Vicarious Immorality

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Vicarious Immorality

Warren E. Berkley

Part of one of my sermons (on Respectable Sins) was a discussion of “Vicarious Immorality.” We say we believe something is sinful, but we watch it, laugh about it and enjoy music about it (attempting to get as close as we can, without direct participation). We don’t actually do it (we argue), but get something out of vicarious participation – viewing, describing. We watch activity on TV and in Movies we say we believe is offensive to God. We play video games, becoming “virtually” engaged in things we say are wrong, like violence and murder (or theft). And while we say we believe adultery is wrong, we listen to music about it, or sing about it, or exchange jokes about it. I think sometimes, if something isn’t worth saying, someone will figure out a way to sing it and make a hit. Do we approve of things with our eyes that we say we condemn with our hearts? Do we open our ears and minds to what we allege we oppose?

And add to your thoughts about this Ephesians 5:1-4.

NIV: “…there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place…”

Do we secretly enjoy reading about the immorality of other people whose sexual misconduct is reported in our newspapers and weekly news magazines?…If we go to movies or watch television programs knowing that sexually explicit sins will be shown or read novels knowing that such scenes will be described, we are engaging in vicarious immorality. – Jerry Bridges

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