Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

No Controversy Left Behind

Ah, 'tis the season for Christian stress. While local faith-watchers may be eyeing New Life Church to see if additional shoes will be dropping, a local superstar author has also backed into a bit o' controversy.

Jerry Jenkins, co-author of the phenomenally popular "Left Behind" books, will defend a videogame based on the books on the Hannity and Colmes show Wednesday (Dec. 20), and on Good Morning American Christmas Day. Now that's a fun way to spend a holiday.

Critics say the game, "Left Behind: Tribulation Forces," not only glorifies violence, but the game's heroes spend their days attacking non-Christians. In fact, apparently Jenkins has heard some people suggest that the supposed goal of the game is to mow down Jews, Muslims, gays and even (according to a release by Jenkins) "Christians who disagree with Dr. LaHaye ("Left Behind's" other co-author) and me over various theological issues."

Well, says Jenkins, that's pure bunk.

"This is ridiculous to the point of lunacy and clearly comes from people who have not seen the game and have an obvious agenda," Jenkins says. "If you have wondered why Dr. LaHaye and I would have anything to do with a game that would target the very individuals we are commanded to love and persuade, you are not alone. We are as puzzled as you."

I have not played the game. But my understanding is that it's a showdown between the forces of good and evil. In this scenario, the good guys are Christian. The bad guys are in league with the antichrist. And there are a heckuva lot of "free agents" who both the good guys and bad guys try to "convert" to their side.

So is the game intolerant? Does it fit in with the traditional Christian doctrines of evangelism and redemption? Is it both?

Not often does a videogame make you think very deeply about the clash between faith and a pluralistic society. As such, I think I'd like to play the thing -- just as soon as I finish "Grand Theft Auto."


Anonymous Zen said...

You gotta love it when Jenkins points the finger at the video game's detractors and claims that they're operating from an "obvious agenda". Well duh.

So are Christians like Jenkins, who believes that he and others like him are not only "commanded to love" but also commanded to "persuade" - read see things MY way.

Tis the effect of original sin - the proccupation with knowledge of good and evil. We all think we're right and the other guys is wrong. And all the while God's thinking, "but you're one and the same!"

The game sucks by the way.

3:08 PM  

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