Monday, July 25, 2005

God-ordained principles

The next step in the MAXIMIZERS acrostic is "Internalize Right Principles." This is where we look to see how our current values (those tenets we choose to believe) match up with overarching principles established by God. While Moses effectively broke the tablets that held the 10 Commandments, he could have never changed those laws, for they came from the unchanging heart of God. So it's not a matter of us seeking to change God's laws; rather, we need to pray that God will change our hearts so that they are in accordance with God's laws.

Here are couple of current stories showing the divide in our culture:

The first one is about the mayor of Las Vegas. Here are some comments from the story:

When he appears in public, which is as often as possible, Mayor Goodman likes to
be escorted by two scantily clad Vegas showgirls. ...
"I need showgirls!" he says. "I haven't had showgirls all day!"
A woman from
the convention staff hustles over. "A showgirl is going to walk you in," she
says.
"Just one ?" the mayor replies. "I'm being demoted."
A moment later,
the showgirl sashays in -- a tall, tan, terrific African American beauty wearing
a huge red feather hat and a tiny red bikini top.
Goodman looks her over and
smiles. " Now I know why there's only one!" he says flirtatiously. ...

"You have to get to the intersection of Sahara and Paradise," he says. "There's a billboard there with a woman in a pink dress. She's laying down and it says she'll come to your room. I don't know what she does in your room" -- he pauses to collect a laugh -- "but right next to that billboard is an ad for Viagra."
He waits for another laugh. "And that, my friends, is the entryway to my city!" ...

"I drink to excess, I gamble with both hands, I'll bet on anything that moves," Goodman says. "I'm the consummate impresario. I'm Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey -- all wrapped up for Las Vegas."
"He's the perfect mayor for Las Vegas," says Nicholas Pileggi, who wrote "Casino," the 1995 book about Vegas mobsters that Martin Scorsese made into a movie, with Goodman playing himself. "Having a rogue history works in that city. It's a city created by rogues. Who would you expect to find as mayor -- some evangelical preacher?" ...

In 1999, Goodman announced that he was running for mayor after 35 years as a defense attorney for mobsters and other miscreants. The Las Vegas Review-Journal responded with an editorial titled "Anybody but Oscar," calling him a "barrister to butchers" and a man who "carries so much baggage he could be Sky Cap of the Century." The good people of Las Vegas elected him anyway. In 2003 they reelected him with 86 percent of the vote.



(Like they say, you get what you ask for).


Now this story is considerably more promising. Sure, we can complain about how many hours children play video games, but they are not going away. And the Christian market is increasing significantly:
N'Lightning Software CEO Ralph Bagley believes half of the video game crowd is
Christian.

Which may be the result of the Christian gaming industry maturing:
"Fifteen years ago, the Christian music world looked like Christian games
today," Bagley said. "It wasn't until the Christian music companies came
together as a group and focused on quality that they were able to achieve
success."

And if they can provide some positive input to their hearts and minds, we will be far better off as a result. Says Go Play Research video game analyst Billy Pidgeon:
"Socially conservative Christians may not want their children to play games at
all. . . . On the other hand, when kids are asking to play video games,
Christian parents may find these games an acceptable way to promote their
values, while keeping their children entertained."

Of course, it can be a problem if gaming brings about increased isolation in a child (or adult, for that matter, since I've heard that the average age of a gamer is well into adulthood). Hopefully the Christians in the industry promote games that encourage interaction with other people (real people, that is).

Finally, out of the seemingly ubiquitious Left Behind series has been born the game "Left Behind: Eternal Forces," which is due out by Easter 2006.

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