My kids want to play violent video games, what should I do?
The Real Danger
In some form or another I have heard the following statement time and time again, “I do not want my kids to play these violent video games because they will make my kid violent!”
This type of logic is actually not theologically accurate and cannot be found in the Bible.
Recorded in Matthew 15:11, Jesus says, “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”
In other words and as crazy as it sounds, it is not the video game outside your kid that is dangerous, but it is the sin inside them that is dangerous. A person who has no desire to be violent would not be drawn towards violent games.
It could be stated like this, violent video games do not create violent kids, but violent video games were created for violent kids.
The real danger of video games, is that it helps kids explore the violence that is already present inside of them.
However, studies have shown that it is possible for games to influence kids towards being more violent in their daily lives, but that is not because violence is instilled into them through violent video games; rather, violent video games give them the opportunity to let their inner violence develop. Obviously this is not the case with every kid, but it does happen.
Are Violent Video Games Sinful?
Are violent video games sinful?
No, in and of themselves, violent video games are not sinful. They are not prohibited by Scripture. However, they can be sinful on an individual level.
James 4:17 reads, “Whoever knows the right things to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
Therefore, violent video games are not sinful based upon God’s Word, but they can be personally for us based upon our conscious.
Do you feel like you should not play them? Then you should not play them.
However, there may be a better approach to dealing with violent video games.
A Better Question
During my undergraduate studies, my theology professor taught us a better question to ask than, “Is this permitted?”
Let’s be real, most of the time when it comes to grey issues, we determine if Scripture prohibits it; if Scripture does not prohibit it, we then determine it is okay.
However, my theology professor said something along the lines of, “Perhaps a better question is, ‘Does this action promote holiness?’” In other words, “Do we reflect a holy God and a holy people by playing violent video games?”
Therefore, even though violent video games are not prohibited by Scripture and your conscious may not convict you for them, are they potentially damaging to your witness of Christ and His Church?
To Play or Not to Play?
I cannot tell you where you should stand on this issue, but I did want to shed some light on the topic and raise some helpful thoughts to be explored.
So, what should we do if our kid wants to play violent video games? That decision is for you and your kids to decide.