Something More: Faithful Fanfiction, Final Fantasy XV, and an Anime Testimony | Beneath the Tangles

My latest Something More post from Beneath The Tangles. I hope you enjoy, there’s lots of good posts here 🙂  God bless.

Shalom my dear readers. That’s “hello” and “peace” in Hebrew! It’s time for your monthly round-up of incredible articles. From anime to video games and others, we’ve got you covered. As always, feel free to submit your content to us via email, Facebook, Twitter, or comment. Regardless of the form of communication, we will get back to you. I had a little bit of a hard time deciding on which post I should feature this time. There were several good ones, but it wasn’t until I read Lady_TeresaChristina’s testimony that I made a decision. She used various anime characters to portray different parts of her life, whether it was something good or bad. Not only are her words transparent and you […]

Source: Something More: Faithful Fanfiction, Final Fantasy XV, and an Anime Testimony | Beneath the Tangles

Something More: A Hero’s Journey, Grace in Clannad, Anohana, and the Holy Spirit | Beneath the Tangles

A new column that I am doing currently on Beneath The Tangles is Something More. I hope you can check it out as monthly I update it with fantastic articles from around the internet that discuss anime and spirituality. Blessings.

Welcome back to Something More, your monthly round-up of spirituality and anime (among other forms of entertainment!) articles. I do my best to search the internet for posts that fit this feature here at Beneath the Tangles. If you happen to find one and believe it merits being on our list, tag us via Facebook or Twitter, email it, or let me know in the comment section. I promise I will take a look and see if it can be added! God bless, and enjoy. It was a little difficult to find my featured piece for the month this time, but just when I was about to give up and try to figure out what to do, this popped up. I […]

Source: Something More: A Hero’s Journey, Grace in Clannad, Anohana, and the Holy Spirit | Beneath the Tangles

Something More: Ghost Hunting, Spiritual Personas, Suffering from God and Djinns in Final Fantasy | Beneath the Tangles

Hola mis amigos! To all those who have been looking forward to Something More, I hope I meet your expectations. I am Samuru, one of the staff writers here at Beneath the Tangles who enjoys writing on video games and occasionally anime. I used to write a column on Geeks Under Grace called Treasure Chest that was inspired by this very column, so I’m happy to pick it up! Please contact me in whichever way you prefer (article comments are probably better) and leave me posts that you feel should be here. God bless, and enjoy. In my first featured post for this wonderful column, I chose Eugene’s detailed post on ghost busting in Japan. Whether it’s from a Shinto […]

Source: Something More: Ghost Hunting, Spiritual Personas, Suffering from God and Djinns in Final Fantasy | Beneath the Tangles

5 Excuses Christians Use to Sin

Via Geeks Under Grace – 5 Excuses Christians Use to Sin   *Click to read more!*

I was not raised a Christian, nor was my family (they still are not to this day). Not knowing the Christian “lingo,” mannerisms, music or sub-culture made me an anomaly when I was in church or around other Christians. Obviously, I knew about sin and what was right or wrong. At times, I noticed Christians doing things I knew God didn’t lead them to do, but they seemed convinced it was ok. Now, the five sins I’ve listed below may offend some to a disagree, but that’s ok because I would love to hear your opinions. If you do get angered, check your heart and ask yourself why that is.

I believe some Christians want to dance the fine line between the desires of the flesh and the Spirit (Matthew 26:41, Romans 8:5). They think it’s OK to do certain things, since the Bible doesn’t specifically address them. Some examples are smoking marijuana, looking at pornography, playing or watching extremely demonic/violent media, and the like. Sure, the bible doesn’t say “don’t smoke pot,” but is it a sin to do it? What about other habits that church denominations get into arguments about; are these right or wrong? Will I go to hell if I don’t follow a certain doctrine over another?

It’s so confusing, and to be honest, I’ve wrestled with these questions for years. I have come to some conclusions after reading scripture, praying, and asking the Holy Spirit for guidance. There are five major sins I have seen Christians excuse themselves of by saying “God told me it’s OK,” or “It’s not that bad!” and I want to bring these to light. I would love for you to discuss these points in the comments section so we can have a dialogue about them.

Via Geeks Under Grace – 5 Excuses Christians Use to Sin   *Click to read more!*

Why Christians Should Play Video Games (with Discernment) – Geeks Under Grace

via Why Christians Should Play Video Games (with Discernment) – Geeks Under Grace.

