Should a Christain play video games?

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jamesgrinchishin
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Should a Christain play video games?

Postby jamesgrinchishin » Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:57 pm

Completed nearly 2000 years ago, God’s Word does not explicitly teach whether or not a Christian should play video games. But the Bible’s principles still apply today regarding the best use of our time. When God shows us that a specific activity is controlling our lives, we should break away from it for a time. This “fast” could be from food, movies, TV, music, video games, anything that distracts our attention from knowing and loving God and serving His people. While some of these things may not be bad in and of themselves, they become idols if they distract us from our first love (Colossians 3:5; Revelation 2:4). Below are some principles to consider, whether the question is regarding video games, TV, movies, or any other earthly pursuit.

1. Will video games edify or merely entertain me? To edify means to build up. Will playing video games build up your love for God, knowledge of Him, and ministry to others? “‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is constructive” (1 Corinthians 10:23-24; Romans 14:19). When God gives us relaxation time, we should find uplifting activities to enjoy. Do we choose permissible over praiseworthy activities? When we have a choice between good, better, and best, we should choose the best (Galatians 5:13-17).

2. Will playing video games obey self-will or God’s will? God’s will for His children can be summed up in His greatest commandment: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Luke 10:27). Our will has been polluted by sin. Because we have been saved from our selfish desires, we should surrender our will (Philippians 3:7-9). God’s will transforms our will (Psalm 143:10). Progressively, His desires for us become our deepest desires as well.

Many people believe the will of God is boring and humiliating. They picture a monk in a lonely monastery or a resentful church janitor. On the contrary, people who follow God’s will for their lives are the most joyful, adventurous people ever. Reading biographies of history’s heroes such Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, Corrie Ten Boom, and George Mueller will verify that. Certainly, these saints faced difficulty from the world, their own flesh, and the devil. They may not have had much of this world’s possessions, but God accomplished great works through them. At first, His will seems impossible and too holy to be any fun, but God will give us the power to perform it and the desires to delight in it. “I delight to do Your will, O my God” (Psalm 40:8a; see Hebrews 13:21).

3. Does the video game glorify God? Some video games glorify violence, lewdness, and dumb decisions (e.g., “I’m out of the race, so I’ll just wreck my car”). As Christians, our activities should bring glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31) and help us to grow in the knowledge and grace of Christ.

4. Will playing video games result in good works? “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10; see also Titus 2:11-14 and 1 Peter 2:15). Laziness and selfishness violate God’s purpose for us—to do good works to others (1 Corinthians 15:58; see also Galatians 6:9-10).

5. Will playing video games exhibit self-control? Many people have said that video games can become an addiction or an obsession. There is no room in the Christian life for such things. Paul compares the Christian life to an athlete disciplining his body so he may win the prize. Christians have a greater motivation to live a set-apart life of self-control—eternal reward in heaven (1 Corinthians 9:25-27).

6. Will playing video games redeem the time? You will give account for how you use your limited minutes. Spending hours at a time playing a video game can hardly be called a good use of time. “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is” (Ephesians 5:15-17). “Live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2; see also Colossians 4:5, James 4:14, and 1 Peter 1:14-22).

7. Does it pass the test of Philippians 4:8? “Finally, brothers, 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). When you play video games, is your mind focused on godly or secular things?

8. Will playing video games fit in with my life purpose? Paul wrote that in the final days people would be “…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4). Western culture fits that description. We love to play. Non-Christians become addicted to entertainment such as movies, sports, and music because they do not have a purpose higher than to enjoy life before death. These amusements cannot truly satisfy (Ecclesiastes 2:1). When Christians become addicted to the same things as non-Christians, can we truly say that we are exhibiting the new life “in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe” (Philippians 2:15)? Or do we prove to others that we are really no different than they are and that Christ has not made a significant difference in our lives?

Paul considered knowing, loving, and obeying God to be his highest priority. “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ....I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” (Philippians 3:7-10). Will playing video games be showing my love for God or my love for the things of the world? (1 John 2:15-17).

9. Will playing video games give me an eternal focus? Christians have hope of eternal rewards in heaven if they are faithful on earth (see Matthew 6:19-21 and 1 Corinthians 3:11-16). If we focus on living for eternity rather than the passing pleasures of earth, we will have surrendered resources, time, and hearts for ministry (Colossians 3:1-2; 23-24). If our possessions or activities cause us to lose our eternal rewards, of what worth are they (Luke 12:33-37)? Christians often try to serve both God and their own desires. But Jesus clearly stated, “No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). God gives us joy through times of work and rest (Ecclesiastes 5:19; Matthew 11:28-29; Colossians 3:23-24). We must find that balance between labor and recreation. When we do set aside time for relaxation as Jesus did (Mark 6:31), we should choose an edifying activity.

The question is not “Can I play video games?” but “Would video games be the best choice?” Will this edify me, show love to my neighbor, and glorify God? We are to pursue praiseworthy activities, not simply permissible ones. However He leads you, passionately follow Him above all else. Prepare for eternity. Every sacrifice will seem insignificant when we meet Jesus.

