Magic the Gathering (Or Christians and fantasy, yay or nay?)

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Craig

Puritan Board Senior
What I find interesting is that many people (I'm betting those opposed to D&D) enjoy Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia.

If it's okay to enjoy those books, why not D&D? We're quick to baptize certain forms of entertainment (arbitrarily, at points, it seems)...surely if there is a principled reason why Narnia is acceptable, then that principle would be applicable to dorky games like D&D ;)

There is certainly a danger, but only in excess...and if we ruled out things based on the sin of excess, I'd have to stop breathing.
 

Sonoftheday

Puritan Board Sophomore
I would like to, based on the reasoning of some in this post, also propose the great evil of playing checkers and chess:

One cannot practice charity when one is trying to kill off the other person's checkers which symnbolize lives and armies do they not.

Also, chess is even more brutal because it attempts assasination of the King and also the strategizing to kill another's armies.



Also, while we are at it, CS Lewis's Lion WITCH and Warbrode is occultic as is Tolkien's novels.
I think this reasoning can be brought even farther to say that we should not read indulge in any work of fiction whatsoever, and should be very careful when reading biographies. Part of Loving our sovereign God is understanding that all He does is for our the Good of those who love Him, and to bring Himself glory. This means that no matter our position in life whether we are blessed with many riches or experiencing extreme persecution we should be confident that our current position is to serve God's glory. Indulging in any form of fantasy, whatsoever, by this same logic is a denial of God's promise that all will work for the good of his elect. To take in fantasy is to say that I am unhappy with my current position and must pretend or fantasize to be someone else.
:wow: :doh:

Thankfully the "logic" is very bad. How can you have the White Horse Inn as your avatar??? It was through those guys that I got away from this kind of thinking. You should get a copy of Michael Horton's book "In the Face of God."

I think you missed my point. My point was that this logic is bad. It leads to thinking every minute you spend doing something not permitted in the three spheres of worship is sin, or a waste of time at the least.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I was confused, then. In your post you sounded like you were saying that "to take in fantasy is to say that I am unhappy with my current position and must pretend or fantasize to be someone else."
 

staythecourse

Puritan Board Junior
I have thought of this a couple of times. Bunyan expected a lot of flack (as surmised by his introduction) in apologizing (not "I'm sorry" but "Here's my reasoning") for his analogy.

His apology has this:

"Well, when I had thus put mine ends together,
I shew'd them others, that I might see whether
They would condemn them, or them justifie;
And some said, Let them live; some, Let them die;
Some said, John, print it; others said, Not so:
Some said, It might do good; others said, No.

...

Sound words I know Timothy is to use,
And old Wive's Fables he is to refuse;
But yet grave Paul him nowhere doth forbid
The use of Parables; in which lay hid
That Gold, those Pearls, and precious stones that were
Worth digging for, and that with greatest care.

Sound words I know Timothy is to use,
And old Wive's Fables he is to refuse;
But yet grave Paul him nowhere doth forbid
The use of Parables; in which lay hid
That Gold, those Pearls, and precious stones that were
Worth digging for, and that with greatest care."
When I read this I think that religion meant a lot more to the average person back and the stakes were higher (as Bunyan's imprisonment proves). Hewanted to help believers in their walk and knew he would give account for his actions (since he was influential) So he gives his explanation as to why, gave it to friends to look at, some said "no" and some "yes" but then lets the public decide. People had strong opinions about this type of writing I surmise from that.

Pilgrim's Progress is so rich and is a parable so close to the Christian walk that it excels Tolkien work and Lewis'. I say that because the characters are more helpful, we see ourselves and others more clearly, Christ is much clearer, etc. LORings is essentially good verses evil (with the ring = temptation of sin I suppose?) but L, W, and Wardrobe is a little more clear. The witch is Satan, The kids us, The animal characters aren't of much value as they don't exist (are they Christians? the new creation waiting to happen with new creatures? angels? demons? or just plain anthropomorphic animals with people emotions) Their purpose is not as helpful as the characters we meet in Pilgrim's Progress. So LOR rates high in fantasy, low on helpfulness to our lives on earth, LWandW rates lower in fantasy an higher in helpfulness, and PP is significantly lower in fantasy to me and much higher in helpfulness to my life on earth.

Somewhat off topic but I didn't want to start another thread on Fantasy vs Christian Fantasy.
 

Sonoftheday

Puritan Board Sophomore
I was confused, then. In your post you sounded like you were saying that "to take in fantasy is to say that I am unhappy with my current position and must pretend or fantasize to be someone else."
Ohhhhh if only you knew the geek I am. Hehehe. Many hours have been spent reading Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, and more recently Orson Scott Card. I have lived and died a thousand lives as dwarfs, elves and other creatures of "magic" in many video games.
 

Grymir

Puritan Board Graduate
I was confused, then. In your post you sounded like you were saying that "to take in fantasy is to say that I am unhappy with my current position and must pretend or fantasize to be someone else."
Ohhhhh if only you knew the geek I am. Hehehe. Many hours have been spent reading Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, and more recently Orson Scott Card. I have lived and died a thousand lives as dwarfs, elves and other creatures of "magic" in many video games.
Man, what a great post. That about says it all!!! :sing:
 

kalawine

Puritan Board Junior
Waste o' time!

