Aniblogger Testimonies: Called to Anime

This is the ninth in a series of Aniblogger Testimony posts, where select writers will discuss their personal faith.  Today’s post is by Zeroe4.  The previous posts in this series were written by Lauren Orisini, R86, Nikko, Arianna, Ed Sizemore, Canne, an anonymous blogger, and Annalyn.

When I was growing up, anime was the greatest thing ever. Pokémon was the pinnacle of anime fandom, except in my house. My mother had lived in Japan for a while and had a very negative view of anime. She viewed all anime as being sexually explicate and violent. So my mother did not allow any anime in here house. I learned to love Pokémon through my best friend. Then my family moved.

I didn’t get back into anime tell the same best friend came to visit me and introduced me back into anime. I didn’t fall in love with anime till I saw Code Geass. It captured my imagination. The depth of characters, the amazing art style, the complex story, and above all, the Knightmare Frames all pulled me into the story. I was in love with anime. I began to watch anime such as Fate/Stay Night, Air, and Gundam Seed. All the anime I watched had some idea or belief that contradicted with my own. Anime such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Hell Girl, and This Beautiful Yet Ugly World had many elements that contradicted my faith and were difficult to watch. Some anime had very little that disagreed with my beliefs, anime like Haibane Renmei and Summer Wars. I also watched anime in between these two polar opposites such as: Full Metal Panic!, Claymore, Code Geass, Baldr Force EXE, and many others. The anime in between the two opposites always seemed to be better.

When discussing my personal faith some people call me devoted, others call me strong in it, and still others think I am crazy. I tend to see my life as have two purposes: having a relationship with God and glorifying him.  Do to my beliefs, I tend to believe that my faith is a never-ending, daily process that must be worked on and built up. I am saved by God’s grace only, and I am eternal indebted to the one who wants the very best for me and continually makes it happen.

I might be crazy to some, but I firmly believe that I have been called and given the grace to make Christian influenced anime. Christian influenced anime is not necessarily Christian anime. Christian anime in my understanding is anime about or from stories in the bible. I want to make anime that is founded in God’s truth, but expressed in a way that is real. I want to show Christianity and how it is lived out in the most raw and real state possible. I want to explain why I believe what I believe in the most wonderful and exciting stories possible. To explain this better, my stories are more like Ted Decker’s stories than Big Idea’s Veggie Tales. I am super excited about what God is doing.

Back on topic, the problems I have with anime are mostly related to the sexual themes and themes and ideas that counter God’s truth. The problems I have with the Christian reaction to anime can be summed up in one statement: We as Christians severely under estimate God’s power and sovereignty if we believe that anime is completely evil, even though it was created by God, and that we can avoid or be ignorant about the culture that it has created, even though God has commanded us to be in the world even though we are not of it. Christianity is supposed to be all inclusive even though most people will not except it, to decide who deserves to enter the kingdom of God is stupid because no one deserves to be in it. Only God can allow people to enter his kingdom because of the sacrifice of Christ who was the propitiation for our sins; we as Christians are not better than anyone else and must look on others as Christ looks at us, that include the anime followers and otaku. We cannot put ourselves before the gospel, ever!

zeroe4

Artist with a heart for Japan.Student at SPU. Blogger and Nomad. Formally with YWAM Tokyo.Portfolio @ arxyuki.com - Blog @ zeroe4.me

23 thoughts on “Aniblogger Testimonies: Called to Anime

    1. It’s no a problem. My posts are full of typos, and my part-time job is proofreading college students’ papers! Chalk that one up on laziness.

      Thanks again for the contribution!

  1. > We cannot put ourselves before the gospel, ever!

    What do you mean? Were you saying that we must put the story of Christ’s life above the people He saved? Or that we mustn’t think for ourselves, and merely follow His teachings? Could you elaborate?

    > The problems I have with anime are mostly related to the sexual themes and themes and ideas that counter God’s truth.

    What problems are those? Which truths are the ones being countered, and are you certain that they are the actual truths of God, or simply your/your Churches’ interpretations? Always an interesting discussion, because there are many types of Christian.

  2. Answer 1.
    The word gospel translates into “good news,” Christ stated that he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Therefore, without Christ people can not follow, know, or have any of these. I believe that people cannot think or operate in a beneficial manner without Christ, because people without Christ and any person effected by sin, aka everyone, has a skewed view of reality because of lies. It is as if the world has facade, just like the every individual. A person who doesn’t not know God, cannot know his truth or truth at all.
    Also, faith without works is dead. If people put a story above someone else because of pride, then there is no love in it. If someone is following God, then they share the gospel, because it is the only thing that can transform them.

