“Highly sexualized.” “Trashy.” “Sexual exploitation.” “Soft-core porn.” “A horrible embarrassment.”
These are just a few of the descriptions I read on social media regarding the Super Bowl halftime show featuring Latin pop artists Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.
I didn’t realize how raunchy the performance was until the next morning when I read so many accounts of people disgusted by the skimpy costumes, seductive gyrating and sexy choreography.
We were watching the game at a friend’s house and I went to the kitchen for some food and spent the time talking with a couple of friends during the entire time until the second half began. Obviously, it’s a good thing I didn’t see it.
While I appreciate people raising righteous objections to the half-time show, the challenges we face with our entertainment choices are ongoing. Not just once a year during the Super Bowl. In fact, if the truth was known, many professed Christians are watching movies and TV shows much worse than the Shakira and J. Lo show.
If we’re to be guided by Scripture, and we’ve been given “everything that pertains to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3), there are some Biblical principles that will help us in our entertainment choices.
To begin with, consider these five passages.
“I will set nothing wicked before my eyes” (Ps 101:3).
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things.” (Phil 4:8)
“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl” (Job 31:1).
Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,”And revive me in Your way.” (Ps 119:37)
“But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt 5:28).
Here are 10 questions to consider when we turn on the TV, go to a movie, attend a concert, or watch a play.
1. Is what I’m watching lewd and lascivious and appeals to my sinful fleshy desires?
2. Am I looking at a person created in God’s image with pure and honorable intentions?
3. Does this entertainment distract from my pursuit of holiness, righteousness, and godliness?
4. Does this show produce ennobling thoughts or pollute my mind with cheap and tawdry thoughts?
5. Is the allurement of this show vulgar or virtuous?
6. Am I morally stronger from this entertainment, or spiritually weakened?
7. Are the values being presented consistent with my Christian values?
8. Am I allowing myself to be amused by something that is sinful?
9. Would I feel comfortable having Jesus sit with me during this show?
10. When I finish watching do I feel good about myself or do I feel sleazy?
J. Oswald Sanders was right when he wrote, “The mind is the battleground upon which every moral and spiritual battle is fought.” However, it’s possible to deceive ourselves and allow ungodly influences to corrupt our minds, exploit our feelings, and defile our hearts.
As our secular culture continues to slouch toward Sodom, Christians must be alert to Satan’s schemes to soil our souls with sensuous entertainment.
The Christian’s calling and our challenge have not changed from the first century: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Rom 12:2).
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman