Halloween Special: My Night as a Pokemon

I don’t know the exact history of Halloween, and I’m too lazy to look it up right now. I will say that as a Christian, I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with going trick-or-treating, and this is why I hated going to my church every Halloween when I was in elementary school.

I remember being in sunday school at my super conservative church and another kid telling me that on Halloween demons reach up from the ground and drag you to hell. He probably just heard this from his older brother trying to scare him, but hearing such things was not uncommon. One of the kid’s fathers wrote a book about how Pokemon was demonic, and the kid told me he would get me a copy of it for free, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, in an attempt to keep kids from going trick-or-treating, my church would throw an annual fall festival on the night of Halloween.

This festival was filled with mini games, inflatables, and raffle drawings. The reward to most of these was a piece of candy, but by the end of the night my pillow case would have only a handful of sugary delectables in it. When I got home and checked my loot, I had a similar feeling to opening a Lay’s bag of air and finding potato chips inside. Every year got more and more disappointing, especially because my costumes were pretty dope and I couldn’t show them off in their rightful place on the streets. When Pokemon was all the rage, there was a very popular charmeleon costume that was sold out everywhere, so my mom made the costume with her bare hands. It was better than the one that was sold in stores, complete with a fire tail made out of red and yellow cellophane.

Bow down to me, plant-types!

Bow down to me, plant-types!

I confidently walked through the parking lot of the church, looking down my nose at the other Pokemon.

“Look at all these dumb pikachu costumes. FLAME THROWER!”

I decided to test my powers against the closest thing we had to real Pokemon and headed straight toward the petting zoo. All these creatures were inferior. I was at least a level 16, and these goats and chickens were all levels 3 and…

munch munch munch

I turned around and saw a goat eating my cellophane flame. If you know anything about charmeleon, you know that he dies if his tail goes out.

I was dead.

That experience pretty much summed up every festival experience I had. I walked in with burning hopes and desires, walked out with nothing. Moral of the story: take your kids trick-or-treating. They’ll be okay. I promise.

Once I was in middle school, I stopped going to that festival and never returned. My mom finally let me go trick-or-treating in our neighborhood with some of the other kids. My pillow case runneth over.

Happy Halloween.

God’s Not Dead is a terrible movie

I was against the movie God’s Not Dead from the beginning. I saw the trailer and hoped nobody would ever go watch this, but, miraculously (hah), it made millions of dollars at the box office. I could tell it would be bad, and I read that it indeed was bad. I vowed never to give that type of production my money, but I kept hearing fellow Christians say stuff like, “It was good.” I was brought to my breaking point when somebody finally said, “it was so good.” That type of language is some Guardians of the Galaxy type description. I could no longer stand idly by. I needed a way to substantiate my claims that this movie should not be praised.

I immediately watched that movie. Luckily, I did not pay for it.

After the deed was done, some people questioned my actions. My good friend Thomas (also a Christian) was incredibly concerned:

I worry about you sometimes Daniel. Watching “God’s Not Dead” is definitely red flag behavior. If you need to talk about stuff, I’m here for you.

The overall message of this movie is very offensive and just wrong for several reasons. I’m going to do this buzzfeed style because that seems to be the only thing that people read nowadays.

6 Things God’s Not Dead Wants You to Take away from it:

  1. Everybody who is not Christian is amoral, insecure, abusive, selfish, greedy, and a complete douchebag.
  2. All atheists are atheists because God did not answer one of their prayers, so they are actually just mad at Him.
  3. Every atheist is on the verge of becoming a Christian.
  4. The best way for somebody to be converted to Christianity is if they are put in some sort of mortal peril (ex. cancer).
  5. Arguing is the best way to get people to believe in God.
  6. Christians don’t need to talk about Jesus when trying to make a case for God.

The main issue is that if I were to change the title of this list to 6 Things Christians Should Stop Thinking Are True, most Christians who knew what the heck they believe in would agree. But no. People see a movie that is supposedly “Christian” and think that it is speaking truth.

Here are some specific reasons this movie does a poor job of portraying true Christian faith, misrepresents other people groups, and tells a bad story:

  1. One of the character explicitly says that all atheists got that way because they are mad at God. Not true at all.
  2. The rich and greedy atheist hated his mother apparently because she had dementia and prayed.
  3. The ministers tried to rent a car. The rental guy drove the car to them and sat stranded as they drove off.
  4. The professor had a change of heart and decided to go find his Christian, live-in girlfriend at a Newsboys concert with thousands of people in attendance and no ticket.
  5. The atheist reporter lady only comes to Christ once she finds out she is dying because why not.
  6. What happened to the main character’s girlfriend after she dumped him. Probably died. She was actually a horrible character and actress.
  7. The guy from Duck Dynasty is in it.
  8. There was a fobby Asian student literally says, “I have placed out of all my core classes, including math and chemistry.”
  9. The Islamic father beats and kicks out his daughter once he finds out she’s Christian.
  10. A freshman in college doesn’t really put up great arguments against his professor. He just gets his professor to admit that his mommy died and then pokes at that nerve until he breaks in front of the whole class.
  11. The movie asks you to text everybody in your phone, “God’s Not Dead.” I’m sure that will go over very well.

Christians are already portrayed negatively in the media by many non-Christian productions. It’s very sad that even a Christian production can’t get it right either. God’s Not Dead leaves out the grace, love, and compassion that Christ came down to teach us while we were still sinners. This movie would be much more interesting if the protagonist struggled with the fact that people who do not know Jesus are just as moral as he is. It would be a humbling and true story, and it would also give the film a chance to explain what Christ has done for us. We don’t need more Christian propaganda that more often than not turns people from the church. For now, I’m just going to keep watching The Prince of Egypt until something better comes out.

TL;DR – God’s Not Dead is a smug Christian movie made for smug Christians to get them to believe that everybody who isn’t Christian is a smug, insecure prick. It barely mentions Jesus, is unbiblical, and insults every group of people that it wants us to reach out to and save. God help all the sunday school classes that will show this to their kids.