Should Christians Watch Game of Thrones? (Or Anything With Nudity?)

This week, Pastor J.D. answers the question, “Should Christians watch Game of Thrones? (or anything with nudity?)”

Show Notes:

  • This is similar to our questions on music, but I do think it’s more specific.
  • I’ll talk about nudity specifically, but let’s expand it a little bit to shows that have various kinds of sinful things in it.
  • First of all, we’ve got to realize that we are in the world. God knows that, and we are supposed to have an awareness of the culture that we’re in, and where it has needs and where the culture is making mistakes. Paul said to be “simple” when it comes to what is evil, but even he demonstrated a familiarity with the culture—like the poets, for instance—even though sin was laced through their work.
  • Another thing to realize is that God created art and entertainment for his glory, as a way of relaxing. Comedy, entertainment, drama and suspense that I can read, watch and listen to may not be specifically about the Great Commission, but it’s serving a God-glorifying purpose because God created us to enjoy art and to participate in his creation. The enjoyment of art is not by itself a sinful or wasted enterprise.
  • Sometimes, there is a place in the arts for the fact of sin because it’s part of an overall redemptive thing that I’m trying to teach. But when it comes to acting and those types of things, like John Piper says, there’s a difference between depicting sin as an act and actually sinning in doing the depicting.
  • But revealing nudity (or taking God’s name in vain, I believe) creates a situation where the actor is not only depicting sin but is themselves sinning while doing the depicting. Their body is actually being exposed, or God’s name would actually be blasphemed.
  • Jesus said that to fantasize about having sex with someone makes you guilty (in God’s eyes) of the sin, and Hollywood skin and sex are meant to arouse.
  • I read an article a little while ago by John Piper, specifically about Game of Thrones. He said that first of all, Jesus died to purify, and the Bible from beginning to end makes a radical call for holiness.
    • Jesus talked in the most extreme terms about pursuing good.
    • Some would say that watching these things will help them be more relevant to lost people, but at what cost? That relevance is never worth more than your personal holiness.
    • Piper says that nudity is not make-believe. If you’re going to value the modesty and self-control of women, you’re not going to do something that celebrates and puts that kind of thing on display.
    • It’s hard to say, “I weep with repentance at Jesus’ death,” while laughing (or intentionally enjoying) the kinds of things that put him on the cross.
    • Piper says prolonged exposure to these things affects us.
    • Lastly, he says there’s no great film that needs nudity to add to its greatness.
  • So, how much is too much? What’s the right balance? Well, there’s no way I could give something that just applies to everyone. I will say, there’s a difference when something has sinful stuff in it and when its central focus is to celebrate and affirm sin.
  • Like Kevin DeYoung says, yes, people are wired differently—but those who say that these things don’t phase them at all may not really know themselves as well as they think they do. And if looking upon what God has forbidden has no affect on you, I’m not sure that’s a good thing after all.
  • VidAngel is a service that my family uses from time to time, with some options that will cut some of this out for you.
  • Overall, if your conscience is troubled, that’s a sign that you should just not watch something.
    • If in doubt, it’s probably safer to not watch something.
  • If you feel like none of this bothers you—just take a week to really pray about some of this, and ask God if it’s really OK, and if it really helps you enjoy more fullness in your relationship with him.

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