“The game is set in New York City after millions of Christians have been transported to heaven. Players are charged with recruiting, and converting, an army that will engage in physical and spiritual warfare with the antichrist and his evil followers.” Now Public
Some say the Left Behind video game encourages prayer. Others say it promotes violence and intolerance. [Check out Wikipedia – [link fixed – thanks) What do you think?
UPDATE: OpenSourceTh. says theres a petition.
Technorati Tags: games, video games
It makes me want to hurl.
Prayer? Only in the “please, Lord, make them stop peddling their wares and changing money in the temple courts” vein! For a theologically stimulating game, Second Life looks more intriguing (what kind of world do people create when they are like “gods”?) although, alas, my present computer can’t cope with it.
I think the games itself simply attests to the power of an opportunity to make money. I am quite sure that the game creators are not too concerned with theological issues.
Before I answer the question about LB. I will ask two questions: Was Jesus intolerent when He said “If you deny Me I will deny you before My Father in heaven.” or “Without Faith it is impossible to please God.”? question two: is the book of Revelation, Daniel and Ezekial violent?
I suspect from those who don’t support LB we will find dramatic double standards from the conclusion they have with their rejection of LB and what Scripture properly says about eschatology and the Glorious coming of Christ.
And they’ll know we are Christians by our kitsch.
I’m not a dispensationalist, so this one is easy for me to dislike.
This just makes me sad.
I don’t know the answer to your question. But I do think this game reveals a clear “missing the point.” And that makes me sad.
let alone some really bad theology…
This is a real embarrassment. As Christians do we want to sit around salivating over the rapture* and the fate that awaits the heathen or do we want to, you know, love those around us? Which is a better kind of person to be? Which is better to be seen as?
I’m sick of the gloating over the fate of non-Christians. If you really believe that people are headed to Hell then shouldn’t compassion move us to try to persuade them to follow Jesus. I guess forming relationships with people, loving them as Jesus did and inviting them into our communities/way of life doesn’t make as good of a video game.
* Strictly speaking, I’m inclined to believe in a post-tribulation rapture (but this isn’t a position I see as worth arguing about), so I’m not especially looking forward to it.
know Troy Lyndon (creator of this game), we worked together for years. I have not looked at the game so I can’t give my personal opinion on it, but I can say that I don’t think Troy developed this game just to make money. He’s brilliant, loves technology and he loves Jesus. I can’t say whether or not I agree with his theology but I believe his intentions for this game were to provide entertainment. I think one of the reasons he created this was to provide a very high quality product that gave gamers an alternative to games with lots of violence and sex. Its sad because I do see how it has the potential to cause division and an “us against them” mentality – the opposite of what I think we need in today’s world. But as far as technology I have no doubt that this game is really good.
PS I linked to this today.
thanks barbara. i have been looking forward to the day when there are some good games for us to play and learn at the same time
maybe this game is held back by the fact by the backlash against the tim lahaye series?
I’m sure there was some good motives behind this game’s development. The sad truth is that money drives this venture and is a motive. No-one puts capital up to produce a game that is going to make a loss.
Once more Jesus is being used to line peoples pockets. Probably why so many people have been turned off from this game.
I’m sure the makers are good people. The outcome may not be to good though.
sounds incredibly cheesy..
doubtless it will be ridiculed by the gaming community at large..
but then, that isn’t it’s ‘target demographic’.. it’s the slightly more mature version of a veggietales video game, a CCM-type product, with a limited captive audience, and more technical prowess..
i don’t really know how to respond to it.. would i rather a teenager play it and get some bizarre theological concept, or play GTA and smack some cops/prostitutes/drug dealers around?? which is more damaging?
at least with GTA it’s very blatant and simple, no hidden messages, just human nature, and whatever sells (sex/violence) ..
i don’t know about this game that purports to have a message, it remains to be seen what message it really sends.
personally, i feel if you want to get something productive out of a video game, find the social and relational aspects of them. i played Gears of War the other day for 4 hours, and that game is off the charts in the violence category.. i can’t claim it as some wholesome activity, but i had fun with some buddies at work, and continued to build our friendship through mutual interests.
i’d rather my child spend time with other kids playing a game that was ‘violent’ than playing a game that was labelled as ‘christian’ for hours on end, all by herself.
just some thoughts from someone who has spent too much time in his life playing video games 🙂
Andrew, FYI, your Widipedia link doesn’t link to Wikipedia.
sad…very very sad! Just wishing larry norman were born 15 years later!