    Answer 2.
    To start off, I believe that there is one type of Christian. A Christian is a person who knows Christ and follows him. Anyone who knows him, will learn his truth. He is unchanging and always the same; therefore, all people who are christians should agree on the on what is God’s truth which are fundamentals of our faith. Denomination is completely irrelevant to me, because an Christian is my family.

  3. Thanks for humoring me, by the way..

    > A person who doesn’t not know God, cannot know his truth or truth at all.

    Can anyone truly know God? Or when you say this, do you mean knowing “of” or “about” God?

    > A Christian is a person who knows Christ and follows him.

    There are many self-proclaimed “devout Christians” who I know, who clearly do not “know” Christ or follow His teachings, but merely “talk the talk”. Should I be assuming that you do not consider them Christians?

    In addition, for the sake of argument, what of sects which believe and follow Christ, yet focus on other prophets and their teachings as well? Are they the same type of Christian?

    > all people who are christians should agree on the on what is God’s truth which are fundamentals of our faith.

    Is that not the height of hubris, for people to “agree” upon what God’s Truth is?

    Is it not part of being Christian to accept that you will never know God’s Truth or His intention, and so to live your spiritual life pursuing that truth, rather than deciding what it may be?

    > I believe that people cannot think or operate in a beneficial manner without Christ

    Saying something like that with conviction is troublesome. I know many who do not “walk with Christ”, yet they most certainly are thoughtful people, often being of more benefit to the world than many religious people who I know (including myself).

    > because people without Christ and any person effected by sin, aka everyone, has a skewed view of reality because of lies

    Your wording is a bit self-serving, but the basic idea that we are all unique, and thus will never agree 100% on everything, is something I agree with.

    Yet I feel that an unchallenged belief is something that should not exist, lest it become meaningless to the person who holds it. If you do not legitimately challenge your beliefs, you do not have faith.. you are simply pretending to.

    Not that I’m claiming that you are doing so, mind you.

  4. This is a lot of stuff, but I enjoy discussing this kind of thing. Thanks for asking me to clarify.

    Part 1.
    When I say the word know, I am referring to having a close relationship. I believe that people are created in God’s image and had the ability to know God in a perfect way. When we sinned our sun became the thing that prevented that relationship from continuing on our part. The relationship requires knowing God, not only how he thinks but him as an individual. I can say that I know God not as well as I would like or I should, but I can recognize instantly when he starts telling me things or showing me things. He is by far the coolest friend I have, but I won’t ever be able to fully know him, because he is infinite.

    Part 2.
    That is a great question. First and foremost, Christians are sinners. There is nothing special about us except that God lives inside of us, because we opened ourselves to him. This means that christians make mistakes, BUT if we are not changing or transforming into what we are called to be, then how are we really following Christ? Christians can break down, but they should come out of it stronger. Jesus says that we should judge them by there fruit, so are they bearing good fruit?

    Not sure what you meant by sects. I believe that the bible is the word of God. I really don’t believe I have the right to say, who is christian and who isn’t, unless something they teach is contradictory to God’s word. For example, Christians believe in one God in three persons. That eliminates anyone who believes in a polytheistic religion. I personally believe that anyone who knows God is Christian, anyone who doesn’t isn’t. The bibles talks about people in the end times telling God how they did all he commanded, but he turned them away because they did not know him.

    Part 3.
    God’s truth is to complicated to completely understand, but it never changes. Truth by definition is constant. If someone gets to know Jesus, then they learn his truth since he is truth. Also, his truth is absolute since he created it.

    Part 4.
    If a man gives a man a fish he eats for a day,
    If a man teaches a man to fish he eats for a life time,
    either way he dies. If he doesn’t know Christ, he suffers for eternity and that little time without food is not even of comparison. Now I am not suggesting not helping people because that would be against God’s word in so many ways. In fact Christians should be looking out for others.

    Part 5.
    We are unique. We were created unique. Truth is absolute. It was created absolute. Our perception of what is absolute does not effect what is true. When it comes to my faith, I would die for it. I don’t believe because I just want to or it is how I feel. My faith is the only thing that matters to me, because I experience it daily. I talk to God and he talks back. I believe because God should me it. My faith is tangible.

    1. I thought it would be helpful to add a thought – Hogart, I totally agree with you about examining your faith. I think most people who grew up in the church, or who accepted Christ at sometime before adulthood, often don’t challenge their faith until they’ve grown up. Some never do. Without challenging and testing your faith, you’re actually showing a lack of it (or just a lack of thought) – after all, what is there to fear if it’s true? We should all examine our faith and test scripture for its veracity, and if true, it will stand our examination.

  5. Thanks again, I like to discuss these things as well (when time permits). Feel free to take your time responding, too. I know I tend to write a lot 🙂

    > I believe that the bible is the word of God. I really don’t believe I have the right to say, who is christian and who isn’t, unless something they teach is contradictory to God’s word

    What about interpretations of passages that might not be clear-cut, or are potentially contradicted by other parts of the Bible? I know some people get worked up over that idea, so don’t think I’m picking a fight.

