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D & D and Burning of Books QUESTION from Anonymous July 8, 1999 John-Paul, in a previous anwser about D&D;, you said:
As for your husband, his reluctance to give up the games and burn it, I believe, shows that he still has an attachment to the game. He needs to be freed from this attachment.
I find this to be a frightening statement. Are there any other books you feel need burning while we're at it?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on July 13, 1999 NOTE: This question was sent to me privately, but since it is a topic that many wonder about, I decided to answer it publicly, keeping the name of the questioner anonymous of course.
Dear Friend:
There is a more frightening statement: to think of freedom of expression as a god and to oppose all efforts of legitimate censorship even if it costs a person, or a society, its soul damned to hell.
God was all for censorship. The Old Testament is filled with censorship. God ordered the Nation of Israel to avoid all contact with heathen cultures and ways (including books). The reason was simple. To expose oneself to such despicable material is to risk contamination by it, and by contamination to risk one's soul.
Well Israel did not listen, like many people today don’t listen, and Israel, over and over, fell into sin and fell out of fellowship with God as a result. People today who do not heed the advice to censor their exposure to improper things also fall into sin and fall out of fellowship with God -- sometimes to their damnation.
In the New Testament we have MANY statements of advice from Jesus Himself and the Apostles (especially St. Paul) warning us to not associate with people who are immoral – to censor our contacts, to shun heretics, to not associate especially with those who claim to be Christian but live a reprobate life, to not throw pearls before swine.
We are also admonished to guard our senses, to look only upon things that are pure and worthy (Phil 4:8-9). In other words, we are to censor what we allow into our senses (1 Cor 16:13; Matt 13:33; Proverbs 4:23). Why? Because if we don’t we risk falling into the temptations that can present themselves before us from an uncensored environment.
But I have a right to see or read whatever I want? is the lament of this age.
Jesus says, What does it profit you if you gain the whole world (partake in whatever your want uncensored) and lose your soul to hell?
Did not Jesus say to us that if our eye offends us (causes us to sin) to pluck it out? Which is better, to have eyes in this world and go to hell, or be blind in this world and attain heaven?
If an alcoholic comes to his senses and stops drinking, does he not pour out the whiskey in the drain? and sees to it that alcohol is never in the house again? and avoids going into bars ever again? especially if the temptation is too great to be so exposed?
If a person has a problem with occult or other improper things, then take the books that encourage that stuff and pour them out, that is burn them (burn so others do not get contaminated with them and burn them as a symbol of one's renouncement of what those books represent). This is what happened in the Bible after St. Paul preached the Gospel of Jesus (Acts 19:19)
Many of those who believed now same and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. Note: 50,000 drachmas would be the equivalent today of around 6.25 million dollars.
And we need to terminate the friendships with people who are into the occult or other improper activities. To maintain such friendships is to invite disaster for oneself.
Let us look at the advice from the Saints:
St. John Bosco:
Keep this well in mind. Never read books you are not sure about. Don’t read bad books...Even supposing these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view, let me ask you this: would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup? St. John Baptist de la Salle:
The reading of bad books fills the imagination with bad thoughts. Through the mind the poison passes, and there begets ruin and death…. One bad book is capable of corrupting a multitude of young people. Should such a book come into your hands, do not look into it, lest you be tempted to read it.
St. John Bosco:
Listen to the words of the Holy Spirit: He that walks with the wise shall be wise: a friend of fools shall be like to them. Fly from bad companions as from the bite of a poisonous snake. If you keep with good companions, I can assure you that you will one day rejoice with the blessed in Heaven; whereas if you keep with those who are bad, you will become bad yourself, and you will be in danger of losing your soul.
St. John Bosco:
St. Aloysius was once asked, while playing happily with his companions, what he would do if an angel told him that in a quarter of an hour he would die, and have to appear before the judgment seat of God. The Saint promptly replied that he would continue playing, because, he said, I am certain that these games are pleasing to God. I recommend also most earnestly that in your games and recreation you avoid bad companions as you would a dangerous disease.
Ask yourself this question: If I were to be informed that I will die in 15 minutes and asked what will I do knowing this, could you say with St. Aloysius: 'I will keep doing what I am doing because I am certain that this activity is pleasing to God.'
By the way, I could go on and on with more quotes, but time is moving on.
I will end with the GREAT advice from St. Paul in Colossoans l 3:1-5a; and Phil 4:8-9:
Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature.... Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things. Need I say more?
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