For anyone who has played the game Apples to Apples, you will perhaps appreciate this blog more than others. For those who haven’t played the game, it is basically a game where players submit pre-printed noun “answer” cards in response to a generic adjective cards. For example I might play a card which says “Zombies” as my answer to the adjective card “misunderstood”. You accumulate points by your answer cards being picked most often as the best. The game is fun, clean (although some answers can get mildly suggestive) and a great mixer.
Now imagine the cards taking on vile, sensual and downright nasty connotations and you have the makings for a newly released game called Cards Against Humanity. The website for this game shamelessly touts itself as a “party game for horrible people” and “as despicable and awkward as you and your friends”.
I happened to have been the equivalent of a fly on the wall at an ORU dorm party this past Saturday where this game was shamelessly being played. When someone questioned the appropriateness of playing such a game the snarky response was a simple “if you don’t like it you don’t have to play it”. In church the next morning a worship song undid me which had the line “my anchor holds within the veil”. Anchor … veil… what do those words have to do with my feeling the broken heart of God? If we were still able to pull back that veil we would witness what few have witnessed in life on earth – pure holiness. In fact if as a common “believer” I stole a glance behind that veil, it would be the last thing I would witness as my “common” existence could not bear to behold holiness on that level. Yet that is where we find our anchor and the strength of our Lord Jesus – in holiness.
For those who do not have the sincere desire to follow God, which brings with it the requirement to a “be holy as He is holy”, feel free read no further. But as those who have given their lives to Christ I would simply ask what does vile intentional evil of such a nature as this game have in common with the purity of His selflessness to sacrifice on the cross for you and me. My sense is that to willfully play games like these (as well as engaging in other unrepentant sins) cheapen the name Christian and damage the reputation of Christ to the lost. Shouldn’t this mean something? Shouldn’t this mean everything – both to us and to the lost? But here is a situation in which numerous young people enrolled in a Christian university and thereby supposedly bearing the name of Christ are at the same time embracing filth on a level not common even among the un-churched. Everything in the deepest part of my spirit cries in pain as the purpose and price Jesus paid on the cross is by all appearances mocked, ignored and trampled on.
Although academic I would be remiss not to document just a fraction of the scriptures which apply in this situation.
Ephesians 5:3 & 4 – 3 Don’t let sexual sin, perversion of any kind, or greed even be mentioned among you. This is not appropriate behavior for God’s holy people. 4 It’s not right that dirty stories, foolish talk, or obscene jokes should be mentioned among you either. Instead, give thanks [to God].
Jeremiah 6: 14 & 15 – (speaking about the church leaders and prophets) 14 They treat my people’s wounds as though they were superficial, saying, this is alright and that is alright!’ But it wasn’t alright. 15 Were they ashamed when they did those disgusting things? No they weren’t ashamed. They had even forgotten how to blush. So they will die with those who die. They will be brought down when I punish them,” says the LORD.
Phil 6:8 – 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, keep your thoughts on whatever is right or deserves praise: things that are true, honorable, fair, pure, acceptable, or commendable.
All of this bears the question be asked “what has being a Christian become” – especially for the younger or millennium generation”? Has it simply become some feel good identity, a gesture at the end of a sports play, some aspect of riding your parent’s coattails or just another social club to be a part of. Why were there only one or 2 young people in the room who voiced questions about this disgusting game? Why is someone attending a Christian university who appears to have little appreciation of Godly holiness and in fact mocks those who try?
I am truly at a loss to answer these very tough yet telling questions. I am personally aware of numerous tragic stories of young people (and some not so young) who have chosen to partner with Satan. Yes they may still identify with the name Christian (I’m not sure why), but by unrepentantly engaging in practices which clearly violate scripture, they clearly reject Christ. They engage in vile activity (such as the game I mention here), drunkenness, sex outside marriage, homosexuality, affairs and living together before marriage. They live to make themselves happy instead of embracing servanthood and considering others as more important as the true key to joy. They avoid or reject calls to discipleship and answer only to themselves.
The closest I can come to answering these questions is found in my post from Nov. 14 entitled “Land for Peace” which is the idea that if we try to assimilate (look and act like) into the surrounding secular society they will like us better. This has never worked in all of history without the total loss of purpose and identity of the assimilating group.
Christ did not call us to “get along” or appease the enemies of the cross but rather to embrace the example of Christ’ sacrifice on that cross for the lost. We are called to carry that cross of servant hood and holiness to all who will hear the message of Good News. To live is Christ and to die is gain.