BioShock and the Bible Part 3: The Wader and Christianity

BioShock Intro*Note: images below come from YouTube and BioShock Wiki unless otherwise noted.

Before our upcoming examination into BioShock Infinite, we’ll take a look at one of the inhabitants of Rapture-the Wader.

Wader face from BioShock Wiki

The Wader

Wearing a mask of human skin, the Wader has been driven insane like most of the people of Rapture. However, unlike them, the Wader seems to have a belief in God, and his statements have a lot to show us about Rapture and the world of BioShock.

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In our last article, we looked at the Wader and the City of Rapture. Now, we’ll finish going through some more of the Wader’s interesting quotes, and tie all of these threads together.

Often, the Wader’s words directly echo the Bible (particularly the Old Testament and Mosaic Law). Is the reason for this to somehow teach biblical truth? No, instead, the Wader screams these distorted representations of scripture at the player while attacking, requiring the player to kill the Wader to finally shut him up.

What is the ultimate meaning, effect, and consequence of this? We shall see…

_______________________________

*Quotes will be in italics, Bible verses will be in bold italics, and my words will be rendered in plain text.

Statements made by the Wader while attacking the player:

BioShock The Wader attacking from YouTube

Wader: “This is the wages of sin!

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

Wader: “Repent!

Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?

Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” (Ezekiel 18:29-32)

But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:18-19)

Wader: “Unclean!

For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” (Ephesians 5:5)

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)

[God speaking] “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.” (Ezekiel 36:24-29)

Wader: “Thus saith the Lord God!

Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Lord’s side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.

And he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.  And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.” (Exodus 32:26-28)

Wader: “Cursed be you in the city!

Wader: “Cursed be the fruit of thy basket.

But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:

Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.” (Deuteronomy 28:15-18)

Wader: “We’ll drown you!

This lines up with the player’s choice to harvest Little Sisters (genetically altered little girls) for increased ADAM (this resource buys players god-like powers known as Plasmids):

Little Sister Harvesting from YouTube

A little sister being harvested.

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea [Where is Rapture?].” (Matthew 18:6)

Andrew Ryan Speech clips from YouTube (6)

Rapture lies at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

The next 5 quotes all correlate to the plagues God executed upon Egypt:

Wader: “I’ll send you boils!

And the Lord said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt.

And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast.And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.” (Exodus 9:8-11)

Wader: “I’ll send you flies!

And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me. Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.

And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.

And the Lord did so; and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants’ houses, and into all the land of Egypt: the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies.” (Exodus 8:20-24)

Wader: “I’ll send you plagues!

Wader: “I’ll send you pestilence!

And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.

For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth.

And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.” (Exodus 9:13-16)

Wader: “I’ll kill your first! I’ll kill your first!

And Moses said, Thus saith the Lord, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt:

And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more.

But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.” (Exodus 11:4-7)

And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.

And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as ye have said.” (Exodus 12:29-31)

When the player runs from the Wader he says:

Wader: “NO! Ye shall find only darkness!

When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;” (Proverbs 2:10-13)

The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.” (Proverbs 4:19)

Wader: “That’s right! Run from the light!

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” (John 3:19-20)

Wader: “Run! I’m his hammer and his tongs!

Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29)

In the beginning was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)

While searching for the player the Wader says:

I can’t see you, but He does!

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”(Proverbs 15:3)

Wader: “Sinners! Hide in the shadows!

Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?” (Isaiah 29:15)

Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:24)

The great temptations which thine eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm, whereby the Lord thy God brought thee out: so shall the Lord thy God do unto all the people of whom thou art afraid. Moreover the Lord thy God will send the hornet among them, until they that are left, and hide themselves from thee, be destroyed.” (Deuteronomy 7:19-20)

Wader: “I’ve come to judge you!

In the Bible we see that both Christians will be judging the world:

Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?” (1 Corinthians 6:1-3)

As well as God himself:

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” (Revelation 20:11-13)

Wader: “He died for your sins! For YOUR sins!

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
(1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

Wader: “Lord have mercy on your soul!

As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” (Romans 9:13-18)

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:6-8)

And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.” (Isaiah 30:18)

Wader: “You think you can hide?! The Lord sees ALL our sins!

[Jesus speaking] “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)

Wader: “He died for you, for YOU, you [expletive]!

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8)

Wader: “You ungrateful [expletive]! He offered you salvation, and you [expletive] on him!

[God speaking] “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

In the beginning was the Word , and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4)

Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.” (Acts 28:28)

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” (Hebrews 2:3-4)

Finally, when the player is killed, the Wader states:

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

[Jesus speaking] “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:9-13)

Wader: “You’ll roast in hell, pig!

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.” (Psalm 9:17)

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

You’ve seen the Wader’s quotes and applicable Bible verses, so let’s break it all down:

The Wader is heard making four types of comments:

  • Comments from the perspective of God (e.g.”We’ll drown you!” and “I’ll kill your first!“).
  • Comments from the perspective of a biblical Christian (e.g. “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” and “Jesus loves me, this I know“).
  • Comments from the perspective of one condemned and burdened by the Old Testament Law, who uses that law to condemn others as well (e.g. “I’m sorry, Father! I’ll do what You say, I-I’ll do what You say!” and “I observe all His commandments, I observe all His commandments, [Sobs]” and “I’ve come to judge you!“)
  • And comments from the perspective of someone who has departed from God or is backslidden (e.g. “I traded You, oh Lord, for Mammon, and what did it get me, huh?!” and “We have turned away from Your light!“).

These four perspectives present four problems. In order:

1:                                                                                                                                                            The Wader screaming quotes akin to God’s like, “I’ll kill your first!” makes the Lord look like some cruel, homicidal, and unjust maniac in the sky. This is the exact opposite of the truth:

Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” (James 5:11)

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:3-4)

2:
Considering the number of brutal ways to kill opponents in BioShock (impalement, electrocution, incineration, laceration, detonation, death by a swarm of bees, gunshots, etc.), the fact that the Wader spouts Christian comments is disturbing, as it places Christians in the role of enemy:

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” (Psalm 116:15)

And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?” (1 Samuel 26:9)

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)

3:
The Wader is a caricature of a Christian stuck in the Old Testament-obsessed with the Law, yet condemned by it.

While the Old Testament is as much a source of doctrine and wisdom as the New, we are no longer under the condemnation of the Law, but under grace. Unfortunately, this information is not relayed through this caricature:

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1-4)

For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:” (Galatians 3:10-13)

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” (Romans 6:12-14)

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17)

4:
The Wader, by speaking in a way similar to a Christian, while at the same time speaking as one who has departed from God, projects a dangerous idea. The notion that one can be a born-again Christian, yet be lost at the same time (please note that this is different than one being saved, and having gone astray, fallen or backslid).

The Bible makes it clear that this is not possible, as there are two choices, two separate paths, ways or states of being, and they are mutually exclusive:

[God speaking] “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:16-19)

*Do you want to be saved?

*Do you want to make sure that you are saved?

*More articles about video games and the Bible.

About Nelson

Writer, amateur #gamedev, and Founder o' Video Games and the Bible. My interviews bring the boys to the yard. Featured from Kotaku to Rock Paper Shotgun. Dropsy.
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