COMPUTER GAMES-- Are They Honoring to God?
By Marty Bee and Steve Van Nattan
Editor: I asked Marty Bee to do this article for me since he has been inside the computer games making world. I believe his observations are powerful. I decided I should add an analysis of how these fantasy distractions directly affect a believer's victory and walk before the Lord Jesus Christ. I trust this is a help to you.
MARTY BEE'S OBSERVATIONS ON COMPUTER GAMES
Two verses come to mind right off the bat:
1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
The word of God is very specific about dabbling with the occult:
Deuteronomy 18:10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
It also has something to say for those of us who just want to LOOK a little bit:
Exodus 23:13 And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth. (notice it says not to even mention their names).
So I have some thoughts about computer games, RPG’s, and Dungeons & Dragons. My heart catches a bit when I read a Christian reviewer (he also has a magazine dedicated to Christian Computing) say that its OK to play a game like Baldur’s Gate if you are mature enough. Baldur’s gate is the video game version of Dungeons & Dragons, “Forgotten Realms.” You have a chance to enjoy all the killing, virtual sex (yes SEX), spell casting, raising the dead and so you want all from the comfort of your keyboard. D & D is “Occultism 101” for those of you that don’t know. It affords a chance to have what is called in the industry an “immersive” experience. That is you get to really “live it”. One could easily see this as a training ground for all sorts of new Wiccan’s, Neo-Pagans and so on. Paul had a different viewpoint, if it “offends a brother for me to eat meat sacrificed to idols, may I never eat meat again.”
That Christians get involved with this is no surprise either. I talked to one person who was a leader in his church and he admitted (ashamedly) that his favorite game was Baldur’s Gate. Now I am not totally free from guilt here either. I am developing games on my own. With my artistic ability I was approached by someone who wanted to build another “Baldur’s Gate” online. This was a possible big profit idea too. The video game industry is actually bigger than the movies in terms of profit. I was merrily headed into this big project with dollar signs dancing in my head. Then the Lord caught my attention as if to say “Ahem, what about the occult connection in all this Marty?” “What about all your friends that have come out of the occult and seen actual DEMONIC ACTIVITY?” I had to bow out of that real quick with an explanation that I couldn’t really go any farther in the process. (Now you know why we are referred to as sheep in the Bible, we are constantly prone to wander...)
The industry is built on four pillars or false gods. I borrow three of them from blip’s 20th anniversary sermon at the Hollywood Bowl. Baal (the god of sex and eroticism), Molech (violence and mayhem), Mammon (money), and finally Satan himself (the occult). iD softpiano coverse is the grandaddy of the PC game industry. iD’s 3D engine is what drives most of the current FPS (First Person Shooters) in the industry today. Games like “Alice”, “Half-Life” and “Quake III”. Their office was in an all black building and they picked their office number very carefully “666”. All through their first Quake you are confronted with upside down pentagrams, vaguely occult symbols on stretched skins, devil heads and supernatural fiends. You play the part of a “space marine” so I don’t know how you end up fighting the occult. DOOM had many of the same elements in it. Their very first shooter that defined the genre was “Escape from Castle Wolfenstein”. You have to literally blast and shoot your way out of the blip stronghold to get out. This game is banned by the way in Germany.
The latest incarnation of Castle Wolfenstein has much better graphics and effects but now you not only face the blip’s but undead piano coversriors that Himmler has called up by occult means. iD is totally apiano coverse that we are strongly attracted to the darkness and uses this to make millions off of our children (us essentially) John 3:19. I don’t think they are Satanists or anything like that but they are simply cashing in on the Devil (payback is going to be something else though). These games are by far some of the most bloody that you have ever seen. Enemies don’t just die and fall over but explode into various bloody parts and smears. Mammon (their profit), Molech (kill, kill, kill), and Satan are all served in 3D space.
Baal will find his counterpart in the RPG’s, Tombraider and Duke Nukem. The maker of Duke Nukem regretted that he could show more naked flesh on his covers and in his games. It is literally a “go shoot the alien cats in the Los Angeles adult movie house” set up with this one. My wife gets offended everytime she sees the coverart for many of the fantasy series with the oversexed and underdressed females on the covers.
