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Anime & Christianity: HOW?
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20 / M / California
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Posted 8/22/12 , edited 8/22/12
We, as Christians, are not forbidden from experiencing and enjoying secular or non-christian culture (contrary to popular belief). Human culture and entertainment are both good things, the only bad thing is glorified sin WITHIN entertainment and culture. In truth, the vast majority of western media contains ideas just a contradictory to our beliefs (if not more so). The entertainment itself is not bad so long as you are on guard against that which IS bad hidden within it.

When watching any form of entertainment from the perspective of any worldview (be it religious, non-religious, atheistic, pantheistic, or whatever) the truly important thing is to not watch it passively. I, as a Christian, am actively analyzing any program I watch (be it anime or regular television) searching for any moral, philosophical, or logical holes in reasoning. When i discover things in media contrary to what I believe, I ask myself, "Why do people think this way? Why do I think the opposite? Are either of us mistaken? How could I convince them otherwise were the topic to come up?"

However, in my experience, the vast majority of animes (at least the ones that I enjoy) don't even explore anything so "deep" that I really need to be on my guard against anything. The one exception is the excessive use of fan service (which we get enough of here due to our own sexualized culture anyway).

This is how I reconcile it. Different Christians will undoubtedly give you different answers.
Posted 8/22/12
Well, one of the great things about anime is that it brings people from all different cultures and religions together. Someone who is a Christian doesn't have to watch and appreciate things only relevant to their religion. If anything, its beneficial, regardless of what you believe in, to watch things made by people of different religious and cultural inclinations, so we can better understand and relate to their beliefs. We don't have to agree with them, but if we actually know what they value and enjoy, we can grow to accept and even respect them.
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23 / M / Somewhere.... per...
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Posted 8/22/12
I'm pretty sure OP didn't travel to countries that is largely populated by any other religion except Christianity...
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22 / M / United States of...
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Posted 8/22/12
Read the bible.. It's filled with contradictions. Religious is already ridiculous as it is, adding one more contradiction wont hurt.
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Posted 8/22/12

alucard275 wrote:

In my travels I have encountered quite an interesting fact: a lot of anime fans are actually pretty devout christians. This perplexes me beyond belief.

When you think about it, a lot of things in anime stand in direct contrast to christian principles, and mostly because said principles, plot points, cultural references etc. are told through that Eastern light, where christianity has little hold and is certainly in the minority.

The lessons that are taught (if there are any) are hardly christian, with series like Scrapped Princess showing the dangers of religious fundamentalism. Also, the way that anime stereotypes christianity and in some instances turns it into a moe fetish I should think would shock and offend.

I would like to hear a concrete answer, not just "because I like it." I know you like anime, why would you be here otherwise? I just want to see how the two co-exist for people when they run so opposite to each other. ^_^


I'm going to answer your question as a Christian who goes to church and as a flawed person. Just letting you know, I'm hardcore anime fan who read Anime magazine interviews in Japanese and spent great deal of money collecting stuffs. Also I've said stuffs that I'm not proud of in forums. So I'm not perfect.

Can you blame the Japanese creators who only knows Christianity from outside through books and religious practices? They may not be Christian, but God's truth are everywhere.

Devout christians can be anime fans because we can find bits and pieces of good values from the culture that we engage in. We just have to test them and find out if they're good or bad.. Being christian is not just about being religious, but it's about applying, testing, and discovering the God's truth from everyday life. I think you're getting judgmental because of your Western point of view dictates how Christianity should be.

Even though anime has exotic premise and cultural values which are different from the West, does it mean that they completely lack God's truth? Why do we have to be so judgmental by labeling everything "Christian" and "non-Christian"?

If a popular entertainment doesn't seem to show "Christian" principle, then they're not worthy enough to claim some redeemable truth? If an anime like Scrapped Princess shows dangers of religious fundamentalism, then it's showing the truth that religiousness can falsely convince people that they are all good and righteous under eyes of God. Guess what? Jesus denounced overtly religious people (Pharisees) as hypocrites.