To some, the term “video game” is synonymous with the latest Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto. Less frequently do the names of video games not focused on violence or sex come to the average mind.
Those that practice the Christian faith may be in search of a game that reflects their values, but they’ll be hard-pressed to find even one. There is FIVE: Guardians of David (which I wrote a review for) and That Dragon, Cancer, but aside from those there aren’t too many “Christian games” around
As Christians, it can be difficult to figure out what games God is OK with, and which ones He isn’t. That’s actually a rhetorical question, as there isn’t really an answer. Everyone has different convictions. I highlighted this subject here on Geeks Under Grace, as I myself have dealt with this (and still do) as a Christian who loves to play video games. Within this article, I’d like to explore that subject further.

To Play Or Not To Play

As a Christian, I am very careful what games I expose myself to. Sometimes I play games that contain content I don’t like, but the overall good outweighs the bad. That said, how far can I go before my play time goes against the convictions I feel from the Holy Spirit?
I know Christians who refuse to play certain games that I am OK with playing, and vice versa. Personally, I hate profanity (Call of Duty, Saints Row) and in-your-face sexuality (Bayonetta, Dead or Alive Volleyball, etc), so I choose not to buy those titles. Yet, at the same time, games that delve into spirituality don’t disquiet me (Okami). As believers in Christ, we should listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, while not be afraid to tackle video games and find signs of God’s grace or values in them, even among the filth.

via Why Christians Should Play Video Games (with Discernment) – Geeks Under Grace.

Choose Your Family: Gospel Symbolism In Fire Emblem Fates

*Thanks go to Neighborhoodotaku over at Christian Anime Reviews for this guest post. If you or someone you know would like to submit a piece here at Gaming And God, be sure to email me.*

*There are miner spoilers to Fire Emblem Fates in this article*

In Fire Emblem Fates (Birthright, Conquest, and Revelation), you play as main protagonist Corrin in an unknown time period. Both ruling kingdoms in the country, Nohr and Hoshido, have been locked in a deadly war for many years, and are fighting for peace in the region. More importantly, they are battling for possession over one particular royal family member that they both claim as their own: you.

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Corrin

Waking up on a bed with amnesia in the royal castle of Nohr, you are quickly informed by high prince Xander that you have had a sudden experience of memory loss due to a recent battle, and are actually a member of the royal family. You are told that you have always grown up in the Nohr kingdom since birth, and are the son of King Garon, the tyrant leader of the country. Being reaquainted with your other high class siblings, Leo, Camilla, and Elise, you are trained up by your brother Xander to develop combat skills for the war against Hoshido, and are soon sent by your father on your first scouting mission across enemy territory. Once you arrive at the destination directly over the border, your peaceful mission immediately turns into a blood bath, and through events conspired you are sent flying down the Bottomless Canyon by your own sword given from your father. At the precise moment, a dragon named Lilith saves you from your presumed death, and sends you back to the top of the cliff. Shortly after, you are captured by the woman chief of the Fire Tribe, and are brought against your will across the border to the Hoshido kingdom.

Being taken in chains to the royal castle, you learn from Queen Mikoto the truth about your complicated past: you are actually direct kin to the royalty of Hoshido. While your avatar was a young baby, the two dominate kingdoms had a peace conference at the Bottomless Canyon to discuss treaty terms for the future when suddenly the Hoshido were ambushed by King Garon’s forces. As a result of this conflict, you were kidnapped by the Nohr, and were raised in their country as though you were one of their own. You were lied to by your siblings for your entire life, and were robbed of a relationship with your true father, whom was killed by King Garon during the attack. As the story progresses, you also discover that your tumble down the canyon during your scouting mission was no mere accident: your Nohrian father had every intention to murder you by your own sword Ganglari. Even your own mother, Queen Mikoto, was murdered right in front of your own eyes by trying to protect you from a deadly mage from Nohr. Continue reading

My Last Day – Reflections on the Crucifixion Anime – Geeks Under Grace

via My Last Day – Reflections on the Crucifixion Anime – Geeks Under Grace

*Click the above link to finish reading the article!*

When I think of Easter, I do not imagine rabbits and eggs. (Rabbits are mammals, so how did eggs get involved anyways?) To me, Easter has always been, and will be, about the resurrection of Christ. The core of Christianity is that Jesus Christ is no longer on this Earth, but in Heaven sitting on the right hand of our Heavenly Father. There are many movies, books, plays, and TV shows that portray what happened before and after His resurrection, but when it comes to the medium of anime, there is barely anything. Japanese animation has little to nothing to offer in regards to the earthly ministry of Christ, but one noteworthy anime short has been produced. My Last Day is a powerful short film by Barry Cooke, who was a former Disney animator, and Studio 4C, who created the Animatrix, and features some beautiful animation. The characters look realistic and the voice overs are professionally done for the whole nine minutes of the video.

