There’s a really interesting article I read today that brings up the question of Christians playing violent video games, which is especially poignant now as Grand Theft Auto IV has been released to critical acclaim. This game is being played by millions of people, and undoubtedly many of them are Christians. Some might say, "It’s no big deal. It’s not real, it’s only a video game." But,
We evangelicals are pretty sure we can commit adultery in our hearts,
and we seem to agree that viewing pornography makes us guilty of that
heart kind of adultery. If viewing pornography (which isn’t a real
affair, after all) makes us adulterers, then doesn’t killing someone in
a video game (which isn’t a real crime, after all) make us murderers?
It’s a good point, and there’s an interesting discussion brewing. What do you think? Is Jesus’ teaching on murder in the heart applicable here, or is this no big deal?
I think the real question is why followers of Christ WANT to entertain themselves with such unrendemptive stuff. The violence, murder, pornography, what have you that are rife in the video game markets, and, unfortunately, in quite a lot of the movie industry today. Why are we allowing ourselves to be formed (because our “play” forms us just as significantly as our actual experiences) by something so opposed to our fundamental affirmations about faith and life?
Benjamin Sternke says
I think that’s the right emphasis, Jenna. There is a prevailing boredom in Christians that drives them to these kinds of things, I think. Why are we so bored?
(I am not necessarily saying that any kind of participation in video games or movie-watching is somehow antithetical to Christianity, just asking a question…)
I think we’re bored because we don’t get that the Christian life is actually a life. We have a hard time finding our way back to one of the basic truths of the Gospel, which is that we’re citizens of a new kingdom that starts in the here and now and continues on for eternity. We’re living like strangers in the world, perhaps, but seem to have forgotten that we’re not homeless. We’ve got a new nationality and culture. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of times Christians forget that…and in that case, we’re right to be bored. Because if we’re neither living the joyful life of a Kingdom citizen, nor living the hedonistic life of the world, well, that’s a recipe for boredom to me!
it is very interesting that we find it fun to role play and act like a murderer. What about the age old game of cops and robbers?