Couple months ago, I found very interesting plot on Naruto Shippuden episode 172. On that episode, Naruto forgives the villain Nagato who destroyed his village and killed many people. Being a hot blooded character he is, Naruto could've just kill the Nagato. Instead Naruto tried to stop the cycle of violence by forgiving his enemy. Didn't Christ taught us that forgive your enemy? Here's a cartoon that doesn't show "Christian-ness", but it shows the same teaching that Christ taught and acted upon on.

How about Moe fetish that people here despise? Sure many of them are just fantasy escapism. Also we have to understand that they're just temporary fix for group of people who are living empty lives. When fans of Moe are guys who are in 20's and 30's without girlfriends, having dead end jobs, and suffering silently through judgmental society, then what can we do as Christians? Can we see just them from outside and being judgmental or at least being proactive by reaching out?


Posted 8/22/12
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIDYvg73RuM

This is how.

Warning: Some people may find the gore to be unsettling
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Posted 8/22/12 , edited 8/22/12

alucard275 wrote:

In my travels I have encountered quite an interesting fact: a lot of anime fans are actually pretty devout christians. This perplexes me beyond belief.

When you think about it, a lot of things in anime stand in direct contrast to christian principles, and mostly because said principles, plot points, cultural references etc. are told through that Eastern light, where christianity has little hold and is certainly in the minority.

The lessons that are taught (if there are any) are hardly christian, with series like Scrapped Princess showing the dangers of religious fundamentalism. Also, the way that anime stereotypes christianity and in some instances turns it into a moe fetish I should think would shock and offend.

I would like to hear a concrete answer, not just "because I like it." I know you like anime, why would you be here otherwise? I just want to see how the two co-exist for people when they run so opposite to each other. ^_^


I suppose it depends on which tenets of the christian faith you take most seriously. I'm not ... much of a believer in anything... myself but I know plenty of openminded and good hearted christians. Heck I was raised in a varient of christianity that was ordaining female ministers in the 1930's openly gay ministers in the 1980's and was a big supporter of our country's opening up of the legal entity of marriage to gays. And it's not some minor sect either. It's the second largest Christian church in my country and the largest protestant one.

It's mandate is so opposed to fundamentalism that there is no link whatsoever to between the hierarchy of the secular administration of the church and one's closeness to god. Ministers are employed by and serve at the pleasure of their congregations. collections of congregations are organised by arbitrarily by region to through a chain of representative councils until you reach the Moderator of the church who is just another imperfect human, elected to the Temp Job of running the Church's secular business. I can think of a number of people from within that church who would applaud Scrapped Princess's Warnings. They would be more likely oblivious or disturbed by all the references in that show that make gun nuts 'Squeee' (The Church is largely a left wing entity as a political whole, though it's adherents cover a broad spectrum of political and religious beliefs)


A lot of the the drawings shown and ideas expressed in anime can seem bizarre, even offensive, and not just to Christians (There have been plenty of demonic evil wizards using the star of David instead of a Pentagram, for example)

But they are just drawings and ideas. Please don't stereotype Christians as being completely shuttered to ideas that don't fit their world view. That's as unfair as well .. any other stereotype.

oh and just in case you're curious about my assertions regarding a large Christian denomination that doesn't behave in the manner we've come to expect from certain 'Bible Thumpers'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Church_of_Canada


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Posted 8/22/12 , edited 8/22/12
I'm agnostic myself but I attend a Christian university where homosexuality, other religions, and evolution are commonly discussed. My university's motto is, "Know of the world but don't be of the World." That's enough explanation for me.
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Posted 8/22/12

Winterfells wrote:

I did not stop to realize that Jesus Christ and a chidori to the face were not compatible.


Ah, that made my day. thank you haha.
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Posted 8/22/12


Don't think I could have said it any better.

I remember in high school, there was a kid that hung out with us. He was a devout Southern Baptist as were his parents. From what I understand, even though he hung out with our group who were anime/manga fans, he did not partake of it. If I remember correctly he use to watch and read it just as much as the rest of us, then felt that it was taking over his life and went cold turkey. For the oddest reason, he felt that I needed the most saving -_-; mainly because I was open about my sexuality (being bi) and that I wasn't really a big believer in any form of deity, especially 'God'. Eventually it got to the point where I had to draw a line and tell him that if I'm damned to Hell for being honest with myself and others, then so be it.
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Posted 8/22/12 , edited 8/22/12

Xie_Lang wrote:



Don't think I could have said it any better.

