How To: Play Video Games

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Ok, I’ll admit it. This post hurts. It hurts me, and if I’m doing it right, it’ll hurt you too. Sounds kinda mean, right? Well, check this out:

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” -Hebrews4:12

This leads me to my question: What do you as a Christian do for entertainment? The next few posts I do will be devoted to addressing this question from a Biblical standpoint and worldview.

As Christians, we are called to a higher standard. Most of the entertainment options out there are anti-God, anti-family, or against what the Bible teaches. So, when you sit down to watch a TV show, how do you filter what you are watching? Philippians 4:8 has a good standard to go by:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” -Philippians 4:8 NIV

A few years ago, I got sucked into playing the Xbox 360 game “Call of Duty.” The people I had been hanging out with had kept tempting me for a long time in regards to playing this particular genre of games. I stood my ground and said no for many months. Finally, however, I gave in. And then, just for kicks, I pulled the RT on the controller and fired a few rounds into a virtual body. That first game gave way to several months of consistently playing this game with my friends. It was the thrill of something new, where domination is the goal and often the end result. In all seriousness, it was addictive! So I’d do this during the week and sometimes after church, and then on Sundays, would go like the rest of the kids to church and be a good Christian. I played church.

Fast forward a few months. I remember so clearly that for several nights as I was trying to go to sleep, I would close my eyes and see the blood stains that appear on the TV screen when your character gets hit during the game. I would try as hard as I could to shake it, but I often went to sleep with these visuals being the last thing I thought of before I conked out. That’s when I started to think that maybe these violent games aren’t a good idea.

So, after telling my parents (who had no clue what we were doing in regards to that) what had been happening, we both quit playing. And believe me, it was hard when our friends asked us to play and we stood by our convictions and said no.And we told them why we had stopped playing. So, why should Christians stay away from popular video games like Modern Warfare?

Ok, sure it was virtual. Sure, it was just a game. But when you do that, what are you filling your mind with? I’ll answer that for you- killing and violence. Now how does that line up with Scripture? It doesn’t! In the game, you are killing for the fun of the game. No virtue. No morals. Just killing.

When we as Christians are instructed to live a certain way, we must do that. When the Bible says to fill our minds with whatever is pure and admirable and right, I’m pretty sure that doesn’t include Modern Warfare or any other games in that genre! Find something else. If you want to play Xbox, try Fifa or Madden.

Our worldview as Christians looks through the Bible. The Bible is our standard. We must live like it.

In Christ,

Christopher

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