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

  1. Vernona Hearne says:

    Hello Kevin, I’m the Baptist on Sunday mornings and Presbyterian on Sunday evenings. Born again years again.
    Thank you for your GoT comments. May God bless you mightily. May God supernaturally intervene, blessing the hearers and those who comment.

    Many years ago I was a closet soap opera watcher. I never discussed the shows because deep down I knew that what I saw and heard was not edifying to my life, which is a part of Christ’s body. A Christian friend of mine, who had no idea I was a closet soap opera watcher, had been to a meeting where the speaker, said, of which my friend quoted to me, “if you’re comfortable with soap operas you’re comfortable with sin.” The Holy Spirit immediately convicted me of my sin, I repented, and have never since watched a soap opera or the like. I thank God my friend spoke the words and the Spirit pierced my heart with them. I grew in His grace that day and my desire is to grow in the grace and knowledge of Lord Jesus daily.

    Father, take Kevin’s words sift them and send them straight as an arrow to hearts of Your people. By Your Spirit grant help and resolve to each of us who name Jesus as Lord and Savior to turn from dangerous matters that oppose You. Forgive us our sin. I ask this in the faithful name of Jesus, Amen

  2. Andy says:

    Pastor Kevin, thank you for a simple and truthful post. To those who would would dismiss this post as judgemental or out of touch, please consider the following words from Romans 6 (Wuest),

    ” What then shall we say, shall we habitually sustain an attitude of dependence upon, yieldedness to, or cordiality with the sinful nature in order that grace may abound? May such a thing never occur. How is it possible for us, such persons as we are who have been separated once for all from the sinful nature, any longer to live in its grip?

    If you believe that you can participate in viewing pornograhic scenes from a show such as Game of Thrones without it having a negative impact on your mental and spiritual health, you are deceiving yourself. The simple truth is that God created sex as a wonderful and beautiful gift to be shared only in the context of marriage. Participating in sex outside of marriage including vicariously by watching others participate or pretend to participate in sex is wrong and harmful.

  3. Jane says:

    I am glad that the writer is concerned about his congregation and is warning them away from what he believes is a harmful show. However, the flaw I find in this article is that it focuses on one show. What about all media? I find entertainment to be a dicey area and thoroughly opinionated. Wasn’t it a few years ago that Christians were ranting over the wickedness of Harry Potter? Now everyone I know has watched HP and everyone seems to have forgotten how it’s a witchcraft converter. GOT is just the show evangelicals have decided to rail on now. This will pass and another show will be the target in a few years. Instead of focusing on one show, why don’t we focus on our own stumbling blocks in our walk of faith. You and others may not watch GOT but does that make you a better Christian? I hope not. I could go on, but I digress. I for one watch GOT. I think it is one of the greatest, artistic shows ever created. I scoffed the show too and then made the mistake of watching multiple Youtube clips that sold me. Am I wrong for watching the show, even though the last three seasons barely have any nudity? Am I wrong for condoning the show because I skip the sex/nude scenes? Maybe you’re right and I am wrong. We could both quote Scripture, but ultimately God is our judge.

  4. Bob Stith says:

    Kevin, I have wondered the same thing for a long time. Especially after reading where one of the actresses complained about having to do nude scenes. A bi-vocational pastor once told my nephew “everything you do feeds either the flesh or the spirit.” If only we took that seriously.

  5. Ben says:

    Reading posts by fellow Christians defending their addiction to Game of Thrones because of epic storytelling reminds me of when adult men used to jokingly defend their subscription to Playboy Magazine because of the compelling articles and interviews.

  6. Jojo says:

    Kevin, you can lay your head down and rest well, brother. “But among you there must not be even a hint…” Eph 5:3

  7. Who is John Piper to comment about anything remotely “Christian”? He should take the large PLANK out of his own eye!! John Piper has shown where his true allegiance is. He has staunchly defended false teachers such as Rick Warren and Mark Driscoll. The movement that has gripped his ministry is New Calvanism which is a form of seeker-friendly semi-reformed theology.

  8. Jacob O. says:

    Treena Gisborn, did you just say Rick Warren is a false teacher?

