I will set no wicked thing before my eyes. -Psalm 101:3

Violence in Media

Should Christians shield themselves from violence?

Obviously, TV and video games are full of gratuitous and wanton violence, but I believe the societal problems caused by media violence is result of the fantasy immersion, not the violence itself. Boys will always be boys. Regardless of whether they have violence being spoon-fed to them by the media their parents allow them, they are going to play "cowboys and indians" or paintball or some make-believe war game. In medieval times, kids would play with toy swords and make toy soldiers with mechanical swinging arms. Hunting, incredibly gory at times, has been a favorite pastime for men for centuries.

War, that epic struggle for power, existence, and valor, is engrained in the minds of men.

I am 18, I was saved three years ago, and I have been playing computer games since about the age of seven. Shooters, RPGs, strategy, turn-based, puzzle---you name it, I have played it. And now looking back over the thousands of hours I have spent playing computer games, my only regret is that I often neglected my family and academics, not the amount of violence I was exposed to. I have seen computer games absolutely ravage teenagers' lives, consuming their existence and leaving them a meaningless pile of flesh with little hope or happiness. It has nothing to do with violence. I am still completely repulsed by grotesque and violent scenes of all sorts, far more than many of my friends who do not play computer games at all. I am very sure that desensitization is connected more with parental influence than the violence itself.

I firmly believe that media violence has some effect on children, but, as I wrote previously, the real problem lies in time wasted. Important developers like family, social functions, outdoors, exercise, reading, and academics are neglected.

In my opinion, instead of harping about violence, perhaps more lives would be changed by convincing kids that their time spent with media entertainment is absolutely worthless and should be used sparingly. After all, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, only the good deeds are going to remain unburnt, unlike the hay and stubble that is entertainment. (1 Cor. 3:11-15) Thousands of hours spent watching a box with lights that were not used to evangelize, read the Bible, and pray. Very, very frightening.

-Excerpt from an e-mail I once wrote to Al Menconi Ministries