The Pipe-ster has done it again…

John Piper seems to stir up a bit of controversy every few weeks on Twitter. Oddly enough, it seems it usually has something to do with porn. A few days ago he did it again. Here is the “tweet” in question…

“Wives, if you watch movies with your(husband) him containing bare breasts and fondling, don’t complain when he does porn by himself.”

This statement has drawn criticism by many, mostly by folks saying that Piper is blaming wives, or holding them responsible for what their husbands are doing. I even heard one person saying that Piper is victimizing the victims in this scenario. I was on a friends Facebook page just a few minutes ago, and saw many comments and criticisms very similar to what I have already talked about. I made the following statement in relation to what was being said, would be curious to see what others are saying, or thinking as it relates to Piper’s tweet:

“I don’t think Piper is saying the wife is “responsible” or even to blame for her husband’s sin. I think what Piper is saying is that the wife is also in sin. It’s sort of like the, “He who is without sin, cast the first stone” or “speck/log” argument. The wife is responsible for her sin, the man for his.Piper is just saying, if you are watching filth, and any movie with fondling and bare breasts in a movie, I would classify as filth. Could it lead to porn? Maybe, maybe not…It may arouse passions that otherwise may not have shown up..it may not. Either way, if the wife condones it while she is around, or in the open with her…should she be surprised, or even complain when he does it when she isn’t…Just my take”
So that is my take on the issue, what say you guys?
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8 comments

  1. I think that there is some truth in what Piper wrote, but I also think that trying to convey what he appears to have been trying to convey in 140 characters or less is too flippant. I do see how it could like as if the wife is too blame, as I took it that way at first and part of me still does. I find it offensive overall, in that, it does not specify whether or not the wife is aware of what is in the movie (although I hope he meant for it to be implied that she is aware) and I think saying she shouldn’t complain is going too far. Perhaps it would be better to say she shouldn’t be surprised. I am becoming more and more aware of what I watch before I watch it– there are some movies, like The Notebook for example, that has sexual scenes in part, and I think the side of Rachel McAdams breasts are shown in a quick flash on the screen. Now, there are other movies that show a whole lot more and I would imagine that if the wife is asking her husband to watch those with her, she is not exercising the best judgment…even then, however, I think saying she shouldn’t complain is going too far. They are both in sin. Piper saying she shouldn’t complain almost indicates that because it is to be expected, she should not comment on her husband’s sin. I would hope that is not what is meant, but again, trying to discuss such an important topic within a tweet is ill-advised. Just my initial thoughts.

    1. I think the insinuation from the tweet was that it was more than a “passing glance” and something a bit more provocative. Either way there are going to be differing opinions on what is, and what is not acceptable, or what is, or isn’t too sexually suggestive for a Christian to watch. I personally think most Christians are too flippant in their entertainment choices, whether it be t.v. shows with half naked ladies jiggling all over the television, or graphic violence, or strong language. The fact is all of that stuff does effect us on some level, and it can desensitize us to certain behaviors, and many times I see it affecting Christians to the point that it makes them look a whole lot more like the world than the bride of Christ. This is evidenced in many areas of our life, I see it especially for me personally in my humor. I see myself often saying things, that do not glorify God, for the sake of getting a laugh. We justify that, saying, “well I’m just trying to be funny…” or something to that effect, but shouldn’t we be striving to glorify God in all that we do? I suppose I’m getting off topic, but I think there is relevance to what I’m saying as it relates to the topic. Wives and husbands alike need to exercise more discretion in what they watch, whether it be on print, television, or the internet. Perhaps to say the wife shouldn’t complain is an overstatement(I hesitate to say that) but I think Piper’s point is valid…Some Scriptures that I’m thinking of right now are, Ephesians 5:15,16 and even 1 Corinthians 7:14, though it doesn’t specifically address what we are talking about, there is an application there for sure…

  2. I wholeheartedly agree with you on the need for Christians to be cautious with what they watch- I am continually evaluating the few shows I do watch and have definitely stopped watching favorites if I feel that they are crossing a line (although honestly, I think just about every show out there crosses some kind of line, perhaps just not continually. When I look at my favorite movies, almost all of them are pretty “safe”- Pride and Prejudice (the A&E version), Sixteen Candles, etc. I think people began to focus so much on sexualized content that they begin to excuse profanity and violence, when all three need to be taken into consideration. Violence and pornography often go hand in hand for a reason. Regardless, the Bible tells us that what we allow in affects what comes out/actions. So I absolutely agree with you, and I agree with Piper’s intent, but not with how he said it. It’s too important an issue for just 140 characters!

