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Are you keeping the TEN COMMANDMENTS While Gaming?



Cordova, TN; July 27, in the year of our Lord 2013--Family Friendly Gaming, the industry leader in covering the family friendly video games is exploring the fascinating question of: “Are you keeping the TEN COMMANDMENTS While Gaming?” Another way of looking at it is this question: “Are you applying God's standard to what you do when you are playing games?” If not, then why? What standard do you apply? Is that standard different than in the real world? Do you have different standards depending on where you are? If so, how do you keep track of all those different standards? Doesn't that get confusing? Isn't it easier to have one standard and to use it everywhere?

The best thing to do is to go to the source. Do you even know what the Ten Commandments are? Exodus 20:1-17

1 And God spoke all these words:

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

3 “You shall have no other gods before me.

4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

That is a high standard that few of us can live out in real life. What about inside video games? Let us look at these one at a time. The results may shock you. They may impact your life in such a way that you make radical changes to your gaming habits. Or they may re-affirm your choices. They may encourage you if you are making the right choices.

Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.” Some people may easily follow this one while gaming. They do not play games with gods in it. They do not worship video games. They avoid games like God of War. They avoid games that teach all of us to worship the gods or goddesses in those games. What about those that do? Is taking on the role of a god, or respecting a goddess inside a game mean they are violating the First Commandment? Jesus made no distinction between pretending to do something, thinking about doing something, and actually doing it.

Exodus 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them.” Just in case we missed in the First Commandment, God reminds us in the Second Commandment. We are not worship anything we make, or see. Could that include video games? Of course it can. Does it include video games in your life? Do you bow down and worship video games? I suspect few actually prostate themselves to the game cartridges, discs, or machines. But what does worship actually entail? Do you sing songs about video games like KJ-52 did? Do you give massive amounts of money to video games? Do you give massive amounts of time to video games? If the answer is yes, then it is possible you are worshiping games.

Exodus 20:7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.” You may have heard this as: “You shall not use the Lord your God's name in vain.” A good way of looking at this is words have meaning. Words also can have consequences. If you do not believe that, then get into a relationship with anyone, and say something that hurts their feelings. Your tongue can do all kinds of damage. My tongue has done damage in the past, and it has been an opportunity to learn. Plenty of games barrage our brains with bad language. How does taking all of that into our brains influence us? Ever repeat something you heard on a TV show, movie, or video game? I have, and every fellow gamer I have ever talked to admits they have as well. So these games can put stuff into our heads that we will repeat. The test is this: “Are we repeating good things, or are we repeating bad things?” If we repeat a game that is misusing God's name, then we have broken this commandment.

Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” This may be one of the most difficult for any gamer to keep. This is also the commandment that has some of the most spirited debate. What day do you observe as Sabbath? If you do not observe Sabbath then how can you keep it holy? What does it mean to keep something holy? The way I look at it is to set a day apart for God. Out of seven days we get six to ourselves, and one to rest and worship God. Are we really so selfish to think we should get all seven days to ourselves? Different gamers apply this to their lives in different ways. Some I know play Christian games only on the Sabbath. Others fast from video games on the Sabbath. How can you apply this to your life?

Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother.” How many times are video games the central issue within any argument between kids/teenagers and their parents? The answer is a sad truth that this commandment is not being kept very well. How many times do we say: “just one more level,” or “I need to get to a save.” Yet we beat more than one level, or we go past that save looking for the next one. How are we helping our parents with chores around the house when we are absorbed within a video game? You may completely respect, love, and honor your parents. You may only play video games to stay out of their hair when they need some alone time. How many of actually fit into those statements though? How many of us create real world conflict because of our video game choices? How many of us disrespect our parents because of video games?

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