Note: The following article contains explicitly descriptive language and adult-only topics. While this subject is approached with a Christian worldview, it may be unsettling to some. Discretion is advised.
I had an entirely different topic upon which to write this week, but as I cruised through my Facebook feed this morning a particular advertisement caught my eye and I felt the tug to pay attention. The ad was actually a link to a review of the second season of “Orange is the New Black” a popular series on Netflix and was titled, “‘Orange Is the New Black’ returns to Netflix, wickedly unrestrained“. It would be easy to assume, considering I’m a devout Christian, that my attention was drawn due to the use of the word “wickedly” in the title, and you would be partially correct. However, the primary reason it caught my eye is because I’d fallen for that trap before, just last year.
Before I get into that experience, it’s necessary to first address the issue as a whole. As men, Christian or not, throughout the world can attest due to the incessant peddling of such smut to us, in the past decade there has been an increasing sexual fascination with lesbians and explicit lesbian sex. In fact, pornography in general continues to grow rapidly due to the fact it has become so readily accessible. Gone are the days of having to patronize a seedy XXX shop off I-70 or having to coordinate how to make it to the mailbox before your wife, or parents so as to hide the magazine residing within. In this day and age of the wonders of the internet, a man (or woman) only needs an internet-connected device and a connection to freely sin in the comfort of their own homes, or offices, or schools.
I have yet to meet a single man who hasn’t struggled with lust and/or pornography to some degree. I saw a recent study that said 90% of men struggle with lust, and the remaining 10% struggle with lying. The reality is that we are bombarded with sex, scantily clad women, and encouragement to fulfill our most sinful sexual desires. There is even a website that, which I will not name here as to avoid its promotion, promotes adulterous affairs by connecting spouses looking for such arrangements. There seem to be three distinctly different ways in which men react the reality of sexual bombardment: 1) They partake freely in fornication, pornographic videos, etc. because “it’s not my fault, it’s everywhere tempting me!” or 2) they acknowledge their personal responsibility to resist such temptation but make a half-hearted effort, still watching porn and even television shows with excessive nudity on a regular basis, or 3) they make a concerted effort to abstain from giving in to their lustful desires and pursuing a life in Christ. I’ve experienced all three phases of this sin and am happy that through Christ alone, I’ve turned my back on such filth.
I mention my experience not to bring glory to myself, rather, to show that the battle can be won and, if you struggle with lust, you are not alone and you can overcome with Christ! You may be saying to yourself, that’s great, Landon, but what does this have to do with the “Orange is the New Black” article you mentioned at the beginning?
It’s no secret that our world, and America in particular, is becoming more secular with each passing day. One of the consequences of this reality is that the Christian morality upon which our country was founded is slowly fading and in its place is the new morality where just about anything goes; well, except for anything deemed racist or anti-LGBT, as they have become capital offenses. Thus, the effect of this new morality is the continuing permeation of unrepentant sin in our lives and our world. This is most evident in our entertainment and the reason why a show like OitNB, and its rave critic reviews, is so troubling.
When the show was first released on Netflix last year, the plot line sounded interesting and I recognized actor Jason Biggs (hindsight punches me in the throat with the fact this should’ve been a huge red flag considering his acting history) and Laura Prepon so I figured, why not? My wife and I often watch shows together but, on this evening, she’d taken the kids (2 and 4 years old) to the grocery store with her and I’d completed the honey-do list for the night. So, excited not to have to watch another chick-flick, I fired up the ole Roku and started up the first episode of Orange is the New Black. With absolutely zero exaggeration, I was literally 15 seconds into the first episode before I was greeted with blatant nudity and a lesbian shower sex scene. With the quickness of an MMA cage fighter I leaped off the couch and scrambled to find the controller and remove this smut from my (insert bad pun here) boob tube.
I truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank the Dear Lord that my children and wife were not home and that they were spared from such wickedness.
