HBO's Game of Thrones won the Emmy Award last Sunday for Best Drama. What does its popularity say about us?
Writing for The Atlantic, Christopher Orr recently asked, "Why does the show feature so much sexual violence?" (his italics). Fans claim that Game of Thrones merely reflects the novels on which it is based. But Orr notes that the show's writers "have gone out of their way, time and time again, to ramp up the sexual violence well beyond their source material."
Why? What do the show's producers know about our society?
Pornography sites receive more regular traffic than Twitter, Amazon and Netflix—combined. When I was a child, pornography was confined to Playboy and similar "adult" magazines. Now it's a click away on any Internet device. Child pornography is a $3 billion industry. Premarital sex is more accepted than ever before. Adultery is more common than ever before. The Supreme Court has redefined "marriage" to include homosexuals. Polygamy is next.
What does God think of our Game of Thrones culture?
Ezekiel 16 is an extended parable in which Israel is an abandoned young woman whom God rescues and clothes. As a result, the Lord says to his people, "Thus you were decked with gold and silver. And your raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and embroidered work. You ate fine flour, and honey, and oil. And you were exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. Then your renown went out among the nations for your beauty. For it was perfect through My comeliness which I had put upon you, says the Lord God" (vs. 13-14).
How did Israel respond? "You trusted in your beauty" rather than the One who bestowed it (v. 15). The people engaged in all manner of sexual immorality, proud of their licentiousness when they should have been ashamed of their decadence.
And their lust was never satisfied (v. 29). Rather, it enslaved them and forced God to bring judgment against their nation: "You have borne the punishment of your lewdness and your abominations, says the Lord" (v. 58). Israel's destruction at the hands of the Babylonian Empire was the result.
But that was 26 centuries ago. Does Ezekiel 16 apply to America today?
"But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, says the Lord" (Jer. 12:17). "Any nation," at any time.
As God saw Israel's sins, so he sees ours: "The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men" (Ps. 33:13). God demands that we "flee from sexual immorality" (1 Cor. 6:18). The Lord warns that "whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does it destroys his own soul" (Prov. 6:32). He instructs Christians: "And do not let sexual immorality, or any impurity, or greed be named among you, as these are not proper among saints" (Eph. 5:3).
Game of Thrones is so popular because the sexual immorality it exhibits is so popular. What is our only remedy?
"Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him" (Ps. 33:8). Why? It's because "the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His lovingkindness" (v. 18). In short, "blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord" (v. 12).
Jim Denison, Ph.D., is founder of the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, a non-sectarian "think tank" designed to engage contemporary issues with biblical truth. Join over 100,000 who read Dr. Denison's daily Cultural Commentary: denisonforum.org/subscribe. For more information on the Denison Forum, visit denisonforum.org. To connect with Dr. Denison in social media, visit twitter.com/jimdenison or facebook.com/denisonforum.
Jim Denison, Ph.D., is founder of the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, a non-sectarian "think tank" designed to engage contemporary issues with biblical truth. Join over 100,000 who read Dr. Denison's daily Cultural Commentary: denisonforum.org/subscribe . For more information on the Denison Forum, visit denisonforum.org. To connect with Dr. Denison in social media, visit twitter.com/jimdenison or facebook.com/denisonforum.
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