 

Anime is something special because certain animations are difficult or impossible to do with real actors. When showing the crucifixion of Christ, you can see every detail, from the sweat on his face to the nails going through his hands and feet, up close. The facial expressions and screams lend to the agony that He took for us all, which I think the anime medium gives a new perspective to. Christians can benefit from viewing anime because it tends to tell deeper and more controversial stories. Cartoons here in America are made to be silly, funny, and kid-friendly, but anime is often for a more mature audience. There are deep correlations to emotion, spirituality, life, and fantasy that are not found in other media (except, perhaps, books), so I hope more anime will be released that will give us glimpses of the history of the Bible.my-last-day-4-1024x576.jpg

I have used this video in a panel at an anime Con because of the impact it has. It shows that any medium can be used to show us the passion of our Savior and the pain he endured on the cross. The Bible is neither a work of fiction nor something nice to tell people about, but the story of an ultimate sacrifice that saves us all from hell and gives us eternal life. There are many Christian illusions to God, the Bible, its values, and Christ, within the anime medium, but the literal resurrection of Christ is not a topic that has been seen in anime until My Last Day. Perhaps the reason is that Japan itself has very few Christians and churches, only following the Christian ritual of marriage in church, which is common. People with a personal relationship with their Creator are hard to find, so anime more often reflects a Buddhist or Shinto religious context than a biblical one. I do hope to see more short films, or even entire seasons of anime, about biblical stories that today’s audience would enjoy.

via My Last Day – Reflections on the Crucifixion Anime – Geeks Under Grace

*Click the above link to finish reading the article!*

Zombies And The Bible – Geeks Under Grace

via Zombies And The Bible – Geeks Under Grace

Matthew 27:51-53

51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,  52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;  53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

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Zombies seem to be the rage for the past several years. From top box office movies to award winning TV shows, even clothing and survival books there is no end to the undead madness. Personally, I’m not a fan of the whole craze, because it honestly doesn’t interest me. I prefer fantasy, sci-fi, comic book stories or anime, but eating people? Not my cup of tea. Yet, there are verses in the bible that suggest that the dead once rose and walked among us! I’m sure you’ve never heard your pastor teach on that one before, but look over the verse I placed above carefully and tell me if it doesn’t sound like dead saints (men and women who served God during their lives) came out of the grave and appeared before the living.

via Zombies And The Bible – Geeks Under Grace

Gaming With God: The Devil Gene In Us All

via Gaming With God: The Devil Gene In Us All

There was once a man possessed by the devil himself, who sought to conquer the world. Using this power, he fought the strongest fighters in a worldwide tournament to make sure nobody would stop him, and claim enough influence to see through his plan. The same man, without the guidance of the unholy spirit, had different intentions though.

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A New Challenger!

Another genre of games that I enjoy (aside from RPG’s) are fighting games. They are very competitive and require skill to win (and a little prayer won’t hurt). One of my favorites isTekken. In the Tekken fighting game franchise, starting at Tekken 3 for the Playstation till the upcoming Tekken 7, Jin Kazama plays a major role as protagonist and hero.  He’s a powerful character who uses his fists and legs to pummel his opponents. With his signature lightning and fire that erupts from every hit, he’s always been a solid choice when playing the series. Not only that, but if you can figure out the controls you can transform into his Devil Jin persona in mid-fight, but some of the games instead have Devil Jin as a playable character, not one you turn into. Both are power-houses and not to be taken lightly.

via Gaming With God: The Devil Gene In Us All

My Open Letter To The Non-Believers – Geeks Under Grace

via My Open Letter To The Non-Believers – Geeks Under Grace

Dear non-believers,

I think you need to know the truth. This is something very important, and you mean a lot to me. I’m tired of the hypocrites, and of the others who are acting like they are perfect. I’ve been meaning to write this for quite some time, but I wasn’t sure how to express myself. I mean, do I write about how I don’t feel you understand me when we talk, or maybe I should be critical and point out all your faults (as if I don’t have my own, which I do). No, because then how are we going to connect? How can I explain faith to someone who doesn’t believe at all? Well, let me tell you my story and you will see that we aren’t as different as you may think.

I was born in the USA of Cuban descent, and only went to Catholic mass on Sundays because my mother made me. It was something nice to do, but it was really boring. I would stare at my watch and wait for it to be over, while the priest gave sermons that I still can’t remember anything about. My family just believed in God and didn’t take it any further than that, but I wanted to know more. I was tired of hearing about a God who cared about me, loved me, yet I could not experience Him. Non-believer, I think you have the same desire, to know God personally and for yourself. There’s that connection we all want to have with the Divine, and we search for it in religion, pleasure, money, relationships and much more.

via My Open Letter To The Non-Believers – Geeks Under Grace