Magic Mike opened at the box office in the number two spot grossing 39.1 million in its first weekend. After Showgirls it seems women are finally getting their day in the sun, basking in the glow of male strippers/dancers and loving every second. As one viewer tweeted, “Does this movie need a plot?! Matthew Mcconaughey and Channing Tatum…are you kidding me?!” The Internet Movie Database articulates it this way: “A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women and make easy money”. In turn, women of all ages are turning out in droves to theaters. Adult entertainment isn’t new; women taking their place in the audience and not the screen is new.
The sexual revolution did not happen overnight and it’s far from over. Slowly and certainly, women in recent years have been encouraged to not only embrace their sexuality but shamelessly chase it. Not only is porn for women more common today than in years past, but it’s also more acceptable. Romantic sagas like the Twilight series have been labeled “women’s porn” because women traditionally crave romance and sensitivity instead of sex. Ladies in the church have been told to guard their hearts from the accidental wink of the guitar player in the worship band and not to lust after his declaration to kiss his bride for the first time at the altar. The days of believing girls struggle only with crushes and emotions are over. Women (Jesus-loving, Christian women) struggle with real sexual sin and it cannot be ignored or dismissed.
It seems obvious Christians would immediately see the problems with Magic Mike. Since all do not, here are some answers to common objections Jesus-followers use to defend their choice to see Magic Mike and why this movie should not be on your must-see list this summer:
It’s Just a Movie
What does that mean? The “it’s just a” phrase is frequently tossed around in reference to television, music, books and video games also. Presently, American culture is created, maintained and reflected through these mediums. It is not just a movie…it is a collection of words and images designed to not only entertain but send a message. Magic Mike’s message: ladies, satisfy your lust any way you choose with no guilt; our way is the most fun and don’t forget to bring your friends.
It Doesn’t Have an Effect on Me
It is ignorant to believe everything we see, read and hear does not significantly impact our hearts, souls and minds. Once entertainment is consumed, there is no objective way to measure its effect or contribution to your person. There are times you cannot control your intake (a billboard or overhearing a conversation from your cubicle)…this is not one of those times. Inviting this level of depravity into one’s soul will have a great impact and will not point you to the greatness of Jesus’ name. What will it impact? Your heart, soul and mind: in seeing Magic Mike you are not loving and worshipping God will all of them. Your marriage (present or future): watching a movie designed to whet appetites and perpetuate fantasies with people you’re not married to gives Satan an open door to cause division, dissatisfaction and temptation. What does Magic Mike point to? Sexual satisfaction with no boundaries, an idea the Bible rebukes.
I Have Freedom in Christ/Scripture Isn’t Specific
Christians are never given freedom to trample God’s grace and truth for a few hours of selfish pleasure…that’s called sin. Furthermore, Scripture is specific. Christians are to meditate on things which are praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8), to keep their eyes from viewing worthless things (Psalm 119:37), to fix their eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2), to guard their hearts (Proverbs 4:23), avoid sexual immorality (Acts 15:29, Romans 13:13, 1 Corinthians 6:18, Galatians 5:19, Ephesians 5:3) and to put to death fleshly deeds (Romans 8:13, Col. 3:5). The message of Magic Mike is intrinsically opposed to Scripture.
There are times when liberty wins and Christians can freely disagree and differ in their practices. There are other times when Christians are blinded by their desires and do not align their practices with their faith. Viewing Magic Mike is not a liberty Christians can take. If you are yet unconvinced, consider this: viewing Magic Mike flies in the face of the sacrifice of Jesus. It is not an act of worship or surrender of the will to the One who gladly surrendered His own will to buy back sinners. When your friends are texting you, asking if you want a ticket to the show, meditate on the words to this famous hymn:
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.” – Helen Lemmel, 1922