Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"Adult themes" and "adult movies"

American English features many verbal ironies and oxymorons. I've often thought that "adult themes" and "adult movies" feature high on that list.

Adult themes should start with being right with God judicially, then walking with God practically: dealing with sin, learning a skill and getting and keeping a job, doing good work, being truthful with no lying, keeping commitments, getting and staying married, being a God-fearing spouse and parent, being involved in serving the Lord in church.

Adulthood as maturity is sketched out memorably in a couple of Biblical passages. Let's start with Ephesians 4:11-16 —
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,  12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Here it is a matter of spiritual maturity, specifically of doctrinal maturity, ability to stand firm and not be rocked around by every passing fad.

In this context, it is interesting that the apostle goes on to mention what we are calling "adult themes" — that Christians should abstain from sensuality and impurity (v. 19).

When the writer to the Hebrews mentions "adult themes," he is pretty forceful about it:
About [Melchizedek] we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.  12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,  13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.  14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. (5:11-14)
Again, the focus is on doctrinal maturity which shows itself in moral/ethical maturity, being able to distinguish good from evil.

Further, the verses that follow show that the writer saw maturity as far more than a desirable extra. His view was: grow, or crash. Their failure to grow actually made him fear for the reality of their conversion.

Obviously, the apostles' view was far different from ours. The concept of baby men was unthinkable. The new life implanted by God through His word naturally impels us to grow, strive, mature. Not always at the same rate; some bear 100, but also some 60 and some 30 (Matthew 13:23) — but all bear fruit.

So next time you read or hear this abuse of "adult themes," to mean "sniggery juvenile themes," roll your eyes, shake your head, and redouble your prayer and commitment to grow up — which means growing out of such things.


Robert said...

One could also say the same for video game and TV show ratings. TV-MA or MA (for games) indicates either sexual content or graphic violence. I believe that both of these grieve the Spirit and are definitely not the thoughts of a mature Christian.

Pierre Saikaley said...

Actual babies are cute, loveable, and desireable. They naturally crave milk, as they should.

But baby men are a disdain, a sick joke, a poor, wretched sight to behold.

Peter, though he commanded believers :"Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—" 1 Peter 2:2 ESV

The outcome, as it says, is that you may GROW UP.

Milk is necessary-but for the purpose of growing stronger into adulthood.

Herding Grasshoppers said...


Yes, milk is good for babies! But too often our youth grow out of milk, and just when they need the rich nourishment of meat they're offered twinkies and doughnuts (fun! fun! fun!) *sigh*

Always Reforming said...

Oh, but boys will be boys? When does that stop? In our country, never, unfortunately.

I've always thought it strange that some content is okay if you're over 17 (or 13, or 18), but not if you're a kid. If it's not actually wrong, why can't kids watch it, too?

Anonymous said...

We rarely go the movies. The rating system in the USA is a joke. Why any Christian pays to see and hear that filth is beyond me!

Marla said...

Totally agree Dan! Great post. The ratings are in place only to let you know what a given movie contains, so that as long as the movie makers let you know, they can do whatever they want. I also find it ironic that the "F" profanity automatically earns an R-rating, but blasphemy is merely PG.

FYI -- James MacDonald took down his latest post about TD Jakes linked on your terrific pyro post yesterday.

DJP said...

Thanks. Strange, eh? Oh well; part two is still on-tap for tomorrow.

Marla said...

Thought that was weird too. I wonder if an explanation is coming. There was an apology post -- maybe related?

I'm looking forward to pt 2. I would have posted this over there, but the comments have been closed.