General Discussions

Religious Symbols in video games – fingolfin

fingolfin

Member

Posts: 197
From: IL
Registered: 03-19-2005
so ccgr has started a petition to remove the goat head/pentacle animation from guild wars. (http://www.guild-hall.net/forum/showthread.php?p=229239&posted=1#post229239) They aren't really taking to much notice cause there are only 3 of us there so far. I know there has been some debate here about that topic as well, so if any of you wanna come join the debate over there, please do. I still haven't really decided myself, but this is a good reason for me not to buy it. Not only that, but the evil classes, and use of magic. I was wondering what all of you think.

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Try to explain divine election, and you may lose your mind, try to explain it away and you could lose your soul (my youth pastor quoting somebaody he can't remeber)

Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
Yes don't support games like that. Not just because of the symbols.
We know from the Bible that the things that wizards and witches perform are from the devil.

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.
18:11
Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

Magic is really bad and I hope you all know why. Which is why we shouldn't play with these things not even in games.

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Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD keeps the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. - Psalms 127:1


And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. - Isa 32:17

ArchAngel

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Posts: 3450
From: SV, CA, USA
Registered: 01-29-2002
yes... but this is fantasy game. clicking a button to throw a fireball is more like a natural ability than calling on the devil. Turning on a light isn't witchcraft. In these games, it's more like that.

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Soterion Studios

Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
Yeah fantasy... It's the idea that matters. And having a fantasy of a world where sin isn't sin... Doesn't that seem like making our own world and rejecting the one that God created?

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Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD keeps the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. - Psalms 127:1


And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. - Isa 32:17

Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
It's often said that playing games doesn't bring us any closer to God. And I am afraid that fantasy games will only drive us away from God. Because evil cannot stand in light and if the sin of these fantasy worlds is in our heads I don't think we can stand in light.

I hope you see what I mean?

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Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD keeps the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. - Psalms 127:1


And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. - Isa 32:17

ArchAngel

Member

Posts: 3450
From: SV, CA, USA
Registered: 01-29-2002
quote:
Doesn't that seem like making our own world and rejecting the one that God created?

uh.. no. is cooking hamburgers rejecting the way God gave us meat? not at all.
God gave us the ability to create worlds is our head. that's what's amazing about our brains. Our preception of reality is merely our own world. think about it. all we get from the "real" world is sensory projections. info from eyes, nose, ears, etc. now, our brain puts this together into a network of neurons. it constructs a reality. there's a lot more to prove my point, but anyhow.

creating another world isn't necessarily rejecting the one we're in. some might do that; but it can also be expanding the mind, a gift from God. I personally love to create worlds. it can be viewed as my passion. When I do this, I'm rejecting this world... I'm expanding upon it. and in a way, exploring it.

and besides, magic in many fantasy worlds is not calling upon demons (which is what makes it wrong), just an ability people have. they're really different things, given the same name.


quote:
And I am afraid that fantasy games will only drive us away from God. Because evil cannot stand in light and if the sin of these fantasy worlds is in our heads I don't think we can stand in light.

I totally agree. If fantasy is bad, then fantasy is bad. but is fantasy bad?

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Soterion Studios

Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
quote:
Originally posted by ArchAngel:

uh.. no. is cooking hamburgers rejecting the way God gave us meat? not at all.
God gave us the ability to create worlds is our head. that's what's amazing about our brains. Our preception of reality is merely our own world. think about it. all we get from the "real" world is sensory projections. info from eyes, nose, ears, etc. now, our brain puts this together into a network of neurons. it constructs a reality. there's a lot more to prove my point, but anyhow.

creating another world isn't necessarily rejecting the one we're in. some might do that; but it can also be expanding the mind, a gift from God. I personally love to create worlds. it can be viewed as my passion. When I do this, I'm rejecting this world... I'm expanding upon it. and in a way, exploring it.


True, I didn't actually mean that it would be rejecting this world to imagine fictional place or something like that. But world where is no God or many God's or just any other God than Jesus would seem like that to me.
I like creating imaginary worlds too... But not worlds where sin isn't sin and God isn't God.

quote:
Originally posted by ArchAngel:

and besides, magic in many fantasy worlds is not calling upon demons (which is what makes it wrong), just an ability people have. they're really different things, given the same name.

