Tuesday, June 30, 2009

They think they're on to us

Jerod Clark at the ThinkChristian blog tells a fascinating story: apparently EA (Electronic Arts) wanted to boost attention to their new video game called "Dante's Inferno," so they hired actors to put on a mock Christian protest outside the largest video game conference in the US! (http://www.thinkchristian.net/index.php/2009/06/30/mocking-christian-protests/)

The fake mob carried protest signs ("Hell is not a video game") and even had a web site which Clark says parodied the bad design of some church web sites.

So, the publicists for EA recognized what some Christians don't: outraged protests about cultural markers often just drum up interest in the thing that outraged the Christians!

When cooler heads prevail, we recognize that Jesus just didn't act this way. In fact, the Pharisees faulted him for his lack of outrage at sinners. But the gospel writer John pointed out that Jesus didn't need anyone to tell him what was in a man (John 2:25). Instead of protesting what made sense to "sinners," he demonstrated God's love for them/us and invited us to follow Him.

Jesus sat down to eat with the folks the Pharisees were outraged at. The only time Jesus ever shows amazement in the gospels it is at the hard-heartedness of those who are supposed to be the "God-people." Why do we continually wind up acting like the wrong ones in this story?

It's not that the world doesn't come up with some outrageous stuff (and a video game about Dante's Inferno doesn't even raise a goosebump). But our job is not to rage at the darkness; it is to bring the light, in just the way that Jesus did it. So we're better off spending more time with Jesus in the Bible, and in prayer, and less time scrutinizing the culture for signs of depravity. The world will show up without us having to look for it, and we'll be much better prepared to be like Him when it does.

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