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game-of-thronesThis will not be a long post. Because the issue doesn’t seem all that complicated.

I don’t understand Christians watching Game of Thrones.

Whenever there is a new episode, my Twitter feed overflows with people talking about Game of Thrones. First off, I’m always amazed that this many people have HBO. But second, and much more importantly, I’m always amazed that a number of people I respect--smart people, serious Christians, good conservative thinkers--are obviously watching (and loving) the series.

True, I haven’t seen it. Not an episode. Not a scene. I hardly know anything about the show. I know many people consider it absolutely riveting--full of compelling characters, an engrossing story, and excellent acting, writing, and aesthetics.

But isn’t it also full of sex? Like lots and lots of incredibly graphic sex? I did a Google search for “Game of Thrones sex” and found headlines (I avoided images and only read headlines) about sex scenes you can’t un-see and the best sex scenes of the series and why Game of Thrones is so committed to nudity and explicit (sometimes violent) sex. Unless I’m mistaken, the series hasn’t taken a turn toward modesty in recent months. It seems to me sensuality--of a very graphic nature--is a major part of the series. And still, a good number of conservative Christians treat the series as must-see TV.

I don’t get it.

I won’t repeat what John Piper has already written. His twelve questions are well worth asking, not only for this show, but for all our entertainment choices. I just want to ask one other question: Does anyone really think that when Jesus warned against looking at a woman lustfully (Matt. 5:27), or when Paul told us to avoid every hint of sexual immorality and not even to speak of the things the world does in secret (Eph. 5:3-12), that somehow this meant, go ahead and watch naked men and women have (or pretend to have) sex?

I know some people will say it doesn’t bother their conscience or that it’s art or they can view sinful sex without participating in it themselves. But that doesn’t change what the Bible says about the importance of purity and the power of the eye. The fact is our consciences should be smitten; steamy sex scenes are not the kind of art for which we can give thanks; and it’s hard to imagine Paul would have been cool with the believers in Ephesus watching simulated sex for a fee each month, so long as they don’t hook up in real life.

I don’t expect those who are strangers to the light to be bothered by the darkness. But for conservative Christians who care about marriage and immorality and decency in so many other areas, it is baffling that Game of Thrones gets a free pass. “Look carefully then how you walk,” is God’s word to all of us, “not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-16).


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352 thoughts on “I Don’t Understand Christians Watching Game of Thrones”

  1. Nate says:

    A little leaven leavens the whole lump. Wake up brothers and sisters. Are adults unable to remember and apply the words from this song for children? “Oh, be careful little eyes what you see….” Turn off the tube and turn on the reading light please. You’ll be glad you did. The Lord bless you.

  2. Carlos M Martinez says:

    My wife has read the books and has been watching the show for quite some time. Two years ago I did not allow the show to be watch at home as it’s contents are not appropriate for a Christian family.
    I was raised as a Catholic and thanks to her I converted to Christianity, she tells me she speaks constantly to God and he can hear Him all the time to the point she recognizes His voice. That being said, at during the first quarter of this year she convinced me that I was being controlling by not letting her watch the show and it made me feel guilty because I made mistakes into our marriage. I decided to let her watch the show again so she benchwatched the show and now it’s an every Sunday thing. We have been going to church less and less lately and I felt like this show was doing some damage, but how can that be if she still speaks and hears God? Well earlier last week I read an article from a GOT actress where she said that all her sexual education and increase of sex drive was thanks to the show so I started making a research of the show, and I understand it may have the greatest story ever told but when I played a 26 minute long video I could not pass the third minute because I felt sick of my stomach and I have watched porn, but the simple thought that my wife is watching something like this was like a spear dug into my heart. I was so upset and was ready to confront her but when I got home she was sleeping. I didn’t say anything, instead I reached to a Christian friend and he told me that he watches the show but he is a new Christian and that I show as for advice from the people at church. Yesterday, Sunday, and after 3 weeks of not going to church I woke up early, before my wife, got ready, got the kids (3 of them) fed and ready and then i woke her up so that we can go to church. After service I approached one of the decans and asked him what was his view on GOT and while he shared the same views as me, I told him that my wife was watching it and I didn’t know how to tell her on a Godly way my concerns.
    Well I told her later that afternoon and it was a huge fight, she fought against me accusing me of being controlling and many other things. We both had a little break and then she came back saying that God told her that I was too controlling and that she was on by watching this show. I accused her that she might be hearing the devil as nowhere in the Bible says that it is ok, specially if it’s setting a gap between us. She lost it! She called me the devil and a weak Christian. She was yelling so bad that my mother in law that lives 1000 feet away from us came to our home (she also watches GOT). Because of fear of losing her “only child” and I quoted because she has 3 kids but 2 of them do not want to talk to her and because she also is a GOT fan, sided with my wife and kicked me out of the house and now my wife said that she’d be filing for divorce.
    I slept last nigh in my car because I don’t know anyone besides just co-workers because I’m from another country.
    Now I’m stuck with the dilemma that if my wife really speaks to God and He is fine with things like this, if the Devil found a way to break us apart, if she truly is as a devoted Christian as she claims, if I am a weak Christian or even if God really exists.
    Feeling lost!

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Kevin DeYoung


Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina. He is chairman of the board of The Gospel Coalition, assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte), and a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have seven children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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