Apologist and Christian singer Alisa Childers is encouraging believers to think biblically about sex scenes in movies, saying on her YouTube channel that she will not watch Redeeming Love because of the film's portrayal of the intimate relationship between the two lead characters.
The film is based on the book of the same name and was inspired by the biblical book of Hosea. It tells the story of a man, Michael Hosea, who pursues a woman named Angel for marriage even though she is a prostitute.
It is rated PG-13 for mature thematic content, sexual content, partial nudity and strong violent content. It also includes two bedroom scenes between the two characters after they are married.
In a new YouTube video, Childers says that women have asked her: "Is it appropriate for Christians to watch sex scenes in movies?" The questions, she said, have centered on Redeeming Love.
Childers read the words of Jesus from Matthew 5:28: "You have heard that it was said, you shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Lust, Childers added, "is when you look at someone with lustful intent."
"Now, I want you to ask yourself as you're thinking about whether or not to see this movie: What response is this going to provoke in you?" she asked. "You're watching a movie where there's this long, drawn-out, story of love, redemption, [and] there's sexual tension under the whole thing. And then it culminates into a lengthy and perfectly curated scene with perfect lights and music. And I just want to ask you: Is that going to cause you to fall on your face before God in repentance? Is it going to cause you to fall down before Him in worship and thankfulness for His redemption? … I don't think that's the response it's going to provoke in me. I don't think I need to see that."
Childers said the issue led to a restless night where she wrestled with the topic and asked God for wisdom.
"And the phrase that kept coming to my mind was, 'Snap out of it.' Christian women, snap out of it. Read your Bible," she said. "If you want to know what Hosea is about, [then] study Hosea. What's enticing you that you want to see this movie?"
The issue of sex scenes in movies, she said, is not one of being a "fuddy-duddy about sex."
"This is not me putting on my goody two shoes and waving my finger and saying, 'Get off my lawn kids.'... God is the inventor of sex. And He gave it to us as a gift. It is meant to be enjoyed. It has a purpose that is beautiful and lovely. It bonds two people together as one flesh for a lifetime. It is for procreation, for pleasure, for intimacy," she said. "There are so many wonderful things about God giving us the gift of sex, but it's meant to be between a man and a woman in the covenant of marriage. And the question is: Is watching the most intimately sacred and private act being portrayed on a screen – is that going to draw you to Christ?
"... I'm choosing to not go see it. And I'm going to be over here reading my Bible. I'm going to read Hosea."
Childers is the author of Another Gospel? and Mama Bear Apologetics. She formerly was a member of the Dove Award-winning group Zoe Girl.
4 Things to Know about Redeeming Love, the Movie Based on Francine Rivers' Popular Novel
Photo courtesy: ©Pinnacle Peak
Video courtesy: ©Alisa Childers
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.