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-v ... z3BTGIEBiU" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Should a Christain play video games?

Postby jsrcksaaf » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:47 pm

This is a lot of good stuff to think about!

I have often struggled with choosing to do the things that I want to do (watch tv, play games) instead of think that I need to do like cleaning the house, exercising, and so on.

I appreciate that you didn't just state your opinion but you included your biblical research to go with it.

I believe that games are fine as long as you are behaving the way Jesus would if he were playing the game. That's one reason I stated to join this forum. I was tired of the people who play games just to feel the rush of winning or destroying someone else's hard work.

Thank you for your thoughts!

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Re: Should a Christain play video games?

Postby storm » Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:23 am

this like so many other questions and statements you have brought up are very deep and important It is just sad that they are not your thoughts I would love to know what you think not what others do
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Re: Should a Christain play video games?

Postby DeadManReedeemed » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:22 am

this like so many other questions and statements you have brought up are very deep and important It is just sad that they are not your thoughts I would love to know what you think not what others do

Perhaps because he didn't want to start an arguement
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Re: Should a Christain play video games?

Postby ArchAngel » Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:59 am

I agree with storm. If you're going to post something, let it be your own thoughts.
Debates will or won't occur regardless of the authorship, and if it does, at least defend your own thoughts.

Posting other people's work has it's place, but never in place of your own words. All these pieces from GotQuestions makes it feel you would rather just preach at us then join the community and talk. If I am permitted to still use "christian-ese," that's not what fellowship's about.
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Re: Should a Christain play video games?

Postby jamesgrinchishin » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:08 pm

I suppose you are right when it comes to the fact that stealing this information is wrong in some way, yet I would argue that I do not feel this information is useful and a decent topic to discuss.
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Re: Should a Christain play video games?

Postby ccgr » Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:03 am

If you do not find it useful, then why post it? *confused*

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Re: Should a Christain play video games?

Postby jamesgrinchishin » Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:33 pm

It was meant to be that I would argue the statement that follows. Sorry for the inconvenience. =D
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Re: Should a Christain play video games?

Postby selderane » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:40 pm

Who is this cat?
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Everything below this sentence is indisputable fact as verified by scientists, philosophers, scholars, clergy, and David Bowie.

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Re: Should a Christain play video games?

Postby BallisticRapture » Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:34 pm

I think that Christians should play video games. yes it is virtual but the meaning of Christ is still heard. Christ said
"For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20). So if I am there and you are there and we are there for Christ, The word of Gods says he is there with us. Also Jesus needs Christians to fill the gap. We talk all the time about reaching the world, but what about the millions who can be reached online for Christ! So yes I think Christians should play video games. Keep your heart pure and love all who you come in contact with. The way Christ loves you. God Bless.

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Re: Should a Christain play video games?

Postby --Z-- » Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:58 pm

I'll do you a favor and give this topic a proper reply soon, not able to at the moment though, currently on a tablet and not my main rig.

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Re: Should a Christain play video games?

Postby Adison50 » Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:27 pm

You have a good point. Games do distract us. And it does depend on the video games you are playing.
I say YES it is fine to play video games for a little while and then again it does depend on the video games you are playing. We should not play for 5 hours straight though. Lol.

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Re: Should a Christain play video games?

Postby Chas991 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:36 am

Are video games considered recreation?
Recreation is not only desired at [the right] times; but necessary.

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Re: Should a Christain play video games?

Postby ccgr » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:00 am

I would consider them as such

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Re: Should a Christain play video games?

Postby --Z-- » Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:48 am

1. Will video games edify or merely entertain me? To edify means to build up. Will playing video games build up your love for God, knowledge of Him, and ministry to others? “‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is constructive” (1 Corinthians 10:23-24; Romans 14:19). When God gives us relaxation time, we should find uplifting activities to enjoy. Do we choose permissible over praiseworthy activities? When we have a choice between good, better, and best, we should choose the best (Galatians 5:13-17).
--
In answer to this, I will say that most people play video games to get away from the real world and do things themselves. Books might be used as another way of getting away from the real world, but you can't 'do' anything when reading books. Games don't bring you down - and they especially don't make you a violent person (as has been proven in several studies).

--

2. Will playing video games obey self-will or God’s will? God’s will for His children can be summed up in His greatest commandment: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Luke 10:27). Our will has been polluted by sin. Because we have been saved from our selfish desires, we should surrender our will (Philippians 3:7-9). God’s will transforms our will (Psalm 143:10). Progressively, His desires for us become our deepest desires as well.
---
This is a bit of a silly thing to use as an argument, because it doesn't really apply in this case, because it should serve as a backup to all your other arguments, not as an argument in itself.

