Satan’s Secret Playground
Several recent experiences have propelled me to write on the hidden (and not so hidden) dangers facing even our little people when they are out in our local communities with us.
I call these areas, where perils lurk but are covered with a sugar coating, Satan’s secret playground. For just as he enticed Eve with beautiful fruit, so he would like to entice our dear little ones with that playground appeal.
I’m not talking about ugly and frightening pictures or toys, satanic looking creatures or half-animal, half-people toys and pictures. Most of our children would stay clear of those things, treating them as they should, like the poison they are. I’m not even talking about the cute looking but loaded with sorcery characters such as Cinderella, Care Bears, mystical unicorns, or spell-casting princesses. The parents who have studied what God’s word has to say on sorcery, spell casting and necromancy cannot be fooled by such witchcraft wrapped in innocent looking surroundings.
I am thinking about the activities, decorations, books, toys, songs, jingles and sayings that are constantly being used in public to appeal to children and to draw them away from the Creator God and away from the truths of the Bible. This playground of Satan seems to attack a wide variety of Bible teachings, while hiding under the guise of being colorful, fun, happy, loving, unselfish, tolerant (now considered the highest calling of humans) and peaceable. But it is only a disguise.
I had mentioned that two recent events made me give more consideration to this subject. The first involved a children’s playroom in a hospital. Recently I walked into such a playroom to see if I would be able to sit in there with my children for a short time while waiting to see someone. I had some doubts, which is why I went “scouting” while the children waited by the door. My husband wasn’t with us or he would have done this, as he is very dedicated to us in these areas. As expected the room had been designed with tremendous child appeal: bright colors, animals wearing clothes and doing human-like activities, and plenty of signs, pictures and poems about how special the children are. And they are special! But something about the poems was “off.” Much of the atmosphere was against the Kingdom of God.
My heart sank as I viewed the many toys, games and books that were blatantly satanic or subtly New Age. At that moment I spotted a hardback book on the sofa which had a bookmark in it and an interesting title containing the words “Final Judgement.” It looked like it was targeted more for adults or youth. Wondering what someone might have been reading aloud to children concerning that day in the future, I opened to the marked page and began to scan. Nausea hit me as I realized it was a detailed pornographic description involving perversion and fornication. Quickly shutting it, I stared again at the title and saw that, though I was thinking of the great final judgement, this book was obviously not referring to that day when the author himself will face the judgement concerning his writings. May he repent and be mercifully saved before that time!
How my heart aches for the children who are sometimes left alone or with siblings in playrooms while their parents visit the sick or take care of a hospitalized family member or simply chat unknowingly nearby. Oh what a tragedy for a child to pollute his mind like this and possibly suffer the consequence of a dulled conscience for years to come. But there were also many other less dramatic dangers in that room.
Am I being too negative, or harshly judging the possibly well-meaning people who work hard to decorate, donate and set up these and other playrooms or waiting areas now commonly seen in medical offices, chiropractors, shoe stores, fabric shops, etc.? That is not my heart. Most of these people are ignorant in these areas and need to be saved and given wisdom from above. I am not against these people; rather I want us to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. This assault against our children will only get worse, and we must not let our guard down. We need to be diligent to protect their purity and to protect them from the onslaught of anti-biblical teaching by both keeping our little ones away from it and at the same time teaching our young ones, as they grow, to recognize and avoid evil.
Another enlightening experience took place in a medical clinic. Passing an area entitled “Family Materials and Resources” (somewhat like a large tract rack!), I saw a brightly decorated book with pictures of what looked like “loving, understanding and tolerant” parents. I was shocked to see the title: Understanding and accepting Your Young Homosexual Child. These booklets are appearing more and more frequently in public areas such as libraries, waiting rooms, etc. It is Satan’s playground, and he wishes to deceive our children and destroy our biblical teachings.
At this point you may think we wouldn’t be seeing these things if we would wisely stay at home and away from the medical world or other public places. This may be true, but there are some cases where we will find ourselves out there in that world: when visiting and ministering to the sick, or experiencing an accident or other situation, or simply on outings with the children. We want to enjoy these times with our children, yet remain prayerful and vigilant while also maintaining a testimony for Jesus, the Hope of the world.
Besides these blatant examples of evil being fanned before the eyes of children, here are many quieter everyday examples. Following are some of the subtle themes being used to draw our children. (Satan has come to lie, steal and kill.)
There are billboards, which glamorize children who are disrespectful to parents. How far we have come from the Bible truths of honoring parents. Last year’s advertising campaign for a new “adult” sandwich at a popular food chain involved large pictures of children rolling their eyes, sticking out their tongues and defiantly saying to their parents, “No way—gross—yuck—never!” The punch line was that the children will hate this new sandwich, but we adults will appreciate it. Worldly children across America solemnly take in this same message on T-shirts, comic strips, TV shows and movies. The message is this: it is normal and cute when children are rebels.
Another common theme that runs parallel to the “rebels are cute” theme is the “boys will be boys” theme in which impertinent, independent, sassy boys and girls are portrayed as good, and wholesome and submissive children are portrayed as wimpy and robot-like. More and more Satan is using this subtle contradiction to God’s teaching of reverence and honor for parents and authorities. How often the children’s books of today, even so-called children’s classics, lift up children who are not following God’s order and plan for them. The countless role models of literature and advertising make it hard for girls to believe that God’s desire for women to have gentle, sweet, submissive spirits is true for today. And for boys, the “rebelliousness is simply boyishness” theme makes it hard to believe that God still desires men to be meek, yet bold, lovers of their wives, sound in doctrine, submissive to authority and having a passion for souls! Again the truth is twisted.
Another common theme prevalent in advertising and in many of the sugarcoated children’s books is that children are wise and parents are stupid. Parents bumble through in these stories and the wise children save the day while the silly old parents hardly know what happened. In real life this produces children who seek the advice of peers rather than desiring to seek the wisdom of their parents and older brethren in the church.
Still another popular but unbiblical themes is that things of nature, especially animals, are good while man is evil (Bambi, Jungle Book and many more modern books and stories). True, man is sinful and in need of a Savior. But “Satan’s playground” greatly warps the Biblical view of man subduing the earth by elevating nature over man.
The most dangerous of all the themes presented to children today and the most prevalent is, “You are a good child and you never do anything wrong. You are sometimes different and sometimes a little naughty and funny (exchangeable character traits in the mindset of the world) but never do you really do wrong or sin.” Oh may we save our children from this message from the devil, which keeps them from seeing the redemption of a living Savior, who had to step into our place and take our punishment in order to atone for our sins—all because God loves us and wants to have fellowship with us.
What are we to do in the midst of the deceptive assault aimed at drawing our children away from the truth? It seems that we need to be aware that there are forces pulling against the Word of God. We must pray diligently and teach truth. We must let our children see that we love the Word and that most of all we love our Savior and want to please Him in all things. May we, as mothers, do our part in the home to provide our children with a joyful, Christ-centered home life and with the love, prayer, fellowship, protection and teaching that will protect them from the wiles of the devil and lead them towards a life of full surrender to Jesus.
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