Should Christians use violent video games to lure teens to church?

Should Christians use violent video games to lure teens to church? What do warthogs, pelicans, energy swords and Spartan lasers have in common? And how do they relate to John 1:17?

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  • “But critics question the value of using shooting games to entice boys to attend church.”

    I’m not sure what’s going on in the article. On the one hand, it sounds like it’s just talking about LAN parties, which probably wouldn’t be a big deal. This shouldn’t be considered any more “enticing boys to attend church” than when I host a movie or game night at my house for the high school kids in my church. It’s not about drawing kids into the church but about having fun and hanging out with other members of the group.

    On the other hand, the article has quotes like the above and Mike Matlock from Christian Gamers Online* when he says stuff like: “We try to be very careful and be true to the gospel when we’re using gaming as an outreach tool. We try not to compromise that. We just use it as an outreach tool just as you would if you had some live music.”**

    In the end, articles like this make me wonder: Why do people gotta be dumb?


    *With a name like Christian Gamers Online, you almost have to expect them to need to present games as a Tool-for-the-Kingdom. I wonder if he believed the hype and then formed the group or formed the group and then realized it was expected that he should forward the hype…

    **Of course he later goes on to say that video game outreach is comparable to “if you were having some kind of athletic event”—which either means he’s in on the joke or that he lives in some sort of strange world wherein a decathlon can be construed as “ministry.”

  • In short, I believe, Yes, within reason (ie. not gratuitous violence).

    I’ve been reading a lot of John Eldridge lately and he’s struck a chord with the ‘warrior’ part of me.

    I think the church has emasculated many young men with a fear of violence. Jesus wasn’t afraid of violence and even employed it on occasion (whip + tables?).

    I think the church needs to show the world it’s not afraid of violence, acknowledge it and acknowledge another painful part of reality.