By Jaime Nava –
Is our time outbid by yet one more thing? If you haven’t seen anything about Pokémon Go, then you’re not reading this article, because you live in a gopher hole. It’s literally everywhere. We’ve already had two articles about it on our own Jagged Word. Here’s another one. This game is consuming hours of people’s lives. It’s been involved in a collision with a police vehicle. People are finding dead bodies (and here) playing this game. Two idiots fell off a cliff dashing to find a pretend being. I’m sure you’ve seen all these things in your feeds. It’s flippin’ everywhere. My own church campus is similar to our Dean of Awesome’s in that it is both a poke-stop and also a gym. I see people swinging into the parking lot. Some hang out for a time and others briefly to pick up some freebies from the poke-stop.
People are going outside because of this game, even if in a car. I suppose that’s something. Since I’ve had so much attention for it in our city and particularly on our property, I downloaded it myself. I took my daughter on a walk in her stroller (while trying to hide that I was actually looking for digital creatures in the neighborhood). We got some much-needed Vitamin D, and I got some exercise in, too. All in all, it is not the worst thing in the world. And news outlets across the board are reporting on Pokémon Go, too. Even the Wall Street Journal is, which makes sense, since this game is making lots of money.
This brings me back to the first sentence. Our hell-bent sinful nature loves this stuff. The game itself isn’t inherently evil. Like anything, though, it is one more thing to suck away our time. It is one more idol on the shelf. How much time are Christians putting into this game while neglecting their other duties to their neighbor (although, not to shoot myself in the foot, but I did help a guy whose motorcycle needed a push when I was out and about playing this dumb game)? Christians who are stuck wandering their city in their pajamas, driving by poke-stops, and pulling over to get some more balls and eggs, and all other things we’re doing as God’s people that take away from the time we could be spending taking care of our families and other neighbors, we are tempted to get sucked into this. The truth is, there’s too many things to count that do this. Whether it’s video games, fishing and hunting, golf, or watching a plethora of sports games on the tube, you and I are terrible, horrible, no good, very rotten, sinful flesh bags that deserve to be perpetual worm food. We’re more willing to chase down a Pikachu for a few blocks than we are to take out the trash.
As usual, I have to write in some stupid disclaimer that there are responsible people who haven’t let Pokémon Go consume their lives. I say I have to write a disclaimer because there’s going to be some jerk-wad who reads this and puffs up his chest to say, “Not me!” All he’s really saying is he has some other consuming sin besides letting this game take that role. Whatever.
We are more motivated to throw red and white capture balls than we are to serve our neighbor. We spend more time driving down footprints from three to one than we do telling a coworker that we hear forgiveness each Sunday. You are one messed up Christian. Aren’t you called to go? Shouldn’t your life be “Christian, Go!” instead of Pokémon Go?
Because you blew it again this week, there is someplace you better go, Christian. This Sunday, your fallen ass should be in the nave confessing your lack of love for God and neighbor. You should be receiving the forgiveness of Jesus Christ in your ears and on your lips. Your pastor better be delivering the goods. If you hear more about Pokémon or anything more than Christ and Him crucified for the forgiveness of your sins, then you had better well find a different church that is making Jesus Christ the thing that is proclaimed the center of why people are there. Christian, go!
In fact, repent now, sinner. Plead for mercy. Confess your sins right now! Also, receive the promises of God. In Christ, all sin is taken. In your Baptism, you were buried, and now you are made alive. You have taken part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over you. (Rev. 20:6) This is the day God has made for you in Christ Jesus to be forgiven of your wretchedness and in return be clothed with Christ. Upon your confession, I declare you forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Where Christ is, there we shall be also. Therefore, Christian, go.