Presbyterians/Secular movies with sexual scenes and Christian consecration/holliness
Hello Pastor G,
this time something has been bothering me and I would like to discuss it with you.
A couple of weeks ago some of my church friends, who regularly attend the youth group, watched the Deadpool movie in the movie theater. Their ages varies from about 17-27 years old, and most are not new converts. I didn't watch it. One of my friends told me that the movies contained a sexual scene between a man and a woman, and he explained to me how the sex scene developed.
Afterwards, I did research in a Christian movie review website to find out more about this movie.
Well, as a summary from my friend's opinion and the Christian movie review, the movie did show the woman's breast from a frontal perspective in a very clear manner and up-close manner, and her boyfriend grabbing both her breasts with his hands. It also showed her sitting on top of her boyfriend while having sex (which portrays a post-penetration scene). It falls short, only by a little bit, of the so-called hardcore pornography, which depicts the actual moment of penetration.
Any way, it seems to me that evangelicals are usually not sensitive to these sexual scenes in rated 'R' movies. How can they have a clear conscious, in light of Scriptures, after watching a sexual scene such as this one in order to be entertained?
Is it "ok", or non-sinful, for Bible-believing evangelicals to watch sexual scenes, as long as such scenes do not show the moment of penile penetration? It appears to me that condemning the latter while approving the former is hypocritical (I'm not even referring to new converts, but Bible-believing Christians that regularly attend the youth services and/or Sunday services, and participate in Sunday School classes).
I became baffled today when I read the following quote, which belongs to Dr. John Frame (according to Wikipedia, he is a member of Presbyterian Church in America):
(2) “Sexual scenes in movies excite impure lusts.” Again, I think this is true of some viewers, but not others. If sex scenes in films have that effect on you, then don’t go to films until God gives you a greater mastery over temptation. But I don’t think this is a problem for every Christian. [http://frame-poythress.org/ebooks/theology-at-the-movies/#chapter2
Now back to me. Seriously, Dr. Frame? Here are some of my subsequent questions about Dr. Frame's answer (or whoever else agrees with him):
So, if I can manage to watch sexual scenes and, not even for once, have any sexual desire or lusts because God gave me "greater mastery over temptation", then, perhaps, I could be ready to move on to something more physically explicit such as hard-core pornography, given that I may be able to watch it and not lust in my heart, that is, provided that I learn to not allow pornography to "effect" [sic]/affect me.
If it all boils down to not lusting, then can a Bible-believing Christian watch pornography, provided he does not lust?
Can a Bible-believing men and women masturbate if, and only if, they do not lust during the course of such activity (just because God gave them "greater mastery over temptation"). I believe that watching pornography is always sinful.
Of course, if a Christian does not know that a particular movie was going to show a sexual scene, then, perhaps, it is not sinful, given that such Christian watched it by accident. But, for the sake of our discussion, the questions I raised above are to be understood in a context at which the Christian does know that a particular movie is rated "R" and does show sexual scenes and he/she does watch it anyway for entertainment purposes.
Here is something else to think about. If Dr. Frame (and those who agree with him) is correct that a Christian may watch a sexual scene, let's say, for entertainment purposes (not because such Christian plans to write a Biblical refutation to such movie), then did those two professional actors, in the Deadpool movie, sin against God for actually being nude in film and engaging in sexual intercourse and touching each others chests/breasts? If Dr. Frame says that it is sinful to willfully be nude in movies, then is it not sinful for Christians to watch the nudity of those professional actors (or any other actor/actress)? And not just nudity, for it is a sexual scene that contains motion and, therefore, sexual intercourse.
So far, my questions used the Deadpool movie as an example. There are worst rated "R" movies that show much more than Deadpool. Last year I watched a comedy movie called Spy. I asked God for forgiveness because there is a scene in which the actor shows, up-close and clearly, his real-life erected penis for about ten seconds. Even though I didn't know that that movie would show his real-life penis (even if it was fake it would be sinful), I still believe I sinned.
How are we supposed to answer these questions in light of Scriptures, including Dr. Frame and those that agree with him?
Here are some verses:
1 Cor. 6: 18a "Flee from sexual immorality". It appears Dr. Frame believes there are Christians that could watch professional actors' and actresses' real-life nudity, and post-penetration sexual intercourse (as in the Deadpool move). Would that scene not be sinful?
Psalm 119:37 "Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways."
Ephesians 4:17b-19 “You must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.”
Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
I believe actors and actresses that willfully expose themselves in nudity and sexual intercourse are sinning against God, as well as Christians that subsequently watch such actors and actresses having sexual relations.
Is this position I have taken a Biblical one, or am I being sinfully legalistic?
No, Nathan, you are not being legalistic. Read Genesis 9:22-23.
There are numerous passages in the Pentateuch that prohibit "uncovering nakedness", and although there are those who would maintain that this implies more than just looking, it's doesn't imply less than that. The word used for "uncover" simply means "to reveal."
We have become very desensitized to immorality, but ask yourself whether this would have been considered by Christian 100 years ago? 50? The answer is "no." How did we all of a sudden become so wise that we realize that looking on nakedness is OK, and all of our Christian forebears had it wrong?
No longer a young man, I still avert my eyes and look down if any such scene happens appear on something that I'm watching, for the honor of God and the dignity of these people so exposed.