81: 007 vs. Jesus

As a freshman in college I joined a “life group” from my church. Growing up in a Christian home I was familiar with Sunday school, youth group, and Bible studies, but somehow a small group was intrinsically different. These people didn’t just meet together to learn. Instead, they met together for the sake of being together—to live Christianity together—to be a family. This involved a more intimate level of Christian relationship than I had experienced before. As an awkward teenager trying to develop friendships, I welcomed this fresh approach to Christianity. However, we all bring our quirks and idiosyncrasy into our relationships, and at times I wanted to move on to relationships that were more natural for me. It’s hard to love people!

I remember talking with another guy after small group one night. We were discussing James Bond and just when we were on the verge of some quality male bonding, one of the young ladies (I think her name was Sarah) came over and said, in a very perturbed and offended tone, “You don’t watch that garbage do you? That is so sexist!”

I bantered with some clever come-back like, “Yeah, so?” and then the conversation quickly died. Deep inside I was offended. Feminist! Wet blanket! Fun hater! Goodie-two-shoes! Sure James Bond was a little out there, but he is after all, James Bond. That’s something girls can’t understand. He has a license to be a little out there. He’s doing it all for the country.

I still remember the first time my brother told me about 007. Spies. Women. Danger. I immediately was drawn to the series with a wonder lust. I watched every movie. I read all the books. I even named my slingshot after his gun. To me, James Bond was the epitome of what it meant to be a guy—what it meant to be American (Yes, I know he’s British, but my teenage mind never did accept that.)

Of course, after I stewed on the incident for a few years I realized that Sarah had a point. In fact she probably had a lot of points that she was too exasperated to share with me. James Bond was a womanizer. He had a use-them-and-lose-them mentality. He was a man caught up in all that this world has to offer, and in a make-believe Hollywood fashion he never reaped the fruit of his indiscretions. As a Christian, as much as I tried, I could not defend my actions in continuing to watch shows that glamorized such exceedingly out of bounds immoral actions and attitudes.

I must confess, that with the hype of the new Bond movie coming out, every ounce of my flesh still wants to go see it. In fact, part of me even wants my kids to see it, because it is still such a fond part of my childhood memories.

It’s times like these that battles are won or lost with our kids. I can choose what I want in the flesh, or I can do what is right. I can downplay the godlessness, or I can hold to a high standard with myself, and with my family. Is there anything in your life where you are setting a bad example for your family by not following the standards that God would have for you and your home?

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.


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