• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

    Previously at:
    blogs.salon.com/0003494
    barthsnotes.wordpress.com

    Email me
    (Non-commercial only)

  • Archives

  • Twitter

  • Supporting

  • Recent comments

Left Behind Video Game Teaches “Spiritual Warfare” and “Verbal Defence”

A recent issue of Christian Retailing carries an article (22 Jan, p. 10) on the Left Behind: Eternal Forces videogame. As the piece notes, the game has come under attack from various groups (Christian and secular) for allegedly featuring

…teens…killing nonbelievers, teaching teens that most musicians are “singing the praises of the Antichrist” and portraying non-Christian humanitarian aid workers as part of enemy forces.

Jeff Frichner, the president of Left Behind Games, responds to the criticisms:

…Frichner questioned how it could remain true to the Bible and the novels if it omitted the violence that appears in both.

The LBG president said too few youth are taught to defend themselves–not physically, but in verbal confrontations with those who question the validity of their faith.

So how is LB:EF teaching Christians the arts of verbal defence? Frichner explains:

…”You can win the game by not firing a shot, but by conducting spiritual warfare. There’s a prayer button (and) a worship button…”

I look forward to the “Oxford Debating Society” videogame, in which players will defeat opponents by use of a “rebuttal” button.

LBG is also trying to win over critics by spamming blogs that discuss the game. Since I’ve mentioned it a few times on this blog (see here and here), I’ve received several of these. “GamerZ@leftbehindgames.com” asks me:

Hey, with so many people having an opinion about this game, how many have actually played it? And what credibility do they have? Focus on the Family has publications which can set the record straight for everyone…

A link is given to here. “Sandi@leftbehindgames.com” tells me that:

There has been alot of misleading information spun throughout the public and media regarding Left Behind Eternal Forces game. I encourage you to visit www.menofgod.us & download a trial version. I believe the first hand experience will allow you the opportunity to judge for yourself and put these rumors to a rest.

A long statement from LBG CEO Troy Lyndon follows, which includes the following disingenuous distinction:

…Our game does NOT teach the pre-tribulation theology of the book series, except that this worldview is utilized as a FICTIONAL backdrop of the game…

Is the Bible in general a “FICTIONAL backdrop”, then?

Meanwhile, Tim LaHaye is feeling no reason to be modest as he speaks to Christian Retailing journo Ken Walker:

“We are fishing for a younger generation to know who Jesus is, what He did and how they can receive Him…That is why we included a mass-market paperback of the Left Behind book in the final packaging. I do not know of a book that has led so many thousands to Christ.”

That’s put C.S. Lewis in his place. LaHaye rejects as “preposterous” the claim that the game encourages killing enemies:

“The whole point of our lives and ministries is that we love all such people…our goal is to persuade them, not hate or do harm to them in any way.”

Indeed not. That will be Jesus’ job, as described in the final Left Behind novel, Glorious Appearing. And horses won’t be let off lightly, either:

Men and women soldiers and horses seemed to explode where they stood…It was as if the very words of the Lord had superheated their blood, causing it to burst through their veins and skin…Even as they struggled, their own flesh dissolved, their eyes melted and their tongues disintegrated.

7 Responses

  1. So you got Sandi’s comment too?:^)

    Mine was directly from Sandi@leftbehindgames.com

    I’m one of two I know that did, same content; a cut and paste. I’m wondering if ‘Sandi’ is one of the door to door salespeople they hired to peddle it.

    Responding is useless because the company isn’t interested in dialogue. I left it up, it’s it’s own self-indictment.

  2. […] to recoup ground, the company has been spamming blogs that discuss the game with puff pieces – I got one of these, which includes a rather unconvincing quote from Lyndon: “Our game does NOT teach […]

  3. […] LaHaye’s apocalyptic novels in which the anti-Christ takes over the United Nations. The game has been accused of containing a level of violence unbecoming in a Christian […]

  4. […] tried a PR counter-attack: it was pointed out that players lose points when they shoot the enemy; according to former CEO Jeff Frichner: …”You can win the game by not firing a shot, but by […]

  5. […] Plus, of course, the controversial video game. […]

  6. […] Plus, of course, the controversial video game. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.