Dear Preacher who Hates Video-Games,
Why did you have to do it in front of me? Why did you have to muddle law and gospel in front of me? I’m the wild-card young guy with not that much to lose who is moderately engaged with the B-team of Christian bloggers. I’m probably gonna write about you.
I liked your church, man. I’m looking for a church in St. Louis. Yours was small. It’s young. I met someone I go to law school with. Then you had to go do your thing.
The sermon wasn’t that bad. It was a bit boring. That’s all, though! Other than that, I can conceive that someone may have heard the gospel. Minus, of course, the one part that made me write this blog.
I don’t even remember why you said this. In case you forgot what you said, here is a summary of what came from your slightly overweight but hiply-bearded self:
Something something not playing freaking video games. Don’t get me started on video games. Every time I say something about video games I get six emails from guys whose feelings are hurt. Listen to me: [you raise your voice at this part] There is kingdom work to get done! If you are playing video games, what you are saying to the world is: I don’t care about God’s kingdom, I’d rather sit here and play this video game. [you lowered your voice at this point] Okay, stepping off my soapbox. [People chuckled. Me not so much.]
“Gosh, Jake, it’s very uncool to call me overweight. You seem to be a bit damaged. I’ll pray for you, but also be careful with your tongue in the future.”
Listen to me: There is kingdom work to get done – if you are not in shape, then your ability to get kingdom work done is greatly hindered. Seriously. Get in shape. When you eat that extra chicken leg, what you are saying to the whole world is: I don’t care if my bad cholesterol takes me off the planet a few years early. You are saying to the world: “Who cares about kingdom work? I wanna put this delicious battered hunk of grease into my gullet, chew it up real slow, then wash it down with this carb-heavy craft beer.”
See how that works?
Yeah, that’s how that works. Your waist testifies to some weak law in your life, but you stand up proudly proclaiming thunder from Sinai.
“But, Jake, how do you know what is going on in my congregation? I mean, what if there is an epidemic of lazy young dudes in my church who spend all day playing video games?”
There isn’t. Some dudes like to play video-games. Some dudes like chicken wings. Jesus loves you both. Personally, I lean towards the chicken wings. The last video game I played was RBI Baseball 1993 on my Sega Genesis.
But ever since you opened your mouth the video-gamer doesn’t know that Jesus loves him. Or, if he does, he thinks Jesus is awfully pissed off up in heaven that the gamer spent the last week playing Call of Duty Zombies with his non-Christian friends, all the while sharing with them snippets of your sermon from the week before.
What did I just do? I created a vision where gamers are accomplishing some glorious Christian works, one that furthers the kingdom.
In reality, I think they should love God and play all the video-games they want. Nervous, justification-seeking exertion probably isn’t helping the kingdom anyway.
If you were trying to discuss the doctrine of vocation, please spend some time with my buddy R.J. who knows how to encourage people to love others without threatening to withhold God’s love.
And you. I think you should buy a Play Station and chill out. Otherwise, I’m going to delete anything moderately entertaining off your iPhone. And ransack your house for coloring books, because what does Christ have to do with Crayola?
P.S. You can chock me up as the seventh guy who got his feelings hurt. But only if you chock Jesus up as the eighth.
P.P.S. We are all gluttons in our hearts. There is plenty – PLENTY – of grace for our inward and outward gluttony. You seen pictures of Luther? They say the camera add ten pounds, but how many cameras were on him when they took this?