On Friday's edition of the "Ask Pastor John" webcast, Pastor John Piper was asked, "Pastor John, do you believe there is a difference between film nudity versus pornography? I know many Christians who are against porn, but they have no issue watching movies or TV shows that show graphic nudity."
His sober response held no punches.
"The closer I get to death and meeting Jesus personally face to face, and giving an account for my life and for the careless words that I have spoken (Matthew 12:36—and how much more for intentional stares), the more sure I am of my resolve never intentionally to look at a television show or a movie or a website or a magazine where I know I will see photos or films of nudity," Piper responded.
"Never. That is my resolve. And the closer I get to death, the better I feel about that, and the more committed I become," he emphasized.
It was the second question addressed in the webcast, however, that has provoked more public attention.
A listener named Adam emailed Piper, asking, "Pastor John, what would you say to a Christian who watches the cable TV show Game of Thrones?"
What proceeded were a dozen heartfelt, challenging questions Christians should ask themselves before considering watching shows like Game of Thrones, noted for their graphic sexual content.
"Christ died to purify his people. It is an absolute travesty of the cross to treat it as though Jesus died only to forgive us for the sin of watching nudity, and not to purify us for the power not to watch it," Piper explained.
"If we choose to endorse or embrace or enjoy or pursue impurity, we take a spear and ram it into Jesus' side every time we do. He suffered to set us free from impurity," Piper concluded.
Rather than make sensationalized comments on pop culture, it seems Piper would rather minister to the hearts of his listeners.
Each of the twelve tender exhortations stayed in Scripture, neglecting to mention Game of Thrones directly.
But Piper didn't hold back in regard to the entertainment industry.
"It is not artistic integrity that is driving nudity on the screen. Underneath all of this is male sexual appetite driving this business, and following from that is peer pressure in the industry and the desire for ratings that sell. It is not art that puts nudity in film, it's the appeal of prurience. It sells."
Read the summary of Piper's 12 exhortations here.