5 Ways Christians Can Relate to Sonic The Hedgehog

Sonic Item Box and Ring

When you hear the name Sonic the Hedgehog, you probably aren’t scratching your head and asking “What’s that?” That’s because Sonic has been one of the most popular icons in gaming since the 1991 debut release of the original ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ for Sega Genesis.

Many haters would say that Sonic hasn’t been up to speed (I’ll slap myself for that one) since ‘Sonic CD’ (1993) or ‘Sonic and Knuckles’ (1994). In my geeky opinion, I would say that although the series has had some ups, downs, and loop-de-loops; Sonic has been redeemed in recent years with stellar games like ‘Sonic Colors’ and ‘Sonic Generations’.

Hater or fanatic, most gamers would probably agree that at some point in time they enjoyed the platforming goodness that Sega offered us. With the upcoming Wii U release of ‘Sonic Lost World’ drawing near (and looking pretty nifty), and a brand new cartoon series on the way, I thought this would be a good time to look at some Biblical lessons we can relate to the adventures of Sonic and friends.

Note: These aren’t things that we “learn from Sonic”. These are Biblical lessons. They are my thoughts on things that God teaches us, and verses from Bible translations. The Sonic illustration is only a silly side note.

We Pick a Side

Knuckles & Tails

Sonic Adventure 2 changed things up for the series. It was the first Sonic game where players had the choice to play as the ‘hero’ or the ‘dark’ team. The interesting thing is, no matter what you chose, the story still had the same ending. No matter what, the good guys still won.

We have a choice too. We can choose to love God, love others, and follow Christ. We can also choose to do the opposite, but we are going to have to face the consequences if we do. God is the winning side, so choosing to go against Him is silly. His ways are selfless and loving. They produce the best fruit for our lives, so why wouldn’t we follow Him? Nevertheless, sometimes we do pick the wrong side.

Both Knuckles and Shadow picked the wrong side at some point, but decided to make a change. We may go down the wrong paths, and reject God. There’s good news though! We can restart the console, and pick the hero side. How do we do this? Through accepting and following Jesus Christ, click here to learn more about that!

Many People Around Us are Robotically Trapped

Sonic Tails Knuckles Use Remote

Dr. Robotnic (aka Dr. Eggman) is one mean dude. He has a bad habit of capturing Sonic’s friends, and trapping them inside robots. These animal powered robots then go off and do Robotnic’s fiendish bidding. They become robotic slaves for an evil cause, and begin to help in the ‘Roboticizing’ of many more critters.

Many of us are “trapped inside of robots” too. We may say that we are free. We may also say that we love God, and follow Christ. Often times those things are true, but sometimes our words and our lifestyle don’t add up.

Romans 8:5-8 (ESV)

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.

Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

The world ‘roboticizes’ us by telling us lies like, it’s okay to:

  • Wear this, even though it’s inappropriate, it’s cute right?
  • Play this game, it’s fun, that’s what matters
  • Buy that explicit CD, I only like the music, not the words
  • Obsess over how I look, gotta look decent!
  • Only look out for ourselves, I deserve it, I’m a good person
  • Never give, I don’t make enough money for that
  • Never spend time with God, I’m just busy right now

I would call this lukewarm syndrome (click the link to learn more). Some people love the world more than God. This is a tragedy for many reasons, but one of the most obvious is the misconceptions that it gives non-Christians.

The TV, games, and movies we let into our lives effect us. I love to play fun video games, but I have a filter. That’s why I don’t have a copy of Grand Theft Auto 5. Yes, it’s popular, and many people have it. I can’t justify it though. Following Christ, and supporting that game don’t mix.

If people say they are Christians, but live exactly the same way as everyone else, what are they showing outsiders?

We Go Through Stages

Sonic Thumbs Up

When you power on a Sonic game for the first time, you begin at the first level. Green Hill Zone Act 1, City Escape, and Tropical Resort are all examples of levels that start one of Sonic’s many adventures. These levels are significantly easier than the levels that come later in the game (I’m looking at you EggmanLand).

