Sermons

Summary: A message for the youth of our day concerning the power of violent video games to control their mind and heart.

WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND?

Youth Rally – February 4, 2005

By Pastor Jim May

I’m going to speak about a very popular subject today, and in so doing, I know that I may well make myself one of the most unpopular people in the church with our youth. The subject matter is on the mind of every youth in the church, and it is affecting each of you at least to some degree. I want to talk to you about “What’s on your mind”?

What is on your mind is what you think about all the time. What things in your life control your thoughts, your interests, and your have an impact upon every part of your life? What you think about has an impact not only on what you do, but has a great bearing on how you choose your friends and the people you hang out with. What occupies your time and your mind is a very important thing because it effects every aspect of your life, either for good or for evil.

With that thought in mind, I want us to look something that youth are involved in every day and occupies so much of their free time. I want us to look at video games.

X box, X box 360, Play station 2 & 3, Play station Portable, Game Cube, Nintendo, Game Boy and Atari consoles disappear from the shelves as fast as they can be produced and stocked. Personal Computers are designed with lots of memory, 3 dimensional graphic ability and surround sound capabilities, not for use in business, but for the specific purpose of playing the latest games on the market; and it’s all aimed straight at the heart of our youth.

Video games have been around for about 34 years. I remember the day that I saw a video game for the first time. I was in a hotel in New York, attending a school for IBM typewriter repair when I saw the game that the whole video game industry started with back in 1972. It was a game called “Pong”. It all started so innocently. What can be wrong with controlling a paddle that knocks a ping-pong ball back and forth? That game is still around in many forms, but no one plays it much anymore. We have moved on to bigger, more violent and more graphically intense games since then.

Let me tell you about a few of the latest that have come from the minds of some warped programmers. Maybe you have played some of these games yourself.

“Destroy All Humans” – Xbox & PS2

Use destructive weapons and mental powers to take on the most feared enemy in the galaxy - Mankind!

By being the player in this game you become “Crypto”, an alien warrior who comes to Earth to clear the way for the alien invasion force. Your mission is to infiltrate humanity, control them, harvest their brain stems and ultimately destroy them. Arm yourself with a variety of alien weaponry on land or in the air. Use the Ion Detonator, the Brain-Exploder, the Zap-O-Matic, the Sonic Boom, or even the Quantum Deconstructor to eradicate those pesky, feeble humans. Strike fear into mankind with your mere presence, or use your arsenal of alien mental abilities to manipulate humans into submission through hypnotic trances, body snatching, reading minds, levitating them above the ground and then letting them fall, and more! It’s more fun than an alien can stand.

There’s only one “alien” who wants to destroy mankind – Satan – because man is created in the image of God. Why side with the devil and attempt to destroy mankind just for the fun of it?

“Grand Theft Auto” – PS2 and others

Let me tell you a little of the storyline of this game. Five years ago Carl Johnson escaped from the pressures of life in Los Santos, San Andreas -- a city tearing itself apart with gang trouble, drugs, and corruption. Now, it’s the early 1990s and Carl’s got to go home: his mother has been killed and his family has been torn apart, and now he becomes a vigilante to get even, taking the law into his own hands. It doesn’t matter how many people he has to kill, or how many people he puts into danger on the highways with his high-speed chases and races with police. He has to get the job done at all costs. What lesson does it teach? The end justifies the means. It’s okay to break every law, kill everyone in sight, steal cars and create death and destruction, just so you can get even and have revenge.

What happened to Romans 12:19, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."

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