I saw a trailer for the latest Doom game the other day and was saddened/disgusted/shocked by the level of violence.
Thing is I used to play this kind of stuff as a kid. That was before I knew that everything is spiritual. I was a master of compartmentalization. These are Christian activities. These are not. This is my church life. This is my real life. It wasn’t pretty.
Bloodlust goes way back. The Romans certainly didn’t invent it, but they tried to perfect it. They enjoyed watching their victims die as slowly and painfully as possible and made a public spectacle of it. We’re talking parents staked to the ground and ripped apart by wild dogs while their children are forced to watch before being killed themselves.
This kind of thing still happens today. Sometimes in the physical world; sometimes in the digital.
In another trailer you can actually hear people cheering in the background as the main character decapitates enemies and saws off limbs. It’s one thing to watch it. It’s another to control it. And videogames are all about control. You get to do the killing. You get to enact the revenge. All for the low, low price of 59.99.
There’s endless debate around whether playing violent video games makes one violent. I think the answer, like a lot of things, is “It depends.” It depends on the person, their environment, their experiences, their choices. The world is not black and white as much as the media wants it to be for better ratings.
But this is not about that.
We like to pretend that we can read whatever, watch whatever, play whatever and it doesn’t really matter, so long as we’re not doing it in real life. So Christians buy Fifty Shades of Grey, view online pornography, and immerse themselves in Doom.
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
Please, please, please, let’s not get into behavior modification. Jesus hated that. The religious leaders were masters of it. God is interested in transforming our hearts and minds, not tweaking our actions. What we do flows from who we are, so God says “Let’s begin there.”
The more yielded we are to the Spirit, the more sensitive we become to the things that grieve him. What was once okay then is not okay now because God has changed how we think, what we value, how we love.
The backdrop to all this is that there is an actual war going on between good and evil and we’re caught up in the middle of it. And unfortunately a lot of Christians have become POW’s. Surrendering was easier than fighting. God knows I’ve done it. Maybe you have too.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17
Is there anything in your life that you’re putting first over God? Anything you’re rationalizing instead of releasing? Anything you’re holding on to that has a hold on you?
The big lie is that God wants to keep you from the good things in life. The big truth is that God wants to get you in on the best things in life. You’ve trusted him before. You can trust him again.
He loves you and is for you. Receive his freedom today.