Would they agree with a video game spun off the Left Behind series where non-Christians are killed if they refuse to convert? What if they knew Rick Warren was a driving force behind the game, and that it will be actively marketed toward young teenagers?
This game immerses children in present-day New York City -- 500 square blocks, stretching from Wall Street to Chinatown, Greenwich Village, the United Nations headquarters, and Harlem. The game rewards children for how effectively they role play the killing of those who resist becoming a born again Christian. The game also offers players the opportunity to switch sides and fight for the army of the AntiChrist, releasing cloven-hoofed demons who feast on conservative Christians and their panicked proselytes (who taste a lot like Christian).
If violence, coarseness, and materialism are serious social problems, then what purpose is served by exploiting a global pastoral network to mass market a game about mass killing, whether in the name of Christ or the AntiChrist?
On the one hand, this video game is anti-American, because it endorses roving death squads engaged in faith-based violence without any regard for Constitutional law. On the other hand, the video game is anti-Christian, because it argues that the Kingdom of God can be advanced by using the methods and tools of the kingdoms of this world, namely guns and bombs.
The Scriptures say, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6) The Scriptures do not say, "Train up a child in the way he should blow away the people of God as well as infidels: and when he is old enough, he will go out and do some killing."
As Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, then my servants would fight that I might not be handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here" (Gospel According to John 18:36). As Paul said, "Though we walk in flesh, we do not make war in accordance with the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly." (2 Corinthians 10:3-4a).
Jesus changed the world with love. He did not compel anyone to follow Him. Remember the rich man who walked away from Christ? Jesus did not chase after Him and beat him with a scroll until he agreed to follow. He was disappointed, but respectful of his free will.
In fact, Jesus raised Lazarus back to life and healed many others, yet still died on the cross for our sins. He could have hopped off that cross and slain the Romans and those who put him there. Instead, He allowed us to kill Him, yet still His perfect will was accomplished despite our imperfections.
I'm convinced that within politics, academia, and churches, that the basic concept of freedom scares many dominionist and fundamentalist Christians. Free will does not fit in their world view as it potentially hinders conversion. A perverted Calvinistic belief system can justify ridding the world of non-believers because God did not elect them for salvation. Or so my little pea brain sees things in light of this video game.
I have nothing against spreading the Gospel and fulfilling the Great Commission. However, I am extremely disturbed with un-Biblical and un-Christian ways of spreading the Good News. Just as no one can be compelled to say the Pledge of Allegiance, we cannot compel others to accept Christ. We can talk to them, pray for them, reason with them, but ultimately it is not up to us.
What part of following Christ do these cultural conservatives who call themselves Christians not understand? How are games like these different from training camps designed to indoctrinate fundamentalist and radical Muslims into terrorists?
Ghandi: "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."