November 20, 2006

Understanding Hidden Dangers Part 2

Written By Cary Schmidt

A Four Part Series of Articles for Discerning Parents

In last months article we began a four-part series on the hidden dangers that Satan uses to drive a wedge between a teenager’s heart and spiritual things. These are the things that sometimes appear innocent or faddish on the surface, but in reality they are “back-doors” into the heart of a teen, and they give way to spiritual strongholds that often catch parents by surprise.

As we ask the Lord for discernment, I believe there are three primary “kinds” of hidden dangers that catch families by surprise.

The first hidden danger is what I would call “Satanic Danger.” These things don’t always appear to be directly “satanic” on the surface. But clearly, they have a direct link to satanic or demonic influences in the heart.

Ephesians 6:12 teaches us clearly “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Again in 2 Corinthians 10:4, Paul wrote, “…(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)”

Lest you think I’m merely being sensational or spooky—take God at His Word. Accept the truth that there is a dark, spiritual enemy fighting hard for the heart of your teenager. Our goal as parents and youth workers must be to vigilantly stand guard over young hearts—to recognize that we fight an invisible foe who is aggressive and cunning. This battle is spiritual! We must open our eyes and see our true enemy for who he is—for only then can we resist his attacks.

While it seems the Devil’s tricks are innumerable, there are a few that stand out blatantly to me in my ongoing work with families. What are these “Satanic Dangers?” Let’s examine a few.

Role Playing Games. There are many, but the most popular are Pokemon, YuGiOh, and Dungeons and Dragons. These types of games are purely satanic in their origin, but they are cleverly disguised. Without a doubt they open the heart to spiritual oppressive influences and they become strongholds in young lives. Parent, act now to guard your children and rid their hearts of any traces of these types of games.

Dark or Violent Online or Video Games.
These games become obsessions. They possess the heart at a level that only the Holy Spirit should, and they often become the breeding ground for anger, rebellion, and enormous future problems. Be intimately aware of every game your child plays and make sure it isn’t remotely connected with dark kinds of violence. I’d say you’re pretty safe with football, basketball, and PGA golf! Suffice to say, we’ve come a long way since “Super Mario Brothers!”

Heavy Metal and Dark Music. While there are many forms of harmful music, this kind is blatantly and unapologetically satanic in nature. The performers, writers, and producers will openly admit this. If this has a place in your teen’s life, it is a direct link to satanic influences and you must act immediately to remove it.

Fascination with Wicked Men or Events. Why do kids idolize Hitler, draw Satanic symbols on their notebooks, and relish horrific historic events? It stems directly from demonic activity in the heart. There’s no other rational explanation for these weird fascinations. This is obviously more of a fruit than a root, but beware if your teen is into these things—something very dark is happening in the heart.

Association with Dark-Minded Friends. Many parents don’t feel that they have the right to control their child’s friendships, but you must! If your teen gravitates to the wrong crowd, you must intervene. You must fight to regain influence in their hearts and to rebuild the damaged relationship. Kids usually choose these friends because their relationships at home are nearly non-existent. Rebuild your relationship and ask God to break down this stronghold.

Fascination with Dark or Violent Entertainment. Demonic and cultic movies, dark TV shows, and Stephen King novels are nothing to play with. These things all have a strong and satanic affect on the heart. The entertainment value or emotional thrill surely isn’t worth the spiritual danger! These things corrupt the heart and numb it from being sensitive to God.

Media about Witchcraft, Demonism, or Sorcery.
The most popular book series for children in today’s culture is the Harry Potter series. Witchcraft and sorcery are dangerous in any form, no matter how entertaining or playful. While these forms of entertainment appear to be mere fantasy, there’s a reality behind it all that is deeply dangerous.

Fixation with Wearing Black. Again, this is more of an indicator than a cause, but it is enough to cause deep concern. I’m not saying there’s something sinful about wearing black. I’m saying that Satanic involvement in young lives often manifests itself with a fixation for black. Visit a mall and study the crowd dressed in black. Years ago I did a funeral for a young teen killed in an automobile accident. At the graveside I spent an hour talking with one of her satanist friends—who confirmed with me that teens who consistently dress in black are almost always involved in the occult. This is commonly known among teens, and it’s time that parents clue in to it.

Fixation with Death, Violence, and Darkness. Look for any kind of personal infatuation with death or darkness—whether through friends, entertainment, or even personal drawings crammed into school notebooks. These things indicate a Satanic influence at the core and require immediate, prayerful intervention

Black Makeup—Especially Heavy around the Eyes. The first thing a young lady does when becoming involved with satanic music or godless influences is to place heavy outliner or dark makeup around the eyes. Bottom line—I’ve never seen this on the face of a godly, growing teenager. It always indicates a deep spiritual struggle.

These warnings may sound like paranoia or extreme-ism, but don’t be fooled. Satanic dangers open the heart and expose it to demonic oppression. Be aware of these often “hidden” issues, and ask God to give you power and courage as you intervene by His grace. Next month we’ll discover the second kind of hidden danger. May God give you wisdom in the battle!