Of all the questions I get asked as a pastor, this one is maybe the most common, and perhaps it is so common because it is so important. Here is my final answer to “How do we get those young people to come to our churches” Basically, stop making them “your” churches and asking young […]
Christians don’t like Dungeons & Dragons as a rule.
We generally suspect that it just may possibly be a little bit The Devil.
But since when have I ever payed attention to christian social conventions? I think D&D provides some great fodder for analogies. Since when you boil it down it’s a rulebook for a simple created universe, it can often help us understand our own complicated created universe.
For example, when dealing with a characters aligence, D&D found that the universe did not work well enough with a dichotomy. It’s not fun enough to create a world full only of “good guys” and “bad guys” so they invented the concept of “alignment”
D&D (3rd edition) measured characters according to 2 axis. Good vs Evil, and Lawful vs Chaotic with the understanding that some characters are neutral on each axis. Good vs Evil, measures how altruistic the character is, vs their willingness to benefit at the expense of others. Lawful vs Chaotic Measures the characters willingness to follow rules vs their propensity to break them. So all together it results in 9 possible alignments.
I’ll go through them here:
Lawful Good: This is the Law Abiding Model Citizen. Exemplified by Superman. Healways does what’s right and good, fighting for truth justice and the American way! All the universe’s unimpeachabley moral characters are Lawful Good. They also tend to have perfect teeth and well behaved children
Neutral Good: This character cares about right and wrong, and if a law gets in the way it needs to be broken. Think Dirty Harry Callahan On this one. The first movie (if you haven’t seen it) Features a scene where Harry shoots a bad guy who has a little girl locked up somewhere in the city. The villain was helpless on the floor, but wouldn’t reveal the girls location, so harry stepped on the wound, and tortured him until he revealed her location. (a lawful good character would have had to call an ambulance, and risk letting the girl die)
Chaotic Good: These guys care about others more than themselves, They will fight for what’s right, but they hate rules and break the law at every opportunity and often hope to topple the government. Robin Hood is a perfect epitome of Chaotic Good. In the eyes of the law he is a thief, there is no question about it. But he’s doing what’s right in his own eyes to rob the rich and give to the poor.
Lawful Neutral: These characters often find the business of morality muddy and confusing. Or sometimes they are undereducated and unaware of the larger issues at play. But the law is clear and they will follow it. Most “townspeople” or NPCs will be Lawful Neutral. The infantry of both sides of any war consists of Lawful Neutral folk. To give you an iconic example, I nominate Sherlock Holms (or any famous police officer) It doesn’t matter whether the perpetrator is good or bad, only if they are guilty or innocent of the crime.
Chaotic Neutral: Some characters hate law and order, but not because they want evil to triumph, but just because they hate law and order (Usually they’re insane) Jack from the Shining is Chaotic Neutral. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. But so is Captain Jack Sparrow he’s more interested in living the life of a pirate than he is in hurting anyone in particular.
Lawful Evil: This may sound like a contradiction but it’s not. Most evil characters end up being Lawful Evil. Adolph Hitler was Lawful Evil, as is just about any evil warlord. The Emperor from Star wars is Lawful, so is the Alliance from Firefly, the sheriff in Robin Hood, and every lawyer
Neutral Evil: Sometimes this is called the “true evil” alignment. They have no qualms about killing their partners or switching sides, and they will mow through anyone they need to to get what they want. but they will not go out of their way to cause mayhem if they see no benefit from it. Dracula is a great example of a Neutral Evil Character.
Chaotic Evil: The evil characters from your childhood that are so one dimensionally evil it’s silly are often Chaotic Evil. Think Dr Evil on this one. Lawful and Neutral Characters may justify their actions by appealing to other standards of good, but Chaotic Evil characters know they’re evil and like it that way. They might threaten to blow up the world to get money, but they also might just do it because they want to Mwa Ha Ha Ha Ha
So Now that we’ve been educated about D&D philosophy here’s the question. What alignment is Christ?
What alignment are we called to?
I mean He wasn’t evil right? So that leaves 6. He was probably good but I could hear an argument for Lawful Neutral…
What say you?
Comment me up and I’ll have my answer next week at this time