The Devil Made Them Do It. Was Charlie Challenge a Movie Marketing Campaign? Does it Matter?


Eonline is reporting the so-called Charlie Challenge was just a viral marketing campaign by Warner Bros to promote a new horror film.

A new teaser for Warner Bros. upcoming horror film The Gallows was released right in the thick of the Charlie Charlie brouhaha, and it featured a much creepier version of the game with a much more upsetting outcome than just students shrieking and running from the room.

People who are comforted by this news, I would argue, are still missing the point.  A lot of commenters to my original Charlie posts–especially atheists–attempted to pooh-pooh all the original fuss by simply saying, “It’s not a demon.  It’s just someone blowing the pencils/physics/gravity.”  In their haste to make fun of the naivete of Christians, these so-called “brights”, as usual, missed the elephant in the room.  I agreed then that the Charlie Challenge–whether a manifestation of spiritual or human manipulation–was a lot of silliness, but that was never the point.  As I particularly noted in my second post last week on the “Charlie Challenge” , the real problem with “games” like this is that they are inappropriate attempts to satisfy a spiritual longing that can only be satisfied by God.  Whether these methods of divination are “real” or just cons, they are still evil, because they turn our hearts and minds away from the only source of true knowledge about living both an authentic and abundant life.

Of course, 99.9% of fortune tellers, seers, horoscopes, and other forms of divination are complete and utter frauds.  But the fact that something is fakery doesn’t mean it is not dangerous–spiritually or otherwise.  Is it really “not dangerous” if a mom who can barely make ends meet spends her family’s hard earned money on some con woman with a crystal ball who promises she can give the mom the spiritual inside scoop on her life?  Is it really “not dangerous” to teach a bunch of kids to value superstition over prayerful discernment by allowing them to play a game that purports to help them know the mind of a demon–even if that “demon” is just some kid shaking the table?  Is it really “not dangerous” to encourage a person who is suffering with real medical issues to receive quack treatments like Reiki which, even if they aren’t spiritually suspect (which they are), have no medical data to support them?

The point is, even when we are playing at divination, it is still problematic because we distract ourselves from turning to God and other legitimate, natural sources for guidance and healing and we make a mockery out of spiritual realities that deserve our respect.

Christians shouldn’t live in fear of the devil living behind every corner, but they shouldn’t make a game out of discernment and spirituality.  To do so leads us and our kids to believe that the spiritual life is little more than a vending machine.  Push this planchette, mutter these formulas, get your spiritual candy bar.   But that isn’t what the life of faith is all about and pretending that it is–even if it doesn’t directly involve evil spirits–is still demonic.