Tag Archives: Devil

Bad Parts vs Good Parts: Did Slender Man Make Them Do It?

slender man

Two days ago, a 13-year-old girl put on a white mask, waited for her mother to come home, and attacked her with a knife. The attack followed one from a week ago, when two 12-year-old girls lured one of their friends into the woods on a sleepover, stabbed her 19 times, and left her for dead in the bushes. Thankfully, the girl crawled to safety and survived. What was the reason for these unthinkable attacks? The “Slender Man” made them do it!

Slender Man (also known as Slenderman), is a relatively new, internet based version of the “Boogie Man.” But the “Boogie Man” was primarily a way to scare children into behaving at night, not an excuse for murder. This week’s 13 year old attacker was said to have been influenced by Slender Man, and last week’s 12-year-old attackers were hopeful to gain favor from Slender Man by murdering their friend.

Our initial reaction might be anger: “Why are 12-year-old girls visiting horror sites on the internet?” Perhaps we are simply heartbroken for these girls as well as for their victims. Certainly, their lives and their view of the world will forever be scarred by these incidents. But in seeking to understand, and in searching for answers, how should the Christian respond to these latest challenges to our sense of morality and values? Is there anything new to all of this? Or is it just, “the Devil made me do it!” all over again?

People have been shirking personal responsibility for thousands of years. In the days of the early church, James reminded his readers not to blame God or the devil for sin, but to take personal responsibility. When we become “carried away and enticed by [our] own lust,” and that lust “has conceived” and given birth to sin, that accomplished sin will lead to death (James 1:13-15).

What peaked my interest, though, was not the blame game aspect of this story, but how one of the girls said in her confession, “The bad part of me wanted her to die, the good part of me wanted her to live.” There was a battle going on in her between “good” and “bad” parts. And truth be told, the Christian must admit that a battle rages within each of us. The heart wrenching thing is to see it begin in those so young.

The Apostle Paul recognized this battle in Romans chapter 7:14-25. The crux of that argument is: “For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.” His conclusion? “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” that Paul could be set free from the wretchedness of a life enslaved to sin.

We each have to deal with fleshly, sinful lusts and passions. Some days, sin seems to be our master. But we would do well to remember that we have been freed from the mastery of sin and have become willing bondservants to righteousness. We have a higher, spiritual purpose and an eternal soul worth protecting. Not God, not the devil, not the Boogie Man, nor the Slender Man…no one is responsible for my sin other than me. And I have the strength to rebuke sin through Jesus Christ who gives me strength to do all things (Philippians 4:13).

So, how should the Christian respond? Where will I direct the impressionable minds of my children? To Philippians 4:8. And I will remind them to view and concentrate on the things that are “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.” Avoid sin for as long as possible and whenever possible. Accept personal responsibility when you do sin. Embrace the grace and mercy of Christ. And pray for the safeguarding of innocence in our young people.

Honor Flight

Honor_Flight_t607This past week, almost seventy years ago, on April 30, 1945, Adolph Hitler went into his bunker, poisoned himself, his dogs, and his mistress, Eva Braun, and then shot himself, ending the idea of a 1,000 year Reich and his “superior” race. He was a sociopath, a true megalomaniac; he had absolutely no remorse or feelings for the millions of lives he destroyed.

Thankfully, there were those who were willing to go to their deaths, fighting against his tyranny and genocidal conquest. They were called the greatest generation, and they deserve recognition for their service and their sacrifice. And, thanks to a program that has really “taken off” over the last several years, these veterans are getting honored in a way that many never expected.

You see, as I post this article, five WWII and Korean War veterans are headed from our Rock Hill, SC area to Washington, DC. They will experience the great joy of taking an “honor flight.” The Honor Flight program honors veterans and thanks them for their service by bringing them to visit the memorials that were built for them and their fellow veterans.

As the web page for the Honor Flight states, “Of all of the wars in recent memory, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation—and as a culturally diverse, free society.” With approximately 640 WWII veterans passing away each day, there is not much time left to honor these brave veterans who were a part of the “greatest generation.”

I wonder if their example speaks to the church today. As we fight against the original megalomaniac, Satan, will we look to their example? Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” In other words, our fight is a spiritual one, against an enemy who will never quit or commit suicide. It is a war against sin.

Will there be some among this generation who face the challenge to fight Satan and the power of sin? Will this be a “great generation” of those who are worthy to receive a crown of righteousness? And, if we remain faithful; if we “fight the good fight;” if we rise to the challenge of the spiritual fight…then what? A spiritual “honor flight” waits for us too!

Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4: 17, “Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” What a glorious day that will be. Reject Satan and his works; trust in Jesus and His righteousness; and remain faithful in the fight against sin, even unto death. Will you be on that flight? Will the Son of Man find faith in this generation? I pray we will be up to the challenge.