If this is so, why would a Christian enjoy fantasizing about something he knows the Lord hates.
A young mom asked me what I thought about Potter since her kids were devouring it. My response was not one of legalism but I explained that fantasy is non-reality. There are no such things as "good witches" or "lawful good fighters" (which code of law), clerics, etc (I know I am dating myself). It's hard work to keep out minds on Christ and hold every thought captive therefore spells, witches, and (when I was playing D & D) contemplating Beholders waste precious time and energy which could be put into godly activities. How can you even attempt to "pray without ceasing" in such a context. Am I making a sense?

In other words, "let's move on" from "when I was a child" activities and onto greater things..."and we will," thank God.
Regardless whether Dungeons and Dragons is a lawful use of one's time, this argument presents an awfully slippery slope. What else "wastes precious time and energy which could be put into godly activities"? What is a "godly activity"? You'll end up in a monastery if you aren't careful. This is what almost drove me insane before I came to the Reformed tradition and realized that "spiritual activities" are not the only things which please God. Your reasoning leads to monasticism, and would probably prove to be quite hypocritical upon an examination of your own use of time.
:amen: my brother! Sometimes I listen to rock music (I'm an Oldies guy) and I have actually spent time riding down the road explaining to my two sons (14 and 12) about how we enjoy some things about "secular" music (games, etc) but we don't take it to heart. For example, we were listening to a song called "Roll The Bones" by Rush. The song has the message that our lives are meaningless and life and the whole world and it's circumstances are a roll of the dice. I paused the CD and explained the song to them (LOL which they didn't understand in the first place) and then we discussed how sad it is that the writer of the song could see life that way because he is obviously unregenerate. I spend enough time explaining things of the faith to them (like regeneration) that when I bring things like this up it immediatly makes a connection in their mind. I have taken many such opportunities with them and now when they want me to listen to one of their songs or check out one of their video games they often tell me why we do or do not go along with the philosophy being promoted.

Davidius is right. If any/all of us did an examination of our own use of time we couldn't promote this monostary mentality.
 

Augusta

Puritan Board Doctor
What I find interesting is that many people (I'm betting those opposed to D&D) enjoy Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia.

If it's okay to enjoy those books, why not D&D? We're quick to baptize certain forms of entertainment (arbitrarily, at points, it seems)...surely if there is a principled reason why Narnia is acceptable, then that principle would be applicable to dorky games like D&D ;)

There is certainly a danger, but only in excess...and if we ruled out things based on the sin of excess, I'd have to stop breathing.

The big difference I see between LOTR and Harry Potter is that in LOTR what little magic there is, is portrayed as suspect, evil, or passing away. It's not glorified but is actually on the way out of middle earth. Where as in HP magic is everywhere glorified. Muggles (non-magical) are boring and passe. Magic is where it's at. Magic is cool. It is a completely different type of fantasy.
 

calgal

Puritan Board Graduate
What I find interesting is that many people (I'm betting those opposed to D&D) enjoy Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia.

If it's okay to enjoy those books, why not D&D? We're quick to baptize certain forms of entertainment (arbitrarily, at points, it seems)...surely if there is a principled reason why Narnia is acceptable, then that principle would be applicable to dorky games like D&D ;)

There is certainly a danger, but only in excess...and if we ruled out things based on the sin of excess, I'd have to stop breathing
.
Nicely said (geekette who would play D&D if a group was around here). D&D is fun to play as a group as long as the group members are grounded in reality and are not consumed by their characters (on that note, Dark Dungeons is the BEST Chick tract EVER!:lol:). In other words, pick your players carefully. :2cents:
 

BJClark

Puritan Board Doctor
Maybe if someone here knew how to write gaming code they could write a game about searching out the truths of scripture..

They could certainly use the *helmet* of Salvation, the *breast plate* of righteousness; the *sword* of the spirit; the loins gird about with truth; the *shield* of faith; and soforth...they could find and collect Bible verses instead of potions for health; healing and weapons strength for their clothing..

They can have characters such as Moses and Pharoah; Jacob; Samson; David fighting Goliath with his little sling shot (and having to locate the stones in which he uses); Daniel fighting the lions; Joshua sending two spies into Jericho meeting up w/ Rahab as their contact person..

they could search for the seven rams horns and trumpets to use for walking around Jericho to bring the walls down..

Use fishing rods or nets and oceans for fishing out Bible verses for food and health..

Joseph and Potiphers wife..giving in to temptation leads to death..not giving into temptation moves you further into the game...

Lots of story lines to use just from Scripture alone..
 

Grymir

Puritan Board Graduate
BJClark, It's been done. Lame, but it is out there. I can't remember the name of it. There were several. But they were so lame. In my humble opinion.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
BJClark, It's been done. Lame, but it is out there. I can't remember the name of it. There were several. But they were so lame. In my humble opinion.
Yep...This covers most Christian attempts to imitate secular entertainment. Turn on KLOVE and listen to most of the garbage that contemporary Christian musicians turn out! Christian imitations are normally bad in both ways: their quality is too poor to be entertaining and their Christian value usually gets dumbed down.

It would be better to embrace the Reformation's division of the sacred and the secular instead of trying to baptize everything which is perfectly fine as it is. We don't need "Christian X, Y, and Z." It's okay to shun our gnostic tendencies and realize that we're citizens in both the city of God and the city of Man. I recommend Michael Horton and the other White Horse Inn guys on this subject, particularly Horton's In the Face of God.
 

Vytautas

Puritan Board Freshman
I was looking for a UO guild one day and found instead "a game about searching out the truths of scripture". It was how I was lead to the Lord.
 
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