To watch or not to watch?

I have seen a couple of posts asking whether Christians should watch Game of Thrones or not. I will start off by confessing a vested interest, I am currently watching the series and am on episode 3.5.

It is absolutely true that the show is dripping in sex and violence. It is also true that there are clear dangers to watching such a show for Christians and indeed non-believers, they can and indeed do operate as gateways into our lives for deeply unsavoury and occasionally overtly demonic influences. You can see the manifestation of this in the obsessional relationship that some watchers develop with the show – a clear case of worship being drawn from the Lord.

However, it is also not as clear cut as that – demonic access is granted by a clear breach of Scriptural law and I would argue that there is not a clear breach involved here so therefore the right of demonic access isn’t clear cut, this is why people watching are seduced into an obsessional relationship with the show.

There is an emptiness at the core of the show and there are also clear theological discourses – something that is not that uncommon in popular tv series. The remastered Battelstar Galactica featured a strong theological discourse and drew on biblical themes and stories, perhaps more overtly Supernatural has often done the same. It is always hidden below the surface but it is definitely there just as it is Game of Thrones. 

Here we uncover a potentially powerful message. It is surely no accident that these shows are phenomenally popular? They are popular because they do speak to a yearning that is deeply seated within us all for a relationship with God. Indeed, the drama on the surface is designed to cover this constant dull ache that all humans feel.

I do feel the debate over whether to watch it or not is in danger of missing that point. In engaging in it, we are allowing ourselves to become just as fixated as what is on the surface as those who are sucked into this vortex. In that sense, I cant help but feel this debate misses the point and plays into the enemies hands. The sex and violence is exactly what we are supposed to be focusing on and we are actually encouraging that fixation by framing the debate in those terms because we are saying that is all there is too it when that simply is not the case – it does have more depth and its popular appeal is based on that depth, the fact it can speak to that yearning in so many people which they keep buried and are encouraged to think of as something else entirely. We are therefore missing a golden opportunity to talk about what is going on under the surface and talk to people about why they relate to this program in the way they do and that could easily be a conversation that could lead in a Christian direction.

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