There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding the release of 20th Century FOX and Marvel’s anti-hero movie, Deadpool. Many church leaders and organizations are standing up against the movie and imploring their followers to abstain from watching. Meanwhile, there are many parents who are uneducated as to what Deadpool is about and ignorant of who Deadpool is, under the assumption it’s “just another Marvel movie.”
Folks, Deadpool is not for children. In fact, many would argue it’s not for Christians. John Piper’s website, Desiring God, published an article on 7 Questions you should ask yourself before seeing Deadpool–mainly focused on the fact that Deadpool has a pervasive amount of nudity in it, not to be overshadowed by its incessant violence. The question really isn’t should a Christian watch Deadpool as much as it is: where do Christians draw the line with sin?
Without trying to sound legalistic or use other “justification” buzzwords, I’d like to present to you a few thoughts when it comes to choosing what type of media you consume or abstain from. The Bible is clear on what God thinks of sin and what we should do regarding it. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 tells us to abstain from all appearances of evil. Certainly walking into a movie that is full of violence and pornography, sexual references, and so on would be considered an appearance of evil. This argument is often countered with 1 Corinthians 10:23, in which Paul tells us “I have a right to do anything, but not everything is good.” There is a level of grace in our walk with Jesus Christ. In fact the Bible again tells us to “workout your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil 2:12) Paul specifically knew the Philippians were relying heavily on him to tell them what to do in their walk with Christ. Paul told them they had to figure it out for themselves.
As I stated, Deadpool has a lot of violence and a lot of nudity. Yes, he’s a beloved comic character that so many were looking forward to seeing on the silver screen. Yes, Ryan Reynolds does a bang up job portraying the Merc with a Mouth, but along with it comes all the depravity that is the world of Deadpool. Does this mean that there is nothing redemptive in the movie? I would say, no. There is a fascinating love story between Wade Wilson and Vanessa (fraught with lots of sex of course). There is a level of personal identification people will find with Deadpool. He is a real person, has real problems and doesn’t want to be a hero. He has many flaws. He is also self-aware, which is an attribute that can be helpful for anyone who is struggling with sin. These are good aspects–some would even say “Christian aspects”–of the story, but they’re surrounded by less pleasant things.
I cannot for any good reason recommend anyone go to see this movie. Knowing my own struggles and convictions, seeing this film would have triggered some sort of pornographic relapse had I seen it nine months ago. Thankfully, I have a wife who I am accountable to, and she was integral in me assuring I averted my eyes from the nude scenes in the movie. As John Piper has said, you can’t fake nudity. Violence can be faked (no one actually dies), but the women in the movie are real women and are really naked. For someone who struggles with pornography and cannot abstain from it, this movie is not going to be therapeutic for you.
In the end, we are all witnesses to others. We are accountable and held to a high standard as Christians and will have to answer for our actions. I cannot tell you to go see the movie, but I know I can’t tell you not to see it either. That is something that you as the believer, knowing the type of content within this film, have to make for yourself.
Romans 7:19-20 “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”
The last thing I will leave you with is a question: If you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt God would not want you to see Deadpool, would you still see it?
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