US Christians oppose violent fundamentalist video game
A range of Christian organisations in the United States are concerned that a major evangelical publishing house is promoting a video game which they say legitimates a violent and hate-filled world view based on religious fundamentalism.
At a press conference in Phoenix, Arizona, the Christian Alliance for Progress is joining with CrossWalk America, the Beatitudes Society and The Center for Progressive Christianity to protest the release of the ëLeft Behind: Eternal Forcesí video game, a companion to the best-selling book series of the same name.
Critics say that the ideology of the game corrupts the Christian message and is based on distorted readings of scriptural texts which have been discredited by scholarship and are recent deformations of the Gospel tradition.
Many organisations and individuals are asking Tyndale House to disassociate themselves from the product. CAPís letter declares:
ìThe Christian Alliance for Progress deplores the release of the video game Left Behind: Eternal Forces in which the game's object is to convert or kill any who stand in opposition to the ideology that the game and its companion book series seek to promote. We urge the game's sponsor, Tyndale House, a Christian publishing business which used to be concerned with sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, to recall its values and withdraw its support for such an un-Christian enterprise as this.
ìThe game, which comes with a copy of one of the books in the series, represents a relatively novel way of interpreting the book of Revelation and the biblical passages that treat the end of history and the coming kingdom of God, whose origin is less than 200 years old. It thus rejects the historic ways of reading Revelation and the coming of God's kingdom that have sustained followers of Christianity for two thousand years. It also rejects the insights of biblical scholarship and deliberately misreads Revelation as a book of prophecy, rather than the kind of literature it actually is, which is apocalyptic.
ìWorse, rather than seeking to close the gap between neighbours, as Jesus did in his ministry, the game's purpose is to drive a wedge between people, teaching teenagers that what God intends is for them to slaughter those who do not share their beliefs. Because of the predominance of Christian fundamentalists on television and radio in the past generation, the American people have been left with the false impression that this strange way of interpreting the Bible is what Christians have always believed and taught. We are here today to challenge that view and to name it for the error that it is.î