I’m not a fan of the Game of Thrones series. I’ve never watched an episode but I read a little bit of the book and it wasn’t really my cup of tea. Given that I’m not a fan, I think most people have heard about the outrage over the shows depicting the rape of one of it’s characters from friends or articles here and there. One such article was written by Matt Walsh a contributor for TheBlaze. After reading the article I hopped over to a related article from fellow contributor Scott Morefield; an article titled Watching “Game of Thrones” Doesn’t Make Me a Bad Christian. While in agreement with much of what Walsh had written, Morefield’s rebuttal of Walsh’s critique comes with a good dose of context as well as literary intent. Which begs the question…
Should Christian’s Watch…
I’ll leave the end to that question to you because we all have shows, movies, etc that we enjoy even if there is the thought in the back of our mind that says “Maybe I shouldn’t.” I get where both of these guys are coming from and the truth of the matter is that this is a question that goes way beyond a single film or television show. It harkens to the struggle we all face everyday.
The Real Game of Thrones
As Christians we know that we belong to God who is the King over all creation. We also know that Satan is the prince of darkness (John 14:30) and the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). We also know that there is a spiritual war being waged for the Glory of God and the our spirits are part of that conflict. There’s a lot of theology behind that statement that I won’t go into here; suffice it to say that human beings have a role to play in this war. We are not innocent bystanders in all of this. We are combatants. We side with Jesus or with satan but we cannot serve both.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” -Jesus; Matthew 6:24 (ESV)
The Greek word for money in this verse is mamonas which is often translated as Mammon. There is speculation and debate about the proper meaning of this verse. The two main arguments are:
- Mammon was a Semitic word meaning money, or wealth.
- Mammon is the name of a demonic spirit of greed and desiring wealth
Either way is fine to me, or maybe even both. I would say that Mammon is a word meaning money AND it’s a demonic spirit that gets a lot of people into trouble. But the meaning of that word isn’t the point.
The point of all of this is that whatever shows we watch, whatever music we listen to, whatever books or magazines we read, we ought to consider who we are entertaining in the process. Are we gaining any personal benefit or spiritual growth from it? There are some great insights, as a result of general revelation and common grace, that we can glean from secular entertainment. God frequently speaks to my heart and mind through music and film, most of which is not by Christians and there’s nothing wrong with that. But wilfully choosing to partake of something that we know good and well we shouldn’t be is sinful. And continuing to do so, or defending depravity for the sake of creative intent borders on idolatrous. In effect, we are pledging our allegiance at that moment to the show instead of Jesus. We are offering our time, possibly our money, and (most importantly) access to our minds and hearts.
So… Should We Watch These Things?
I would say no, but seek God for yourself. He’ll be honest with you, but you have to be ready to do what He says. A few years back I asked Jesus if I should stop watching R rated movies and He said yes. For about a year or so I purposely avoided them and now I have no real desire to watch them. It’s not that I’m trying to be more holy than someone else, I just don’t like the gratuitous use of sex, graphic violence, and profanity. I will admit though that I’ve been told to lay off of the secular music but I’ve had a harder time in that department.
So to both of these brothers debating “Game of Thrones” I say cheers for opening the dialogue because it’s a very real issue and it stretches farther than this one TV show.