Can Christians Watch the Bachelor?
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Hey everybody, welcome to the No Sanity Required podcast. I’ve got a touchy subject to talk about today. We are… This one’s gonna step on some toes, probably. And I’ll probably get some Amens out of it, too. Some of you are gonna like this, some of you are not gonna like it, but we’re gonna talk about the television show, The Bachelor.
And not only The Bachelor, but apparently, from what I understand, there are some spin-off shows. And I’m sure this is old news for most people. I’m sure The Bachelor… I haven’t done much research on it, but I’m sure it’s been around for a while, and some people love it, some people probably hate it. But I wanna give you some background to why we’re talking about The Bachelor. I overheard some of our staff and interns at Snowbird Outfitters talking about being in an awkward situation where some church-going folks were watching The Bachelor and there was a bunch of people over… I don’t know the exact context, maybe like a cookout or a get-together at the home of a couple.
And it was a certain point in the evening where the announcement was made that it was time for The Bachelor to come on. And so everybody gathered around the TV, and then what ensued was really awkward, really, really awkward situations where people are watching this television program that is promoting things that probably we don’t need to celebrate or promote.
I guess this is bigger than a conversation about The Bachelor.
How do we (as Christians) watch television programs, movies, or your favorite Netflix show?
And do that with, I guess the first thing, do it with conviction, so that it’s not just my interpretation or my conscience as my God, but that the Holy Spirit is providing conviction when it comes to my entertainment and when I’m watching movies, television shows, things like that. The second thing is, how do I watch TV, or film or whatever? How do I watch it through the lens of a Gospel or Christian worldview? So, for instance, there are some things that conviction of the Holy Spirit will probably say, “Hey, you don’t need to watch that,” things that are celebrating maybe sexuality or types of violence or horror films, things like that, I think… And we’ll get into this a little bit, I think, probably not good for Christians, period, like in general, don’t watch that kind of stuff.
When things are being celebrated or profited on that are destructive towards the Christian life and the sanctification process. Other things that maybe we’re free to watch that are kind of neutral, you know, not good, not bad, it could be maybe a crime show, could be some sort of sitcom, something that… That’s not anti-Christian, it’s not overtly sexual or sensual, it’s not promoting things that as one person I read years ago, I think Piper said this that, it’s not promoting those things that Christ died to eradicate in me.
Maybe it’s not that type of show, maybe it’s a show that it’s like for instance, through the years, a lot of our folks have really enjoyed shows like The Office and Parks and Rec, and then maybe less funny shows and more action shows, and. I’m not a big TV watcher or Netflix watcher, so I don’t have a lot of examples in my head. But just things that I’ve heard Christians talk about, I think there’s a right way to go about watching movies and television and things like that, and I wanna talk about that in this episode.
Let’s start with Romans 12:2.
Now, I wanna start by reading a Scripture, and this is from Romans 12:2. Now, before I start into this, a lot of people are gonna… Have already probably tuned me out because I know that my wife recently had a conversation with some people who watched the show and didn’t see anything wrong with it. And these are Godly ladies, ladies that I know who love Jesus and love the Gospel and wanna raise their kids in a Godly manner. And they just don’t see anything wrong with it. And I think when we don’t see something wrong with it, maybe what we need to do is not be closed-minded, but say, “Okay, let me think about it. How does Jesus want me to be entertained or use my spare time or,” so on and so forth?
I have spare time where I consume what I call brain candy. It might be reading it, it might be videos on YouTube, something like that. And typically for me, this is no big surprise for those of you that know me, but I like to watch backcountry elk hunts or bear hunts or something like that. I love to watch real-life stuff, chasing big game in the Rocky Mountains. Those are types of things that I’m entertained by. Well, it’s just entertainment.
So, there’s nothing wrong in being entertained. But at the same time, we need to be entertained with some conviction. And I think a guiding principle would come from Romans Chapter 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world.” Here’s my issue with a show like The Bachelor. The Bachelor is conforming the viewer to a worldly, or it’s at least conforming the show participant, we’ll say that.
The Bachelor is conforming the show participant into a pattern of worldly thinking when it comes to marriage and sexuality.
