When you read the title of this post, I would guess you had a reaction that went along with your already formed opinion about Christians watching movies with sex. Maybe even a strong opinion. I have a rather strong opinion about this, too. In fact, my opinion was strengthened due to what I’m going to share with you today.
I received access to this product for free. I am being compensated to write this review. All opinions and content are my own.
Should Christians Watch Movies with Sex Scenes?
Personal Purity Isn’t Enough: The Long-Forgotten Secret to Making Scriptural Entertainment Choices is a self-paced online course by Cap Stewart that takes an in-depth look at the relationship of Christians with movies and the people who make them. The course is described this way:
Online course written for Christian teens and young adults (ages 15 and up) about rightly dealing with pornified entertainment
I was not familiar with Cap Stewart so I went into this content with no preconceived notions beyond what was shared in the review opportunity and looking at his course website. I was fairly certain that I was going to agree with much of what he said based on the little bit I read.
What I personally hoped to gain was a carefully thought out argument based on the Scriptures that would put all the pieces together for me in a way I haven’t taken the time to do myself. For the most part, my views about this subject have been very intuitive and guided by general Scriptural principles. I never felt any need to really dig deep because it isn’t a topic with which I’ve struggled. It was pretty straight-forward to me.
The course did put that framework together and went beyond what I was expecting.
Personal Purity Isn’t Enough Course
So the goal of the Personal Purity Isn’t Enough course is to develop a Scriptural response and a thoughtful worldview in terms of how you relate to movies specifically and Hollywood in general. There are ten lessons in the course:
- Introduction: Pulling Back the Curtain
- The Stumbling Block Principle
- A Violation of Privacy and Dignity
- A Violation of Sexuality and Agency
- The Gospel Solution to Objectification
- Jennifer Lawrence: A Case Study
- Objection 1: “But What About Consent?”
- Objection 2: “But Cinematic Sex Is Only Pretend.”
- Objection 3: “But the Story Requires that Scene.”
- The Transforming Power of a New Paradigm
Each lesson includes:
- Lesson Introduction (Video)
- Lesson (Audio and Text Versions)
- Questions for Discussion/Meditation based on Scriptures (Text)
- Suggested Movie with a Brief Synopsis and Key Takeaways (Video)
Of the ten suggested movies, I have only seen one. I did not watch the suggested movies while going through the course for a variety of reasons (mostly time). However, I still felt I got a lot out of the course even without watching the films.
Can You Defend Your View from Scripture?
While many Christians have an opinion about watching sex in movies, I’ve found that very few have a well-thought out theology. This course will challenge you to think through why you believe what you do about Christians watching sex in movies, especially if you fall on the side of thinking there is nothing wrong with it.
Cap makes a compelling argument about why we need to change the questions we ask. It isn’t only about whether or not our choices will hurt us as individuals. It’s also about how our choices hurt those in the industry, those Jesus calls our neighbors who are made in God’s image and demonstrate they intuitively know God’s truth even if they don’t recognize Him as the source of it.
Far from being a prude in how he presents this, Cap uses the words of many actors and actresses to make his point. This isn’t from the perspective of someone who simply wants to be a legalistic kill-joy. Rather this is from the perspective of someone who is putting together a thoughtful theology related to these topics, using the evidence that supports the Scriptures right from the mouths of secular and pornified Hollywood itself. In fact, the examples he shares are truly heart-breaking and disturbing.
Christians Watching Sex in Movies?
There are so many excellent points that I found myself instinctively wanting to jot down quotes over and over again to give you a glimpse of the insights Cap provides. However, I won’t because you really need to watch the course.
I do disagree with his take on R-rated movies. We don’t watch them and I would be hard pressed to watch one without a really compelling reason. (I think the only R-rated movie I’ve seen in literally decades is The Big Short.)
I think the course is appropriate for adults and very mature teens. I cannot imagine going through this content with a fifteen year old as the description says. I guess it depends on what you allow your teen to watch at this point. Because the course is about sex and the pornification of Hollywood, the content is necessarily frank in an appropriate way. However, it’s far beyond what we would be discussing in our family at this time. Because standards vary so much within Christian families today, I would not recommend it for teens unless the parents go through it first.
I think it would be excellent to discuss in a small group, Bible study, etc. Depending on your circles, it might be best to hold the discussion with men only and women only. I think you would get a more open discussion.
Given the culture on college campuses today, I think it would be valuable to go through this before sending your son or daughter off to college. It would definitely force Christian young adults to confront the choices they make one way or the other.
If you have younger children, I think this could be very helpful in thinking through what you actually believe about these topics before you have to make decisions related to your children.
Personal Purity Isn’t Enough Course Details
So, yes, I definitely recommend the course within those suggested parameters.
The good news is you can save 40% on the $49 course with coupon code Homeschool. That makes the course only $29 ($20 dollars off) which really is worth it. The coupon valid through December 25, 2020.
I would pay $29 for Personal Purity Isn’t Enough simply for the framework it gave me to continue to think through these issues. I feel much more prepared to discuss this topic in-depth than I did before I went through the coursework.