Stories have always had the magical power to give our lives meaning and perspective. Stories about how the world was created, why there is evil in the world, why we should be good even when no one is watching, and what happens after death. Around 2,000 years ago, some guys cobbled together a book of recycled pagan stories and pinned it to a Jewish cosmology of Good and Evil, resulting in the Christian Bible.
Good people go to Heaven, Bad people go to Hell.
To keep the story fresh and relevant, it needed to be constantly updated. Hell needed to consist of whatever disgusted and frightened people the most. Heaven needed to promise the needs and wants that weren’t fulfilled in this lifetime.
For much of the history of Western Civilization, Hell has been a place of torment and punishment.
Heaven needs Hell; Christians need Hell because if the alternative to heaven was simple unexistence, many people might choose it rather than grovel and live unfulfilled lives of restrained desire
The Neo-Christian fable that Hell is “merely the anguish of eternal separation from God” is a lie; because even that is too much. Giving a reward to urge people towards better things is GOOD. As a teacher I can tell you that offering prizes for long term good behavior is one of the easiest ways to manage children, without even needing to discipline them.
Enforcing a punishment so it’s more “FAIR”, so the winners can gloat over the losers, could potentially be effective as a long term corrective behavior management strategy. But for a ONE time system? It’s a cruel joke. It can’t work. You punish kids so they learn not to do something again; so they’ll have the experience to make a better choice next time. But sustained punishment while also refusing them the opportunity to try again, show that they’ve learned, and redeem themselves? What’s the point?
God isn’t expecting or allowing improved behavior. There is no beneficial PURPOSE to Hell (it doesn’t make anything better).
It merely allows people to suffer. God could END us, so we don’t even feel the anguish of separation. But no, he wants us to feel it.
Like a lover trying to make you guilty.
Who gets off on our punishment?
1) God, as an “I told you so,” and
2) The Saved, for similar reasons.
The Church-porn of Satanism (paintings of disgusting demons and naked people being tortured, raped and violated) were erotic, but they were also supposed to make you feel weak and powerless and afraid.
Hell is the thing we’re supposed to be afraid of.
Hell is suddenly the totally amazing place where we can hack and slash our way through tons of demons and monsters. We’re powerful. We’re invincible.
Satan used to be the puppet that scared people towards the church.
Satan/Hell is supposed to be scary, a punishment, but modern video game culture teaches us to be heroes and kick Hell’s ass, thereby refusing God’s punitive system.
Revolution against SATAN is revolution against GOD
What would God do, really, if Humans found a way into Hell to kill Satan, and free ourselves from Hell?
His punishment would have no value. We would scoff at his promise of heaven. We would set up our own kingdoms.
Plus, we would be rewarding the very Devil and Demons we kill (they would all be happy you’re freeing them from eternal suffering; God was keeping them alive so they could keep experiencing more pain, like Prometheus having his liver regrown so it could be re-eaten).
The only person not happy is God, because where is he going to put people now?
Playing Diablo 3 is Satanic, Blasphemous and Sacrilegious.
But it’s also totally in line with everything else that is positive about our culture (standing up for one’s rights, destroying evil, protecting the innocent, etc.)
The SOLUTION: Christian Video games?
Part of the reason all video games are Satanic is that we need powerful, supernatural, mythical beings to destroy, and in Christianity, there is no real war. God is all powerful. Anything we need to attack and kill is part of God’s system… except humans (because only we have free will).
That’s why Christians’ enemies aren’t really demons or devils – they’re other humans. The Left Behind Video game is one of a handful of Christian video game projects. There isn’t much exciting stuff to kill in Christianity (demons are being allowed to tempt you by God, so you can’t really go after them). So instead they focus on killing heathens and unbelievers – anybody who won’t accept Christ.
As far as moralizing mythologies of contemporary times, which one is better?
Diablo 3 teaches you that with perseverance and dedication, you can overcome anything. Plus we know that it’s all just a game, and monsters aren’t real.
Left Behind teaches us that we are chosen and it’s our God given Duty to start killing heathens (essentially the same religious mentality of the Crusades, about 1000 years ago).
Two worldviews, Pick one
Are video games like Diablo III Satanic? Do they question and undermine traditional religious values? Yes.
But maybe it’s only because traditional religious values have grown so far apart from the virtues of contemporary society; we celebrate revolutions and revolutionaries. We champion heroes who stand up against the larger forces of an authoritarian government. We expect our heroes to be badass mo-fo’s who can slice through whatever Satan (or God) sends his way.
Our movies, TV shows, video games constantly affirm the message that we have the right and the obligation to forge our own paths, create our own destiny, believe what we want.
We are all Satanic.
And if you like yourself and your life (as you should), maybe that’s not a bad thing.
Have you played Diablo III? Any interesting scenes or quotes concerning religion?