A generation ago, the content of movies, songs and television shows were heavily scrutinized. If there was any traces of questionable material, conservative critics might label this as smut. This term refers to anything that might be seen as obscene, pornographic or too revealing. As Hollywood continues to push the envelope beyond decency over the past half century, smut has become mainstream, available at most check out counters in America. This reality has caused me to ponder, “how should a Christian respond to smut?”
While He was in Bethany [as a guest] at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, a woman came with an alabaster vial of very costly and precious perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured the perfume over His head, Mark 14:3.
In the passage above, Jesus is anointed by a woman with a questionable reputation. According to other accounts of this event in the gospels, this woman’s name is Mary. Based upon comments made by local guests, Mary was a first century prostitute. Having a lady of the night approach you at a party might be tempting to the average guy. Yet, this encounter didn’t phase Jesus, even if Mary’s breasts were hanging out of a low cut blouse. Jesus was tempted in every way just as men are tempted today by smut, but did not sin. This makes Jesus the supreme authority on how to respond to and overcome smut.
For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin, Hebrews 4:15.
In his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus refers to eyes as the lamp of the body. Keeping them pure is crucial to responding to immodest attire as the summer approaches. One of Jesus’ disciples refers to three aspects that must be held in check. According to 1 John 2:15-17, lust, sensual cravings and the longing of eyes stand in the way of responding to smut in a godly manner. The apostle Paul urges one of his pupils to run away and flee from youthful desires in 2 Timothy 2:22. According to Paul, the best way to respond to smut is by pursuing righteousness, faith, love and peace. May this advice equip you to overcome future encounters with smut.
by Jay Mankus