Should I Watch Game of Thrones, PART II

fifty-shades-greyIn my previous post I discussed the growing popularity and availability of sexually-charged entertainment, shows like Game of Thrones or the upcoming movie, 50 Shades of Grey.

Popularity, availability... how about the morality of these shows?

In a world where this kind of entertainment is commonplace or “no big deal”… I’m starting to hear a lot of Christians growing comfortable with it. The Millennial Generation in particular really likes Game of Thrones and doesn’t seem to have a problem watching it.

So that’s why I asked you the question. Is it okay? If we have put our faith in Christ alone and are being sanctified by Him, when does this modern “art” and entertainment become a distraction slowing us down, a sin that we need to “strip off” (Hebrews 12:1,2)? (I encourage you to read that entire post here. Many of you chimed in with your two cents. Thanks for your comments.)

In the beginning of my last post, I cited an article sharing John Piper’s thoughts on the subject. The article was titled, Does Nudity Make Game of Thrones Off Limits. When I first read the title, the word “nudity” threw me.

I actually liked his article, and agreed with much of it. But the word “nudity” was cast throughout the article as if nudity, in itself, was a golden calf or taboo element. This scared me a little bit. And here’s why.

Sex and nudity are not “naughty.”

Sadly, Satan has taken something very good and twisted it, even perverted it.

God created sex for men and women to enjoy. His creation began with a naked man named Adam in a garden, where God actually looked at him and said, “It’s not good for man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18)

And “poof” … a naked woman.

It gets better. God says, “Go forth and multiply.” (As if Adam even needed that command?)

When you read passages like this, or Proverbs 5, you realize that God created sex as an amazing gift between a man and wife. God even told men to enjoy their wife’s breasts (Proverbs 5:18, 19). If you think that’s explicit, then hold on to your hats, because this is the same God that designed the female genitalia. My friend Doug Fields in his new marriage book to men, 7 Ways to Be Her Hero, candidly expands on this, maintaining sex is proof of God’s amazing design.

“If your mind hasn’t already gone there, think about the female clitoris for a moment. Okay. that’s long enough. If you don’t know what it is (or know it by another name), it is part of the female genitalia. What is the purpose of the clitoris? …I want you stop and consider the why of that little location on your wife’s body. It’s purpose is simply for pleasure. That’s it! The clitoris plays no other biological function… Again, we pause to say, “Thank You, God. How wonderful is Your creation!”

This isn’t something sinful or taboo… it’s God’s design.

It’s God’s design for a husband and wife to share together uniquely.

But we are sinful, and constantly like to do things our own way. For example, since men like breasts, they think, “If my wife’s breasts make me so happy, I’ll be even happier looking at other women’s breasts too.” The rest of the Proverbs 5 passage warns us what happens when we follow this kind of logic. And Jesus talks specifically about what happens when we look at someone other than our wife and want her. It’s called lust (Matthew 5:27-29). He said two very sobering things to us in that passage:

  1. It’s the same as committing adultery
  2. It would be better to pluck our eye out than get caught up in it

Jesus was never known to mince words.

So let me ask you; when you look at Michelangelo’s statue David, how many of you lust?The_Last_Judgment_Michelangelo How about his painting The Last Judgement on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel. How many people struggle with lusting when looking at that throng of naked bodies all on one wall?

Yeah… me neither.

I have a difficult time calling “nudity” wrong.

But much of today’s art, sexually charged shows like Game of Thrones and movies like 50 Shades of Grey, is designed to be provocative and (to use a movie category reference) “steamy.”

I can’t tell you if you watch Game of Thrones, you are sinning. Here’s all I can tell you. Paul talks about a bunch of sins in all of his writings (and he wrote a lot of the Bible). Of all his sins he describes, there is only one that he tells us to literally “flee” from.

In I Corinthians 6 he makes it clear:

18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. (I Corinthians 6:18, NLT)

He uses the same term in his second letter to Timothy.

22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. (2 Timothy 2:22, NLT)

So it’s really between you and God. Can you watch Game of Thrones without lusting?

I can’t.

Let me ask it another way. Have you grown comfortable with something that stimulates lust in your life? What do you have to do to “flee” this sin?

Take it from a guy who let lust turn into adultery, then murder… I’m talking about King David. In Psalm 139 he writes:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
(Psalm 139:23, 24, NLT)

Maybe we need to take a personal inventory like that with our entertainment choices.

Or consider the simple appeal to God from the author of Psalm 119:

Turn my eyes from worthless things,
and give me life through your word.
(Psalm 119:37, NLT)

It’s not easy living in a world so full of distractions. It’s even more difficult being a parent and trying to teach adolescents how to make good media decisions. But cling to the truth of the word and let it guide your decision-making.

That doesn’t mean boycotting Michelangelo… but it might just mean cancelling that HBO subscription.

Thoughts?

JONATHAN IS THE AUTHOR OF OVER A DOZEN BOOKS LIKE THE UPCOMING (SORRY, IT DOESN’T RELEASE UNTIL MARCH 2015), MORE THAN JUST THE TALK.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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3 Responses to Should I Watch Game of Thrones, PART II

  1. Great article — regarding “nudity,” I definitely think it isn’t wrong in and of itself. However, post–curse, I think God knew it’s something that should be off limits for the eyes outside of the bedroom. He did make coverings for Adam and Eve (Gen 3:21) instead of leaving it up to their discretion (notice that this only included their family– not millions of raging heterosexuals which I believe leans towards general indecent for children and other adult persons). So, I think we can say exposed nudity in any public form carries indecency along with it– even if it is a statue. Nudity doesn’t become only indecent when it sparks arousal. Many people are not lusting widen they look at someone nude whom they find unattractive– yet this is still indecent and lacks modesty. In fact, repulsiveness might even be a result, yet it would still be indecent. Some might even go as far to say that nudity embraces pre-curse lifestyle and it’s something that should be embraced. I find this hard to accept. While public nudity may have once reflected sinlessness in Adam and Eve, it now reflects shame and disgrace (john 19:23). Those who shamelessly embraced public nudity in any form outside the bedroom are probably dealing with some form of a seared conscience. To summarize, modesty and inner beauty have always been a focal point of scripture, and I don’t recall one episode post-curse in which God approved and embraced nudity as a form of holiness or even general good– other than the relationship between a husband and a wife, but even this example carries restrictions (such as origies and such). Just my two cents– like I said, great article.

  2. AlMenconi says:

    I am so grateful that you are tackling this topic in your usual thoughtful manner. Your blogs provide food for thought and are useful for discussions for all ages. Thank you and keep up the good work. I’ll be praying for you as I know Satan doesn’t want you to succeed in this.

  3. dan manns says:

    I liked the books & thought I would like the show but HBO added too much gratuitous sex & violence (the book was graphic enough). So when it comes to the show I file it under the “all things are lawful for me but not all things are expedient” category. I’ll pass.