Yes but witches and a like aren't calling upon demons either but the dead and moon and others. But of course it's really a demons that they are dealing with, they just don't know it.
Of course in game these acts are not the same but they remind lot about real witchcraft which troubles me.

quote:
Originally posted by ArchAngel:

I totally agree. If fantasy is bad, then fantasy is bad. but is fantasy bad?

In my opinion Magic in fantasy's is bad.

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Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD keeps the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. - Psalms 127:1

And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. - Isa 32:17

[This message has been edited by jari (edited June 07, 2005).]

[This message has been edited by jari (edited June 07, 2005).]

Brandon

Member

Posts: 594
From: Kansas City, Mo, USA
Registered: 02-02-2004
I agree that magic is bad. In real life and in games. But I also think that being capable of using supernatural powers can be okay in a game if done correctly. In computer games, supernatural power isn't always magic. It really depends on how you define your games world, how the characters actually interact with the game world, and how God reveals Himself.

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If I were a drummer I would use a cymbal.
If I were a writer I would use a pencil.
I would use my voice if I were a singer.
No matter who or what we are we must praise.

Simon_Templar

Member

Posts: 330
From: Eau Claire, WI USA
Registered: 10-25-2004
so magic is bad eh...

ok... what is magic? Presumably for something to be sin it has to be real correct? I don't mean real in the sense of it has to be a real action but it has to involve a real thing right?


In this discussion your talking about "magic" (which btw is nowhere mentioned in the bible) and witchcraft... but what is witchcraft? what does the bible mean when it says witchcraft? The bible mentions sorcery... so what does it mean when it says sorcery?

Is hurling fire balls, or teleportation sin? if so then there are good people in the bible who have sinned... because God has allowed people to call down fire from heaven, and he has even teleported people in the bible. On the other hand.. there is no instance of an evil person ever doing either in the bible.

The word witch, as in the verse quoted in the post above in hebrew means a seer or oracle. it comes from the same word that is used for prophet. The difference is this one describes a prophet who's predictions come from spirits other than God. Thus in that case, the word witch means a diviner, like a psychic in modern terms. Other instances of witch or witchcraft inthe bible refer to "poisoners" people who use poisons, and drugs etc.
Likewise, the root word for sorceror used in the bible in greek comes from pharmakia, its the same word that we get "pharmacy" from. Sorcerors in the bible were people who used drugs to induce altered states of mind, especially for the purpose of consulting spirits etc.

None of this has anything to do with elves, goblins, making yourself invisible, hurling fireballs and lightning bolts etc. The issue biblicaly speaking is always one of source... where is your ability or power coming from.. is it coming from dealing with false spirits, or is coming from God?

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-- All that is gold does not glitter,
Deep roots are not touched by the frost,
The old that is strong does not wither,
Not all those who wander are lost.

Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
quote:
Originally posted by simon_templar:
The issue biblicaly speaking is always one of source... where is your ability or power coming from.. is it coming from dealing with false spirits, or is coming from God?

This is true we don't have the power in us but it comes from either God or from Satan. However I would say that all magic is bad because as far as I know the word magic means a controllable power that is more or less in the magician (or whatever). Which as we know isn't the case.

But when you think about these things keep in mind that Satan teleported Jesus to different places in the desert so Satan can do that too.

Read this:

Deuteronomy 18:
9 When you come to the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to do according to the abominations of those nations.
10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, an observer of clouds, or a fortune-teller, or a witch,
11 or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or one who calls to the dead.

Do I remember wrong or is it written in the Bible (NT) that it can be a gift from God to see the future? Like speaking in tongs. We can see from Deuteronomy 18:10 that not all fortune tellers are with Jesus.
And calling the dead... That's in many games as necromancy. And it's very bad. Our Lord Jesus Christ has the keys of heaven and hell and I don't think this is something we should play with, not one bit.

Games have taken the false beliefs that people have and made this thing what people call magic as just some neutral source of energy which the 'good' and 'bad' characters can control. It's terribly miss leading. It may not be harmful for Christians who know that all 'magic' comes from Satan or from God but for those who don't know this will get even more lost I'm afraid.


Edit: I forgot that I had included those same verses before which is why they are included again.

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Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD keeps the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. - Psalms 127:1


And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. - Isa 32:17

[This message has been edited by jari (edited June 10, 2005).]

[This message has been edited by jari (edited June 10, 2005).]

