Spoiler Alert for the Kingdom Hearts series below!
We live in a world mired by conflict. From a Christian perspective, evil worldviews surround us, fighting for our attention and pressuring us to cede authority to them. These worldviews dress themselves up as essential for our daily living if we want to live a great life. Workers are to sacrifice relationships with coworkers to reach the top of the company. Women must strive for unobtainable physical traits so that they are desirable. Companies appeal to sexuality and deceptive tactics to advertise their products. This evil surrounds us and demands us to bow before it. God calls Christians to resist and fight this evil. The heroes of Kingdom Hearts find themselves in a similar situation concerning the Heartless, Nobodies, and Unversed.
Kingdom Hearts follows the story of Sora and his friends as they fight the forces of darkness. The major bad guys in Kingdom Hearts exist in three groups: the Heartless, the Nobodies, and the Unversed. These wicked forces congregate around strong negative emotions and steal people’s hearts, leaving their bodies empty. All of them further the powers of darkness for most of the storyline. Like in our world, the powers of darkness in Kingdom Hearts spread at an alarming rate.
The evil in our world seems to be unsatiable. Evil worldviews promise wealth, health, and happiness. How is the Christian supposed to fight such enticing views? Is our fight against a person, or is it against the philosophy presented by evil? Where does the Christian start in this fight against corruption? The Apostle Paul wrote about this exact issue in Ephesians.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. – Ephesians 6:10-13.
Paul tells us that our struggle against evil is not against flesh and blood but spiritual forces, rulers, and authorities of evil. We are not to fight other people. Evil forces influence all people, and this manifests in harmful worldviews and flawed philosophies. These philosophies physically manifest by people making wrong decisions. Why, then, are we to fight against bad ideologies rather than the people who make these evil decisions?
What are we fighting against?
First and foremost, everybody is susceptible to evil forces. We all succumb to evil and sin. Jesus died for us all to save from our sin! Jesus also demanded that we pray for our enemies and treat them with love, as stated in Matthew 5:44. Jesus’s love involved meeting people where they were and pulling them from their sinful natures. Jesus didn’t fight against people but instead fought against evil ideologies. He fought demons and fought against the corrupt actions of the Pharisees and Sadducees, especially those who succumbed to the evil in their hearts.
Sora rarely fights against flesh and blood people in Kingdom Hearts. Most of his enemies are the Heartless, Nobodies, and Unversed. The times Sora fights against a flesh and blood human, they generally turn into a Heartless before the fight occurs. This occasion happens when Sora fights Clayton in the Deep Jungle world and when Sora faces Riku in Hollow Bastion. Sora also forgives Riku for the harm he caused throughout the first Kingdom Hearts. Riku succumbed to the darkness, even though he did so with good intentions.
Our Good Intentions
Evil done with good intentions is still evil. For example, a bad worldview influences a person, and that person finds the temptation to cheat on their math exam to obtain good grades to get into a prestigious graduate school. Others may lie about a deed they performed so that their friends will continue to think highly of them. People perform these acts with good intentions.
In the first Kingdom Hearts, Riku submits to the powers of darkness to rescue his friend Kiari. In doing so, he hurts folks, including Pinocchio and Sora. Good intentions, unfortunately, do not erase the evil of the deed performed. God is not interested only in outcomes but in how we achieve those outcomes. In the parable of the talents, Jesus told the story of three workers whose master gave them responsibility for their master’s money. One worker buried the single talent he got to avoid any risk of losing the money. The worker’s intentions were good: preserve the master’s money. However, how he went about it was sinful. He should have worked with the money he was given, as his coworkers did.
How do we fight evil?
Now that we know what we are fighting against, how do we go about fighting it? Paul gives us a foundation in Ephesians 6; we are to put on the whole armor of God, which protects us from evil and keeps us on the path of righteousness. The armor of God requires discipline to use, like any other set of armor. The first place we fight evil is in ourselves. Jesus stated in Matthew 7:3-4 that we are to tend to the log in our own eyes before we tend to the speck in our neighbors.
To tend to our logs, we must first understand what they are. Are we susceptible to lying or cheating? Then we must start by confessing these sins to God and asking for help in remedying this. Then we take strides to fix it. When we feel tempted to lie, we should stop ourselves and instead offer the truth. Instead of cheating, we should take our tests with dignity and honesty. God will always give us a path out of our temptations, as stated in 1 Corinthians 10:13. Riku tries to convince Sora to use the darkness to save Kairi in Kingdom Hearts, but he withstands the temptation and stays on the path of light.
Outside of Ourselves
After we conquer our darkness, we can set out to fight against the powers of evil in the world. To start here, I recommend immersing yourself in Scripture and Christian theology. The Bible lays the pathway of righteousness in our lives, and the wisdom contained within can help us struggle against the evil forces in the world today. Armed with that knowledge, we can counter the evil ideologies we see in the world. Much like how the Keyblade Sora wields helps destroy the heartless, the Sword of the Spirit, the Bible, can help us destroy evil ideologies.
When we stand up for the Biblical worldview, we must remember a few rules given to us. First, we must always treat everybody with grace and humility. Peter stated in 1 Peter 3:15 that we must prepare ourselves to defend our faith to anyone, but we are to do it with gentleness and respect. We must remember that we, too, are human and fully capable of falling into the evil ways we seek to defeat. Next, we must never forget to fight the bad ideology, not the person who holds it. Part of being humble and treating folks with grace includes not putting those people down or criticizing them personally. In doing this, we can much better present our points and offer the love of Jesus to the populace.
Go fight the good fight!
My brothers and sisters, evil resides all around us and can be within us. We must be vigilant in our fight against evil forces, donning the whole armor of God while also showing grace and humility in dealing with others. Walking the path of righteousness requires that we show the love of Jesus to all we meet while standing firm with the principles given to us in the Bible.
I continue to pray for all of you, and I hope that your days go well. I pray that God is with you all as you continue in your lives.