  9. Kevin, this is an interesting post in that it seems to speak from a place of ignorance – you haven’t watched, you’ve done some googling, you think it might contain sex and possibly “lots and lots of incredibly graphic sex” – that just feels lazy and a bit clickbait to be honest. i am a follower of Jesus and also don’t watch Game of Thrones and probably share some of the same concerns as you do, BUT i would love to know what you do watch…

    Cos this feels like a typical christians-against-sex that has been done down the ages whereas things like Pride and Greed and Selfishness and so on get a free pass – there were certain movies my dad [a pastor] banned us from watching but then his favourite movies were James Bond [which i enjoy as well] and that seems like an okay choice until you take one minute to critique James Bond [cos that is literally how long it will take] – he is all about sleeping around [often with married women], smoking and drinking [two other favourite Christian targets] and killing people… like can you actually get much more unJesus than that? Yet in our house James Bond was okay and insert-x-movie wasn’t…

    So i would love to know what shows you think are okay? Most sitcoms [i was a big Friends fan] are filled with sex and particularly out of marriage and often one night stands. But if you are a fan of Who Wants to be a Millionaire are you not fuelling Greed? If it’s Pop Idol are you not fuelling vanity? And so on… at some stage you are probably going to run thin on what is okay and what isn’t okay and probably everyone has their lines – i couldn’t watch Dexter or understand christians who did [way too violent] yet i am okay with 24 [Jack Bauer’s violence a little more justifiable in my eyes?] and so it at some stage heads to the point where we all likely have our own hypocracies…

    i’m not saying there are easy answers, because there aren’t, but i guess each person stands before God one day and has to give account, is all…

    Strength and love
    brett fish

  10. Serving Kids In Japan says:

    Who is John Piper to comment about anything remotely “Christian”?

    Hear, hear, Treena! I’m glad someone else sees Piper for what he is. He still can’t bring himself to criticize Driscoll in even the smallest way. I don’t give his words any weight whatsoever.

  11. Serving Kids In Japan says:

    I don’t understand pastors and Christians whose churches have women and children being sexually abused at home turn a blind eye and doing NOTHING about it.

    I don’t understand why pastors tell abused women and children to go home and pray more instead of providing a safe place to live and help to find employment and their abuser brought to justice.

    But Jan, poor RevKev can’t condemn them. If he did, he’d have to condemn some of his best buddies, like C.J and Piper. We can’t have that, now can we?

    (insert sarcasm as needed)

  12. There was a time that even the revealing of an ankle was considered lewd and lascivious. This is not a comparison of degree, but that there is a certain cultural and individual dependancy of the viewer that has and will always exist. I quote Lewis here:

    “To one such spectator Tintoretto’s Three Graces may be merely an assistance in prurient imagination; he has used it as pornography. To another, it may be the starting-point for a meditation on Greek myth which, in its own right, is of value. It might conceivably, in its own different way, lead to something as good as the picture itself.”

    In truth, if the only thing one gets out of GoT is the sex, then they aren’t really watching a story anyway. But that is not something unique to GoT. One could conceivably read the whole book of Song of songs purely for its titillating nature, but would that be missing the point?

    I avoided the whole GoT until last year, but more as an iconoclast, avoiding the popular. But then being enough of a nerd (like you) and, you know, dragons, I started watching and the whole production drew me in. I take the scenes in the context of the story, just as we do with scripture. For us as viewers to do otherwise is to make something into something that it is not.

    If the whole intent of GoT was to make pornography, seems there would be cheaper and easier ways to achieve that, no matter the hyperbolic speech around certain scenes, which is probably more about PR and marketing than honest intent.

    This is not to say you are a prude or wrong for not watching. Every person must judge for themselves what they deem appropriate for themselves. I know a Christian rocker who had a fan come up to him after a concert once and say “I love your music but it causes me to stumble” (becuase of his history). My friend said a polite thank you and then said “What are you doing here?” and proceded to, as much as he could, disciple him some.

    Joe

  13. Alice Rowland says:

    So should we just stop reading the Bible as well just because it has LOTS of passages about murder, rape, incest, wars and so on?

  14. Kathy says:

    “True, I haven’t seen it. Not an episode. Not a scene. I hardly know anything about the show.”
    Perhaps you should take some advice from Mark Twain, “Write what you know.”

  15. Ben says:

    “True, I haven’t seen it. Not an episode. Not a scene. I hardly know anything about the show.” Well then why are writing a blog post about it then? Do you often judge and comment on things you know nothing about? Your willful ignorance only illustrates why christians will never win the hearts and minds of those not as gullible as the ones who lap up this intellectually dishonest echo-chamber of naivete.

