Christian LARPing

While I sat on a park bench watching my kids play on the playground equipment, something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. All the way across the park, behind the tennis courts, there was a group of about five or six young adults making a ruckus.

It did not take me long to realize that they were fighting. Not just fighting, but sword fighting! They had the whole scene set – what looked like a queen or princess, two dudes waling on each other with foam-wrapped PVC pipes fashioned to look like swords. 

They had shields, helmets, chainmail, the whole ensemble; shouting with every down from over-the-head sword swing.

I was observing LARPing (live action role-playing). It was fascinating. I even had my kids watch these folks for a while. Later that evening I gave some consideration to the people that I had seen LARPing. Reenactors portray a historical seen from the Civil War, or historical mining town. Folks that LARP are making it up as they go! It is all so creative, and I would imagine it to be a lot of fun. I wondered if I would be a better reenactor, or LARPer.

I also wondered if there was a spiritual element to reenacting or LARPing. As Catholic speaker, author, theologian Dr. Italy (Marcellino D’Ambrosio) wrote, “Being a Christian is not about getting to heaven by the skin of your teeth after a life of cautious mediocrity. It’s about high adventure that leads to glory, but only through perilous battles.” If as Christians, we are already in the high adventure, why would I want to pretend or make it up like a spiritual LARPer? However, as a spiritual reenactor, I could follow the footsteps of the Saints that have gone before us and shown us their example of how to flight with heroic virtue.

I see many Christians (I used to be one of them), outside of the Catholic Church, making up their game as it goes along – everything from metaphorically wrapping some PVC pipe for their sword of truth outside of the Church as the foundation of truth, to ignoring social responsibility because of a privately reveled quest on which they believe themselves.

Which Christian do you find yourself behaving like? The Christian that feels the need to establish their own truth outside of the Church; or one that follows in the footsteps of the Saints, using the truth that flows from the one divine wellspring of truth in the Catholic Church?

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