Video games have become so popular, with over 40% of the world’s population being taken by the trend. This population has even increased tremendously following the rise of smartphones, making it easy for people to play video games anywhere they feel like. However, as the popularity of video games continues rising, many Christians are caught between whether playing video games is right. So, is playing video games a sin?
Bible scholars agree that playing video games cannot be ruled out as sinful because technology does not go against the moral standards of God as stipulated in the Bible. However, this depends on the video game you are playing because some games have images, content, and even sinful storylines. Additionally, playing video games might be wrong when it becomes your priority over God’s matters.
So, are video games inappropriate for Christians? Can Christians play animated video games? Can Christians use video games for a good purpose? Can video games strengthen your faith in God? What Bible verses talk about video game content? Stick around to get the answers to this information and more.
Are video games inappropriate for Christians?
The answer to this question is not absolute. Technology that enables video games is not necessarily a sin, but some video games are sinful. Additionally, if playing video games distracts your attention from serving God and his people, they are not appropriate. Colossians 3:5, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” Video games can easily become an idol as they are addictive, and you can spend more time on them than with God. This way, they become inappropriate.
Additionally, video games are only appropriate if they pass the test of Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent and praiseworthy, think about such things.”
Consequently, if the love of video games exceeds the love of God in your life, then bible scholars agree that this is inappropriate. 2nd Timothy 3:1-4 says, “but mark this: there will be terrible times in the last days. People will become lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, and disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, and conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”
Therefore, if this scripture is anything to go by, video games are only appropriate for Christians if they uphold God’s glory and moral standards as stipulated in the Bible. However, if video games have sinful content and storylines that go against what the scripture expects from Christians, they are inappropriate.
Can Christians play animated video games?
Some theologians and bible scholars argue that playing animated video games is a sin since animated characters are not made in the image and likeness of God like real humans. Geneses 1:26-27, “and God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
However, it all depends on which kind of animated video game you are playing. The Bible condemns consuming content that goes against God’s moral standards. For example, some animated video games like M- and A- rated video games portray sex in ways that violate the intention of God for it.
The Bible, especially the New Testament, implies that sex is exclusively for married couples and should be a private affair. However, these video games do not uphold these teachings, violating God’s moral standards and the sex’s holy nature. This goes across any video games that go against the teachings of God, not only animated video games. Therefore, if a video game has sinful content and storyline, it is a sin to play it.
Can Christians use video games for good purposes?
Video games can be used for good purposes like any other technology. How you decide to use video games and the kind of video games you play will determine their purpose. The Bible warns against consuming sinful content but only interacting with content that glorifies God.
Video games have been used for good purposes in several instances. Schools use video games to teach students the basics of spelling, science, math, and other subjects. Several military divisions use video games to train soldiers. Additionally, municipalities use video game-like technology for running simulations related to housing, transportation, energy, and water. Another purposeful use of video games is when families play these games together to encourage teamwork, amongst other values.
Therefore, if you are wondering if video games have any benefits, they do, only if they are used correctly. This is the same with any technology; its purpose can only be determined by how you choose to use it.
Can video games strengthen your faith in God?
Video games can be used to glorify God as well as take glory from Him. With most video games being secular, it will be hard to stumble upon, which will strengthen your faith in God. Therefore, the question should not be whether video games can strengthen your faith in God but if it is a good choice. And most of the time, you will find it is not, as very few video games have clean content and uphold God’s teachings.
You will come through video games that glorify lewdness and violence, among other dumb decisions. For your faith to be strengthened in God, whatever you do as a Christian should bring God the glory. 1st Corinthians 10:31, “so whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Additionally, most of the time, video games are just a distraction from what really matters, glorifying Christ. In the book of Philippians 3:7-10, Paul noted that he considers everything a loss compared to obeying, knowing, and loving God. “But whatever were gains to me, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for who sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage that I may gain Christ.” Therefore, if this verse is anything to stand with, video games might not be a sin, but they might not contribute much to your pursuit of holiness in Christ.
What Bible verses talk about video game content?
Though there are no bible verses that refer directly to video games, as these games were created after the Bible was written, several verses talk about the content we should consume, including video games content. Philippians 4:8 notes that we should consume honorable and pure content before the Lord. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Ephesians 5:11 notes that Christians should not be involved in the works of darkness. We should only play video games whose storylines and images are not sinful. “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but expose them.”
Luke 11:34-36 notes that “Your eye is lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light. But when it’s evil, your body is full of darkness. Therefore, be careful that the light in you isn’t darkness. Now, if your whole body is full of light, with no part of its darkness, it will be as full of light as when lamp gives you light with its rays.”
Additionally, though video games are just a recent development, the Bible warns Christians to be alert as the devil prowls around and looks to devour anyone he can. Peter 5:8 says, “Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary, the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.”
Psalms 101:2-3 says, “I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.”
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They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.