  16. Steven says:

    Kevin your judgement in this post is based on such fallacy that I’m not surprised the number of atheists and agnostics is increasing steadily. I’ll just pick two things to comment on. First, what you call “the light” was invented by humans. Second, I find it truly comical that when choosing to write about Game of Thrones you are most disgusted by sex and not the brutal violence. Sure does say a lot about you.

  17. Michael McLaughlin says:

    To Cercei L and all who have lobbed a similar salvo: “And I don’t understand Christians who sit on their high horse and judge everyone and everything.”

    You must lobby that same accusation against Jesus, Paul, John and James at least when their straight up commands recorded in the Bible get in your business. You cannot really believe that Jesus and these three men would willing sit down with you week after week and waste their time watching what may be a good story line – but what is clearly filled with illicit sex and nudity, and recommend that you do the same. Get real.

  18. Zach says:

    Hey Kevin! I’m going to be honest, being a huge GoT fan and Christian, I read your article with a defensive heart. You do make a point though, and you’re use of the scripture is wise in your teaching. At the same time, as someone who has actually watched the show up to the most recent episode, may I make an argument respectfully? Have you ever watched a war film like “Saving Private Ryan”? Have you seen “Passion of the Christ”? These films are different from each other in their stories of course, but what they both have in common is graphic violence. In Passion, we watch Jesus get brutally beaten and whipped by the Romans, and then eventually hung on a cross to suffer and eventually die. Not that anything can compare with the story of Christ’s sacrifice, but GoT has similar themes. There are large amounts of graphic violence, whether it’s justice or torture. Yes there are scenes depicting graphic sex, but it is all under the umbrella of storytelling, graphic violence included. Sex, language, violence, they are all parts of the bigger piece. I will admit that many of those scenes go on way too long for obvious reasons, but the show is simply telling a story. I watch GoT for the story. I couldn’t care less about the sex, honestly. In fact, sometimes I ignore it. What I do care about are the characters, watching their struggle, relating to them, and ultimately learning from them. That is the purpose of storytelling.

    Another point if I were to push a little further, the Old Testament is full of stories describing even more horrific events, such as a concubine being raped by an entire town until she eventually died. Another story describes a man spilling his semen on the bed so not as to make his brother’s wife pregnant and is killed as a resort. All of these stories are to learn and grow from, just like GoT. If you don’t like the sex scenes, great, skip them and watch the rest! The Lord’s words are absolute, however we must understand ourselves enough to know what can and can’t corrupt us. If Christ really is a part of us, then can use his wisdom, even when watching Game of Thrones.

  19. Jennifer says:

    I completely agree. I watched the first episode with my grown siblings and cousins because they love the show. I heard that it could be graphic so I asked them to tell me when a scene was coming that was too gory. They did me that honor and from what I heard, those scenes alone are horrible. Then came the sex scenes. I have been married for 11 years with 2 kids, I also teach the Bible and lead studies. My husband and I enjoy a fulfilled sex life, but I felt dirty watching just a couple scenes with full nudity, definitely not portraying marital intimacy. That was the first episode of season 1. I didn’t make a big deal at the time, but I know in my heart that this is not s show Christians should be parading. Thank you for your honest assessment, and what you did to research reviews of the content is enough to understand that it’s not necessary. Trust me.

  20. Brian Hindsworth says:

    Yikes. It must suck to be you. This is one of the most ignorant blogs I’ve read. I’d like to encourage Kevin’s wife to bring his laptop into a computer shop and have them scour his hard drive history. Yup, questionable material will be there. To be that narrow is to have secrets. As a believer who understands myself, my vices, my weaknesses, and what it means to have God’s grace be sufficient for me…this is just plain ignorant. Not to mention arrogant in it’s false humility. There is no way…no way…Kevin goes to the mall and doesn’t look maybe a little too long at a tight sweater, or some girls backside with tight jeans. To deny it, is stupidly. It’s in our male DNA. To acknowledge it, be aware of it and work through it…is wisdom. Same toward television, music, where you shop, the friends you hang out with, etc. Judging something you’ve never seen? Stupid. And yes, i know you don’t have to step into manure to know it stinks. That’s a cheesy baptist cliche. Many of the comments on here are by people who have secrets as well. You may not approve of sex on TV (which i actually don’t either), but you gossip, you lust, you want your neighbors goods, you look down on those who differ from you politically. Posers. Sorry but you know its true. Clean up your own hearts before pointing out that others should.

