Are playing certain video games not fit for a disciple of Christ? I am
specifically talking about violent video games that involve elements of
murder, magic, good vs. evil, etc, all in a fictional fantasy story. Are
there any biblical principles that one should consider before involving
themselves in these fantasy type video games? ;I’ve heard mention of
Romans 14 and Colossians 2:20-23 and coming to ones own conviction, but
how is that possible if God speaks to us through other passages that
condemn activities of murder, rage, etc? Wouldn’t we be participating
indirectly in murder, rage, etc if we were playing a fictional game that
involves murder? And wouldn’t we be selfish for coming to our conviction
if the bible already speaks against such matters?


I know it is tempting to be legalistic and to simple declare simple,
easy-to-follow rules or moratoriums on such material. I can see for
myself that you already are aware of the biblical principles explaining
why such materials can be extremely problematic, and in some cases
outright blatantly sinful. Nevertheless, to simply give formulas is
counterproductive and will not ultimately create what you want, which is
righteous living and closeness to God. NO! IT is not selfish for coming
to our own conviction. That is exactly what is required.

The verse you quote makes this absolutely clear. Colossians 2:20-23 makes
it crystal clear. Creating human-inspired legalistic rules do not help
create righteousness. What does work is personal convictions.

Bottom line, despite the scenario you create above, this is a grey area.
Clearly there are some videos that are entirely destructive and are
sinful, no matter which Christian and no matter the situation.
Disgustingly violent, pornographic material is wrong. It is sinful. I
am sure you could find a specific game which fits this category. In this
case, you do not help your case by listing such obvious examples. Any
Christian who views such materials do not need your help to know that it
is wrong and sinful. They know it is wrong, but choose to do so anyway.
You ought to feel free to condemn such behavior. And then there are
games which are absolutely fine and probably actually GOOD to play, at
least in moderation.

The problem is the grey areas. The problem is videos which are debatable.
The problem is that this is the vast majority of all video games. We
have “freedom in Christ” (Galatians 5:1). The problem is that many abuse
that freedom to do unwise and even (for them) sinful things (Galatians
5:13). The solution is not to pass out rules on grey areas. What is
sinful for one is acceptable on another because this is not a weakness for
them. It is better to teach very strongly the principles, but let
individuals reach their own convictions. This is what is taught by Romans

If I watch an episode of CSI, am I condoning murder? Am I indirectly
participating in rape or whatever? In my opinion, this is going too far.
Might it amount to this for a particular Christian? Perhaps. But because
it is individual, your proposed solution is wrong.

I am sorry, but in this world you will have to deal with a certain amount
of ambiguity.

Strong teaching of principles, combined with strong convictions of
individual disciples of Jesus is the key.

John Oakes

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