If you are subscribed to my YouTube channel, maybe you saw my Burned at the Stake announcement video. Generally speaking Dungeons and Dragons has a very bad reputation in the Evangelical community. It's been blamed for suicides and mental breakdowns. There is some wonderful research being done on the benefits of Role Playing Games (RPGs). I admit I have never had a desire to play D&D until our oldest daughter, who is a fantasy author started playing with some of her Christian friends. I was really concerned but she is an adult so I voiced my concerns and watched. I saw some things that really surprised me. I saw her social life blossom, she grew in confidence with her hearing loss, and stronger in her faith.
First, let me give you a brief history.
I was raised to be a Native American Medicine Woman with new age mysticism. I know I don’t look Native, but I do have Native American blood on both sides. I also have Celtic and Scandinavian heritage. I was saved at a very early age in a Vacation Bible School and attended church, usually Baptist, as often as I was allowed but my spiritual growth was slow. At age 18 I married a Church of God Holiness preacher’s son.
My husband’s family used Alternative Health Care and I gradually began learning about herbs. Through the years of our marriage and homeschooling, I've also been learning about Creation Science, spiritual warfare, cutting soul ties, and how the brain works from a Biblical perspective. God used these things to show me HIS purposes for many things that had been misused in the spiritualism I had grown up in.
When the new Lord of the Rings movies came out, a pastor introduced them to our children. I was very impressed by how the ‘magic’ was presented more like science in a lot of it. We also began studying a lot of the miracles in the Bible and I could see the similarities.
When the new Chronicles of Narnia movie came out, I was amazed by the allegory. I learned more about the authors who wrote these fantasy worlds and found their Christian beliefs seeping through their works. We listened to the audio books and I made capes for the children to play little Hobbits in our ‘woods’ behind the house.
Dungeons & Dragons is a game. Ouiga boards are NOT. They are a form of divination, pure and simple. Most people don't realize ALL card games originate from Tarot and can still be used the same way. Even the homeschooling favorite, Dutch Blitz. Christian Gamers Guild has some wonderful articles.
- Magic in D&D is defined in play-by-play statistic format. The ‘spells’ are logistic, not incantations of any kind. It’s up to the GM and players to decide how to play them. I will give Biblical reasons below on how and why I plan to tweak this.
- The D&D pantheon is loosely based on ancient myths and legends from around the world, mostly Babylonian. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more ancient history and modern archaeology.
Magic vs. Miracles
Miracles are from the power and will of God. The two could get confused and I’m not sure the nomenclature really matters as much as our mindset. It is important to me that our children know how God feels on this issue. Some so called “Magic” is also nothing more than heightened senses, talents, or abilities that He created in us. In light of Scripture we will direct our characters to only what God might allow. Some things God created in us or gives in special circumstances are:
- Spiritual gifts from 1 Corinthians 12: Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Healing, Miracles, Prophecy, & Discerning of spirits
- Heightened senses like extra sensitive hearing, sight and smell.
- Special talents like moving music, persuasive speech, expert tracking, and swordsmanship.
- Special physical abilities like speed, strength, acrobatics, and dexterity.
There are some things like ‘fire ball’ or ‘ice blast’ that could also be played in a more scientific way as if the character has the ingredients for them. Right now we are playing them as they are, but have talked about how that could or could not work in God’s creation. It might be cool to be able to make a fire ball or ice with your hands without it being a rebellious thing.
There is one character class we will not ever be playing, and that is the warlock which is clearly against scripture. Thankfully it is very easy to avoid.
If you’d like to look up some applicable Bible verses, here is a good start: Leviticus 20:27, Deuteronomy 18:10-11, 1 Samuel 15:23, Isaiah 8:19-20, 47:9-13, Micah 5:12, Galatians 5:17-21
The Pantheon and Polytheism
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12
I’m finding, through watching other YouTube videos that Game Masters don’t sit with the rulebook throughout the game. Like most games, the rules are used only until everyone comfortably understands how to play then only referred to if there is a question. D&D is no different. The goal is to have fun and that’s what we intend to do.
Of course as a homeschool mom, I will be using every possible teaching opportunity I find along the way. Do you have any questions or concerns? Our oldest, Kathryn and I did a video addressing some of this. She has a unique perspective. Leave me a comment below or on our video on YouTube. I’d love to hear your thoughts.