Game of Thrones is the fantasy show that has captured the attention of millions across the globe and won countless awards over the last six years. However, not everyone is a fan.
Pastor Kevin DeYoung of Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina, wrote in a blog for The Gospel Coalition two weeks ago that Christians shouldn't watch the show because of the sex scenes that sometimes appear in the episodes.
Christian fans who read DeYoung's blog challenged his position, listing a number of reason why they choose to watch the program. DeYoung responded to the backlash by writing a new blog refuting the common arguments he heard.
"Does anyone actually think the apostle Paul (or any other apostle, or Jesus for that matter) would have been cool with the sensuality prevalent in 'Game of Thrones' (and so much of our entertainment)? We are not talking about marble statues or a Holocaust documentary or a physician examining a patient. We are talking about two naked people doing in front of us what naked people do together," he begins before listing the top ten reasons he has heard in defense of Game of Thrones.
One of the top reasons why Christians justify watching Game of Thrones is because they can simply skip ahead or close their eyes to avoid watching the graphic scenes. DeYoung believes that's not good enough.
"How reliable really is squinting and peaking to see when the bad stuff in over? And how important is it to watch HBO that we must go these lengths to get in on the action?" He argues.
While some Christians skip the graphic scenes, others say the scenes don't bother them at all.
DeYoung responds to this claim by arguing that these scenes may still affect them whether they realize it or not.
"No doubt, people are wired differently, but I question whether the folks who say this know themselves as well as they think they do. And if looking upon what God has forbidden has no effect on us, that's not a good sign," he writes.
Another argument DeYoung says he hears is that the good elements outweigh the bad elements in the show.
"Granted, Game of Thrones is a more impressive piece of art (from what I've heard) than these blatant attempts at sexual stimulation. But then again, from what I've heard, the sex scenes in Game of Thrones are pretty blatant too," he says.
DeYoung argues the heart of the matter is that "immersing ourselves in sensual entertainment is somehow a gray area of Christian liberty. It isn't," he says.
He challenges Christians who are still torn over whether or not they should watch the show to seek God first.
"I humbly challenge you to take a week and pray every day, asking God if you are listening to the Spirit and reading the Word correctly on this matter. Better yet, take a month to pray, and during that month do a detox of anything that could possibly be construed as sexually explicit or provocative," he advises. "You may see with new eyes what you are too comfortable seeing at the moment. You may even discern a nagging conviction of sin that you've been pushing aside as nothing but religious baggage."
DeYoung's full argument against the popular show can be found on his blog on The Gospel Coalition website.