Realm Master

Member

Posts: 1971
From: USA
Registered: 05-15-2005
A few things to say:

Crrap! I liked fantasy there were swords, dragons, swords, dwarfs, swords, elves, swords, goblins, swords, ogers, swords, castles, swords.

I do believe JRR Tolkein wrote The Lord Of The Rings with a christian perspecive (wasn't he Christain?) And don't forget CS Lewis and the chronicals of Narnia (short books, but good all the same)! Who says we can't take some of the BETTER (as in more Christian-Friendly) fantasy ideas and make them games? I know, im reaching here, but comon! THERE'S SWORDS!!!!!


(Real)MAGIC COMES FROM THE DEVIL!! You know that weird thing: stiff as a board, light as a... was it feather? THAT IS THE DEVIL! Humans think it really works, but what it really is is the Devil luring them into hell.
Magic in Fantasy... hmm... well you have a good point...

Back on the Fantasy subject: I once wrote a "Story" (No it isn't finished, although it is about 600 PAGES LONG!!! ) and i tried very hard to incoperate God into the story.

Not sure how well i did though... :\

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God rules!
Take that Darwin!

[This message has been edited by Realm Master (edited June 10, 2005).]

fingolfin

Member

Posts: 197
From: IL
Registered: 03-19-2005
yes, very christian perspective. It's funny how much morgoth was like satan....
I think fantasy is imagination. And I don't think it's right to imagine a world with magic/witchcraft in it, especially when the magic/witchcraft is portrayed as helpful.
I had thought about buying guild wars, but have decided not to...

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"Mothers are the necessity of invention"
-Calvin

Realm Master

Member

Posts: 1971
From: USA
Registered: 05-15-2005
What its a game?

(yes i know, im very stupid)

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God rules!

Blessed are those who show mercy.
They will be shown mercy. - Matthew 5:7

Blessed are those who suffer for doing what is right.
The kingdom of hevan bleongs to them.-Matthew 5:10

CobraA1

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Posts: 926
From: MN
Registered: 02-19-2001
Personally, I would avoid putting religious symbols into a game, if only because they generate those types of discussions .

I've also heard of stories about symbols getting the attention of real demons, but that's usually in one of those cults, I haven't heard of that hapenning in a game.

Wathing a friend play Doom III was prettty bad, though - I'll never buy Doom III, just watching it made me feel horrible.

But yes, J.R.R. Tolkien was a Christian. He was also a bit of a linguist - the fantasy languages in the books are not simply random symbols and words, but rather are more like a real language, having grammar and spelling.

C.S. Lewis was definitely a Christian, and his books show definite parallels to Biblical events. He also wrote a lot of non-fiction books about Christianity, such as Mere Christianity, which defend the Christian faith.

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6 "This is what the LORD says --
Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God.

7 Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
and what is yet to comeó
yes, let him foretell what will come.

8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
No, there is no other Rock; I know not one." -- Isaiah 44:6-8, NIV

goop2

Member

Posts: 1059
From:
Registered: 06-30-2004
quote:
Originally posted by ArchAngel:

is cooking hamburgers rejecting the way God gave us meat?

OH MY GOSH! I HAVE TO STOP MAKING HAMBURGERS!!!

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I dont like siggys. They are to hard to think up :(

Brandon

Member

Posts: 594
From: Kansas City, Mo, USA
Registered: 02-02-2004
quote:

posted by simon_templar:
None of this has anything to do with elves, goblins, making yourself invisible, hurling fireballs and lightning bolts etc. The issue biblicaly speaking is always one of source... where is your ability or power coming from.. is it coming from dealing with false spirits, or is coming from God?

Yeah that's exactly what I was trying to say actually. Sorry if I wasn't more clear. Simon_templar, this is also why I think that the game project that we discussed a little while ago would be okay.

I can understand why Christian game developers and gamers would want to attribute every magical happening in a game to God or the devil. I agree with this as well. But it can be done many different ways.


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If I were a drummer I would use a cymbal.
If I were a writer I would use a pencil.
I would use my voice if I were a singer.
No matter who or what we are we must praise.

[This message has been edited by brandon (edited June 14, 2005).]

