You SHOULD Watch Game of Thrones if…
With today’s Game of Thrones premiere on HBO, I thought we should send this out to get you thinking critically about the content you consume under the hood of “entertainment.” What follows are things to think about which your conscious should alert you to but perhaps you brush aside for any number of reasons. For many Christians, entertainment consumption is a blind spot that goes virtually unchecked because it is assumed that entertainment must be a concession as long as we are not drunkards, strung out on drugs, or becoming pregnant.
Game of Thrones averaged nearly 23 million viewers during its last season and this season is projected to exceed those numbers. If you do not watch this show, perhaps you watch others that are similar like Orange Is the New Black, Power, House of Cards, The Walking Dead, Westworld, etc. The point of this post is not to get you to stop watching any or all of these shows, rather, to get you thinking about the spiritual transaction that takes place when you do and the possible consequences of those transactions. [Although the post will focus specifically on GOT, it applies to all such “entertainment”.]
So here we go.
You should Watch Game of Thrones season 7 if…you care little for your own soul. You may never admit this in word, but the decisions and actions we take proclaim it loudly. When we know there is content in anything that is against Scripture or displeasing to God and we willingly, and sometimes even joyfully partake in it, we proclaim we have little care for the state of our souls. This communicates a terrible message about Christ who paid a horrific price to claim us. Also, this continued lack of concern for our souls is the reason so many Christians are powerless and compromised today. We are at odds with the “lover of our souls” when we treat our souls with such disregard. If this is true of you a possible prayer to pray is Psalm 119:37.
You should Watch Game of Thrones season 7 if…you are not serious about personal purity and holiness. God created sex and wants it and all other forms of sexual expression to be displayed and enjoyed in a heterosexual marriage privately. With our willing engagement to view nudity, intercourse and other mature situations on t.v. we must ask a few questions, “Is this content helping me to desire and conform to God’s designed context for these situations?” “Is the deliberate stirring up of lust wise?” “Are these scenes going to help me be a better husband/wife, father/mother, Christian?” If you answer no then here are some verses you can pray: Job 31:1; 1 Thess 4: 3-5.
You should Watch Game of Thrones season 7 if…you don’t mind an adulterous heart. This world is always throwing new things at us through the media to keep us connected to it. By connected I mean caring, needing, treasuring this world and the things in it. People sit in Gods house and are totally consumed with their favorite show or sporting event coming on later that evening. Gods word says that your heart is directly connected to what you treasure (Mt 6:21). When we approach God and our hearts are unmoved by Him and then later that same day our hearts are doing roller coasters because of some show, we declare who and what we really love. Imagine if Moses came down from Mt. Sinai after meeting with God for forty days and then joyfully joined the worship celebration with the Israelites around the golden calf! Unimaginable you may say, yet something similar occurs each time we sit in church unemotional and lifeless and then hours later are sitting on pins and needles totally enthralled by our favorite show. Here are some verses to help: Deut 6:5; Psalm 119: 1-3,127; 1 Pet 1: 13-20.
You should Watch Game of Thrones season 7 if…you do not believe it is possible to be satisfied in God. Perhaps this is a concept that is foreign to you. If that’s true, it’s ok. Many Christians have been in church and identified as “Christians” for a really long time. They may think, “Well, if I could be satisfied in God, wouldn’t it have happened already? What else could I possibly do?” If these are thoughts you think then perhaps you have given up hope that God and God alone can totally satisfy the human soul and that once He does, everything else will seem dull and unimportant. Here God invites us to “taste and see” that He is good (ps 34:8). He reminds us that with HIM are “pleasures forevermore” (Ps 16:11). Our calling is to believe that God is not lying to us in these invitations and that He really can do more for us than Game of Thrones or anything else. I realize this may be difficult to grapple with. Two helpful articles to help you continue to explore satisfaction in God can be read here and here.
You should Watch Game of Thrones season 7 if…you don’t mind damaging your Christian witness. This one might seem a little silly since perhaps all the other Christians you know may watch stuff like this too. Perhaps you even gather together to watch these shows as a time of “fellowship” (no time to address that here). But imagine if you made the decision to stop viewing this type of content when your friends or other Christians you know don’t. You will have the moral high ground to begin praying for them and when it comes up and they learn you don’t watch, you will have an opportunity to testify of the all satisfying God who has freed you from this “entertainment” and enabled you to grow in holy affections for Him.
My fear is that many will read this, be convicted, but still continue to watch this form of “entertainment” without regard. Please know that God can replace any lesser pleasure in your life and if you decide to pursue it, you will NOT regret it.
God>Game of Thrones!