|Are you sure you're pleasing God with online games?|
I don't know if Pastor Adrian Acosta's guest post on Pastor Kyle Eusebio's blog was (partly) inspired by a recent satire of "news" site So, What's News?. I'm pretty sure, though, that my new post on my new blog is inspired by both articles. Let's get straight to the point. We'll not just talk about Diablo 3 here, but also in all computer games you know. So here's the jackpot question: Is online gaming a sin?
It's a sigh of relief that So What's is a satirical site. If not, then I would have been fearing that the CBCP will crack down on me because I played some and still playing some more "prohibited games" like Cabal and Warcraft 3, aka DOTA. If the "news item" is for real, I would have been in jail right now and not jotting this down. Yet, I'm still at large. However, whether you're playing a violent game like Cabal or a "wholesome" game like Tetris Battle and Doodle Jump, take note of these:
1. Make sure you honor God with your gaming.
Online games are not sins, but playing them, including the likes of Tetris Battle (believe it or not) can cause you to sin. Often times, I get frustrated every time I am losing a match or the internet connection is lagging. But I'm making sure that I will not sin in those upset moments like what Ephesians 4:26a says. Furthermore, I'm also applying the second part of the verse (Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.). It's just a game. There are still more opportunities to win to come. Also, if you want to honor the Lord with your online gaming, don't join the trash talking, especially in Garena, an online gaming platform for Warcraft players, where taunting and trash talking (even to teammates) are rampant. You have two options, either you remain mum or reply, but I would suggest the first option. Like what Adrian said, if you think playing online games can worship Him, "then do it by all means!" But here's something I learned recently. I tried playing Doodle Jump because it trended after the Los Angeles Lakers lost in Game 2 of their NBA quarterfinals match-up against the Oklahoma City Thunder. While playing that, I read the So What's article on Diablo 3, where an outbound link led me to a sad CNN report on Filipinos eating "pagpag" or leftover chicken. Then I wanted to quit playing Doodle Jump 'coz I believe God is touching me to look at the poor communities today. Simply saying, if God asks you to stop playing online games for a thing He wants you to do, then turn off your PC's.
2. You can make disciples through online games.
I have been playing computer games when I was 11, the time I accepted Jesus Christ to my life. I find myself happy every time I play those games, especially when trying new ones. But when I came to Los Baños, specifically when I started attending my current church, I find out that it can be a channel to make disciples. Well, we all know that online games can make new friends, enemies, and even frenemies, but making disciples is a higher notch than that. You can jumpstart introducing your friend to Jesus by playing online games with your Christian friends. However, you must be responsible in doing so, because if you're not careful, it might pull you away from your cause. The best thing to do is to read The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). If you think online games can win a soul to Christ as what He says on TGC, do it by all means.
Adrian's own words about the two points above ended with the similar sentence. "If you find yourself trying to justify, then I don't think it is worth it." It means that if you think playing computer games with your friends can help you win their souls, then just do it. If you're just trying to say it, then better keep mum. There are still other means of sharing the Gospel to people. If you're doubting playing with your friends will make it easier for you to share God's Word to them, then better do the better means: inviting them to church, inviting them to cell groups, or making yourself available if they have a major problem.
Ecclesiastes 12:13b-Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.