I haven’t seen the movie yet, but from what I’ve read, Don Jon seems to be a parable about the destructive nature of masturbation, and the male fascination with the female form. I think that’s interesting. Mostly because Don Jon is a secular film, rated R (for super strong sexual content, nudity, and massive profanity) and by all intents and purposes off the radar of many Christians (or so many would like us to believe). For such a film to take on such a topic in such a gritty way is not only daring and courageous, it’s possibly worth emulating.
We’ve all heard the statistics about pornography in American. It’s a $57 billion industry, which is more than most of the top sport franchises in America, on par with some of the highest tech companies, and more than most broadcast channels combined. But you probably knew that already.
More disturbing is the statistics associated with Christians and pornography. Take a look at this graphic and notice that it suggests 50% of Pastors struggle with porn. Yikes. That’s a high percentage. And if pastors are struggling, it’s not unreasonable to think that church members are as well.
That makes pornography a significant problem: much more prominent than, say, homosexuality, abortion, or any other sin we Christians have become infamous for railing against.
Perhaps the reason so huge a problem as porn is flying under most church radars lies in our inability or unwillingness to face our owns sins. Or, perhaps it is just too dangerous to confess an enjoyment of or addiction to porn, since doing so just might get us shunned out of the church, or leave pastors without a job.
The Real American Idol
There are many things we can say about masturbation. Don Jon seems to make the point that masturbation is basically selfish, and that true love and sex is best when you “lose yourself in another person.” This is perhaps where I and the makers of Don Jon disagree, though I appreciate the logic. At the very minimum, it sounds like the film seeks to get into the head of the masturbator and chronic porn watcher to find out what it is that keeps him coming back. Then, it attempts to solve the problem by recalibrating just what the sexual experience is meant to be. It teaches that masturbation skips all of the selflessness of love and sex and opts for the cheap thrill of selfish control.
But without adding the God element to the solution, it falls short. Losing yourself in another person is fine, as long as the person’s name is Jesus. The secret sauce of great sex is true love. And the secret sauce of true love is loving God (even more so than love for your spouse). This is what the ten commandments mean when it says “thou shalt have no other gods before me,” and what Jesus meant when he said to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” Loving God needs to be priority number one.
Which leads me to the second subject this post is about: The Ladies. In America, if there is such a thing as an idol, it is the fabricated concept of the “beautiful” female form. Not that I don’t think the female form is beautiful. It certainly is! But what I mean is the definition and exploitation of “beauty” as defined by society rather than God.This is the true American idol. This is the one thing that helps move the needle in our marketplaces. The one thing that lay dominant among most American citizens.
Have a conference? Get some hot girls to man our booth. Got some youtube channels you’d like to get hits on, post pics of ladies in bikinis. Got food to sell, put your waitresses in skimpy uniforms. Got burgers to sell, put a bikini-clad lady on the hood of a car and have her scarf your burger down in slo-motion. Got beer, got toothpaste, got web domains… whatever you’re selling, put America’s idol in front of it and watch the worship begin (and the dollars roll in).
If there is such a thing as an American Idol, the female form is it. Guys can’t take their eyes off it, and ladies are struggling to get it. The hand that rules the world no longer rocks the cradle… she wears a bikini while bestriding America as a Colossus.
How then, do we overcome this ingrained, brainwashing that responds so easily to the female form. Well, it requires a new way of thinking: a renewed mind. Romans 12:2 talks about a renewed mind that disrupts our natural inclinations to “follow the patterns of the world,” so that we can know and perform the will of God.
In other words, we need brain and heart surgery. And once the Spirit of God has done that surgery, we can begin to see these women as children of God, not play toys or objects for our amusement, or body types to pursue. Paul says in Philippians to “think on these things… truth, nobility, purity, love…” He says to the Corinthians, who lived in a society much like ours, to “bring every thought captive.”
Only then, can we begin to, not only reject the persistent plea from society to worship an American idol, but to begin stripping that idol of its power on this society. It’s a massive task, but we serve a massive God. “Greater is he that is in us, then he that is in the world.”
What are your thoughts on masturbation? Is it a sin or just normal?
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