Many people ask how a Christian can effectively justify the use of their time playing video games, particularly ones involving graphic violence, sexual content, or pervasive occult material. Those skeptical of Geeks Under Grace and sites like ours often allude to Colossians 3:17, which says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
The prevailing viewpoint among those that feel this way is the belief that video games and worshipfulness to God are mutually exclusive. Most of them believe a truly devout Christian should forsake such an indulgence. In this philosophy, one cannot “play video games unto the Lord”. While it’s easy to simply brush off ideologies and people that conflict with and challenge our beliefs and worldviews, let’s be open-minded about it.
So, how does a Christian video gamer defend the use of their time playing video games, as opposed to spending it reading The Holy Bible, fasting, praying, meditating, and performing good works? After all, each of the things I just listed are worthy pursuits. Most or all of those are a standard practice for Christians according to one church’s doctrine or another.
How could one possibly play video games when there are so many other “Christian” duties to attend to? While it’s important in one’s Christian walk to make sure that no one interest becomes an idol in one’s life (a topic I will not explore in-depth here), one can in fact combine their faith with their love of games.
How you may ask? Why, by measuring the lessons, philosophies, actions, dialogues and personalities within these games against the scripture, of course! In doing so, you have ample opportunity to learn more about what The Holy Bible teaches as you separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. It helps you understand the characters and events of these games in ways you otherwise wouldn’t.
Outlined below–in no particular order–are ten unforgettable lines from ten popular titles, and how they might reinforce the wisdom of the Good Book whether they are intended to be inspirational or not.
“But you gotta understand that there ain’t no gettin’ offa this train we’re on, ’til we get to the end of the line.” – Barret Wallace, Final Fantasy VII
We’re all on a train, a train called faith. Sometimes there are twists and turns in the track, and some tunnels are long and dark, but we as Christians are called on to stay the course. Working for the good of the Kingdom is an endless train ride, but we should do our utmost in expecting the end of the line to be just around the next mountain. If you need to hear more memorable quotes, you might want to check out sites that contain quotes about Texas and perhaps other states.
This train does not stop for anyone, so it is important to help others jump aboard when it passes by. Even if your works seem tiring, thankless, and ineffective, your Father in heaven knows your heart, and will surely not forget you.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9
Sometimes we set out with a goal in mind that seems easy enough to achieve. We take the necessary steps and do everything fitting to complete what we envisioned. We work until the point we believe our results should come. Then we find out there’s more work to do. At times it seems that solving problems just creates two more problems.
As Christians, it’s important to keep our shoulders to the wind and never stop trying. It is from these trials and tribulations that we gather the necessary experience and wisdom to grow as people. Then we can pass on the lessons learned from our youth to our children and grandchildren.
“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:3-5
This is something many of us have trouble with–listening. Listening is one of the most important things you can do as a believer. It’s a rather selfless act if you think about it, if somewhat passive in execution.
You are literally welcoming someone into your mind for the purpose of inputting information. This information could be the wisdom imparted from parents or other authority figures, the troubles, concerns and prayer requests of the spiritually shattered or emotionally downtrodden, or even guidance from the Almighty Himself.
“Again Jesus called the crowd to Him and said, “Listen to Me, everyone, and understand this.” – Mark 7:14
We wage war every day. We fight personal wars against hunger, disease and sadness. We engage in spiritual wars within ourselves and at times with those in the world who would persecute us. Moreover, as a nation, we certainly engage in armed conflicts on a seemingly never-ending basis. However, we as Christians should remain resolute in the face of adversity, showing courage, praying for peace and never being ashamed to proclaim the Good News. This never changes.
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
I’m sure every video gamer would have a small heart attack if they came home and discovered that either their television or game console had been trashed. For many of us, video games represent an irreplaceable portion of our childhood, and seeing such a sight invokes emotions that are difficult to articulate. The emotions would likely run even hotter if we are able to identify the person or persons responsible (assuming it wasn’t an accident), and our instincts would immediately tell us to seek retribution for the crime.