Dear brothers and sisters, we cannot succumb to the lie of Satan that tells us we can control our desires because whichever show you’re watching “has good writing and acting”.
It seems anymore that in order to receive a favorable rating from television and movie critics, a show is required to include nudity. While this used to be simply for the after Midnight paid cable television time slots, it’s now mainstream. That means, if the trend continues, it won’t be long before your kids will be able to watch some steamy love scenes (wait they already have those), bearing all, without the hassle of paying for cable, or Netflix.
In the aforementioned Washington Post review of OitNB, amid his gushing of its “character and ambitious writing and acting…”, Mr. Stuever writes, “In one of the new episodes, there is protracted debate about the location of the urethra in relation to the vagina — a matter definitively settled by Burset, a transgender inmate (played by Laverne Cox) — and a competition between two lesbian inmates, Big Boo and Nichols (Lea DeLaria and Natasha Lyonne) to see who can seduce the largest number of inmates, with a special emphasis on orgasm. I sometimes like to imagine the male-centric world of TV showrunners, producers, writers and even critics getting light-headed and passing out while they watch the show.”
Let me reiterate, this was written in an article in a mainstream, widely circulated newspaper! Oh, how desensitized our culture has become to the Biblical view and requirements of sexuality. In fact, I see these programs unrepentantly and proudly touted often in my Facebook and Twitter feeds by people I serve at church with and worship with week in and week out. How can this be when Scripture so clearly tells us that even entertaining such things is so dangerous Proverbs 6:25-28 “Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes; for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread, but a married woman hunts down a precious life. Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?” Dear brothers and sisters, we cannot succumb to the lie of Satan that tells us we can control our desires because whichever show you’re watching “has good writing and acting”.
Proverbs 4:20-27 tells us to guard our hearts and our eyes and to turn our feet from evil. There was a time in my Christian walk where I too would rationalize reasons why it was okay for me to watch such filth on television. I told myself that it wasn’t a big deal that there were naked women on the screen because I could control my lustful thoughts (yea right), and besides, this show has received rave reviews and is “critically acclaimed“! It wouldn’t be fair for me to not get to watch it simply because there is a little bit of nudity and sex scenes involved! I then had to ask myself, is the Christian life “fair” according to the world’s standards? Of course not! That’s because truly regenerate Christians are not of this world! (John 17:16) Keep in mind that if you are a truly regenerated Christian, the Holy Spirit is always with you… even when you sit down and flip on shows like these. Is that really what you want to do with God? Watch porn?
So many Christian men I know ask themselves and their Christian leaders incessantly, “How can I be the spiritual leader in my family that God calls me to be?” Here is a perfect example. Guard your heart and your eyes from watching this filth. Jesus said in Matthew 5:28 that any man who simply looks upon a woman with lustful intent has committed adultery with her already in his heart. Men, this is deadly serious for your eternal salvation! 1 Corinthians 6:9 says that adulterers will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Jesus just said you’re an adulterer if you look at a woman with lustful intent. Do I need to connect the dots? Watching these shows is living in unrepentant adultery which means you will have your part in the lake of fire! Doesn’t seem so innocent anymore, does it?
Don’t be that guy. Don’t be that husband. Don’t be that father. Be the kind of man, husband, and father that He wants you to be as explicitly described in the Living Word of God.
Men of God, I love you too much not to write this article. I’m no better than you, it’s a constant struggle for me as well. But, as I described in my article on righteous judgment, these are the types of issues we need to be able to identify in our brothers and have the courage to call them out; but more importantly to love them, help them, and guide them through the storm and towards Christ.
Guard your hearts, guard your eyes, turn your feet from evil, and become the spiritual leader you’re called to be.
Below is a list of popular (mainstream) shows to avoid due to language and excessive nudity/pornographic content:
- Game of Thrones
- House of Cards
- Masters of Sex
- Orange is the New Black
- The American Horror Story
- True Blood