Trying to Justify Christians Watching “This Is Us”

Trying to Justify Christians Watching “This Is Us”

Recently, I wrote a post about not being entertained by sin, I wrote a summary from my experience watching a couple of episodes of This Is Us. (It’s a very popular TV show for those who have never heard of it.) I had been told it was a great show by Christians and that it didn’t have anything bad in it. It began with nudity, then a threesome. It had God’s name in vain, premarital sex, and homosexuality. Basically, it’s watching a godless family live their lives. After a few episodes, I turned it off since I knew it wasn’t something I should spend my time watching. I shared this on my Facebook page and many agreed with me until one woman. I want to share what she wrote and give my response to each portion.

“We enjoy this show and sure it can do without some scenes. The characters bring us through real life problems and situations adults encounter in every day life. This makes us realize how blessed we are and how graceful and merciful God is. It also helps us to have compassion for those who don’t live the same life style or have the same standards we do.”

So in order to be thankful for our gracious Lord and have compassion for those who live ungodly, we should be entertained by them? It sure isn’t what the Word of God tells us to do. “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me” (Psalm 101:3). We are told to dwell on the true, honorable, right, and pure (Philippians 4:8). Bad company corrupts good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33). “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13). I could give you MANY more but you get the idea. What she wrote sounds good but isn’t backed up by Scripture.

“Randall’s biological father is gay on the show, so what? We have co-workers and acquaintances that are gay and don’t agree with them but don’t shun them for it. My husband likes to put it this way: ‘If I like black coffee and you like yours with creamer, it doesn’t mean we don’t like you, can’t associate with you or we can’t be friends. It means you have your preferences and I have mine.’ We are called to love like Jesus did; they know where we stand and that we don’t agree. Just like Election, not all have the eyes to see and ears to hear which is why being chosen we need to take the gospel, wrap it in love and gently deliver it to those around us.”

Again, this all sounds great but it isn’t biblical. Yes, we are to love the homosexuals in our life, but we shouldn’t be entertained by it or do anything to help promote it by watching it on TV shows. God destroyed two cities because of homosexuality. Be kind and loving to the homosexuals in your lives but lead them to Jesus. They need Jesus. We can’t lead some character on a TV show to Jesus. The main purpose of having a homosexual on a TV show is to normalize the sin Christ died for.

God told Lot if there were ten righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah, He would have spared them but there were not. Even Lot was “vexed (tormented) with the filthy behavior of the wicked. For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds” (2 Peter 2:7, 8). We are called to FLEE all sexual immorality, not be entertained by it or try to normalize it. It’s a deadly lifestyle. Jesus loved the adulterous woman but then told her to “Go and sin no more.” We are commanded to speak the truth in love. We must never leave out the truth part as so many today want to do.

“It’s great to not watch if you feel convicted, but there are good life lessons that can be ‘observed from the outside’. It’s easy to find the bad when looking for it.”

We are told, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). What does this mean? “For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil” (Romans 16:19). “Hate evil, you who love the LORD” (Psalm 97:10), NOT be entertained by it.

“From this ‘review’ I got the impression that you’re putting yourself higher than a godless family. With that said, we are all filthy wretches according to God, we are all sinful, and all have fallen short of the glory of God.”

On the contrary, once we believe and are saved, God calls us saints, new creatures in Christ, freed from and dead to sin and condemnation, His children, holy, righteous, transferred from the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of His dear Son, and sitting at the right hand of God. Please listen to Michael Pearl teach through Romans at “The Door” on YouTube and learn who you are in Christ!

“Being a Bible believing Christian (reformed) we know that we were chosen by God, are free in Christ and cannot be plucked from his hand. Life is messy, not everyone around us is a cookie cutter ‘Christian’ (which is a very vague word these days). I have seen wonderful examples of marriage, parenting, being a great friend and brother/sister, promoting adoption, to prioritize, listening to your heart (I’m more of a logic over feelings gal though), to be selfless as well as addressing and overcoming problems that us as humans face. Just this wife’s take on the show.”

No, thank you. I would rather obey the clear Word of God and how the Lord commands that I should spend my time. “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise; Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15, 16). There is nothing redeeming about watching a filthy, nighttime soap opera. I was convicted about watching soap operas when my oldest daughter was five years old and began to watch them with me. Nothing will convince me that I should watch them ever again.