Simon_Templar

Member

Posts: 330
From: Eau Claire, WI USA
Registered: 10-25-2004

Magic in games and fantasy books is generaly seen as power that is under the control of the person wielding it. This is correct... but there is also alot of "point of view" involved in determining what this kind of magic really is.. for thousands of years "magic" was ultimately based in what we would call "science". Science is in essence, seeking to know the laws of the world around us so that we can exploit those laws to our advantage to produce things like electricity, fire, nuclear energy.. and put it under our control. Fantasy, by deffinition, involves times or places where the "rules" of the world are different.. and these different rules result in magic. In most cases magic in fantasy is portrayed as a science in a world that has different natural laws.

Looking at something like nuclear science in our own world... nuclear energy derives from the breaking (or forming) of the bond which holds the nucleus of an atom together... but no one knows what this bond is, or how it is caused etc.. How is this fundamentaly different from "magic"? Is the fact that science involves machines the moral difference between it and magic?

There is a fine line here, things like divination and necromancy are forbidden by God.. and we can never rightly imagine different moral rules than those which God has set. We can never rightly imagine that its ok to murder, rape, etc, this includes divination and necromancy... but I see no reason that we can not imagine different rules of nature.

For example.. is there any reason that we could not imagine and play games in a world which has energy underlying and permeating everything, energy that can be exploited and controled by those who know how?


This actually raises an interesting observation from J.R.R Tolkien's works.. he was very much a christian, infact he was instramental in C.S. Lewis becoming a christian. Perhaps the major theme of tolkien's work was the folly of people striving for power and control that they were not naturaly meant to have. Striving for more power and more control than they were given. So although tolkien's entire world is magical his writing contains strong arguments against the kind of magic that christian's today have such problems with. The difference is that for tolkien the terms magical and supernatural are largely interchangable..

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-- All that is gold does not glitter,
Deep roots are not touched by the frost,
The old that is strong does not wither,
Not all those who wander are lost.

Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
Simon, I'm getting the impression from what you have said that magic (or wizards, witches, sorcerers etc) that was condemned in Bible by God by Jesus is just miss understood science?

I understand your point tough (I think) that as example things like fireballs could be produced by humans with scientific equipment.

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Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD keeps the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. - Psalms 127:1

And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. - Isa 32:17

[This message has been edited by jari (edited June 16, 2005).]

Max

Member

Posts: 523
From: IA
Registered: 09-19-2004
What he is saying is that what you and I call Wizards and Sorcerors, may not be what the Bible calls sorcerors. I can pick up a stick and a hamburger, and say they are both sticks, it's a different perspective.

In D&D, if you cast a spell to Identify an item you have, it is forbidden by God? (Identify is Divination)

Besides, if we can realize the difference between reality and fantasy, shouldn't we be ok? I don't think it's a sin for me to play fantasy games if I use the power and "magic" in a way to help people, to be the good guys.

Besides, magic is fun. Becoming a level 20 Wizard and casting "Stop Time" is priceless, especially followed by a meteor shower!

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The learned man knows that he is ignorant - Victor Hugo

Simon_Templar

Member

Posts: 330
From: Eau Claire, WI USA
Registered: 10-25-2004
Jari,

Max is pretty much correct in what I was trying to get at.. the word "wizard" and the word "sorceror" in the bible mean something different than what we generaly mean when we use those words. The bible is refering to real occult, religious practices. When we use those words we are refering to something that is not real, and the concept that we have of them is basicly founded on imagining a world in which the laws of nature are different. This means that the magic that we use in fantasy, is more like a different kind of science, while the "wizard" and "sorcery" of the bible involves real occult practices of talking with evil spirits to gain information, and using drugs to facilitate this process.

Now, not all magic in fantasy is benign because fantasy does include necromancy and things like that. People can argue that its still fantasy, and maybe thats valid.. but at that point it is the same issue as games like GTA.. does the fact that it is imaginary.. make immoral action ok.. I feel one way, but I'm certainly not going to condemn someone on this issue because they disagree

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-- All that is gold does not glitter,
Deep roots are not touched by the frost,
The old that is strong does not wither,
Not all those who wander are lost.

Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
Ok Simon, I'm reliefed. But for the record, when I speak about witches etc I mean satanism.

But like you, I don't judge any one either. However my advice to you all is not to play with the lion's cubs.

I hope you see what I mean...

God bless.

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Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD keeps the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. - Psalms 127:1

And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. - Isa 32:17

[This message has been edited by jari (edited June 17, 2005).]

Realm Master

Member

Posts: 1971
From: USA
Registered: 05-15-2005
Lions have puppies? I thought they had CUBS!!