  21. Kyle says:

    For those going after Kevin for judging something he’s never watched, that is an impossible standard to actually consistently hold. Would you say the same thing if he wrote about hardcore pornography? Or do you demand that someone routinely watch porn in order to condemn it?

    There are a million other examples that I could use, but suffice to say that the defense of “you can’t judge it because you haven’t watched it” is a not a sufficient argument.

  22. Steve says:

    Hahahaha you’re dumb

  23. Brian Stine says:

    I usually just look away or switch screens and listen . That’s about it as far as my justification goes. I don’t condone what the creators of the show present, nor do I think its good to look at these scenes. It’s worth noting that not all nudity is porn, and there’s plenty of nude scenes in Game of Thrones I would not consider porn. That said, there’s still plenty of porn in the show.
    My friend told me that later seasons did lessen the pornographic sex, and reduce it to what was relevant to the story, since it’s quite random and unexpected in the first season. I suppose that’s good.

  24. Harry says:

    If game of thrones was written 2000 years ago would we be praising khalesee and her power to raise dragons ? What if they are both just books… if you truly believe and live by the bible and do not consider any other god (“do not worship false prophets”) you must logically think that your views are correct because a book said so. But wait, here’s the crack – The game of thrones books never ask the reader to disregard any other books or views, nor do they ever claim to be fictional.

  25. Benjamin Curtis says:

    I am a missionary kid, was baptized as a teenager after a spiritual revival, and was for many years a zealous Jesus-loving Christian who would have agreed wholeheartedly with this blog. Now I am an atheist. I have a pretty good idea of the thoughts and line of reasoning and spiritual conviction (and the “still quiet voice” of the Holy Spirit) employed by the author and commenters here. This will be viewed as crude, but Its worth considering the fact that nearly every male here regularly masturbates to sexual fantasies, or looks at porn, or deliberately looks at other attractive females lustfully. As well meaning and pious as all the comments and the blog are, this is a stark truth you can’t avoid. If you’re reading this, then I’m talking about you. You might even pray fervently and frequently to be delivered of these “sinful urges” but I guarantee you will be in the same boat year over year into the future. This article helps nothing. Better to accept yourself, enjoy being human, and don’t suffer unnecessarily through life. Being sexually attracted to others and accepting that responsibly is a healthy part of being a normal human.

  26. mdb says:

    Serving kids in Japan-
    I know you were replying, but no Christian today would turn a blind eye to sexual abuse in their church. Quit lying.
    To everyone else-
    What if Kevin doesn’t watch other bad shows? What if he doesn’t watch any television? Now, I don’t know either way on that, but if your defense rests on, “Kevin watches bad stuff also,” then you are admitting that GoT is sinful.

  27. Nico says:

    I’m glad pastor Kevin wrote this, though I do have some of the same concerns that others posted. I actually think there are a lot of good points made on both sides, and I wish Christians did more agreeing and supporting each other instead of arguing. That said, here are my thoughts:

    When this show first came out, an unbelieving friend told me I HAD to see it. I watched the first maybe two episodes and called it quits. The nudity/sex scenes were way too much for me. I have read the books, so I was more than content with that. Fast forward a few years… I was told that many people had actually complained about the amount and type of sex scenes in the show and that it was greatly reduced in subsequent seasons. I still didn’t trust it, but I did occasionally watch YouTube clips of scenes that I was interested in seeing the film adaptation of from the books (obviously the sex and nudity scenes were edited out). For this final season, I’ve watched the episodes in their entirety. Inwas surprised. Honestly, I’ve seen people complain in the comment sections of YouTube on GoT clips for this season and say the show has become “feminist” because of the lack of sex and nudity scenes. It’s changed that much. That being said, I still absolutely see that this show is far from the most edifying thing you can do with your time. And, as others have said, perhaps the greater problem is how many people are okay with the violence.