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Many people believe the will of God is boring and humiliating. They picture a monk in a lonely monastery or a resentful church janitor. On the contrary, people who follow God’s will for their lives are the most joyful, adventurous people ever. Reading biographies of history’s heroes such Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, Corrie Ten Boom, and George Mueller will verify that. Certainly, these saints faced difficulty from the world, their own flesh, and the devil. They may not have had much of this world’s possessions, but God accomplished great works through them. At first, His will seems impossible and too holy to be any fun, but God will give us the power to perform it and the desires to delight in it. “I delight to do Your will, O my God” (Psalm 40:8a; see Hebrews 13:21).
---
Yes, and these people totally didn't ever have some fun.
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3. Does the video game glorify God? Some video games glorify violence, lewdness, and dumb decisions (e.g., “I’m out of the race, so I’ll just wreck my car”). As Christians, our activities should bring glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31) and help us to grow in the knowledge and grace of Christ.
---
This is taking verses too literally. Does sleeping in glorify God? Does eating special food glorify God? :P
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4. Will playing video games result in good works? “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10; see also Titus 2:11-14 and 1 Peter 2:15). Laziness and selfishness violate God’s purpose for us—to do good works to others (1 Corinthians 15:58; see also Galatians 6:9-10).
---
Playing video games is a pastime usually used as A. recreation B. pass time C. do something 'fun' D. escape the real world, as stated earlier. Does this make us lazy or selfish?
Lazy: 'UNWILLING to work or use energy'
Selfish: 'Lacking consideration of others; concerned chiefly with ones own profit or pleasure.'
This is a mean generalization of gamers. Just because we play games does NOT mean we are lazy or selfish.
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5. Will playing video games exhibit self-control? Many people have said that video games can become an addiction or an obsession. There is no room in the Christian life for such things. Paul compares the Christian life to an athlete disciplining his body so he may win the prize. Christians have a greater motivation to live a set-apart life of self-control—eternal reward in heaven (1 Corinthians 9:25-27).
---
This is a fair point, but it only applies to a certain demographic.
---

6. Will playing video games redeem the time? You will give account for how you use your limited minutes. Spending hours at a time playing a video game can hardly be called a good use of time. “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is” (Ephesians 5:15-17). “Live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2; see also Colossians 4:5, James 4:14, and 1 Peter 1:14-22).
---
This is again taken too literally (in my opinion) because how much time do you spend sleeping that you could be doing other things? Like, maybe we should all limit ourselves to 6 hours of sleep and totally just work and do 'other things' in that same time. This argument is just way too universal and applying it to this would mean that unless you want to be a total hypocrite, you have to apply it to everything else.
---

7. Does it pass the test of Philippians 4:8? “Finally, brothers, 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). When you play video games, is your mind focused on godly or secular things?
---
Definitely secular ;) . This is the same thing as the previous one. Apply this one specifically to video games is again no use because you'd have to apply it to everything else in order for it to ever be completed.
---

8. Will playing video games fit in with my life purpose? Paul wrote that in the final days people would be “…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4). Western culture fits that description. We love to play. Non-Christians become addicted to entertainment such as movies, sports, and music because they do not have a purpose higher than to enjoy life before death. These amusements cannot truly satisfy (Ecclesiastes 2:1). When Christians become addicted to the same things as non-Christians, can we truly say that we are exhibiting the new life “in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe” (Philippians 2:15)? Or do we prove to others that we are really no different than they are and that Christ has not made a significant difference in our lives?
---
This also doesn't make sense. It says 'RATHER THAN'. Just because we love playing games does not mean we don't love God.
'When Christians become addicted to the same things as non-Christians, can we truly say that we are exhibiting the new life “in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe” '
Nonsense. Just because a non-Christian does something doesn't mean it's wrong. I'd apply this argument for things like sex before marriage, abortion, using profanity and bad language, but not this.

---

Paul considered knowing, loving, and obeying God to be his highest priority. “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ....I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” (Philippians 3:7-10). Will playing video games be showing my love for God or my love for the things of the world? (1 John 2:15-17).
---
Does playing with LEGO prove you love Christ? :|
---

9. Will playing video games give me an eternal focus? Christians have hope of eternal rewards in heaven if they are faithful on earth (see Matthew 6:19-21 and 1 Corinthians 3:11-16). If we focus on living for eternity rather than the passing pleasures of earth, we will have surrendered resources, time, and hearts for ministry (Colossians 3:1-2; 23-24). If our possessions or activities cause us to lose our eternal rewards, of what worth are they (Luke 12:33-37)? Christians often try to serve both God and their own desires. But Jesus clearly stated, “No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). God gives us joy through times of work and rest (Ecclesiastes 5:19; Matthew 11:28-29; Colossians 3:23-24). We must find that balance between labor and recreation. When we do set aside time for relaxation as Jesus did (Mark 6:31), we should choose an edifying activity.
---
Again, much too universal.
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Really, these things just sound like some dude who decided he wants to stop Christians playing video games so he looked at ANYTHING he could find to make it seem wrong. I don't think getting addicted to games is good. Loving your neighbor as yourself does not mean you have to spend every minute of your time trying to win them over to Christ or pestering them with your presence.


These arguments shouldn't be used for 'why shouldn't we play video games', it should be for 'what should we be doing instead of everything else we might be doing' and does not really belong in this type of a forum.


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