Wow! It’s a good thing I talk fast. I got about 60 seconds of face time on a 60 minute show (The Mike and Juliet Show). Although they incorrectly introduced me as a “Use Halo 3 in your church advocate” I quickly clarifed that “while we at Dare 2 Share are NOT endorsing the product, we ARE endorsing the conversation!”
For a few minutes more of more intense dialogue on this (where I actually got to say something for more than a minute) check out http://www.mandjshow.com/category/features/inside-the-greenroom/
Whether we like it or not many of our teens are playing Halo 3 in our communities. So we can eschew it as the game of the devil or we can bring it up as a topic of conversation. In other words instead of demonizing culture why don’t we demonize demons (who use culture to destroy our kids) and seize culturally relevant conversations (i.e. Halo 3) to bring God up.
Did you know that the character you play in Halo 3 is Master Chief John 117? Do you know what John 1:17 says, “The law came through Moses but grace and peace came through Jesus Christ.” Do you think that this messianic figure named after a messianic passage is accidental? NO!
Again I’m not saying for you to run out, get Halo 3 and use it as an outreach tool. After all it is rated “M” for mature. So ultimately it is a mom and dad decision more than a youth leader’s sole call. What I am saying is that all of us should run out and bring the gospel up with teenagers using Halo 3 and Master Chief John 117 as our opening line.
Thoreau said, “For every hundred hacking at the leaves of evil one hacks at the root.” Fighting against violent video games is at best hacking at the leaves of evil. Only a personal relationship with Jesus can ultimately and truly hack at the root.
Who knows? When you take that step of faith and begin the conversation you may reach the next game playing, trenchcoat wearing, gun toting Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold with the gospel of Jesus before they do something like what happened yesterday in Cleveland and eight years ago at Columbine. We don’t have to worship the idols to quote the pagans. In Acts 17 Paul quoted the pagan poet and used the Greek’s wicked idolatry as his opening, common ground line as he shared the gospel story with the men of Athens.
Sometimes we need to quote the pagan poets to reach the pagans. Again, that doesn’t mean we compromise our personal convictions and cross the line the Holy Spirit has set in our hearts. But at the very minimum we need to get familiar with the game. How can you do that without picking up a virtual gun? Check out the Soul Fuel and Culture Commission articles that my compadre, Lane Palmer, wrote on it at www.dare2share.org.
P.S. Why not a controversy about Kickball in church? That game left me scarred physically and emotionally as I was always the first “taken out” and almost always with a headshot (double points!!)