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Christians and Nudity in Pop Culture and Life

With nudity and sex scenes in cinema and books on the rise; with the most-popular television show in the world (Game of Thrones) regularly featuring nudity, graphic sex-scenes, and rape, what about Christians and nudity in pop culture and life?

Consider the words of Christ in Matthew 5:27-28, ‘”You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart”‘ (ESV).

The Bible is clear: Christians should view only their spouses in a sexual way. When a nude scene or insinuated scene comes on the screen, or a man or woman on a commercial wears something that encourages lust, simply look away and treasure the truth of God hidden in your heart (Ps. 119:11). The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord (1 Cor. 6:13).

Moreover, viewing a sex scene is wicked! It is the only act we are Biblically unable to look upon; to see someone other than our spouses in a sexual situation is evil. God intended for us to only see one man or one woman in a sexual situation our entire lives (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 5:27-28).

Also, it must be noted here if you don’t deal with your wicked heart concerning this issue, you will not look away when a man or woman is scantily clad at work, the beach, swimming pool, school, supermarket, etc. Deal with your wicked heart by praying, running to the cross continually, memorizing Scripture, exercising self-control, because a woman or man dressed for the purpose of encouraging lust is in your near future, since you live in a wicked world. Satan, as well, will tempt you to seek marital intimacy, even if it’s non-sexual, outside of your marriage, which is a form of adultery. Second only to our relationship with God, our marriage relationship is the most important relationship on earth.

Additionally, the reason why I emphasized humans only seeing one person in a “sexual situation” their entire lives, instead of arguing humans can only see one person nude their entire lives, is because nudity is unavoidable if you’re a parent or you’re involved in certain professions. I see nude humans, other than my wife, on a daily basis because I change the diapers of my children. Furthermore, I have two sisters who are nurses, and nurses often must see nude people in order to do their jobs. Once again though, my sisters and I only see our own spouses in a sexual situation. With these realities in mind, how do we determine when it is biblically permitted to uncover the nudity of another human being?

Consider what Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-40,

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets (Matt. 22:37-40).

These commands serve as a test case for basic Christian ethics: 1) Am I loving the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, and mind? 2) Am I loving my neighbor as myself? Answering these two questions in light of this subject, I must uncover the nakedness of my children for they are my neighbors, so they don’t get diaper rashes, diseases, etc. I am loving God and my neighbor to do so. My sisters must uncover the nakedness of various patients for the sake of their health. They are loving God and their neighbors through caring for their patients. Thus, as a test case, what if you were the first person on the scene of a major car wreck where clothes were torn and an individual’s nakedness was exposed? According to Scripture, how should you respond? The Biblical answer is you’d better love God and your neighbor through Christ by helping this person!

In conclusion, does watching Game of Thrones pass the “basic Christian ethics” test given by Christ? Only if you can say you need to watch these scenes of graphic sex, rape, and nudity in order to love God, your neighbor, and yourself. I think you’ll have a hard time arguing that. My recommendation is not to watch Game of Thrones at all. But, at the very least, you must look away, and you may even need to “mute” the television… because if the warning labels and rumors are true, when HBO says, “graphic,” they really mean graphic.

What are your thoughts?

A Few Other sources worth considering:

I Don’t Understand Christians Watching Game of Thrones” by Kevin DeYoung

Twelve Questions to Ask Before You Watch Game of Thrones” by Tony Reinke

This piece was originally published on our Patheos website.

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