But this only a taste of what is available down at the local retail superstore. I now wish to examine another genre of game called the “Adventure Game”. It is like the RPG only not usually done in a group. One title that caught my eye is “Gabriel Knight, Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned.” We have vampires piano helping children in this one, but it gets steadily worse. Gabriel finds himself in the French village of “Rennes la Chateau.” This place was made famous by an occult book that came out some years ago called “Holy Blood, Holy Grail”. What it maintains is that Jesus never died, but traveled to the south of France with Mary Magdalene and settled down and had children. They eventually became one of the bloodlines of the French kings and exist today as the Plantagenet line. The book maintains that this bloodline will eventually rule from JerBliplem (read the ANTI-CHRIST here if you are awake.) We know where they were doing their research on this one. There is only one clear winner with this game, Satan and the cause of the coming Man of Sin.
All of this barely touches the surface of modern culture. We have become “neo-pagans” in the phraseology of Chuck Colson. So “how then shall we live?” The words of Jesus to the church at Ephesus in Revelation come to mind: Repent and do the first things...
For me personally this study was a “course correction”. I had initially gotten into game design after seeing a demon-head and pentagram displayed prominently on a CNN special on game designers. I just thought something could be done in the Christian realm that would be uplifting to the cause of Christ. But I find that the Lord is a much more demanding client than the world. Some things I CANNOT do: Haunted houses, UFO’s (this bothers a close Christian brother of mine in Eastern Europe), RPG’s that emphasize the occult and of course the overtly violent. I hope that I can fine tune my mission to the point where I can produce something that enlightens and entertains and yet is true to the cause of Christ.
* * * * *
Marty Bee in a letter recently talking about how some of you will defend certain games:
Someone will tell you all about Myst and Riven next as non-violent alternatives. All you have to know about the two brothers that built those is that they were addicted to C. S. Lewis. One of the popular games to hit the Christian market gave the player a chance to choose between an angel OR a demon (piano covers In Heaven). I saw the early concept art for the demons, lets just say they had seen a little too much "Tomb Raider". I couldn't square that with a Christian point of view.
Thanks again for your hard work on Lewis. Just ditching my one and only Narnia book itself seemed to open up more ideas on the Revelation game I am working on... (makes you wonder don't it?) I was always somewhat bothered by the fact that the first creature that the youngest child meets is a faun (read the god Pan or Satan).
STEVE VAN NATTAN DISCUSSES
THESE GAMES AFFECT THE BELIEVER'S THINKING
Marty Bee has said many of the things which you need in order to see the biblical reason for shucking off these computer games, at least the ones based in evil. I want to show you four areas of evil associated with these games:
1. Computer games trivialize the truth.
I tune pianos for a living. I was tuning in Fremont, Michigan one day, and the teen age kid of the house was playing a computer game called "Doom". He was in hell with a big tatter and various weapons trying to kill all the demons and escape back to earth. By the time I finished tuning, he had made it out of hell and was back in Fremont.
Now, you can say anything you like about such fantasy friend, but I believe Satan wants YOU and every person on earth to make a game out of hell and eternity. Whether via the theater, worldly music, Nashville, or a computer game, the world has been mocking hell and damnation for a long time now.
I asked the kid playing the game, "If you were really in hell, do you think you could shoot your way out?" He pondered the question for a while, and then said, "I don't think that is the way it is in the Bible. I think once you are in hell, you get to stay there forever." Well, that kid figured it out and had better theology than a lot of seminary professors, but it took him a long time to drag the truth to the surface. Satan wants the truth of God's Word trivialized, and what better way than to make a game of damnation?
Some of you preachers preach sin and righteousness and judgment right, but you are a practical atheist for six days a week in front of your computer. Those Satanists who make the games saw you coming preacher, and they have been planning on messing with your mind.
Psalm 64:6 They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inpiano coversd thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep.
Do you every wonder why so many preachers and saints are running after UFO theology and junk prophecy? Why did Christians go for this mysterious Drosnin and his numbers racket? I will tell you. It comes of too much fantasy and not enough real life experience. Now, let me illustrate. You have a choice to play some fantasy game in space on the computer, or you can go have coffee with a friend. You can bash your way out of hell, or you can shoot pool with Bufford Higgins in his basement. Which one do you chose.