As the game progresses (and the difficulty level rises), the player’s skills become more refined. They develop greater control over the character, better understand the mechanics of the game, and learn new abilities. This is part of what makes playing through the game feel reasonable. If Sonic was thrown right into the last level from the get go, players would be overwhelmed with difficulty.

The same works in our lives. We don’t go from level 1 to level 100 in a day. We take steps, go on quests, and level-up over time. In order to continue growing though, it’s important to keep moving forward.

1 Corinthians 3:1-3 (ESV)

But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.

I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,

for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

If you place no effort into growing in your relationship with God, you will likely stay in “level one, act one” until you actually move.

Sometimes our faith comes naturally. We feel motivated, and close to God. Everything can seem simple when we are at this place, but what happens when those times are challenged?

Where are your priorities when you are tired, upset, or stuck in the rut of everyday life. Do you still put God at the center? If not, it may be time to use your limit breaker!

When we persistently get to know God better, we begin to grow. We may face new challenges, but I believe that challenges are often an indication that God is preparing us for ‘the next level’. Don’t mistake this for God putting evil or suffering in your life.

Romans 8:28-39 (ESV)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,

nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I don’t believe that God puts evil in our lives. I do believe that God can take the difficult things that are in our lives, and uses them to help us grow.

We Need Help From Friends

Tails, Knuckles & Sonic

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992) introduced Miles “Tails” Prower to the series. Miles Prower aka Tails is a young yellow fox with two tails. Sonic’s new sidekick would dilligently follow right behind him as he ran through the stages. If a second player grabbed another controller, that player could then play as Tails.

Sonic 2 became much easier with multiple players. Tails could jump into dangerous situations, and take down threatening foes for Sonic.

Playing as Tails had it’s ups and downs. It was extremely difficult to keep up with the player who was using Sonic, but on the flip side, Tails was virtually unbeatable as long as Sonic was alive. It was important that both players worked together, because they both had strengths and weaknesses.

In later Sonic games, it sometimes became impossible to even complete the game without enlisting help from Sonic’s pals. Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, and Sonic Heroes all put an emphasis on working together with allies.

Tails could fly Sonic to otherwise unreachable areas. Knuckles was really tough, and could dig into the ground (odeodeodeAH! …Rats). Espio had mad ninja skills. Sonic really couldn’t do it alone. He needed his partners.

The same works for Christ followers. We have a variety of gifts, but it is important that we work together. Although our gifts may differ from someone else’s, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t part of the body of Christ.

New Quest Available!

Read 1 Corinthians 12

On another note, getting back to Tails in Sonic 2, it was important who your second player was. If you were playing with someone who always went down all the wrong paths, you were in trouble once you got to the bonus round.

Sonic could be trying his hardest to collect enough rings to get to the end of the bonus stage, but if Tails ran into a bunch of bombs (by going on the wrong paths), it would destroy both players chances of making any progress. Instead of helping, they could hurt you. It would be better to play single player (until finding a different player two), than to have this happen.

Sometimes we need to pray, and consider the people who we hold as our close allies. If your closest friends claim to be Christian, but live filthy lives, they may be destroying your chances of making progress. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t reach out to people who are not yet saved.

Sometimes it’s Easy, Sometimes it’s Really Hard

Sonic Eye

Long time Sonic enthusiasts have probably experienced a wide range of difficulty levels while playing Sonic. Sometimes there are parts of Sonic levels that practically play themselves. Other times… you’ll go into a level with 50 lives, and leave with only 2 left (still looking glaring at you EggmanLand).

For those of you who haven’t experienced it for yourselves, EggmanLand is the last level of “Sonic Unleashed”. The game as a whole was reasonably easy, up until the last level.

In EggmanLand you are faced with one challenge after another. As soon as you think to yourself “Yes! I did it! I beat it!” you hit a checkpoint and realize that the level still isn’t over. You are bombarded with one challenge after another, and forced to wonder if the game developers figured out a way to make a level that never ends.

I can almost guarantee that you will experience the same thing in life. Sometimes you will be flying through at ‘supersonic speed’ without a care in the world. Other times you’ll seem to be stuck at the same spot. Like never-ending stress.

