Depends on you, this issue is actually the same as food or drink.
God isnt concerned with if we are playing video games, He's concerned with our hearts, our innermost, if you can play games and it does not affect your innermost dwellings, i see no fault as per Pauls scriptures regarding food and drink through the Holy Spirit, if you cant then dont, your accounted in faith and the actions that prevail from your faith.
Videos games nowadays can actually be used also as a tool of witness, it isnt a physical witness, but your actions, your words online and your witness to Christ can actually be seen, and felt from what is heard.
The issue with video games or any popular culture is to separate wheat from chaff. I consume lots of popular culture. Why? Because is has a production value that you won't find anywhere else. If I want to feel what it's like to be in a spaceship floating through the galaxy I have to watch Star Wars or the like. I can't get that anywhere else. But with dealing with pop culture, yes, it will have a lot of false stuff in it.
The fact is if you want to learn how to build a Christian civilization(Christendom) you're going to have to study the available secular civilization, separate the chaff out, and build. If you want to create material that could be virtually apocryphal to the Bible (Shakespeare plays, Le Morte D'Arthur, etc), then you better play a lot of video games, watch a lot of movies, all of it.
Besides, you're telling me it's okay for a Christian to go to war in Iraq(where you'll be seeing stuff way, way, way to the thousandth power worse than any pop culture) than to consume Halo Reach.
This subject could also bring up the issue of Paul. Paul was a student of Greek philosophy. So were the Christian founding fathers of the USA. So they're both studying non-Christian material(i.e video games).
Split this into a new thread since that one was several years old and some of those members aren't active. Feel free to discuss it anew!
I perceive it correct to re-post these words within this thread:
I used to be immensely addicted to video games. I used all of my creative energy on how I could perfect my character/strategy in any game that I played. I would go from mastering one game, then once I was done, I would need to fill the void with another game to master, and on and on it went. Do not any of you realize the addicting nature of video games are congruent to gambling, cigarettes, cocaine, etc?
The Lord saved me from video games when He brought His word into my life. Though in the past I would beat a video game and be unsatisfied, so I would have to get another one to temporarily satisfy me. But since the Lord brought His word into my life, He has continually sustained my attention:
His Word is deeper than any video game will ever be.Psa 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
The storyline of the Holy Bible is the greatest and most epic of all tales to be conceived.
The game-play is unmatched, for His Word is the strategy book on how to master the most complex square-foot in the known universe, the Human brain.
The sound and musical score within the Psalms and throughout the Book satisfy the heart more than any classical serenade can soothe.
Not to mention the graphics, which show in such detail the entire picture of the History of the Universe with such detail and near-perfection.
His Word, indeed, is deeper than any video game:
Yet,Job 11:7 "Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty?"
Psa 92:5 O LORD, how great are Your works! Your thoughts are very deep.
I mean not to condemn, but to encourage. We are called to test the spirits. We are called to bear the fruit of the Spirit, yes to be fruitful! If video games cause you to not bear fruit of the Spirit, do not do it. It is said:Pro 19:15 Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, And an idle person will suffer hunger.
The desire to play video games still come to me often. I give in sometimes and I regret it every time. I think I will be able to control myself but once I start to play I begin to get consumed. When I am away from the video game I think so much about it and all the different strategies on how to play it better. And I feel this separation that I am building between me and God. Maybe it's only that way with me, but as my desires get enticed I do not feel good.1Co 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.
1Co 10:24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being
Does playing your video games help your relationship with God? your relationship with your spouse? or your children? or your family? or your self?Jas 1:14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
Jas 1:15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
Jas 1:16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
Think about it, please. For my father is addicted to video games and his and my mother's relationship is growing farther and farther apart because of it. And the video game is not the problem, the video game is the fruit problem.... what's really important is finding the root problem, which is probably covetousness and selfishness.
May the grace of God be with this message and if I have offended anyone, please forgive me.
Let us reason together. Amen.
Well I agree if video games are making you go astray from the Lord, but I play video games and it doesn't seem to bother me, as well as many people on this board. It all depends on the faith that you have, yes I play those shooters and what not, that doesnt mean I'm gonna go kill someone, it's just leisure time. If video games are making people go farther away from the Lord, then honestly that's a lack of faith.
Every temptation is of the devil, and every sin leads to death.
1. Are you bearing the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) when you are playing? Or are you bearing the fruit of the flesh (adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, etc)?
2. Are you seeking the good of your neighbor, or seeking your own good?
3. Does playing your video games help your relationship with God? your relationship with your spouse? or your children? or your family? ...or is it only for yourself?
David Michael i believe these scriptures apply even in this situation, i regard both matters as very simular while being 2 different subjects, the message is the same.
"I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.
Therefore let us persue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin."
My main point is that if you want to create a good Christian themed video game you would need to study the secular ones because they're the blueprint for making video games. I guess I'm speaking from a creator standpoint not consumer. I don't make video games but I do draw comic characters as a hobby.
