Saturday, July 4, 2009

Of God or Not of God

This week has been filled with deep discussions on a religious level. Other weeks often are in the circles I hang out with, however this week God impressed upon me a theme to think about:
"Of God" or "Not of God"
Through conversations over the web, chats with the in-laws, to Bible studies with friends. Some of the topics churned my stomach and made me think really hard, to a point of mental, emotional, and spiritual exaustion.

So now you are probably wondering what made my stomach churn? It all starts with this verse:
Matt 10:33 But whoever denies me before people, I will deny him also before my Father in heaven.
Here in America we have it pretty easy. The persecution Christians face might only be a rude comment, a snear, or politcal vice. Sure there have been some pretty serious offenses but in general we have it easy. Are you aware of the atrocities committed against Christians in other countries, all because of their religious affiliation. Voice of the Martyr News Room
With some of the news and scripture I've been reading this week I've been wondering if God is preparing me not for a specific situation but preparing my heart. This is the DUH moment. Of course He has been working on my heart.
I remember back in 1999 Columbine shootings; when asked if she believed in God Cassie Bernall was shot because she said "Yes". Whether that happened exactly like that has been contested, but that scenario plays out around the globe often enough to concern me. Now what if you we presented with that question. If you do believe in God would you have the conviction to say "yes", no matter the outcome. Now escalate that scenario a notch, your family is being held at gun point and asked the same question. Next step up in severity, you, your wife, friend or family is threatened with rape and death. Is there some magical 'grey area' that developes so you can say no and escape harm, you think God can forgive you later, he'll understand; or do you say yes and whatever happens happens. A potential tragedy for sure.
Matt 10:33 But whoever denies me before people, I will deny him also before my Father in heaven.
So what churned my stomach was what if this scenario was my life, and this was my wife... my hands shake at the thought, I get choked up, and find it hard to type just thinking about it. I believe God has impressed upon my heart the need to be prepared for the scenario, and hope it never occurs. My heart also mourns for those who face this as a reality daily. www. Do I think this will ever happen to me? Does anyone? I pray it never does.

Matt 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.

Whew, take a breath and lets continue...

Second thought of the week is more in line with the title of the blog.
I've had a couple conversations that dealth with the analogy of Black and White viewpoints. Yes, some people wish to add in the 'grey area'. It's just used in conversation, used to represent that uncertain line of thought. Black and White is generally used to represent Good or Bad. With a Christian Theistic Worldview everything you can think of will fall into these two categories as well, but lets define it a step further. Everything in this world will either be 'of God' or 'not of God'. If it's not of God then it is of man or Satan. If something that comes up and you aren't sure which way it would go you might be tempted to try and put it into the 'grey' area, but really it just means you haven't explored and understand the nature of God enough. I've temporatily put a few things into the grey area this week, and have tried to take time and discover more about God. I have sought to deapen my relationship with God to know his will, by knowing his nature.

One aspect that I haven't had closure on yet is one that is close to my heart. Star Wars Roleplaying. I don't put it into the more obvious categories of idol worship, magic, or witchcraft. I've gotten rid of my Dungeons and Dragons collection(polytheistic, magic, cultic) and don't mess with the Harry Potter series (witchcraft, gateway to the occult). There is no such thing as a good witch. I have a saying "Don't let your games make you, you make the game." Let your morals guide a game, don't let a game develope your identity. I generally think that as long as I can read my Bible more than I read Star Wars, and don't hold it up as an idol, I'm doin OK. It's a source of entertainment, I can bring my Christian Theistic Worldview to the game. I can participate and have fun without taking part in something that is anti-Christ.

Which brings me to my next question up for discusion.
What would Jesus think about fantasy? Jesus often uses parables in the Bible, but those are still in the realm of possibility. The stories are drawn from reality. Does Jesus ever use fantasy? Would he have an issue using it for entertainment or story telling? I think that God blessed us with imagination and creativity and we can honor him when using it positively. I refer to "The Lord of the Rings" and "Chronicles of Narnia" Both written by men with Christian Worldviews. (side note: Both use the sacraficial character architype like Jesus, but aren't supposed to be a story of Jesus.) Would Jesus be dissapointed at these two works?

I'm exausted and await any thoughts...


  1. I see D&D, SWRPG, WoW and other "fantasy-based" games as an outlet for people's stress and imagination, a way to relax and have fun in a group setting. I do not believe that they are suitable outlets for anyone under the age of 16, since kids have issues seeing the line between "fantasy" and "real life". They can't see the difference and can't draw that moral line.

    But I do disagree with your "no such thing as a good witch". I've met many people who consider themselves "good witches", who use the powers of nature and "God" to protect themselves and others around them. I like to think of them as "paladins", not witches. ;-) (And yes, I have quite an eclectic group of friends. I embrace all religions and beliefs, even if they don't exactly mirror my belief system.)

  2. I think you are right when you say that God blessed us with imaginations and creativity. I also think that these are best used in service to Him.
    I don't see anything wrong with "fantasy", as long as it does not condradict or open the door to sinful behaviors. Just purely for example, I don't see anything wrong with a futuristic space-travel story like Star Trek (though, I really don't know much about Star Trek...). We must be careful, though, that such a story would not begin to place man's glory over God's. If it doesn't honor God, then in my book, it's not worthwhile.
    To relate that to roleplaying, I think we should always bring our morals with us- we should never abandon the Truth for any reason, even for entertainment purposes.

    As a side note, I don't think it is ever, EVER okay to deny Christ for any reason. Examine the Biblical examples of Daniel or of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They risked everything they had- to their very lives, and God honored them. Even if honoring God means death, our hope is not of this world, it rests in Jesus.

  3. Thank you for your input.
    Yes, we do disagree... We have differing worldviews. I hold to a Bible based worldview and believe what God says. Gal 5:19-21 Anyone who practices sorcery will not inherit the kingdom of God. American culture is trying to blur that line. Shows like "Bewitched" and "Sabrina: The teenage witch" make it seem like the arcane arts are for the family.
    If sorcery is not of God, then it must be of Satan. With D&D you can't play without involving yourself in that aspect, either directly or indirectly. D&D along with other sources (like Harry Potter) are gateways into the occult. If someone inocently gets involved and then inocently gets curious about real magic.... Say they go to the library and read up on it, seek other people who participate just to find out more... Like you said people who are under 16 is where you would draw the line, but since you obviously think there needs to be a line drawn why make that available to them in the first place.
    Aside from my indecision on how to pursue a line of thought on 'the force' Star wars is about aliens, droids, troopers, space ships, lightsabers, etc. hence why I have eliminated D&D from my life as well as my book shelf.