I remember in high school, there was a kid that hung out with us. He was a devout Southern Baptist as were his parents. From what I understand, even though he hung out with our group who were anime/manga fans, he did not partake of it. If I remember correctly he use to watch and read it just as much as the rest of us, then felt that it was taking over his life and went cold turkey. For the oddest reason, he felt that I needed the most saving -_-; mainly because I was open about my sexuality (being bi) and that I wasn't really a big believer in any form of deity, especially 'God'. Eventually it got to the point where I had to draw a line and tell him that if I'm damned to Hell for being honest with myself and others, then so be it.


Not every christian is a southern US baptist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Church_of_Canada


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Posted 8/22/12

papagolfwhiskey wrote:


Xie_Lang wrote:



Don't think I could have said it any better.

I remember in high school, there was a kid that hung out with us. He was a devout Southern Baptist as were his parents. From what I understand, even though he hung out with our group who were anime/manga fans, he did not partake of it. If I remember correctly he use to watch and read it just as much as the rest of us, then felt that it was taking over his life and went cold turkey. For the oddest reason, he felt that I needed the most saving -_-; mainly because I was open about my sexuality (being bi) and that I wasn't really a big believer in any form of deity, especially 'God'. Eventually it got to the point where I had to draw a line and tell him that if I'm damned to Hell for being honest with myself and others, then so be it.


Not every christian is a southern US baptist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Church_of_Canada




I'm fully aware of this. I was specifying his branch of Christianity.
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Posted 8/22/12 , edited 8/22/12

Xie_Lang wrote:


papagolfwhiskey wrote:


Xie_Lang wrote:



Don't think I could have said it any better.

I remember in high school, there was a kid that hung out with us. He was a devout Southern Baptist as were his parents. From what I understand, even though he hung out with our group who were anime/manga fans, he did not partake of it. If I remember correctly he use to watch and read it just as much as the rest of us, then felt that it was taking over his life and went cold turkey. For the oddest reason, he felt that I needed the most saving -_-; mainly because I was open about my sexuality (being bi) and that I wasn't really a big believer in any form of deity, especially 'God'. Eventually it got to the point where I had to draw a line and tell him that if I'm damned to Hell for being honest with myself and others, then so be it.


Not every christian is a southern US baptist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Church_of_Canada






I'm fully aware of this. I was specifying his branch of Christianity.


My point to yourself and the person you quoted is that there are more open minded Christians than you think. I don't consider myself an adherent of any faith these days but it doesn't change that these people don't deserve to be painted with the same brush.
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Posted 8/22/12

papagolfwhiskey wrote:


Xie_Lang wrote:


papagolfwhiskey wrote:


Xie_Lang wrote:



Don't think I could have said it any better.

I remember in high school, there was a kid that hung out with us. He was a devout Southern Baptist as were his parents. From what I understand, even though he hung out with our group who were anime/manga fans, he did not partake of it. If I remember correctly he use to watch and read it just as much as the rest of us, then felt that it was taking over his life and went cold turkey. For the oddest reason, he felt that I needed the most saving -_-; mainly because I was open about my sexuality (being bi) and that I wasn't really a big believer in any form of deity, especially 'God'. Eventually it got to the point where I had to draw a line and tell him that if I'm damned to Hell for being honest with myself and others, then so be it.


Not every christian is a southern US baptist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Church_of_Canada






I'm fully aware of this. I was specifying his branch of Christianity.


My point to yourself and the person you quoted is that there are more open minded Christians than you think. I don't consider myself an adherent of any faith these days but it doesn't change that these people don't deserve to be painted with the same brush.


Then you misinterpreted what she said and I agreed with. The majority of my friends are majorly Christian based. They also are extremely open minded. The one that I mentioned is close minded and had his views drastically changed or in some other way he no longer enjoyed anime and manga.
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Posted 8/22/12
Probably not on topic but that's what I found so refreshing about Kids On the Slope - just another aspect to their lives.
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