    The other thing is that Christians do come off as really imbalanced and hypocritical when they (rightfully) attack sinful sex and nudity, but consistently neglect other glaring areas of sin in their lives that they’re okay with. It greatly weakens their witness. It’s no wonder so many people can scoff at warnings about avoiding sexual sin when the Christians doing the warnings are indulging in so many other things. I think, if our witness is to be effective, we really have to hold ourselves to a much higher standard in ALL areas, and I don’t know how many Christians are ready for that.

  28. Rowan says:

    You people are retarded

  29. Gideon says:

    Hi Pastor Kevin, thank you for opening up this topic to us. My name is Gideon and here’s what I personally think.

    First, I’m not gonna lie, GoT does have some graphic sex in it. But it’s so easy to say “Lots and lots” when we don’t watch the series (I know it seems like it when you just go googling about nude or the sex scene of GoT on the internet without not having any idea of how the series really was about. Because that’s what I thought of GoT before I start watching it, I pretty much looked at it as porn). But after I’ve watched all of the episodes I’d say it’s actually not as too much as I thought.

    Here’s the thing, every season has 10 episodes and every episode could at least be around 50 minutes long. And we’ve got at least 6 seasons so far. So 10 x 50 x 6? 3000 minutes. You can try to go search on google and collect EVERY nude, sexual scene in GoT. I bet it’s not even gonna be more than 100 minutes in total. So 100 compared to 3000? Doesn’t seem like “full of sex” or even “lots and lots of incredibly graphic sex”, does it? Besides, I can still say it is not actually full of sex because I can skip over every second of those sexual scenes and still understand the plot PERFECTLY. Wait. No! I can skip over EVERY second of those sexual, extreme violence, ALL the inappropriate scenes in every episode and still understand the plot PERFECTLY FINE. And yes, that’s what I always do whenever I watch the series. Most of the episodes that I’ve watched (especially season 1 and 2) are the edited version, Me and my sister watched it in Indonesia and luckily they spare us all the nude and inappropriate scenes here. So I barely see those nude scenes. Sometimes I accidentally see it (from online streaming), but I just skip and get over it.

    So bottom line, I do agree that this series has some inappropriate scenes and the series it self is not for everyone. But I do not think of watching GoT it self as a sin, or something wrong (I mean of course it depends on why you’re watching and loving it. But not like entirely). It can be bad, BUT only for SOME people.

    And whenever I get stumbled by those scenes and get my mind effected, I’d personally say that it’s actually NOT only the good story of the series it self that helps me get over it. It is including the story, but it is not less than turning away from those things and remembering the sacrifice that Jesus Christ has done on behalf of me on the cross and being grateful.

  30. Cody Young says:

    Every walk with Christ is personal. We are admonished not to judge one another because He alone knows our hearts, can distinguish between our actions and intent, and separate fault from flaw. All sin is equal. None are greater than another. Sin is merely the distance between we and the Creator whom crafted our nature and knows us more deeply than we know ourselves. There is joy and freedom to be found in a just and righteous life, the sort of life which can only be found through Christ. Is nudity in and of itself sinful? It is immodest perhaps, and it can lead to sinful temptation surely, but the thing itself is not inherently so. There is no denying the dangers one exposes their faith to in watching things which glorify worldly appetites and baser inclinations, since we all fall prey to them at some points in our walk. However, the Bible itself does not shy away from discussing them, nor do we when we hold fellowship. The two are not the same, and I do not mean to suggest they are, the correlation I mean to draw is that the spirit of the Bible differs from that of this television show. And the spirit of those whom watch this show will differ also. I have a roommate who is quite taken with the Game of Thrones. Many other friends do as well. I will watch it with them if I am around when it is on, I do not go out of my way to avoid it though I don’t care for it personally and would not watch it independently. I find it unsatisfying on any level. I find the acting hollow, the writing shallow and the themes superficial. . .But you see that is the nature of art. Fine art, true art, does not judge, rather it invites judgment. It forces one to confront the world around them and arrive at a reckoning, either moral or intellectual. Art is a creation of man, and is often flawed reflecting our flawed world and our own fallen nature, but it is also deeply important. Would you object to Michelangelo’s use of nudity in exploring the beauty and symmetry of the human form? Or Tintorreto’s depiction of lascivious acts? All art, even television, is at its heart and philosophical argument. Some are more less sophisticated than others, even crude, but they are nothing to be feared.

  31. Some splendid photos. Outstanding shades.|

  32. RP says:

    Is it true you don’t let your students use laptops to take notes in your class?

