“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.” – Jesus (Matthew 5:27-28)
Valentines Day is a big day for movies. Millions flock to the big screen with their significant other to enjoy a movie as part of their date.
Last year, Valentines Day brought us Fifty Shades of Grey – a mainstream pornographic film which glorified hardcore, violent, abusive, and degrading sex between an unmarried couple. The film grossed nearly 90 million dollars opening weekend, making it the largest February debut behind Mel Gibson’s religious epic, The Passion of the Christ. (source)
It’s worth mentioning that Fifty Shades of Grey marked a noticeable shift in the adult industry. Porn is beginning to be aggressively marketed to women.
Tim Challies notes, “A recent article at CNBC explains that traditional pornography was created by men, for men. This pornography tends to eschew anything more than the most rudimentary plot in favor of the blatant display of extreme fantasies. It is pure carnality and women tend not to find it particularly alluring. In fact, many find it downright repulsive, especially if they think that their husbands want them to act out some of these things. But 50 Shades and other recent products are proving, to the surprise of many, that women, too, are sexual. Where pornographers once thought that most women simply weren’t interested, now they are seeing that women may be very interested, but that it will take a different kind of product. The industry is branching out in an attempt to take advantage. They are now working hard to create pornography for women.”
Now, one would think the unanimous answer to whether a Christian should watch this type of movie would be a resounding and obvious “no!” However, a survey of Christian women conducted by another site revealed that this is not the case.
Of those surveyed – among the other scary answers regarding the Fifty Shades property –19% said they planned to see the movie.
I don’t really want to know how many professing Christians bought tickets to the film on Valentines weekend, but I’m sure the number is much higher than we would want.
Flash forward to this year. The genres of movie could not be more different, but the content could not be more similar and harmful. One of the major releases this weekend is Deadpool, the beloved Marvel comics property who bears the nickname “the merc with a mouth.” I’ll be honest, I love comic books. I read a few Deadpool comic books and love the character. When the first trailer dropped, I was beyond excited. I expected some heavy action and some great one liners.
Unfortunately, last month the MPAA released the content description underneath an R-rating – strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity.
The saddest thing in all of this is that Deadpool intentionally placed itself during Valentines Day to try and cash in on couples headed to the movies for a date night. Even it’s marketing campaign – which has been openly parodying various genres – has made humorous advertisements which accent the love story elements of Deadpool.
Movie critics seem to be in agreement that Deadpool will be the number one box-office film this week, and with all the social media buzz – even among Christians – it appears this is likely the case.
The question has to be asked: why?
Why would you take your husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend to a film which features sexual content and graphic nudity? I just can’t imagine sitting in a theater with my fiancée as naked women fill the screen, or as blatantly sexual scenes transpire. I know that, likewise, if there is male nudity in this film – it appears that there is – I would not want my fiancée to be viewing a nude man on the screen. Why, especially on Valentines Day – a day centered around the supposed love we have for one another – would I want her to experience visual sexual attraction to some celebrity? And likewise, why would I allow myself to be in a situation where I can lust after those who will never be my wife?
I’m sure there will inevitably be some Christians who condemned 50 Shades of Grey last year who will be in line for Deadpool this year. What’s the difference? Porn is porn. Sin is sin. Lust is lust. Adultery is adultery.
Scripture is clear, “everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Pretty strong language.
Imagine if, when February 14th rolled around, you asked your significant other to drive you to another woman’s house so you could begin an affair. What would happen? Probably not a very fun discussion.
So why is it that we would feel comfortable driving to a theater, with the one we claim to love, and watching a movie where we will be tempted to lust after other people?
Don’t have an affair this Valentines Day. Keep your eyes on your wife.
Eric is a blogger, videographer, designer, and full-time missionary with Rooftop Missions. While in the US, he works to raise support to help fund pastors and orphanages in closed countries. When he is traveling internationally, he provides leadership training for national pastors, as well as documenting the trips through photography and video. To partner with Eric financially, click here.