Posted by: William | November 19, 2007

Wake-Up Call… Of Duty 4

            I am, by no stretch of the imagination, what anyone in their right mind would call a “gamer”. I’m bad at them, through and through; I can never remember all the buttons, the two little thumb joy-sticks make it practically impossible for me to aim, and it feels like I’m always hitting the trigger button too late. I’m barely cut out to play the single player mode where the enemies are stupid computers that I can outwit with only marginal difficulty; let alone some massive online tournament where teenagers with 28 free hours a day can train perilously with the express intent of making it absolutely no fun at all for me to play against them. They’ve accomplished their mission nicely.

            Up until this evening, when I finished the single player mode of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, I’ve just been playing alone. I’ve got to hand it to Activision, they’ve created a really impressive first person experience. Playing through, your character is rarely the ‘leader’ of the gang, which pretty effectively communicates that you’re a part of something much larger. Periodically, the character your playing as will actually die as a part of the script, creating an interesting element where you’re quite immersed in a story line from the first person, but never really assume any one persona; something I have to appreciate because it doesn’t much tantalize my fantasies of being some incredible war time hero. No, the game is unique in that way. It doesn’t entice my imagination to explore the exciting possibilities of fighting in an intense war, in fact, quite the opposite.

            I find that the game for me has been acting as a beacon of seriousness. Although it has been fun and quite an experience, as I play there’s an eerie sense that I shouldn’t be able to just ‘respawn’ after being shot. It’s gotten me thinking more in fact about the reality of war; not just as an abstract idea or thing that men and nations engage in against each other. Rather, the reality that this very hour there are people all over the world, both in front of and behind guns. Once that trigger is pulled and a life is ended it no longer matters what that person stood for, they’re dead. If the shooter dies as well, then the shooter and the shot have been equalized, the politics have lost all of their weight, for both will stand before the same seat of judgment.

            The last thing I want to do is create political debate; whether the war is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ is a discussion for another time. The point I make today is that there are many people who will die in the midst of this war and other wars that are taking place. In the middle of this fighting there will be people lost to the fires of hell forever. I’m not only talking about the ‘terrorists,’ I’m also referring to many of our own countrymen. In Joshua 5:19, Israel is about to go to war and an angel of the Lord visits Joshua. Joshua asks him, “are you for us, or for our enemies?” the angel replies with this: “neither.”

            Before the Judgment seat, the Judge will not see nations or political views or personal ideals. When we’re talking about war, we must consider heavily that the people exchanging bullets are only abstracts right now, to us in this life, but once they have departed, before God they will be very specific. God will not say on that day, “well, your term on earth was ended fighting a war that was, ‘good’ ”. I think we would be naïve to expect that. Matthew 5:44 says, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Paul states in 1 Corinthians 9:19, “I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” Then he continues in verse 22, “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.”

            This world and all of its knowledge, wisdom, understanding and politics will fade away; they are not everlasting. I wish for us to wake up to the realities of very specific men and women who will die. As rarely as we pray for our own countrymen in the midst of these wars, we ought also “pray for our enemies,” and those who “persecute us.”

            In the end, there will be two sides, those who have rejected God, and those who have loved and obeyed Him. It is in this life that those camps will be determined and it will have nothing to do with our political views.

 
Lets remember and pray for the men and women throughout the world who will die as a result of war; lets pray that God will permeate circumstances, cultures, traditions and religions in order that many might come to know and love Him.

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