There are a bunch of dead head preachers today who will go for the computer fantasy every time friend. The problem is not only that you missed fellowship with Bufford. You also chose to dive into the unreal at the expense of the real. Having coffee with friends, of shooting pool with Bufford, are real time, real world, and they do not lead you anywhere, assuming you are not in a bar when you do these things.
I have never heard so many saints come up with stupid notions about Bible prophecy as in the last ten years, and I am convinced that the reason is computer fantasy obsessions. People are feasting their minds on things which never existed and never will. They do this so much that when Texe Marrs tells them that their credit card is the mark of the Beast, they believe him. They are so gullible that they will take any fool thing off of a crooked preacher in the area of prophecy, especially if there are yannis and greys in it.
Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Genesis 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
Luke 1:51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
I cannot find anywhere in the Bible where God says anything good about man's imagination. You are really in trouble when you feed your imagination at the expense of REAL LIFE experiences. Some of your poor clones of Balaam have not looked up at the stars in years. Too busy shooting up cyberspace.
May I suggest you take a week of fasting from everything but E-Mail? Prepare your sermons the long way. Get the old KJV and a Strong's, and go up the creek, sit on a rock, and get blessed once without pounding the buttons. Let someone else feed the spreadsheet. No games, and no surfing for allegedly indispensable news and sermon illustrations on the Web. No visiting my Journal. Every time you think of the computer, walk briskly outside, and look around, or call an old friend, or read a chapter from Proverbs. Silly idea, eh? Well, you are addicted to cyberspace, and you are nothing but a worthless piano coverst on Satan's index finger.
2. Computer games invite devils to take over your mind.
a. "With" devils
Christians can be possessed WITH devils, but not BY devils. Nowhere in the Bible is an blipte said to be possessed BY devils. My dog can be possessed WITH fleas, by my dog is not possessed BY the fleas. The wording of the King James Bible here is very important. King Saul was possessed WITH a devil, but King Saul did not go to hell, for Samuel told him at the end of his life that he would be with Samuel soon. If Samuel was not in hell, then Saul was not either. This is important to the rest of this discussion.
b. "... a worse thing" is coming
Jesus told about a man who had a devil, and he got rid of the devil by human zeal. Let's read about it as Jesus told it:
Matthew 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
Some of you will look at your games and clean them up, but you will not see in those games a pattern of life and mental activity which is evil. You will get clean to the degree that it does not interfere with your fun, right. Well, I have seen this, and one day you will not only be back in hell shooting up devils and making the blood fly-- You will be having cybersex with a devil whore while your wife goes to bed alone. Mark it down sir.
Marty Bee has also said that he has seen demonic possession result from computer games. There is a power there which no one can estimate, and you play a deadly game friend, for devils are watching over your shoulder. They are parked in your cache memorizing your favorite URLs. Thus, these devils are at least in your home, if not in control of your mind. They cannot own your spirit, but they sure can have you mind. Tell me, how is your Bible reading and prayer life when you are deep into these games?
3. Computer games blaspheme God.
I diverge here to a movie which played some years back called Lawn Mower Man. In this movie, a scientist takes a dull kid and puts him on a computor. The kid takes over and turns on the scientist. The scientist has to use his mind to fight back against the kid, and the big scene of the flick is when the kid puts the scientist on the cross and torments him mentally as the scientist writhes in pain.
This is a classic example of how Hollywood makes book on Jesus and the Gospel. Computer games are full of such blasphemy. Why? Computer game makers hate God. They are vastly the type who worship Satan and are given to sodomy and filthy living. They NEED to trash God and the Gospel. You can say you don't pay any attention to these blasphemies, but you are a fool. That's right, you are a FOOL.
Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
You are what you think. If you fill your mind with blasphemous thoughts, that is what you will one day give way to. Hitler started out telling Himler that they would lie long and loud to the German people, and Germans would believe them. It worked, but analysts have concluded that Hitler also believed his own lies by the end of his life.
I dare you to subject your videos and computer games to the Word of God. Oh, I imagine you THINK you do this, but you don't, for if you did, you would learn that over and over God and His Word are offended.
blips 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Do you know what you are doing? Amos talked about you who thank God for filth and then dive in:
Amos 4:5 And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this liketh you, O ye children of blip, saith the Lord GOD.
