A woman wrote to our ministry recently to ask for advice about a young family member who was very much into the game, Magic: The Gathering.
I would shut down the playing of this game as soon as possible. As you'll read later in this post, it has caused problems in children who just want to have fun and don't realize how harmful it can be to play a game that requires you to play the role of a sorcerer who uses magic powers to slay their enemies. Let's face it, children receive their first indoctrination into the occult through games such as this, Ouija boards, and occult-based video and card games. So it can never be harmless to let kids play with these games.
Thanks to the excellent research of Marcia Montenegro and her blog, Christian Answers to the New Age (one of my favorite sources for information about the occult and New Age), I can report that this game was created in 1993 by a mathematician and Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast named Richard Garfield. Sold by Wizards of the Coast, it is a trading card game using cards that are linked to five different kinds of magic (as in sorcery, not tricks) which are labeled as "red, blue, green, white or black." Players, who represent sorcerers, use the cards to destroy their opponent before their opponent destroys them, mostly through the use of spells, enchantments and fantasy creatures such as Chaos, Orb, Bad Moon and Animate Dead. Some of the cards in this game specifically call for "demonic consultation" and sport pentagrams on the back of the cards.The game overtly promotes a variety of occult themes such as Satanism, witchcraft and demonic possession.
"Like Dungeons & Dragons, the famed role-playing game, Magic is a challenging game that calls for intricate strategy and shrewd plays," Montenegro writes. "However, that strategy is worked out within the dark context of the occult."
She goes on to posit another type of game - called Pusher - in which players pretend to be dealers rather than sorcerers. "Each player is a drug dealer trying to win by selling the most drugs and getting rid of the competition. The game could be made complex by introducing challenges from the law, prison, gangs, impure products, etc. So, how comfortable would you be playing Pusher? Would the message against drugs and the role of pretending to sell drugs seem hypocritical to you? Sorcery is no less dangerous and no more moral than drugs; in fact, there is a long-time connection between the two."
The fact that this game has caused problems in children is well documented. Consider the case of the Pound Ridge Elementary School in Pound Ridge, New York.
In 1995, Magic: The Gathering became very popular among the students. Designed as an exciting new way to teach mathematics. Here's what Steve Kosser, a school psychologist, told CBN News (Christian Broadcasting Network) about the game: "This is not a game like chess where you are attacking pieces on a board. This is a game where you're attacking your living, breathing opponent by using devils to conjure demons and cast spells."
Teachers actually made this game part of the curriculum for gifted children. Parents might not have known about it at all except that some of the kids began having nightmares. Two of their parents, Cecile Dinozzi and Mary Ann Dibari, began probing into what was actually going on at the school and found the curriculum contained other New Age and occult teachings as well.
According to CBN, the parents eventually filed suit in federal court against the school district, alleging that they were promoting New Age occultism. Their filing was full of examples that I found so shocking I actually read the story twice to be sure I read it correctly. For instance, according to Dinozzi and Dibari, school officials actually invited a New Age crystal healer and a psychic to speak at the school. Third graders were taught how to tell fortunes and read tarot cards. Fourth graders were taken on a field trip to a graveyard where, according to an eyewitness, they were told to walk into the tombs of children and lie down on the grave "to see if you could fit in the little child's coffin." Fourth graders were also given an assignment to write a poem entitled, "How God Messed Up." Fifth graders were taught to perform Aztec rituals, including one that conjured up the dead, while sixth graders spent three months learning about all of the pagan gods who are central to New Age occultism.
"We've got a case where well-meaning teachers are literally dabbling in occult activities to try to keep their kids interested in what they're studying," Kosser told CBN. "At the same time, they're leading the children toward a greater appreciation of occult stuff." He adds: "Any parent that is shocked to discover that this stuff is happening in the schools is basically being naive. The schools exist in the popular culture."
That was almost thirty years ago and it only takes a brief glance at the nightly news to discover how much worse it is today with occult-based video games and books now among the most popular entertainment choices for children.
Magic: The Gathering, is just one more example of a "toy" that doesn't belong in the hands of children!
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