I am still traveling for the next several days but wanted to take the opportunity to address the Pokémon Go craze that is literally sweeping the world and offer a resource for those who may need one.

In short, to play the game users download the Pokémon Go app to their IPhone or Android phones. Then they begin hunting down 150 different Pokémon creatures capturing them in virtual reality. Pokémon Go is unlike any other game or fad we have seen because the game is based on a players whereabouts and users need to actually go to particular locations to capture the virtual Pokémon. Various Pokémon appear on their screens as they hunt in places like offices, schools, hospitals, businesses, parks, backyards, freeways - everywhere and anywhere. Many users have been meeting together at key locations such as well-known landmarks in their quest to electronically gather Pokeballs.

The balls are then hurled (virtually, of course) at the game's Pokémon characters to capture them. Players often visit sites such as churches, which digitally become "gyms," where battles are fought. (Huh? What are Christians doing playing a game that has its basis in the occult - and doing so in Church? More on the spiritual implications in moment.)

Just how big is it? Since the recent release of Pokémon Go, over $7.5 billion has been added to Nintendo's stock market value. To give you an idea of the relative popularity, the Los Angeles Times reported that downloads of Pokémon Go (over 7 million so far) are running ahead of Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram in the Google Play store and will pass Twitter soon. (http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-pokemon-go-20160711-snap-story.html)

Most players are not aware that before they even embark into the virtual world of Pokémon Go that in the user agreement allowing them to download the app they are for-fitting their privacy and possibly even the control of their phones to play the game. More worrisome to some is the fact that the company who developed the game was owned by Google! Click here for details on this disturbing factor.

Besides the notion of placing all of your private data at risk, participating in Pokémon Go has proved physically perilous for some. A pair of men fell off a cliff on July 14 while playing near a beach in the San Diego area. One of the men fell 90 feet, the other 50. One was found unconscious and both were taken to a hospital with unspecified trauma injuries. As I write there is no word on their particular conditions.

A New York man escaped with just minor injuries when he crashed his car into a tree while playing the game. His car wasn't as fortunate (see picture here).

Armed robbers in Missouri used the app to lure victims to isolated locations, police said. Others have been injured chasing the imaginary characters without paying attention to their real-life surroundings.

Stores and malls are reporting a marked increase of foot traffic and a unique security issue because of the game. Kids and adults on a quest to capture the virtual Pokémon creatures are so intense that they sometimes stumble down stairs, knock down other patrons, and even end up behind store counters or in offices marked "employees only." If Pokémon Go had arrived on the scene just a few months ago then reports of men being found in women's rest rooms would probably be surfacing but now that's a sad accepted practice in a culture resembling ancient Sodom!

Police in Darwin, Australia, said they have discovered people trying to find Pokémon characters at their police building, and have since posted signs that the station house is off limits to Pokémon Go fanatics.

Police did offer the following advice to Pokémon Go players:

- Don't play the game while driving a car or bicycle.

- Don't trespass on private property just to "catch" a Pokemon.

- Avoid staring down at your phone and be aware of hazards like roadways, drop-offs and waterways.

- Be cautious of who you share your location with.

- Don't travel alone.


Besides the possibility of the development of various problems for some players such as emotional issues (because of an individual's prowess in playing) or eye problems (due to the strain of watching a screen for long periods, especially at night), Pokémon Go may present perverts and pedophiles with unusual opportunities to prey upon victims.

However, most players have no biblical understanding of just what they may be embracing. That's expected in the secular world. But many Christians seem to have a problem with just jumping in the pool before checking to see if there are sharks present!

Pokémon Go was developed by Niantic Inc. and is funded by Nintendo. However, the original Pokémon franchise was developed by Wizards of the Coast, who gave the world the occult games, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS and MAGIC THE GATHERING. Pokémon comes from a long line of anti-Christian, occult, and evolutionary developmentFor example, did you know that the very word Pokémon means "pocket monster" - i.e. "demon?"

To help readers understand more about Pokémon I want to offer free access to a chapter from my book Entertaining Spirits Unaware: The End-Time Occult Invasion, titled "The Weird World of Pokémon." It is one of multiple sections in the book where I dealt with Pokémon, the popular Yu-Gi-Oh game/cards/TV show, and the Anime & Manga genre in general.

Read or download the chapter "The Weird World of Pokémon" HERE

Two quick points as I close.

I realize that many reject warning like this and accuse us of just being "against everything." Still, I gotta say it: Christians playing Pokémon Go need to consider the occult roots of Pokémon. Defending it is akin to putting lipstick on a pig. I've heard "it's only a game" or "it's just fantasy" more times than you can imagine yet where does the Bible give us license to ignore God's warnings and strong condemnation of the occult just because something may be fantasy - or virtual? (Read Ephesians 5:1-7)

Second, let's add up the sheer amount of time we're spending on stuff like Pokémon Go. The word "idolatry" comes to mind and instead of focusing on our mission in the last days we are going to great lengths literally running around attempting to capture a virtual demon. How Satan must be pleased.

Special Needs in a Perilous Time 

The summer months usually present unique financial challenges for ministries and this year is certainly no different. However, it is summer just before a national election - perhaps the most unpredictable time for those of us who depend of free-will giving to sustain our work.

This year, however, is a very unusual election cycle unlike any other I have ever seen and we are feeling the affects. We are also seeing an increase of "perilous times" all around and the shortage we are experiencing is perhaps partially due to the events happening at the moment in our country and around the world.

The opposition to those of us unwilling to budge on the absolute authority of the Bible is increasing. The "birth pangs" Jesus warned of are speeding up and those of us who monitor such can barely keep up with the events.

At every turn and with each passing day I am reminded of just how imperative the work of Take A Stand! Ministries is in these closing days of the Church Age. The harvest fields are white - yet the world and many in the Church continue just as "in the days of Noah."

So, when there is a need as there is now, we turn to God and trust Him for the provision to meet every need - through the participation of His people

I have been on the road in ministry for a week and will be for one more visiting Dr. David Reagan's yearly Bible Conference and our friends at City Chapel church in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area this weekend. There is no time to slow down and I'm grateful to the Lord that the lingering effects of both my van accident in April (scroll down below the article on Prince for pictures) and retina surgery in March are minimal. (We have not been able to replace our van but for now we've shuffled things a bit and I'll just be driving our nearly-retired 1998 Plymouth Grand Voyager.)

Take A Stand TV is finally going to launch in the coming weeks. But getting this project up and running has taken longer than we anticipated and our reserve has been used up along the way.

In short, we could really use your prayers and special gifts right about now.

Would you stop and pray for us and also consider making a special gift to Take A Stand right now? It will be received as from the Lord and used to see the ministry through this slow summer season.

Your gifts are completely tax deductible and can be made securely here online or by sending your check to the address below.

God bless you and thanks very much!

Eric & Melanie

Take A Stand! Ministries | PO Box 279 - Spanaway, WA 98387 | www.ericbarger.com