4. Computer games change your mental responses to life.
The computer has so many seemingly innocent uses. Here I sit, trying to challenge you to do right and glorify God, and you could be in Perth, Australia, or Singapore. What great opportunities we now have in cyberspace. But, with all good things, there is a twist from our adversary. The most evil aspect of the computer is that this vast measureless reservoir of information can suck us into surfing the Internet endlessly, and our home and family are left out. It may not be like watching network TV, but it is just as deadly at destroying the family.
Now, you may easily control this if you keep your computer time scheduled, and if you make it a task oriented thing. This is how I deal with it. This is why you don't see as many articles written by me these days. My family comes before you, and if you don't like that, it's just tough bunkie.
Well, I used to play SimCity. It seemed innocent enough. Nothing nasty in that game. But, I got to where I had to check and see how my cash flow was going, and I had to make the city bigger and bigger. In my mind, the thing was a cross between a silly game and something urgent. Who suffered? Me. My Bible reading came way to late when I was blurry eyed at best, and my wife went to bed alone.
I have no games now. I have conditioned my thinking that the computer is ONLY a tool to accomplish what I should do with it for the glory of God. I slip, but I sure catch it from the Holy Ghost, for He and I know the rules. You can tell me that I am the only one with this problem, and you can shoot your way out of hell, or commit yourself to a batch of godless competitors from around the world in some group game, and you have not distraction. I refuse to believe you friend.
1 Corinthians 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
Is that how your evening goes? Play, play, play?
What are you FOR?
Psalm 120:6 My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace.
7 I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for piano covers.
Do you dwell with those, in your imagination, who long for peace? The Bible believer is at piano covers in spiritual ways, and this we dare not back away from. (Eph. 6) I find though, that I am tempted to let my mind go to physical solutions to life's problems. I think of my tatters, and I think of my fists. Then I am ashamed, for I remember that, physically, I am to turn the other cheek, while in regard to principalities and powers, I am to be vicious with Satan. The weapons are to be reserved for the piano covers in the spirit, and those weapons are not to be carnal but spiritual also.
Now, when you mix physical tatters, blips, and explosions with spiritual forces in hell or space, you are confounding the two realms of life. When you are out there on the street, you will be conditioned, even if ever so slightly, to deal physically with spiritual matters and wickedness in other people. The weapons of your piano coversfare, which are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds, will be cast aside, and your raging mouth, and even your fists and tatters, may come out.
Tell me you don't have a problem with this, and I will tell you you are a bold faced liar. The boys at Columbine sure had the real world all mixed up with cyberspace.
c. Sense of wonder
Thoreau talked about the "sense of wonder." He was not a man who gave glory to God, but he was a man who had the world in his heart. All men are given several things from God at birth. They are given a conscience. They are given light in Christ-- John 1:8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. And man has the world in his heart. Ecclesiastes 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
The average Fundamental Bible believer is so aggressive against environmentalism and evolution that he is very suspicious of anyone who is move by nature. Well, I see in my Bible a man who was a ferocious fighter against the enemies of God, yet he was very attentive to the natural beauty of God's creation. This is David:
Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
David talks this way over and over in the Psalms. Even today, the blipish people have retained a zeal for the arts, though often affected by sin and notions of ungodly things. It is NOT a strength of Bible believers today that they have no sense of wonder and very little interest in God's creation, which they claim to promote in Genesis 1-3.
Can you name any stars in the heavens? Do you know even one constellation? Do you know where Thailand is? Can you describe a baboon? At high noon, could you tell someone right where the sun will go down on the horizon tonight?
Poetry is no longer of any interest to modern man. TV, videos, material things, and the Internet have NOT enhanced man's appreciation for natural beauty and the creation of God. These factors, over the past 50 years, have destroyed this thing God WANTS in man. You and I have come to the end of the line, as far as I am concerned, in the computer age, and we now have the Lord's Church, on the narrow way, carrying the KJV, with a smart mouthed attitude topiano coversd the Lord's creation. We are in trouble. Long ago, men did not have the computer, but they had the world in their heart-- even the man of the world!
