If you have been watching Survivor Fiji as I have, you will have seen an amazing ethical dilemma unfold. A few weeks ago the contestants played a reward challenge for a car. Dreamz, an African American ex-homeless young man, had expressed his desire to win the car. At the challenge however, Yau Man a really amazing Asian man won the car. After the challenge he offered to give the car to Dreamz on one condition; that if Dreamz and he were together in the last four, and if Dreamz won the immunity challenge, that he would give immunity to Yau Man. At this point Dreamz agreed, swearing in the name of God and his son that he would honour the commitment. He also restated that he was a man of his word and wanted his son to see that.
Well as it played out, Dreamz did win what turned out to be the final immunity challenge and was in the position envisaged at the giving of the car. When the crunch came at Tribal Council, Dreamz chose not to honour his word. He realised if he did give immunity to Yau, he would be voted out and lose his chance of a million dollars! So, he broke his word and Yau was promptly voted out. Note too, that Dreamz had expressed that he is a Christian.
The question; should he have honoured his word?
In favour of his decision is that Survivor is just a game and the name of the game is outwitting, outplaying and outlasting the opposition. One can play the game in a different way to 'real life' in the 'real world'; lying, tricking and deceiving. This is legitimate because the rules of the game include all such things. As such, he did nothing wrong. In fact, he should be congratulated for playing well, for tricking Yau, and knocking him out of the game. Christians should not be critical for he was merely playing well. His witness is not blurred because he is entitled to play the game by a different set of rules.
Against this is that as a Christian, Dreamz must not live a dualistic life. Survivor is no different to any part of life. As a Christian he should live 24/7, living ethically including keeping his word. Survivor while a game, intersects with real life, the winner getting $1m and in this case, a $60,000 car. The world is watching, and as such, his witness should include keeping his integrity. He thus brings disgrace to the name of Christ in not keeping his word. He also used the name of God in making his vow; as such, he has broken his vow.
The latter is the way that Boo another contestant took it. He criticised Dreamz for being an immature Christian and stated that he would pray for him to become mature and not live such an inconsistent life.
So which is it? Did Dreamz play it right? What is a Christian response?
I will hold giving my view just in case there is someone out there who reads this and wants to comment... in a day or so, I will give my perspective?