  33. Kujo says:

    Do you watch regular television? Then you’re just as guilty. Get off your high horse

  34. Interested Party says:

    To answer your question: “But isn’t it also full of sex? Like lots and lots of incredibly graphic sex?”

    Yes and No. Seasons 2 and 3 featured scenes from a brothel and in Kings Landing and incestuous sex between members of the ruling family that served part of a very lengthy and engrossing narrative replete with other themes such as deceit, greed, power, murder, betrayal and more. In other cases, there were sex scenes that were more “normal” outflowings of romantic or marital relations. For viewers, it was almost unbearable to witness the slow and agonizing and detailed display of the utter depravity, cruelty, evil and injustice at work in palace and noble intrigue. But that served to contrast sharply with the prevailing and slowly emerging narrative of the rise and rightful return of a just, and albeit imperfect, ruler in Daenerys Targaryon. The story isn’t finished yet, but those scenes, candidly, might pale in comparison for some viewers to other very shocking scenes in battles or gruesome deaths that characters have faced. There’s no question that it’s a very graphic show on many fronts.

    I for one will be interested to see if there are any redemptive themes that will emerge. It’s been a bit short, in some regards, when you place this show alongside other films or stories that are more clearly redemptive. The script writers definitely want to create tension for the viewers regarding the characters. Many of the best and most likable characters are killed off. And even those you love to hate demonstrate, at times, human failings or discouraging circumstances that elicit sympathy – I’m thinking of Jaime Lannister.

    It’s a very unique show, that’s for sure, and it’s perhaps one of the best shows on TV in a very long time. Perhaps a close second to Breaking Bad. Or perhaps Breaking Bad is a close second to GOT.

  35. Lea says:

    “I know you were replying, but no Christian today would turn a blind eye to sexual abuse in their church. Quit lying.”

    mdb, it would be really nice if what you said was true, but sadly it happens ALL the TIME that ‘christians’ and churches cover up sexual abuse. And pastor perpetrate it. All the time. Just google it.

    And that’s not even getting into all those who would send women back to their abusive husbands, because ‘god hates divorce’. But not murder, apparently…

    I would rather see people focused on real life, than obsessing over a tv show.

  36. Bob says:

    Can a believer be trusted to manage his walk without Pharisees to give them a rule for everything? If their hearts are more inclined toward sin then it is likely they aren’t believers in the first place. All the rules in the world won’t get somebody into the Kingdom or keep them there. Thank God for his grace in our sanctification and perseverance in the faith.

  37. Laetitia says:

    Hmmm so you’ve basically made comment on something you have never seen…doesn’t that sound like gossiping about someone you heard of. So I’m christian blah blah born again.. blah blah (*blah blah is merely used to get the formalities out of the way). I am tickled by the idea of a man only highlighting sex as the primary issue for Christians when it comes to GoT. You totally overlooked the copious amounts of witchcraft, lying, killing, coveting. ..(fill in other chief sins here). As a female the the nudes scenes are truly not even the issue but the show highlights the lengths man will go to have power. If you are affected by the sex scenes I pity you but you can learn a lot about power, how people use it and loose it and apply it to real life. It’s riveting. Got is NOT for all but it does give you a pretty realistic view of the a dark world some “conservative” Christians are out of touch with. Don’t be that guy merely commenting on what you’ve heard and never seen. Do the research.. pastor.

  38. Darrell says:

    Summarizing the comments: It doesn’t matter what Jesus said about lust and you can watch people having sex if it’s for entertainment, you can’t condemn murder unless you’ve watched it or participated in it, looking at bloody makeup is the same as looking at real breasts.

  39. Jackson Riley says:

    I think most commenters here are asking the wrong question: it should be “how much sex is in GoT?” It should be “is there any sex in GoT? Is there anything sexually explicit?” Paul says: Ephesians 5:3 – “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” If there’s even a hint of sexual immorality, it’s too much. That’s not Kevin’s idea, it’s God’s. And for everyone out there saying “you all look at porn regularly, or eye beautiful women”, who are you to say that? Do you know everyone’s heart? Do you know Kevin’s heart? My heart? I’ve struggled with sexual sin in the past, but I certain don’t entertain it anymore because God is growing me in holiness. Yes, we may desire certain things and struggle with certain urges, but as Christians, we must kill them, fight them, make war against them. We don’t tame the lion, we kill it. Trying to justify our sin reveals our love for sin. That’s wicked.