“We should not be entertained by the sins which Christ died.” (John MacArthur)

“So I say again, love for others must hate evil. Because evil hurts others directly, and evil hurts others indirectly by hurting you. Evil obscures the beauty of Christ. And Christ is our greatest good. Our greatest joy…hold fast to Christ, and abhor everything that dishonors him.” (John Piper)

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2

45 thoughts on “Trying to Justify Christians Watching “This Is Us”

  1. Lori
    You nailed it! Why do we feel like we have to get our morals from a tv show or movie, then justify it by using scripture in such unbiblical ways. “Don’t judge, don’t judge, don’t judge!” say the parrots. Do I sound intolerant of women’s “so-called” tolerance? Well I am! Why is it that we women are our own worst enemy?! So many women are illogical and unscriptural in their thinking. It boggles my mind.

  2. The irony of it all is when they are telling us not to judge, they are judging us, Janine! We all make judgments consistently and as mature believers, we should clearly be able to distinguish between good and evil. The bottom line is they simply don’t want to give up their “pleasures” even when they are not good.

  3. Oh thank you for giving us the word!!! The woman who wrote this is not Godly at all. If it were so she would of run the other way! I’m not surprised at all with the way the world is going we are living in evil times.

  4. I used the “” to callout the quoted text. They made it disappear!!!
    Let’s try it this way:
    **Please listen to Michael Pearl teach at “The Door” on Facebook and learn who you are in Christ!**

  5. Thank you for posting this!! I did watch a few shows but I began to feel conviction too!! My husband does not feel the same about entertainment so sometimes it causes friction. Thank you for your boldness and keep speaking the truth!!!

  6. Calling us “parrots” isn’t sin?
    Sin is everywhere unfortunately.
    Even watching Christian movies there is sin, as a form of entertainment.
    A good portion of newer Christian music isn’t theologically accurate!
    Where is your justification for watching any movie, show, reading literature with sin?
    To what extent do you remove yourself from those networks and brands who don’t align perfectly with scripture?
    Who do you bank with? What to they support? Who was the builder of your home? What are they aligned with? Where do you shop and who do they promote? What does the maker of your phone, computer, viechle, tv, your clothing and your toothpaste support? The company who gives us our medications? Aren’t you supporting them by purchasing their product, therefore supporting them and their ideologies? Will you give them up if these “pleasures” are not good? What about workplaces? Who does that company support? Sports teams? Social media sites? Do you follow liberal news journals? Is the weatherman you’re getting your forecast from atheist? ?

  7. I appreciate your thoughts on this. I also know many Christians who watch and promote this particular show. I had seen advertisements for it last year, and just recently watched the first episode. As you stated, all those things that were in the first episode were rather surprising. Your writing is helping me to consider Philippians 4:8 in my own life, “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.” (NIV).

  8. You’re welcome, Melinda. Many are like the frog in the kettle. The water is slowly warming up as the days grow more evil and they don’t even notice until one day it’s boiling and they are boiled with it. God spoke out against the lukewarm church for a reason.

  9. There’s no trying to figure out what these verses mean as believers in Christ, Melissa. God is clear how He wants us to trust and obey Him in everything.

  10. Is it submissive to pray for your husband to change? To me, it feels like rebellion. I’d value your opinion.

  11. When I watch the weatherman or buy a product, I am not involved with or watching any type of sin. God is clear that we are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. We are to dwell on the good and the lovely. The battle for godliness is in the mind and our thoughts and this is why God cares about what we see and fill our minds with. Here is a post I did about watching movies with sin in them:

  12. As always, your words are faithful to Scripture, and encouraging to those who choose to walk in obedience to Christ. Thank you for your faithfulness.

  13. Lori,

    I wonder if one would continue to watch shows with “nasty” in them if
    –their pastor was sitting there?
    –their boss was sitting there?
    –their child was sitting there?
    –Jesus was sitting there? Oh, wait a minute. What’s wrong with me?! Jesus IS SITTING THERE!!!

    How many “Thou shalt not’s” are broken or disobeyed in the program one is watching? The LORD told His people in the Old Testament that IF they would obey Him, THEN they would be blessed. IF they chose to disobey, THEN they would be cursed. I don’t want anything to do with a curse, so I choose everything that has to do with obedience.

    *hugs* and thanks once again for making it PLAIN!

  14. Jennifer,

    If possible, you could occupy yourself elsewhere, watch something different on another device, read a book with headphones on, etc. Keep your disagreement to yourself and pray for your husband. Ask the Lord to help you handle it respectfully.


