What is a “Slenderman” Anyway?

Friday is for Heart Songs

My son-in-law, Dan is godly man raising a family, working as an engineer and serving as a volunteer youth leader at a Free Church in Bolingbrook, IL. He is also a gifted writer looking to make his life count for the King of Kings. When the horrors of the “Slenderman story out of Wisconsin” hit the news, Dan felt it was appropriate to help the parents of his church deal with the repercussions in a godly way. His pastor, Frank Taylor thought it was worth standing behind and posted it to a wider network.

I asked Dan If I could post it as a guest post on my Blog and Dan said yes.  Here it is. Thank God for young men like Dan that God is raising up to serve the King.

How ya’ll doing?
Dan Aldrin here, youth leader, with a word on some recent news.

Unless you’ve been slammed at the office, or just plain exhausted out of your mind trying to balance every aspect of life (it happens), you’e probably heard about a pair of Wisconsin girls who stabbed a ‘friend’ of theirs 19 times in a months long pre-meditated murder. This most likely disturbed you, as evil should, and the next question is, of course “Why?”

The media has been fast to answer, as is their custom.  The reason: Slenderman.

Some of you may ask “Who (what?) is Slenderman?”

It’s this guy:

Slenderman

This brings me to my role as a youth teacher. I’ve talked with your kids about all kinds of stuff. Kids say crazy things, especially when they think nobody is listening. So I can say that your kids know who Slenderman is, and many have played the games, or watched them played. 100% sure, boys, girls, home-schooled, public schooled, they know.

The good news, I’m reasonably certain that none of them will kill anyone.  Why? Because I know something the press won’t talk about.  I know that those two girls who stabbed that girl did not have a Slenderman problem, they had a worship problem.  I don’t know their story, and I don’t know their hearts, but for whatever reason, these girls decided that they were going to worship something that was not God Almighty.  Instead, they chose to worship a created thing.  The result of worship is always that we come to resemble that which we bow to.  It does not take much foresight to see that when two girls (blurring the lines between reality and fiction) worshiped the alluring villain of online horror fiction, they would become something horrific.  And sadly, they did.  God is not done with them, and our prayers should keep that in mind.

So, what ought parents do?  Well, we could purge our entire lives of Slenderman.  It’s totally an open option, and if you feel this is the best way to guide your children, do it.  But whatever you do, don’t forget to address the core issues.

  1. We know what is real and we know what is fake…if we use discernment.  Walk with your kids through decisions and hear their reasons.  It’s the best way to teach critical thinking and see how they process the world around them.
  2. Watch what your kids worship.  Just because your kid turns into a baseball monster and not an actual one does not mean they don’t have misplaced worship. We only worship God, because He’s the only one worthy of it.  And we become more like him.  If we worship anything else (even if it is culturally approved) we become monsters.  Worship matters.
  3. Find out what your kids are into, read their books, listen to their music, understand why they enjoy it (shoot, enjoy it yourself), and then talk to them about it.  Review it, decide what has worth, what is worthless, and what is silly and doesn’t really matter either way (like cat videos). Just make sure you do it in the least annoying way possible…

I hope this is helpful.  For more info, see below:
The News Story: http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/04/justice/wisconsin-stabbing/
The Wikipedia Article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slender_Man
The Game: http://slendergame.com/

Thanks for reading. I’m not good at being brief.

– Dan

P.S. The block building video game Minecraft also has a creature in it called “Enderman”.  It is functionally unrelated, no worries.


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