Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted

nothing is true, everything is permitted

“We work in the dark to serve the light. We are Assassins.”

This is the end of the oath of initiation of Assassins Creed.

According to the Oxford Dictionary a creed is: a set of beliefs or aims that guide someone’s actions

But what is the rest of the oath that guides those who prescribe to this belief system in this game?

Here it is in full

Assassin: “Where other men blindly follow the truth, remember…”
Initiate: “Nothing is true.”
Assassin: “Where other men are limited by morality or law, remember…”
Initiate: “Everything is permitted.”
Assassin: “We work in the dark to serve the light. We are Assassins.”

This bring us to an interesting discussion. Assassins Creed is a game. More specifically it’s an RPG, a role playing game. To be successful you have to put yourself in that role and fulfill the characters purpose but whatever rules are defined in game play. There is some study involved. Characters have background stories, skills and strengths that must be known if you are going to be successfully manipulating the character to it’s full potential. The point is, it’s not passive mind numbing experience, there is problem solving.

Yet along the road to understanding comes some unwanted side effects. In the study of game play, specifically in Assassins Creed, you are taught information that is not reconcilable to Christianity. While it may be unwanted information, it is absorbed as part of the experience.

What is that experience? The book Game Addiction puts it this way

“Today’s games tend to revolve around experiences that get us excited, or make us feel good because we’re learning something new, connecting with people, or getting the opportunity to do things that’d be impossible in reality. While these different behaviors might now always push the same buttons in the brain, getting what we want is going to release dopamine. If a game experience is flooding the brain with dopamine, that means every other experience in life, on our to-do list, can begin to look less satisfying by comparison.” [1]

The concepts are not just simply dismissed. This is more true in RPG’s by the simple fact that choosing a specific character comes with the intent of vicarious manipulation.

The first concept propagated by the creed is atheism.

Assassin: “Where other men blindly follow the truth, remember…”
Initiate: “Nothing is true.”

Nothing? What about the Bible? Either Nothing is true, or the Bible is true, these are mutually exclusive. These concepts cannot be reconciled.

The Bible says in John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

God aligns His very being with His words. Those words define who He is.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6

Let’s make it formulaic for clarity.

No truth = No Bible.
No Bible = No God
No God = Atheism

Generally no one, especially Christians go to play that game (or the movie to come) thinking “I want to subject myself to atheism”. But the fact remains, when you put yourself in the position of subjection you are automatically an audience to a school of thought, for better or worse.

While one can deny it will not or cannot shake their claims to Christianity or their personal relationship with their Creator, there is something else to consider. Why play the game then? From similar games I can say, you play because you want the experience of the character. There is a rush you get from stepping into the shoes of a character on screen. You control their actions. You assume the thought processes and decisions for that character you now control.

As human beings control is one of the hardest things for us to give up. We desire to be on the throne of our hearts.

Assassin: “Where other men are limited by morality or law, remember…”
Initiate: “Everything is permitted.” [1]

Everything? Yes, when you remove morality or law, there is nothing to stop you from doing whatever you please. Morality and laws pose limitations. These limitations can easily be removed if you remove truth, essentially removing God. Morals defined by humanity are as lasting as the mortals who created them. But morals defined by a transcendent being like God, well those are not so easy to remove. This is why Assassins creed has to first propagate atheism. If there is no God, there is no truth. If there is no truth, everything is permitted.

This concept is what is taught by post modernism today. While it may seem like a new school of thought, it’s much closer to the Assassins Creed idea that it has been passed down through the centuries. It teaches us that there is no authority beyond self and that what is important is cultural moral relativism. Where have we heard that before?

and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise …(Gen 3:5-6)

Eve’s disobedience put herself in the position of choosing an alternative morality a morality no higher than her own ideals. And the rest of humanity has followed suit since….we struggle with the issues of the heart making choices everyday who’s morality we will put first and who will rule self.

The creed ends.

Assassin: “We work in the dark to serve the light. We are Assassins.”

Given the Divine depravity that it conjured up from the beginning, the end makes more sense now. Without God, there is no light.

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” 1John 1:5

Without truth and morality, there is nothing but darkness. What what lurks in the darkness? Everything that the human heart permits. Assassination….

This is not unlike how God describes his enemy in His Word while speaking to the Pharisees.

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44

It was because he did not abide in the truth that he became a murderer, an assassin.

And what is an assassin?

Assassin: a murderer of an important person in a surprise attack for political or religious reasons. (Oxford Dictionary)

Satan the first assassin launched his attack on the most important person in the universe. And what for? Religious reasons. He made a choice to put his own thoughts above the thoughts of God and instill in the heavenly host a new cultural moral relativism. And ever since that time, he has been out to make assassins and atheists of the rest of humanity.

So it’s a game, and it’s played for entertainment. And most people probably don’t put much thought into it. And while you go about the game in a seemingly mindless fashion, you are making choices. You put more thought into it than you may realize and it put’s more thought into you than you may care to admit.

And while it’s now a game, it’s soon to be a movie. And many will go and see the movie, because they want to be entertained.

But what will enter? Will it be the thoughts of God? Or will it be the thoughts of the director, actor, producer, or game creator?

“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Romans 1:21

Without God: Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted

[1] http://assassinscreed.wikia.com/wiki/The_Creed
[2] Clark, Neils, and P. Shavaun. Scott. Game Addiction: The Experience and the Effects. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2009. Print.

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