Mark Driscoll on 'Is it a sin for Christians to play video games?'

Pastor Mark Driscoll weighed in on Christians playing video games in the light of "Pokémon Go," the recent cultural phenomenon that has taken America by storm.

The Trinity Church pastor discussed July 11 on his video blog the idea of Christians playing video games and whether doing so translates to an act of sin or not. The 45-year-old former Mars Hill pastor, who's currently facing charges of fraud and racketeering, made it simple by turning it into a matter of one's conscience.

(Reuters/Benoit Tessier)Visitors play games on PlayStation 4 (PS4) at the Paris Games Week, a trade fair for video games in Paris, France, October 28, 2015.

"If your conscience is bothering you, then you've got to pay attention to that," said Driscoll.

He said that the Bible talked largely about conscience and how God used it to equip people to discern whether a thing is pleasing or not pleasing to God.

"So, I would say if your conscience is bothering and burdening you, then you really need to pay attention to that," he said.

He also thought that there are three ways Christians could engage in culture. First, Christians could choose to receive culture when one knows that such is used for God's glory. Second and on the opposite end, Christians could choose to reject a particular culture when it is perceived as wrong or inappropriate. Third, and Driscoll believes video games fall in this last category, Christians could choose to redeem it by turning the validity of a particular culture depending on one's good or bad intentions.

"Since the Bible doesn't mention video games we can't expressly call it a sin," said the pastor. "What I would say as well is, as a parent of five kids, there is a redeemed element and aspect to video games, particularly for little kids — for example educational games. That would be a redeemed use of video games — they learn."

Driscoll concluded that a culture, such as video games, could only become sin when one indulges excessively.

Although gamers easily become obsessed with "Pokémon Go," many church leaders use the viral mobile game to reach out to unchurched gamers as "Pokémon Go" sends users to churches that served as Pokéstops and gyms.

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