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    Zelda and Christianity

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    Changer4

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    Zelda and Christianity

    Post  Changer4 on March 15th 2015, 8:10 am

    For most of my life I've considered Zelda to be one of the few very popular pro-Christian games I had ever played. Its themes always seemed to echo Christian teachings, i.e. in Wind Waker Ganon was condemned because he had challenged the will of the gods for Hyrule, or an even better example would be in Majora's Mask, where Death itself seems to be conquered through the acts of the Gods (the Four Giants), without whom any good works Link manages to perform are either undone upon resetting the loop or amount to nothing if the Moon falls and Death takes the world. However, recently I listened to a podcast which pointed out that Zelda's Pantheon could simply be a second Gospel (as it isn't God or Christ that are doing these acts, but lesser "gods" comparable to idols.) Now I feel conflicted. I had always viewed them similarly to the Valar of Tolkien's works, but upon retrospection I realize that the Valar are good largely because that setting also possesses Eru, who is actually God.
    So basically what I'm getting at is, I can no longer decide if I should be able to play Zelda in good conscience. Is it really just glorifying in idol worship? It is worth mentioning that I doubt any of the folk down at Nintendo actually want anyone to treat the Zelda gods as real, but should the games be played by a Christian if they glorify pantheism?

    (Also I would like to thank Paeter for the video he did on Geeks and Spiritual Discipline. It helped motivate me to observe lent this month, which has been more helpful than I would have ever thought.)

    Paeter
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    Re: Zelda and Christianity

    Post  Paeter on March 16th 2015, 4:20 pm

    Thanks, glad that video was useful.

    I don't think there is a one size fits all answer for this one. The apostle Paul was obviously very familiar with secular writing in his day and even quoted it to assist in sharing the Gospel. (Acts 17:28) Even assuming the worst case scenario regarding the intent of the game in question, I don't think there is a need to avoid the content unless you, or others around you, notice it having a negative effect on your relationship to God and others, or on your ability to grow in serving God's purposes.

    For some general thoughts on discerning our way through "Questionable Content", you can read this article I posted awhile back (which is probably due for an update): http://christiangeekcentral.blogspot.com/2013/01/questionable-content.html

    And regarding playing in a game in which potentially harmful theology is promoted, I wrote two articles describing the mentality with which I navigated Skyrim:
    http://christiangeekcentral.blogspot.com/2011/12/worship-in-skyrim.html
    http://christiangeekcentral.blogspot.com/2012/02/skyrim-worship-revisited.html

    Hope that's helpful. Would love to talk about this topic some more if you have any more thoughts or questions on it!



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    CreatorsPixels

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    Re: Zelda and Christianity

    Post  CreatorsPixels on March 17th 2015, 9:23 pm

    I've always loved Zelda!  Even if it isn't directly "Christian" themed, its always been "Christian" friendly to me.  There is nothing inappropriate or vulgar and I've never been afraid to let the kids play it, which is a big thing for me!  Not to long ago I found a book called "The Legend of Zelda and Theology".  Its pretty interesting, and if you like Zelda and are intrigued by such themes I recommend you pick it up.  It doesn't claim that any theology was involved or is the definitive meaning the designers had, yet it draws out the similarities to Christianity.  When read with the right mindset its really interesting!


    **Edit** http://www.amazon.com/Legend-Zelda-Theology-Jonathan-Walls/dp/0984779000/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427903818&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Legend+of+Zelda+and+Theology


    Last edited by CreatorsPixels on April 1st 2015, 10:58 am; edited 1 time in total

    Changer4

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    Re: Zelda and Christianity

    Post  Changer4 on March 31st 2015, 8:21 am

    Thanks for the replies, this question was very important to me and I appreciate you guys taking the time to answer sincerely. The passage on idol-meat was very helpful, in fact it lead me to re-read all of 1st Corinthians (which might just be my new favorite book of the Bible). I have decided that Zelda probably isn't harmful, mostly because I've found that playing it only makes me think about things like death more in how they relate to God. I guess I will just have to be on guard that I don't start concocting false spiritual aid from entertainment where there is none, but for Zelda in particular, I don't think its harmful.

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    Re: Zelda and Christianity

    Post  Paeter on April 1st 2015, 9:09 pm

    Changer4 wrote:Thanks for the replies, this question was very important to me and I appreciate you guys taking the time to answer sincerely.  The passage on idol-meat was very helpful, in fact it lead me to re-read all of 1st Corinthians (which might just be my new favorite book of the Bible).  I have decided that Zelda probably isn't harmful, mostly because I've found that playing it only makes me think about things like death more in how they relate to God.  I guess I will just have to be on guard that I don't start concocting false spiritual aid from entertainment where there is none, but for Zelda in particular, I don't think its harmful.

    SOOO awesome to hear! Glad we could be useful to you and that you've got a refreshed love for 1st Corinthians! I love having those seasons where some part of scripture just comes alive for me in a new way. Happy gaming!


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