  40. Dina says:

    It took courage to write what you did knowing the brickbats that would be hurled your way. Praise from God is better than praise from men. You will surely have the first, though maybe not the second. Thank you for seeking to urge God’s people toward holiness. We are far from perfect, and can use all the urging we can get.

  41. Pete says:

    Watching violence and watching porn are NOT the same. For the average human, murder scenes don’t fuel murderous lust, nearly the way that explicit sex scenes fuel sexual lust, and this is especially true for men. The temptation to sexual lust is so incredibly visual (hence the success of magazines like Playboy), which is why scripture calls us to guard our EYES as a means of protecting against it.

  42. Meg Ishikawa says:

    Thank you, Kevin. As usual, what you say and other men and women from the TGC write about, reflects the truth and the heart of the Gospel. Appreciate your ministry greatly. Just had this discussion with my 20 year old yesterday….

  43. JustaMom says:

    This is such a big battlefield. Entertainment. I have been guilty of being “entertained by sin” many times. These days there is practically nothing to watch that doesn’t do something sinful.
    Paul said ” “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” If such can be said about GOT or any tv show then it’s ok to watch.
    From reading this article some will be convicted and stop watching, others will continue on. No amount of convincing will make them change their minds. They love it too much and will defend it.
    My husband and I started to watch “The Americans”. It is intriguing spy show but the sex in it is too much and I will not be watching any more. I tried “The Tudors”. Same thing.
    This all boils down to how holy of a life you want to live. How much like Christ do you want to be? If Jesus were sitting next to you on your couch would you watch it?

  44. Matthew Hopkins says:

    Those that defend the garbage known as GoT, need to make sure they are even saved. Jesus is to be your Lord.

  45. Craig Kroeze says:

    Well said, Kevin, thank you for articulating my thoughts so clearly.

    If you ask me, GoT is just the obvious tip of the iceberg when it comes inappropriate TV/Movie entertainment. There’s so much garbage out there, and it’s so in-your-face, that it’s getting harder and harder to find anything worth watching. Not too much complaining from me, more time for books!

  46. Sarah David says:

    Wow! I just read this article and went my way agreeing bcos of what I heard abt GoT from my husband who watched the first few minutes of season 1 before giving up on it for good a while back. Then heard on Wretched radio abt Kevin DeYoung being devoured by Christians bcos of this article, so came back to read the comments. It’s so sad the number of mean and ignorant comments that I read. Pastor Kevin was not at all judgmental in the way he wrote but was merely thinking or asking aloud why Christians would watch this series. Isn’t that what a blog is for?

    Having said that, I agree with a few who pointed out that this question would and should extend to all our entertainment choices and I appreciate those who respectfully disagreed with Kevin. I hv watched the first 2 seasons of Homeland and though I would look away during the sex scenes I now realise that was sinful too. It is upto each of us to be convicted abt what or what not to watch in the world of secular entertainment. I think we will end up with very very few choices if any, and that will be a good sign of our growing in holiness. Not because we are following rules but because we are increasingly being led by the Holy Spirit and setting our minds on things above. Should that not be our goal? Why should we get all upset and/or defensive abt a TV series??

    And to the people who compared the content of GoT to the stories of sin we find recorded in the Bible, asking if we should now stop reading the Bible, or suggesting that we can learn from GoT the same way we learn from the Bible… are you even Christians?? Please say no cos then what you said would make sense.

  47. Sarah David says:

    Okay there is no edit option like on fb so I’m just commenting again. I apologise for the last bit. Let me just say “And to the people who compared the content of GoT to the stories of sin we find recorded in the Bible, asking if we should now stop reading the Bible, or suggesting that we can learn from GoT the same way we learn from the Bible – please just DON’T. There is no comparison and I hope I don’t hv to explain more, esp since one of you identified as a Christian! I’ll stop with that.

  48. Jeff Danleoni says:

    This is the typical Puritan streak of hypocrisy still running its way through Calvinist churches. Don’t do as I do, do as I say. RC Sproul, Jr. school of Hypocrisy. You don’t have to salivate over a nude scene to enjoy the show. You don’t have to close your eyes in art gallery of nudes either. Christianity this weak would never have survived the Romans.

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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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