However, as Christians we are called to forsake worldly goods, and perhaps more importantly, to forgive. It’s okay to have possessions, but we should never become so attached to them that their presence robs us of our ability to keep our priorities in line.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21
Life can feel lonely at times. Sometimes we feel like no one has our back. Sometimes we just feel like the whole world is out to get us, and to an extent, we’re right. Sometimes, we just need a hug.
In all of the dreariness that life is able to throw at us, we should never forget that there is a God who loves us, and who is with us anywhere we go in the form of the Holy Spirit. We can talk to Him anytime, anywhere. So, while it may sound a bit cliché, we are never truly alone.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” – Psalm 23:4
“There’s no use crying over every mistake, you just keep on trying until you run out of cake.” – GLaDOS, Portal
For the majority of us, life isn’t easy even under the best of circumstances. Problems come and go at regular and irregular intervals. Dealing with it all can be overwhelming, even if we’re fully equipped to handle it. Everyone responds to stress differently.
Defeat comes to all of us at some point, but it’s important to remember that you’re only considered a failure if you give up. Cry if you need to. There’s no shame in it. Then, reassess the situation, consider all of your options, absolutely never stop praying, and try again.
“For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.” – Proverbs 24:16
“What is better — to be born good or to overcome your evil nature through great effort? “ – Paarthurnax, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Living the life of a Christian does not mean robotic perfection in all we do. It is a command to love our neighbor as ourselves, treat each other the way we would like to be treated, give without keeping record, forsake the things of this world for the things of the next, forgive so that we may be forgiven, and to pray without ceasing.
It is through these principles that we as Christians can hope to overcome the sin in our lives. Overcoming temptation does not mean that you never experience it. It means that you are able to have a tempered, Christian response to it.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:21
“Please adhere to the following rules of the city square: No swimming, no swearing, no laughing, no crying, no talking out of turn, no line dancing, no moose calling, no sword play, no pumpkin carving, no mummified cat juggling, no wallowing in your own self pity, no circumstantial evidence, no walking on the grass, no pancakes on Monday, no dessert until you eat your vegetables, no slapstick comedy, no balloon animals, and absolutely, positively, no barking like a seal. It upsets me.” – Guard, Secret of Evermore
For many Christians, especially Christian teenagers and pre-teens, following rules, whether they come from parents, teachers, or The Holy Bible can be a challenge. Adolescence is a time of new experiences, raging hormones, emotional roller coasters, increased responsibility, growing autonomy, inner turmoil, and inevitably–boundary testing. Sometimes, in the case of a biblically astute young Christian, there may arise a conflict between the demands of one’s parents and the demands laid out by scripture.
There is no easy answer to this, and the problem is compounded if the parent is Christian, but not the child, or vice-versa. The only surefire way to reach an accord is to approach the problem with love and respect from both sides.
For people without the convenient excuses of emerging adulthood, following rules seems to permeate every aspect of our lives. There are rules about work, church, home, behaving in public, on websites and while driving a car. Then there are, of course, rules in The Holy Bible. Rules are everywhere.
While it is important to distinguish between the demands of self, family, society, and God, you should remember that the rules are not set forth to make your life miserable. They have been established to set you on a path to Godly living.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and your mother’–which is the first commandment with a promise– “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” – Ephesians 6:1-3
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4
This is one that I hope requires very little elaboration. We as Christians are commanded to show the love of Christ–in word and deed– every single day, putting the needs of others above the needs of ourselves. For we are saved through faith in Christ alone, not by works lest any man should boast.
However, works are the natural result of a heart transformed through faith in Jesus Christ. The reward of salvation and treasures in heaven should not be the incentive to do good to others. To give without hope of reward is the pinnacle of selflessness, just as Christ went to the Cross on our behalf so that we could have a better life, in this world and the next.
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” – 1 John 3:17