Now, for those of you that don’t know what The Bachelor is, it’s a television show where… And I had to go watch a trailer and Little and I watched about a three-minute clip, because I had no experience with it. And somebody said, “How can you judge the motive of the show or the intent of the show, the content of the show if you’ve never seen it?” So, watched about three minutes, that was enough, read up on commonsense.com, whatever the website for families and parents, and read enough there to know I don’t need to watch this, I don’t want in my home. So, in the three minutes we watched, what it promoted was one man having sex with two different women on two different evenings, both of them vying for his affection and “love.”
What’s the big deal about The Bachelor?
And so, that was really alarming to me, especially in light of having heard people say, “Well, it’s just funny, we watch it to laugh at it, it’s entertainment, that’s all it is.” But it’s much more than that, because what it’s doing is it’s conforming the participant, and I would argue the viewer, to the pattern of worldly thinking. So, then he says, “But be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” So, every day I’ve got a task as a believer to have my mind renewed by the Scripture, to have my mind renewed by solitude alone with the Lord, for me that’s in the quiet early hours of the morning, and usually some point in the afternoon. I get away for half an hour and just solitude, outside. Usually, I’m outside, and I sit and read my Bible and reflect on Scripture and meditate. In the early morning, still dark outside, this time of year. It’s winter at the time I’m recording this, so sitting by the fire in the morning, the woodstove and reading the Bible and drinking coffee, meditating on Scripture.
So, why do I do that? So I can learn more about the Bible?
That’s part of it, but I would argue that the main reason I need Scripture every morning is to renew my mind. Imagine your mind is a dry sponge when you wake up in the morning, that’s not hard for most of us to imagine, by the way, ’cause most of us are in a haze, a fog. So, I wake up in the morning… And some people think this is crazy, but I take a cold shower. People are like, “You do what?” I’ve gotten into the habit of that, wakes me up good. It doesn’t bother me, it doesn’t make me uncomfortable. It’s actually… There’s a lot of health benefits. Whatever, that’s… Maybe another episode, we’ll talk about that, but about diet and exercise or something like that, but… Yeah, so I get up, take a cold shower and then I’m alert, and then the first thing I want my mind to be opened with is the Scripture.
And so my tendency is to wanna watch some news… The latest news or read the headlines or read an article, or watch a short entertainment video just to kinda get me alert and awake. But I find that if I will open the Scripture and first open my mind to the Scripture, there’s a renewal that takes place. And that word renewal is interesting because the Bible uses another word as well. That word is regeneration, where the idea of salvation, the idea that when I become a Christian, God renews my spirit. You’ll see the word renewal. David, in Psalm 51 that we looked at in this episode, where David is confessing his sin to the Lord, and says, “Renew a right spirit in me.” And so in this verse, the idea of renewal is that each day my mind is renewed and rejuvenated to the things of God. Imagine if you’ve had really dry skin. A lot of people know I have two children who are adopted, they are from Uganda.
And the climate here really dries their skin out so bad, so bad. They get so ashy, like around their knees and their shins, elbows, forearms, hands, feet. And so we’re constantly, especially in the winter time, constantly addressing that with lotion, with good lotion. And I have really dry skin and I have eczema, which is a little bit of a skin disorder, so I have to put, apply lotion, and what it does is it re-nourishes and rejuvenates that dead, dry skin. Imagine the Word of God coming into your parched, dry soul and mind that has been dried out by life in this world. Most of us on a normal day, at the end of the day, we’re dry, man.
Don’t be conformed.
It’s hard to live in this world.
It is not easy, and the Word of God applies like a balm or a lotion to our soul, and it renews the soul. So, he says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” The renewing process of the Word of God. So, if I’m trying to renew my mind each day, and then I’m doing something that does not aid in the renewal process, I.e., watching a television program that promotes promiscuous, extramarital sex. Let me say that again,
The Bachelor promotes promiscuous, premarital or extramarital sex outside of marriage with multiple partners.
It promotes that. If you are a Christian, that is not funny. If you’re a Christian, that is not the way you are to be entertained.
Renew your mind.
If you have been indwelled with the Holy Spirit, he has renewed himself within you, renewed your spirit within you, giving you a new mind.
