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Can Christians Watch Movies With Nude Scenes?

Much has been made of Jennifer Lawrence's confession that she had to get drunk before filming the sex scene in Passengers. In interviews, Lawrence has revealed that she felt so guilty after shooting the scene with the married Chris Pratt that she called her mother. Some have astutely pointed out that this amounts to the gross sin of sexual exploitation. Going a step further, at least one blogger has named the sex scene in Passengers as sexual assault. Regardless of whether or not you agree that Jennifer Lawrence was sexually assaulted while filming the movie, the fact remains that Christians interested in watching Passengers need to do some soul-searching before purchasing a ticket.

Sadly, many professing Christians consume movies that contain sexually explicit content with minimal concern for the holiness of God and the command for Christians to "strive ... for holiness without which no one will see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14). Thankfully, God hasn't left His people in the dark about His thoughts and expectations regarding sexuality and holiness.

The Bible has quite a bit to say about sexual sin. For starters, and as a baseline of sorts, discussions among Christians about sexual sins have to acknowledge the Apostle Paul's admonition that "every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body" (1 Corinthians 6:18). Sexual sins are not to be taken lightly; sexual sins are destructive, both for the person(s) committing them and for the community in which the person(s) worship. Sexual sins destroy the gospel witness of churches.

The gravity of sexual sins is belied by the manner in which many Christians flippantly engage entertainment. Adamantly denouncing porn, they blithely chomp on popcorn while a mainstream actress sheds her clothes for their entertainment. Seemingly unaware of this blatant hypocrisy, they allow sin to gain a strong foothold in their heart and life while encouraging and entering into the explicit sexual sins of others. Echoing the words of Paul, failing to treat sexual sin with a level of grave concern is dangerous.

While delivering his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus laid down the gauntlet of holiness in respect to sexual immorality. Challenging the self-righteousness of the community, Jesus gravely declared, "You have heard that it was said 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-28).

There is a reason that the biggest selling issue every year for Sports Illustrated is the Swimsuit Issue, and that reason has little to do with purity, holiness, or the desire to heed the words of Jesus. However, crafting an argument to convince readers that many most men "like" the female body seems a waste of words. So, frankly and plainly, men lust. In fact, many non-Christians embrace and defend their lust. And many Christian men struggle with lust in silence.