Archive for Oktober, 2010
Religion and online games do not traditionally go hand in hand. The media tend to paint all gamers as slightly creepy young men who hide in their mother’s basements shooting mythical creatures or innocent bystanders. While many online games are of the science fiction or fantasy genre, there is a growing number of developers adding religion as the selling point.
This movement began with puzzles and quizzes that anyone could download and play. These puzzles helped one study the tenets of one’s beliefs and also could entice children to learn sacred texts. Still in downloadable form, sites also encouraged “family-friendly” fare like chess, checkers and trivia. These suited many, but online games usually mean games people can play with each other over the internet in real time.
So the developers adjusted. Most online games that take a positive view of religion have a Christian perspective. There are games designed to resemble an archeological dig. The goal may be to find a lost treasure like the Holy Grail, or to compile the texts into biblical canon. These games help the player search through the Bible and solve action puzzles without violence.
They were still not quite the action-adventure that others were finding in their online games. Teenagers wanted to experience the interactivity and challenge of sword and sorcery without the sorcery. Once again the developers went back to their design teams. Games used the “Armor of God” as a theme. The user begins in street clothes and as he or she winds through the levels of the game, the player gains the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the shield of faith and a sword which is the Word of God. Now players could support their religious beliefs and even show them off to their friends while experiencing the thrill of online games.
Few other religions have moved onto the internet. Some of them are still experimenting with downloadable features like coloring books or puzzles. Others have religious tenets that discourage the behavior. While Christians could work around the witchcraft and sorcery of traditional games, it is harder to design one where the object of the game cannot be seen. Islam, for example, prohibits the image of The Prophet being shown, especially in such a disrespectful forum.
One need not leave one’s religion in order to play online games. It is possible to respect one’s beliefs and still have fun.
In all the mysticisms throughout the world, none is more widely accepted and studied as the horoscope. As a sect of astrology, the horoscope is the positioning and angles of the sun, moon, and planets at the time of an individual’s birth.
Traditionally, the process goes as follows. An astrologer is to figure out the exact angles of all the planets and the position of the sun and the moon and other heavenly bodies at the exact minute a person is born. Once this information is gathered, he creates a complex chart with the findings. This is what is known as a person’s horoscope. It is said that these aspects have a profound effect on the person, forming who they are and laying out their fate and how they will be. It is a practice that goes back to ancient times, and is still an important area of study to occultists.
The Horoscope one reads in the newspaper is more specifically the sun sign, the position of the sun at birth. This sun position corresponds with a constellation such as Taurus (the bull) Leo (the lion) and so forth. It is a monthly change, the placement of the sun moving into a different sign for each of the 12 houses. Each one of these signs is drastically different from one another, with its own behaviors, moods, goals, and even more specific personality traits. However, it is important to remember that the other aspects of the horoscope chart also have bearing on the outcome, and it is not exclusively dependent on the sun sign.
Astrology and the horoscope itself have roots with spiritualists and various faiths. It has become a popular tool amongst New Age religions yet had its beginnings and origins much longer ago. The constellations, for which the 12 houses represent, were made famous by Greek stories of mythology. An example of this being that the story of Pisces, the two fish, comes from a Greek myth involving the Goddess Aphrodite and her son, the God Eros. It is said they had changed themselves into the fish to escape a fire God named Typhon.
There are also Christian ties to the horoscope, some claiming that Pisces is an obvious metaphor for Jesus Christ.
All in all, it is a very complicated yet fascinating area of scientific and spiritual study.
The history of the Catholic Church is shrouded in mystery, and it is improbable that its entire history will ever be known. However, certain facts can serve as an outline to illuminate what some historians see as the most important institution in the history of the world.
The word ‘Catholic’ has Greek origins, meaning wholeness, or universal. And indeed, that is how the Catholic Church sees itself: as the all-encompassing and universal church. But as with many ideas that have the potential to cause upset, the church does not currently openly espouse this viewpoint.
The Catholic Church is said to have been established when Jesus said to the apostle Peter, “Upon this Rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Peter taught and died in Rome, and for centuries, all references were to this city. It is in Rome that the structure and hierarchy of the Catholic Church was created.
One interesting notation cited by various historians is that the institution of the Catholic Church survived and flourished in a time when all other European institutions failed. The church claims this is because it was not created by man, as all other organizations obviously were.
Unfortunately, the strength of the Catholic Church was not enough to overcome the Great Schism of 1054. Up until this time the relationship between Eastern and Western rites of the church were strained but not broken. However, Pope Leo IX insisted that the Patriarch of Constantinople, Michael Cerularius, recognize Rome to be the Head of the church. When Cerularius refused, Pope Leo disavowed him, and the Eastern Orthodox Church was born.
To this day, there is a divide between these two sects of the Catholic Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church subscribes to theoria, or the actual experience of God. The Roman Catholic Church uses a form of pagan metaphysical philosophy to replace theoria.
From 1962 to 1965, the Second Vatican Council took place. Issues such as renewal of the Catholic Church, restoration of unity amongst all Christians, and manners in which the Catholic Church could address contemporary problems were addressed.
As of 2007, the Catholic Church claimed to have more than 1 billion members. The church continues its outreach in places such as Africa, which has proven successful, while trying to deal with scandals that have plagued its Irish and American clergy. The Catholic Church continues to reform itself while still trying to retain and affirm its ancient history.