  15. Phylla,

    Lori is correct. It is not rebellious for a wife to pray that her husband will change. “Not my will but Your will be done.” Ask the Lord to change your husband to be a man after His own heart. I love to pray Job 29 for my husband. It is a lovely chapter to rewrite as a prayer inserting his name– the man’s version of a Proverbs 31 woman.


  16. I recently heard an interesting view on why so many churches are all over loving homosexuals and accepting them and I thought it was right on. You need to have your priorities correct. If you decide that your priorities are the two great commands in the Bible-loving God and loving but you put loving others first, then you have to accept sinful lifestyles and ‘love ‘ them. But if you love God first you love these people but you can’t accept the sin and say its OK.
    When we take God out of the picture all we get is a big mess.

  17. Danielle
    If it wasn’t clear to you, I was the one who said parrots and I would say it again. It was not a sin to say something that is true. “Don’t judge me”, is parroted over and over again to justify sin. I am sure Christ would approve (of my language) or do you think He only spoke in soft loving, non-confrontational words and tones?

    What was the point of your post? That since we have to eat, sleep, live somewhere, wear clothes, etc., that we are all sinning, because surely some of these companies and people are sinning or supporting sin in some fashion. That the only way we can speak against these ungodly things and not be a hypocrite and “judgey” is by living in a cave, be naked and eat bugs? Is that what you are suggesting?

    Lori, as she has said over and over again, is just conveying what God’s word says to ladies and what she does or doesn’t do. In this case, she was reporting back that she had started watching the show (it being recommended) and after watching a few episodes, explained why she would not be watching it again. Lori then received that very unbiblical explanation as to why this other person was watching it, why we should watch it and a judgmental conclusion. Lori did a lovely job of refuting this person’s argument point by point using God’s word.

    WE do have great freedom in Christ. You or this other lady can watch this show if you want. I would say this is probably not the healthiest thing for you to do, especially as a Christian, but hey, you can. I am not going to judge you. However, quit trying to justify the sin portrayed in these shows and using seemingly biblical arguments to get others to do so also, under the guise of the “we couldn’t possibly understand” mantra. We all need to look at and acknowledge the blatant agenda that is being portrayed in these shows as somehow ‘ok” because, we all sin, don’t you know?

    That is all Lori is saying and trying to do: she is refuting the justification of sin. She is saying this is not healthy. She is saying you/we are being manipulated in to accepting something that is clearly against God’s word. The “we are all sinners” and “do not judge” are thrown down like some kind of “ace in the hole” to shut down any kind of true, meaningful, logical discussion based on God’s word. See, the manipulation has worked when we use these crafty, humanistic arguments (really satan’s) to defend or justify what God unequivocally has said is wrong, because we don’t want to appear “unloving”. The church is clearly hijacked by the world when we sound exactly like the world in our thinking and reasoning.

    I’d like to see the new series “The Santa Clarita Diet” where the wife is a cannibal and the show is based, presumably, on how the husband and wife go about acquiring “food” for her, told in a comedic fashion of course, be justified in the same manner as, “This is Us”. I am sure that would be a real hoot.

    We ladies are to be pointing each other to Christ and His word, which Lori does so graciously and carefully each week, so here is mine: Phil 3:2-21 Read the whole thing. Here are verses 12-16:
    “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own. because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers. I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead , I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”

    We are in a war, ladies, it is time to “saddle up” and get serious.

  18. Thank you, Janine, for your very wise comments. Danielle is actually the one who wrote the original comment that I was responding to in my post and it’s sad how easily it is for people like her who claim to be Christians to throw words around in order to discount the clear teachings of Scripture and justify their actions.

  19. I watch the show regularly and knew it was wrong but still watched but after reading this I’m convicted. I won’t watch it again or any show with sin. Thank you ms Lori for standing on Gods word.

  20. Been struggling with this! So glad I read this! I too watched the first episode, but when I saw the nudity, shut it off! No way Jose! It has saddened my heart that pastors and their wives are promoting this series on their FB page with selfies and tissues. I am glad I am not alone. Just feel bad that people tend to look up to them being as they are in a leadership role. I would not want to be accountable for that personally. Great post! Thanks again!

  21. Great article sister! My heart really grieves when I see so many christians watching series like this and acting like it’s ok to watch them, because what kind of light can we be to the world if we act like it? I saw so many different people that I considered work of faith watching this that I thought it was a good show but after about 10 minutes of watching it was awful, my spirit was broken looking at all the profanity, sexual immorality and homesexuality and people thinking it’s ok to watch these things? I didn’t have a clue that this show was like that. If the spirit is not convicting us of the things we put in us, there’s some examination we need to do!

