If they are all right to play, how much is too much? When does it become unedifying or an addiction?
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In 1 Corinthians 13:11, the Apostle Paul wrote, "when I was a child, I spoke as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things." As kids we played cowboys & Indians or "army." We shot & "killed" each other with toy guns, bows & arrows & cardboard knives. Then we grew up! Today, video games has replaced real play. Wise parents set time limits for their children, but adult "gamers" can spend days, even weeks reaching the highest levels against other gamers. Can video games be addicting? Anything can be addicting. That is the devil's playground. In C. S. Lewis's "The Screwtape Letters" he made a profound observation about pleasures. That they are "His (GOD's) invention", & that our enemy the devil wants us to take those pleasures "at times, in ways or in degrees that He has forbidden." The devil knows that "An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula. It is more certain; & it’s better style. To get the man’s soul & give him nothing in return—." When we begin to live our lives outside of the boundaries that are made so evident by His Word & by His Holy spirit within us, we are moving toward what the Apostle Paul called a "debased" mind. Romans 1:28 When our actions do not honor Christ as King of Kings & Lord of Lords, when our behavior mirrors the behavior of the world that we are supposed to be apart from, when we place ourselves under the influence of those who do not honor GOD as Creator of all things, who do not glorify GOD in their lives, we are then at risk of slipping in a very dark place, that sometimes has no escape. Are video games a bad thing? In my mind, for an adult, yes, they are bad, and not just war games, but all of the fantasy games. War and death is all too real in this world, why would a sensible person pretend to "kill" others? And spending time dwelling in a fantasy world, is certainly not edifying for any Christian. Will hours spent playing a video game bring you closer to GOD? And can you hear GOD being praised while playing a game or is it profanity, rudeness & hatred? So, to those who are involved in activities that do not honor GOD, be careful. Even associations between "gamers" who may never even see each other, who exist in the game sometimes as an Avatar, can influence one to behave in ways they might never have before. And BTW, "Avatar" is from the language of Hinduism (Sanskrit) and is a word that means one "who crosses over or descends." Remember what Paul said in Philippians 4:8, "finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things." Does that verse describe video war games? In Psalm 139:23-24, David cried out, "Search me O GOD, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties, and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way of ever lasting." In searching our own hearts we should find that the things we are thinking & meditating on are virtuous & praiseworthy. C. S. Lewis said in "Words to Live By", "Two views? There are a dozen views about everything until you know the answer. Then there's never more than one." Will there be many views & opinions about video "war games", yes there will be, but only one is true. Everything that is going on in the world, all of the immense changes in our society are intended by the devil to take the wonder of Christ from those who have believed on Him as their Redeemer & LORD. And while we can't control those things happening around us, we can submit our lives to Him, making sure that our behavior reflects Him, that the words of our mouth & the meditations of our hearts are acceptable to Him. Psalm 19:14 And being ready to give a reason to everyone who might ask, for the hope that is within us. 1 Peter 3:15
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