You might not know what hashtag CharlieCharlieChallenge means, but chances are your school-aged child does. According to the Washington Post, it has been tweeted over 1.6 million times. And, “more people are Googling ‘Charlie Charlie’ than virtually any other news event.” It’s an old legend and schoolyard game that has been around for a very long time, mostly in Spanish-language culture. It’s a simple game really, two pencils placed on top of one another on a paper with the words “yes” and “no” on four corners. In séance-like fashion participants summons the demon Charlie to turn the pencils to tell their fortunes.
Now, the challenge has become viral. Millions of kids are updating their Instagram accounts and Facebook pages with videos of their attempts to summon demonic spirits. While many people may say this is just a silly game, or hoax, I fear it is yet another way for the enemy to familiarize our children with occult darkness. We know this generation is drawn to the sensational, and to the supernatural. They like shock and awe and the bigger the risk the better the reward in social media.
A generation ago, we may have heard stories of kids playing with Ouija boards or something similar, but there was always a certain hesitancy, even among the non-churched kids, a bit a fear, or reticence to get mixed up with that type of thing. Sure, there was always a group of kids who pushed the limits, but they were the minority. Today, a quick search of Charlie Charlie Challenge videos will show you that most of these kids don’t fear evil at all. They are drawn to it. They’ve been raised with access to violent media. They’re literature, cartoons, toys and video games are full of vampires, witches, warlocks and wizards. It may be easy to write this off this as just another Internet meme, just a game, just another fad, but really? Will we who are raising children in these last days, in perilous times, will we be so easily dismissive of darkness and the occult? We cannot allow it to become the norm for demons to be invoked on our playgrounds.
We cannot just assume our Christian children will naturally shy away from these things. They need our parental direction, our guidance and our leadership. Darkness cannot be our plaything. Our homes cannot be filled with entertainment that glorifies the occult and then expect that our children will grow to glorify God. We must explain where this type of thing leads us in culture and in our hearts. Church culture has become so obsessed with teaching the love and grace of God that we have neglected the teaching of the fear of God. We don’t want our kids to be afraid of God so we fail to talk about Satan, about evil, and about hell – and we are doing them a grave disservice. We must be concerned about restoring the fear of God into the hearts of our children. Not so they live a life of guilt or shame, but so that they feel conviction and hesitation at Satan’s luring. It is our duty to show the contrast between holy and unholy, good and evil, right and wrong. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10). Left to their own devices they will be ensnared away.