by Tim Hall
**The games our society plays speaks volumes about our values.**
A leading story in the news yesterday concerned an “app” (application) for Apple’s Ipod and Iphone Touch devices. “Baby Shaker” was not an expensive program; it sold for a mere 99 cents. Apple is wishing now, however, that it had never heard of this “game.”
Here’s how it works, according to news reports: A baby appears on the screen of the device and begins crying. At first the cries are adorable. The intensity increases, though, and the object is to see how long you can endure it before you have to stop the noise. The noise can be stopped (as you may have guessed) by shaking your Apple device. With sufficient shaking, the baby stops crying and large red X’s cover its eyes.
Why has “Baby Shaker” been pulled from Apple’s App Store? Shaking babies has led to many deaths and permanent brain damage to others. To classify such uncontrolled rage as child abuse is not a stretch. Several advocacy groups have registered their outrage with Apple for allowing this “game” to ever reach the market.
“Baby Shaker” is not alone in the list of shameful offerings for entertainment. Just mention “Grand Theft Auto,” and those who know will quickly nod in assent. There have been many other offerings that appeal to Americans’ seemingly insatiable appetite for sex and violence.
How can a Christian even think about participating in diversions like these? John stated the challenge emphatically:
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17, NKJV).
Paul’s warnings in Ephesians 5:11,12 are likewise clear: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.” In our day there are few activities reserved for the “secret” times and places.
Discerning the difference between God’s way and the world’s way is not difficult. Being able to restrain our appetites from going along with the world – that’s where the challenge lies.
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).