The highly publicized Stephen Soderbergh film, Magic Mike, opened in theaters Friday, June 29, 2012. This film was a popular venue for Girls’ Night Out gatherings across the Raleigh area on opening night. Social media buzzed with excitement over this movie as women strongly encouraged others to go see it.
Parents often consult movie reviews or at least movie ratings for age appropriateness before allowing their kids to view a particular movie. Once a person reaches age 18, however, movie-goers often assume that no movie is off-limits or inappropriate. In a culture where freedom is a supreme virtue, little thought is given to purposefully denying a personal liberty to protect that which is exceedingly more valuable. While Magic Mike may receive positive reviews from secular movie critics, it is a terrible movie choice for anyone, particularly Christians. Why should Christian women choose to deny themselves the “eye candy” that permeates this film?
1 Corinthians 10:23
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.
Magic Mike has been rated “R” for pervasive sexual content, brief graphic nudity, language, and drug use. At best, the film is primarily a presentation and celebration of soft-core pornography. According to Pluggedin, it includes approximately 186 incidents of profanity and misuse of the Lord’s name as well as numerous crude sexual remarks. The movie also contains violence and drug-use. The movie caters to the destructive lust of the flesh which has made pornography one of the world’s largest businesses with annual revenues between $50 and $60 billion worldwide. (Reference Pornography in the United States and How Big is Porn?)
Christians should know that God desires what is best for His people and has given the Bible to instruct and guide them.
15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:15-17, NIV)
With the purpose of protecting His people and making them prosper (Jeremiah 29:11), God, through the apostle Paul, instructed His people to fill their minds with thoughts that are pure and holy.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Magic Movie contains virtually nothing pure or holy. The only redeeming parts of the movie are found in its raw portrayal of the dark side of being a stripper and in the character, Brooke, who lovingly seeks to protect her brother and steer him and Mike away from the stripper lifestyle.
Scriptures also repeatedly remind believers that their purpose in life, which brings true joy and ultimate satisfaction, is to glorify God. In every situation, conversation, action, or choice, Christians should exalt the Lord.
1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Magic Mike dishonors the Lord by taking His name in vain and celebrating hedonistic lifestyles. This movie exalts human flesh and praises narcissism. The graphic images and excessive sexual themes in this movie are designed to titillate viewers in a way that violates and cheapens God’s perfect design for sexuality.
While the goal of the movie may have been to realistically portray the sordid, shallow, dead-end life of a stripper, the excessive male flesh fest distracts from any positive moral message. Mike boasts that the benefits of working as a stripper include “women, money, and a good time” as if those are noteworthy priorities for a young man. Casual sex is celebrated, even in threesomes. In this film, anger management techniques sadly include violence or abuse of drugs and alcohol.
Immoral behaviors are presented as acceptable without showing the negative consequences that depravity will inevitably bring. In real life, drunkenness and sexual immorality will always bring harm, whether through reckless driving, violence, disease, unwanted pregnancy, or severed relationships. In this movie, however, such behaviors are rewarded instead of being condemned. While Mike may be considering an exit from the industry by the end of the movie, there is no indication that he does while the strippers move on to greater worldly success. The characters do not seem to learn from their mistakes.
As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.
The harmful effects of viewing this movie cannot be understated. Spiritual warfare begins in the mind. As the crude content and immoral messages from this film enter the mind, the heart becomes hardened and the spiritual senses dulled.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Faulty thinking pushes out the Spirit of God within the believer. As the heart responds to impure thoughts, unwholesome attitudes develop which eventually give way to sinful actions. Apart from Christ, sin leads to death.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The constant barrage of sensual images in this film inspires lust and harms marriages. Through the covenant of marriage, a wife pledges herself to her husband, seeking him only for her sexual satisfaction. To seek sexual arousal from a film instead of from one’s spouse is demeaning, pathetic and mentally adulterous.
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
After feasting her eyes on the sculpted bodies in this film, a woman will set those unrealistic images as her ideal and find it more difficult to be satisfied with her husband. Pornography of any kind or degree is detrimental to marriages. (Reference “The Impact of Pornography on Marital Sex”)
In conclusion, the movie, Magic Mike, is a moral failure that should be avoided. If seeing a movie is the activity of choice for ladies’ night, choose a fun movie that inspires laughter and heart felt tears while communicating a positive message.
Disclaimer: This article was based upon a wide selection of movie reviews and producer descriptions. For the reasons cited in the article, the author has not viewed Magic Mike and does not intend to view it in the future.
How Big is Porn?
Pornography in the United States
Magic Mike Reviews
The Impact of Pornography on Marital Sex
To follow Raleigh Christian Living, click on “subscribe” above or “like “Raleigh Christian Living Examiner on Facebook.