In case you missed it, HBO just broadcasted the eighth and final season of their show, “Game of Thrones,” which is based off George R.R. Martin’s books. This show (and the books) have now become a sort of cultural phenomenon. The show was the most expensive TV show produced in 2018 and promises to have even more money poured into it in 2019. And why not put that kind of money into it if you’re HBO? Clearly, you’re giving people what they want. An astounding 3.39 million people watched the first episode of season 8. That’s up 20% from the 2.83 million who watched the season 7 premiere, and an increase of 12% over the 3.03 million who tuned in for the season 7 finale.
But it says something about the state of our Christian culture that this show continues to rise in popularity.
Many, many, many good articles have been produced condemning the violence, nudity, and unwholesome content in the show. These Christian voices have come up with compelling arguments as to why Christians should never watch this show.
If you, or your friend, claim to be a Christian and still watch Game of Thrones, let me encourage you to ask a few questions before turning that show on again.
AT THE END OF THE DAY, WHAT IS PORN?
If someone cropped out one of the graphic sex scenes from Game of Thrones and put that single scene online for it to be viewed without the context of the shows plot would you allow your teenager to view it? Of course not! If you caught your teenager watching it would you consider counseling for his pornography addiction? You absolutely would! 
So why is it that we can dress up these graphic scenes on Game of Thrones and consider them socially acceptable? Is it possible we just want to watch porn without the social stigma attached to it? For my part, I would say that any show depicting naked people having sex is pornography.
God created the act of marriage to be a beautiful thing and pronounced that it was “good” (1 Timothy 4:3). But sex is not a spectator sport. Choosing to watch this, even on a show, is akin to openly balling up your fist, sticking it in God’s face and declaring, “You were wrong when you said what this was for! We’ve made it better!”
IS THIS THE KIND OF SHOW THAT JESUS DIED FOR?
Put simply: Christ died to purify His people. That means that Christ suffered the horrible torture of crucifixion and died for your sin of watching nudity. Jesus Christ “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify himself a people for his own possession” (Titus 2:14). Pardon me for being blunt here but how dare you trample on the sacrifice of Christ by choosing to endorse the very impurities he died for! If you’re going to watch this show, you might as well just run that spear into Jesus side while you do.
DOES THIS SHOW LOOK LIKE THE OLD MAN YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD TO?
Seeing naked women – or seeing naked men – causes us to sin with our minds and desires. If Jesus told us to guard our hearts by gouging out our eyes (Matthew 5:28-29), how much longer do you need to watch this show until you start having some radical surgery?
Jesus wasn’t teaching self-mutilation in Matthew but rather self-denial. Let me reiterate what should be well-known to anyone who has a pair of functioning eyeballs – DELETE DOES NOT MEAN DELETE! Once you see it, it’s pretty much there forever unless God, through the working of the Holy Spirit, helps you. So why would you allow yourself to watch something you know full well you wouldn’t be watching if Jesus were in the room with you?
DOES THIS KIND OF VIOLENCE PROMOTE PURITY OF THOUGHT?
If God destroyed the world with a flood because “the earth was filled with violence” (Genesis 6:11) then ask yourself, “does this kind of content promote godliness?”
Life in Christ is not only the avoidance of evil, but the passionate pursuit of good. Remember what Paul said we were supposed to think about? He makes his list pretty clear in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
IS THERE ANY DOUBT IN YOUR MIND THAT THIS MIGHT BE WRONG?
Obviously, I’m quite convinced that Christians should never watch Game of Thrones, but you might not be so convinced. For sake of argument, let’s just pretend that you’re still on the fence on this issue. As we create this scenario of doubt, let’s read what Paul says in Romans 14:23: “But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”
Paul really helps simplify a lot of life’s most controversial issues: If you doubt, don’t! If Christians really followed this principle it would no doubt (pun intended) alter a lot of viewing habits.
ARE YOU JUST LISTENING TO YOUR CONSCIENCE, OR ARE YOU LISTENING TO GOD’S WORD?
Jiminy Cricket might have taught us to “let our conscience be our guide,” but our conscience is a lousy guide if it is not itself guided by the Word of God. If your conscience isn’t pricked don’t be too quick to assume that it’s okay. What you think is a clear conscience might actually be an uninformed conscience, a seared conscience, or even a dead conscience. Your conscience can only work with what it has been given, and if you haven’t actively sought God’s Word to form your personal convictions for entertainment, don’t trust yourself. And don’t assume that a “silent” conscience is the same as an “affirming” conscience. Often, our conscience is silent because we’re too lazy to actually search God’s Word to form our convictions (probably because we’re afraid that a more informed conscience might result in a more sensitive one).
DeYoung, Kevin. "thegospelcoalition.org." 8 August 2017. I Don't Understand Christians Watching Game of Thrones.18 April 2019.
Reinke, Tony. "desiringgod.org." 20 June 2014. Twelve Questions to Ask Before You Watch 'Game of Thrones'.18 April 2019.
Challies, Tim. "challies.com." 15 February 2016. Sex on the Silver Screen.2019 18 April.
 Filipiak, Noah. "covenanteyes.org." 2016 2 February . If You are Watching 'Game of Thrones' You are Watching Porn.2019 18 April .
Caleb Phelps was born and raised in New Hampshire and is an avid fan of all things New England sports. He grew up in a pastors home and was saved at the age of 12. As a young junior higher he sensed God's call on his life to go into full time Christian service. Caleb graduated from BJU with a BA in Bible and an MA in Theology. After graduating from seminary Caleb traveled in evangelism which took him across the country to many different churches and camps. While he was traveling Caleb met the love of his life, Rachel. They got married and moved to Indianapolis, IN where Caleb served as the youth pastor at Crosspointe Baptist Church. In September 2018 the Lord moved Caleb and his family to Palm Bay, FL where he now serves as senior pastor at Faith Baptist Church.
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