What would you say to a Christian who watches the cable TV show Game of Thrones? It became (in)famous for its explicit nudity and sex scenes. Millions of people are watching this most popular TV show that yesterday released season 7. But should Christians watch it? That's the question pastor John Piper answers on his website. "I am inviting you to say no to the world for the sake of the world."
John Piper gives us 12 questions to think about before watching Game of Thrones. Here's a summary.
1. Am I Recrucifying Christ?
"Christ died to purify his people. It is an absolute travesty of the cross to treat it as though Jesus died only to forgive us for the sin of watching nudity, and not to purify us for the power not to watch it."
2. Does It Express or Advance My Holiness?
"In the Bible, from beginning to end, there is a radical call for holiness — holiness of mind and heart and life."
"Nudity in movies and photos is not holy and does not advance our holiness. It is unholy and impure."
3. When Will I Tear Out My Eye, If Not Now?
Jesus said, 'Everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away' (Matthew 5:28–29).'
"Don’t watch it!"
4. Is It Not Satisfying to Think on What Is Honorable?
"Life in Christ is not mainly the avoidance of evil, but mainly the passionate pursuit of good."
5. Am I Longing to See God?
"I want to see and know God as fully as possible in this life and the next. Watching nudity is a huge hindrance to that pursuit."
6. Do I Care About the Souls of the Nudes?
"When we pursue or receive or embrace nudity in our entertainment, we are implicitly endorsing the sin of the women who sell themselves to this way and are, therefore, uncaring about their souls."
7. Would I Be Glad If My Daughter Played This Role?
"Most Christians are hypocrites in watching nudity because, on the one hand, they say by their watching that this is okay, and, on the other hand, they know deep down they would not want their daughter or their wife or their girlfriend to be playing this role. That is hypocrisy."
8. Am I Assuming Nudity Can Be Faked?
"Nudity is not like murder and violence on the screen. Violence on a screen is make-believe; nobody really gets killed. But nudity is not make-believe."
9. Am I Compromising the Beauty of Sex?
10. Am I Assuming Nudity Is Necessary for Good Art?
"There is no great film or television series that needs nudity to add to its greatness. No. There isn’t."
"Underneath all of this is male sexual appetite driving this business, and following from that is peer pressure in the industry and the desire for ratings that sell."
11. Am I Craving Acceptance?
"What keeps those Christians coming back is the fear that if they take Christ at his word and make holiness as serious as I am saying it is, they would have to stop seeing so many television shows and so many movies, and they would be viewed as freakish. And that today is the worst evil of all. To be seen as freakish is a much greater evil than to be unholy."
12. Am I Free from Doubt?
"There is one biblical guideline that makes life very simple: “But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Romans 14:32). My paraphrase: If you doubt, don’t.