by Elizabeth Prata
Just the title of this new reality show is enough to tell you all the Christian needs to know: “Temptation Island”.
The TV show blurb states: “Temptation Island is an American reality dating show, in which several couples agree to live with a group of singles of the opposite sex, in order to test the strength of their relationships.”
Four unmarried but long term dating couples are separated and the 4 women live on one side of a tropical island with 12 men, and the 4 men live on the other side of the island with 12 women. The odds are stacked against them from the start.
The UK Guardian described it like this, lol: “Temptation Island, which launched on Fox TV last night, centres on four couples who test their fidelity on a steamy tropical island overrun with scantily clad singles. It is the latest example of what observers are dubbing ‘reality TV’.“
The producers say the show isn’t about sex, it’s about ‘exploring the dynamics of relationships’. Apparently relationship dynamics comes with speedos and bikinis.
The show itself engendered controversy from conservatives and religious groups when it initially aired in 2001. It lasted 2 seasons and was canceled. But then it was brought back a few years later. Apparently all a TV producer needs to do is wait a few years for the society’s moral deterioration to deepen, and then re-start your morally corrupt program, and it will fit right in.
The product it is selling is lust, pride, and voyeurism. Lust for obvious reasons, pride for anyone who thinks they can withstand temptation in their own strength, and voyeurism of those watching and by extension, participating in the same sins.
The Bible tells us to FLEE sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18). It also warns not to test the Lord. Yet what does the world do? Creates circumstances purposely for men and women to run *toward* sexual immorality. Then voyeuristically entices more people to participate in it by watching.
Better title for it would be ‘Dances with devils’.
but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28).
“Don’t tempt me!”
Temptation is common to man because every person born on this planet except Jesus has a sin-nature. Sin is part of us. We have no free will to escape it. We only have a choice on which sin we will perform and to what degree. Sure, you might not be a murderer, but are you a thief? A liar? A coveter? Do you engage in what Jerry Bridges calls ‘respectable sins? Gossip at lunch? Jealousy over a friend’s vacation trip? Anger? They’re all sins. Pick your flavor.
We all have a nature that is drenched in sin, saturated through and through (the Doctrine of Depravity). Our natural moral condition is one of total inability to do anything righteous for God, and instead, we only sin. We only ever think about sinning. We only ever sin, continuously. (Genesis 6:5).
Paul explains this in Romans. Romans is relentless in showing us humans how awful we really are. Oh, we try to convince our selves that “I’m not really that bad.” Or we rationalize, “I’m not as bad as THAT guy over there.” But those rationalizations fail because we compare ourselves to other sinners. Sure, not everyone sins as bad as they could, and some sin more than others, but that’s not the point. To make the comparison we have to compare ourselves to God, who is Holy. He is the one who is sinless. He is the one who sets the standard.
In Romans 3:12 we learn that no one is good, and that no one seeks after God.
Worse, any thought not in accordance with God’s standards is sin. That is why even looking at a woman or man in lust is adultery, because sinful thoughts are still an affront to Holy God, even if you never went through with the physical act.
One Sin Feels Lonely
The Bible says to flee from sexual immorality. (1 Corinthians 6:18). Joseph fled, He turned his back on Mrs. Potiphar and ran out of the room. His reaction should have startled her conscience into repentance. But see, temptation just means one sin feels lonely. Without the object of her desire to satisfy her sin, she turned to another sin, lying.
We must not engage in anything impure, not greed or debauchery or anything unrighteous. (Ephesians 5:3). Sin is an almost alive thing, crouching at the door waiting to have you. Unsaved people are at the mercy of the tsunami of sin engulfing them, but as Christians we have a door to shut it out: the Holy Spirit indwelling us.
Here’s where it gets good
We can evacuate Temptation Island. We do not have to succumb to the charcuterie board of sins satan is serving up!
Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones preached, “The fourth thing we go on to is something that we should consider with adoration, praise and worship, and it is this: the three Persons of the blessed Trinity took part in this plan and purpose of redemption. There can be no question at all but that the Scriptures teach that before the foundation of the world a council with respect to man took place between the three Persons of the Trinity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And there in that eternal council they seem very clearly to have divided up the work of redemption, so that we can describe the Father as the originator, the Son as the executor and the Holy Spirit as the One who applies what the Son has achieved.“
The lifeboat has arrived to take God’s children off the island of temptations and to give us armor to battle it with! Praise God and bless Him! He rescues us from our swim in the putrid waters of sin!
God’s rescue is a perfect example of how Christianity is countercultural: it’s the opposite of the world. What a gift. He gave us to not only know what evil IS, but to give us the Spirit to help us kill the sin that remains in us and to help us resist the temptations that we DO NOT seek but do come our way.
Think about the monumental gift He has given us. He regenerates sinful hearts, gave us His word to follow, gave us His Spirit to help us in killing sin. He gave us everything! We don’t HAVE TO sin. We don’t have to participate in the increasing moral deterioration of society! We can come to our Father, repentance in hand, and lay it at His feet. We are dressed in righteous robes, and given powerful aids to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Someday we will be freed totally from even the presence of sin. What a day that will be!