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Why Are Many Youth Obsessed With Parkour?
Batman, Zorro, Spider-Man, and Harry Potter are the heroes who can leap over roofs and up walls in movies. Their stories have left a deep imprint in the depths of man’s heart. Their faithful fans strive to follow suit, and for this reason, the fans created a new sport for this world—Parkour.
What is parkour? It can be called “City Racing.” Parkour was originally developed in France in 1980s and this word came from French, parcourir, which can be translated literally into “running around.” In addition, it also implies “overcoming obstacles.” Parkour enthusiasts take the whole city as a big training field: All walls and roofs can be the obstacles they climb and cross. Parkour is an extreme sport of running through city streets. It’s a breathtaking show of leaping over roofs and up walls in real life. When the enthusiasts of parkour race along the edge of roofs and leap across rooftops, when they climb among the perilous rocks and peaks, when they jump off of buildings, bounce from wall to wall, and flip over stairs, they really become “the supermen,” and look handsomest and coolest, and we, the witnesses, couldn’t help but cheer for them or give an exclamation when we see this. However, after our exclamation of joy, should we calm down and rationally examine this new sport—Parkour, and ponder whether it is a friend, or a killer.
The parkour enthusiasts mentioned in following news lost their young lives because of parkour.
Individual death case І: In June, 2012, in St. Petersburg, an enthusiast of parkour, a girl aged 24, unfortunately fell to her death when she was trying practicing parkour. At that time, she was practicing parkour with her elder sister and four local men on the top of Apartment 8 in Martynovskaya Street. The men flaunted themselves by jumping from the housetop to the overhanging eaves of the opposite building, and then they instigated the two girls to challenge. Her sister refused, but she wanted to try it bravely. She tried to jump to the roof of the opposite building after her run-up. Unfortunately, she didn’t succeed, but fell from the seventeenth floor and died.
Individual death case II: In April, 2013, in Luzhou, Sichuang Province, China, Wang Zijian, a 21-year-old parkour enthusiast, had an accident when he was conquering the Tuojiang River. That day, he arranged with his friends to practice parkour in Baita, the urban area of Luzhou city. When they reached the Tuojiang Bridge No.1, he wanted to fulfill his wish of years—challenging Tuojiang Bridge No.1 and conquering Tuojiang River. So, he stepped over the guardrail of the bridge and jumped from the about 40-meter-high Tuojiang Bridge. After that, he sunk into the river and disappeared without trace.
Individual death case III: In July, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Russia, a parkour enthusiast named Pavel Kashin, fell off the edge of the sixteenth floor and died. At the time, he was trying to turn a somersault on the roof edge of a 16-floor building, but he lost his balance carelessly and fell sixteen floors to his death.
Individual death case IV: In 2015, in America, a 15-year-old juvenile fell to his death when he was training on the top of a building. He stood on the top of a four-floor building and tried to leap to the top of another building eight feet away. Unluckily, he failed because the gap between the two buildings was too large.
Individual death case V: On October 20, 2015, a girl student, who is in eighth grade, might slip down when she was practicing parkour, and died of her injuries. All cases above are from the United Morning Post.
It’s very sad to see these tragedies. And it’s difficult to understand that these parkour enthusiasts can risk their own lives and treat their lives as games. What is it that attracts them and makes them so crazy about parkour? God’s word has told us the answer, God’s word says, “Nowadays, many people practice parkour. Have you ever practiced parkour? Do you like it? (I really like that feeling.) How can you like that feeling? What is that feeling exactly? (It’s the feeling of leaping over roofs and up walls. It’s very exciting.) Is that normal? (No, it isn’t.) If it’s not normal, how can you still like it? (It’s just showing off.) That feeling gives people a kind of visual and emotional stimulation, so everyone yearns to do it. What governs this thinking? Why do people like this thing? Is it because of Spider-Man? Is there some feeling in people’s hearts that they want to save the world, to be supermen? There are many movies and TV shows which feature flying heroes that fly here, there and everywhere, leaping over roofs and up walls, and people really envy them. Thus, the brains of the current generation of young people are seeded with these things and are poisoned. How come they can be poisoned with these things? This has to do with a kind of need within people. Why do you like parkour so much? Don’t you know that it’s dangerous? Don’t you know that you can be killed doing it? People are not spiders, nor are they geckos. They don’t have the same ability. If they cling to a wall, they will most certainly fall back down. You stand on something one meter off the ground, and before you jump down, you will think what part of your body you can land on so that you won’t get hurt or break something. When there is nothing on a wall for support, those people are still able to climb up and jump down, which is exciting for them, much to the admiration of the viewers. So what governs this thinking? (People live boring lives, so they go looking for excitement.) This is one type: Young people are wont to go looking for excitement. They are so empty