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Spiritual Warfare by Andrew Nash

My Grandma bought me “Spiritual Warfare” for the Game Boy when I was a kid. 

The adventure game involves trying to collect the Armor of God to eventually defeat Satan. I never made it that far. Each piece of armor, like the Belt of Truth, Boots of the Gospel, etc., gives the player greater abilities. In order to get these pieces, you had to either throw fruits of the Spirit (actual fruits, like pomegranates, apples, and grapes) or use bomb-like “vials of God’s wrath” to cure enemies of their demonic possession. 

Every so often, an angel would flit down, and if you answered enough Bible questions, you’d get a health refill or some benefit. There were strange power-ups, like Samson’s Jawbone, hidden in various locations like an airport or a junkyard. It was a strange, weirdly loveable game that no one I’ve met has ever heard of. 

It was a decade or more later that I realized this game was a “Christian” version of another video game – the more popular Legend of Zelda series. I also distinctly remember youth group trips in which speakers told us of the “Christian Metallica” and “Christian rappers” who sounded like more popular secular rappers. Even South Park once noted that Christian music is often just a love song with the word “darling” or “baby” switched to “Jesus.”

These were all attempts at differentiating Christian culture from pop culture by taking what was popular and switching the theme. It’s no wonder that these Christian knock-offs never really took off; they practice separation from the world through imitation.

The Bible does not call on us to be like the world, only with a different theme; instead, it calls on us to follow Christ, and in doing so we will naturally separate ourselves from the world. 

I don’t know what lessons I was to take from “Spiritual Warfare.” I don’t know if bombs made of God’s wrath will teach me about God’s judgment or if throwing actual fruit at unbelievers will free them of demons. 

I do know that God doesn’t want his people to be “Christian” something-elses. He wants us to be imitations of Christ and not imitations of the world. 

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