Parting the Digital Sea

Parting the Digital Sea
Missionaries of the Digital Age

Max Phillips | 9 Jun 2009 12:32
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"Well, looking at what we do in a religious aspect, Mark 16:15 is the motto of my guild: 'And Jesus said "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every living thing."' Some people believe in separation of game and religion as soundly as church and state, but as Christians, we're called to tell people about Jesus Christ wherever we go."

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It is apparent that Kaddy considers herself something of a missionary. "The Bible says that we are all missionaries." She goes on to say that "As Christians, we are called to spread the Gospel. It is our reason for being. In Genesis, God told Adam and Eve, 'be fruitful and multiply'. He wasn't just talking about making babies... basically, if there is a chance that what we say and do while playing this game can lead someone to Christ, why not?"

The faith of Mark Sixteen Fifteen's members carries over into the way they act in the game world as well. In the game, guild members set an example for others through their virtuous actions. They also try to keep each other accountable for their actions, both in-game and in real life. In that sense the guild acts as a support group. They even hold prayer services online twice a week. For Kaddy and her guild, being a Christian and supporting one another in their beliefs is something that transcends the boundaries separating virtual worlds from the real one. They take their faith with them wherever they go, even if the world they're in isn't tangible. After all, as Kaddy points out, "salvation isn't exactly what you'd call tangible either."

Kaddy describes her identity in religious terms, "Misused and blighted as the term is these days, we are Crusaders. Mark 16:15, again. We are ordered to do this. To not do this would be like spitting on Jesus. After what He's sacrificed for us, and asked this one thing primarily, to tell others about him, how can we not? For someone who isn't Christian, they probably won't understand. It's not zealous fanaticism and it's not radical fundamentalism or anything like that. It's simply what we're called to do."

Despite how passionately she speaks about the subject, Kaddy is quick to point out that the guild's members don't try to actively recruit anyone to their faith. "Respecting that some people do not 'appreciate' Christianity, we don't exactly go spamming Bible verses, but we do let people know what we are about, and allow them to come to us if they feel an interest." Despite the ambivalence towards outright proselytizing, it's clear from other guild members' testimony that conversion is a valued part of their interactions with other people in the game.

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