Un-Reality TV: 'The Girls Next Door'
- Friday, May 25, 2007
Linus: What’s the best thing to do with regrets?
Charlie Brown: Well, I think most people try to save them. Then they can take them out now and then and look at them.
Linus: Do you save all of your old regrets, Charlie Brown?
Charlie Brown: Oh yes, I have an award-winning collection!
Most of us do, Charlie Brown. Satan would have us open up that regret collection on a regular basis. Too many Christians live defeated lives because we live in regret of the past and fear of the future. Putting your faith in Jesus should allow us to redeem the past, trust God for the future, and live contentedly in the moment.
So I rarely open the regret lock-box these days. But a recent news story about a reality TV show on the E! Network sent me there. The show is called the Girls Next Door and the premise is to look inside life at the Playboy mansion. Another sign of the apocalypse is that this is the third season of this show. I was blissfully unaware of the show until just recently. Here is why I opened the regret box. I am unlocking a personal regret to plead with any young man who might read this to not get hooked by the “playboy” lure. I did. I regret that. I used to read (?) the magazine on a regular basis when I was single. It is easy to rationalize that Playboy is “classier” than other men’s magazines.
That is a tough one to reconcile with Scripture. The text does not read that the wages of sin are calculated on a sliding scale based on the degree of sophistication of the sin. Paul writes in Romans that the wages of sin is death. I suspect that if I were a young man reading that I might write off my pleas to GOMS (Grumpy Old Man Syndrome). But hear me out. This is important to any man who wants to follow Jesus and love his wife (or future wife) well.
Playboy may not be as graphic as other magazines. But it is just as insidious in creating an unrealistic expectation for men. Reality is not perfect bodies and insatiable sexual appetites. I wrote an article defending Baylor University for not allowing students to pose in the magazine. Here is a snippet of that post.
I have “read” the magazine. I do know why men read the magazine. Incredibly, it is not for the articles! Any many who tries to rationalize that is disingenous at best and a liar at worst. Christian men should have no part of it. I am stunned by men who make threatening comments to young men that come to date their daughters and then go out and ogle and lust after the daughters of others. In New Man Magazine author Matthew Paul Turner writes that “pornography alters your view of humanity by objectifying people. And, it's almost impossible for a porn habit "not to affect the relationships you hold most dear."
That is truth. You can believe it now or find out, to your dismay, later.
I work in a secular and testosterone driven world. There may be a small percentage of men who can view these types of magazines and not lust. I have not met any of them yet. If you are that man would you join me for lunch (and bring along a lie detector)?
Any men’s magazine can become a “gateway periodical” to more graphic material. That is readily available with the click of mouse. Millions of men have damaged or even ruined relationships because of pornography. The Internet is the meth amphetamine in the pornification of America.
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