Shia LaBeouf got his start in Hollywood on the Disney Channel, where he won a Daytime Emmy Award. His Transformers movies became megahits with teenagers; he starred with Harrison Ford in the most recent installment of the Indiana Jones series. Over the weekend he announced that in his next movie, the “intimate” scenes will be real. I could be more specific, but you get the idea.
This is just the latest indication of our culture’s moral trajectory. 50 Shades of Grey stockings, robes, and other clothing based on the novel are coming this fall. Kitchen and bath décor are being developed, and there’s an iPad cover on the way as well. The book is the first of a trilogy; Universal has purchased the movie rights to all three.
Why should this news matter to you today? Because of what it says about the culture in which we are raising our children and grandchildren. Hollywood doesn’t make movies to make art—it makes them to make money. Successful movie producers are brilliant at knowing what we will pay to see. Movies that would have been banned a generation ago are now becoming mainstream because our society wants to see them.
As our culture slides further down the slope of immorality, what can Christians do? Perhaps an analogy will help. Last night, airplanes sprayed for mosquitoes in our neighborhood. The West Nile virus has been especially virulent in the Dallas area, causing authorities to take this unusual step. Announcements were issued all weekend, warning us to be inside before spraying begins.
I was running in our neighborhood late yesterday afternoon, grateful that I knew to be off the street before dark. The only way to be safe from the pesticides was to take shelter. The thought occurred to me: that’s why God says to “flee from sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18). The best way to defeat sexual temptation is to avoid it. The moment a thought or image takes root in our minds, the memory it creates stays with us.
Solomon warned us about the “adulteress”: “her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. None who go to her return or attain the paths of life” (Proverbs 2:18-19). Make no mistake: the immorality of today’s culture is an attack by the enemy on our families and our souls.
Please join me in praying every day for the moral and spiritual awakening our nation so desperately needs. And ask God’s Spirit to help you be a model of morality for those you will influence today. You would do whatever was necessary to keep cancer from invading your body. What about your soul?