By Allan E. McNabb
I recently viewed a story on one of the network news shows exploring Gangster Rap. Gangster Rap is a new type of rap music that glorifies the violent crimes committed by gangsters. The news story attempted to uncover whether Gangster Rap promotes violence or simply serves as a vent for the frustrations of youth. You may also have heard about new video games released for the 1993 Christmas shopping season that allow interaction and fantasy with sex and violent crimes. The debate surrounding Gangster Rap and video games exploiting sex and violence is whether interaction through recreation increases one’s desire to carnally engage in similar “real life” activities.
The scientific, philosophical, and psychiatric communities will debate this question for years as they have debated it in the past with heavy metal music. But, God reveals the working of the human mind and body in such matters of association.
Gangster Rap and sexually violent video games are evil. There is little trouble establishing this fact since evil is defined as “morally reprehensible: sinful, wicked, arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct, causing harm” (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary). I doubt that any honest and moral person would disagree that Gangster Rap and sexually violent video games qualify as evil and sinful.
The Bible explicitly teaches that Christians are to refrain from evil. John teaches in 3 John 11: “do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.” Other translations of this passage read: “follow not that which is evil.” So, we learn that Christians should not imitate (or follow) that which is evil. And, since Gangster Rap and sexually violent video games are evil, Christians should not engage in the using of such evil devices.
Jesus teaches numerous lessons that Christians should flee from evil. In Matthew 7:17-18 Jesus says that every good tree bears good fruit and every bad tree bears bad fruit. So, if we are Christians, we will bear good fruit in avoiding such things that are evil. In Matthew 12:34-35 and Matthew 15:19 Jesus teaches that sin and evil come from a person’s heart. So, if we have a good heart we will do good things, but if we have an evil heart we will do evil things. Wherefore, if one is engaging in anything evil inclusive of Gangster Rap and sexually violent video games, it is because evil is in his heart, otherwise Gangster Rap and sexually violent video games would be shunned. Jesus says: “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matt. 15:19).
To answer the question as to whether Gangster Rap and sexually violent video games will promote evil and violence in society, we appeal to 1 Corinthians 15:33. Here, Paul writes the Corinthians regarding a dispute over the resurrection. In this verse he tells them that if a person associates with evil people that propagate heresies (there is no resurrection), the good person will eventually be corrupted. Paul says: “Do not be deceived: `Evil company corrupts good habits. ‘ Some people today are trying to deceive us into thinking that associating and recreating with such evil things as Gangster Rap and sexually violent video games will not corrupt society. But, the Bible warns that we are not to be deceived we imitate the things with which we associate. For example, if you move to England for a few years, you will begin to develop an English accent. And, much to your surprise, your friends in the United States will be able to tell a significant difference in your speech, but you may only detect a minute change from your original speech. The same is true with everything we do. We naturally imitate the people with whom we associate. Often, we do not realize that changes have occurred until they have been drawn to our attention.
Therefore, Christians are to put away all evil inclusive of Gangster Rap and sexually violent video games. Let us as Christians attend to our duty to: “Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good” (Rom. 12:9). And, “we should not lust after evil things” (1 Cor. 10:6). Also, “Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thess. 5: 21 – 22). Furthermore, let us make known to all of the world that evil and violence will be propagated in society which allows Gangster Rap and sexually violent video games to exist as well as all else that is evil.
Guardian of Truth XXXVIII: 7, p. 15
April 7, 1994