Your clothes are out of date. You feel ugly. Your money is low, and your car breaks down. You’re having trouble at work. You have to make an unexpected trip. The list goes on…

Every time you think you’ve passed a difficulty, another might take it’s place. You may wonder if the pain will ever end. Will you ever get through the ‘EggmanLand’ of life?

We will all face troubles in this life. The focus often tends to be on how to avoid these troubles, instead of growing through the troubles. We will face trouble in this life, but our focus doesn’t need to be on this life. Our focus needs to be on God’s kingdom.

Luke 12: 13-34 (ESV)

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?”

And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully,

and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’

And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.

And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”‘

But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’

So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on.

For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.

Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!

And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried.

For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them.

Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

New Quest Available!

Read all of Luke 12 (ESV) here!

Bonus Round!

Sonic Block

If you’ve read up to this point, you’ve heard some of my thoughts about 5 different topics, and reached the bonus round! Sometimes Sonic goes the extra mile. He could just race towards the next goal post, but oftentimes he stops to take on a “bonus level” instead.

On several occasions it was impossible to fully complete the game without taking the extra time to play these bonus rounds.

I encourage you to take some time to read your Bible, and pray every day. Read whole books, and whole chapters. Read in context, not just out of a devotional.

I highly recommend studying the Bible in your own time, feel free to check out these articles that cover entire chapters:

Keep racing forward!

With love,

-Caleb

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Sonic Item Box and Ring, Knuckles and Tails, Sonic Tails Knuckles Remote ControlTails Knuckles & Sonic, Sonic Thumbs Up, Sonic Up CloseSonic Block

9 Comments

  • Thank you for taking the time to write this (and all of Gamerfaith)! Thank you for seeking God and His insight and sharing it with us! I pray He blesses you for your faithfulness to Him and for helping all of us draw closer to Him as well!

    I encourage everyone reading this to do as he suggested and spend time with God, studying the Bible and talking with Him! And share with others what God shares with you!

    • calebnisley says:

      Thanks Christopher! Your support means so much to me! Congrats on adorable Serena 🙂 Continue to sharpen your brothers in Christ! Praying for you and the family!

  • […] 5 Ways Christians Can Relate to Sonic the Hedgehog […]

  • Era says:

    This is really helpful thanks.

    I like you’re ” We’re trapped in robots ” analogy I never thought of that before.

    • Caleb Nisley says:

      Glad you liked the article! Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂 It means a lot to me! Let me know if you ever need any prayer, or have any questions about Gamerfaith 🙂 Thanks again for taking the time to read the article! -Caleb

  • Doogly says:

    Is this a joke. Sonic issatantic haven’t you played sonic06?

    • Caleb Nisley says:

      Hi Doogly! Sonic 06 definitely has some weird stuff in it, and to be honest, I never finished playing that game because I disliked it. I don’t think I mention that game in this article, nor am I trying to encourage satanism. More recent Sonic games don’t seem to be including such dark themes. Most Sonic games seem to be pretty kid friendly. Many young people are fans of Sonic. My goal with this article was to reach those people and remind them of some very important things. It is meant to encourage those people to spend more time with God. I understand your concern and will think and pray about it. I’ve done a bit more research on Sonic 06 since you left this comment. Thank you for taking the time to share!

  • Brandy Reese says:

    hey thanks for posting this stuff. I won’t use your actual work but I was wondering if I could borrow some of your ideas and twist them a bit for my “Old School” video game themed VBS? I am focusing on 4 different games: Sonic, Mario, Donky Kong and pacman… I almost went for legend of Zelda but the kids say they have never heard of that… The kids always look at my games in awe that I ever survived and still survive without an x-box haha.

    • Caleb Nisley says:

      Haha, oldschool games are the best kind! Of course you can use some of the ideas 🙂 We also have a Mario article structured in this same way if you are interested! Thanks for asking for permission! Praying your VBS goes well! Oldschool games is a great idea! Go show those kids the love of Christ!

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