Caution: Contains explicit material not suitable for all readers.
A note from Erin: I originally wrote this post three years ago in response to the release of Magic Mike. Since then, the movie has raked in a shocking $160 million worldwide and sparked a #1 sequel, out this month.
Because of that, I wanted to take the opportunity to revisit the popularity and impact of porn. Keep reading to find out why our movie choices aren’t “no big deal” (and be sure to hop back on the blog Wednesday for six reasons to guard your eyes).
A couple of weeks ago, my phone gave off the telltale chime signaling that I’d received a text. I looked and found a photo of a topless Matthew McConaughey in his blockbuster role as Magic Mike. It was an invitation from a friend to see the movie the following night.
In movies, books, songs, and TV shows, something that was trickling into your hearts a few years ago is now being piped in at full throttle.
I want you to know where I met this friend and where I spend time with her most often—at church. In fact, a whole group of my church friends went to see the movie together.
In case you missed it, Magic Mike is a summer blockbuster about male strippers. I am sure many would argue that there are redeeming qualities to the movie, but at its essence it is a movie about sex, drugs, and male chests. Ladies everywhere are loving it.
Sounding the Alarm
My goal isn’t to review Magic Mike or to point out that our culture has standards that don’t line up with God’s Word. That feels like barking up the wrong tree to me. But since Magic Mike isn’t the first blip on my radar for possible land mines in the battle for truth, I do want to sound an alarm.
In movies, books, songs, and TV shows, something that was trickling into your hearts a few years ago is now being piped in at full throttle. Something that Christians would shun in a different age is now a movie they will all go see together. Something that has no place in the Christian mind is now something that many justify. Let’s just call it what it is—porn.
Porn (short for pornography) is simply the depiction of erotic behavior. Porn comes into view on the big and small screen whenever sex is portrayed between two people. It doesn’t have to include full nudity or full disclosure in order for our hearts and minds to be affected by the sexy stuff we’re seeing. In fact, we don’t have to see it at all. Some of the top selling books right now portray sexual content using words. No pictures are needed to entice us to think about and be fascinated by sexual contact.
You need to be aware that good people are falling for the lie that porn is no big deal.
True, there are levels of porn. Because of that we tend to justify seeing or reading the not-so-graphic stuff by thinking it could be so much worse. But this kind of thinking scares me when I think about your hearts. And frankly, it makes me really angry to know that you are living in a culture that desperately wants you to think that exposing yourself to sexual content, no matter how graphic, is no big deal.
The momma bear in me wants to stand up and roar because I’ve seen the devastation that porn can cause. I hate, hate, hate that you live in a culture where there are constant temptations to dabble in it.
I’m always leery to address pornography on this blog, because curiosity can lead some of you to wonder what the fuss is about. When that curiosity leads to one click or one purchase of a movie ticket or one afternoon spent reading a book with erotic content, many of you will find that you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole that is hard to climb out of.
I’m more interested in shooting off a warning flare. You need to know that porn is dangerous. (For more on specifically why porn matters, hop back on the blog Wednesday.) You need to be aware that good people are falling for the lie that porn is no big deal, especially when we digest it in the name of entertainment.
A Bold Stand Against Porn
Watching, reading, or listening to sexual content is not God’s plan for you.
I know that porn is everywhere. From billboards to commercials to fiction books, there’s plenty of erotic material out there to trip us up. I can’t protect your eyes from all of it, but I can lay the facts out in black and white. Here’s the bottom line: Watching, reading, or listening to sexual content is not God’s plan for you.
Psalm 101:3 gives us this bold standard to live by:
I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it.
Just because it’s a blockbuster or a bestseller or not XXX rated does not make it good for you as you pursue God’s holiness. If it’s vile, run in the opposite direction.
We’re going to keep talking about this important topic, but in the meantime, I’d like to hear from you. How do you see porn trickling into the mainstream? What can we do to band together and turn our eyes elsewhere?