October 18, 2017

Virtual Reality

By Shawn Bain

Today’s toys are so technologically advanced with the enhancement of graphics, the game you play seems to come alive. Some games involve a simulation with a head gear placed over the eyes and a set of controls in the hands of the player. The game(s) produces images and situations that put the player in the middle of the action. “Virtual Reality” is born.

“Virtual Reality” entertains us. It teases the mind with possibilities. The possibilities cause the one who plays the game to wonder if what he sees with his eyes and controls with his hands could not truly be realized. A dream come true. Others who play know the game presents the idea of a fantasy world, and conditions that surround the earth or laws of the land would not allow for such to ever happen. Although it may never happen, they enjoy being entertained by it nonetheless. Several people enjoy science fiction. Star Wars enjoyed being the number one box office hit for years. Millions of people enjoyed its adventure, characters, and special effects. The simulation witnessed in Star Wars was tolerated, but the real thing has not been experienced.

People today are playing the game of Virtual Reality with regard to sexual scenes that tease the mind with possibilities. There are pictures displayed on TV and movie screens that depict characters engaging in sexual activity. These characters may be boyfriend and girlfriend or a married couple, but that does not matter. This is not a game, but the situation presented will cause the one who watches to wonder if what he sees with his eyes could become something he could play out in real life with his girlfriend or her boyfriend. Although many watch such activities thinking, “This doesn’t affect me,” they enjoy being entertained by it nonetheless.

Many people have read and studied and preached on the sexual abuse of David and Bathsheba. Would you want to attend a live production of the life of David which included such a dramatic and passionate scene depicted in 2 Samuel 11:2-5? What about a live play that visualized for us the lives of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden before and after their sin? You would probably never think of paying money to watch live scenes of two unclothed people. It would be repulsive to think of a “live sexual performance” of a man and woman, but every evening this week, hundreds of thousands of people, including Christians, will sit down and settle for the “solution.” Not in “real” terms, but on regular evening TV or at the movie theater.

Author Doug Wilson noticed this hypocrisy in his book Reforming Marriage. He states that too many people in the “religious community” have come to justify watching on the screen various activities we would not dream of seeing in the flesh. Things that would embarrass us all if they were real but not embarrass us at all because they are “simulated.” We would be appalled at any real, live scenes of those involved in sexual activity, but people are watching such activity on a regular basis but with only a few video adjustments through the VCR or movie screen. “Love” scenes are produced all the time with two people who are married and couples not married to each other. They press their undressed bodies together in front of millions of people they do not know, and people give their consent by watching such an “emotional scene.” What “sexual scenes” we read about in Scripture that we would never want to watch or do with our next door neighbor, we pay money to watch being “simulated” by two strangers!

Is that enough? I am afraid not! What children do in school, at play, in the street, etc. is oftentimes done because they have seen their parents do the same thing. The same is true for those who view “simulations” of love and pas- sion. They take it to the streets. Literally. On a park bench, huddled in a corner of the mall, or parked on the back row in a theater, a man or woman (young boy or girl) seemed velcroed in a fiery embrace. Hands are wandering, faces are pressed together, and torsos are intertwined. People are staring, but not at a TV show or on the big screen. It is real life. Someone may view such conduct and say, “Ain’t love grand?” Sure it is, but to a point. That point is where private, intimate actions become an exhibition and a performance.

When I went to Florida College, there was enough fore- sight and wisdom in the administration that they forbad “public display of affection” on campus. Those caught were given demerits. There is a time and place for such to be done (Heb. 13:4), but the public is not the stage for one’s intimate action.

People suppose that watching an unending amount of intimate, caressing, bed scenes will not carry itself any further than the den or movie screen where such is being admired. That is wishful thinking. It is really foolish and naive. This is not only the thinking of the world. This is often the thinking of Christians. “It won’t bother us. It’s a good show.” Paul said, “For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think: but so as to think soberly. . .” (Rom 12:3). What makes it right to gaze with fascination at simulated “public displays of affection” when we would not tolerate a glance at the real thing? It is a rationalization that too many dads and moms have passed on to their children without thinking. It is the type of rationalization we must stop real soon, before “virtual reality” becomes “harsh reality.”

Think on these things:

Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, that every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart  (Matt. 5:27, 28).

The lamp of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is the darkness (Matt. 6:22, 23).

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it (1 Cor. 10:12, 13).

If ye died with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, do ye subject yourselves to ordinances, Handle not, nor taste, nor touch (Col. 2:20, 21).

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