WoW Paladin and the Christian Faith
Paladin is a character class in World of Warcraft. As a rather versatile class, they can be damage dealers, healers, or tanks. Depending on which skills the player takes, they can become unmovable walls, power front liners, or essential supporters. They can take on Herbalism, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Jewelcrafting, Inscription, Alchemy, First Aid, and Cooking as professions. The first two are particularly good for farming WoW gold. In-game, Paladins follow the tenets of the Holy Light, the mysterious source of their magic and power.
That’s where the religious aspect is, for some. The character class is described to be virtuous, the defender of the innocent, and smiter of evil. All of those points to service to a ‘higher being’, or at least alludes to one.
Or so they think.
What the Game Actually Says
Game lore (and the accompanying books) never explicitly says anything about religion. Yes, they’re sworn in service to the Light, but it’s not portrayed as a higher deity or something like it. The paladins themselves don’t worship it (unless you count service as worship). There are no churches, only organizations or orders of paladins scattered about Azeroth.
They do have faith in the Light, in a way similar to believing that the chairs you own will hold your weight. Some players in the forum even compare it to Star Wars’ Force, which works in a similar way. The Light is energy, neither benevolent nor malevolent. It is a tool that can be used for either.
In short, while paladins are almost zealous to religious levels, they aren’t following a religion, but a philosophy. The Light is their source of power, no more, no less. Different races even have different interpretations of what it is.
Draenei were introduced to the Light by Naaru, a race of sentient energy beings. Naaru isn’t the Light itself but are shards of it. Human paladins are a mix of priest and knight, where belief in the Light is enough to tap into that well of energy. Ironforge Dwarves are similar, in that they served as paladins after witnessing their human friends. It helps that they have the toughness and tenacity to go toe-to-toe with whatever paladins fight. Blood Elves found another way to tap into the Light, becoming Blood Knights instead.
What Christians can Learn from Paladins
While real life is very different from the fictional world of the paladins, their zeal and determination to follow their way of life are worth emulating. Their simple faith in the Light is this as well. They don’t know what it is and have never seen it in person. However, they’ve seen it in action whenever they call upon the power, and that mirrors the Christian faith.
The only difference is how fast the effects are seen. In-game, it’s almost instantaneous. In real life, however, it can take up to years! God works outside our timeframe, but rest assured that He hears our calls and is working on it. He may deny us some things, but what can we do but trust Him? He is our creator and knows better than us. We just have to wait.
Their drive to do what is good is also a good example to follow. It’s part and parcel to retain their abilities. If they feel conflicted or do something they think is wrong, they weaken their connection with the Light and might lose their paladin powers. Christians, by doing good and obeying His will, strengthen their connection with God in the same way. Disobedience breaks that connection, but thankfully it can be regained. We are humans, after all, and are prone to making mistakes, so this is inevitable.
Yes, paladins reflect much of a Christian’s faith, but one thing it lacks is love. Love is the driving force of Christianity. It is through love that God gave His only Son as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. It is through love the Jesus Christ died and rose again. He gives us what we need and not what we want, in love. Our own obedience should stem from our love of God as well. Doing what is good out of love for another person is the best thing you can do for them. They might not appreciate it at the time, but be patient and they will thank you. The Holy Light, being a pool of energy without sentience, cannot love. Thus, paladins don’t have rewards beyond immediate gratification, but Christians can enjoy eternity in heaven.
Still, World of Warcraft is, after all, just a game. You don’t have to think hard or deep about enjoying it. Enjoying media and fiction isn’t bad, assimilating false or detrimental ideas are. Keep your guard up, and filter what you choose to believe.
So saddle up your WoW mounts and go play the game!
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This article has been first published at Gamingtipsandguides on February 12, 2019