The Scripture says in, I believe it’s 1 Corinthians 2, that we have the mind of Christ. Here it says, renew that mind. How do we do that? The Word of God, the spiritual application of the Word of God, the practical application of the Word of God. Renewal of my thought processes. So, to go and watch something that’s gonna be destructive over against that is not good for me. And it’s not good for the people I’m around. He goes on, he says, that “By testing, you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Is it good and acceptable and perfect to do this thing, perfect just means, does it bring some completion or fulfillment to the spiritual process in me? And the answer to that is no. That’s not even open for: Well, does it? Does it not? I don’t know. Does it for me? Does it for you? Like maybe each one of us is different. No, it does not.
Watching that kind of programming does not renew the mind, and it does not enable me to discern what is good to have wisdom in my soul, in my mind. It doesn’t help.
It’s destructive, y’all. It’s destructive. Shows that promote what God abhors are not the way we should entertain ourselves.
And I’ve done it. Not with The Bachelor, I’ve done it, I’ve watched things I shouldn’t have watched. We all have. I would think, I wouldn’t argue, but I would think we all have. We’ve all done that at some point. And so, I think it’s important that we understand that what we are entertained with matters to God, and it shapes the way we view God, it shapes the way we view sexuality, it shapes the way we view holiness, which is purity before the Lord, and it matters and we shouldn’t be entertained with it. Now, if you’re a woman and you’re still listening to this and you haven’t been turned off about what I’ve said, here’s what I would say:
You don’t want your husband or your son or your daughter watching this.
Real people mean real consequences.
You may think that it doesn’t affect you. I would first argue that it does affect you, it has a negative effect on the way you view the human body and sexuality and things like that. Somehow, it’s gratifying your flesh to watch it, but I don’t want my sons watching it, I don’t wanna watch it, I don’t want the men in our ministry to watch it and be entertained with it. And I don’t want their wives to watch it ’cause I don’t want it coming into their homes and influencing the way they view sexuality, the way they raise their kids, etc. So, it is not simply a means of entertainment, it’s funny, let’s just watch it and laugh at these people, it’s not. And I guess the last point I would make is this:
Those are real people who have submitted themselves to this entertainment, this ridicule.
People are laughing at them and other people are rooting for them, some people draw up what team they’re on, they want this girl or that girl, this contestant or that contestant to win. And the reality is nobody wants a marriage, like the marriage that’s gonna come out of that show—if the marriage even lasts. Nobody wants that, and these are real people, and there is a crime on the books pretty much anywhere in America, it’s called voyeurism, we know it as Peeping Tom. And here’s what that law is, it is illegal to peep or peak or look into the window of a residential dwelling. Like you can’t go up to Mike’s house and peak through their window. That’s illegal. Especially think about it like a bedroom window or a bathroom window and think about it at night in the dark. That person’s going to jail. And what we’re doing is we’re celebrating voyeurism because the three-minute clip, that Little and I watched, we turned it as the man and the woman laid down on a bed in a bedroom, and we didn’t…
I don’t know how far it went, we turned it, but I thought this is voyeurism. It’s like we’re standing at their window, peeping into their bedroom. It’s not something to be entertained by. And so, it’s not renewing my mind. It’s destructive in the way I view sexuality. It’s opening my home and my relationships to something that’s ungodly and unhealthy, and it’s taking someone else’s sin and celebrating it and calling it entertainment. And so, I need to be careful with that, and this could be applied to any other television show or movie, or anything else I watch, but it’s something I think… I didn’t realize what a big deal The Bachelor series was until recently when I’ve heard some others… When I’ve heard it being talked about. And so, I wanted to share these thoughts with you, prayed about it, and ran the ideas about some folks here at Snowbird. And I felt like it would be good to share that with you.
I hope this is helpful.
I hope it’s helpful. I hope it doesn’t anger you. I hope it at least provokes thought. And I would say this, if you don’t agree with it, go study Romans 12:1-2, and tell me where the viewing of this type of programming fits into that. Into the sanctification process and the renewal process of the way a believer thinks and how we view the world and sexuality and things like that. That’s what I got, and I really am thankful that you would tune in and listen and thanks for joining in and I’ll see you in the next episode.
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