The Charlie Charlie challenge starts like this: someone grabs a piece of paper and draws four sections on it. They write no/yes in opposite corners. Then someone stacks two pencils on the sections like a cross and chants for Charlie, a Mexican demon to come and answer the questions asked. There are also specific instructions as to how to say goodbye to Charlie when one finishes the game.
The challenge has swept social media as teens record whether or not this demon answers their questions and post it on their favorite sites. The reactions range from ridiculous to terrified.
What is concerning is the lack of discernment and knowledge when it comes to playing with things of a demonic nature. Most participating think it is harmless, but there are real spiritual consequences to a game like this.
Scripture is clear about the devil being the enemy and him having an army of demons that work to do his bidding. Here are just a few places where the devil and demons are mentioned:
- Jesus calls the devil the ruler of this world and tells His disciples that he must be cast down.
- Demons cry out at the presence of Jesus and beg to be thrown out of people.
- In Acts, the Sons of Sceva attempted to throw demons out of someone, and they jumped out of the person and beat the sons until they were naked and wounded.
- Peter tells us the devil is a roaring lion, seeking to devour anyone he can.
- Paul reminds us that we do not battle against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places. This fight is why the full armor of God is necessary.
The point is that demons are real. They aren’t harmless. It is important that we educate the kids in our churches about the reality of the devil. We need to show our children that a union with Jesus, knowing Him and His word is the only way to have authority over him.
Part of the good news of the gospel is that Jesus came to heal and to free those oppressed by the devil. To equip those in the church to stand against him. Jesus Himself is the light that shines in the darkness. He is the overcomer of this world. He is the King and the Victor, and He can be those things in and through us if we know Him.
If our kids are playing games like this, there are real spiritual consequences in their lives. It isn’t something to take lightly or to brush off as a non-issue. This social media trend is an opportunity to teach our kids the necessity of knowing Jesus in a real and profound way. It’s a chance to minister the gospel to kids who are looking for answers to the questions of their lives. And these answers can’t be found in seeking a demon. The answers can only be found in the person of Jesus.
Update: Father Fortea, The Vatican’s authorized exorcist, has commented on the Charlie Charlie challenge, warning against the occult practice and said:
“Some spirits who are at the root of that practice will harass some of those who play the game.” Even though players “won’t be possessed,” the spirit that has been summoned “will stay around for a while.”
Also, the game “will result in other spirits beginning to enter into even more frequent communication.And so then the person really can suffer much worse consequences from the demons.”
The BBC reported that the #CharlieCharlieChallenge hashtag has been used more than 2 million times since Monday.