  22. God bless you! I think that sometimes we can get caught up in worldly things but a true christian is someone that recognizes that conviction from the Holy Spirit and stops doing what they have been convicted of!

  23. So glad you wrote this. I too have heard Christians praise this show and thought I might check it out. Now I know not to bother.

  24. I watched the first episode for about 20 minutes before I couldn’t watch it anymore. I was so shocked how many Christians just LOVE this show and talk about it regularly. I was excited there was a good show out there, but I was very disappointed. I couldn’t in good conscience sit there and watch what was going on. I decided maybe it was just the first episode that was like that, but apparently the whole thing has its flaws. Ugh!

  25. Thank you for assessing this show and doing an excellent, biblically based review! I had heard from some friends that this was supposed to be a really good show, and even multiple reviews online on some “christian” websites tried to make the show sound ok. But I am grateful for you giving an honest review and keeping Jesus as the example for how we should live our lives and be an example to others.

  26. I realize I am nearly a year late in responding to this, but it always gets me when people talk about “listening to your heart” or “following your heart.” Jesus didn’t say, “Lay down your life, take up your cross, and follow your heart.” In fact, the Lord said quite the opposite. “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” Christians should not follow their hearts, but the Word. We live in a time where people are more concerned with living by their feelings than by the Truth, sadly.

  27. I will try this question again.

    Did all of those who respond on this post. Stating Christians should not watch This Is US, vote for Mr. Trump?


  28. We do not know who they voted for Jr Smith, but as you are well aware, in an election between two choices, one has to elect the better of the two evils. Trump was a far better choice for Christians than Hillary because, at least, he espouses many of our core beliefs and is working towards things that fit our desire for the direction of the country.

    I don’t want to waste too much time talking about Hillary, but I can’t believe you would have voted for her if you are a Christian. She has zero redeeming values to the Christian worldview and worse… she is antagonistically unChristian.

  29. Yes! I myself only watched a handful of episodes of Modern Family, Netflix show Anne, (before I knew it homosexuality was introduced) . Shamefully I watched far too many esp of How to Get away With Murder but will cancel that show as well. Netflix is rife with anti Christian shows. Frog in boiling water is an apt comparison!

  30. I will begin to follow your blog today because of this post. God has recently begun to deliver me from my addiction to tv shows and I am horrified to see the filth that I used to watch for entertainment. As you quoted, we should not be entertained by the sins which Christ died. We really shouldn’t. Thank you so much.

  31. I had the same experience. A devout Christian posted about the amazing writing on the show, and so I decided to watch the pilot, and was appalled by the in your face nudity and shut it off. Strangely enough, the tv turned back on and “On Demand” started the program over, so I, not knowing if this was God, or the Devil, watched a few minutes more, and the program got worse and more disgusting. No one belongs in the private bedroom of a married couple, sharing intimacies. I found it disgusting and ridiculous. I decided that it was the devil, and there was an insidious agenda behind this show.

  32. If we accept your logic on this, wouldn’t we then refuse to read the many passages in scripture describing the “trashy” behavior and deceit exhibited by the early families in the Old Testament? There was a ton of dysfunction and sin among them! How is that “different?”

  33. We aren’t watching them in the Bible and there aren’t given many sordid details. When we read God’s Word, we aren’t supporting this type of behavior in any way as we do when we watch TV. There’s no comparison.

  34. Some time ago I happened to watch a few minutes of an episode of “This is us” on a christian tv channel. I thought that, being broadcasted on a christian channel, it could only be an excellent tv show, and also, it was starred by Milo Ventimiglia, who is an actor I’ve always loved since he starred as Jess in “Gilmore Girls”. So I eventually decided to watch the first episode: the Holy Spirit immediately warned me against the mischievousness of this show. I started watching it with such high expectations that I ended up feeling so disappointed about it. In the very first seconds there was already a nudity scene, and immediately after that, a pregnant woman making a “sexy dance” and both husband and wife at the point of having sex during the pregnancy. Sorry, but I had to quit. I wasn’t able to watch further. I read a few articles talking about this show from a christian point of view, many tried to justify watching it, saying that the good in it was more than the bad, but I think your article is actually the most honest one. When I converted, I had to stop watching HIMYM for the same reason, despite being at the 6th season already. There are many things in this world that can entertain us, but justify our bad actions at all costs isn’t the solution God wants us to adopt. And sometimes it can be so hard to flee sinfulness behaviors and habits, but that’s what we are required to do. It can be hard, but not impossible, since we have intellect and self-control over our actions.

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