Many professing Christians sit through sex scenes in movies, on TV and elsewhere. But by doing so, are we asking unbelievers–those who act in those scenes–to behave in ways we would never tolerate among ourselves? Do we view sex scenes so we can enjoy entertainment we otherwise couldn’t enjoy? Author, blogger and pastor, Tim Challies, addresses an important topic that those who say they’re followers of Jesus Christ may not have thought through. He writes:
I once read a memoir by a man who, as a teen, had been a Shabbos goy. A Shabbos goy is a non-Jew who performs some of the Sabbath-day functions that that are forbidden to the devout. Traditionally, a Shabbos goy would extinguish candles and lights, or he would stoke up a fire on a cold Sabbath morning, all actions considered work by strict interpretations of Jewish law. But since those regulations pertain only to Jews, some would hire Gentiles as a means of circumventing the law. The primary task of this young man was to sit in an elevator and push the buttons. Pushing buttons involves closing an electrical circuit and this was considered a violation of the Sabbath within that community. They outsourced the work to him.
Christians quickly identify this as hypocrisy, an adherence to the letter of the law that violates the spirit of the law. It’s hard to find an ethical difference between actually pushing a button and hiring someone else to do it. And, in fact, many Jews see it this way as well and most communities have dropped the very notion of the Shabbos goy. However, I think some Christians may have picked it up, or something like it at least. Our concern is not Sabbath-day functions, though. Our concern is enjoying entertainment, and to enjoy entertainment we need to hire people who disregard the law. We let them violate the law so we can enjoy the benefits.