I said that I would write my thoughts on Bioshock Infinite. Months later, I finally am. It has taken me a long time to play through the game. I took my time with it. I read signs, looked at the writing on the walls, checked out the voxophones, scavanged abandoned boxes, etc. After all the hub-bub, around each corner I expected to be offended. However, throughout almost the entirety of the game, I wasn’t. Why? Mainly because the religion in the game isn’t Christianity. Its not the grace of Christ, but idolization of American culture.
Then, there was the ending. This is where the spoilers begin, so if by chance you haven’t finished the game, you may want to stop reading.
The game takes place in multiple dimensions. In one dimension, the main character refuses baptism and becomes the free-thinking hero of the story. In the other dimension, he accepts the baptism and becomes the bigoted, legalistic villain. So the solution to this is to have the several realities of his daughter drown him, IE baptize him to death.
This is a gross misunderstanding of what being born again means, what being baptized means, and what being a Christ follower means.
I’ll be the first to say that Christians have done some pretty horrible things and used scripture to justify it. That is a discussion I am open to. I am open to the discussion that it is still happening. I am open to discussing the portions of the Bible that are difficult (holy wars, God commanding the nation of Israel to commit genocide, polygamy, incest, etc). However, this form of art didn’t leave anything open for discussion. The hero denied God, and the villain “submitted” to God.
The thing is, he didn’t really submit. His god became his nation and himself. His god wasn’t Christ, but it was a distorted view of the Judeo-Christian God. The character of Comstock essentially put God in a box that said, “America.”
So is the problem the belief in God, specifically Christianity and the belief in the redemption offered through Jesus Christ, or is the problem with people? We distort truth. The “hero” of the story Booker DeWitt is not a nice person. He gives his daughter up in the story to save his own skin. He is desperately searching for redemption from his path. Can we truly think our way into redemption? Can we try to balance out the scales, not necessarily for an eternal entry, but to make a difference here?
My belief is everything we do, no matter how noble and selfless, will always fall short. I am of the firm belief that God can use whatever he wants, whether it be from a believer or non-believer. He can use this game to bring someone to answers to why he or she believes instead of just following a family tradition. However, it is all because of His grace. A friend once told me, “God uses everyone. The only question is whether you want to be John or Judas.”
In the end, God doesn’t need to be defended against a video game or any type of art form. He is God.
Yes, I was a little offended initially by the ending of Bioshock Infinite. In the end, I am saddened because it put the mistakes of the church under a magnifying glass and nearly said, “All Christians are like this.” I’m sad because there are a lot of people that believe that.
There’s nothing I can say on this blog that will suffice in showing the love of Christ. There’s only living it, and I pray for the strength and endurance to run the race to be a servant and to show the love and sacrifice of the ultimate Servant.