Recently, I was having a conversation with some friends where we lamented the fact that so many Christians, including many within our own church, are comfortable with not just watching but publicly endorsing Game of Thrones. (I have never watched an episode of GoT, for reasons that will follow, therefore, if in anything I speak inaccurately please feel free to correct me. Also, I believe the series is over but the topic is highly relevant to all forms of entertainment.)
Most Christians I know would be very adamant about saying they do not believe that willfully watching pornography is something that a faithful disciple of Jesus would do. After all, it was Jesus who said that a man even looking at a woman with lust for her is committing the act of adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28) Furthermore, anyone familiar with Jesus’s teachings would know never to interpret His teachings in such a way as to not look into the very heart of the principle He was expounding. Certainly pornography could be and is a struggle that many Christians, unfortunately if not most, war against and at times succumb to, but to willfully and unrepentantly indulge in sexual stimulation and pornographic imagery is something very few Christians would endorse. After all, it was by the authority of Jesus Christ that the Apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote very clearly, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality…” (I Thessalonians 4:8) In a Christian Church constantly in search of God’s will, it doesn’t get much more clear than that.
So I ask my fellow Christians, why is it that so many of you are okay with watching GoT? If the descriptions I’ve heard of this show, from Christian and non-Christian alike, are even remotely on par with its reality, what on earth justifies a disciple of Jesus Christ filling their eyes and their minds with overflowing sexuality? How is that not being conformed to to the pattern of this world? How is that possibly being renewed in the spirit of your mind? (Romans 12:1-2) Has our fear of legalism led you into blatant disobedience? Has our understanding of grace led you into a twisted license to sin? (Jude 1:4, Romans 6:1-2) I don’t understand.
Or is watching vast amounts of naked image bearers of God not equal to porn? Is viewing acts of sexual immorality committed by others okay as long we wouldn’t do those acts ourselves? Is covering our eyes and turning our heads really fleeing sexual immorality? (I Corinthians 6:18) Does your heart not weep as you are entertained by those who are slaves to sin and death committing acts of rebellion? Christian, forgive my bluntness, but how on earth are you fine with being entertained by a mockery of God’s good creation of sex? How, my dear brothers and sisters, do you find it acceptable to indulge in watching, episode after episode, a show that commits such willful disregard for the body of your neighbor? Or perhaps the worst of it was in Season 1? Can you ignore that reality? Can you justify your endorsement? Will your support for the show not encourage your fellow Christians to take the full GoT journey? I don’t understand.
So the big question, is watching shows like GoT really equivalent to watching porn? The world (aka Webster) defines pornography as, “the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement.”1 (emphasis mine) The details I have are sparse, but with all sincerity, my dear Christian, do you really think that the producers are not intending to cause sexual excitement with this material? They are in the business of attracting and seducing us, just what do you think is their motivation in parading naked people in front of your eyes? Is it just art? Is it just for the good of the story? Or is it porn? Soft-core or really soft-core, who cares?!? Is it porn? This isn’t like reading of David and Bathsheba. This isn’t like reading about Israel’s spiritual adultery. This is being entertained by sin, not reading a description about it. Finally, does Webster hold ultimate authority on what defines what is pornographic or does Jesus Christ, whom belongs all authority on heaven and earth, get to define that? What would He say? What does He say? Read your Bible’s, tell me, my brothers, my sisters, what does God’s word say? Are you satisfied with your defense for watching GoT? Can you read Matthew 5 and be satisfied? Can you meditate on Psalm 101 and be content? Can you memorize I Corinthians 6 and sit there being entertained in peace? I don’t understand.
But maybe I do. I know of many things in my past that make me tremble and weep for the obvious nature of those sinful actions. By God’s grace He has given light to those areas, one time, the most influential, was by the means of a very blunt rebuke from a loving heart. By His grace He has further aligned my conscience to His will. I’m sure that there are areas where this is still needed. If you see them, I beg you to tell me! If I am blind, let your eyes bring light! For the glory of Christ I beseech you to expose clearly sinful areas in my life! But Christian, my friend, my brother, my sister, my dearly beloved, I see sin. I see it clearly. I see it black and white. I see it beyond a mere issue of conscience. I see it clear as day. I will love you as myself. I will tell you what I see. I see you soaking in the spirit of the age. I see you indulging the desires of the flesh. I see you besmirching the name of Jesus Christ, our very master who purchased us with His blood. Christian, I see you watching pornography with complete disregard for the will of God. May God awaken your conscience. May you repent. May you rest in His grace. May you love me enough to show me the logs in my own eye as I tell you the speck in your own. But, forgive me, the speck I see is hideous.