Sunday, October 07, 2007

Christian churches resort to Halo 3 as recruiting tool

"Suffer the children to come unto me," sayeth Master Chief.
Image from

Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.

If those don't work, use highly-popular M-rated violent video games:
Across the country, hundreds of ministers and pastors desperate to reach young congregants have drawn concern and criticism through their use of an unusual recruiting tool: the immersive and violent video game Halo.
(HT: Pablo via email.)

I do object to the following remark in the article:
“If you want to connect with young teenage boys and drag them into church, free alcohol and pornographic movies would do it,” said James Tonkowich, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a nonprofit group that assesses denominational policies. “My own take is you can do better than that.”
Um, dude, I bet if a minister tried to lure teenage boys into a church by offering free alcohol and porn, the teenage boys would (rightly) flee in the opposite direction as fast as their baggy pants would let them. Barring a few fetishists, I don't think most teenagers want to get their porn fix in a church.

As far as Halo 3 nights, I guess I don't have a problem with this, except of course for my overall problems with Christianity and theism and supernaturalism in general. If churches offer kids a place to play Halo 3 on a big screen, that seems to be a useful function. I think churches should try to be more relevant to young people's lives. I doubt Halo 3 contains any useful moral lessons, but then neither do bingo, movies, pot luck dinners, or many other activities churches use to bring people in and create a sense of community.

On a different note, I think Bill Gates should issue a press release declaring Microsoft more popular than Jesus. (Using the crude measure of Google hits, Microsoft gets about 305,000,000 hits, trouncing Jesus at 60,400,000.)


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