    It is just that, to me, that is what makes a “sect” – a difference in opinion in how to interpret or translate the Bible or another Holy Book. You can also call them “denominations”, I suppose.. I might be conflating the two terms.

    > God’s truth is too complicated to completely understand, but it never changes.

    Whether it changes is, however, beside my point. It’s fine to have strong faith, and I don’t mind disagreeing on this point, but once you begin thinking in absolute certainties, you start closing your heart to the pursuit of truth. And that pursuit is what’s most important to me spiritually (since I know I can’t know the Truth in this lifetime).

    > If he doesn’t know Christ, he suffers for eternity

    Some people are perfectly fine with that, but it still doesn’t make them any less “good” while they are here on Earth, or any less “good” than those people who are believers.

    People are people regardless of their faith, and capable of just as much good or evil (though I realize others won’t agree with this line of thinking). Not all of us will be “saved”, and not all of those who are saved will have lead better lives (in terms of the impact they have on this world).

    > My faith is the only thing that matters to me, because I experience it daily.

    I hope you aren’t being completely serious, because that line of thinking can lead to some dark places, if you aren’t careful. Again it’s fine to have strong faith, but never lose sight of the fact that there is more to life than faith. Is faith not supposed to guide you, rather than consume you?

    > I talk to God and he talks back.
    > I can recognize instantly when he starts telling me things or showing me things

    Again, I will assume you are just being colorful, because it can be dangerous to believe God is talking to you personally, rather than simply seeing the beauty/wonder of God in your daily life.. humility is important. 🙂

  6. part 1.
    First, I have never found a place in the bible that was ever contradictory to another place in the bible. Second, I don’t believe that anyone would misinterpret a part of the bible if they were reading it with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If there were to be some discrepancies, they would and are minor. There are how ever some groups that claim to be Christian that do not believe the fundamentals of Christianity or add blasphemous and contradictory information to there teachings. For those, let their fruit reveal there nature.

    part 2.
    I have to contradict what you said here. If something is absolute, it is constant. If something is constant, then it is secure. And if it is secure, it acts as a protection so you can open up your heart to pursue even more truth.

    part 3.
    Define good. I use the word good to mean the same as righteousness. In his case, no one is good. Righteousness is in my understanding, being in right standing with God. No man can achieve this. Only by grace through faith are we even granted the right to be called righteous. A fundamental of Christianity is that all men are evil because of our sin.

    part 4.
    I was being completely serious.
    If you want to talk about dark places, look at your own soul (or heart if you don’t believe in souls). I was a fake christian most of my life, and I thought I was good enough and I thought I had it together. During this time I struggled with non-stop depression for 4 years. I looked like a good kid, acted like a good kid, and was on the edge of suicide. When God finally got ahold of me, I was brought out of that. I began to see value in my life. I no longer wanted to kill myself. I have been down in dark places, and following God has been my greatest joy. I will gladly give what I cannot keep for what I cannot lose.

    part 5.
    In the bible it Jesus says numerous times that his sheep know his voice. It also says that the Holy Spirit was sent to guide God’s people, so why is this so hard to believe? The book of Acts talks about the apostles healing, prophesying, and even speaking in tongues. To lay this out for you, I know that God is actively involved in his peoples lives.

    I am a spacial and conceptual learner, so God normally talks to me using pictures which he then explains to me. In fact, my first real experience with God was when he gave me my calling which is, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5 NIV. To put it simply, he has given me the gift of prophecy. Now I am not gloating in this, for the very fact that saying this makes me look like a fool to the entire world. I also truly know this because I could completely destroy what ever reputation I have. But I count it all as a loss compared to the surpassing joy of knowing Christ Jesus.

    Final Thoughts.
    We could spend an eternity debating this; the fact of the matter is that anything I say will sound foolish to you, because the wisdom of God is foolishness to man. Unless God opens your eyes to him, you will never be convinced because you are an enemy of God along with every person who does not accept him. I may sound like a fool, but there is nothing I would trade for this, and nothing that would make me want to go back to the hell I found myself in while pursuing my own way. May God bless you and I mean this with my whole heart. Be Blessed.

  7. TWWK, sorry about debating this all over your site. I hope it hasn’t been to much of an innocence; you have been a most gracious host. Thanks again.

  8. If you are talking about protistant ideas with some Calvinism, then maybe. Some people might say that. I am protistant, but without a specific denomination. I agree with many parts of Calvinism, but I also am unsure about many other parts. As far as I can say, I want my beliefs to be based off of the bible and as such, I am not entirely sure of many doctrines. At the same time I strongly agree with some doctrines such as Propitiation and grace through faith.

