apparently I’m cool with headshots and robbing banks, but street hookers just go to far

Confession time. I really want to play Grand Theft Auto V. Like real bad.

It beckons me… It calls to me… Purchase me… Play me… Explore my vast, life-like world.


Not only am I a Christian, but I’m also a pastor who plays video games. [insert gasp here]


There’s this unspoken expectation that pastors don’t play games. They only do spiritual things like feed the poor and go on short-term mission trips. Maybe, just maybe if they are cool and hip can occasionally go fly-fishing and watch the Lord of the Rings movies. That’s okay. And maybe, just maybe youth pastors can play some video games– like sport games, Mario Kart, or Left Behind.


But pastors surely shouldn’t play games that involve shooting nazi zombies in the face. Or games were you may cast spells. Only Gandalf gets to cast spells. There’s an exception for that some where. I think in Leviticus.

So maybe I’m a bad pastor. But I enjoy well made games. I enjoy feeling the adrenaline rush when my team wins a match. I love watching a well written story play out on the screen.


But should Christians play Grand Theft Auto? Spoiler Alert: Many are. Grand Theft Auto V netted a billion dollars in three days. Three days. Avatar–you know the 3D movie with space smurfs? It didn’t hit the billion dollar mark for 17 days. People are playing Grand Theft Auto– And many of these men and women are going to our churches.


But, I won’t. Why not? Am I a hypocrite because while ignoring GTA V, I’ll play Mass Effect, Battlefield, Gears of War, or Skyrim? Maybe. There’s a lot of bad stuff in those game. They can be largely violent, and they may even have a few provocative scenes. But, for the most part, I feel like I can leave these things at the door. But if I were to participate in a game with strip clubs and hookers so prevalently placed in it– I know that those are somethings that I simply don’t want at my finger tips.


I don’t think that we can live on earth and remain wholly separate from anything that has hints of sin. The world is messy. People are messy. But each of us should learn were we are especially vulnerable to sin–and I’m not to proud to say that GTA V would push some buttons that are best left alone.


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2 responses to “apparently I’m cool with headshots and robbing banks, but street hookers just go to far”

  1. mik1999 says :

    It is incredibly refreshing to see a religious figure acknowledging the complexity of morality in our world and the significant grey space that does not lend itself to simplistic ideologies. You are really to be congratulated

  2. tyralun says :

    I don’t play GTA and here’s why, I can’t connect well with playing a bad guy. There is something inherently appealing in doing the right thing and saving people and working as a team. I don’t want to play a criminal.

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