Are our entertainment choices affecting our relationship with God?
Recently, I came across an article published by The Christian Post that highlights a statement made by Christine Caine, in regards to sex trafficking. At the Heaven Come conference this year, Christine made a truly powerful and convicting statement. She told the audience, “I’ll tell you how to stop human trafficking, sex trafficking overnight: if people stop watching porn…Just stop it. Here I am trying to put traffickers in jail and you’re watching ‘Game of Thrones.’” Game of Thrones is a popular HBO show, even among Christians, that contains extremely explicit and graphic sex scenes that are more or less pornographic. According to Plugged in Review, “Even mainstream critics have long lambasted the show for its often vile treatment of women, regularly chiding it for its “sexposition” –that is, the habit of having characters recite loads of important-but-otherwise-boring dialogue in the beds of a brothel. And, frankly, most hard-R movies don’t get as close to flat out pornography as this series does.” This statement challenged and disturbed me in many ways. Where do we draw the line in our entertainment choices? Why is it not okay to watch pornography, but acceptable to watching programming that contains pornographic material? Are we losing our sensitivity to spiritual matters, in an effort to be “culturally relevant”?
In the Old Testament, we see a cyclical pattern of the Israelites wandering away from the Lord and worshiping man made gods and idols, return to God, wander away, rinse and repeat. You get the picture. We see the Israelites mixing their worship of God with pagan shrines, Asherah poles, temple prostitutes, and other gods. In 2 Kings 22, when Josiah becomes King, He discovers the law of the Lord. He rips His clothes in despair upon discovering how far the people of Israel had drifted from their covenant with God. In the following chapter, he reads the people the entire Book of the Covenant, renews the covenant and does away with pagan worship. Today, in our church culture we don’t do pagan shrines, Asherah poles, temple prostitutes and other gods. But I do have to question how much other stuff we mix in to our personal Monday-Saturday daily walk? Do we use the same tongue to worship Jesus and engage in regular profanity? Do we use the same eyes to gaze on the Lord and to watch shows and movies that glorify content that would break God’s heart? Are we really that different from the Israelites in this regard? Is it really that different to engage with a temple prostitute than it is to engage our hearts and minds with images that desensitize us to the Holy Spirit and compromise our purity and righteousness?
In 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Paul writes, “Don’t team up with those that are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.””
We are God’s temple. My purpose in writing this is not to condemn or judge, but rather to honestly evaluate where we are at, as God’s sons and daughters. What are we allowing into God’s temple that doesn’t belong? Where have we compromised our holiness and purity? And in what areas is God asking us to come out and separate ourselves from the darkness in this world, so that the broken can see the heart of the Father revealed through us.