Tuesday, April 16, 2013

BioShock Infinite and the importance of scripture

Bioshock Infinite, similar to the original BioShock, thrusts you into a city ripe with political and religious extremism. Unlike Rapture though, which is extremely atheistic, Colombia presents itself as extremely religious. The leader of the city, Zachary Comstock, is a self proclaimed prophet who has dedicated his life to God. From the second you meet him though, you realize how doctrinally incorrect his beliefs are.

Without specifically saying it, the game shows Comstock as a "Christian." The Bible is quoted in the voice recordings and as inscriptions on statues, Baptism and the washing away of sins is a recurring theme throughout the game, and God's forgiveness is spoken of often. Yet doctrinally he is extremely wrong. An early voice recording of the Prophet's wife says "Without the sinner, what need is there for a redeemer? Without sin, what grace has forgiveness?" Later the prophet says himself "The Lord forgives everything, but I'm just a prophet so I don't have to." This is very contrary to the forgiveness that is taught to the church, yet Comstock believed that he was serving God. This is because he trusted his view of God, over The Bible's.

What we believe in God must be based on what scripture says about him. We need to use our intellect to interpret it, and we need to discuss it with a community of believers, but scripture needs to have the final word. In Joshua 1:8, God says "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your ways prosperous, and then you will have success." The knowledge and study of scripture is essential to serving God.

Don't get me wrong, logic and reason are important as well, but using them alone poses the threat of "creating your own God" instead of worshiping the One True God. If we pick and choose which parts of the bible to believe, and which parts of the bible to disbelieve, then instead of us conforming to God's will, we conform God to our will, which is exactly what Comstock did. He was very religious, and devoted his whole life to what he believed. Unfortunately, he did not use The Bible as the basis for his beliefs, rather he took parts of the bible that aligned with his own and disregarded the rest. When we believe that we know better than the Bible, we do the same thing.

Even if you do not believe the Bible is perfect or always right, by giving our beliefs more weight than scripture, we do not worship the One True God, rather we worship a god of our own creation that conforms to whatever we wish him to be.

"Hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught so that [you] can encourage others with sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it" Titus 1:9 (NIV82)

Examine what you believe about God. Do you have scripture supporting those beliefs?
    If not, then research. Ask a fellow believer or a mentor.

How much time do you spend reading God's word?
Is that enough time?

Going Further
Our belief in God should be based on the teachings of the bible, but is the Bible really that trustworthy of a source? Do research into the legitimacy of the Bible.

Comment with your findings, or with your questions.

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