Feb 6, 2009

Time Is Precious...Why Waste It Reading This Blog?

I'm going to try to write this as calmly as possible...

First, please, if you would, read this:


When I was working at Davanni's, a local pizza joint, the summer after high school, there were two Christians on staff, myself and a friend of mine who got me the job. The main difference between us was that I didn't preach at anyone. He had set such a high precedent that everyone assumed the worse of me when I started there because I was a Christian. They expected someone preaching all law to them, no love or grace.

Throughout the summer I got to know several of the employees quite well, one of them in particular. We had bonded talking about video games. One day while cleaning, he came up to me and started asking me about my faith; at that point I was able to share the gospel message with him. He was so shocked that I believed in such things because I wasn't like the other kid and I knew about and had actually played Diablo, the big taboo game at the time. In fact, he told me, the only reason he talked to me about God at all was because I played video games.

Now, I understand perfectly well Duncan's point about video games and other things being a time waster. I understand it very well in fact, and have cut out entire sections of my life (comic books, for example) that were just huge time and money wasters, and have drastically reduced time spent on other activites (2 hours of video games in about 3 weeks? 1 hour of book reading every two to three days?).

But you know what, Mr. Duncan? I just wasted 5 minutes of eternity bothering to even check the RSS feeder in order to read your blog that supposedly will save me from wasting time.

You give as a conceit in your little bit that these laws you propose can equally apply to other "electronic" mediums. So does that mean that reading a novel is not a waste of time? There are plenty of Christians who argue that reading fiction doesn't uplift, educate, or edify, and therefore should be anathema in a Christian's life.

Now, I like John Piper a lot, and have a lot of respect for the man, but he's still just a man, and can be wrong. Your quoting of him does not in any way 'prove' your argument; replace the word 'television' with the word 'novel', or 'doctrine', or even 'theology', and the statement still applies. I'd even go so far as to say the word 'Bible' fits equally as well, when kept in context, because a life of sitting around reading the Word can be just as dead as not reading it.

Tell me, sir, what is the overall storyline of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings? In what order are the Chronicles of Narnia spaced out? Who won the Superbowl this year and last year? What year did Pearl Harbor happen? At what point do all these facts become so much "useless knowledge"?

Time is precious, no one will disagree on that. But too much time "thinking", as suggested, can lead to ridiculous blogs like these, both yours and mine.

At the risk of getting highly theological, it seems you don't understand what it means to be a member of the Kingdom of God. You don't rightly understand what the verse "be in the world but not of the world" truly means. Instead, it's more religious group think that is built on faulty theology.

If the Lord has convicted you to stay away from Final Fantasy (the clear reference in your text) and other video games and to focus more fully on him, good for you. Please don't try to use Scripture to create a new set of laws you believe all believers should follow.

I feel sorry for you, though. By refusing to engage in such "trivial" pursuits, you are stunting your own growth as a witness for Christ, a member of this present world, and have closed off avenues of unimaginable beauty that can lead to worship of God.

All that said...this is an excerpt from a book. I'd be interested in reading the full book. I imagine it provides a broader, more thought out look at these issues. Perhaps this reply to that section of the book was unnecessary. If that is the case, I'm more than willing to step back and reevaluate things.

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