This game (verification required) is rather explicit in its religious symbolism on the subject. Watch the trailer that pops up after you get on the site. When Lawrence Taylor says “this is our religion” I honestly said, “Yes, it is. You’re not even kidding.” Football is a religion for more people in America than just about anything else. Professing Christians even show their priorities when they go from one sanctuary to another on Sunday, worshiping multiple idols. But this game takes it farther. For instance, you can deliberately do damage to your opponent’s players, with the camera zooming in on the results of the damage as an X-ray would.
In some ways, this is a microcosm of the rest of America. Wrestling becomes boring, so we turn to MMA fighting. The culture gets tired of the old expressions of violence (straight-forward good vs. evil), so enter Rockstar Games. There’s a preponderance of violence on television. And here, football isn’t enough, so we must add blood-letting to it. Sadly, as the culture is desensitized to these things, Christians seem to be desensitized at the same pace. The culture idolizes violence, and it seeps into the church.
Rome did the same… except they idolized fatal violence. I wonder, how long will it be until violence to the point of death is celebrated in America? It happens to a degree in the depraved depths of society. Will it ever become mainstream? Perhaps. The culture of death in both the abortion industry and the euthanasia mentality may someday meet with the culture of violence that America’s entertainment industry feeds. If the beginning of life isn’t worth anything, and the end of life isn’t valuable, why treat the middle of life as any more valuable? At least they can contribute to society, some would say. But what if the contribution that society demands from them is their lives?
In the midst of all this, the true Church. What should we do? Do we embrace a culture of violence to be relevant? At least play with it? I don’t want to… I am tempted to. I don’t want to succumb to the subtle inoculation that threatens to invade the Church and my life. I want to pursue peace with all men. I want to walk in the footsteps of Christ, not seeking vengeance on any. Is this a mere preference? I don’t believe so. A weakness in me? Probably… and probably in you, too.
Today, I’m aware of it. I see the danger. Will I tomorrow?
Do you see it?