I commented on this (rather sarcastically) on my blog yesterday.
What makes this game an us vs. them scenario is the pretribulational theology. I know that many people involved in the development of this have to to have good hearts, and I am sure that there will be benefit to these games for families. I remember Christian games for Nintendo 15 years ago, and my son had one or two – but they were pretty cheesy. There was something about baby Moses getting thrown in the water, and another which shot fruit at people. ;-/
So back to the theology – I do believe that we are responsible to evaluate our theology in respect to its impact upon those who do not believe in Christ. If we do not do so we end up doing things which we believe will benefit the world, and unfortunately we end up distancing the church from our own culture.
So we shoot ourselves in the foot with our own fruit once again.
NT Wright has a great one-pager that revelas many of the issues with the whole left behind franchise/theology; aptly titled, Farewell to the Rapture. I’ve linked to it via my name below.
I would find it a stretch to think that this game encourages prayer, although in God’s mischief anything can happen. I feel intolerance & violence is the message and ultimately what it encourages.
A New Video Game For All
You read the books. You watched the movies. Now play the game.
Thats right, Left Behind: Eternal Forces is now available to purchase. Amazing. Unfortunately it doesnt look like Kirk is on the packaging.
HT: Tall Skinny Kiwi
I think it’s a gross example of how consumer Christianity has invaded the culture. Someones trying to make a buck on bad theology and violence, in the name of Jesus.
If Christian parents want to keep their kids away from those heathen violent video games, what makes it okay for them to play christian violent video games?
I really have no problem with violence in video games to a reasonable extent (I like to play them actually) but please don’t slap a Christian label on it so then it’s all okay now.
“Little Johnny can’t play Halo cause it kills aliens, but it’s okay to kill UN Troops in the name of Jesus.”
Barbara, I’m sure your friend Mr. Lyndon is sincere and it has to be difficult to see him involved in something this poor.
But you may want to read up – prior to the rating, statements were made by Mr. Lyndon that now contradict what he is saying since the game came out.
As you catch up you’ll appreciate the controversy, outcry and the petitions.
I see in terms of his professional skills he is rated well at rent-a-coder.
You might want to check the ratings at gamespot.
Tyndale made a fortune on the Left Behind books, it appears they have every intention of extending this effort as far into the targeted market as they can. The targeted market is not the normal age demographic for an RTS.
I’m sure you’ll recall the controversies and lawsuits around the movies.
Left Behind: Eternal Forces is about a piece of a 7 billion dollar industry and ‘divisions’ are being used to market this game to it’s identified consumer group.
As a mainstream Christian, I find this game offensive because it indoctrinates children in religiously-motivated violence: mass killing in the name of Christ. Here’s more at Talk to Action: Reclaiming Citizenship, History, and Faith.
promotes stupidity I’m afraid. Oh the things we Christians(!?) do to mar the message of Jesus. sigh.
This statement is posted from an employee of Left Behind Games on behalf of Troy Lyndon, our Chief Executive Officer.
There has been in incredible amount of MISINFORMATION published in the media and in online blogs here and elsewhere.
Pacifist Christians and other groups are taking the game material out of context to support their own causes. There is NO “killing in the name of God” and NO “convert or die”. There are NO “negative portrayals of Muslims” and there are NO “points for killing”.
Please play the game demo for yourself (to at least level 5 of 40) to get an accurate perspective, or listen to what CREDIBLE unbiased experts are saying after reviewing the game at http://www.leftbehindgames.com/pages/controversy.com
Then, we’d love to hear your feedback as an informed player.
The reality is that we’re receiving reports everyday of how this game is positively affecting lives by all who play it.
Thank you for taking the time to be a responsible blogger.
I have played the demo – and that even makes it scarier. Forget the fact that it is bloodless. There are bodies piled up of people killed by the so-called “Christians” who carry high tech weapons and use them to kill who they think are the forces of the antiChrist.
It is frightening to see that the Left Behind Games people are willing to support killing (uh hem – “defending”) in the name of Christ. This is the equivalent of Islamofascists calling for the death of the infidels who they perceive are attacking their way of life.
Left Behind is calling for a Christian jihad – and it is the same thinking that led to the crusades and inquisition where thousands lost their lives because of what they thought.
Fundamentalists are showing their hand – willing to use violence in the name of Christ. They spit out the term “Christian Pacifist” as if it’s evil.
Jesus was the ultimate “Christian Pacifist” – He laid down His life. It’s time to wake up and see that these so-called “Christians” are taking America in a very scary direction.