WARNING: Explicit Material for Adults Only
I haven’t read Shades or seen Magic Mike, but I have read reviews. Due to all the hype of this book and movie, if you are a part of the Creekstone community, I just want to warn you pastorally about these new releases. Essentially, both are pornography—and I certainly don’t think Magic Mike would argue with that assertion. From what I understand, Magic Mike, in the 80s or 90s, would have been rated X (even if not XXX), but movies such as Showgirls, Striptease and Boogie Nights have, like the frog in the kettle, slowly but surely re-written the film classification system. Using mainstream actors will make any film seem somewhat resectable. This is why movies like this are so dangerous. You don’t have to get them at an “adult” video store or on the internet. In fact, last week we took our kids to the 11:05 a.m. matinee of the Pixar film for children, Brave, and the movie in the very next theater was Magic Mike, with women streaming in. Of course, this could be poetic justice for all of the male internet pornorgraphy that plagues our culture. Finally, the ladies are getting even, right? But they wouldn’t really be getting even; they’d just be digging the hole that much deeper.
Now, is a warning like this legalism? Umm, are you kidding? Is telling someone to step away from a rattle-snake legalism? Plain and simple, to attend Magic Mike as entertainment is to commit adultery. Yep, just go read Matthew 5. And in the same way that it is profoundly unloving and damaging in a marriage for a husband to watch internet porn, it is just as unloving and damaging for a woman to get her sexual thrills in either a sexualized novel ripe with S & M or a movie showcasing 150 f-bombs and glorifying pornographic sex.
So how should a disciple of Jesus respond to these types of popular books and films? Surely, not with self-righteous disdain. Rather, with sadness—sadness that each of us has a sinful nature that is bent on evil and is under moral condemnation for our own wickedness. Sadness that the enemy will deceive and destroy many marriages with the growing influence of such explicit pornography that markets in the mainstream to both men and women. However, the good news is that Jesus came for hard-core sinners like ME—in MY place condemned he stood. As graphic and shocking as this book and film might be, the cross is even more so… to the praise of God’s glorious grace.