I really doubt that anyone benefits from having violence printed onto their memories. Phil 4:8 Scripture teaches us what to meditate on and it ain't violence.
If you apply your logic then porno is not bad if it's in a video game. That dog won't hunt.
For the cause of Christ
I am convinced that the Lord rather surround himself with people that play video games and do not go around accusing or judging others, than with self righteous saints.
By the way, I rather have friends that play video games, than self righteous ones.
To answer the question of whether video games is allowed I came up with similar answers as you guys. Here is a summary of what I found:
1. All things are indeed lawful for me (that is, gaming is allowed for me) but I will not be enslaved by it (1 Corinthians 6:12). If you are enslaved by video games and you feel you cannot control yourself unless you play, that there is being enslaved by games. You need to ask God to heal your slavery.
2. All things are lawful but not everything builds up or are helpful (1 Corinthians 10:23). If we look at video games, it is apparent that it does not do anything to commend us toward God if we play them. Perhaps it would be educational if we played a Christian themed video game as pablojason said, but other than that I don't see any value in playing video games at all. And even if we were to play Christian themed video games, it doesn't help your relationship with God unless you took it seriously. There were many teachers of Moses' Law in the New Testament (Pharisees, Sadusees, Nicodemus, scribes, etc) who knew a lot about God but they did not take that knowledge seriously and were unbelievers.
3. 1 Corinthians 10:24 is a big one. It says let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. We should most definitely not play StarCraft if it does not help anyone nor build up anyone. Paul also said he did everything to please everyone instead of himself in 1 Corinthians 10:33. We should not ask for anything that we would use to spend on our "passions," or our own pleasures (James 4:3). This relates to storing up treasures on earth (Matthew 6:19). "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" Laying up a single treasure on earth for yourself breaks this commandment.
4. As for mattlad22's answer in post 9, I think nothing is unclean indeed, but it becomes unclean when we break God's rules. Playing games becomes unclean when it breaks 1 Corinthians 10:24. Just like how feeding your children poison is unclean when it breaks Exodus 20:13-- you shall not murder. Just like how getting drunk on wine is unclean. Poison and wine were created by God, but using them wrongly is a sin. As for your post #2, I think being a witness while playing online games has very little effect on others unless you were playing a mmorpg with much time involved in cooperating. The things you say in most multiplayer games are so terse you never really get to know anyone well on those games. Plus many people may have hidden sides of their personality making it even harder to get to know anyone very well on casual multiplayer settings.
Last edited by david; May 30th 2011 at 11:49 PM.
I'm not sure the argument that it doesn't build you up or achieve anything is an entirely fair one, if only because it seems inconsistently applied... The same could be said of anything which we do for leisure, but we'd hopefully be quick to recognise that unwinding and relaxation are in themselves, in moderation, valuable, sensible things to pursue. I enjoy puzzles, because they're fun distractions which stimulate me mentally, challenge and entertain me. I enjoy films, because they can move, inspire, inform and delight; at their best, they are quite exquisite art. I enjoy computer games because they're somewhere between the two.
That said, I've been convicted over playing games several times in the past; when time slips away from me and I realise I've played far longer than I wanted to, or when the content of a particular game chimes dischordant with the Spirit within - and this might not necessarily be a static thing, for example, some time back I had been primarily playing Team Fortress 2, and rather suddenly the glib cartoon violence felt entirely inappropriate - so I stopped playing. I've come back to it since then, and had none of the same conviction - but then, I've never returned to playing it (and more importantly, consuming the mindset which it conveys) with the same kind of regularity.
I would say it seems to be something which all too often those on the outside make out to be an exclusively bad thing - and all too often those on the inside downplay and underestimate. I think it's hugely important that Christians playing games are entirely aware that the images and ideas you consume in such an involved way certainly can shift and sway your attitudes and even personality. More importantly, we need to be ready to hear and accept the guidance of the Spirit on how we spend our time, and actively seek out such guidance whenever there is the slightest hint of uncertainty.
I think it's something which we could very, very rarely make any kind of blanket rule on, though - because the impact and influence it has depends a great deal on the individual. I would liken it to art; one person can look at a painting and appreciate the craftsmanship, and the beauty depicted without a hint of physical gratification - where another would only be titillated. Or with film, when I watch something like "The Godfather" I'm blown away by the precision of the craftsmanship, the power of the story, the utter transformation of the performers, the perfect mingling of music and vision to convey emotion and deliver an impact - and I don't doubt that some people would watch it and get more than anything a vicarious thrill from the violence depicted. While I think a distinction does need to be made to recognise that the level of involvement with games makes the impact potentially more significant, I understand them in just the same way.
Call to Me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3
You put the stars in the sky and you know them by name, You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same, You are amazing, God.
I do not 'hope' I am saved and I do not 'think' I am saved, I know it with an absolute conviction. I know that I am saved just as I know that I think and I know that I feel. I am purchased and sealed, His possession.
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