Within the next week or so My Word Like Fire will publish a report from fourteen year old researcher Preston Zleisy concerning the anti-biblical aspects of Pokémon. Zleisy is warning about something which few adults have any knowledge of at all.
A great resource for discernment about video games in general is Apolomedia, the website of Carl Kerby, Jr., Drew Thorwall, and Solomon Richardson. The excerpt below about Minecraft is taken straight from this website, which you can link to Here. (The link to the entire Minecraft article is at the end of the excerpt.)
According to Apolomedia:
WHAT ABOUT GOD IN MINECRAFT?
However, one of our gaming friends came up to us after a presentation one day pointing out that we had missed the most important part about Minecraft when it comes to spiritual matters! He sent a link to the “ending” of the game. What we saw there was mindblowing and changed our entire understanding of Minecraft.
You could produce an entire documentary on the 8 minute ending scene of this game. In essence, it is an 8 minute wall of new age teaching that seemingly comes out of nowhere and certainly flies in the face of a biblical perspective on God and the created universe. This is a significant place to not only recognize the challenge, but to get the answers and know how to go back to the Bible to find truth.
Look at these statements with which the player is rewarded upon completing the game: (It should be noted many players are frustrated by being forced to read all this text for 8 minutes, regardless of religious beliefs.)
“and the universe said I love you”
“and the universe said you have played the game well”
“and the universe said everything you need is within you”
“and the universe said you are stronger than you know”
“and the universe said the light you seek is within you”
“and the universe said you are not alone”
“and the universe said you are not separate from every other thing”
“and the universe said I love you because you are love”
By reading that, you would almost think this was a biblically based game. Isn’t “the universe” just another way of saying “God”? It talks about light and love and everything! The unnerving part about this is that the way they equivocate “the universe” with God could lead Christ-following gamers almost to buy in to the purported majesty of the universe as it describes the universe with words similar to the way the Bible describes God. It is the kind of close-but-no-cigar language that leaves our defenses down.
“And the game was over and the player woke up from the dream. And the player began a new dream. And the player dreamed again, dreamed better. And the player was the universe. And the player was love.
You are the player. Wake up”
Did you catch that? The game tells you that the universe tells you that you are love, but the Bible tells us God is love (1 John 4:8). The universe tells you that everything you need is within you, but the Bible reminds us that God knows what we need and gives it to us (Psalm 23; 2 Peter 1:3). The game says you are stronger than you know, but the Bible says we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil. 4:13) even as God commands us to be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9) because, as the game says, we are not alone, but He is with us.
If it wasn’t clear yet, the game is essentially telling the player “you are god”. “The player was the universe. And the player was love.” After all the hours of mining, all the hours of building, all the hours of someone else saying “can I use the computer yet…” the culmination of your effort is meant to be the realization that you are the godlike universe.
All this from a blank canvas infinite lego set game! Just imagine what else is out there in games where the plot and characters take center stage! Believe it or not, we don’t say this all to scare you, though if it shocks you into action then we believe our mission is accomplished!
WHAT DO I DO?
Determining what action to take as a parent or gamer is up to you. You have to answer: “What about Minecraft?”
We see three main options for the way people usually respond:
Response 1. Play no more. “I don’t want to let my children play these games anymore, because I don’t want to support these messages. There is a much more God honoring way to spend my money and my time.”
Response 2. Play with your eyes wide open. “Thank you for letting us know what are in these games. I am going to sit down with my children and have a Bible study with them. I want to make sure they know what truth it so they are prepared next time a message like this is thrown at them.
Response 3. Just Play. “It’s just a game. Stop making a big deal out of it.”
We won’t tell you which one to choose, but let us just challenge you with this… don’t be the person from Response 3. Instead, take the opportunity to get into God’s Word. Whatever decision you make, as an individual or as a family, make it prayerfully. Find real answers, and share those answers with the world around us! Odds are you know more than one person who plays Minecraft. This could be a great opportunity to start a spiritual conversation on a topic they already care about! We live in a world that has many dark places in desperate need of light. And we need to be the one’s to shine it.
If we become bold in our faith and confident in the Bible, we have a chance to speak the truth of God’s word to a whole culture of gamers who may be getting their only spiritual messages from games. And that is a big deal.
You can read the entire article, Minecraft: Friend or Foe? by clicking Here.