“Video games and violence have gone hand in hand since the first Space Invader was zapped 25 years ago.
Violence sells. Shop shelves are loaded with shooting and fighting games, led by the anarchic and astonishingly successful Grand Theft Auto series, which has sold more than 35 million copies worldwide.”1 This latter game inspired two US teenagers to go on a shooting spree, killing one man and wounding another as they fired at cars.2 By the time a child reaches the age of 18, he or she will have seen 200,000 dramatised acts of violence and 40,000 dramatised murders.3
1. What does the sixth commandment prohibit?
Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.”
2. How did Jesus broaden the scope of this commandment?
Matthew 5:21, 22 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.”
Murder is the end result of anger.While most of us have never murdered, we have been angry. Numerous studies show a correlation between exposure to media violence in childhood and aggressive behaviour in both childhood and adulthood.
3. How does Paul say we should deal with our anger?
Ephesians 4:25, 26 “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbour…. ‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”
4. How does Jesus say we should deal with differences?
Matthew 5:23, 24_ “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.”
5. What wise words of King Solomon would help to alleviate many angry situations?
Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” James says: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).
6. What principle taught by Jesus is the basis of the sixth commandment, and if followed, would alleviate much hatred and murder?
Luke 6:27, 28