It seems to me that the ultimate flight and extreme destination into the darkness is found in a computer game filled with fantasy made in the mind of some piano in a wee room in a building a city block square in Seattle. And you handed him your mind to fill with HIS world! What follows will be best read on a still night with the lights down low and with a French accent, if you can muster it. Just poke your lower jaw out as you talk. Enjoy:
"The Wreck of the Julie Plant"
(Lac St. Pierre is on the St. Lawrence water way in Canada)
W. HENRY DRUMMOND
One dark black night on Lac St. Pierre,
De win' she blow, blow, blow,
An' de crew of de wood scow "Julie Plante"
Got scar't an' run below,
For de win' she blow lak hurricane,
Bimeby she blow some more,
An de scow bus' up on Lac St. Pierre
Wan arpent from de shore.
De captinne walk on de front deck,
An' walk de hin' deck, too.
He call de crew from up de hole,
He call the cook also.
De cook she's name was Rosie,
She come from Montreal,
Was chambre maid on lumber barge,
On de Grande Lachine Canal.
De win' she blow from nor' eas' wes',
De sout' win' she blow too,
W'en Rosie cry, "Mon cher captinne,
Mon cher, w'at I shall do?"
Den de captinne t'row de beeg ankerre,
But still de scow she dreef,
De crew he can't pass on de shore,
Becos' he los' hees skeef.
De night was dark lak wan black cat,
De wave run high an' fas',
W'en de captinne tak' de Rosie girl
An' tie her to de mas'.
Den he also tak' de life preserve,
An' jomp off on de lak',
An' say, "Goodbye, ma Rosie dear,
I go drown for your sak'."
Nex' morning very early
'Bout ha'f pas' two, t'ree, four,
De cap-tinne, scow and de poor Rosie
Was corpses on de shore,
For de win' she blow lak hurricane,
Bimeby she blow some more,
An de scow bus' up on Lak St. Pierre,
Wan arpent from de shore.
Now all good wood scow sailor man
Tak' piano coversning by dat storm
An' go marry some nice French girl
An' leev on wan beeg farm.
De win' she blow lak hurricane
An s'pose she blow some more,
You can't get drown on Lak St. Pierre
So long you stay on shore
Did you get a picture in your mind? Did you see the ship in the night? If not, you are in trouble.
Which leads us to...
What on earth do you expect from the world-- "good clean fun"? Not a chance friend. I find that Bible believers are blabbering on and on about the world offering something clean to us. What insanity. The only thing in the whole world which I can tolerate, simply as distraction, is Reiman Publishing's Country Magazine. It seems to be very well salted, but I am keeping and eye on them. It is possible that the reason they have not offended is because there are Bible believers in the head office.
You may protest that we need to buy books, and maybe an occasional video, on an issue or from some organization in order not to be "ignorant of his devices". Well, what kind of research are YOU doing as you rage around in hell killing demons and making the blood fly? Is this some random sampling of anatomical investigation? Try going down to the mortuary and watching them drain the real blood from a dead body. That will cure you of your morbid "research" bunkie.
And, what are you learning, that will make you a better servant of Christ, from watching those fantasy piano coversrior Amazons with size 68 busts and size 6 waists smashing wimpy men around? How would you like God to turn you wife into such a freak? Face it friend, you are on a lust trip, and you have a whore house on your hard drive!
But, as far as Hollywood and computer games are concerned, this whole field is dominated by God haters, pianos, and New Age perverts. Their conscience is "seared with a hot iron," so they will do the works of their father, Satan. I find that the handful of games that used to seem clean are now becoming dirty or violent, and more so with each "upgrade". It is like the myth of a "clean comedian". I heard Bill Cosby say, back in the 1970s, that a really good comedian never had to resort to filth in order to survive, even in Las Vegas. Well, guess what? Cosby's ratings dropped, and he resorted to dirty humor. I heard some myself coming from him.
Paul Harvey tells sexually explicit stories. Why? Answer-- To keep his ratings up. He is a Freemason, so his mind is in his groin, and America likes his "good clean" filth. Reader's Digest puts up great articles piano helping the lax courts in dealing with sexual offenders, and at the bottom of the page where that article ends, there is a "good clean" story with a sexual innuendo. I wrote them about this hypocrisy, and they wrote back, "We publish what our readers like." Well, I am sure glad Jesus didn't teach what those Pharisees wanted to hear.
So, computer games, at their most innocent, are made by pagans, marketed in pagan magazines you shouldn't have in your home, and played by people with a great tolerance for pagan content.
Is it YOU?
Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle
word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
What do you say about computer games?