    If you are referring to reformed as being transformed by God’s grace in my life (which I don’t think you were), then of course. The Lord is the only reason for why I am here and I want to glorify him by doing what I was created to.

    1. Yes, by Reformed I meant one adhering to Calvinism. I probably should have used those terms initially as Reformed refers more to Churches that adhere to Calvinism rather than individuals. Thank you though, I was just curious.

      Another, unrelated, question about sonething you referred to in your discussion with Hogart: how do you define the belief “fundamentals” by which you feel one can be, more or less, estimated to be Christian or non-Christian?

  9. Sorry it took so long, I have been very busy lately. By fundamentals, I am referring to a number of principles. I am going to use a quote from the book Knowing God, by J. I. Packer.

    “1. God has spoken to man, and the Bible is his Word, given to us to make us wise unto salvation.
    2. God is Lord and King over this world; he rules all things for his own glory, displaying his perfections in all that he does, in order that men and angels may worship and adore him.
    3. God is Savior, active in sovereign love through the Lord Jesus Christ to rescue believers from the guilt and power of sin, to adopt them as his children and to bless them accordingly.
    4. God is triune; there are within the Godhead three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and the work of salvation is one in which all three act together, the Father purposing redemption, the Son securing it and the Spirit applying it.
    5. Godliness means responding to God’s revelation in trust and obedience, faith and worship, prayer and praise, submission and service. Life must be seen and lived in the light of God’s Word. This, and nothing else, is true religion. ”

    I agree fully with this.

  10. Aw man, I’m late to the party. I like these discussions. Because I’m late and most things have already been said, I’ll restrain myself. Actually, it was probably good I’m late to the party. I’ve spent a few dozen hours on these things before, and that’s not always the wisest thing for me to do.

    Zeroe, have you heard the DC Talk song “Jesus Freak”? Actually, I don’t know if that’s what it’s called, but they say “Jesus Freak” a lot in it. Your comments about being considered “crazy” made me think of that song. We’re all called to be a little bit of Jesus freaks, I think. Problems can arise when the “freak” side gets in the way of the “Jesus” side… and when toning down the “freak” side tones down the “Jesus” side.

    I’ve learned a lot about you reading this and your comments. I’ve seen a lot of your enthusiasm, but this post and discussion shows me more of the thought behind your enthusiasm. 🙂

  11. Actually, a major part of God getting my attention, was from that song, which is called “Jesus Freak.” I have read stories about missionaries and martyrs many times, and the thing that always got my attention was that they knew their God and that he was tangible and gave them the ability to do what couldn’t be done. I always wanted to know what that was like. I hungered for that and from it God has continued to blow my mind. If I ever have to choose between God and my life, I want to be confident that I choose to make the right choice.
    I may become a Jesus Freak, but if that happens I will have, “Lost what I cannot gain, so I can gain that which I cannot lose.”

    I agree completely with your statement about controlling the “freak” side. The fact of the matter is before a year or so ago, I was always controlled by crippling fear, but I have been set free.

    1. Speaking of martyrs, I thought this would be a good opportunity to mention some resources about martyrdom:

      Voice of the Martyrs (www.persecution.com) is an excellent organization I’ve given to and participated in for years. They work with persecuted Christians around the world. They have a really powerful monthly newsletter that’s free and which I recommend any Christian sign up for – it helps one straighten his or her point of view.

      I or my have read a few books as well, including Heavenly Man about Brother Yun in China, through whom God did amazing miracles. Quite a different book is Silence by Shusaku Endo, which I’ve reviewed on my blog. It presents a darker picture of martyrdom, but also, I think, helps us question our full commitment to God.

    2. That’s the second time you’ve paraphrased that – though I don’t think it’s possible to repeat it too many times. 🙂 Reminds me a lot of Philippians 1, too.

      Oh, I’ve heard of Voice of the Martyrs! It’s been a few years, though – definitely something I should look into again. I’d like to try some of those books, too. It’s [relatively] easier to handle shorter accounts of persecution in the church, but easiest isn’t always best. Still, I think I’m more likely to read “Heavenly Man” than “Silence.”

      One fiction book on this topic that I found very good was Randy Alcorn’s “Safely Home,” which is about persecution/martyrdom in China. I read it a few years ago, when I was old enough for such topics but young enough that the adult world didn’t seem as real to me – and thus easier to read about.

      I could talk books and Christianity like this for hours…

  12. Talk about a good choice in books, those are some of my favorites. I especially love reading Brother Yun’s books, because a lot of my good friends grew up in China and his writing is exceptional. Endo is also very good and at times very sad. Safely Home by Randy Alcorn is also very good. It is fiction, but a very real depiction of Christian life in China.

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