and bored and they don’t know what to do for the best. There is another thinking governing them, which is that people have a desire in their hearts to be a certain type of person, and they long for a kind of power, and for a certain something. This something that people yearn for is to have supernatural powers and abilities, and not what normal humanity possesses. People want to be heroes, supermen, capable men, and people who have extraordinary abilities; in other words, they worship Satan in their hearts. … Does mankind created by God have this kind of ability? Does God make people practice parkour when they have nothing else to do? Was parkour around at the time of Adam and Eve? Why didn’t they practice parkour? Is there anything about parkour in the Bible? Why did people in that age not practice parkour? Why do so many people do it nowadays? It is most certainly because people have been influenced by certain ideological trends and influenced by film and television. These things do not belong to their hearts and they are things that lead them toward evil trends. People are simple-minded and have no discernment, and they happen to like these things, they like strange things, exciting things and the extraordinary abilities of Satan. People seek these things and they define it like this, ‘I like heroes. Aren’t Spider-Man and Batman heroes?’ Do these people really have such abilities? No, they don’t. Satan uses this method to invent, fabricate and play out some stories, and it especially deceives these simple-minded, brainless adolescents. Have you been influenced at all? (Yes.) Is it then easy to remove and cleanse yourselves of this poison? Once you have been influenced, these things enter your thoughts and become a kind of poison. You only need to fail to see through this poison and you will then be unable to give it up completely; if you are influenced by it for one day, you will be disturbed and controlled by it for that one day.”
“When your stature is immature and you have no discernment, you may first take those evil trends in and see them as positive, as things that are very normal. ‘Why can’t I imitate these things? Why can’t I desire them? They’re just normal.’ You then see them as legitimate things. This is one way in which Satan poisons people so, tell Me, is Satan not evil?” (“Young People Should See Through the Evil Trends of the World” in Records of Christ’s Talks). From God’s words we come to understand: In the young heart of us humans, Satan uses some made-up and fabricated stories to deceive and lure us by movies and television, and makes us first accept these stories as truth. Unknowingly, these viewpoints that we humans shouldn’t have are planted within us. Some young men want to look for excitement because they feel empty and bored, then they are addicted to parkour. Some young men are governed by Satan’s thoughts and poisons, so they want to be the people with extraordinary or supernatural abilities, to be the people who can leap over roofs and up walls and to be heroes or supermen who can save the world; in this way, they can live a free life and be worshiped and admired by others. Under the influence of Satan’s evil trend, a lot of innocent young men are deceived as thus. They don’t know what normal men should pursue; they don’t know what positive things are and what negative things are. They no longer want to keep their places, nor want to live an ordinary life dutifully, nor want to do things that an ordinary man ought to do. Instead, they are intoxicated with this trend, and they involuntarily imitate and adore those supermen, flying heroes, and heroes. So, if man can’t have a thorough knowledge of Satan’s evil trends, then they can only be abused and devoured. Parkour has gone beyond the limit that a normal man can reach. If a person wants to look for momentary excitement, or if he wants to be someone with supernatural powers, then he will bring an inconceivable result to his family and his life.
Then, how should we see through Satan’s schemes and solve this problem at the root?
First, we should know that man is the creation of God. God makes man live with his feet firmly on the ground, and He doesn’t give man a supernatural power. So we should live as normal persons, submit to God’s preordination, and shouldn’t seek those supernatural and vague things. God’s word says： “You must be a person with your feet firmly on the ground. Do not try to be superhuman, great, or lofty. … When creating humans, God put them on the ground so that your daily lives could be completely normal and your lifestyles disciplined, and so that you could learn general knowledge about how to be human beings, and learn how to behave, how to live, and how to worship God. God did not give you wings; He did not allow you to stay up in the air. … If people keep having such ambitions, always wanting to turn themselves extraordinary and superior, different from others, and special, then that is a problem! First of all, the source of your thinking is wrong” (“The Five Conditions People Have Before They Enter the Right Track of Believing in God” in Records of Christ’s Talks). God created man, and He makes man live on the ground peacefully. God leads man with His word, and teaches man how to live, how to be a man, how to worship God and how to live in the blessings of Him. Man is a mortal being and belongs to flesh, and he can’t become a superman, much less a hero who can save the world. Only after knowing the sovereignty and preordination of the Creator, can man be well-behaved and honest. Only then can man have discernment of Satan’s schemes and stop suffering its deception and affliction, living in God’s care and protection.
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