There’s a new sensation among teenagers and young adults. I just found out about it earlier this week so that means it’s probably not really all that new. Tip: When you’re over 30 and you read about some new sensation among teenagers and young adults, they’ve probably been partaking in whatever sensation it is for a year or two by the time you find out about it.
This sensation has nothing to do with some drug named after a girl or games that involve knocking out unsuspecting women and elderly people.
This one is much more dangerous.
It’s called the Charlie Charlie Challenge.
In this challenge, participants make a cross out of two pencils on a sheet of paper. They then record themselves asking a Mexican demon named Charlie if he is present. The words yes and no are written in the four squares on the paper. If the pencil moves to the yes, the words are erased and more questions are asked. With this being recorded and everything, all of the world gets to watch the participants get freaked out when Charlie answers.
Think of it as this generation’s ouija board.
A quick word to this generation. You want nothing to do with Charlie.
I’ve been in the ministry for 15 years. I’m hardly an expert but I’ve seen a few things. I’ve experienced things that can only be attributed to demonic activity. Such occasions have been extremely rare. They have also been extremely frightening.
There is a more common way that I have seen the demonic at work.
I have seen it at work as seemingly healthy marriages fall apart.
I have seen it at work in churches where people fight for personal gain like they were in the WWE’s Royal Rumble.
I have seen it at work in addicts who know that they are killing themselves but just can’t stop it.
I don’t know where the name Charlie came from. I just know that you don’t want to play with him. There is nothing fun about this. The end game is only death and destruction.
“But,” you might say, “I’m a Christian. Charlie has no power over me. I can make him go away whenever I want.”
Sure thing. Just tell that to Sceva and his seven sons. But try not to let the nudity bother you.
And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Acts 19:11-17 (ESV)
Charlie might jump out of the computer and master you so that you run away naked and wounded. But more likely, if you continue to play with Charlie, you’ll just walk away wounded.
A few nights ago I watched a documentary about a guy who lived with bears. It ended the way all documentaries about guys who live with bears ends. Spoiler alert. He died. The bears killed him. It’s tragic but it’s not a surprise.
The same will be true of you if you continue to take the Charlie Charlie Challenge. Whether physically or spiritually, you will die. It will be tragic. But it won’t be a surprise.
Bears kill and eat men who try to live with them.
Demons devour people who try to play with them.
It’s just what they do.
In Christ, Christians have power over Satan (Colossians 2:15). But that power does not give us license to play with fire. Instead, it gives us confidence to fight our own sin and love our neighbor as we seek to glorify Jesus.
Without Christ, you are a slave to Satan. He has blinded you from seeing the futility of your ways (2 Corinthians 4:4). On your own, he has complete power over you.
And you can be sure of this. Call him Charlie if you want but he is listening. And whatever questions you ask, you’re not going to like the answers.
So instead of taking the Charlie Charlie Challenge, take time to humble yourself before Jesus, the real Master, and ask him to protect you.
Challenge or no challenge, you’re going to need it.