  3. I hope it is okay for a 20 year old not married dude to give his opinion.

    I don’t think Piper is completely on target with his tweet. But it is really hard (and this has been established in the comments on the blog) to convey some ideas in 140 tweets.

    Where I disagree is in the last part of the tweet about not complaining. If there is a problem of sexual immorality in the life of someone’s spouse, even if you allow them to do things that might lead to it, you should address the issue.

    I think the point of the tweet is to address an issue that some might not even realize is there. Should a wife allow her husband to watch those types of things, absolutely not. But there is a bigger issue that comes in the court of the husband. We’re told by scripture to not even allow a hint of sexual immorality to be in our lives. Not even a hint, and I think if I read that correctly it means not even a hint. If there is to be headship in a marriage by the husband and a living example to the world of how Christ loves the church these kinds of things cannot happen. There is submission to one another for both persons in a marriage, but their ultimate submission is to the Lord Jesus Christ. So no half dressed people of either sex or provocative fondling needs to be put before anyones eyes. The author of Hebrews says to keep the marriage bed undefiled, I see no need to bring any outside sources from ones mind into the union between two spouses.

    I think the ultimate issue is holiness, for husbands, wives, and unmarried people like myself. There is much that can be enjoyed that is God ordained and glorifying within married life that I do not see why false stimulation from outside sources need to be brought into the picture.

    “That’s all I’ve got to say about that.” – Forrest Gump

  4. I think there is a further issue here also that no one else has mentioned…The wife in watching these programs with her husband also is involved in sexual immorality. It goes back to what I said earlier, the whole “he who is without sin, cast the first stone” argument. If a wife is being sexually immoral in her choices, then why does she have the right to complain when her husband is also being sexually immoral? If I were the type of guy who was hanging out in strip clubs, would I then have the right to question my wife about, or get upset about her going to watch some chippendales? Admittedly that may be a ridiculous example, but I think the point is valid…Some may say it’s different to watch a movie with some instances of sexuality, than hard core porn…but is it really? As Allen stated, there should not be even a hint of sexual immorality. Whether I’m watching hardcore porn, or oogling over girls in bikinis on the beach, or seeing a snapshot of a side-boob in a movie, if it is arousing the same feelings of lust..is it really that different?

    I’m just sayin’…

  5. I did mention in my first comment that they are both in sin. But I think it is too simplistic to compare pornography with some movies (note: some do compare!). The sole purpose of pornography is to excite, to arouse, and to create a sense of control and fantasy. For some men, seeing a woman’s bare back in a movie is enough to start the lust process, while others turn to porn not due to arousal through a movie or television show, but due to a need for control and/or to fill a void in his life. They are not always linked.
    And from what I have read on the subject, hardcore porn often involves more than the sexual elements, including violence as I referred to earlier, so to compare that to a movie like The Notebook (to stick to my earlier example) is ludicrous. That said, I continue to agree with the sentiment that sexual immorality is sexual immorality, despite varying degrees. I watch Dancing with the Stars, and there are times where my husband has deliberately left the room or I turn the channel if there is too racy a costume or dance routine– I do agree enough with John Piper that I will watch it via Hulu reruns rather than asking my husband to watch it with me (even if he is usually on Twitter and not paying a bit of attention to the screen :). We also often fast-forward through any “love” scenes in movies that we watch. But Piper’s point is well-taken, as are many of yours, Chris, even if I don’t agree with everything expressed on either end!

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