Is there any danger in playing a violent interactive video game? We are play acting yes, but we are also being conditioned, conditioned to respond in a prideful way, taking things into our own hands, taking vengeance on the evil ones. As Christians we are admonished to let God fight the battles for us. God says “Vengeance is mine.”
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” ~ Romans 12:19
“If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men.”
An environment where people are being tortured and slaughtered is not the environment that God wants us to provide for our children to grow up in. We certainly wouldn’t purposely pick a neighborhood with that sort of violence to expose your children too. Does it make any sense then to bring that sort of violence into your home?
I went through the race riots in Detroit in 1967. Let me tell you, real war and fighting is not glamorous. Driving through the streets intown, ducking from military gunfire is not a game. I continued to have flashbacks for years whenever there was fighting on the school grounds or in the neighborhood.
If we surround ourselves with this type of thinking, we and our children can be conditioned to get back at (take revenge) because we feel justified, in other words we feel we have the right. We may not wield a weapon, but our words can be just as deadly. If we really think about it, we too as God’s people can be conditioned by society and by the media to accept that this type of fighting with our words is justified. In God eyes however, it is not.
You may say, “Well, my child would never hoard weapons as the young men did at Columbine School and gun down their classmates just because they watched a lot of violent video games,” but there is something more to consider dangerous, that is the attitude that pervades, “Don’t tell me what to do. I have the right to fight,” albeit with words instead of guns and ammunition.”
Our children look to heroes and try to emulate them, putting themselves in the place of the one who is taking revenge on the “bad” guys. Today there are all kinds of powerful heroes and heroines in comic books, movies, and especially video games, not portrayed as normal everyday men and women, but disproportionately muscular, so that boys and men want to be invincible and girls powerful and sexy. The desire is to covet their build, sexy look and power. However, no one can ever be like them. Nevertheless our children put themselves in the place of these men and women of war and connect with them in their minds. God says that as we think, so we are. Why? In the New Testament church, not only are we not to do harm to our enemies, but we are to love them. What we think matters, whether it is real or not. God says if we lust after a woman, we have already committed adultery in our hearts. If we kill and destroy our enemies even in our imagination, we have also sinned in our hearts.
James and John wanted to call fire down from heaven. Did they have a right to? They may have, but what did Jesus say?
“And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elijah did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.” ~ Luke 9:54-56
What being is full of this pride of life, lust for power? We know that this is the spirit of Satan.
Why are these videos so popular in today’s culture? Why are they making mega millions and growing more and more popular each year?
Too many children are embracing them, and too many parents are allowing it.
We have a New Testament covenant with Christ as our example. His last words on the cross, “It is finished.” What was finished? We know that He was the lamb of God, taking on what all of us deserve. There is more however. He also finished His earthly example by not reviling again nor taking matters into his own hands, but leaving it all in the hands of His Father to the point of being beaten to death for the sake of his enemies. This is the type of example your children should be looking to emulate.
“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” ~John 18:36
Then would my servants fight, but my kingdom is not of this world. We are not to be part of this world or emulate its pride. We are to train our young men to emulate Christ. How are these violent video games fulfilling this admonition?
What kind of person are our children trying to emulate as a superhero? Is Jesus Christ their Superhero? What did Christ do when he knew that Satan would enter Judas? Christ washed Judas’ feet. He did not take up his rifle and blast him at the last supper.
The world’s mindset is one of fighting it out and feeling justified when we take things into our own hands by fighting with our husbands or others with whom we do not agree, and we feel we are right because we know in our hearts they are wrong. We kill with our tongues. Is this not this same mindset? God says if you hate your brother, you kill in your heart. God admonishes us to turn the other cheek; don’t take things into our own hands, “I will repay.” We are to Love our enemy, and do good to them that hurt us and despitefully use you and persecute us. If a man slaps you on the cheek, turn and give him your other cheek. Stephen followed Christ’s example and at his death said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Acts 7:60 Don’t we not want to instill that attitude in our children?
Is God is in control? He struck Herod down when he boasted and allowed people to think he was a god. God has the power and right to take vengeance, not man. He was swelled with pride, what we do not want to allow into our thoughts or hearts.
In Revelation, Christ says to the church of Laodicea, “You do not know you are poor blind and naked.” [Revelation 3:17]
He is speaking of our spiritual condition. God admonished us to give to those who are hungry; clothe those who are naked, and destitute. The world’s enemies are poor, blind, and naked. Do we feed them, or do we blast them? [Matthew 26:35-36]
Are we to retaliate or are we to give them what they need to become more like God? Our lights are to shine, on the evil and the good. We are ambassadors for Christ. Do we teach our children to do this by watching video games that portray the opposite?
The Spartans trained their young men for war as soon as they could hold an arrow and bow. They were trained in the art of war as some nations do today with their very young children. As you know, some even strap bombs to their young children and send them into a building to demolish it. We look forward to a much different future.
“And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” ~ Micah 4:3
Our children are now the princes and princesses in training for a world we will rule. It is to be a world of peace. It is not a world where vengeance is entertainment.
God does not want us to feel the rush of getting back at others or acting as saviors when He is the only Savior. Superheroes only feed into our desire to take control ourselves even though it is only fantasy. This fuels the fires of our human carnal nature and enhances the feelings of power and pride. Isn’t that the mind of Satan?
“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look…” ~ Proverbs 6:16-17
#1 God hates pride.
I feel that Satan can entrap our children with the world’s entertainment, especially in the form of virtual reality video games, encouraging them to embrace his ways.
God IS real! Let’s train our young men to emulate Christ in everything they do.