then I calmly, casually asked lots of questions to clarify we were talking about the same thing and to discern how much he understood about what he had actually done: How do you set up the game? What do you have to say to conjure up demons? What happened? Who was there? Who actually played the game?

One thing became clear–he simply did not correlate the “demons” his friends were talking about poolside, in Houston, Texas, with the big, bad demons of Christ’s earthly ministry. It is one of the Achilles heels of our American Christianity–we underestimate or ignore the reality of demons and spiritual warfare in America.

The following is the logic of what we then re-discussed:

a. Demons are very real. (See countless examples throughout Scripture; I shared two with him.)

b. There are millions of demons all over the world (1/3 of all the angels God created.)

c. Demons will show up if you insist on calling them. (1 Peter 5:8, etc)

d. Demons are fiercely loyal to Satan; his devoted soldiers. (They chose Satan over God and attempted the Coup in heaven!)

e. Satan has one agenda: “the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10)

f. So, anytime a demon shows up, they have one agenda: to steal, kill, and destroy the one who conjures them up.

g. Demons are extremely powerful, far more powerful than humans (See countless examples through Scripture; I shared two with him.) Demons will haunt people and even possess them.

h. It would be safer and wiser to go to one of our neighborhood bayous and poke a water moccasin with a short stick than to try and conjure up a demon.

i. Your only safety from demons is to stay away from anything to do with them and stay really close to Christ. They are terrified of Him. You, on the other hand, have nothing to be terrified of if you are close to Him–demons or people.

j. Action items to take in the future: never go near anything related to demons: palm readers, ouija boards, tarot cards, or “Charlie Charlie.” It is never “just a game” to demons; it is more like “game on.”  If your friends start doing these things, try to talk them out of it. If you can’t, leave. If you can’t leave, try to find one of them who agrees this isn’t right and do something else with them. If you can’t find a partner, turn away by yourself and pray.

I’m grateful that since he seems to sincerely be a Christian and it seems the Holy Spirit is in him, my son once again seemed sincerely broken, visibly moved, by the truth of the Scriptures. I have to tell you, parenting is fantastic. This was one of those moments in which I was reminded that it is so exhilarating  walking through life with your young child, raising them in the training and instruction of the Lord. It is so much like Christ and His disciples. Parents, as they are ready, put your young children into the real world, expose them to it while they are living under your roof. Discipleship cannot happen apart from the brokenness of the world; it needs to happen amidst the brokenness of the world. Your child can’t learn to swim in a raging sea by staring at it from the shore. You have to throw them into the sea and get in with them, and swim alongside them until one day they can swim alone and teach others to swim too!

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2 Responses to Discipling Children about Spiritual Warfare

  1.' Gerri Day says:

    Pastor Nathan Lino, Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m pretty sure Brad will see it but I will make sure he does. My Grandchildren are young but not too young to teach them about such dangers. I had not heard about this game. I was quite young myself when my Mother warned me about ouija boards. I am very grateful that God has given you so much wisdom to share with believers/nonbelievers. I pray I also will be like a “duck” as I face the situations in life when I think I’m going to have a “coronary” – love this illustration!

  2.' Jacob Abshire says:

    Fantastic read. I just became aware of this, too. Justus (sixth grade) had an encounter at his school.

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