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(yes, i know im stupid)
God rules!

Blessed are those who show mercy.
They will be shown mercy. - Matthew 5:7

Blessed are those who suffer for doing what is right.
The kingdom of hevan bleongs to them.-Matthew 5:10

Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
quote:
Originally posted by Realm Master:
Lions have puppies? I thought they had CUBS!!


Hah I almost used that word... ok cubs then. I wonder what's the difference though.

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Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD keeps the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. - Psalms 127:1


And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. - Isa 32:17

Max

Member

Posts: 523
From: IA
Registered: 09-19-2004
The Cubs are a baseball team...

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The learned man knows that he is ignorant - Victor Hugo

HanClinto

Administrator

Posts: 1828
From: Indiana
Registered: 10-11-2004
So are The (Mud) Puppies.

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http://www.includingjudas.com/christiangame.html

en972

Member

Posts: 562
From: NOT TELLING!
Registered: 08-27-2004
CLint, wow, that was not expected and immature...


jk

Haha

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Keep the holy day sacred.......halllllllukan

HeistheOne

Member

Posts: 26
From: PA, USA
Registered: 06-24-2005
"Magic" in fantasy can easily be portrayed in an unsinful way with these three easy steps:

1)God as the Source

2)Don't do anything stupid! (i.e., sinful!)

3)Call it something more derived from the faith involved not the arcane, occult misunderstanding it has been called.

To have abilities like summoning fireballs, raising the dead, moving the immovable (the Red Sea?) is certainly no sin; this discussion has already agreed on that under the condition that the Power is God and not the caster, summoner, faithful, et al. After all, even in a faith-based technique system, by Christian beliefs, God gives even faith, which would assumably be the measurable energy quantity involved in invoking His power. More importanly, fire from Heaven, the raising of a dead girl, and the parting of a sea were all in accordance to the Will of God, not for the sake of one example, the will of Moses. This would imply more of an interruption by God, rather than an invoking from the player; e.g. casting the player into a seemingly defeating situation, and then stacking the odds harder then causing victory... I hope you all know the story of Gideon's valiant three hundred (Judges 7).

What this all creates, to me, is an incredibly new system of "magic" that, in my opinion, has yet to be even scratched at in games. A game that almost seems to know how hard you are trying, how much you believe and in what based on input behaviors. Funny how you couldn't get something so cool without getting God involved, huh?

In short, "magic" in the sense it is used in games has, like all humanly concieved things, sinful and righteous ways. I've explained my own idea of what righteous "magic" could exist as. (And maybe it's been done, but I always thought an "Exodus --> Promised Land" type of game would be a cool RTS make.) Let me know if you think I'm a heretic, because in that case I'd really like to change. What I have given is my opinion, merely a sinner's words... I can err. The real way to the Truth is only through Him, so yeah pray for guidance on this, all of us, and maybe we will reveal different personal allowances but so different also are our creativities gifted to us by Him.

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Let Him guide you... He's got the map.

Klown

Member

Posts: 78
From: baraga, mi , united states of america
Registered: 11-10-2004
What makes things a Religous Symbol?

The Pentagram? How is that a religous symbol? Or a Goats Head? How are they Religous symbols and why should they be removed from games?

What about Crosses? Should they be banned from games? Why and Why not?

Am I the only one that see's stuff like this pointless?

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The most dangerous person is one who believes they're a "Pretty Good Christian" = Mel Odom, Author of the Left Behind Apocalypse Book Series.

MastaLlama

Member

Posts: 671
From: Houston, TX USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
personally, i agree with klown...sounds pointless to me.

on the other hand, if you want to argue fireballs, etc bein' magic, look in the old testiment. prophets called down fire, raised the dead, etc...etc...just like HeIsTheOne said. as others have said in this thread, it all depends on the source of the power. what about the x-men games? should we not play them because their powers are not from God? i dunno...would mutant powers be considered gifts from God?

...as klown said, sounds pointless to me.

if you feel like you'll be sucked to the dark side by playing a game due to it's religious symbology or demonic undertones, then don't play it, but don't condemn me for feeling i am strong enough in my faith and belief system that i can play these games without it having an adverse effect on my walk with the Lord.

just my $0.02 - if any of this sounded rude or like an attack on anyone who's posted here, please don't take it that way

MastaLlama

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http://www.jeremysouthard.org